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Living Dead Press / Open Casket Press (Anthony Giangregorio)

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watchdog

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Anyone had any dealings with Anthony Giangregorio and his publishing house Living Dead Press? I can't find much about them online, but this site has some negative info including Giangregorio claiming he doesn't self-publish when he apparently does and the fact that he published an unauthorized sequel to the movie Dawn of the Dead. It looks like LDP is working on some anthologies and putting out novels by authors other than Giangregorio now.
 

smcc360

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Based on his shaky grasp of copyright law, I don't know if this is a guy I'd be comfortable submitting original work to, watchdog.
 

HapiSofi

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A clueless no-distribution not-ready-for-prime-time press is bad enough. But a clueless no-distribution not-ready-for-prime-time press that's playing fast and loose with copyrights in ways that could get them tied up in court for years? Run away, very fast.
 

AnneMarble

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Anyone had any dealings with Anthony Giangregorio and his publishing house Living Dead Press? I can't find much about them online, but this site has some negative info including Giangregorio claiming he doesn't self-publish when he apparently does and the fact that he published an unauthorized sequel to the movie Dawn of the Dead. It looks like LDP is working on some anthologies and putting out novels by authors other than Giangregorio now.
Yikes! I hadn't heard about that, but now that you posted the thread, I had to read most of the posts. And then I made the mistake of reading the comments on the Fangoria site. (To be fair to certain posters there, I'm sure they aren't writers, so they aren't aware of the importance of copyright. Still, you'd think they might have picked up some of the concepts in school or somethin'.)

A clueless no-distribution not-ready-for-prime-time press is bad enough. But a clueless no-distribution not-ready-for-prime-time press that's playing fast and loose with copyrights in ways that could get them tied up in court for years? Run away, very fast.
Great advice as usual. :D It's bad enough when a publisher can't get your books into bookstores. Imagine getting accepted by a new publisher, only to have it shut down because of a law suit. It would be like sending your space opera to an SF publishing company started by Lori Jareo. :)
 

EricK

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This guy takes some liberties with stories. From what I hear he might add 1000 words to your 3000 word story and then take partial writing credit. I can only assume he will do the same with a novel.
 

brainstorm77

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You didn't get paid? Do they pay at all?
 
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Jamiekswriter

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Hey Charlie,

It sounds like Tony works hard and is a nice guy.

I know it seems like he's being bashed on here. But *Tony* isn't. Living Dead Press is being discussed as a viable publishing opportunity and it doesn't look like it has a lot to offer someone who submits to him.

It doesn't look like he's got a sales team selling the book to bookstores. It doesn't appear that his website and online presence is well known. It doesn't appear that he has customers that aren't also writers or friends and family of writers.

When AWers ask about a publisher, they're looking to find the best place for their work. You found LDP and it seems that LDP was what you were looking for at the time. It's thrilling to hold a story that you wrote in your hand in an actual book. It's a rush!

But you could have done that yourself through Amazon and have it up on Kindle and not have to give away any profit or rights.

So the question is what does LDP offer for the rights and royalties he's taking away from the writer?
 
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DreamWeaver

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And you get your story in print... and, perhaps best of all, in your query letters to the bigger places, when you move up, you can say, "I've previously been published."
At the risk of sounding mean, you may want to doublecheck that over at the Query discussion section of the forum. I'm pretty sure they'll tell you agents & commercial publishers only want to know about previously published work that you've been paid for.

For the next work you submit, you may want to start at the top with the big publishers/agents and work your way down--new writers get lucky that way all the time, when they're good. And from your postings, I'd think you'd have as good a chance as most.
 
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DreamWeaver

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You're right, put that way it does sound absurd. Just keep in mind that agents & publishers in any particular genre have a good handle on the current paying markets for that genre. So they probably already know Blabla pays so much and ZZZ pays a bit less, and they may or may not recognize LDP.

