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Official Statement from RWA on Triskelion’s Dis-Invitation

Dear Jane,

Thank you for offering me the opportunity to comment.

You are most likely aware that RWA's mission is to advance the professional interests of career-focused romance writers through networking and advocacy. In striving to fulfill its commitment to members, RWA established standards that publishers must meet to participate in RWA programs such as the annual conference. RWA recognition generates a significant amount of credibility and free exposure to the publishers who appear on RWA's list.

The following statement, which explains in part RWA's reasons for reviewing recognition standards was included in a notice sent to RWA members on March 20, 2007:

RWA standards for publisher recognition determine which publishers will be allowed to attend RWA’s annual conference and listed in RWA’s Market Update to solicit works written by RWA members. Unfortunately, the standard has been construed as a “stamp of approval” by RWA. That was never the purpose in setting the standard.

A publisher’s recognition by RWA is not a guarantee of an author’s publishing success. RWA’s standards merely indicate that the publisher pays royalties, is not a subsidy or vanity press, has been in business a minimum length of time (1 year) and has sold a minimum number of copies of one romance title (1500 hardcover or trade paperback or 5,000 in any other format). Each author must evaluate the company, carefully read the individual publisher’s contract and decide if they are willing to accept the conditions put forth in the contract.

Confusion as to the meaning of RWA-recognized status was not the only reason RWA's board felt the need to review current standards. Standards are something most associations must review regularly because of changes within the industries each association represents.

I can confirm that due to the ongoing problems authors are reporting with Triskelion Publishing, and the company's latest announcements regarding print titles, changes in editorial staff and management, the invitation for Triskelion Publishing to participate in workshops and editor appointments at RWA's 2007 conference in Dallas has been rescinded.

Sincerely,

Allison

Allison Kelley, CAE
Executive Director
Romance Writers of America, Inc.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

58 Comments

  1. Robin
    May 16, 2007 @ 12:12:16

    Okay, so authors have to judge the worth of a publisher for themselves, except in the cases where the RWA does it for them? I’m still confused.

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  2. Jane
    May 16, 2007 @ 12:15:57

    My understanding, and someone can correct me if I am wrong, is that RWA publisher recognition means that a publisher pays its royalties in a timely fashion, delivers on its contractual promises to its authors, and has a bona fide method of distribution. These are things that an author may not be able to find out on her own or at least, have trouble finding out on their own.

    Triskelion, as an RWA publisher, can go to conferences and host editor engagements with prospective authors and this year, because of Triskelion’s problems, it is not going to be allowed the opportunity to get new authors THROUGH RWA.

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  3. Sloane Taylor
    May 16, 2007 @ 13:01:10

    I’ve been with Triskelion just short of a year and have had no complaints. My royalties always came in a timely fashion and seemed to be spot on. Triskelion has honored their part of the contract and I have as well.

    Why does RWA feel they must abuse the smaller publishers? Why are they so scared to say anything to Harlequin over some of their practices throughout the years? I might be way off here, but is it the age old problem of the money that rumors say Harlequin has pumped into RWA? Or could it be just a few jealous divas who can’t stand not being pampered every time they turn around?

    Not looking for a fight, just voicing an opinion.

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  4. Caro
    May 16, 2007 @ 13:27:18

    RWA publisher recognition has twisted and morphed since it was first begun back in the early 90′s, but at the very heart of it was originally a situation that bears some strong resemblance to the one with Triskelion. Back in ’93, Meteor/Kismet, who’d made a big splash at the previous conference as a brand new publisher (with no track record because they were so new), closed their doors about a week and a half before conference began. There were some authors who didn’t learn the news until they arrived in St. Louis.

    A hue and cry went up from the membership: “Why didn’t you check these people out? How could you let them solicit RWA members without a track record. That’s where publisher recognition was really born — to help judge who and who wouldn’t have space at National.

    Unfortunately, the standard has been construed as a “stamp of approvalâ€? by RWA. That was never the purpose in setting the standard.

    That Meteor/Kismet was granted space at the conference was construed by many to be a stamp of approval by RWA — and this was before the rise of ebooks and the range of small presses we see today. There have always been those who don’t check closely, but just dive in as the opportunity presents itself. Some might feel the RWA’s decision was harsh, but I can see the reasoning behind it.

    Sloane, I’ll believe you when you say your experience with Triskelion has been a good one and they have honored their promises. I’d previously heard good things about the company myself. However, I also know people who’ve had books that were supposed to go into paper printing within the next couple of weeks who are very upset about the recent turn of events. It’s a complicated situation and I hope they’re able to deal with the problems and keep on going.

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  5. Posting anon
    May 16, 2007 @ 13:28:39

    Or it could be that HQ authors actually get covers that reflect their books, releases when promised, editors who don’t patronize them, and make decent money? That HQ doesn’t “sell books” on an unnavigable website with no search function? That HQs website doesn’t prominently feature one author and not others?

    Don’t imply those who are unhappy with Trisk are all divas who expect pampering. Some of us just expected professional treatment, and didn’t get it, and some of us are published with other companies as well and so know what to expect.

    RWA isn’t abusing anyone. They’re doing what our dues pay for and looking out for their members.

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  6. Sloane Taylor
    May 16, 2007 @ 13:43:03

    Like I said, I’m not looking for a fight – just voicing an opinion. I’ve heard many things over the years from editors and author friends who have worked with Harlequin. It’s the same as the rumors about Triskelion.

