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Friday, February 17, 2012

Red Flags to newbie authors...

I being a newbie myself have come across some things that sent out signals to cause me to think twice.
Being published is great, you may not make a living at it, but that's not why you write.  You write because it is your passion.  With that being said, then take your time to look for a reputable publisher.  If an author friend or someone you know who is published by someone they like working for then by all means go for it, but if you know nothing about the publisher search them.  Find out what  you can and even then you're not told everything.
I searched Trestle Press and found nothing wrong with them, but I still had this innate feeling of doom, well not doom, but a twinge of not too sure if I wanted to sign up with them.  I signed the contract, which was a one paragraph sheet of paper (red flag #1) and then a bunch of lines to where I would write what submissions I was sending in for them to publish.  Still nervous.
I filled it out and sent it in then I started asking how were we going to go about doing my submissions.  I was going to have groups of 5 flash fictions published every 3 weeks, then gradually increase the amount, but the thing about all that was he didn't explain it full out or to the point where I was understanding any of it and would constantly be asking him questions, which weren't always answered, some, but not all.  It got so frustrating that I finally treated him like a 6th grader and asked him to answer my questions in either a yes or no response.  I then got my answers but he told me then that he doesn't do yes or no questions.  "Then give me the answers when I ask instead of ignoring them (red flag #2).
So, within a week my first publication was out, I wasn't all too crazy about the cover (red flag#3) which should have been given to me for approval or asked if any changes I would want, I mean it is my book. 
I was happy, so I sent in my next 5 stories and waited...and waited...and waited.  Weeks went by to where it was now going on 2 months.  I kept emailing him saying when are you going to give me the edits to look over?  His answers, "just relax, we're busy working on our first paperback, I'll have them work on it over the weekend."  Emailed again, "...it'll be done in 10 days."  Emailed again...same old story, be patient, relax. (red flag #4).
I got so fed up that I wrote about it here on my blog and it got some attention.  Another author from Trestle Press was getting the run around too and that she was going to quit when she saw my issues.  That's when I quit as well.  I told him he wasn't sticking to his end of the contract and that I wanted my book off the market because I didn't want it represented by him and that all copyrights are mine and whatever submissions I had sent be destroyed at once or else.  His reply..." I understand and I'll do that for you.  Good luck with your endevours..." or something along those lines, but it was like he didn't care or didn't apolgize.  Nothing!
Now, I see all this with copyright issues and I'm thinking you little (&&%&*^). 
Red flag #6 if you don't get a contract at first or with every new submission, that is another "heads up".  All these flags that I have been posting on here is a learned lesson, one that should be followed as to what you should look out for.
Trestle Press...shame on you. 

6 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry to hear about all of this, Sue. Thanks for sharing your experiences. So many of us have no clue as to what goes on in this world.

    -Jimmy

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  2. That's all right, it happens, but next time I'll know better. I just worry about other writer's.

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  3. Sorry for your experiences. Let's hope it doesn't happen to you again!

    Blaze

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  4. Blaze next time my intuition starts a rumbling, I'll listen to it. "If it smells like a duck, quacks like a duck and looks like a duck...it is a duck."

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  5. Sorry it's taken so long to get back to you, and thank you for your nice comment on my blog post about pulling my book from Trestle. I've chosen not to comment further (publicly) on the subject for several reasons. But you are right: when your intuition/gut tells you that something's wrong, then you should listen to it. :-)

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  6. I just want to alert other writer's especially those who don't know, because of this he not only jeopardized himself but the writer could as well be sued and they weren't at fault!

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