Will they google? Who knows. All I'm saying is, it may help you to get a little more background on what publishers/agents are likely to be impressed with as a publishing credit. Because if they aren't impressed, it's not going to help you anyway, even if it doesn't hurt you.

And I am NOT kidding about starting at the top. There's no harm/no foul if you get rejected, and if you get accepted...!!!!! :D
 

IceCreamEmpress

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I don't suspect that agents/publishers will ask for details about payment

Agents and publishers can distinguish professional markets from hobbyist markets. There is nothing wrong with hobby writing or hobby publishing, but using them as professional credits in a query is a mistake.

See this recent blog post by QueryShark for an agent's response.
 

Stacia Kane

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Charles, agents and editors don't really care so much about your credits. They care about your writing.

If the story you send them is great, it doesn't matter one bit if you don't have any credits anywhere. If the story you send them is awful, it doesn't matter if you've been published dozens of times.


I appreciate that being accepted and published gave you a boost when you needed it, and that's great, it really is. I would never tell you you're wrong for feeling that way; I'm glad you do, and that you didn't give up. But seriously, start at the top. If you don't think you're good enough to be published at the top, keep working until you are. Because believe me, one day when you are good enough, you'll look back at that earlier stuff out there with your name on it and wish that it wasn't.

And as far as EHow...without wishing to denigrate the author of that piece, it's an article on how to publish horror fiction written by someone who is not in fact published, except self-publishing, apparently; and who is not published in fiction at all, much less horror. Anyone can post an article on EHow. They don't have to really have credentials or know what they're talking about.

People contributing to this thread are, in many cases, actual publishing professionals who do know the industry and what they're talking about. I think it's in your best interest to listen to them rather than some random person who posted an article online, with all due respect, or whoever these other people you found are who offer the same advice.

It's fine if you're more comfortable starting small. But don't believe that small is the only or correct way to get started, because it isn't, and don't believe that having micropress credits with a place an editor or agent has never heard of is going to impress them, because I'm sorry but it won't.

But I sincerely wish you the best, and I hope you do keep writing, and building a career.
 

Terie

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I found this site, just googling with curiosity the company that has published some of my works. I see people here posting "TonySucks" links (I'm going to go with my instinct and my experience with Tony to conclude that the author of that site wasn't an authority on the suckiness of Tony), and, with all due respect, I don't see anything authoritative in what I'm reading. Especially when I read claims about copyright that I know are not true. I might not be an expert, but I'm not a total novice either. I was concerned enough about copyright to have read several books and to have carefully read the pages of copyright.gov. I know that ideas are not copyrightable, yet, here and in the "TonySucks" pages, I've read people suggesting that a similar idea = a copyright violation.

Dude, I think you're confusing someone else's site/blog with AW. There are no 'TonySucks' messages here at AW, and no one in this thread has suggested that an idea can be copyrighted. Just because one member here might've linked to another site doesn't mean that all the professional writers here at AW subscribe to what's posted over there. It's a link someone posted. Period. AW and its members are not responsible for what people say on other sites.

You might also want to take a better look at members' avatars and signatures. Some authors here are incognito for whatever reason, but others of us aren't. Since you're new, I know you don't know this, but at least one poster in this thread is an editor for one of the big NY publishers.

You're happy with this publisher, and that's grand. Your posts are helpful to someone researching this publisher. But the fact is that there are also warning flags. Your not liking that fact doesn't change it.

One big warning flag as far as I'm concerned is something you yourself brought up: you didn't even get a contributor copy for your first two stories. You said you didn't get 'paid' with a contributor copy until the third story. The publisher can't even spare a couple dollars (which is all it costs to print a volume of the book, even POD) for its contributors? That's not a good sign at all. Even the smallest of respectable literary journals pay contributors with a couple of contributor copies. NO respectable publisher of any kind pays its contributors nothing. Will you at least get royalties?

