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Entranced Publishing

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elindsen

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Entranced has been sold.

Due to owner Ashley Christman's long illness, she has sold the company to Robert Oknik, a lawyer that specializes in contract law. It seems his only experience comes from his work at Meredith Media, a marketing company specializing in publishing. I can't find if he's actually worked at a publishing house, or if he just handles contracts.
 

Tromboli

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Yeah I'm not sure how the auto responder would work in that case. But if Eden is gone and you sent to her email address, I might consider trying a different email adress.

Also, Eden is at a new epress so you could always try that one too (I don't know much about it but if you've dealt with her before you could probably get a good idea of what they're like before signing). The publisher is Anaiah Press http://www.anaiahpress.com/
 

Pisco Sour

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Thanks Tromboli

I sent my submission to the normal submissions address at Entranced after e-mailing Eden with a question about submitting. I found her at Amira Press (or was it Anaiha… my brain is fried!) They seem to be a Christian, sweet romance publisher and my book is unsuitable for them. But thanks for the help. I'll wait and see what happens with Entranced. My MSS is out to a few other pubs and I'd rather see what happens under the new ownership before re-submitting.
 

Old Hack

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I've been contacted by an Entranced author who is not at all happy with the experience of being published by them.

Problems include departing editors, no new editors being assigned, new editors being less than properly attentive, an ineffective marketing push, no author copies. The books haven't made it into all the usual sales channels, so limiting their sales. The publisher is now apparently ignoring emails. Books are being published without appropriate formatting, which the publisher can't or won't correct; and their website can apparently not be updated appropriately because there are problems with the server.

I do hope the new owner can sort out all these problems, and quick. It really doesn't sound good.
 

triceretops

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Hmm...It looks like I might have dodged a bullet then. I declined their grand prize win some time ago. I did end up with an advance three times higher than their cash prize stipulated, and a much better overall contract. I'm sorry they're going through such a tough time after having been out not very long. But they're going to have to tighten things up and pull together if they're going to make a go it.

tri
 

victoriastrauss

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Due to owner Ashley Christman's long illness, she has sold the company to Robert Oknik, a lawyer that specializes in contract law. It seems his only experience comes from his work at Meredith Media, a marketing company specializing in publishing.
Magazine publishing, mostly. Not all that transferable to book publishing. Even if he'd worked in contracts at a publishing company, that might not be enough transferable skill to run an independent publisher.

I hope it all works out, but I agree with Old Hack--it doesn't sound good.

By the way, I'd love to hear from any Entranced authors who've experienced the problems Old Hack describes. All information shared with Writer Beware is held in confidence. beware [at] sfwa.org.

- Victoria
 

elindsen

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I finally got my rights back, so I can speak freely and not worry about repercussions.

My experience with Entranced:
I signed my contract in Sept. 2013. My editor was Eden Plantz and she was fabulous. Loved her. We worked my MS until it shined. My cover art was also positive, even though the artist wouldn't fix a mistake in my female character's appearance. Then in Nov. 2013, Eden quit. My book was scheduled for a January 2014 release. I didn’t hear a peep from anyone for weeks until I emailed Ashley, the publisher. She apologized and I was given a new editor. I’ve had one or two conversations with her. Nothing else.

Entranced does these cover reveals. My publicist Misty and I agreed on a reveal date. Zero people signed up for the reveal. No buzz. Zip. One mention on Twitter. I emailed Ashley again with my concerns. She promised to make it right. Misty set up a blog tour for the two weeks around my release. That came and went and brought zero sales. I found out that a majority of the stops were other Entranced author's blogs-nothing wrong with this, but no review sites or sites that get much buzz. My book was out almost a month and not a single sale. I had it on the FB “50 Shades” page and it sold a few copies. None since. My Amazon ranking is closing in on 2 million now, 2 months after release. I do giveaways and such via Twitter and Facebook and blog posts, nothing "In your face" but trying to get attention to me and my book.

I can't giveaway copies of the book either because I was never given author copies, even though, per my contract, I was supposed to. The best I have is my galleys, which have some errors. One author on the loop said that her book was released with over 90 errors. She said she pointed these out during the galley phase, but none were fixed. It was released as-is, and Tricia is unable to fix these problems. She posted on the FB author loop that she has no way to fix these problems.

My issues are distribution. My book is only on Amazon. I emailed about why it’s not on ARe, or B&N like their other books. Ashley told me that they hire a vendor to list books and it’s the vendor’s decision which sites. So I’m only on Amazon. I'm not allowed to be a part of Kindle Select either for the promo days there.

