Highland Press authors have complained about lack of communication with its publisher, with all communication being diverted to a secret co-publisher, DeborahAnne MacGillvray. Ms. MacGillivray is an author published by Highland Press (among other presses including Dorchester and Kensington) and also serves as a cover artist for Highland Press.
Among other things, Highland Press is purported to do the following:
- Banning authors from author loops for speaking out against Highland Press
- Sending emails to subsequent publishers of those “problem” authors demanding that stock photography that the author purchased for the covers of her Highland Press books not be used by subsequent publishers. These stock photos can be used, as we know, by every publisher out there. I’m not sure on what basis Highland Press claims that stock photo cannot be used.
- Using MacGillivray’s position to delete reviews she has provided to these problem authors and deleting reviews of the author’s friends. (Of course, these are MacGillivray’s reviews and she is entitled to do whatever she wants with them).
A corollary to this is that the co-publisher uses a Yahoo Group list, Ladies in Waiting, change her Amazon reviews. When MacGillivray she gets a bad review, she tells the loop to click on the link to the Amazon page and vote “no” and then “report abuse”. With enough of those “report abuse” entries, the review is then removed. This was complained about on the Amazon board as well. One fan related a run-in with Ms. MacGillivray on a message board about the deleted reviews.
one thing macgillivray made a point of lecturing me about was the fact that the negative reviews were affecting folks livelihoods…like kids won’t eat and puppies won’t get fed, etc. i took issue with that because if reviews were here for the express purpose of putting money in the author’s pocket, the over-gushing reviews would be the only ones accepted by amazon or anyone else for that matter. it’s not my problem as the consumer to make sure an author eats. it’s my responsibility as a consumer to be honest about my feelings regarding a product so that the next consumer is educated enough to make a decision for or against the purchase of a product. period.
another poster here had her negative review for one of macgillivary’s books deleted and macgillivary defended that move too. in the end though, i find it difficult to believe this is some arbitrary thing when it seems the only author who is coming up in this discussion OVER AND OVER AGAIN is macgillivary.
As a reader, I am far more disturbed about the last item which appears that MacGillivray is using her position to game the Amazon review system. I’m sure that there are dozens of authors who would like negative reviews to be removed. Other fans and authors find this practice disturbing as well.