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)