    Not all the covers have reflected the books at HQ, not all releases have come when initially promised. Those things happen in all houses. It’s the nature of the beast that schedules change. As for the website I’ve not had a problem although I’ve heard some people have. As for featuring authors – it’s my understanding everyone will get their opportunity.

    Not all authors will be happy at every publisher. We all know and must accept that. I’m just saying in my time with them, they’ve been good.

    It leads me to wonder if you’re so happy every where else, why did you ever have a book released through Triskelion. Also, why are you hiding behind ANON?

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  7. JulieLeto
    May 16, 2007 @ 13:44:22

    I agree with Anon…and Sloane, you’re VERY wrong that RWA hasn’t gone to bat for Harlequin authors in the past. They were INSTRUMENTAL in convincing Harlequin to drop the pseudonym clause. They have paid for audits of many different publishers, including Dorchester, and are even assisting in the suit against Genesis Press on behalf of publishers.

    When RWA members in good standing alert RWA about valid complaints that are backed up with PROOF, RWA does what it can to help their members. That is one of their purposes as a trade organization and so far, they’ve been very effective.

    Clearly, you are happy with Triskelion, but other authors are not and have taken the steps to file formal complaints with RWA. That means they backed up their claims. This isn’t divas or whiners…these are your fellow authors with legitimate concerns about a publisher that has RWA recognition. As such, the publisher has responsibilities to act on their promises. If they don’t, RWA is well within their rights to keep them from attending their conference.

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  8. JulieLeto
    May 16, 2007 @ 13:48:22

    I’m sorry…I said on “behalf of publishers” when I should have typed “on behalf of members.”

    I don’t know about covers and I can tell you that RWA is not reacting on that piddly complaint. They’re reacting to contractural promises not being kept, I’m sure.

    And in case the pseudonym clause sounds like small potatoes, it wasn’t. Many authors, myself included, had to make the choice between not signing over their rights to their name or not having a contract. Also, authors who’d built a name at HQ could not then go to a publisher with that same name, essentially having to start over. It was a huge control issue and made for many contentious contract negotiations. I was thrilled with RWA stepped up and worked with HQ to solve what had been a huge problem for many authors.

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  9. Sloane Taylor
    May 16, 2007 @ 14:01:44

    I agree, Caro, I hope things do work well. They are a good house. Thanks for the reminder on Meteor/Kismet. I’d forgotten about it.

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  10. Sloane Taylor
    May 16, 2007 @ 14:05:43

    Julie, you’re right on the pseudonym clause. It was a huge issue and RWA did good on that. My comments about the disgruntled authors from Triskelion is because I have had privy to their emails since I began with Trisk. I stand by my original statements. Most of them caused trouble CONSTANTLY.

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  11. Karmela
    May 16, 2007 @ 14:05:56

    Ms. Kelley — thank you for taking the time to clarify RWA’s position. Is it then safe to assume that Triskelion is just a hop, skip and a jump away from having their status as “RWA Recognized” removed? If so, what will happen to the PAN status of authors pubbed through Triskelion?

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  12. Posting anon
    May 16, 2007 @ 14:15:26

    Sloane, are you saying you’ve been privy to private emails authors have exchanged with management, or communications they’ve exchanged with their editors?

    In what way is that professional, that a publisher would share that sort of thing with you?

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  13. Sloane Taylor
    May 16, 2007 @ 14:19:52

    No, dear, the emails the authors sent to me privately with their petty comments, asking me to support them, and/or comment. I chose to ignore all of them because they were petty.

    It seems to me you are dying to start trouble and I just don’t understand why.

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  14. Karen Nicols
    May 16, 2007 @ 14:22:25

    Nature of anonymous posting – talk crap but hide behind a veil of secrecy cause they’re too chicken to put their money where their mouth is.

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  15. JulieLeto
    May 16, 2007 @ 14:31:43

    Sloane, I’m sure you were privvy to private emails if you say so…but rest assured that RWA is not acting on pettiness. Before they acted, they likely consulted their attorney and reviewed a mound of paperwork. They would not do anything without having facts of contractural problems. Nothing petty would even get their attention.

    I also want to say that authors who “start trouble” are usually not doing so for no reason. It’s the authors who sit back and let a publisher wipe their feet on them that make the most trouble, IMO. I’m NOT SAYING YOU did that…I’m saying that it is not safe to assume that those who complained are simply troublemakers. My many years in publishing tell me that in almost all cases, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. And it’s RWA’s job to at least investigate and try to give the most up to date information to their members about publishers they might submit to.

    And there’s the rub–RWA can only provide so much information. The rest is up to the author. Only authors are responsible for the contractural choices they make. But if a publisher agrees to certain terms, then they are obligated to live up to them.

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  16. Sloane Taylor
    May 16, 2007 @ 14:32:23

    I agree with you Karen. I asked her why she was hiding behind ANON, but she avoided that question.

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  17. trisk author
    May 16, 2007 @ 14:36:18

    I’m a Trisk author, and I can only speak for myself. No where in my contract was I guaranteed a print release. Am I disappointed that my release will be delayed, yes. Note I said delayed, not cancelled. Am I going to pitch a fit about it?? No way, because I knew going in that there was a possibility it may never go to print.

