New Concepts Publishing Behaving Very Badly…

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Well, I may be without the proper blog, but I’m still getting the scoop on the happenings at New Concepts Publishing.

Apparently, a common complaint is that their authors never receive their payments on time, which is never a good thing in E-publishing Land.

This email from one of their authors is typical of the complaints that I’ve been getting about them:

“I make good royalties each quarter even though my last release was in _____. So I’m not an author crying sour grapes. But as sad as it is to say, what your blog said about NCP is all too true.

Royalties are always paid late, if at all without much prodding. I still don’t have a 1099. Well, they did mail me a slip of blank paper with a number on it , and since I did the math,that appears to be my gross earning from last year. My last book didn’t even get any edits. I had to bug the crap out of NCP to insert the ones I sent, and I’m still not sure they fixed every problem. It’s impossible to contact them for help or clarification on issues, which makes it frustrating for authors who need to air frustrations.

NCP was down for two weeks in Nov 2007 and for an entire month no one seemed able to get a hold of anyone. No explanations until after they were down. But come on, if a server went down, does it really take weeks to get it back online? And the customers are always complaining on the loops about poor customer service. It’s embarrassing.

I don’t make a big stink about NCP being a bad publisher, because I don’t want to come off as a complainer. But I did write to the Piers Anthony site describing my own problems, and when authors ask me about them, I tell them the truth. Royalties are good, and if you don’t care about being paid on time, you want communication, edits or a clear publishing date, NCP might be for you.

Also, any author trying to get in touch with the publisher via the author loop, not the reader loop, the author loop, gets slammed for even mentioning problems. The other authors who seem to have a book out every other week, or the newbies who don’t know any better, jump on those with problems and make it virtually impossible to get help even from the people you’d think would support you.

I have heard from several authors off the loops that I’m not the only one feeling frustrated. ….Discontent is everywhere but for a handful of authors, but those handful are loud and frankly, bullying. They threaten authors will be “blacklisted” in the publishing community if they complain.

Sorry to be so long-winded. I could go on and on (gee, I have). But this publisher is terrible. And it’s sad because they have good authors, great covers and decent stories. As soon as I can, I’m pulling all my books once contracts end”.

This author isn’t alone in her dissatisfaction with the company. Many of the e-mails that I’ve been getting, read just like hers.

New Concepts seem to be all about treating their authors like shit, which shouldn’t surprise me, but does, somehow.

Anyway, if there are any more NCP authors out there, with a story to tell, I’m your gal. You can e-mail me on hairylemony @ gmail . com.

As always, total confidentiality guaranteed.

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16 responses to this post.

  1. I don’t know what to do about the money, if there is anything they can do, or what’s stated in the contract by way of dates of payment, etc., but there is something they can do about their 1099 forms.

    Contact the US Government/IRS and let them know that their publisher has NOT sent out their 1099 on time. The 1099’s, like every other tax reporting information form, was to be received by January 31st.

    Take the proper steps and MAKE them do what they are required BY LAW to do.

    I found the below information HERE.

    Topic 154 – Forms W-2 and Form 1099–R (What to Do if Not Received)

    If you do not receive your Form W-2, Form 1099-R, Form 1099-INT, or Form 1099-MISC by January 31st , or your information is incorrect, contact your employer/payer.

    If you do not receive the missing or corrected form by February 15th from your employer/payer, you may call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 for assistance. You must provide your name, address (including zip code), phone number, Social Security Number, dates of employment, your employer/payer’s name, address (including zip code), and phone number. The IRS will contact the employer/payer for you and request the missing form. IRS will also send you a Form 4852 (PDF), Substitute for Form W-2 or Form 1099-R.

    If you do not receive the missing form in sufficient time to file your tax return timely, you may use the Form 4852. If you receive the missing or corrected Form W-2 or Form 1099 after you file your return and a correction is needed, use Form 1040X (PDF), Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. Refer to Topic 308, Amended Returns, for additional information

    Reply

  2. I got a slip of paper with an amount on it as my 1099. Some didn’t even get that. Some didn’t get paid. Some reason, I did. I don’t say much on the internal loop, but I did brooch the subject that I am seeing a LOT of authors unhappy. They want to leave, but you can’t discuss things if management doesn’t answer emails. In this business, you HAVE TO ANSWER EMAIL. You have to. How do you communicate otherwise? On the phone? No. It is via email. (I’ve never even heard my EC editor’s voice in my close to 3 years with her.)

    I wish you could negotiate a contract with an epub for print as Sarah suggested. Maybe she could, she is a mega seller. For the rest of us, print is a “perhaps”. No one will give a date or a definite yes. Heck, I am only now getting my own print book at EC. I expected it much earlier, but it didn’t happen for one reason or another. But then that is how it is all over ebookland. At NCP, the owners and their multi aliases are getting on the print schedule before books are even released in digital format. Meanwhile authors are told sales are the determination of going to print. Now, if owners are authors too, that’s cool by me, but geez. Some of us feel like window dressing for a vanity press.