I tried to contact someone with the publisher, but nothing. I emailed 5 people and not a peep for over a week. Finally, I got mad and posted on the loop that I couldn't get a hold of anyone. Misty and Tricia both posted that they never received any of my emails. I find this hard to believe, considering I sent dozens that week and every other mail found its destination. Tricia removed me from the loop for asking what email I could reach her at. She added me back about thirty minutes later. Tricia messaged me and asked what I needed. I explained that they breached the contract and I wanted my rights. She again ignored me, but FB said she saw the message. A minute later I was removed from the group a second time by Tricia.

The week before we were told that publisher Ashley Christman had been battling an illness and sold the company. Many of their authors have asked about the new guy, Robert Olnik, and nothing. We were promised that he'd speak to us, but so far hasn't. He's a lawyer but doesn't exist online.

After I asked for my rights back, I was told she would give them. So I settled in for a wait. Then I got a FB message from another author. Her story was insane. Authors reported, after 8 months of their books being online, zero royalties paid. They had sales but never even received a statement.

On Tuesday, I emailed Tricia about my rights letter. She said she mailed it, but I never got it. She resent. My name was wrong. She had my pen name down. I pointed it out and she thought that was my real name. On FB, like many authors, I only have a public page. But the fact that she couldn't be bothered to get my real name boggles the mind. When I told her about it, she got rude and I explained that it was a pen name. Seriously, what publisher has issues with pen names?

I signed it and now I wait. Per my rights letter, Entranced is allowed to sell my book for an additional 30 days. No idea why, but I had to agree for I wouldn't have gotten anything.

As for their new owner, many Entranced authors speculate that he's fake. Maybe Ashley needed a scapegoat? Nobody has spoken with him, and there hadn't been anything legally about the company being sold. Granted, this is all speculation, but a failing company should want to show off their savior, not hide him.

I'm not due for royalties until May, and I'm not expecting much. But others that never received a cent is sad.

IMHO, Entranced is circling the drain and fast. It's very reminiscent of Aspen Mountain.

Anyone that wants to sub to them really needs to reconsider. I don't expect them open much longer.
 
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Pisco Sour

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OMG! Your story is horrific. I am so :rant:on your behalf, but also very glad you got your rights back. No consolation for all the work you put in, but at least it didn't take forever. I remember the battle for people to get their rights back from Noble Romance.
Looks like I dodged a bullet with Entranced, but I feel so bad for the authors. I hope you find another publisher for your book soon!
Thank you very much for coming out with your story.
 

elindsen

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OMG! Your story is horrific. I am so :rant:on your behalf, but also very glad you got your rights back. No consolation for all the work you put in, but at least it didn't take forever. I remember the battle for people to get their rights back from Noble Romance.
Looks like I dodged a bullet with Entranced, but I feel so bad for the authors. I hope you find another publisher for your book soon!
Thank you very much for coming out with your story.
I'm glad you dodged it. I wanted to say something sooner, but I worried it would hurt my chances of getting my rights back. I was the one Old Hack spoke to. Needed some way of sending a message :)

I'll probably self-pub this book. It's only 10k, so not a huge issue. I wanted to test the waters with something small first, just in case. And it's been well edited. The only positive experience with Entranced was my editor. So, when my 30 days are up, I'll hit publish.

Sending :Hug2: to those still trapped.
 

Pisco Sour

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I'm glad you dodged it. I wanted to say something sooner, but I worried it would hurt my chances of getting my rights back. I was the one Old Hack spoke to. Needed some way of sending a message :)

I'll probably self-pub this book. It's only 10k, so not a huge issue. I wanted to test the waters with something small first, just in case. And it's been well edited. The only positive experience with Entranced was my editor. So, when my 30 days are up, I'll hit publish.

Sending :Hug2: to those still trapped.

Thank goodness you'll soon be in the clear. And yes, I wondered when I saw the post. In September, 2013, Eden offered me a contract for a 95k novel. She was very enthusiastic about my book but in the end I went with a different publisher. But I was so impressed by her I thought I'd send her a novella I had ruminating in my files. It was only 30 k and I've just sold it. I've now e-mailed to withdraw my submission. Don't care if Entranced don't acknowledge. At least I've done what's proper.
Happy publishing! And thank you, once again, for sharing your experience. This is exactly one of the reasons I love AW.
 
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Tromboli

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:( I'm sad for my friend who published with them. She'd signed for the sequels to her books too. Will the rights revert back to her?
 