    My problem with the statement from RWA was their belief that because 60% of Trisk’s authors are RWA Members, its because Trisk trolled the conference to sink their clutches into unsuspecting writers. I found trisk because I’m a reader as well as a writer and I felt that is where my books would fit best. I’ve never been to a conference, so this statement from RWA saying that Trisk received it’s authors from the conference is an erroneous assumption.

    I have a gorgeous cover, wonderful edits, and am completely happy there. The only reason my name is not listed here is because there are people who are immature enough to try to blackball me because of my beliefs. It’s a shame that I have to resort to hiding my identity because some authors seem intent on putting down Trisk and it’s current authors.

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  18. Posting anon
    May 16, 2007 @ 14:38:07

    In other words, you saw emails authors sent to you, and assume they’re the ones whose complaints RWA is listening to.

    Of course I’m anonymous. Because I have a career I don’t want damaged. That’s not chicken, it’s using my head.

    The idea that I’m a lying troublemaker if I don’t put my name to my postings is a lot more crap than anything I’m saying, which is merely to say that a lot of people had legitimate complaints. RWA did its job and took those complaints seriously, and for you, Sloane, to behave as though it’s just a bunch of sour grapes is insulting.

    I never caused one bit of trouble at Triskelion. I kept my head down, I didn’t send emails to anyone, I cheered in the Social loop just like everyone else. It wasn’t until they didn’t fulfill their contractual obligations that I decided to do something about it, and even then I didn’t start smearing Trisk publicly anywhere. So don’t tell me I’m a troublemaker.

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  19. Jane
    May 16, 2007 @ 14:48:14

    I think its safe to say that RWA doesn’t rescind the publisher invitations everyday. For them to do so, it appears that it (RWA) has some reason for doing so and the reason is to protect its members. I am no RWA fan girl (as past posts can attest) but to say that this is all the fault of no good, unhappy authors seems a bit Oliver Stone-ish.

    Triskelion made these errors and it seems like it wants to right its ship and to do so means making harsh business decisions that have ripple consequences affecting some authors quite adversely. Just because the contract didn’t promise something doesn’t necessarily mean that Triskelion isn’t in breach or committed some other tortious act.

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  20. Sloane Taylor
    May 16, 2007 @ 14:52:08

    Anon, your insecurities are showing. I never said you were a liar and if you feel you were insulted it proves more of your insecurity.

    I am entitled to my opinions in this democratic USA. You are not going to take that away from me.

    I stand by my original statements. Triskelion has been fair with me. There have been authors who have caused trouble. If they have a legitimate complaint then they did the right thing. My problem with them is that they aired it all over the internet instead of taking a proper course of action first. It proved to me they are unprofessional.

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  21. Theresa Meyers
    May 16, 2007 @ 15:00:18

    I, too, am a Trisk author. Trisk has paid ebook royalities to me on time and done an amazing job with edits and my book cover, but that doesn’t change the fact my contract DID specify print.

    So you see, every situation is different. Every contract is different. And while I totally understand and support that they need to do what they have to as a company to keep their bottom line healthy, as a small business (and every writer is a small business, just ask the IRS), I have to watch my bottom line also. Right now it’s thousands of dollars in the red for promotion on a print book that was two weeks away from the street date.

    Of course I’m disappointed. It was my first book. There were nearly 500 copies on order at Ingrams from bookstores, multiple booksignings and speaking engagements scheduled.

    Do I understand Triskelion’s position. Yes. They are a business.

    Do I understand RWA’s position? Yes. They are a service-driven organization bound to do what they can for their members. And I agree with Julie, they don’t do ANYTHING without a ton of research and paperwork, and they don’t act on trivial matters.

    If RWA felt this was necessary, then it was. Just as Triskelion felt it was necessary to restructure and make changes they needed to. Neither side is wrong. They are doing what they have to in this tight market to do their best.

    My question is why do we have to take one side or the other?

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  22. Lynne Connolly
    May 16, 2007 @ 15:22:01

    Well, unlike ‘Anon,’ I’m happy to leave my name.
    Triskelion has been instrumental, and to be precise, Gail Northman and Debbie Malone, in pushing me into the paranormal genre, something that has worked really well for me. They have given me great advice on building my career which as also panned out, and have held promotional workshops, which I’ve not found at my other publishers.
    Since a publisher has done me wrong before, I am on the alert for any malpractice. I have never received my royalties late, I have never received cover art I hated and my books have always been well edited.
    I have no complaints.
    As for the print problems – all houses, big and small have had them in the last year. Triskelion management has decided to cut back, to save the core business which has always been the ebooks.
    I don’t usually concern myself with people who post anonymously. They should have the courage of their convictions.
    But – there is a search function on the website,
    http://www.triskelionpublishing.com/bookstore/
    (on the left, about half way down the page – just under the main navigation area, which according to Anon, doesn’t exist either).
    I won’t comment on the RWA’s decision. I’m not a member (I live in the UK, and so I’m a member of the RNA). They’re a private organisation and they can say who plays in their yard or not.

