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Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

jupitergardens

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I've been debating whether to come forward with my story or not, but given the news today, I feel that I must...

(I have emailed this to Emily, including the certified letter tracking #, about a week or so ago.)

When I first heard about Aspen, I decided to check my contract. It had expired in March. I sent a letter certified, and through email, the first part of July after communicating with a member of the senior staff who had taken over. The certified letter has yet to be picked up.

Given the lack of word, I'd followed up with the second email and finally reached someone. When I mentioned this, I was told they didn't know who was picking up the mail. Finally, after follow up, I heard from the same member of the senior staff saying she'd have a letter sent out ASAP returning my rights. This was last Monday. Then, on Friday, I get an email from the SAME email address, but from the publisher, saying the letter will go out by the end of the month. As of today, no letter received and the certified letter still hasn't been picked up.

According to the contract, and the 30 day notice, my rights reverted to me last week. I am awaiting formal notice before doing anything and am hoping it gets taken care of by the end of the month as the publisher had said.

However, I am seriously concerned (seeing shades of Venus where the publisher went MIA) as are many others.

It is my hope that my story can provide additional information to authors. Thanks!

Mary Winter
 

mscelina

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Yes, Mary--that senior staff member was me, and as I did not sign your contract I could not legally return your rights without the permission of the publisher. The publisher who did sign your contract has to do that. I could have sent you a rights reversion letter if I'd received that permission. My suggestion is that you send your email directly to the publisher--she is the only AMP representative at any of the AMP addresses--and speak directly to the lone person who can help you with your rights.

As for picking up your certified letter, I would have been happy to do so if I lived in Colorado. As I live in Ohio, that's rather difficult. The publisher is responsible for the physical mail address in Colorado, and if the mail is neither sent or picked up, I'm afraid that fault lies with her.

I really am sorry your letter was relegated to a lower position on the list of things we were trying to address. Sandra Hicks is who you need to speak to. I did, however, forward her your email to me with my recommendation and I hope that she will act upon it in the near future. Best of luck to you--
 
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jupitergardens

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The publisher who did sign your contract has to do that. I could have sent you a rights reversion letter if I'd received that permission.

I'm sorry if there was a misunderstanding, but your email to me said:

[FONT=&quot]Mary,

If you'll send me your physical address, I'll send you a right reversion letter ASAP. I've already instructed that the book be removed from AMP and all third party sites.

Best--

Celina Summers[/FONT]

That tells me that the letter was going out right away, and not awaiting permission since you had said that it needed to go through the "directors" first. I have no wish to drag this out, but the changing stories and the lack of information concern me. Thankfully my plans for the story can wait, but that does not diminish the growing concern. (You had previously mentioned that everything was announced on the business loop -- a loop which I had no knowledge of and in speaking with another author she didn't either.)

I sincerely wish everyone the best and hope that all authors' concerns can be successfully resolved.
 

mscelina

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It doesn't. The other poster can't PM me, and she needs to do as I suggested and requested and discuss this with the individual who can help her. I've said my last word on this matter. Ever.
 

jupitergardens

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Ladies, maybe this discussion would be best taken to PM, if it needs to be had.

I'm sorry. I deliberately kept my email as vague as possible and was only addressing concerns brought up by the other poster. I was hoping to avoid the kind of response that I had received. I simply wanted to relay my story in the hopes that it would help other authors make decisions. (There are several in my circle who are published and many of us were on the fence about the whole thing.)

I have the email from the publisher. I'm waiting until the end of the month and obviously, will continue any necessary correspondence with the publisher.

If anything came across like a personal attack, it certainly wasn't meant that way. We'll chalk that up to mercury being retrograde. It always messes up communication.

Thanks.
 

Stacia Kane

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I'm sorry. I deliberately kept my email as vague as possible and was only addressing concerns brought up by the other poster. I was hoping to avoid the kind of response that I had received. I simply wanted to relay my story in the hopes that it would help other authors make decisions. (There are several in my circle who are published and many of us were on the fence about the whole thing.)

I have the email from the publisher. I'm waiting until the end of the month and obviously, will continue any necessary correspondence with the publisher.

If anything came across like a personal attack, it certainly wasn't meant that way. We'll chalk that up to mercury being retrograde. It always messes up communication.

Thanks.


Nothing to apologize for. You did nothing wrong in posting your experience; I only meant that if you two were going to get into a back-and-forth about specific emails etc. it would be a discussion better carried on in private. :)

No worries.
 