If you want to keep selling yourself short, that's your business, of course. No one here can force you to see the sense of what we tell everyone: start at the top and work you way down. But seriously. You're a writer and you have imagination, so imagine this: on one hand, you sell a book to one of the Big Six, get a four- or even five-figure advance and a three-book deal, and your books appear on shelves across the country and around the world (when foreign rights sell) with precisely no effort on your part. On the other hand, you sell the book to a dinky POD press that doesn't have the distribution to get your book onto shelves anywhere that you don't personally convince a manager to stock it, and in the end sell around 75 copies, mostly to friends and family. Why on earth would you not even try for the first scenario and instead settle for the second?
 

Stacia Kane

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There is no value in trashing a man's reputation, and that's what I saw earlier in this thread. This whole thread seemed to start along those lines, and was along those lines until I came along, makes me wonder, in all due respect, whether that was part of the "expert advice" of such great caliber that I should expect from the wise people here with such extraordinary credentials.

I was, frankly, astounded even that there's someone with such a vendetta against the man that they actually created a website called "Tony Sucks."

And, frankly, if being a successful person with great credentials means that, some day, when I'm up to the great level of the people here, I'm going to have to create a message board with a thread that trashes a man's reputation, I honestly do not ever want to become that successful. I'd rather be unsuccessful and see the good in others, then to be successful so I can sneer about how much "Tony Sucks," and talk about how clueless he is and how not-ready-for-prime-time he is. Tony puts on his pants one leg at a time just like everyone here. He's a human being, and he's a good person in my experience. My message to the people who want to trash him... well frankly, to put it in words that people of such caliber seem to understand... that really sucks.

Now you're just being rude.

I'm sorry it bothers you to see the unvarnished opinions of publishing professionals here, who are thinking solely of what will benefit writers and will allow them to grow. The purpose of this forum is to provide exactly those opinions, to help writers make informed decisions. I suggest you take a look at http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=151224&postcount=3 this post, a very long index of publishers. The ones in gray are generally houses just like LDP; small houses started by one person with no publishing experience. Those houses are listed in gray because they closed. There are links to the discussion threads here about them. It would probably be interesting to read them.

No one in this thread has attacked Tony personally. No one here has said "Tony Sucks." This is a thread full of information members have collected in order to provide the most complete picture possible for writers wondering whether or not they should submit to this house. You're not looking for national distribution at the moment; you're not worried about being paid, you simply want some experience. That's great. But most of the writers here want to start careers as writers, and they want to know which houses will help them do that.

No one here has been snotty or rude to you. We've offered advice and encouragement. Your response to that has been to snap at us, to insult us, to snipe about our supposed "Tony Sucks" comments (none of which are made here, by members of this forum, who are certainly not trashing anyone's reputation) and now to be sarcastic about and belittle our experience and credentials in the industry.

I'm also sorry you have decided to forego internet forums altogether. AW is a lot more than just the Bewares, Recommendations, and Background Checks forum. We have forums for every genre, we have forums for every sort of discussion, be it writing-related or not. I wouldn't be published if it weren't for the advice and help I was given here at AW and what I learned from all of these people you're attacking without bothering to see what they actually said, or get to know them in the slightest.

This is a place to learn about writing and publishing, to participate in discussions about it, to meet people in the industry you probably wouldn't have met otherwise, and of course to just have fun. There's a lot of information here, and every single member of this forum gives their time freely and generously to help new writers find their way and reach their goals.

If you choose not to look around and learn from this place, if you choose to ignore the hand that's offered to you, that's fine. But there's no reason for you to be rude about people who have in no way been rude to you or anyone else. That's completely uncalled for, and I am personally offended by your harsh response to my own post, which I certainly tried to make as supportive and helpful as possible. I offered you help and advice and encouragement, and in return you gave me your contempt. Thanks for that. It's always nice to meet a true gentleman.
 
