Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Readers of New Concepts Publishing Books Beware

According to its owner (or one of its owners), NCP does not engage in any editing of its books.

"Editing-the focus of editing in this company has shifted with the times. We spent years trying to help new authors perfect their writing skills by paying editors to tweak the books. Some authors actually appreciated this. The vast majority did not or they just didn’t have enough understanding to comply with suggestions. Beyond that, the salability of the books is so unpredictable, I felt uncomfortable requesting authors to put a lot of time into making changes that might not pay off in the end. Either way, the flightiness of authors also encouraged us to stop wasting time and money on trying to tweak the books to increase their marketability. We rarely do anything to the books beyond corrections of errors any longer. This considerably streamlines the edit-to-release time frame and allows us to adhere to the schedule more closely without having to continually reschedule books." (c) 2008 Madris, owner of New Concepts Publishing.

Via Karen Scott’s blog which is down.

This information is important to me, as a reader, because I believe that the process of publishing is a team effort and one that includes good editing.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and 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


  1. Kalen Hughes
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 14:02:56

    We spent years trying to help new authors perfect their writing skills by paying editors to tweak the books. Some authors actually appreciated this. The vast majority did not or they just didn't have enough understanding to comply with suggestions.

    *jaw hanging open*

  2. Jayne
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 14:03:39

    Either way, the flightiness of authors also encouraged us to stop wasting time and money on trying to tweak the books to increase their marketability.

    Do these people have any respect for their authors?

  3. Jackie L.
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 14:07:27

    Sybil has a link to Karen’s new temp addy on her site.

  4. Jane
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 14:10:20

    The temp addy is but it doesn’t have the email from the owner there.

  5. Teddypig
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 14:21:34

  6. Kathryn S
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 14:22:38

    I’m just speechless — and that takes a lot. Believe me.

  7. Allison Brennan
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 14:30:46

    I’m with Kathryn. Speechless. I not only appreciate and need my editor’s comments and editing, I expect it. I would panic if I didn’t receive a revision letter, then line edits.

    Stephen King says to write with the door closed and edit with the window open. I take that to mean, my first “good” draft is all me, written for me, the way the story naturally comes out. Then you send the book out to people you trust (like your agent or editor or long-time critique partner) for comments. I include editing as part of that. I, for one, get so close to the story and characters that I often miss things. And while I write *fairly* clean copy, I’m far from perfect.

  8. ilona andrews
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 14:30:53

    This is a prank, right?

  9. Angela James
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 14:35:13

    I haven’t said much directly on this topic, but I think such public awareness of something like this, said by an epublisher, is really a blow to all epublishers. I’ve been thinking a lot about that, this week. I can only sincerely hope that readers, and authors, realize there are epublishers out there who don’t hold similar beliefs.

  10. Another anonymous
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 14:36:01

    “Oh my my my my”

    The note that you’re quoting is from 2002/2003, unlike the one above, which was written this week. Since the NCP owners now write a substantial quantity of “carnal” rated stories, one assumes they no longer perceive EC books as “porn.”

  11. Patricia Briggs
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 14:43:54

    Ouch. I was talking to C J Cherryh a few years ago and we discussed how much difference a good editor makes. (I think being Carolyn Cherryh’s editor would be pretty intimidating!). And that is doubly true with newer authors.

    A few suggestions by Someone Who Understands story and writing can make a huge difference in a book — which will certainly determine whether or not a reader buys the next book by that author. Maybe it wouldn’t be instantly obvious in the sale of a single book, but the sales of a single book (unless it is a Harry Potter book) isn’t going to keep a publishing house or an author in business for long. It’s about building an audience.

    I can tell which e-publishers (and NY publishers for that matter) have good editors and which do not. I can also tell you which ones I go back to buy more books from.

  12. PasswordsRgood
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 14:44:10

    You know what she says there seems to contradict what is said in the new authors welcome kit here


    We try to start editing early on every book, though again, this is dependent on your editor. Typically, edits are light and go out around a month before release. Occasionally, to conserve time, some editors may elect to correct grammatical errors themselves to expedite release.

    If a book needs rewrites, we try to allow an author plenty of time to complete this before going on to the line edits.

    At around the same time your book is going through edits, an artist is assigned to create your cover and may or may not use your cover suggestions. Please be sure to include your art suggestions and samples when you return your contract.

    All of our artists work hard to create aesthetically pleasing cover art. Upon approval of the cover by the head of the art staff, you should then receive a copy of the cover via email for promotional purposes or notification of its placement on the sneak peek page.

    After you have received your edits, you should go over them carefully and make all changes stipulated by your editor. You will have a limit of 90 days to complete your edits and return them to NCP.

    We are working on catching up (always!) but hope to eventually get all edits out at least three months in advance. We are also looking to release books both at the first of the month and mid-month for increased exposure to readers.

  13. Nora Roberts
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 14:50:08

    I made my comments on Karen’s blog. But I’ll say again this shows a stunning lack of respect for writers and for readers. The first are too stupid to understand the editing process, and the second don’t care enough about a well-written book to make producing one worthwhile–is this person’s opinion.

