Lies and More Lies


So here we go again. I feel like all I’ve been doing lately is complaining about Noble Romance. Not that I don’t have good reason, as has been outlined many times in previous posts. This time, though, things are a bit difference.
You see, about a month ago, Jean Gombart, the CEO of Noble Romance Publishing finally responded to me. TEN months after my first communication to him outlining my contract breaches, which included non-payment of back-owed royalties on both titles. But that wasn’t what spurred him to respond.
What prompted him to finally respond to me was the fact that he sent my royalty statements for May to someone else. He actually sent personal financial information that was for my eyes only to someone else. The carelessness of this action raised some very troubling concerns. Noble plays fast and loose with authors’ personal information. I have very real concerns that my personal identifying information is not being secured properly, leaving me vulnerable to some very real threats, such as identity theft.
In any case, once he responded, I immediately shot back that he had yet to address any of my breaches and other concerns. Do you know what he had the balls to respond with? That they researched my claim of owed royalties and found nothing. Yet, somehow, he never felt the need to tell me this. If he had, which I pointed out to him, he would have known the facts he had were incorrect, and this I place squarely on Jill Noble’s shoulders. All of the communications Jill and I had regarding the owed royalties was in Jill’s possession, and she never turned over any of her records to Noble Management when she flew the coop. However, I am a pack-rat and I save EVERYTHING. I pulled out all of the royalty statements, the email trails and all the proof I had that I was never paid.
I got another email, one I was not supposed to see. Gombart sent the email to his accounting staff to research and made the comment that if I was right, he’d have no choice but to return my rights. I knew I was right. However, in typical Noble fashion, they looked up one title and not the other and dared to tell me they’d give me the rights back to that one title only.
I don’t think so.
Needless to say, I once again provided him my proof that BOTH titles were owed royalties, and that all I would accept was the rights to both books back. Lo and behold, he admitted I was right. Here is the email trail where he admits I am correct and that he will return my rights:
From: Jean Gombart [mailto:jgombart@nobleromance.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2013 4:06 PM
To: Gianna Simone
Cc: renata@nobleromance.com; mary harris
Subject: RE: Status Update
Dear Gianna,
Renata did process all the # for In the Devil’s Arms also comparing your revenues against your advance and you are absolutely right. Faith in June 2011 did a mistake.
After reviewing all your accounts, we now show that we are owing you $10.40 royalties for “ Healing the Mage” and we are owing you $11.33 for “ In the Devil’s Arms”
Would you like to receive these amounts by PayPal or with a check to your attention.
We are very sorry for you to have to wait such a long time.
Please do accept our most sincere apologies.
Best Regards,
Jean Marc Philippe Gombart
CEO
Noble Romance Publishing
PO Box 467423
Atlanta, GA 31146
From: Gianna Simone [mailto:giannasimone@optonline.net]
Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2013 5:16 PM
To: ‘Jean Gombart’
Cc: renata@nobleromance.com; ‘mary harris’
Subject: RE: Status Update
Thank you for your prompt response.
I do not want any payments or adjustments – I only want the rights to both titles reverted to me ASAP, a letter stating that the rights have been reverted and both titles removed from all sites where it is currently being sold. I believe I mentioned June 25 would provide ample time for that to be completed, though sooner is better.
Gianna Simone
From: Jean Gombart [mailto:jgombart@nobleromance.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2013 5:22 PM
To: Gianna Simone
Cc: renata@nobleromance.com; mary harris
Subject: RE: Status Update
Dear Gianna,
Thank you for your answer.
We will pay you anyway because this is contractually our obligation.
We will soon be sending you the paperwork for your release for both titles.
Best Regards,
Jean Marc Philippe Gombart
CEO
Noble Romance Publishing
 PO Box 467423
Atlanta, GA 31146
(e) jgombart@nobleromance.com

I love how he blames this on the woman who handled the royalties. Technically, it wasn’t her fault, she was never provided the information to make the adjustments (thanks again Jill Noble), and she left the company, no doubt because of all of this BS. But if he had bothered to respond to me last summer, he would have known right away, and he could have locked me into those contracts for their duration. Instead, he ignored me, and now he has to pay the consequences. I also love how he decided NOW he’s contractually obligated. What, he wasn’t bound by the contracts until I pointed out his error in sending my personal information to someone else? That’s not how business is done.
I gave Mr. Gombart until June 25 to provide my reversion of rights letters. Needless to say, I didn’t get them despite my repeated requests for updates. Since he once again refuses to respond to me, I began the process of advising vendors of DMCA copyright infringement, and I included both his email and my termination of contract letter from November of 2012. Almost every vendor complied without hesitation and removed my titles from their sites. I am still waiting to hear from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I realize they are slow with this sort of thing, so I anticipated they would take longer. However, I was advised to contact Ingram, as they supply many of the sites.
I contacted Ingram and they responded informing me they had to confirm with Noble first. Do you know what he did? He told them I am still under contract to them. So now it has been proven beyond any doubt whatsoever that Jean Gombart is NOT a man of his word. For someone who claims to be a Sorbonne-educated businessman, I find him to be unethical, unprofessional, arrogant and ridiculously stubborn. He has agreed to return my rights, yet continues to once again ignore me and pretend he made no such agreement. I have it in writing though. He cannot squirm out of this, even if he continues to drag his feet. In the corporate world, that email agreement is binding. He can stall and bury his head on the sand all he wants, he put it in writing that he would give me my rights back. Whatever games he tries to play, he cannot weasel out of the fact that he made a binding agreement, and put it in writing. That he refuses to once again uphold his end of the agreement only reveals his lack of morals and inability to speak the truth.
I urge any authors out there to avoid dealing with Noble in any way. You will only set yourself up for aggravation and lord only knows what else, not to mention, you could find yourself a victim of identity theft because they will not safeguard your information.