The new year is supposed to be a time of renewal, beginnings, starting over, etc. In many ways, this proves true – I always find myself more motivated once the holidays are over, and a little less frenzied and hopefully calmer, with a brighter outlook on things. Of course, considering I am now neck-deep in preparations for my daughter's Sweet 16 party, this year is not starting out as calmly as others.
Last year was in general a good year – I had two book releases and made significant progress on two other works. However, I also got royally kicked in the teeth by one of my publishers.
Anyone who's following this blog probably doesn't need an introduction to this mess, so I'll keep the recap short. Noble Romance Publishing has screwed me, as well as other authors, and is now infringing on my copyright. When Jill Noble abruptly left and started her smear-campaign against the authors she left in the lurch, I had my eyes opened in a really big way. When the new CEO, Jean Gombart, took over and asked authors to contact him regarding issues, etc., I did so. Got no response. So I waited a week or so to send the contractually obligated certified letter outlining what I viewed as breaches of contract. Most of those items listed were relatively minor, and I could have lived with them if the CEO had acted professionally and responded to me. But one issue was a major breach – I am still owed royalties on each of my books. We're going on near 18 months on one of them now. Anyway, the certified letter giving them 90 days to correct the breaches went ignored, never mind unanswered. I doubt they even opened the envelope. My numerous follow-up emails have also been ignored, as has the second certified letter I sent stating that I exercised my right to terminate the contracts and that they no longer have the right to sell my books.
Still – not even an acknowledgement of my existence. Oh, I get a royalty check each month – but so far, nothing on what's owed me. I went so far as to comment on their Facebook page, but my comments are deleted, because we wouldn't want to hurt the other authors they are promoting and acknowledge to the public that there are unhappy (and furious) authors. WTF? In other words, the ones who either are (un)lucky enough not to have any issues, so they are stuck waiting out their contracts, or are genuinely happy there. Hey it happens, I get that. But as long as Noble keeps
stealing selling my books, I'm a Noble author too, so why do I get ignored as if I'm not even real? The one person who did respond to me assured me they would forward my email to Mr. Gombart. I don't believe that ever happened, and even if it did, it didn't change anything. This person who calls himself a CEO refuses to respond to me in any way. I'm trying to recall if maybe I ran over his kid, or his puppy, or something heinous like that to deserve such ill treatment at the hands of someone who claims to want to grow the business and its authors. Ha!
Then I hear they opened up a new author's loop, but authors are not allowed to comment in or participate in any way. It's only for Noble staff to pass along info. They don't want to hear about issues authors have, only the happy good thoughts. Give me a break. I didn't get an invite for quite a while anyway, not until I made a fuss with someone who hadn't yet gotten the memo to ignore me, claiming they didn't have my email address – um, hello? Does anyone on Noble's staff communicate in any way? I do get those statements each month via email – just because someone's in a "different office" doesn't mean you can't get my email address. The more I hear from these people, the more disgusted I become.
The best one is the latest – I made a comment on Twitter to their @NRP_Submissions timeline. I was immediately unfollowed. At first I thought I was blocked too, since I could no longer reply to tweets, but I actually can do that by typing in their Twitter name and making my post. Which I will continue to do. Since they don't see fit to respond to me otherwise, proving again how childish and unprofessionally they are behaving.
I just don't understand why. My books with Noble are not selling well, so why go to all this trouble to keep them up for sale, and infringe on my copyright? Why not just let it go – give me my rights back and it's done. They never have to hear from me again. I will take my titles and publish them elsewhere, and do a whole lot better.
I have no qualms about sharing this over and over and over again as publicly as I can and need to. I'm not stating anything untrue – I have adhered to the terms of the contract, Noble has not, and clearly has no intention of doing so. Anyone thinking of signing a contract with them, trust your gut when it tells you it's not a good idea. If Noble hadn't been my last shot at getting published a few years ago, I would have listened a lot more closely to that inner voice.
In the meantime, I continue to battle on.