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Duplicate thread here, might be of interest: <snipped>
 
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I have maintained my silence on this subject for a long time. But today I'm breaking it because I no longer have any books with AMP.

I didn't experience the long term contact problems with AMP because I was with the Aurora Regency imprint. I never had a problem talking to my editors or the AR staff. I saw the problems in other areas at AMP, but once the senior staff took over all operations, things drastically improved except in one area. The owner was still responsible for payment.

My checks stopped coming. They had always been sporadic and the publisher had a bad habit of sending checks without royalty statements so it was impossible to tell what I was being paid for, but the checks just stopped.

Things got so bad internally that the senior staff walked out. I know I'm not the only person who hasn't been getting paid or getting proper royatly statements. Once the senior staff left, the owner posted one or two cheery messages about how all checks would be out by Aug. 15th and statements a few days later. I have never received either.

Then she stopped communicating with anyone. Calls, emails, and certified letters have all gone unanswered. The author loop has been a frenzy of worry. Of the 13 books scheduled since the owner assumed full responsibility, only two have actually been released. Some people have been paid. Some haven't. To my knowledge, no one has received a statement.

Happily, I am now free. The owner finally agreed to sell the Aurora Regency imprint to the people who actually built ARand ran it. While I"m thrilled that AR will continue and that I'm out of the great swampy mess that is AMP, I feel terribly sad for the AMP authors still stuck in limbo with an unresponsive and irresponsible owner who holds their books hostage.

I would hate for anyone else walk into this mess, so I'm posting this as a warning to anyone thinking of submitting to AMP. I'm not even sure there is anyone still checking the submission box.
 
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I'm a new AMP author (my first book came out late July), but I already see problems. When the senior staff managed the place, everything went perfectly. I received exceptional editing, prompt communication, and fantastic help all the way around.

After the senior staff left, the wheels came off. I turned in the manuscript for my second contracted book on 8/8. The final editorial deadline is 10/3 and the release date is scheduled for 10/24. As of today, I haven't been assigned an editor or even received acknowledgement of the manuscript. Obviously, this book won't be released on time, if ever. I don't know what will happen to the book because the owner hasn't answered any of my e-mails. As a side note, she also hasn't returned the signature pages of my contracts even though I sent them in late June, so technically we don't even have executed contracts. She appears to be incredibly disorganized.

The other bugaboo, which may seem minor but made me lose my temper: AMP listed my second book on the "Coming Soon" portion of the AMP website under my real name, not my pen name. Outing an author's real name is NOT COOL and this problem should've been handled immediately, yet it took 8 days for the owner to remove my real name from the site.

I don't expect to be paid for my first book, unfortunately. I stopped promoting it when I noticed things going downhill. I'm thrilled the Aurora Regency authors got out of this mess, and I hope I'll join them soon. Don't submit to AMP. It's circling the drain.
 
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mscelina

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Just as an FYI, Musa did purchase the Aurora Regency/Aurora Regency Historicals and I am still trying to help create a resolution for AMP that will be the least painful for the authors. As I have more news on that front, I'll let you know.
 

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I had some problems with AMP late last year when I was trying to get the copies I needed to sell at RT Booklovers' Convention. All materials to be sold at RTCon are distributed through All Romance eBooks and my AMP title needed to be added to their database. I couldn't do it so I sent an email to the publisher for her to take care of this. Unfortunately, my title was added too late to take advantage of ordering my copies for free; because of this, I had to pay cover and sell on consignment. Then I found out that I was missing royalty statements; I got checks okay but only one had a statement to correspond with it. Then when many other issues came to light, I went to check my contract and found a serious breach: when I originally signed in July 2010, I had to print two copies, initial the pages at the bottom, then sign and date both copies of the signature page at the end. I had to mail back one copy of the contract along with both signature pages for the publisher to sign and return. To date, I have not received my copy of the last page with her signature on it. I sent a letter certified/return receipt requested asking for my copy of this page, as my book has been selling with an invalid, possibly void contract. Shortly after that, I sent an email requesting copies of the royalty statements I'm missing. To date, I have not received any statements or the contract page.

This is my first book, and my experience is slowly turning into a nightmare. I've also stopped promoting my book since I don't feel I'm able to continue doing business with AMP. It's a relief to know the AR authors have been released from this mess, and I'm hoping for a swift, relatively painless resolution to mine. Please think twice before submitting to AMP; I'm beyond humiliated with what's happened to me and my fellow authors.
 

jupitergardens

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Just a quick follow up - the end of the month has come and no letter releasing my rights. My book is still up for sale. And the email I sent to the last known email address from which I received communication from the owner has gone unanswered. In addition, the personal email I found on their website (in a "help wanted" type page), bounced as "no such person."

