Publisher Woes

The past week has been surreal, to say the least. I have to wonder though, why these sorts of things happen whenever I go on vacation. Strange coincidence.
In any case, as many of you already know, last week, Jill Noelle Noble left Noble Romance Publishing. When I opened the email, I suspected it was an update to an email received a few weeks earlier. Boy, was it ever! To say I was stunned would be mild. Wow, what the hell does that mean now? So I posted my very nice thank you to her – after all, for those who may or may not know, until Noble accepted In the Devil’s Arms, I was literally about to throw in the towel on pursuing publication – and wished her well. But then the loop exploded with questions, and I had a real big eye-opener.
See, for some time, I’ve always felt like I was an inconvenience. My emails went mostly unanswered, commitments were made that were not upheld, and when I did receive responses, I felt like I was being a nuisance. I figured, hey, my books aren’t selling all that great, so maybe that’s why. Or maybe, based on my editing experiences, she just really didn’t like my work and wasn’t interested in anything further from me. Which was fine, I’ve sold a few other titles since then to other publishers, so that was some validation. But a couple of my issues were more than asking when I would see my PODs, or who I should send my next manuscript to.  In those cases, I continued to send a very nicely worded, “when you have a moment, can you please let me know?” email every week or so. I got one response, with a promise to resolve the issue by a certain date, but that deadline passed with nothing.
I’ve come to learn I am not alone on the receiving end of this general lack of regard. And as I learned more, the more shocked I was at how bad the whole situation had become. Authors were then prevented from discussing genuine grievances with each other, when our private loop was shut down. So a few authors opened another. We learned we had a mole – who shared our *private* comments publicly. Then went so far as to insult and make threatening comments to people who were reasonably trying to figure out what the hell had just happened.
A Noble employee sent out an email which was meant to appease and calm our jitters. It did nothing of the sort – in my opinion, the fact the owner did not in some way attach his name to that message indicated a further lack of respect for the hard-working authors whose work Noble depends on to actually be in business. I mean, if no one writes any books for them, exactly *how* can they stay in business?
To be fair, I am not in as deeply as others – I have only two books with them and a short story. Others have so much more invested in Noble, and are suffering by not getting royalty payments in a timely manner or having their legitimate issues addressed.  To top it all off, there now appears to be some sort of effort to turn our valid grievances into us being a bunch of unprofessional, untalented losers. Criminals tend to try and blame the victims of their crimes for committing them in the first place. That’s what this feels like. We have been victimized, yet somehow, it’s our fault this is the situation we’re in.
Clearly, there were significant issues to cause this massive implosion. I get that, but when the people most severely affected by that are not allowed to question and demand answers as to what the future holds for their work and careers, well, to me, that’s what I call unprofessional. Immature. Foolish. When the people who actually caused the train wreck then try to pin the blame on others, their pathetic actions show how desperately they are trying to save what’s left of their reputations. Not to mention, their behavior reeks of pure arrogance.
I’m still feeling a lot of emotions, as are many others. At this point, I just want my rights back. I have other places I can place these books where they won’t languish. There are further books in the series that will just gather dust until I can free the first two. After that, I want nothing more to do with anything related to Noble and its current and past management. I deserve more respect and I can and do get it elsewhere.
Here are links to others’ blog posts about this debacle. Some are Noble authors, some aren’t. But I think they explain it far more succinctly than I can, and give much better insight into what really was going on behind the scenes. This isn’t a complete list, I know I’m missing a few, but I will update as I can (at work and some sites are inaccessible to me at the moment)

Bryl Tyne
J.S. Wayne
Bianca Sommerland
Brita Addams
Lindsay Marene Ordone
Aleksandr Voinov
Erastes
Karen Knows Best
Two Old Farts Talking Romance
Vacuous Minx
Ellie Writes

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12 thoughts on “Publisher Woes

  1. Thanks for stopping by Jadette. I should clarify that the message I got was the one she had sent to the loop, but must have marked as a special notice, as it came in all by itself. It wasn't directly to me. I apparently am not worthy of such consideration! 🙂

    Gianna

  2. Gianna, well said. I feel you, believe me and as you know from the loop. The classless way Jill has spoken of the authors that SHE contracted, then has said are talentless, etc., really shows the regard in which she she holds anyone who disagrees with her.

    I've yet to see her defend her leaving as something that somehow was right. It might have worked for her, but if she'd truly wanted to lessen the impact on the authors, who she claimed to love so much, she would have given noticed, cleared up the messes she created, so as not to leave them for someone else to sort, and gotten us paid on time.

    She said the royalties would be paid on Friday, July 22 and Monday July 25, which would indicate that she'd done the necessary paperwork. Then Faith tells us on Tuesday, July 26, that because Jill didn't prepare the paperwork, royalties would be delayed until possibly the end of THIS week, two weeks AFTER Jill said they'd be paid. Someone is lying here.

