From Writer Beware

Start Media Buys Whiskey Creek Press, Imposes New Contract Terms

"WCP's contract includes this clause:
If the Publisher sells its assets to another publisher who does or plans to market and promote books of the type and genre of the Work, the successor publisher will be bound, as a minimum, to the same terms delineated in this agreement.
In direct contradiction to this, however, the letter of agreement Start Media is asking authors to sign imposes some substantially different terms. WCP's contract term is 3 years from publication; Start Media's is life-of-copyright. WCP's ebook royalties are 35% of the net download price; Start Media's are 25% of net ("all monies actually received"). There's also a troubling gap between April 30, when WCP ceases to pay royalties, and July 1, when Start Media's new royalty rate kicks in. What happens to books sold in May and June?

Understandably, WCP authors are upset and angry. Many are refusing to sign--despite the fact that no explanation has been provided, either by Womack/WCP or Start Media, of what will happen to their rights if they don't. (I've contacted Ms. Womack to ask this question; I haven't heard back yet, but if I do I'll update this post.)"
http://accrispin.blogspot.ca/2014/06/start-media-buys-whiskey-creek-press.html

Response from Jarred Weisfeld

43 comments:

Sleepless in Cincinnati said...

Weisfeld said:
"We have received an overwhelmingly positive response from the authors with whom we've spoken"
Aw right, of course you did. Hey, we'd love to know who these happy authors are, because they sure aren't on here.

Mary Jane said...

Out of an author mill of around 400 authors, there's bound to be a few who have bought into Jarred's spin. Heck, there's been a couple who have posted on here about how happy they were with this big New York Publishing house!
ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Anonymous said...

He's just shoveling the shoo-poo as high as he can get it to sound good, nothing more. I don't know who he's trying to fool, but it isn't the writers that are getting the shaft, from two directions. And he didn't address any direct concerns that have been mentioned on this blog, that's for darned sure! Or address much of what was said.

Anonymous said...

(ROFL)
Now admit it folks, Jerrod is right. (as always) All the WCP authors are delighted with this new deal. Well hey, who wouldn't be? I mean, what's not to like? The authors who participate on here are just the odd man out. Pretty weird, if you ask me. And how many of them are there -- 2 or maybe 3 at the most. And they'll love Jerrod and this new deal too, as soon as they get the hang of it.

Biker said...

Hey Jarred, pull the other one. It has bells on and plays Jingle Bells.

Anonymous said...

Jarred can't be familiar with Confucius, otherwise he would have kept his big yap shut. You know, 'Master of the unspoken word, slave of the spoken.' This was one piece of damage control that's going to backfire on him big time. I wager the authors are going to be even more furious than before.

Angie Baby said...

According to the polls on this blog, 40 authors want their rights back, and 85% did not sign the new contract. It doesn't sound like a happy campground to me, despite what Jarred says.

Anonymous said...

Hey guys why are you still so angry? I thought that after reading JW's smooth delivery you'd be all singing like a choir and happy. Seriously though, that guy's mistake is that he thinks everybody's stupid but himself.

Anonymous said...

It looks like Weisfeld just threw some more oil on already troubled waters. Not the smart thing to do at all.

Scribe said...

He's a condescending twit alright, but what really makes me all kinds of depressed is that the deal is obviously still going through. So all our hopes of it collapsing are dashed.

Anonymous said...

He's just a bad actor. Yet I thought he was supposed to be the next best thing to Metro Golden Meyer? lol

Scribe said...

I wanted to add here that Victoria (as always) really did her homework and wrote an excellent article. It's too bad her hard work has been overshadowed by Weisfeld's tuppence ha'penny worth of bs.

Desperate Housewife said...

So what's worse guys, the Womack non-response, or Weisfeld's over response? I'll let you think about that one for a while.

Anonymous said...

Yikes, I believe Jarrod has stirred up a hornet's nest. And just when he thought the WCP authors were so dumb they'd swallow his line of bullshit.

Dixie Cup said...

Yay! The revolution is still on Jerrod. You just made sure of that.

Anonymous said...

