Horrified Press- Are you KIDDING ME?

Recently, I have been involved in a facebook discussion about a specific company and their practice of not providing contributor copies to the authors that work with them. Now, initially, I didn’t even jump in to the conversation. I simply watched with interest as several authors and the publisher hashed it out. However, I started to notice some inconsistencies and I sought to address them with the publisher. Several conversations, two blog posts, and an article for revoltdaily.org were the result. Not mentioning, of course, this post.

I have debated whether to post this and even bother to dignify this with a response, but as I am still an unknown in the writing industry, and my reputation, though not at all at stake based on the fallout, is verbally being trashed by the publisher in question, I would like to clear some things up by addressing Nathan Rowark/Horrified Press’ blog post, which can be found at horrifiedpress.wordpress.com.

But I am also going to post it here and address each thing, since he saw fit to call me out by name.

Posted on December 21, 2013 by HORRIFIED PRESS Leave a comment
So that time has come for your editor-in-chief (Nathan J.D.L. Rowark) to make a bit of a Christmas speech. The theme of this little post was purely going to be positive – about the things we have achieved, to thank those who have been involved with our projects and to wish EVERYONE – from our horror-loving fans to contributors – a very Merry Christmas. Unfortunately, due to recent events started online by a hate group, I must start this post on a negative note at what should be the most positive time of the year…

my only comment, here, is that he already starts to use the words ‘hate group’

An online hate group comprised of 4 individuals (two of which have been contributors to our titles) have decided to label Horrified Press a scam press. Obviously, after the amount of hard work and dedication I have put into our endeavours, this deeply saddens me. The individuals whom I SHALL name and shame, Max Booth III, April Hawks, George C. Cotronis and an individual that many have had trouble with in the past, Todd Nelsen, have decided to make derisive and/or libellous statements regarding the nature of our operation, negating the fact that two of the individuals mentioned have been happy to read and sign our see-through contracts and enter themselves into a pot for generously high royalties (up to 70%) for their contributions.

Now, first off, if I WAS going to be mentioned in a group, I am flattered to be associated with these individuals. I have worked with Max and admire his business ethics. Plus, he is just an all around cool guy. Having spoken over the last several days with George and Todd, They are both very principled and have strong convictions and a great sense of humor. Second, I have never, in my whole life, been attributed to a hate group. That though literally makes me chuckle. If you know me or have spoken to me for even five minutes you know that I don’t hate. Period. Nor, I would like to add, have I EVER made derisive and/or libellous statements about this publishing company or the Editor in Chief himself. I will show you very soon. And I would like to point out that the wording above very clearly says that the royalties are up to 70%. That is a very vague statement, but I digress.

To those people whom have so little regard for the authors that have worked with us, and that they have appeared beside – now and in the past – I shake my head in disbelief at your narrow-minded and offensive comments.

Here is a list of the exact comments that Horrified Press has included me in this hate group for. I am posting every comment I have made on Facebook so you can judge for yourself. I do, however, wish that Horrified had not blocked me on Facebook, because unfortunately, I have to use my quotes out of context. They, coincidentally, blocked me, THEN posted their Christmas Address.

In the order in which I posted them

Conversation #1

April Hawks but how does a contributor copy of $8 make up the difference of 30%?
December 14 at 7:50pm · Like · 1

April Hawks If the difference between an author making 60% and 30% is a contributor copy, then something is wrong…
December 14 at 7:50pm · Like · 1

April Hawks If the difference between an author making 60% and 30% is a contributor copy, then something is wrong…
December 14 at 7:50pm · Like · 1

April Hawks and as stated before by others, an ebook costs NOTHING therefore contributes to no loss in revenue
December 14 at 7:52pm · Like · 1

April Hawks that is what I am trying to point out, using the math logic that HP presented

December 14 at 7:53pm · Like · 1

April Hawks No, I have tried to stay out of the conversation to this point. But the math that you presented…TWICE, because it looks like you copied and pasted your comment again after a response, does not make any sense to me…and I SUCK AT MATH

December 14 at 7:55pm · Like · 2

April Hawks But WHY??? I dont see the logic? You could easily give a higher than 30% royalty AND a CC. That is where I am confused You said “To clarify, the decision was taken to pay a much higher royalty rate instead. I’m sure you would agree that it is better to receive 60% of royalties received ongoing than 30% and a contributor copy.” I dont see that they are mutually exclusive.
December 14 at 7:59pm · Like · 1