I really loved that little novella and am sad that it's tangled up in this mess. :(
 

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Let me chime in as well - although I am fortunate enough to be an Aurora Regency Historicals author, so my contracts were also bought out.

I had two books released through AMP. The first one came out in July, 2010. For that book, I received all but 5 statements, but only two (IIRC - I'd have to check and I'm not home, so I can't) checks. And both checks were way late.

The second one came out in Nov. 2010. I haven't received a royalty statement for that one since February. I don't know if these royalties were calculated into the checks I received, since no statement came with any check. I have no way of knowing if I was paid everything I was owed, and by the time my contracts were bought, I didn't even care. I just wanted my books back.

My email requesting my rights returned was ignored. No response. Nothing.

I also feel for those AMP authors still tangled up in this, asking for answers and being ignored. It's terrible. It's frustrating. It's unprofessional and I'm glad I'm free of it.
 

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My two books with AMP just disappeared from Fictionwise. No warning. Just gone.

I've pretty much stopped writing since my experience with AMP. As my favorite business book puts it, "You're in business to make money and have fun. If you're not making money or having fun, what are you doing here?"

I never cared about the money but writing stopped being fun.
 

amergina

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My two books with AMP just disappeared from Fictionwise. No warning. Just gone.

I've pretty much stopped writing since my experience with AMP. As my favorite business book puts it, "You're in business to make money and have fun. If you're not making money or having fun, what are you doing here?"

I never cared about the money but writing stopped being fun.

:Hug2:

I hope you get the fun back and can write again. It's makes my blood boil when this kind of thing happens to authors. :rant:
 

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My two books with AMP just disappeared from Fictionwise. No warning. Just gone.

I've pretty much stopped writing since my experience with AMP. As my favorite business book puts it, "You're in business to make money and have fun. If you're not making money or having fun, what are you doing here?"

I never cared about the money but writing stopped being fun.

A bad deal can screw with your contracts, but only you can let that screw with your writing. It's easy to fall into, and okay to wallow for a minute or two if you need the breather, but screw 'em. Move on, and keep writing.
 

Stacia Kane

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My two books with AMP just disappeared from Fictionwise. No warning. Just gone.

I've pretty much stopped writing since my experience with AMP. As my favorite business book puts it, "You're in business to make money and have fun. If you're not making money or having fun, what are you doing here?"

I never cared about the money but writing stopped being fun.


Oh, man. :Hug2:

Just dittoing the others. Please don't let this take the joy away for you. I'm so sorry this happened to you.
 

mscelina

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I felt it necessary to post in this thread in person.

For the past couple of months, we've been in negotiations with AMP. AMP had offered to sell us individual contracts, and we countered by offering all our unpaid back wages/pay and all my future editorial royalties in exchange for as many authors as we could get. Unfortunately, today those negotiations were ended by AMP. We'd hoped to save as many authors/books as possible, but were unsuccessful.

I have no idea what will happen there at this point. My own books were still offered for sale on the AMP website this morning and I (and the other senior staff who resigned) remain unpaid.

I no longer have any open lines of communication with the owner of AMP.
 

jupitergardens

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If it helps those who are still having their books sold, I plan to put together the package that I'll be sending to vendors (Amazon is especially responsive to copyright claims by rights holders), and I will blog about how to put it together, probably on my author blog. It's my hope that within the next few weeks to start making the rounds of the vendors to try and get my book taken down. If this helps others...then all the better.
 

Stacia Kane

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If it helps those who are still having their books sold, I plan to put together the package that I'll be sending to vendors (Amazon is especially responsive to copyright claims by rights holders), and I will blog about how to put it together, probably on my author blog. It's my hope that within the next few weeks to start making the rounds of the vendors to try and get my book taken down. If this helps others...then all the better.


Just as a sidenote, please consider starting a thread here to share that info/your experience as well. Maybe in Roundtable or Novels...?

It sounds like something some of our members might find helpful, too.

Best of luck!
 

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If it helps those who are still having their books sold, I plan to put together the package that I'll be sending to vendors (Amazon is especially responsive to copyright claims by rights holders), and I will blog about how to put it together, probably on my author blog. It's my hope that within the next few weeks to start making the rounds of the vendors to try and get my book taken down. If this helps others...then all the better.
This is so sad, and I hope you prevail. However, AMP appears to hold those rights, regardless of their current status. Unless you can prove your print rights have been reverted, vendors' hands are tied.
 

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