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[Publisher] Month9Books

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writerslife

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Lawsuit in the works

This became public knowledge and is working its way around Facebook and Twitter, so I'm sharing it here. There is a lawsuit against Month9Books:

Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki, authors of Branded and Hunted in the Sinners book series published by Georgia McBride and Month9Books, have filed a lawsuit against Ms. McBride and Month9Books. The lawsuit was filed on October 27, 2016 in Raleigh, North Carolina, in the Wake County Superior Court. As alleged in the complaint, the authors’ publishing agreement has terminated due to Month9’s breach of the agreement, including Month9’s failure to deliver timely royalty statements and to pay royalties due to the authors. Among other matters, the complaint requests the court to declare that all rights in the Sinners series previously granted to Month9Books have reverted back to the authors. Ms. Ketner and Ms. Kalicicki are deeply disappointed that litigation has become necessary, but it has become apparent that they had no other recourse but to protect their legal rights. The authors look forward to the resolution of this matter so that they can continue to publish the Sinners series, including the forthcoming books in the series.
 

AuburnAssassin

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This became public knowledge and is working its way around Facebook and Twitter, so I'm sharing it here. There is a lawsuit against Month9Books:

Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki, authors of Branded and Hunted in the Sinners book series published by Georgia McBride and Month9Books, have filed a lawsuit against Ms. McBride and Month9Books. The lawsuit was filed on October 27, 2016 in Raleigh, North Carolina, in the Wake County Superior Court. As alleged in the complaint, the authors’ publishing agreement has terminated due to Month9’s breach of the agreement, including Month9’s failure to deliver timely royalty statements and to pay royalties due to the authors. Among other matters, the complaint requests the court to declare that all rights in the Sinners series previously granted to Month9Books have reverted back to the authors. Ms. Ketner and Ms. Kalicicki are deeply disappointed that litigation has become necessary, but it has become apparent that they had no other recourse but to protect their legal rights. The authors look forward to the resolution of this matter so that they can continue to publish the Sinners series, including the forthcoming books in the series.
Oh dear, not good. Abi and Missy were bestsellers for M9B. Not taking care of the golden goose doesn't bode well for any of us with outstanding amounts due. ***heavy sigh*** again.
 

pinkbowvintage

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I saw a few of their YA titles at the HousingWorks Bookstore in NYC the other day, and felt really sad for the authors.
 

andiwrite

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So very sad. Take the warnings seriously, people. It says a lot when a company is being sued by some of their bestselling authors.
 

pinkbowvintage

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So what's currently going on there, do we know? They still pay some authors, I assume...who's doing the editing?
 

Old Hack

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Victoria Strauss had an interesting exchange with Month9 on Twitter, too. It's worth reading if you are interested in this publisher.
 

Updrifting

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Foreign Fun?

I got my rights back from Month9 several months ago. BEST thing that ever happened to me. I re-published with a new title and cover, and in the first week, I made more than I made 10 months with Month9. Technically, one day of self-publishing made more for me than Month9 since I have yet to get anything fro-- ahem. That is another story. :)

What I'm saying is... you don't NEED a publisher to be successful. I think a lot of authors think they need a publisher name attached to their book to count as published. But royalties are MUCH bigger on your own (70% ebook). And I make tons with Kindle Unlimited. (2/3 of my earnings are from those free reads; I get paid per page read). Since I published on April 1st, I've made close to $5,000. And each month I will get a check because Amazon is good for their money.

AND I have ALL say in my title and my cover, or if I want to make a sale day. It is all MINE. No having my release date pushed back multiple times. I set the date. I set my own pace. And if I'm ambitious and want to publish 10 books in a year (not that I will), I CAN because it is on my time frame and I call the shots. There is no one else that is lined up in front of me. My publishing interests take center stage. And each book published adds to your income. Some of the self-publishers on the kindle form earn 5 figures a month.