    I don’t expect print at NCP for my books. For some odd reason, my books got over at FW. I don’t say much on the loops and I don’t bother to complain. Why? Two out of 3 of my books are reprints. I don’t have a whole lot vested there, but others do.

    Authors are not happy and getting management replies is near impossible. If you get a reply, it is a quip one liner. As a friend mentioned, with the flood of books coming from the owners, they are too busy cranking out their own books to take care of anything else.

    The whole thing baffles me. I’m observing a lot of unhappy authors that will not settle for a dismissal pat on the head.

    Reply

  3. Oh, and blacklisting is a fear tactic commonly used. If I believe in that one, it would have worked on me back when I pulled my books from Extasy. Or Chippewa. Or Silk’s. Or Mardi Gras.

    Reply

  4. Marianne, *blush* thanks very much for the compliment, but not really true, and certainly not true on my first published contract in E pub or NY. I simply don’t sign if the contract doesn’t work for me. (which doesn’t mean the same contract won’t work for someone else. Every writer has different priorities) I turned down 2 NY offers before I signed a contract in NY. And yeah, there’s nothing like knowing you’re looking at a deal breaker clause and knowing you’re turning down an opp to put a sick feeling in your stomach. However, before I was even presented with a contract, I knew how I wanted to be published and I made a commitment to myself and my career path to stick to it. It helps that believe if you’re good enough to get one offer there will be another so it’ not all or nothing for me in my mind.

    Print rights- It would be a deal breaker for me if at time of contract signing, the house demanded print rights but offered me nothing in return, not even a guarantee that the book would go into print within 2 or 3 years time. The reason it would be a deal breaker? Because its big something for absolutely nothing. The argument I often hear publishers put forth is that they need the flexibility of owning those rights. FWIW, it’s not much of an argument, but if it turns out down the road they do want to exercise print rights, an amendment to the contract can be agreed upon, drawn up and executed within 5 days once the need becomes evident. A very workable compromise. A house that must have something for nothing, is unwilling to accept any sort of compromise and makes it a deal breaker is a house I would look at very cautiously anyway. It’s okay for a house to try to tilt everything their way in the initial contract presentation. I expect that when I’m presented with a contract, (just good business in operation) but if the house takes that to an extreme, and won’t budge on clauses that are blatantly unfair it’s a red flag. (especially in a small press which usually has limited benefit for the author comparatively) At the very least it warrants a legal opinion brought in to find out all the ways that clause could be flexed within industry norms to bite me in the butt later.

    Here’s how I approach a contract:

    First I write down what’s important to me. Ie freedom to write where I want, etc. Then I order those things in terms of importance and make a separate column for deal breaker and what I can work with.

    2) I read the publishing contract front to back and make a side by side list of the things that they are asking for and what they are offering me in return.

    3) Make a list of the things that are addressed in the contract the most. (gives you an image of where they are going and what their concerns are)

    4) Make a copy of the contract and cross out the things that must go.
    Circle the items that need to be balanced
    Star the items I think that look to be the publishers deal breakers.

    5) Compare contracts and see if any deal breakers overlap These area are where I will be fighting the hardest for compromise.

    Then I sit down and prepare my negotiations, knowing both of us want to make this work (otherwise there wouldn’t be a contract sitting in front of me) so I’m not too nervous. 99 percent of issues can and will be negotiated. (Something to keep in mind when negotiating. Stats can be our friends *G*) The only thing that can’t be mitigated are those issues not brought up so I bring up all my concerns. As does the publisher. I’m never really afraid of losing the deal because I am a reasonable person and if we can’t reach a reasonable compromise, then this deal is wrong for me and I’m better off not signing. (I’ve always thought it’s wrong for the house in that case, too)

    So pretty much, that’s how I do it. By keeping it logical and the pluses and minuses in front of me I don’t panic or get emotional because I’m looking at a very clear picture. And I never negotiate out of fear. I want this to be a positive experience and that’s what I’m negotiating toward. A positive publishing experience and a positive career.

    Reply

  5. Unfortunately NY ain’t busting down my door in eagerness with multi offers. LOL I know Karen hates RT, but I got a Top Pick in the April issue right up there with Emma Holly. I am hoping that makes the difference I need to raise a few eyebrows.

    I *am* tired of ebookland. I just want to write.

    Reply

  6. Congrats on a top pick!!!

    Reply

  7. NY ain’t knocking down anyone’s door. You gotta make it happen for yourself. That’s how it is. Right book, right editor, right time.

    As for contracts, if you get a contract that has terms that you aren’t pleased with but you are still going to sign, then be prepared for the backlash. It doesn’t hurt to try and negotiate a contract to your terms… you may have to give in on a few of them, you may not, but at least you tried rather than signed “as is.”

    PS- I learned all my contract information knowledge from Sarah.

    Reply

  8. Posted by Phantom on March 10, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    Wow… I hope everyone reports this to the IRS when doing their taxes. It may seem small, but if there’s enough en masse it may jolt these jerks out of their comas.