    Writers are flighty, readers are unpredictible, and this publisher doesn’t see the value of the editing process when it comes to her bottom line.

    Yeah, jaw-dropping.

  14. Ciar Cullen
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 14:51:39

    Huh? No, seriously. Huh?

  15. Shannon Stacey
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 14:58:45

    I know Authors And/Or Publishers Behaving Badly is entertaining, but baiting us anonymous EC authors with a five-year-old porn accusation is just naughty, Teddy. :wink:

    And I can certainly swear to the fact Ms. James doesn’t subscribe to NCP’s editing philosophy. She spanks pretty hard with that red pen.

  16. Robin Bayne
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 15:06:32

    All I can say is that things have seriously changed since I last published with them back in 2002. On the plus side, I got an unexpected royalty check from this week.

  17. Teddypig
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 15:13:05

    Hey, I was just reading all the wonderful “gems of wisdom” found on their web server. It’s like they have no clue how Google can be pointed at a url and viola!

    But it is funny that even 5 years ago they were playing the whole Ellora’s Cave is bad bad bad porn mongers and we are “sweetness and light”.

    New and improved! Less editing, same bad taste!

  18. (Jān)
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 15:22:15

    It’s not often that I read something so stupid as to stun me, but consider me stunned.

  19. Jessica D
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 15:32:18

    “[T]he salability of the books is so unpredictable[.]”

    Oh, ya think?!

  20. Jane
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 15:34:44

    I think this whole thing is rather sad because I used to think that NCP was such a respectable publishing house – one that I wouldn’t be afraid of entrusting my CC information too. Now, not so much.

  21. Julie Leto
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 15:51:31

    Add me to the list of those stunned speechless.

    It floors me, FLOORS me, when I hear of editors speaking of authors who will not do revisions. Why? Because those authors continue, apparently, to sell. Look, I won’t do stupid revisions, but I’ve rarely been asked to do those since I’ve pretty much always worked with highly skilled and highly professional editors. But putting a book out is a team effort and those authors out there who won’t do revisions or who brag about never having revisions aren’t doing the book publishing world any favors.

    It’s funny, but when an author constantly says, “I never have revisions,” I do not think that they are perfect writers. I think they have a lazy editor. Because a book can always be made better. Always.

    Off to finish my revisions…

  22. Mel
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 16:05:13

    Wow. That’s just…wow.

    As a writer, I can’t imagine NOT wanting someone to tell me that my bra strap was showing before I went onstage.

    As a reader, I resent not being presented with the very best quality product possible for my money.

    Add me to the stunned list!

  23. Karen Scott
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 16:21:11

    I realize I could explain marketing until I’m blue in the face and a good number of the authors STILL will not understand. They will STILL be complaining that some people are treated better than others. The plain fact is that if these people actually understood marketing they would be the ones receiving preferential treatment and getting all the sales. I’d love to see all of our authors doing this, but like so many of our established authors who’ve tried to help newbies, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s a waste of my time and I don’t have a lot to spare.

    Nice. A publisher who’s too busy to help her authors. You gotta love that.

  24. Chicklet
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 16:41:48

    Man, of all the times to not have the ability to shoot lasers out of my eyes….

  25. Another anonymous
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 16:50:47

    “It floors me, FLOORS me, when I hear of editors speaking of authors who will not do revisions. Why? Because those authors continue, apparently, to sell. Look, I won't do stupid revisions, but I've rarely been asked to do those since I've pretty much always worked with highly skilled and highly professional editors. But putting a book out is a team effort and those authors out there who won't do revisions or who brag about never having revisions aren't doing the book publishing world any favors.”

    I concur. Editing is important, and I don’t think anyone’s disputing that. But I have rarely talked to an NCP author who refused to do edits. When a new author comes onto the author list, his or her first question is often, “When do I get my edits?” Most authors, both brand new and previously published, are not terribly pleased when the answer is, “Right before the book is released, assuming you get them at all.”

    As far as I can tell, NCP has NEVER done extensive edits on most of its books. Doubtless there have been exceptions, but most of their “edits” seem to be merely light copy edits. This is at least partly because NCP is perpetually behind (see the notes from 2003 linked elsewhere) and they never seem to have time to edit.

    The publisher appears to be attempting to shift blame onto the authors for their decision to stop editing manuscripts, but my feeling is that most NCP authors are more than willing to edit, and are disappointed when they get so little feedback from their editor prior to publication of the book. If NCP authors are all such divas that they won’t edit, then why are so many of them (excluding the owners, of course) published at other houses, where real edits ARE done? How do these flighty authors manage to get along with editors elsewhere?

    The obvious answer, of course, is that it isn’t the AUTHORS who are flighty:-).

  26. Julie Leto
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 16:57:10

    You know, my post sounds a bit like I’m blaming authors–and I’m not. I know that most authors are VERY open to doing edits and revisions. If I gave the impression I meant otherwise, I apologize. Not my intention.