    Natasha verbally assaults several authors, but her mother doesn't chastise her for being disrespectful. Nope. She soothes her publicly. I understand they live close to each other, possibly together, not sure, so why the public display? Oh, yeah, so she could take another shot at authors.

    Natasha started the spate of emails, except the one to me. I wrote her Executive Assistant for Noble Romance Publishing self to ask her to take down the Irene Brown Facebook page that is still up 10 months after Irene Brown, promotions manager, aka Brita Addams, left Noble Romance.I got a snotty reply, telling me she didn't understand why I was asking now, after all this time. Ah, because I had just noticed it. Duh! Then I was accused of posting a picture of her son on my blog, which I never did. Show me the screen shot of that one, Natasha. I'd love to see it.

    Gianna, I have all the complaints of unanswered emails, shoddy looking POD, etc., that everyone else has, as well as material breaches of contract that so many of us have. I'm angry that we've heard nothing from Jim Noble. I'm angry that Jill threatens that “Now that I know what's coming, I definitely know I was the lesser of two evils. My road to hell might have been paved with good intentions, but at least I *had* good intentions. 🙂

    Delighting in the misery of others? I'd say so. Those others are people who entrusted their work to her company and now she simply wishes them all the worst, as she flounces into her new life, and I'm sure she'd sleeping better than any of us are.

    Hugs, Gianna.

  3. Thanks Brita! Hugs to you too – we all need some good ones after this. 🙂

    This whole nightmare just keeps getting worse and worse – if someone at my day job corporation pulled this sort of crap, there'd be legal ramifications for that person. I've seen it happen time and again. Too bad this situation won't end up with a similar result. Cause that'd sure learn them, eh?

    Between the two of them, I believe they are shooting themselves in the foot and don't even see it. The baseless accusations and threats are childish and can be construed as harassment, or worse.

    What really kills me the most is the utter lack of respect every single person at Noble has shown us authors, either prior to this shipwreck or since. And it gets worse and worse.

    Thanks again, it helps to know we're not alone in this – and that we are most definitely handling this with more class than the bunch of them can try to gather in a rain barrel.

    And flounce really is the perfect description of her behavior. She could give my 15 yo daughter a run for her money! She's certainly acting in a very similar manner! lol

    Gianna

  4. This is so sad! I'm sorry to hear you're going through this. Did you sign a contract of any kind? Should what you have to do, what your obligations to them are, as well as theirs to you, all be spelled out? Do you have any legal recourse to get your rights back? Hang in there, hon! Your work is awesome and deserves to be out there!

  5. Hey you! How are you?

    Yes, there are contracts, that's a large part of figuring out what can be done. Many authors are drafting letters outlining the specific issues – I've started compiling a list myself to put into a letter as well.

    It's the lack of any concrete answers, the total disregard by the owner, who has not sent one word to anyone with his name attached in any way. Instead we get canned replies from staff members. It's been very frustrating, and gets more difficult to keep my anger in check.

  6. I'm tired of having potshots taken at me by someone I used to respect for having the inexcusable bad taste to ask questions when things didn't add up or work according to spec. I'm particularly irked with this same person pouring gasoline on the floor, striking a match, and walking away talking trash about people who placed their own reputations and work on the line because we believed them. (Yes, that IS a double entendre.)
    At this point, what the peanut gallery and the sideshow has to say about this, I don't care. I do care about Noble, for a change, doing right by its authors, whatever that may mean to each of us individually.
    And, uh, since I'm here: When you going to come by the bar again? 😉 Hit me up, okay?

    (((((Gianna)))))

    J.S.

  7. Thanks J.S. Hugs back! 😀

    The funny thing about all this, is that my gut feeling about how I was perceived turned out to be accurate after all. But I take heart in the fact that I have other editors seriously anxious for more of my work, and *that* just clarifies the true nature of the arsonist even more.

    The bar – yeah, I so need it! 😀

  8. Thanks Rhian! Hugs back! 🙂

    Learning it wasn't just me, nor was I was the cause of my ill treatment, certainly helped this week, and with the support of the rest of this group has made it much more tolerable to deal with. I don't have to rant and rave alone and break all my fine china! lol

    Of course, learning the true extent of it was a bit disheartening, as well, but I take comfort in the fact there is strength in numbers. And this is a good group to be a number in! 🙂

  9. Jeannie, Hang in there. As you know I've gone through messes like this with books sold that I never received royalties for though I knew they sold copies. Fortunately both companies gave me my rights back. Sort of as one email I received only said. Your books are yours.

  10. Thanks Janet. Things are starting to happen – they named a new CEO and he appears to be diving right in. We're all keeping a close eye, you can be sure!

    The best thing to happen would be getting my rights back – but I'm sort of leaning back at the moment to see what happens next.

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