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brianm

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Dude, I think you're confusing someone else's site/blog with AW. There are no 'TonySucks' messages here at AW, and no one in this thread has suggested that an idea can be copyrighted. Just because one member here might've linked to another site doesn't mean that all the professional writers here at AW subscribe to what's posted over there. It's a link someone posted. Period. AW and its members are not responsible for what people say on other sites.

This.

You might also want to take a better look at members' avatars and signatures. Some authors here are incognito for whatever reason, but others of us aren't. Since you're new, I know you don't know this, but at least one poster in this thread is an editor for one of the big NY publishers.

And here's what she said upstream.

A clueless no-distribution not-ready-for-prime-time press is bad enough. But a clueless no-distribution not-ready-for-prime-time press that's playing fast and loose with copyrights in ways that could get them tied up in court for years? Run away, very fast.

Charlie,

I hope you stick around and explore other forums in AW. I'd also advise against making judgment calls until you get to know more of AW's members, especially those posting in this particular forum. You've a great deal to learn and you'll find no better place on the Internet than AW in which to learn the business of writing.

~brianm~
 

Terie

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Politics is the worst, but am I the only one who's noticed that people are very mean in these forums? I certainly would never walk up to someone I know, when I can look in their eyes and see their expression and say, "You're a clueless, not ready for prime time!" or "You suck!"

Where in this thread or anywhere on AW did someone say that you are clueless, that you are not ready for prime time, or that you suck? Nowhere.

And while Tony is undoubtedly a real person with real feelings, he's also the face of a business. Enduring scrutiny is part of running a business. I have no doubt that he's been a wonderfully nice person to you. Being a wonderfully nice person doesn't mean one's business is guaranteed to succeed. (The cynic in me would actually suggest quite the opposite.) Folks here are examining a business and its practices.

Having a website about the latter is the online equivalent of putting up a billboard and telling a person that they suck.

You can whinge all you want about that website, but you're missing an incredibly relevant point here: that website has absolutely NOTHING to do with AW. Bringing it up ad naseum here is pointless; this AW forum isn't the place to pitch a fit about what someone said on some other website.
 

brainstorm77

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Side-note: One of my unfortunate addictions over the years I'm trying to get away from has been online forums. I'm trying to get away from them because they take a lot of my time and they just get me upset. I've been on forums about writing, religion, news, politics and many topics. Politics is the worst, but am I the only one who's noticed that people are very mean in these forums? I certainly would never walk up to someone I know, when I can look in their eyes and see their expression and say, "You're a clueless, not ready for prime time!" or "You suck!" Having a website about the latter is the online equivalent of putting up a billboard and telling a person that they suck. Don't people know that the other people on the other end of those words are human beings with hearts and skin and blood, who laugh and cry and have to eat and have to have a home just like the rest of us? May be it's just because I've talked to Tony and know his voice and know a little bit about him as a person? Have people in the online world forgotten... nice?

It appears you have a hard time with opinions that don't agree with your own. If this is the case and it makes you 'upset', then perhaps you do need to stay away from online forums.

And keep in mind, you chose to post your opinion here. No one forced you.

As for the anti Tony link. That was never mentioned here. And by you doing so on this large site, you gave it one hell of a promotion just by posting about it.
 
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AnneMarble

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... Especially when I read claims about copyright that I know are not true. I might not be an expert, but I'm not a total novice either. I was concerned enough about copyright to have read several books and to have carefully read the pages of copyright.gov. I know that ideas are not copyrightable, yet, here and in the "TonySucks" pages, I've read people suggesting that a similar idea = a copyright violation. The other page even had a supposed copyright violation of "The Mist" that sounded so far off base, it didn't even approach violation... it was apparently not even similar. I've also read people jumping to conclusions about a man who I know well enough to know he's a good guy, calling him "loose" with copyright, which are claims, I think at best, are judging a person with insufficient evidence, and at worst, approaching slanderous. I believe strongly in a man's innocence until he's proven guilty, and frankly, what I see when I read everything I read on this thread until I started, is an innocent guy who's not even here defending himself, getting trashed. But if someone is going to accuse someone else of copyright violation, I'd like to see quotes from the book and know what words were stolen--because ideas are not protected under copyright law.

