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[Editing] October Publishing

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

Wendy Croom

Hello: I am a Newbie and have enjoyed the newsletter and roaming through the forums. This is my first post. I have two manuscripts completed - a 60,000 word novel-in-stories and a 59,000 word mystery novel - that I am hoping to get published. I took a short class offered through NC University at Charlotte (UNCC) on book publishing, facilitated by a local writer. He provided bios of folks he knew that perhaps could be of help to new writers, among them the bio for a "book packager" operating under the name of October Press. Editing is one of the services provided by October Press, according to the bio and the web site. The individual who founded October Press wrote in the Q&A portion of the bio that "it is well worth being patient and trying to get published by traditional methods before exploring alternative methods" and recommended getting a third party critique. After reading everything I could find about October Press' founder on line, I contacted her by e-mail and supplied a writing sample from my novel-in-stories, the ms I planned to submit to her. I told her my goal was to find a small independent publisher and that I was not interested in self-publishing. She agreed to take on the editing assignment for $600, with half due up front. My check for $300 was cashed three days after I mailed it. Three months later, I contacted her (again by e-mail) for a status, and she advised she would be sending the completed "critique" with 7-10 days. A month more went by, and I followed up again. After no word, I continued to follow up by e-mail and then began leaving telephone messages. I finally contacted the local writer who had introduced me to October Publishing, to see if he knew of some problem the individual was facing. He was successful in contacting her, and she e-mailed me that her computer had crashed and she had not received my e-mails. (She gave no reason for not returning my phone calls.) She promised to mail the completed project by May 22 or 23. When I did not receive the package by the first week in June, I e-mailed again, several times, and also sent a letter by regular mail. Nothing. My local writer contact suggested I send a registered letter, and I did so, demanding a firm deadline for completion of the editing project. The letter was signed for, but I received no response. After more e-mails and phone messages, I sent another regular letter, demanding my money back by January 12, 2007. Nothing. Since that time, I have filed a complaint with the BBB in her area and have also filed a Internet Crime complaint. I have heard nothing from either of these to date. I would appreciate some advice as to what to do next.

I have refrained from using this individual's name, because I don't want to create a negative "Google event" for her until I have tried everything else. However, I will give you enough of her bio that you can identify her if you wish, and also to illustrate why I am so frustrated at this point. Here goes. This individual is the President of the Board of Trustees of the NC Writers Network. She is on the Advisory Board of the Southeastern Booksellers Association. She writes book reviews for a number of magazines and is an on-air book reviewer and commentator, heard on NPR in her area. She is one of the organizers of a crime writers book festival. She served as a retail book buyer for an independent bookstore (now closed) and formed October Publishing to help authors "package books that are as well-designed, edited and manufactured as those by the industry's major publishers."

I apologize for the length of this post. I appreciate any advice you have.

Kind regards,

Wendy Croom
 

Sassenach

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HSince that time, I have filed a complaint with the BBB in her area and have also filed a Internet Crime complaint. I have heard nothing from either of these to date. I would appreciate some advice as to what to do next.

I have refrained from using this individual's name, because I don't want to create a negative "Google event" for her until I have tried everything else. However, I will give you enough of her bio that you can identify her if you wish, and also to illustrate why I am so frustrated at this point. Here goes. This individual is the President of the Board of Trustees of the NC Writers Network. She is on the Advisory Board of the Southeastern Booksellers Association. She writes book reviews for a number of magazines and is an on-air book reviewer and commentator, heard on NPR in her area. She is one of the organizers of a crime writers book festival. She served as a retail book buyer for an independent bookstore (now closed) and formed October Publishing to help authors "package books that are as well-designed, edited and manufactured as those by the industry's major publishers."

1. Yes, you were scammed.
2. BBB is worthless and will not help you get your money back.
3. Have you tried suing her in small claims court?
 

Wendy Croom

I looked into Small Claims Court, but it doesn't make economical sense. I'd have to file in the County where she lives (4 hours from my home), pay a $65 filing fee, and travel back and forth on my own dime. Hardly worth the effort for $300 which I'm not likely to collect, anyway.

Should I contact some of the organizations she's affiliated with? It seems to me that they wouldn't their good names taken down Google hell along with hers.

I am sending query letters and sample chapters out. I have lost a year; might as well not lose any more time.

Thanks for your responses.

Wendy
 

Wendy Croom

Update

Oddly, I received a check for $300 in the mail yesterday, from October Publishing. There was no note, no explanation of any kind. After so many months of silence, I get a check that was mailed one day after I submitted a post to Absolute Write. You guys have powerful karma, it seems.

I'm not celebrating full force until the check clears the bank. However, I am greatly cheered.

Regards,

Wendy
 

limitedtimeauthor

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Welcome Wendy.

So glad you got your money back! You wouldn't think someone with all those credentials would be so evasive.

AW is great. You'll find that we're not only good for strong-arming people who owe you money, but we can tap dance and spin plates too!

It's also a great place for writing advice. :)

ltd.
 

Wendy Croom

Hey:

Looks like the check is good. All is well.

Thanks again!

Wendy
 

VeggieChick

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1. Yes, you were scammed.
2. BBB is worthless and will not help you get your money back.
3. Have you tried suing her in small claims court?
Actually, the BBB helped me get my money back from a pet crematory (long story). They even got the company to write an apology letter. I guess it depends on the case.
 

Glenda

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Glad everything worked out for you, Wendy. Now good luck on getting them books published. Check the boards, there are a lot of good links to good publishers. And warnings against the ones you need to steer clear of.
 

CaoPaux

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Actually, the BBB helped me get my money back from a pet crematory (long story). They even got the company to write an apology letter. I guess it depends on the case.
The BBB is worthless for publisher issues because writers are suppliers, not consumers. It's not concerned with what it considers to be business-to-business transactions.
 

CaoPaux

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Upon further exploration, this seems to be a writer's services company rather than a publisher. Re-filing as such in Index.
 

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