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

mscelina

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Always work on your next novel, regardless of what's going on. Always keep working.

I don't have fears that other unsuspecting authors will get caught in the same trap. AMP is not reading or responding to submissions either, so thankfully other writers are safe. It's just the ones who are entangled with AMP contractually that I feel the worst for.
 
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gianni pezzano

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Thanks Celina, that's what I'm doing.

I truly wish you luck with MUSA. GIVE 'EM HELL!!!
 

mscelina

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This morning, the AMP owner published a note to the authors, promising to get some of the August releases up this weekend and asking the AMP authors to not discuss AMP matters outside the publishing family. She claimed that outside sources that exist only to spread vicious gossip were misrepresenting the situation at AMP.

This occurred after she banned a number of people from the AMP Authors loop, including myself, other authors who'd spoken out most publicly about the situation at AMP, authors who still have contracts with AMP, her current review coordinator and former staff members.
 

Bubastes

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Booting authors who still have contracts in force because they dared to speak up? That's from the PublishAmerica playbook.
 

mscelina

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That's kind of what I thought too. In a way, it really broke my heart. Booting me didn't bother me that much; if I'd had a contract with another company and violated the terms of that contract, I'd boot the people I'd pulled a fast one on too. What really bothers me is that the authors she's been ignoring, the authors she owes money to, the authors whose contracts she's holding hostage have been booted--with no recourse now to reach her and try to bring these standoffs to the end.

Very sad.
 

Old Hack

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Not just sad, but foolish too. If word hadn't spread before, it will spread now.
 

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Not just sad, but foolish too. If word hadn't spread before, it will spread now.

I hope so. I haven't seen a lot of discussion on the web about AMP's problems yet, but I hope more people pick up the story soon. At this point, I feel like bad publicity will be the only way to get any movement from AMP. She seems like she's still in denial.
 

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Booting authors who still have contracts in force because they dared to speak up? That's from the PublishAmerica playbook.

Actually I can think of one very big and very most definitely still in business publisher that shuttled a bunch of authors over to a separate "biz loop". And at the time it gave me the wiggins because hindering communication no matter what is never a good sign.

I hope so. I haven't seen a lot of discussion on the web about AMP's problems yet, but I hope more people pick up the story soon. At this point, I feel like bad publicity will be the only way to get any movement from AMP. She seems like she's still in denial.

As much as I hate to say it, I do think some discreet mentions in other writer venues would probably be good. One of the things I would hate to think of is other authors who might not have the lines of communication with others that are found here, wondering "what's going on" and feeling very much in the dark. That's never a good place to be, and we've heard this situation is sadly impacting others' writing, again never a happy place to be. (Been there. Trust me.)

As long as the information is presented factually and without accusations/rancor, I don't see how spreading the word could be anything but informative for those who don't know and hopefully rights/career-saving for those who might be unknowingly in the quagmire.
 

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This is awful, Celina. Just awful. My heart goes out to everyone who is tangled up in this mess.
 

mscelina

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I'm in a lot better shape than most of the authors. I'm just owed money and my company was just cheated out of what they bought; but my books--and the books of the Aurora Regency imprint I built--are safe. These folks are having their copyrights infringed repeatedly, their books AND their royalties held hostage by a publisher who's posted TWO messages in two months; who's released TWO books in two months; and who, when provided with the actual royalties due to these authors by the office manager we brought in, went behind said office manager's back to claim that the figures from the reports were wrong--and then STILL didn't pay the past due royalties. Tomorrow when I wake up, the AMP staff (editors, including myself) will have been stiffed out of TWO months' royalties/pay. The promotions manager and book formatters are out more months than that. The books of these authors are being illegally sold on a website and organized through a tracking database that the publisher never paid the designer for. And one of those websites Musa purchased in the Aurora Regency deal--a website still not turned over to us. AMP didn't even take the Aurora books off the third party sites as contractually agreed--we ended up having to take care of that ourselves.

And the majority of AMP authors haven't received a royalty statement in over a year. Only one month out of the past fourteen did every author get a royalty statement--and that was the month the senior staff took over and got things done.

When we purchased the Aurora Regency line, we immediately reverted all rights to the authors. Every author had a standing offer for publication through Musa, one they were not obligated to take. I don't believe in holding authors and their books hostage. In the two months I was managing editor at AMP, I released numerous authors who'd been ignored for two years from their contracts. I kind of wish now we'd never taken over AMP. We gave a lot of writers the false hope that the company was actually going to be on the way back up and on track, doing things the way they're supposed to be. And now those selfsame authors are trapped there.

The publisher claimed in her last message that she would try to get some of the releases scheduled for August up this weekend. I'll be interested to see how many of those releases actually make it into the store--over the objections of those authors.
 

gianni pezzano

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Hi Celina and everyone, I'm not embarassed to say I'm one of the authors caught in this mess.