Tromboli

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Actually, I just talked to her. She already got her rights back and is deciding what to do now. Any advice for what is a good path after something like this? Her book has only been released for a month. Does it just make sense to just self publish? Look for another small press willing to take her on?
 

BarbaraSheridan

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Actually, I just talked to her. She already got her rights back and is deciding what to do now. Any advice for what is a good path after something like this? Her book has only been released for a month. Does it just make sense to just self publish? Look for another small press willing to take her on?

My advice is to simply hang on to the book and set it aside while using the next to find a better publisher/agent/whatever your friend wants.

They can revise or resubmit or self pub the first somewhere down the line.
 

elindsen

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The letter that went out to their current authors stated along the lines that "Bob" would take all of the books down with 30 days, at which point the rights would be returned. Does this count as a reversion letter, or is it hog wash? Can the authors contact places like Amazon, stating that there was a breech of contract and the books are no longer to be sold-Entranced is selling them without a contract?

The thing that has me doubting all of this is that in the state of Minnesota, Entranced's home base, there is no registered sale of the company. On top of that, Robert Oknik doesn't seem to be a real person-he's supposedly a lawyer but there is no record of him even taking the bar, much less practicing.

Many Entranced authors are worried but what they should do. Does the email count? Are there other steps they can take?

Thanks so much, guys.
 

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I was also an author at Entranced. Everything E said before is completely true. I am still owed for fourth quarter royalties, which I doubt I will ever see.

We had an author group to communicate within the company, as soon as it was brought up that royalties were due, Ashley shut it down. I guess she thought we couldn't figure out a way to communicate. When I first questioned her about a missed royalty check, she made it seem as if there was a processing issue. Only when I started to make noise did she finally pay up. (at least for third quarter) Even now I have no idea whether the amount she paid me was what was owed, I still to this day, have never received a statement.

Then there was this sale of the company. The "buyer" Bob Oknik seemed to be an internet ghost. There was zip that we could find out about him online. This seemed extremely suspicious to me. We questioned and questioned it, and lo and behold, a couple weeks later "Bob" decided to close the doors.

In my opinion, I would NEVER do business with Ashley. This has been a complete an utter nightmare for us and I can't help but feel as if we have been scammed by her.
 
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LaneHeymont

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I was also an author at Entranced. Everything E said before is completely true. I am still owed for fourth quarter royalties, which I doubt I will ever see.

We had an author group to communicate within the company, as soon as it was brought up that royalties were due, Ashley shut it down. I guess she thought we couldn't figure out a way to communicate. When I first questioned her about a missed royalty check, she made it seem as if there was a processing issue. Only when I started to make noise did she finally pay up. (at least for third quarter) Even now I have no idea whether the amount she paid me was what was owed, I still to this day, have never received a statement.

Then there was this sale of the company. The "buyer" Bob Oknik seemed to be an internet ghost. There was zip that we could find out about him online. This seemed extremely suspicious to me. We questioned and questioned it, and lo and behold, a couple weeks later "Bob" decided to close the doors.

In my opinion, I would NEVER do business with Ashley. This has been a complete an utter nightmare for us and I can't help but feel as if we have been scammed by her.


After doing some research, I found NO ONE in the USA has ever been named Robert/Bob Oknik. Anywhere. Ever. I also just realized "Oknik" is "Kinko" backwards, as in the copier store. I doubt that means anything, other than it's a made up name since most (99%?) of people's surnames aren't words spelled backwards. Unless, of course, we mean the name "Nevaeh" which is "heaven" backwards, but that's a new thing. I digress...
 

shelleyo

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After doing some research, I found NO ONE in the USA has ever been named Robert/Bob Oknik. Anywhere. Ever. I also just realized "Oknik" is "Kinko" backwards, as in the copier store. I doubt that means anything, other than it's a made up name since most (99%?) of people's surnames aren't words spelled backwards. Unless, of course, we mean the name "Nevaeh" which is "heaven" backwards, but that's a new thing. I digress...

A made-up buyer. That's an amazing way to try to shirk responsibility.

I'm sorry for the authors disappointed by this.
 

Maddie

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After doing some research, I found NO ONE in the USA has ever been named Robert/Bob Oknik. Anywhere. Ever. I also just realized "Oknik" is "Kinko" backwards, as in the copier store. I doubt that means anything, other than it's a made up name since most (99%?) of people's surnames aren't words spelled backwards. Unless, of course, we mean the name "Nevaeh" which is "heaven" backwards, but that's a new thing. I digress...

My grand-niece has the middle name of Nevaeh. It's New Age.