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  23. CJ
    May 16, 2007 @ 15:39:30

    I’m a new Trisk author – and was a member of RWA from 1989 – 2002. The issues of print dates being cancelled/changed/delayed is a heck of a lot better than having the publisher file bankruptcy the same month your book is due out – I know this from personal experience. At least with delays and changes the book will still come out. My contract, like others, said print was a possibility – not a guarantee. I’m willing to wait for the restructure – not because of a contractural guarantee but because my experience with Trisk has been nothing but positive. OK – edits that should have been caught weren’t – I’ve read books from major houses where the color of the heros eyes changed in the middle of the book. Did RWA dis-invite (is that even a word?) a major house because of it. I know authors who had their contracts cancelled because a specialty line was being discontinued. Did RWA sanction that publisher? Writing is a solitary career with NO guarantees – regardless of who your publisher is or how diligent you and your editor are. I’ve seen covers on series roms that looked like Doogie Houser’s Evil Twin – one even focused on a pair of cowboy boots under the edge of a bed and there wasn’t even a mention of a cowboy or boots or ranch – not even the word cow in the entire book. If RWA is so concerned about the conditions of the Trisk authors – why didn’t they attempt to contact a random sampling of authors to see just how wide spread – or localized – the problems were? How many complaints does it take to get a publisher sanctioned? There were dozens of authors with Luna, Loveswept, Second Chance at Love, etc, etc, etc who had books scheduled for print who weren’t even picked up by the publishing houses who bought up these smaller lines. Did RWA remove their approved standing? Life ain’t fair – get over it.

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  24. Posting anon
    May 16, 2007 @ 15:41:26

    [quote comment="28488"]Anon, your insecurities are showing. I never said you were a liar and if you feel you were insulted it proves more of your insecurity.[/quote]

    No, it’s not my insecurity, and once you’ve been around online as long as I have you’ll know that as soon as the “they’re hiding behind anonymity” card is played, the implication that said anon is a sock puppet or just making things up to cause trouble isn’t far behind. The comment was a general one, not aimed directly at you. But thanks for the astute psychoanalysis.

    [quote]
    I am entitled to my opinions in this democratic USA. You are not going to take that away from me.
    [/quote]

    Wow, and apple pie too! Where the f*ck did I say you weren’t entitled to your opinions, or that you shouldn’t express them? I believe I even said in the other thread that everyone’s experiences are different. I haven’t cast any aspersion towards you, whereas you have repeatedly said that authors with problems are sour grapes, troublemakers, etc.

    [quote]
    I stand by my original statements. Triskelion has been fair with me. There have been authors who have caused trouble. If they have a legitimate complaint then they did the right thing. My problem with them is that they aired it all over the internet instead of taking a proper course of action first. It proved to me they are unprofessional.[/quote]

    Again, they did take a proper course of action by sending it to RWA, and I’d like to know who it was who aired their problems all over the internet, because when I was having all of my problems I looked high and low before finally finding some people I could contact who would speak to me through email–nothing public. If there’s some “Disgruntled troublemaking Trisk author” website somewhere, could you give me the url? Because seriously, where is all this stuff all over the internet? I heard a few rumors, that’s hardly a smear campaign.

    As I said before, I’m glad your experience with them has been so good. My problem is that instead of simply acknowledging that others’ may not have been, you chose to start calling people troublemakers and divas who wouldn’t be happy anywhere.

    And I was with Trisk in addition to my other publishers because I thought I would give them a try. You may only be with one publisher, but I can assure you it isn’t at all uncommon for ebook authors to have several publishers at once.

    BTW Lynn I was referring to the old website, which did not have a useable search function to my memory. Certainly you couldn’t find my book through it, nor was I ever added to their author list on the old site, even after my book had been released.

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  25. Nora Roberts
    May 16, 2007 @ 15:49:34

    ~My problem with the statement from RWA was their belief that because 60% of Trisk's authors are RWA Members, its because Trisk trolled the conference to sink their clutches into unsuspecting writers.~

    Troll? Clutches? That certainly wasn’t my take from the RWA statement.

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  26. Trisk Author
    May 16, 2007 @ 15:59:38

    I was refering to this portion:

    A recent review of your company’s website lists 154 authors of which 93 are RWA members, a clear indication that Triskelion found 60% of its authors through RWA. Due to the ongoing problems authors are reporting, and the latest announcements regarding print titles, changes in editorial staff and management, I have concluded that RWA must act in the best interests, of its members and rescind the invitation for Triskelion Publishing to participate in the workshopes and editor appointments at RWA 2007 conference in Dallas

    It just seemed to me this was an erroneous assumption that I found Trisk through RWA when it was the other way around. And like I said, this was how “I” took it. I understand RWA is doing what they feel is right, just as Trisk is doing what they felt is neccessary to keep the business going. I’m not here to weigh on either side, just letting others know my experience, as that is all any of us can go by.

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  27. Nora Roberts
    May 16, 2007 @ 16:06:06

    Yes, I would agree that the statement indicates the asumption that the 60 percent was found through RWA connections. It was the terms troll and clutches I objected to. That’s not the tone I’m reading in the statement.

    RWA did the math, came up with a stand–correct or otherwise. But nowhere in their statement did they suggest that the publisher had trolled their membership with the purpose of deceiving or taking deliberate advantage of authors.

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  28. S. One
    May 16, 2007 @ 16:08:36

    Hmm…this is all very interesting. Since HMB was brought up as an example, let me continue using them as such.