April Hawks only their work?
December 14 at 8:02pm · Like

April Hawks I have read each and every story in the anthology that I am in and because of that, I am MORE LIKELY TO BUY THEIR BOOKS.
December 14 at 8:03pm · Like · 1

April Hawks you have said that…several times. But what we are saying is that they should have a copy of the FINISHED product!
December 14 at 8:05pm · Like · 4

April Hawks INCLUDING everyone else’s work
December 14 at 8:06pm · Like

April Hawks See, the problem that i am having here is that you are being asked very simple and direct questions that you are not answering.
December 14 at 8:11pm · Like · 2

April Hawks looks like it DID fade, mark
December 14 at 8:22pm · Like · 2

 

April Hawks yeah
December 14 at 8:25pm · Like · 2

April Hawks when i was posting, i was doing so to demonstrate my thought process and confusion on this, and giving HP a reason and a way to step up and clarify. giving benefit of the doubt. I am dissapointed, to say the least.
December 14 at 8:30pm · Like · 1

April Hawks i have worked with max and for mark and believe in them
December 14 at 8:33pm · Like · 3

April Hawks Very true, [name removed]
December 14 at 9:09pm · Like

 

April Hawks I must have missed the whole [name removed] fiasco, because he seems to be the barometer by which the worst publishers are judged
December 14 at 9:14pm · Like · 1

 

April Hawks See? I have deliberately sought out reputable publishers because I want credibility, not just publication. I have personally been rejected by Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing several times. lol. It only makes me want to work harder. But I was also accepted by PMMP once. I know there is hope.
December 14 at 9:18pm · Like · 5

April Hawks valid point, [name removed]
December 14 at 9:26pm · Like · 1

 

April Hawks I guess my response was in regard to if you.don’t like what they’re offering don’t submit.

December 14 at 11:17pm via mobile · Like · 1

 

April Hawks And I can’t find a website or submission guidelines on the blog except to say what stories are being accepted for multiple anthologies and that intellectual property rights revert to author after publication and formatting details. No mention of pay or anything like that in the calls for subs…
December 14 at 11:27pm via mobile · Like

 

Conversation # 2:

April Hawks Here is my LIMITED experience in this. I have contributed to ONE anthology. With a contributor copy. It is a charitable anthology. I knew up front that there would be no pay, and was happy with only the CC. I then proceeded to buy 12 copies of the book, to give as gifts because it was my very first publication. Having looked at paying markets since that submission, I can not IMAGINE the reason for not even offering a freaking digital copy of an anthology for the author that is contributing to an anthology where the profits don’t even go to a charitable organization. If the profits are going into pockets of contributors and of the publisher, a small cost associated with a hard copy for each contributor seems more than reasonable. (GOOD LORD, that $8.00 raise in pay is going to spoil the authors or break the company? Doubt it.) And the word of mouth associated with the press that DOES offer such things is going to go a long way in the tightly knit circles that I have found in the writing world. Just my two cents.

December 14 at 7:21pm · Like · 3

THere were more, but the person that had posted it, removed them from their wall. 

I BELIEVE the most aggressive thing I said to Horrified Press was after he had called me a coward (for not rushing to his defense, even though I had not condemned him, which he OPENLY admitted on that post) and then asked ‘who are you?”

My response was, “I, Nathan, am a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter and a writer. Do not discount me just because you do not know me. Who the fuck are you?”

Instead of speaking to me personally regarding any queries they might have they sought to derail our efforts for the sake of their own presses advancement (Kraken Press / Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing) and to try and knock out their competition (namely us). This behaviour is shameful – even in a business environment. At Horrified Press we not only support our authors, artists and editors but actively encourage ethical presses – new or otherwise – in their endeavours.

Let’s pause here for a moment. I have ONE publication to my name and, though it IS with Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing, that in no way means that I would trash someone to benefit PMMP. I have lots of other stories that I want to get published. In no way am I looking to blacklist myself and limit my options. This is a business for me, as well. And I addressed Nathan in the public forum into which HE interjected himself into the discussion, LONG after he started commenting. The evidence is that my very first comment is in response to a comment of his own. NOT ONCE did he ask to speak to me privately about this. Instead, he simply stopped commenting at all.

