Well, it looks like it’s time for legal action. The 90 days as contractually stipulated that I gave Noble Romance to correct my breaches of contract has gone unanswered. I even had the courtesy of giving them about a week’s notice that the deadline was approaching. On the 90th day, I sent another email, exercising my right to terminate the contract, as is very clearly outlined in my contract. Here is the specific clause which is included in contracts for both books I have with Noble (there’s more to this clause, but this is the part that is most damning to Noble):
“VI: Term of Agreement
In the event that either party commits a material breach of the terms of this Agreement, the other party may notify the party in breach by providing a written description of the breach which shall be delivered by certified mail. If the breach is not corrected within 90 days after such notice, then the aggrieved party may terminate this Agreement and all rights granted the Publisher will thereupon revert to Author at the time of the termination.
Upon termination of this Agreement for any reason, Publisher will remove listing of the Work from its website and all download-based distributors and advise Books in Print that that particular ISBN is no longer in print. Publisher may continue to sell existing stock of physical formats (diskettes, CD’s, cassette tapes, print books) but may not create new physical copies of the Work.”
Well, guess what – I’d consider owing me money on each book for over a year constitutes a material breach, and not answering my certified letter, as I was obligated to send, and did so, honoring the terms of the contract on my part, constitutes not correcting breaches. Not even a fucking acknowledgement of the receipt of my letters. Therefore, I am within my rights to terminate said contract. Which I most certainly did.
Clearly, Noble Romance Publishing has no intentions of acting professionally, or ethically. Hell, they’re outright stealing from other authors! You may find of particular interest, how they are violating the copyright of Aleksander Voinov. Here is his blog post outlining the outright thievery of his work: http://aleksandrvoinov.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/noble-romance-has-violated-my-copyright.html
I am appalled at the behavior of people who consider themselves savvy businessmen. Excuse me? What freaking planet are you living on that lying, cheating and outright stealing make a savvy businessman? I’ve learned several things over the last months and it is not pretty. I am not at liberty to discuss a lot of what I know, because it’s not my place to tell it, but trust me, these people running Noble have got no idea what it means to be in business. In this day and age, just about everything communicated via the internet is legally binding. You can’t say that the person in charge (Jill Noble) who signed the contracts had no authority to make changes to those contracts and renegotiate them as necessary, and that the communications via email aren’t valid, then turn around and say you are enforcing the electronic contract, because clearly, that person who signed the contract in the first place (Jill Noble) wasn’t authorized to do so! If email or internet communications aren’t valid, then I have news for you – none of the contracts signed electronically are valid at all either. Which means I, and only I, hold all rights to my work. And if you dare say that my email terminating the contract isn’t valid, well guess what? There’s a certified hard copy heading your way. Nothing more legally binding than that – and you are required by the terms of the contract to honor it!
As I said initially, it’s time for legal action. It seems the only way these people will behave professionally, ethically and legally is by forcing them to it. I’m ready to do so. So are others. I’ve put my paperwork together and am filing an official grievance with RWA. And please spread the word – if anyone aspiring to be published is even considering Noble on their short list, advise them to get the hell as far away as they can as fast as they can. It will only cost them money, heartache and aggravation.
I very strongly suspect Noble will not last through the long haul, but the sheer pig-headedness of TIIC will keep them hanging on as long as they can bleed more money from their authors. The problem is, enough of those said authors have had enough of the bullshit and are no longer willing to let themselves continue to be treated as garbage. I know I’m not. Game on! (If only I could say that about the NHL. Whaaa! What is wrong with this world?)
Oh, and check this out: Noble has a new meaning! http://jswayne.wordpress.com/noble-romance-publishing/