Don't feel guilty, I know you, Dominique and the others did your best while you were there and I can honestly state that in the short time I worked with you that things did go well. Contract returned in time, queries answered quickly, cover art out in days. The problems began (at least for me) AFTER you all left.

We authors know you suffered your own losses in the situation, as you state in this post.

So don't blame yourself for what happened to us, if anyone is responsible it's well explained in Esther's, Celia's and Cassandra's messages.


We're now fighting as much as we can to regain what is righfully ours. Then it will be back to the struggle that I have had for over five years looking for a publishe and/or agentr for my book, the one I'm now writing and the others I have planned. None of us plan to give up, we will fight and more importantly WE WILL CONTINUE WRITING!!!

I can truly say I wish you success in MUSA and I personally have no doubt YOU WILL.
 

gianni pezzano

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I just realized I better say what happened to me. I signed the contract for my novel at the end of July. Initially everything went well and the cover art was out in the beginning of august. Since I was told that editing would begin in days, I decided to stop work on the new novel to convcentrate on doing the editing properly.

I was told of the resignations on august 8 and that was the last time I had direct contact from AMP.

IN the weeks following I wrote tAMP 3 times to ask what was happening, all without reply. I kept checking the tracking site. NO changes, I noticed that virtually nothing happened in these weeks.

Finally I lost faith in AMP and decided to ask for the contract to be terminated and the rights returned to me. I even stated I am willing to pay for the costs of the cover art(which incidentally I like and stated I wanted possession of it...).

Since I now live in Italy I sent the letter via UPS, as per the contract details and a "Wallace" signed for it. I sent an email to AMP stating I knew the letter had arrived and that the sixt days had begun. I set the email to give me an electronic "receipt" when it was opened. never received the receipt. On wednesday, due to doubts about delivery I sent the letter again, this time via Fedex, envelope marked "signature addressee only" and on the AMP Author's loop I advised them that the letter was on its way and they had the telephone number to arrange delivery and to expect it on Friday. Yesterday the letter was delivered to a "K. Keith", rather than the person to which it was addressed.

Luckily I am not owed money, as I stated before, BUT I am disappointed, angry and am not scared to state I have suffered a bout of depression due to this issue. This is not the first time I have had a problem with a publisher(years ago I lost a major biographydue to mishandling of another publisher...)

However, I WILL NOT GIVE UP!!!
 

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hugs for the authors here.

have nothing to add ... at the moment and in this thread ... but the only way to get rid of these bottom feeder pubs, (we've all seen them; they scream, bully and belittle and point their finger to blame, to shift attention away from their own calculating misdeeds and mistakes, and don't send out statements and on and on) is by standing up and pointing the finger and educating others.
 

gianni pezzano

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Too right!

And if that phrase doesn't say I was born and raised in Australia nothing will...(!)
 

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Question: for authors whose books are being sold illegally, would it make sense to send DMCA takedown notices to third-party sites and to the host of the AMP site?
 

mscelina

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Absolutely, in my opinion. I know that if you provide the third party sites with documentation (ie--a contract that's obviously expired) or a web server with the same documentation, they'll err on the side of caution while the matter is being investigated. That's why keeping every piece of correspondence involving your publication process--from the publisher, office, editor, artists--is so important. I have kept every single email that was exchanged between myself and AMP, or between myself acting as an employee of AMP and any author or staff member I corresponded with. It's a PITA to dig through them to find something, but fortunately I have them to find. It's something I highly recommend for any author, not only to protect themselves from situations like this but also to document verbal agreements or (in my case) even hints about comma usage from my editor. Can't have too many of those comma splice emails. Ever.
 

mscelina

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After AMP's announcement at the end of last week that they would try to put some of the August releases up, no new books were released.

Also, after repeated attempts to contact AMP in regards to the portions of our contract with them that were breached, today we discovered that the domain/website of Aurora Regency that we purchased along with the book contract now has a splash page redirecting the reader to the Musa main page, leading us to assume that AMP intends to KEEP the domain and website and remain in violation of the terms of their contract to us.
 

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In other words, AMP (and not Musa) controls the Aurora Regency domain and website, correct? AMP actually believes redirecting people to the Musa site is enough to meet her contract terms with you? Unreal.
 

gianni pezzano

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I think the bes people who know the the pen is mightier than the sword(or the scales of Justice...) are we authors. Let's tell everybody the truth.

We don't need to embellish what we write about AMP is worse than anything we could have imagined. We siimply have to tell the truth...


 

ajkjd01

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FWIW, I had a query outstanding with AMP, and just emailed to withdraw it from consideration.

Here's the withdrawal email I sent.


"I sent you a query on August 24, 2011. At this point, based on my on-going research on submissions, I do not believe that we would be a good match. I am writing you to withdraw my query from consideration. I hope to revisit this in the future, and hope we might be a better match on a future project.

Thank you for your time and consideration. "

signed.
 

Elizabeth George's book Write Away