    So in essence, what you are saying is that RWA will strip HMB of it’s RWA approved status if it did the same thing as Triskelion. That is, change their policy on print runs and have a change in editorial and managerial staff. So why didn’t that happen when HMB discontinued some lines because of poor sales? Yes, I know. One can’t adequately compare a big print company who has been around for decades to a fledgling internet one who is trying to break into print. But the basic fundamental is there. The publishing house is there to make money for their authors as well as themselves. Though you haven’t specified why the print policy in Triskelion has changed, one can assume it has to do with the economics of that part of the business, whether it be lack of sales, monies owing, etc. It makes good fiscal and business sense to review parts of the business that are not performing well and do something about it. To push ahead with it whilst losing money will ultimately harm the author in the end. But like I said, you didn’t explain why there was a change in print policy so this is just conjecture.

    And on the administrative side of things. Don’t you think it is a bit arrogant to penalize a company just because there was a turnover of staff? Will HMB be penalized because an editor decided she wanted to leave for whatever reason, or because someone higher up in the hierarchy decided now was the time to leave for personal reasons? People come and go in business all the time without affecting the running of the company at all, so how is this different? And what gives RWA the right to dictate who can leave and stay in a company (well, that it is how it appears to me).

    You’ve made the statement that there has been ongoing complaints made by authors against Triskelion. So what have you done as far as investigating these complaints and working with Triskelion–a company you gave approval to–to rectify these alleged problems? You’ve said RWA was INSTRUMENTAL in convincing HMB to drop the pseudonym clause of their contract, which implies you worked WITH HMB for the betterment of their authors, not AGAINST them. And yet there appears to be no evidence of you extending the same courtesy to Triskelion for the betterment of their authors.

    I am not saying that those authors involved did not have justifiable complaints, how can I when I don’t know what they are? But it makes me wonder why, after an alleged long history of complaints about a company, which is still growing mind you, RWA is only taking action now. One would think that if action was taken when the complaint was made, there wouldn’t be all this mud-slinging going on right now. Mud sticks and it doesn’t put Triskelion, RWA or the authors at the basis of this in a very good light.

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  29. Emily
    May 16, 2007 @ 16:14:44

    I think this certainly should not be an RWA vs. Trisk (against the Toyko skyline, presumably) thing. I am not a great fan of either but not totally anti either.

    One thing I would say is just because a publisher gave one writer a great deal doesn’t mean they wouldn’t screw over another. Unequal treatment is one of the issues in play here.

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  30. Posting anon
    May 16, 2007 @ 16:38:53

    [quote comment="28488"]Anon, your insecurities are showing. I never said you were a liar and if you feel you were insulted it proves more of your insecurity.[/quote]

    As soon as the “hiding behind anonymous” comments start, soon come the implications that anons are sock puppets or whatever. The comment about lying wasn’t directed straight at you, it was generalized.

    [quote]
    I am entitled to my opinions in this democratic USA. You are not going to take that away from me.[/quote]

    Wow, all that and apple pie too! When the f*ck did I imply in any way you didn’t have a right to your opinion? I said in the other thread “Great you’ve had a good experience, some of us haven’t”. You’re the one who started talking about sour grapes and troublemakers, as if people with complaints should just shut up.

    [quote]
    I stand by my original statements. Triskelion has been fair with me. There have been authors who have caused trouble. If they have a legitimate complaint then they did the right thing. My problem with them is that they aired it all over the internet instead of taking a proper course of action first. It proved to me they are unprofessional.[/quote]

    I other words, your problem with them was they exercised their right to free speech?
    Where, pray tell, are these huge “We hate Trisk” message boards? Because when I was having my problems and looking for another author to talk to I couldn’t find any. I heard lots of rumors that people weren’t happy, but didn’t find anyone actually running around posting terrible things about Triskelion all over the place.
    Seems to me you’re more angry at those authors who did take the right course of action–they reported the probles to RWA, who investigated and found they had merit. As a result of that and the recent financial problems triskelion is having, they decided the company should not be allowed to solicit more authors at their convention, because it’s potentially a very bad deal for the authors. It’s got very little to do with the decision to eliminate print or the management change except how those decisions and changes indicate the company is in more trouble.

    BTW, I haven’t said anything negative about you, whereas you’ve implied that I, and the other authors with problems, are troublemaking divas who wouldn’t be happy anywhere. I’m perfectly happy at my other publishers (and while you seem to think there’s something sinister in that because you only have books with Triskelion, I can assure you it isn’t at all uncommon for ebook authors, or any authors, to have more than one publisher.) I decided to give Trisk a try. It was a mistake. The end.

    Lynne, I was referring to the old website, the one you admitted stunk.

    And S One…nobody implied Trisk was “trolling the convention”. But I for one submitted to Trisk because they had RWA approval and were announcing a new print program, and I know a lot of other people who did. And I’m not sure why you’re yelling at Julie Leto for not working with RWA or whatever your problem is re the HQ/M&B situation. Do you know who she is?

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  31. S. One
    May 16, 2007 @ 16:51:52

    I agree Emily. This should not be a pissing competition between two organizations to decide who is in the right. However, and this is only my opinion, if RWA is going to hold up an example of what it did for authors at another publishing house, then they should do the same for Triskelion. They helped HMB authors with their contracts. What did they do to help Triskelion authors, and what did Triskelion do–or not do–to warranted being penalized?
    RWA’s mission is to protect authors. How are they protecting them if they do not divulge the sins of the company to its members? It appears the preditors & editors website gives out more information than the RWA.