It's true that ideas can't be copyrighted. Thank God for that, because that way we can have more than one "brave little tailor" story, more than one zombie story, more than one werewolf story, etc. However, writers have been sued for publishing (or producing) something with a similar plot to an existing story. They might have meant it as a tribute, but that doesn't mean they can't get in legal trouble. (Even if they win the case, they still have to pay lots of money.)

In the late 1990s, a romance novel called Defiant Angel (by Stephanie Stevens) came out. From what I have heard, it was pretty much a sceene-by-scene rewrite of a best-selling romance novel (Whitney, My Love). Many fans recognized the similarities right away. These fans wrote to both publishers, and Defiant Angel was taken off the market. The author of Defiant Angel even admitted she had based her book on Whitney, My Love because she didn't know that was wrong. As far as I know, she hasn't written anything.

Another example is Nevsky's Demon, the second novel by mystery novelist Dimitri Gat. Gat was forced to admit that it was written as a tribute to John D. MacDonald's The Dreadful Lemon Sky. The book was pulled from publication, all remaining copies were destroyed, and Gat had to apologize. I have seen Gat's books in print since then, but it was years before I saw a new book with his name. (He also published under a pen name for a while.) While no lawsuit was involved, this was not good for his career, and his publisher took a huge loss. (According to one source, the book had a 60,000 copy printing!)

Edited to Add: Unauthorized sequels are also another issue. There is controversy about unauthorized Peter Pan sequels, for example, because the original story is still under copyright in England. As an example, there was a lawsuit involving The Wind Done Gone (an unauthorized sequel to Gone with the Wind).

Also Edited to Add: I am not a lawyer. And I do realize that this is one big gray area. One extremely similar book or movie might come out without a lawsuit, whereas another book might result in a lawsuit.
 
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brainstorm77

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I'm sorry that my unvarnished opinion, you find rude, when I'm soley thinking of what will benefit writers and allow them to grow... not only as writers, but also as responsible people, who don't need to bash the reputation of a man who's done them no wrong.

Charlie

How do you know what he's done to any other writer? Do you know all?
 
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brainstorm77

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It's linked in by one of the early posts in this thread.

A couple posts later, he was tagged as a clueless know-nothing, not-ready for prime time... etc.





I'm not talking about me. I'm talking about Tony.

Post#1 linked to another site that said that... then, post # 3 made an unsubstantiated claim about his grasp on copyright law (based on the information in that link--faulty information, as I outlined, by people who themselves don't have a grasp on copyright law) then post # 4 was a diatribe about the clueless, not-ready-for-prime-time fast and loose with copyright law (repeating the unsubstantiated claim again.) Then others cheered on the advice.

You know what I didn't see though? One person who actually had experience with Tony or LDP.
Except me.

Technically, that makes me the best expert authority here on that subject, the subject of actually having experience with him.

Charlie

Expert authority? Hardly. People are entitled to post their opinions, even if YOU don't agree with them. Just like many of us DON'T agree with what you have been posting.
 

brainstorm77

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I'm sorry that my unvarnished opinion, you find rude, when I'm soley thinking of what will benefit writers and allow them to grow... not only as writers, but also as responsible people, who don't need to bash the reputation of a man who's done them no wrong.

Charlie

What exactly have you said that will 'benefit writers and allow them to grow' in your posts? And yes, you were rude in that post, don't try and sugar coat it into something else.

With every post here, you have actually done more harm to LDP than good with your unprofessional behaviour. Do you really think this benefits them?

Posters can link to whatever they want to on here, if it is directly related to the topic being discussed. And they are allowed to relay information back and forth. You need to get over the fact, that everything isn't coming up roses!

Further more, if something pisses you off that much, instead of being snarky about it, report it.
 
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