One of the items that I addressed with Horrified within comments was the fact that Nathan had sent an email between both himself and Todd Nelson, an author who was, AT THE TIME HE SENT THE EMAIL, still under contract with Horrified Press. THIS is what Nathan considers PROFESSIONAL? Now, I was sent the email by Nathan before he blocked me with the blessing of Todd, who actually in that conversation, encouraged Nathan to post it on his wall. Nathan did not. HERE, from his own hand, is how he treats his authors “professionally’ and “ethical’ {ly} ? I will make no more comments on them. The emails speak for themselves.

E-mails shared between myself and Todd Nelsen. My conscience is clear, unlike the individual in question. He even corrupted my comment. I said that if he continued to talk to authors, artists and publishers the way he does, he’s committing career suicide. I believe I’m right. Horrified Press, I’m asking, again, to be relieved of contract. I have 3 more anthologies to go with you. If you’re still unwilling, I don’t need to see the edits. You don’t change a thing anyhow. I receive the same manuscript I sent you. Further, I don’t need to be notified when the anthologies are released. I can figure it out well enough on my own. The only notification or correspondence I need from you is if/when we begin to receive royalties. These royalties will never pay for the anthologies I’ve purchased. I’ll never break even, but it might make up for some of it. Geoff was right about you, and I was so wrong in publishing with you. It’s a past I’m not proud of. Whether what you’re doing is intentional, or not, is beside the point. I WAS right about you. It’s unfortunate I learned it too late. I was right about Cellar Door, too. There’s something wrong with a pub, if they accept every story that comes their way. I’m being very careful where I send from here on out. I hope other writers who saw what happened will do the same. There is NO argument you could make to myself, or those you spoke to, to condone how you’re conducting business. YOU’RE WRONG. You can’t even run a press right, dude: you never gave Cooney a deadline for the art I was suppose to receive. You forgot to include a story of mine, which I signed another BS contract for, in the last anthology. You’re incapable of getting my author bio right… nonetheless, these are mote points and forgivable. What isn’t is from my perspective, and many others, you’re taking advantage of your authors. Folks are desperate to see their work in print, you know? For you to cash in on that is terrible. Shame on you. You’re going to be meet people like me along the way, Nathan, people who aren’t frightened to stand up, aren’t that desperate. I suggest you listen, and for the record, if you would have said what you said in person to me the day you blocked me? You wouldn’t have been talking long. You take that however you want. I wouldn’t respond to this mail. You make me sick. I think you’re scum. I won’t read it. Drop me from contract or don’t. Do what you’re going do. final fb status update. it was posted. I hope 100s see it. if not, many folks already have. lesson learned. I could do more, you know? I’m choosing not to. you’re a bad memory and not worth my time. moving on… enough negativity, I think. let’s try a little positivity, huh? I showed you what a BAD contract looks like (via Horrified Press) the other day. this is what a GOOD contract looks like between publisher and writer. these are the places you should be sending your work. don’t settle for less. if they offer you more, even better! the key point here? when a complimentary copy is offered, free of charge, you can be sure it’s not a SCAM. no money is coming out of your own pocket to see your work in print… “For the rights granted to the Publisher above, the Author will receive a payment of $10 (ten) US Dollars plus a digital copy of the book, which will be paid within 14 days of the publisher’s final approval of the completed anthology. The Author may waive the right to said payment in exchange for 1 (one) print version of the Work shipped directly to them free of charge.” … some will pay in word counts, others will pay in royalties, others won’t pay at all, but be SURE there is a contributor copy involved. it’s like cash in hand and standard. Todd
My reply… Dear Todd, Thank you for your e-mail dated 17/12/13. Where do I begin? So many offensive remarks and animosity up in here. We’ll skip the fact that you’re clearly unbalanced and get to the points you have raised in your e-mail and on-line… Firstly, you have asked to be relieved from your contract regarding anthologies ‘Until the End’ & ‘Tales of the Undead – Hell Whore: volume III’. Since ‘Until the End’ is scheduled for release in 3 days, I’m afraid that will not be possible. However, I have made sure you will not be included in ‘Tales of the Undead – Hell Whore: volume III’. Since you are so against appearing with us, it seems the most ethical thing to do. In regards to changes with your work, if I don’t see anything that needs changing then I prefer to leave an author’s work intact. It is