There are expenses to self-publishing. Cover. Editing. Etc. But the freedom is so worth the expense. And I've made back my expense in a short amount of time. Not that EVERYONE does that, but it happened for me. Self-publishing is a good thing. It has a learning curve, but worth it. Oh, and I am able to publish overseas. Because I was with Month9, they held my rights and my ebooks weren't available overseas. I've done very well in other countries, especially Austrailia and Japan. It was a market I couldn't tap before because my rights weren't my own.

I've also got an audio book in production, with a narrator I got to choose on my own. Very fun process to choose my artist, choose my narrator. Best thing I've done.

Schedule
 

Updrifting

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Hi Miss Java! I have e-book rights I'll be asking for from my publisher when my contract is up in November, brought out POD and a sequel all on my own-ski after deciding I really am better off pushing my publishing barge myself (not having a last name that ends in -eyonce or -ennedy and all) - am LOVING it and oh how I wish I could have talked to my former, afraid self... anyway, how did you get/exercise rights to publish in Japan? It's okay if you don't want to educate the slow and the weak (guilty! but only in spurts and fits!), but I wanna have a conversation with you, missy!
Schedule
 

EMaree

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Hi Miss Java! I have e-book rights I'll be asking for from my publisher when my contract is up in November, brought out POD and a sequel all on my own-ski after deciding I really am better off pushing my publishing barge myself (not having a last name that ends in -eyonce or -ennedy and all) - am LOVING it and oh how I wish I could have talked to my former, afraid self... anyway, how did you get/exercise rights to publish in Japan? It's okay if you don't want to educate the slow and the weak (guilty! but only in spurts and fits!), but I wanna have a conversation with you, missy!
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I imagine miss Java is very busy so I thought I'd take a wee nosy. I can't be sure, but I suspect Miss Java is reaching the Japanese market through the usual method, using Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing to publish her works across the world including Amazon.co.jp. Japan is listed as a standard KDP market.
 

Miss Java

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I just did it through Amazon. Easy as just clicking the "yes" to publishing it outside of the USA.


Hi Miss Java! I have e-book rights I'll be asking for from my publisher when my contract is up in November, brought out POD and a sequel all on my own-ski after deciding I really am better off pushing my publishing barge myself (not having a last name that ends in -eyonce or -ennedy and all) - am LOVING it and oh how I wish I could have talked to my former, afraid self... anyway, how did you get/exercise rights to publish in Japan? It's okay if you don't want to educate the slow and the weak (guilty! but only in spurts and fits!), but I wanna have a conversation with you, missy!
Schedule
 

JustWonderin

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It's sad that this publisher had such promise and now people would be crazy to submit to them.
 

Updrifting

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It's sad that this publisher had such promise and now people would be crazy to submit to them.

Sorry I disappeared after my inquiry - got caught up in other online life-edness and all. I feel compelled to flesh out my participation in this thread a bit more, however, even though I generally feel like any hint of authors casting aspersions, no matter how justified, ends in more crap being dumped on the author although not here. But. I read through this thread for a reason, I feel a kinship with my writer colleagues out there, and so here's what went down.

I submitted my first book to M-9-BS back when it was still a promising endeavor (2014ish), engaged in a very solicitous exchange - solicitous on her part - with GB; and because of her excitement, got excited. She req'd an RR... and later sent me the most ridiculously error-ridden and lengthy rejection letter I've ever received and that's saying something. On Dec. 26. Seriously, it was personal, it was three pages long, it was repetitive, and it had DOZENS of typos. Thank God I was with my mother. I wish I'd saved it 'cause I would share, but Mom - after laughing her a-- off and speculating the writer was drunk - convinced me it was too weird to take seriously. And that keeping it around would only make me feel bad, which wouldn't help my work regardless of whether or not the critique was valid.