    As far as Pier Anthony’s site goes – I wouldn’t trust it. Heck, he’s got money invested in Mundania and they treat their authors about as well as NCP!

    I’m just shocked at this, considering NCP got the cover in RT a few months ago and a HUGE section devoted to the company. That’s just… unsettling, when you look at it.

    Hope everyone gets paid up and settled properly.

    Reply

  9. Who said I was sitting back expecting to be chased? No, I just haven’t hit the good karma yet.

    Understand I wasn’t pulling books, but others wish to and are having problems.

    I haven’t trusted Piers’ site when a few of us reported Venus Press as bad news and was told we were trying to bring down the company, had no concept of the truth, etc. Yeah…see what happened with them.

    Eh…I have to get back to plotting/writing a book I am pitching the end of this month….play nice all.

    Reply

  10. And thank you Sarah. 🙂

    Reply

  11. Not being an author, I can’t understand why these people (e-pubs) can make contracts but have such trouble abiding by clauses. Marissa might have a point about not signing something you’re uncomfortable with but from where I sit it appears the typical pattern is for these publishers to ignore their end of the bargain. Oh and to ignore people. That’s all too common. With the cost of hiring a lawyer being as expensive as it is and authors continually have to turn to the IRS for assistance, I foresee future federal regulations enacted. The publishers aren’t going to be happy but when they don’t want to pay up they only have themselves to blame.

    Reply

  12. […] a Karen Scott’s blog is down (again) too and she isn’t going anywhere. No really, sorry NCP no breaking out into song yet. Damn woman I can’t keep up, or is it torquere wanting to drink […]

    Reply

  13. This is in regard to New Concepts Publishing. I am apparently one of many authors who are receiving bad treatment from this publishing company. I live in Colorado but I contacted the Georgia Attorney General’s office who gave us the number for Consumer Affairs. After having a lengthy discussion with them I was told to contact an attorney in Georgia who has experience with publishing contracts. Of course, this will probably mean expending thousands of dollars which I don’t have. I have e-mailed NCP, written snail mail letters and received no response. We tried calling them today but got a voice mail only and thought it useless to leave a message. My book with them, Seductive Reasoning actually reached #25 on Fiction Wise but I never saw any royalties from the sales nor did I receive a royalty statement in regard to sales on Fiction Wise. If anyone out there reads this e-mail and has a contract with NCP or is considering signing a contract with them, please e-mail me.

    Thank you,

    Cher Gorman
    http://www.chergorman.com
    cher@chergorman.com

    Reply

  14. Posted by Zelma Orr on October 4, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    I have an e-book coming out at NCP and they have another manuscript they’re considering. Is everything about NCP negative? It’s so hard to get an agent or any traditional publisher to look at romance manuscripts, and I was hopeful NCP would be different. Any other comments? Thanks. Zelma Orr

    Reply

  15. Posted by CS NCP on November 24, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    The problem with false accusations is that with evidence they can be disproved.
    NCP does pay its author absolutely everything they’re due. And, it also doesn’t take that long to pay evey quarter. In fact, when one talks to authors at absolutely every epublishing house, one would be hardpressed to find a company that paid on a certain date every quarter, in a timely manner so to speak.

    Here is when Seductive Reasoning first came out at NCP. You can see that is sold 51 ebooks directly through the NCP site.

    Quarter AprilMayJune06
    Seductive Reasoning
    download dir 51
    distributor ebook
    print
    bookstore print
    distributor print

    The next quarter the book still hadn’t gone to fictionwise, but it did make a few more direct sales.

    Quarter JulyAugSep06
    download dir 3 2 1 2 10
    distributor ebook

    The final quarter for the year you can see that it didn’t have any sales except for those at the distributor, fictionwise.

    Seductive Reasoning Oct1-6 Oct7-14 Oct15-21 Oct22-31 Nov1-6 Nov7-14 Nov15-21 Nov22-30 Dec1-6 Dec7-14 Dec15-21 Dec22-31
    download dir 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    distributor ebook 57 57

    Now, just to prove that NCP still pays distributor sales for that title, this shows all totals for the year 2008, which reading by row you can see direct download sales and distributor sales, which include fictionwise.

    Quarters reflected in the 2008 tax year.

    Seductive Reasoning 4th 07 1st 08 2nd 08 3rd 08 Totals
    download dir 3 0 0 0 3
    distributor ebook 1 3 2 2 8

    Another thing I’d like to point out is that, just because a title reaches a certain “high” number at fictionwise does not mean thousands of sales will be generated. You can ask the people who run Fictionwise, Scott for instance. The top sellers of Erotica, which is a way better selling category than just Romance, can hope to, at the max, have about a thousand sales, and that’s only if they stay number 1 for a while.

    Reply

  16. You can’t run a publishing company and be more than half the authors at the same time…I know for a fact just how many there are…been years and when things start changing for the better, they knock the person responsible for the good changes right out the door…they do not want to change!

    Reply

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