not my place to play with an author’s work for the sake of making changes. Some pieces we deal with need the work, but yours did not. Kudos to your writing skills, Todd (see, I’m not bitter :-)). You have specified that you only require further notification from me when the books your are featured in with us hit royalty payment time – okay. You also say that you will never break even on the cost of titles you have purchased from us. Once the royalty threshold is achieved, you will receive around $30 dollars per time – perpetually. I think you will, Todd. In regards to Geoff being right about me, the individual you mention raised a valid point – that our royalty plans should be clearly outlined in our contracts. The decision was taken to do this. We both said things we shouldn’t have during our online debate and have since made peace. I understand that there are many presses out there that do not have their authors, artists in mind. As such, I have come to realize that he had the right to be suspicious of us. Is the hard work and dedication I put into Horrified Press intentional? Yes, yes it is. I’ve enjoyed working with all of our authors, artists and editors so far and will enjoy working with them in the future. I was right about you? If you mean that I have your best interests at heart – in regards to your involvement in Horrified Press then you are right. If you mean that I am a scam artist then you are wrong. You were right about Cellar Door too? You can’t make claims against another press without having proof. I said this to you on the night you went for several authors and artists. You sadly did not listen and prefer to commit professional suicide instead. Your choice, Todd. There’s something wrong with a pub that accepts every story that comes their way? Well, you should feel duly proud of your work because we don’t accept every piece of work that comes our way. If I have a good piece come in that needs work then I will usually sit down with the author and help him to try and make it work. However, if the idea and the work itself doesn’t reach a reasonable standard they will be rejected. I take no pleasure in that part of the process but sometimes it needs to be done. There is no argument you can make to condone your behavior? If this is due to the fact we do not give out contributor copies… here’s why… All authors are sent a final copy of their work – how it will appear in the book they are featured (call it a digital tear sheet). Paperback copies are not sent to authors worldwide as the cost of shipping alone would go into $100 of dollars. In the 50+ books I have been previously published in, not once did I receive a contributors copy. I was never offered royalties either… there we go… We do not provide PDF copies for contributors of the book they are featured because if we did they would circulate. The PDF’s would then substitute for the ebook and print editions we sell. They could also end up on book pirating sites which would negate the press’ benefit entirely. The work could also be corrupted — authors pieces stolen and plagiarized from an unprotected file. Part of what we do is protect your property rights as an author. You never gave Cooney a deadline for art you were supposed to receive? The artist was contacted by you, Todd. This was something you set up. I forgot to include a story of yours in ‘Until the End’? The story wasn’t forgotten, it was simply not proofed yet. After your comments online I withdrew it. I wonder why. Folks are desperate to see their work in print and you are taking advantage? That’s also not true, Todd. I spend many hours working with authors on our projects – offering advice and free tuition if required. Authors pay nothing to appear with us. If you had said what you said to me in person the other day online before you blocked me, you wouldn’t have been talking long? Todd, I tried to make you see reason and you deliberately attempted to wind me up. Your threats are pathetic. I make YOU sick? I’m scum? Todd, you’re the one that can’t control his mouth before he has engaged his brain. I could do more, you know? Todd… do what you like, pal. If this is what you feel is best – if it helps you deal with your underlying problems – it’s a free world, dude. Despite your appalling behavior online, Todd, I wish you the best in your writing career. Best Nathan Editor-in-chief Horrified Press
And Todd’s response… I didn’t read that. I warned you. you’re a very manipulative human being, and there’s no way in hell I’m gonna listen to more of your bullshit. deleted. if I’m appearing in the next anthology, I’ll see it in the lulu or amazon preview and purchase it, as I always have. silly me. if not, I won’t. contact me when you need the paypal account. I’ll set it up. we’re done. adios.
 This email conversation was sent out, i reiterate, without the prior knowledge or consent to at least one other author, the number of actual recipients is unknown, except for the person who let Todd himself know. I have been granted permission to use this by Todd. Horrified Press has blocked me and therefore was unavailable to comment.