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  32. Just my two cents
    May 16, 2007 @ 16:58:19

    What I find disconcerting about the whole thing is that no one seems to want to comment on the multiple breech of contract accusations that Triskelion is faced with.

    There are a great many authors out there who are facing worthless print contracts and since entering into a print\E-book contract with Triskelion and being e-published through them have lost thier “new” edge with another publisher. Most of these authors are stuck and Triskelion knows it.

    Sure they can return their rights, but are they going to return the “fresh” to their manuscript for other publishers? I think not.

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  33. S. One
    May 16, 2007 @ 17:03:30

    Anon,

    I did not infer that Triskelion was ‘trolling the convention’. If you would care to look, that phrase is absent from all my posts. And I was not yelling at anyone. I was asking what I thought were valid questions, highlighting points from my perspective. In fact, I was asking questions as a result of statements made on this website.

    If this is how a prospective author is going to be treated, by asking questions about organizations, then I think I’ll go back to doing what I do best. Teaching kids the importance of good manners

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  34. Trisk Author
    May 16, 2007 @ 17:09:37

    The trolling was my comment and like I said, it’s how I took it, not neccessarily how it was meant. Sigh… I think this is just completely ridiculous. Trisk has offered to let anyone out of their contracts who is unhappy, and I know that doesn’t soothe everything, but it’s a step in a new direction for authors who wish to move on. Right now, I’m happy there, even though my print book is delayed for a while as Trisk tries to overcome prior business decisions that negatively affected the bottom line.

    Let’s move on… Find a way to come to a mutually agreeable decision for all involved. Something that not only benefits RWA members not yet signed with Trisk, but those that are as well.

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  35. Lynne Connolly
    May 16, 2007 @ 17:11:05

    If there are multiple breaches of contract, then I guess Triskelion can expect a flurry of lawsuits in the near future.
    I’ve read my contracts carefully, and for my part I can’t see any breaches there.

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  36. Starry Knight
    May 16, 2007 @ 17:22:15

    [quote comment="28513"]If there are multiple breaches of contract, then I guess Triskelion can expect a flurry of lawsuits in the near future.
    I’ve read my contracts carefully, and for my part I can’t see any breaches there.[/quote]

    Perhaps not for you, Lynne. Still, there are those authors promised a print version of their book who are now faced with their print books being indefinitely delayed. I, for one, would be livid.

    I was just going over a contract offer from Triskelion. Now I’m weighing other options. I need to be able to trust the people I do business with.

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  37. Just my two cents
    May 16, 2007 @ 17:25:03

    Enough is enough. I’ve said what I came to say. I’m not going to comment on this anymore. I have books to write.

    I just have one parting comment. Way to go RWA for standing up for author’s rights.

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  38. LinM
    May 16, 2007 @ 18:21:40

    I’m not an author – I’m not a lawyer – I have no association with either RWA or Triskelion. But I find this statement from the RWA totally inadequate.

    My reactions
    a) The “old” RWA recognition standards are clearly defined – great.
    b) RWA are reviewing the recognition standards – also great – RWA authors deserve no less.
    c) The new standards or even the conditions under which Triskelion Publishing is blacklisted are NOT clearly stated in the letter to DA. Why not? Surely this decision was not taken in a vacuum? Why didn’t the RWA expect a reaction and have a professional and comprehensive response prepared? This letter to DA makes the RWA look second-rate.

    Final score: RWA – totally amateur – Triskelion – who knows.

    Should the RWA stand up for authors? Absolutely, but damn it – they should demonstrate more competence than this.

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  39. Posting anon
    May 16, 2007 @ 18:29:01

    I can confirm that due to the ongoing problems authors are reporting with Triskelion Publishing, and the company's latest announcements regarding print titles, changes in editorial staff and management, the invitation for Triskelion Publishing to participate in workshops and editor appointments at RWA's 2007 conference in Dallas has been rescinded

    Sorry, what exactly is unclear or nonsensical about that statement?

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  40. Jewel McGuire
    May 16, 2007 @ 19:00:42

    Sorry, what exactly is unclear or nonsensical about that statement?

    In my opinion that statement is fairly clear except for one thing. No where in RWA’s response is there a concise explaination as to whether they investigated the reported complaints. I would assume, hopefully, that RWA wouldn’t just take the announcement of management restructuring and rumors as a basis to recind Triskelions invitation. I would hope they would list each and every offense that lead to thier decision, at least to everyone at Triskelion Publishing who is impacted by this. But, unfortunately that is not the case.

    As an author with Triskelion, I have never experienced any of the rumored complaints. I can say my experence has been one hundred percent positive.

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  41. LinM
    May 16, 2007 @ 19:09:04

    Sorry, what exactly is unclear or nonsensical about that statement?

    I’m not saying it isn’t serious – I’m saying that it isn’t supported.

    a) What are the new RWA policies for publisher accreditation? If there is a change in policy, publishers, authors and readers need to know the new policy. Surely a professional agency should be able to articulate a new direction. Be specific.
    b) How many author complaints? How does this compare to other publishers? How does this compare to other e-pubs? Again – be specific.
    c) How many authors are negatively impacted by changes in print titles? Or better yet: How many authors who are negatively impacted by cancellation in print titles have asked the RWA for support?
    d) What are the negative consequences of changes in editorial staff and management? How many RWA members have submitted supported complaints that can be attributed to changes in staffing?