"I’m such a worrier. I have so much going on…the only books I have left with a publisher is my Tides of Charleston series with Whiskey Creek Press. I got a notice the other day that Whiskey Creek Press has been bought out by Start Media. Impressive website. I am supposed to start getting my series back starting in January, but now I’m wondering if maybe I can get it back now… "
http://jerrihines.org/2014/06/10/counting-down-to-romcon/
Another far from satisfied author. Can we all be wrong, and Jarred right?
Hmmm....

Heidi said...

Now why would this author want her book back now, and miss out on a really great publishing deal with a top notch New York publisher? Hmmm...WCP authors should feel very privileged, they're moving from a hole in the wall dump in the Wyoming badlands to Park Avenue. But hey, you just can't please everybody.

Anonymous said...

@ Heidi
I bet she'll change her mind when she reads what Jerrod has to say, like the rest of us have done. Just read the responses on this thread. Everyone is enthralled.

CR said...

Jarred should do the decent thing and let the authors out who want to go. This is generally what happens in a takeover such as this.

Anonymous said...

@CR
Be realistic Cindy, if he did that there wouldn't be anybody left. Oh well, maybe a dozen or so diehards and that would be it. I agree it would be the classy thing to do, but it ain't ever gonna happen.

Author said...

Another decent thing to do would be to close this blog down. It's only stirring up trouble. But I can't see that happening either.

Anonymous said...

Jerrod said:
"We want to make sure all of our authors are happy to be in a partnership that we're excited to begin."
Well the majority of us are not happy and we want out NOW!

Anonymous said...

This comment will probably make me look like a WCP or Start Publishing minion, but I’m not. I’m posting anonymously because I’m worried about the backlash a comment in their favor might get. It’s vicious over here, and if what many of the commenters have experienced is true, I don’t blame them for their frustrations.

I’ve not had problems with WCP. I only have one book published with them, and they’ve delivered what I expected at the outset. My book was published on time. My editor was decent. I liked my cover art. They’ve paid my royalties on time (though the summary statements haven’t always been emailed, and I’ve had to ask for them on a few occasions). Though Debra has never answered my emails, Steven always has, so I stuck with emailing him. They even ran a promotion of my book last summer which was nice, because I never expected much from them in terms of marketing. Whether we like it or not, most marketing falls on the shoulders of authors now. Even those who sign with bigger publishers have to market, especially if they’re unknown authors.

I wasn’t thrilled with this new letter of agreement from Start. The ten percent drop in royalties is unappealing. But I figured if what they say about increased marketing for their authors is true (and who knows at this point if it is or not; I hope it is), then I would hopefully sell more books, making the drop in royalty percentage more palatable.

As for the life-of-copyright terms, they’re also not great. That’s what scared me the most. But we’re not giving away our copyright as people on here have stated. We’re giving away the RIGHTS to our book for the length of the copyright. As Victoria Strauss says in her post on this subject, “life-of-copyright grants are extremely common in the publishing world, particularly for larger publishers, though small presses use them as well.” That doesn’t make them desirable, of course, but that’s the way many publishers do business. I would not have signed the agreement were there not a rights-reversion clause. There is, and on Victoria Strauss’s site, Jarred Weisfeld has said, “If you do not sell the number of copies in our reversion clause you will get your rights back immediately.” I have copied his response and saved it should that proof ever be needed in the future.

For me, it came down to what was the lesser of two evils. I wasn’t thrilled with the new contract, but I’m also not thrilled about not signing and having my book sit unmarketed by Start for the next 18 months until my initial term with WCP is up. If I get my rights back, I have to design a new cover, get a new ISBN, and get it back on all the sale sites while also potentially losing all the reviews I’ve worked so hard to gain. I’ve heard there’s a way the two versions can be fused so the Amazon reviews aren’t lost, but in reality, if I’d wanted to self-publish, I’d have done it from the start.

I don’t want to self-publish; that’s why I signed the new agreement, and I hope Start will hold true to their words. At best, my book will sell more than 25 copies a year, and I’ll continue on with business as usual (granted with 10% less royalties which still sucks), and at worst, it won’t sell that amount, and I’ll ask for my rights back and self-publish it after all. From what I’ve heard, trying to sell an old book to a new publisher is difficult, so self-publishing is realistically what I’d be looking at.

