I know folks are getting tired of this drama. Shit, I’m tired of this drama, but I have no intention of giving up the fight. That’s exactly what Damnation Books wants. They want me to get tired and give in, let them have their way despite contract violations and an unwillingness to deal fairly with me. Here is yet another example of their stubbornness, proving once more that Damnation Books isn’t in this fight for money they’ve fairly earned. It’s all about pride and being spiteful, punishing an author they are unhappy with.
On May 14th, I sent this to Kim Richards:
Let’s end this so we can both go our separate ways. Set a reasonable, and legitimate, termination fee, taking into account the profits you’ve earned on my books, and I’ll pay it. I’m also willing, once again, to rescind my editing contracts with you to sever ties completely, giving you the 10% fees on the 15 editing contracts for the life of those contracts. These fees and the extra profit you’ll earn from the editing contracts is well beyond recompense for the time, effort, and money you’ve put into producing my books. I’ll also take no steps to claim or defend the judgment filed against Damnation Books if you’re willing to offer fair and reasonable terms.
If I don’t hear from you by May 31, 2013, I’ll assume you have no interest abiding by your contracts and will take the next step to reclaiming my rights.
As has been the norm, Kim ignored this offer. She has no interest in releasing an author who wants nothing to do with the press, preferring instead to ignore the problem as if that will make it disappear. My latest offer provides her (again) with the possibility of earning hundreds, and possibly thousands, of dollars in profit on top of the thousands she’s already earned through the sales of my books. And still she won’t respond.
I could simply cave and pay her off, but what assurances do I have that she’ll abide by her contracts then when she won’t do it now? None, sadly. What’s the point of a contract if the contract writer can’t be bothered to follow its terms? What good is a business that won’t treat its clients fairly? I’ll tell you: they’re worthless.
The wheels are in motion for yet another legal showdown between Damnation Books and myself. I intend to give Kim Richards one final opportunity to treat fairly with me when I see her in person at World Horror Con on the 15th of this month. If she chooses to dismiss my legitimate claims again, we will continue our discussion in the courts, right alongside the other cases she has pending for contract violations with other disgruntled authors she’s chosen to dismiss.
I apologize for making all this drama public, but there’s a reason for it. While it does nothing to persuade Damnation Books or change the course of our conflict, it’s clear I’m not the only author being treated unfairly by this publisher. If my public statements help embolden other authors to fight instead of simply give in, I’ve accomplished something good. If putting this argument out there keeps other authors from falling into similar traps, I’m happy with that.
There are far too many excellent publishers out there who deserve your respect to fall in with a company like Damnation Books. Be wary of such publishers whose only concern is themselves. You can do better.