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Damnation Books

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para

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http://www.damnationbooks.com/

Very new press opened beginning of Sept. According to the bottom of the main page they've sold 363 books, and have 26 books for sale. That is about 13 copies per book. But they've been doing that increase pricing/variable thing so that can't have made any money.

There seems to be a lot of authors who are editing staff. You're not given very much info about their editing experience.
 

M.R.J. Le Blanc

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The variable pricing thing makes me very uncomfortable, as does the owner's rather passive view on its success. It doesn't appear to be in favor of writers at all.
 

neotank

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I believe they are going into print next month, as far as the novels are concerned.
 

Topaz044

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neotank

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Well, for every sale, an ebook novel goes up five cents, an tops out at $5.95; so after 119 sales it stays at top price. I think most people, if your book is good enough, should bump up there pretty quick.
 

M.R.J. Le Blanc

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But how is that fair to the authors? What if the book doesn't sell that many copies? And how do they plan to attract the kind of readership they would need? It's bad idea all around, the only ones who benefit are the readers - which isn't bad within itself, but shouldn't be at the expense of the writers. It's not competitive with other publishers who have advances and/or a set royalty amount.
 

Topaz044

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Exactly. My book is already set at 5.50 to begin with-I shouldn't have to sell about two years of work for pennies-literally! Plus, how much of that is the publisher taking away?
 

M.R.J. Le Blanc

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Exactly. My book is already set at 5.50 to begin with-I shouldn't have to sell about two years of work for pennies-literally! Plus, how much of that is the publisher taking away?

Bingo, and good question. I'd want to know that myself.
 

HapiSofi

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Very flaky. I'd avoid it.
 

neotank

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Let's be frank about this people. You WILL get extra readers buying your books thanks to the cheaper, initial, pricing. So if your cut is 40%, it's still going to be 40%. Maybe they are trying to stir interest by having a cult following jumping on thier site every 3 months to get some cheap, quality horror? I dunno, just a thought.
 

Topaz044

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Who says it's quality? If anything, the publisher is trying to prove the opposite by marking down a price from, say $4.50 to $.55. To the uninformed eye, that means the book is being discontinued because it's not selling that well.

Look, I'd love to be proven wrong and this plan is in fact beneficial to the author-honestly I would. But I would not submit any of my books to this website. I shouldn't have to work to earn what 99% per cent of authors already get as soon as they're published-a decent book price.
 
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veinglory

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I can see that is *might* be a good gimmick--but more so for the publisher than the author. A small press book like this is likely to only sell an average of a few hundred copies in the first year, most of them in the first few months. So that effectively means a substantial pay cut when compare to a flat price publisher even if it garners 50-100 more sales per title.
 
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Gillhoughly

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Step back and see if they're still in business a year from now.

And if their writers are actually making money.

What puts me off is that they are not paying advances at this time. Maybe that's normal for e-books, but I'd rather get paid for all my hard work.


In the meantime, submit to bigger publishers with a longer track record.

Publishing is weird--you start at the top and work your way down. Find the biggest house or agent on the block and submit to them first, then work your way down.
 

showme

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"Overall my experience with Damnation was quite pleasant, until we disagreed on the design of the cover. They were unwilling to negotiate, so I asked to be released from my contract. At this time, they sent me a letter charging me a $800+ “termination agreement.” This letter included an itemized list of expenses—and as a publisher myself I know how exorbitant and ridiculous these charges are.

Further, there was no mention of a termination fee in the contract I originally signed. I spoke to a woman name Victoria Strauss, who wrote a fascinating blog post on the subject of kill fees (http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2009/08/victoria-strauss-kill-fees-and-why.html). She explained that a kill fee is used to blackmail an unhappy author into getting back in line. She said this example of a kill fee was especially “sleazy” because there was no mention of it in the original contract. When I refused to pay the fee, Kim Gilchrist told me that unless I paid it they would go on and publish the book without my support.

