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Monday, May 6, 2013

Guest Post: A Notice To Damnation Books by Tim Marquitz

Tim Marquitz is an author who I discovered back in 2009 via his debut book. Since then I've admired his growth as a writer and also gotten to know him on a personal level. For the past year and more Tim has been trying to get his earlier books back from his previous publisher who have been nothing short of shady in their dealings with him and others. So here's the full post that went up on Tim's blog last week as he recounts why Damnation Books needs to get their act together and act professional:

After filing a justice court suit against Damnation Books on November 15, 2012 for multiple counts of breach of contract, I won a small financial judgment against the publisher on April 26, 2013. The judge, however, did not feel it was within his power to rescind the disputed contracts despite finding in my favor, referring me to a higher court. (My previous post on the subject can be found here.)

However, as of my Q1 2013 royalties, I have met and well exceeded the contract terms set by Damnation Books regarding the early termination of my works, Resurrection and At the Gates.

As per Damnation Books’ contract terms (bolding mine):
 § Once a work has gone into editing and forward and the Author wishes to terminate this contract prematurely, a penalty shall be charged to the Author to cover costs of staff and artists for work already performed. This fee shall be at a minimum of $50.00 to a maximum of $1000.00 to be determined by the time spent on preparing the work for publication and money recovered from sales of the work.

On June 6, 2012, after receiving my request for termination on April 14, 2102, the lawyer for Damnation Books, Kevin Veestra, set the fee for each of my contracted works through Damnation Books. He stated (again, bolding is mine):
 § “The Company has calculated the costs and time spent which the termination fee is intended to cover and in each instance the termination fee is $1,000.”

As of February 28, 2013, Resurrection has earned Damnation Books (per their official royalty statements less 10% editing fees deducted by contract terms) a total of $2682.02. At the Gates has earned them $2257.60. Both amounts are substantially over the $1,000 termination fees set by Damnation Books, effectively paying above and beyond the requisite (and excessive) fees for release (These numbers do not reflect profits from March or April 2013).

As such, the rights for both Resurrection and At the Gates should be returned to me as the thresholds for release have been exceeded, and then some, and my request for termination persists.

Therefore, I file this notice publicly as a statement of intent. It is on Damnation Books to do the right thing and release the rights to these two books within a reasonable time frame, per our signed agreements, or I will take further legal action against Damnation Books to force them to abide by their contract terms. (Damnation Books has been notified of this privately and has chosen to ignore my lawful request.)

NOTE: Mark Edward Hall is another author who is experiencing similar complex issues with Damnation Books. For an account of his hassles, kindly head over to his blog. Its been more than 72 hours and Damnation Books still are avoiding the issue. Cover pic is a screenshot of the Damnation Books listing on the Preditors and Editors website taken on 05/05/2013.


Anonymous said...

It's pretty sad how many publishers are making the news lately for being incapable of abiding by their own rules and for treating authors really unfairly. I don't know if there's just more coverage of it lately or whether it's a growing trend, but either way, it makes me quite unhappy. I'm sorry to hear that so many wonderful authors are having a hard time of it right now.

The Reader said...

@ Ria

You nailed it, these folks are supposed to helping these new authors but they are just preying on their newbie nature to make a quick buck. Quite shameful indeed!


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