Sorry for the long comment, but I wanted others who’ve signed or are still deciding to see a different perspective. I don’t think personal attacks on either the Womacks or Weisfeld are helpful to this discussion, but again, I understand people’s frustrations. Our books are our babies.

Angie Baby said...

The complaints about WCP keep rolling in and they're all so familiar. Lousy editing, terrible covers, piddlingly small royalties, or none at all, royalties never paid on time, and no royalty statements. No response ever from the Womacks, and when the books are (finally) out of contract, the desperate author has to contact Amazon himself, to get them removed from sale. But hey, what not to like about that?

Angie Baby said...

Hey, I just checked Steve Womack's website and it's gone. So is his author page at WCP. Some weird shit going down and no mistake. But I managed to grab one of his covers at Goodreads and as you can see it's bloody awful. It's so bad it's an art form in its own right. LOL And that's why he got the idea to start up WCP, he couldn't get a publisher for his terrible books, so he became a publisher himself.

http://www.amazon.com/Cyclopean-Rescue-Steven-Douglas-Womack/dp/1593742843/ref=la_B00FERJ75S_1_1/187-4819747-2773428?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1403982424&sr=1-1

CR said...

The cache was no longer available on Womack's website, so it must have been down for a while. But his author page cache is still there so I took a screenshot before it goes as well.

http://s18.postimg.org/6g6op6st5/Womack.jpg

Anonymous said...

Oh man, these covers are both soooooooooooo bad. It's damned hard to decide which one is worse. The sales for these books were minimal to non existent.

Desperate Housewife said...

Oh wow, this is all kinds of interesting. I did a search on Womack at the WCP site and he doesn't come up! It looks as if he can't stand the heat and has gone AWOL. ha ha ha ha ha

Anonymous said...

Hey Steve, your sins will catch you out. AS ye sow...

Jason said...

This is like a good old fashioned lynch mob. Easy on guys, or the good guys could end up just as bad as the bad ones.

Anonymous said...

The whole WCP website will be biting the dust real soon. Check your calenders. Isn't the deal with the devil supposed to be finalized by the end of June?

Angie Baby said...

Aw and such a pity to see such a classy website gone.

Anonymous said...

It might not go. The other pubs that Start has taken over have retained their names and websites. Salvo, Nightshade, etc.

Angie Baby said...

Jarred really gets around. How can he be in New York and the State of Washington at the same time?

http://www.lead411.com/Jarred_Weisfeld_12997451.html

Anonymous said...

Maybe he moved?

Angie Baby said...

Jarred is running Objective Entertainment from the same address and phone number as Start Media Publishing.
https://local.yahoo.com/info-43517343-objective-entertainment-new-york

Angie Baby said...

Reports on Objective Entertainment:
http://accrispin.blogspot.ca/2009/01/victoria-strauss-shades-of-edit-ink.html

Anonymous said...

http://www.bluewaterprod.com/contact.php

Anonymous said...

"I’ve been running a number of articles recently on comic creators who have been unpaid on certain comic projects – and in some cases actually getting them paid.

But I had one complaint recently from a creator who had not been paid for their work for Bluewater."
http://www.bleedingcool.com/2012/02/28/a-contract-from-bluewater-productions/

Butterscotch said...

If that's Jarred on the left, he's really quite dishy.

http://www.missinfo.tv/index.php/ol-dirty-bastard-movie-omar-the-wire/ol-dirty-bastard-odb-jarred-weisfeld-manager/

Anonymous said...

@Butterscotch
Get a life, handsome is as handsome does.

CR said...

"SKYHORSE PUBLISHING AND PAPERLESS PUBLISHING TEAM UP FOR NEW VENTURE"
Jarred Weisfeld is the president of Paperless Publishing, who charge a fee for ebook conversion.
http://www.paperlesspub.com/home/15-skyhorse.html

Anonymous said...

To be clear, Skyhorse bought Night Shade. Start only owns rights to the ebooks and future deals are negotiated separately, or just with Skyhorse if that's what the author wants.

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