The horror genre marketplace is a big arena, and those that choose to serve it should act in a professional and responsible manner that serves those they are responsible for. When authors sign with us they receive much editing advice and personal service. Their work reaches an ever-increasing number of genre fans (which we will talk about in a minute) and retain the rights to their work ALWAYS. We also protect their copyright and their royalty interests by not circulating unprotected files all over the net.

Other publishers have commented on this particular point and from the standpoint of a writer, I am going to leave this alone because it is not my field of expertise.

What the above group has not counted on is the intelligence of authors and horror fans when it comes to making their choices wisely.

Actually, that is EXACTLY what we are counting on. That is why we discussed it in the first place. So that people could have information…MORE information with which to make an informed decision.

I am not against free speech, but I am against libellous statements made to advance another’s cause.

I, personally, since you have included me in this little ‘hate group’ would LOVE to see what I have said that you consider libellous. or even where I championed ONE press above all the other, except where I spoke of my direct experience.

On a final note I would like to point out that famous Star Wars situation which occurred many years ago… the one where Harrison Ford was offered royalties for his work as opposed to a one-off payment. Mark Hamil chose to take the one-off payment. We all know how that story ended.

LOOK A DISTRACTION!

Now, on to the good stuff

I am including the rest of his post, merely because I am looking to not take anything out of context and to include his whole post in my response. Below, what I see is a bunch of stage magic and mirror wording to look competent but without actually giving any REAL information. Which is totally fine. It looks like a standard press release type thing where much is spoken and nothing said. BUT that is my opinion. You are welcome to glean your own from this.

2013 was the year that Horrified Press really took off! We gave out multiple calls for a range of anthologies and skilfully worked with the highly talented and equally skilful writing community to deliver to deadline a range of exciting, diverse and downright horrific collections (we shall list those at the end).
We have currently worked with over 300 amazing authors and over 100 artists. Each individual has brought something special to the table, and our expanding range of titles has helped Horrified Press to become a far-reaching small press. Our authors have ranged from the well-established and the famous to first time writers/ artists – helping them to develop their skills and gain the experience and courage to move further into the field. As always, we have used various social media platforms to really gather a fan base for our efforts and present our authors to their waiting public. This includes displaying author bios, magazine advertising and wholesale deals with a variety of bricks & mortar outlets (more to come). After a successful October quarter we effectively doubled sales on most of our titles and began to pay more and more authors and artists for their hard work. The reason why Horrified Press offers its contributors an overriding share of its profits perpetually is because we feel it is only right that its contributors should share in its success – success which can be seen more and more when our books enter high in online retail charts (as has happened several times recently). Our team of hand-picked, expert editors (Gavin Chappell, Suzie & Bruce Lockhart, Earl S. Wynn, Mark Slade , Ms Cinsearea and Jo- Anne Russell) have worked on many projects in their writing careers and now play an important part in setting down our legacy – for the future of all authors and artists currently in the marketplace and to come.
You know, I’ve been thinking lately on our mission statement -what our original goals were when I first embarked upon this project. They were simple…
Work with authors on their submissions and involve them in the final product (which includes the forwarding of digital tear sheets & two rounds of editing).
Protect the work of those whom entrust their pride and joy to our stable.
Create a well-presented, cost-effective product that would appeal to fans of the genre and best showcase the authors work within.
Give horror its bite back!
Well, after a year of hard work – sweat and tears – I can honestly say we’ve lived up to all of those statements. You know, I heard someone say recently that running a small press is the worst get rich quick scheme anyone can have. It made me smile because the person that said that was absolutely right, however, that’s not why we do what we do. We do what we do because we LOVE what we do.
I would like to formally extend my heartfelt thanks to the authors, artists, advertisers and editors whom have worked in different ways to support our first steps in year one. Guess what? Year two’s going to be even better.
You can check out our titles using the link below:

Nope. Not linking.

In summary, I am honored to be grouped together with three guys that have integrity and ethics and are just all around great men. I have been friends with Max for a while now, but have gotten to know Todd and George within the last few days. Feel free to associate me with them. And please, start more groups like ours.

 

Here is George’s take on the situation

http://cotronis.com/horrified-press/

AND

Max’s revoltdaily.org post

http://revoltdaily.org/on-the-subject-of-contributor-copies/

 

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