    All I want is a substantive justification of the de-certification of a publisher. Seems to me that the RWA should have issued an in-depth statement and and provided DA with a link to such statement. Anything less appears to be less than professional.

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  42. Robin
    May 16, 2007 @ 19:57:37

    All I want is a substantive justification of the de-certification of a publisher. Seems to me that the RWA should have issued an in-depth statement and and provided DA with a link to such statement. Anything less appears to be less than professional.

    I also saw the response as a non-answer. But then I find the RWA kind of a baffling creature to begin with.

    They’re not a labor union like SAG, but they “represent” authors in some capacities. They’re not a critics organization, but they have the RITA. They’re not the genre police, but they survey members regarding the acceptable definition of Romance. They have so many different fingers in so many different aspects of both the genre and the industry, plus they’re the only organization that has such an official-type status, that they almost seem imbued with some magical authority over Romance writing and publishing.

    I don’t know where that comes from, but as a total outsider to the RWA (being merely a reader), I find that I have to check myself from putting too much stock in whatever it is they are or aren’t doing about any number of things. IMO, with so many different functions, and absolutely no official competition for any of those, the RWA is bound to get caught up in a number of battles, in no small part because IMO their interests and influence is not as focused and as singular ( as a writers organization) as they sometimes insist.

    So OTOH, their refusal to let Triskelion solicit authors at the nationals is an act on behalf of RWA member authors. But OTOH, as long as people put stock on RWA admission (the stamp of approval as Allison Kelley put it), and as long as RWA is seen to have some vetting function apart from the nationals (e.g. approval for RITA submissions), their actions are going to be seen as possessing more weight and more meaning, and perhaps, more policing, than it would seem they want. It’s like they’ve become the Romance Parliament or something.

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  43. Terri Brisbin
    May 16, 2007 @ 20:08:12

    I want to say one word that will explain the most important difference between when this happens with epublishers vs mainstream print publishers — ADVANCES.
    Authors paid advances by their publishers usually keep those advances when the publisher changes its mind about series or books or publication delays or cancellations…. These advances cover the costs that authors put out for promo or the inconvenience of having their rights tied up and not being able to sell said project elsewhere….

    Terri

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  44. S. One
    May 16, 2007 @ 20:21:02

    Thank you LinM. These are the questions I would like to see answered without the vitriol of disgruntled/upset/maligned authors further muddying the murky waters.

    Terri, you raise a very interesting point. Firstly, do Triskelion authors get paid advances on their print titles? And secondly, are they obliged to return such advances with the changes in print policy?

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  45. Emily
    May 16, 2007 @ 20:25:17

    As far as I know no epublishers pay substantial advances and only one (Samhain) currently pays any advance at all. That is the distinction (e vs. print) that I think Terri was making.

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  46. S. One
    May 16, 2007 @ 20:27:26

    Thank you for the clarification Emily.

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  47. Amy
    May 16, 2007 @ 20:59:58

    I would hope they would list each and every offense that lead to thier decision

    While I think we’d all like to know exactly what the complaints were, it would’ve been completely unprofessional for RWA to list them and IMO, they were right to maintain the confidentiality of the contents of private complaints they received. One assumes that RWA is investigating the complaints, and I’m sure that an author or two have contacted lawyers in the matter. This isn’t a situation where more public airing of diryt laundry is going to be beneficial for anyone but the curious who are dying to know all the dirt. (Myself among them–I know some of the situation because I have close friends who’ve had a helluva time with Trisk, but I’d love to know ALLLLLL the dirt.)

    Enough with the name-calling, people. RWA hasn’t revoked Trisk’s publisher recognition. They’ve just said that due to the author complaints (that, no matter how much it seems some authors don’t want to believe it, aren’t without basis) and financial difficulties, Trisk can’t do their publisher spotlight and editor appointments this year. Yeah, it sucks for Trisk, but it sounds to me like they acknowledge there’s been problems and this restructure is aimed at sorting them out, but it’ll take time. I’m sure RWA will reevaluate the editor appts thing next year.

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  48. S. One
    May 16, 2007 @ 21:53:25

    And therein lies the crux of this debate. As seen today, emotions get involved–which is a natural thing–and starts coloring what we see. Does that mean the person with the complaint is a liar? Of course not. It just means that we don’t see as much as if we were a dispassionate bystander.

    For example, I know an author some while ago complained about the fact she was sacked from her publishing company just because she fought for the right to retain her voice. What she neglected to say was that she was in breach of her contract by refusing to adhere to the in-house style. Not being published, I fail to see how adhering to an accepted house style of editing would affect her voice. But I digress…the point is she was so upset, she neglected to give the entire story, and thereby, by her omission, people thought that publishing house was terrible and should be avoided.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that we only know what people choose to tell us. With everything that has been said today, and conveyed privately, are we getting the complete picture?

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  49. Valerie
    May 17, 2007 @ 06:03:12

    It looks like to me that authors really need to read their contracts carefully. Lynn Connolly has pointed out that she has, and has found no breach of contract. Print is offered, but not promised….again…not promised. If an author is told that she will be in print, then the publisher personally told her…when things change, I don’t think that means there has been a breach of contract.