Believe me—I tried everything to negotiate—I even offered to PAY some of the legitimate fees in order to see a new cover designed for the book—but they refused. It was either, “Pay us 800 or shut up and sit down.” I also spoke to a lawyer—he agreed with Ms. Strauss in myself: Damnation Books would never get away with a kill fee in court, but they did have the rights to publish the work. So as of now, despite my pleas, Damnation will be publishing “The Berserk” in March (you can find it on damnation’s website).

I am writing this in hopes that you will alert your readership of Damnation’s hidden fees. They are unlawful, unethical and, for a small independent publisher who should be out there championing small artists—this kind of cutthroat publishing behavior is unconscionable. There are other publishers who do this. According to Ms. Strauss’ blog, writers should beware of this type of bullying, and keep an eye out for it in their contracts (and NEVER sign a contract that includes a kill fee) but Damnation does not state it in their contract.

Feel free to publicize this email and the contracts I’ve included as you wish.

I believe I’ve said enough—I am more than willing to answer any other questions regarding this incident, or fill in any details you may need.

Thank you in advance for any consciousness-raising you do on the issue.

Sincerely,

Alex Smith

UPDATE March 10th, 2010

Damnation Books officially violated their own contract when they made substantial changes to my text without my approval, including the re-naming of chapters and inappropriate additions to the copyright page. Further, Damnation published the book on Amazon as The Berserk by Alex Smith, April Duncan, and Matt Truiano. The latter two are editor and cover designer, respectively. It is outrageous that they would attribute the creation and writing of the novel to two people who, however talented and deserving of praise in their own right, had worked on the book for a month, where I had worked on it for two years. As such, I have decided to publish a “perfect version” entitled Berserk on Amazon. Damnation are welcome to try to sue me if they so chose."
http://reimagineritual.wordpress.com/2010/02/27/open-letter-about-damnation-books/#comment-650

P.S. Just to clarify here, as there's been some confusion, I'm not Alex Smith.
 
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brainstorm77

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Kill fees are also an issue with Eternal Press. I'm not surprised.
 

pagerette

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Any updated insights into this publisher?

Yes, and as you can see, it's all bad. :D Take a look at their website. A grade 6 student could do a better job. It's designed to be scary, but it's so amateurish and tacky, it's hilarious.

Kim Richard Gilchrist is a failed author turned "publisher," in September of last year. She accepts anything at all, and makes her money from illegal kill fees. And yes, kill fees are illegal, unless the author has signed a contract agreeing to them. And even if he has, they won't stand up in court.

http://www.damnationbooks.com/
 
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Kensington

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"I have decided to publish a “perfect version” entitled Berserk on Amazon. Damnation are welcome to try to sue me if they so chose."

Bravo, Alex, way to go. Good luck with your book.
 
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J.Henry

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Reputation good or bad makes or breaks a business. Why a business would deliberately alienate its clients and get so much bad rep for the sake of a couple of hundred dollar kill fee, defeats me. They must be darned hard up for cash. I've been let out of many contracts over the years with no problems. All I had to do was ask. I'd never even heard of a termination fee until now. I can imagine the shock being suddenly hit with something like that. Good luck Alex.

Alex's book is now available on Lulu. It looks interesting. Please buy this version that's authorized by Alex, and not the one illegally being sold by Damnation Press.

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperba...gContext=search_results/search_shelf/center/1
 
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luvreading

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Yes, and as you can see, it's all bad. :D Take a look at their website. A grade 6 student could do a better job. It's designed to be scary, but it's so amateurish and tacky, it's hilarious.

Kim Richard Gilchrist is a failed author turned "publisher," in September of last year. She accepts anything at all, and makes her money from illegal kill fees. And yes, kill fees are illegal, unless the author has signed a contract agreeing to them. And even if he has, they won't stand up in court.

http://www.damnationbooks.com/

A little birdy told me Kim knows about this thread, but is too chicken shit to come on here and explain herself. Caw, caw, caw, caw caw. (LOL) Seriously though what a rotten way for an author turned publisher to treat other authors. Shame on ya, Kim, shame, shame, shame, you money hustling shyster. You PA wannabe.
 
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Ravenwing

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I don't see the problem. If they're trying to stick you for a termination fee that's not in the contract then they don't have a leg to stand on. You did the right thing taking your book elsewhere. Good luck with it.
 

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