Pub Rants

A Very Nice Literary Agent Indulges in Polite Rants About Queries, Writers, and the Publishing Industry

Taking It Public

STATUS: Getting this entry in late as you can see.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? NOT THE GIRL YOU THINK YOU ARE by Crowded House

Well, if you were plugged into the publishing world via the internet, you might have a little sense of how my day unfolded.

For those of you who have no idea what I’m referring to, you might want to take a moment to click on this link. My author Jana DeLeon, fed up with Dorchester and the fact that they were illegally selling copies of her ebooks long after her rights had reverted back to her, decided to take that news public.

I only have one thing to add. Despite no response to my previous calls demanding they cease and desist what they were doing, I still called Dorchester to warn them. I did not receive a return call—that is until today after the news broke.


17 Responses

  1. Heather Boyd said:

    Heard about this yesterday from another author. Dorchester should have returned your calls, should have paid their authors, and shouldn’t be selling books they have no rights to. They only have themselves to blame for the negative publicity.

  2. Marie said:

    Just shaking my head in shock and anger. I’m so glad Jana went public with it–publishers behaving like this need to have a very rude awakening.

  3. Joseph L. Selby said:

    Sara tweeted about this yesterday. I will repeat what I said there. A company may have fixed processes that only publish/remove ebooks from market every X amount of time (day, two days, week, etc). Regardless, a book can be manually removed (by way of running the process out of cycle). If they tell you they need more than 24 hours, they are lying. This should have been resolved immediately. The fact that it is still an issue means they’re intentionally stealing from you all.

    I’m surprised at Amazong/B&N. My “benefit of the doubt” thought is that they’re deluged by Dorchester claims from authors in similar situations. Given how rapidly they’ve removed other kinds of content, you would think they would have suspended Dorchester sales entirely until they have it figured out.

    If they’re just ignoring it, then fast and hard escalation will net you a result pretty quickly. A company never acts faster than when it knows it’s going to get sued and it’s going to lose (at least no company I’ve ever worked for).

  4. Eric Riback said:

    I’m wondering about the legalities for resellers – isn’t this akin to selling stolen goods? Might not amazon and others want to remove these books from their stores once they know they are selling books the publisher does not have rights to publish?

  5. Laurel said:

    I’m also curious about the legal exposure that Amazon and B&N have in all this. Dorchester has evidently decided that since you can’t get blood from a turnip they are immune to consequences but Amazon has already demonstrated that they can pull books down at the speed of light.

    If they can disable all the Macmillan buy buttons over a dispute with the publisher, I don’t understand why they can’t do the same to Dorchester titles that Dorchester does not own. That seems like a legal liability, to me. At the very least the Dorchester cut of those illegal sales should go directly to the author.

  6. Lola Sharp said:

    *shakes head*

    Im curious about the phone call after the news broke.

    Also, WTHell…Amazon and B&N should have pulled it down in seconds.

  7. Anonymous said:

    As of 10AM Pacific time the author’s website was unavailable. Hope that just means there was too much traffic and the server was overwhelmed.

  8. Anonymous said:

    I just did a search at the Kindle Store (3:45 p.m. EDT) and Jana DeLeon’s books are still available for purchase.

  9. Amy said:

    When I read about things like this It makes me realize just how naive I am about this whole industry. Perhaps I’m simply one of those people who tries to think the best of people (and companies) and so I don’t imagine thinkgs like this could happen. Just goes to show that keeping up with the industry is a full time job.

    I’m glad Jana took it public. It’s obvious that Dorchester – by refusing to return your calls and continuing to sell her novels – wasn’t going to do anything with out this sort of action on her part. I hope that things work out in her favor as quickly as possible.

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