I went on to engage with two other publishers, one small and not really, I later found, a publisher; and one mid-size, respectable one. I voluntarily - and amicably, of course! - disengaged with both... and with the wisdom of hindsight am extremely grateful I never signed with M-9-BS. It's been said thousands of times and across thousands of threads here on Absolute Write, but independent publishers have a very tough job to do in this market and many of them simply cannot and don't do it. Do NOT let your hopes for success convince you to throw away your work on these people. Do NOT assume anyone who publishes books - or looks like a publisher but really isn't - has your interests at heart. As devastated as I recall feeling in 2014, I now have to smile at the Mer Chronicles series just out from GB, because that's the name of my own series. Thus ends my first critical diatribe. *Updrifting clambers off her soap box*
 
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writera

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Is there any update on this publisher? My former agent submitted my novel here and we never had a response. I'm chasing up those outstanding submissions but not sure whether to bother with this publisher or maybe even withdraw the manuscript. It seems they're not worth going with, unless anything has changed?
 

TheGoldenPen

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I am an author with Georgia McBride media group. Other authors deserve the fair warning I never got.

Georgia McBride has claimed in public posts made on social media that there are at least four rounds of extensive edits performed by various editors and subsequent revisions performed by the author for each book. (See her public Facebook post on March 7th.) This has not been the case for me. None of my books received four rounds of edits. Each of my books got a copy edit and supposedly a proofread. That was it. I was never given an editor's email, or even their name, so that I could contact them for questions that arose. Georgia or her author assistant were the middleman between me and the editors at all times. They wouldn't even tell me the editor's name and refused to give me that information. Fearing for reputation, I spent over $300 per book to have them privately edited. Who wants an unedited manuscript full of typos with their name on the cover? Not me. Many of my GMMG friends share the same private editor because none of our books were properly edited.

Swoon romance, Month9Books and Tantrum books are not vanity presses. What they are, however, are a huge gamble for new authors. Georgia does pay advances, works with agents, and has authors whose books have earned positive Kirkus ratings. All of this however comes at a steep price. She belittles her authors. She bullies them, makes public examples of them, and rages to agents over authors who ask innocent questions. I myself have been the victim of this first hand. In the past year she has cleaned up her behavior in her private author gmail group, but it's too little, too late.

Regarding financial statements, authors are left hoping that the royalty statements are accurate, but with no certainty that this is the case. If Georgia is serious about clearing her name, she would hire an independent accountant to audit her books and provide copies of those reports to Victoria Strauss. I don't think this will ever happen though. Georgia is extremely defensive and volatile when questioned about how she runs her business. Two authors have already sued her to get their rights back and won. I believe that says volumes.

I won't say that I wish I had never signed with Georgia. I have certainly learned a lot. But new authors should think twice before signing with her now.
 

MysteryMavin

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They have drastically cut their publication schedule. from 36 books released in 2016 to just 13 listed now, up through Sept. anyway. This is probably a good thing, since it is a small operation, and this level of publication is probably what can they can handle. What isn't so good is that the number of reviews on their titles -- and the general buzz -- seems to also have also fallen off dramatically. But it is good that they've remained scaled back, for their authors' sakes.
 

K.L Hallam

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Omg, I signed up with Tantrum for my two MG books (2015) and after a year of editing I was culled along with 50 authors. (Feel grateful about this now) Three years later, since I didn't have an agent I was unable to sell those books. I've been working on a couple others and just sent a R&R to an agent this week. But this news is INFURIATING. It's taken a couple years to recover from that experience. But then again, it would have been infinitely worse staying with M9/Tantrum. STAY FAR AWAY!
 
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RG Sarsparilla

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I was involved in the first major blowup with Month9, and issued early warnings on this thread about the experience. I have now heard from current Month9 authors that there's another rights reversion/author purge happening. Sad, but unsurprising.

Please stay FAR away from Month9Books! You deserve better than them!
 

MysteryMavin

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One of their biggest earners and most popular authors left them recently, regaining all the rights to their books. So not looking too good for the company, which is just limping along now, IMHO.