    All the accusations against Triskelion seem to have been explained by either Gail, or it’s authors here on the blog. RWA needs to make an unbiased investigation, not only listen to *disgruntled* authors, but also those that are quite happy with Triskelion.

    AND…no publicity is bad publicity…if nothing else comes of this, Triskelion’s name is out there…hehe!!!

    Valerie

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  50. Caro
    May 17, 2007 @ 07:39:28

    Up thread, I wrote about events regarding the Meteor/Kismet closing. I was apparently mistaken in my comments regarding the copany and for that I am sorry. I should have stopped to check some things, but didn’t.

    My point, regardless of what sparked the situation, is that there have been members who, any time a “recognized” publisher gets into trouble, the cries go up of “why didn’t you warn us.” There are always people who don’t research and take the presence of a publisher at conference as a seal of approval and the situation is far older than ebooks, digital printing or the growth of the small presses.

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  51. Alison Kent
    May 17, 2007 @ 08:23:29

    But then I find the RWA kind of a baffling creature to begin with.

    RWA is not the only writers organization that revisits these matters and sets such policies. Mystery Writers of America has recently done the same thing.

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  52. Posting anon
    May 17, 2007 @ 23:50:24

    Valerie, why on earth would RWA investigate specific instances of fraud, theft, and/or breach of contract by asking other authors if they were happy?

    Do you investigate a crime by asking bystanders if the suspect stole their purse, too, and if they refrained from doing so the thief gets to go home instead of to jail?

    Seriously, that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. This is business, not high school. When an author at a NY pub makes accusations of missed royalty payments and breach of contract it’s news, and you know why? Because it shouldn’t and doesn’t happen with any regularity.

    Does it seriously not even bother you that your publisher has treated people this way?

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  53. Lynne Connolly
    May 18, 2007 @ 09:29:02

    Your analogy doesn’t really work.
    Instead, say an event is witnessed by 100 witnesses and the police take the word of 3 or 4 of them, over the rest. They don’t even interview the rest.
    Biased, or not? By the laws of probability, yes, biased. You investigate a crime by questioning the victim, the attacker, and as many witnesses as you can find.
    So in your case you ask as many bystanders as you can find if they saw the act and what they saw.

    It’s your choice, at the end of the day. There are no outstanding debts to authors at Triskelion, the 20 or so cheques that were drawn on the wrong account were rectified as soon as the mistake was discovered. Believe it or not, as you wish.

    Furthermore, there is no breach of contract that I’m aware of. Triskelion had to renege on some promises, but these were not contracted and they regret that sincerely, but the print program would have led to the company going bankrupt, if it had not been cut back and controlled better.

    Triskelion is a new company. I am willing to cut them some slack, especially considering the favors they have done me which I don’t really want to go into details about. I’m also aware of things they have done for other people which have gone above and beyond their obligations.

    I can think of 2 authors with NY pubs in the last 5 years or so who went public with accusations of breach of contract. One ended well, but only after protracted negotiations, the other didn’t. But I would still send submissions to that publisher, because that was 2 authors out of hundreds, and for all I know it could have been individual idiosyncrasies.

    I want numbers and I want facts. Failing that, I want the majority decision. I don’t base any business decisions on the basis of a few anonymous opinions, however they are reported and whoever they were reported to. In this case, I am making my decision on the basis of established fact – the way I’ve been treated as an author at Triskelion, and the full and frank way the situation was explained to us. Other publishers have not been so forthcoming.

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  54. Robin
    May 18, 2007 @ 09:35:23

    I want Lynne Connolly’s Richard and Rose series — any firm date as to when those will be released (and are they still going to be released by Mundania)?

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  55. Lynne Connolly
    May 18, 2007 @ 10:02:08

    I asked again this week about Richard and Rose.
    I keep trying to push them along a little bit – it’s getting very frustrating!

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  56. Robin
    May 18, 2007 @ 10:15:11

    I don’t know much about how ebooks go to press or anything, but Mundania’s website is a little difficult for me to navigate because when I pull up your name and a book on the home page, I invariably get someone else’s book info instead. Plus there’s no sense of when things are being released. It feels as if the enterprise isn’t totally together yet. But I’m still waiting for that series.

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  57. Smith-author
    May 22, 2007 @ 09:40:14

    Anon If a company is under investigation, they speak to all employees. ALL. Not just unhappy ones. Not just happy ones. ALL. It’s how a thorough investigation is done. But RWA isn’t going to do an investigation. The most they will probably do is require Trisk to reapply for recognition.

    As for staff changes, what right does RWA have to say there can’t be staff changes or staff changes are a sign of a problem. EC had a huge staff change not long ago. And what did RWA do? Nothing.

    The discussion keeps going off course every time Anon pipes up. If you want to discuss the issues, discuss them, but stop belittling everyone that’s happy there. You apparently had a bad experince, doesn’t mean everyone else has to just because you did. If you want people to take you seriously, then say your name. Tell us who you are and give us ACTUAL examples.

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  58. Pride & RWA Precedence: The Devil’s Advocate | The Naughty Bits
    Jun 25, 2009 @ 08:58:45

    [...] The Great Triskelion Publishing Fiasco so I will try to just point out the highlights. Here and Here and Here and finally Here. It is very much a cautionary tale for writers looking at ePublishing and [...]

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