    What I should have continued to say was that a publisher that doesn’t DEMAND edits and revisions is doing no one any favors–least of all their readers.

  27. Nora Roberts
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 17:12:22

    I’ve always tried to send in the best, the cleanest ms I can. I believe every writer who’s serious about her work and her career does.

    And I’ve NEVER had a book published that wasn’t edited. I may not always be required to do revisions or a re-write, but that ms will be edited, and I will have the opportunity to go over those editorial changes well prior to publication.

    There isn’t a writer–past, present or future–who doesn’t need an editor. The idea that the editorial process can be skipped because authors don’t understand it, because readers are unpredictible, because it’s just not worth the time, effort or money is beyond absurd, and says to me–clearly–it’s the publisher who doesn’t care about quality.

  28. Patricia Briggs
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 17:31:07

    Actually, I’ve never met a published author who isn’t really happy to have a good editor to work with. I’m sure they’re out there, but I’ve met a lot of authors.

  29. Liviania
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 17:34:21

    The vast majority did not or they just didn't have enough understanding to comply with suggestions. Beyond that, the salability of the books is so unpredictable, I felt uncomfortable requesting authors to put a lot of time into making changes that might not pay off in the end.

    Huh. I don’t think Madris is aware of just who is unclear on the concept.

  30. Diana Castilleja
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 17:45:42

    I never signed with them, for good reason. One of my closest writing galpals is with them. Her issues were horrific. Wrong cover, no edits, no communication. Knowing from being published at the same house at one time, and seeing her works elsewhere, I know she wouldn’t be lying to me about these issues.

    I saw the cover she had approved, only to find the incorrect one was on site. She was ashamed that the edits weren’t done. She knew the book wasn’t perfect, albeit clean definitely. I’d smack her silly otherwise. But to call me in tears over these issues and lack of respect is deplorable in any business.

    I’m glad that the real side of NCP is being brought to task. I’m heartbroken that the authors are being blamed in a steady stream of finger pointing by the management. The facts speak for themselves, and in magnitude.

    One of the reasons a police investigator questions multiple witnesses for an accounting of a crime is to get a thread of common answers to pinpoint a fact to. If multiple authors have written in with their complaints and they all say nearly to exactly the same thing, it would appear to me that there is a thread of truth to these statements. The problem is that thread is now thick enough to support the entire Golden Gate Bridge aloft it is so solid.

  31. Ann Bruce
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 18:05:13

    No one wants their books labeled as porn and no one wants to be associated with such sites as Ellora's Cave-‘even the authors who write for them prefer to remain anonymous.

    Uh, Ellora’s Cave author here. And not ashamed to admit it.

    And, no, I didn’t submit to every e-publisher out there and get rejected by them and then had to slink to EC. I’ve only submitted to EC.

    TP – Just realized that letter is 5 years old…but I’m going to leave my original comment anyway.

  32. Teddypig
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 18:31:39

    Don’t worry Ann,

    They never took it down so I think they deserve what they get.

  33. Lisa
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 18:32:37

    Maybe the salability is so unpredictable because of the BAD AND NONEXISTENT EDITING? No, really?

    Really, as a reader I’m completely insulted that they would want me to pay for a non-edited book. Not to disparage authors, but having another set of eyes is often a good thing – to help fine-tune writing, make suggestions to improve and tighten plot, and to just catch those typographical errors and grammar stuff. Stuff, incidentally, that can agitate readers.

    The editor/author relationship can get stressful. It’s a sometimes combative relationship, but at the end of the battle, when the debris and chaos has cleared, as a beautiful gem of a book that both can be proud of. Without that relationship, books would just suck.

  34. Keishon
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 19:25:13

    Consider me warned – I would browse through their selections once upon a blue moon. Wow.

  35. Julie Leto
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 20:04:13

    I rarely blame authors when I find what I consider to be editing mistakes. I blame the editors, line and copy and proofreaders. Authors are often very close to their own work, having read scenes over and over and over and suffering from the fact that our brains often see words that are not there because we know what we meant. Mistakes happen. But I figure it’s my job to write the story (and turn in the cleanest manuscript I can, of COURSE) but it’s an editor’s job to edit. And like I said, every one of the editors I’ve worked with has done their job. And still, mistakes get through.

    But to discount the value of editing is an insult to the readers and I’m floored that any publisher, e- or otherwise, would entertain this notion. I mean, it’s been hours and I’m still FLOORED.

  36. CJ England
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 20:06:18

    I always make sure I send in a manuscript as clean as I can make it. I’ve gone over it until my eyes bleed, and then had my proofers read it as well. But, as much as I dislike edits (and I admit they aren’t my favorite part of the process), I know without a doubt that I need them. And I’ve learned to look forward to them as a learning experience.

    A second, third and even in some cases, a fourth set of eyes is just fine with me. I’ve had both lousy editors (editors whose idea of editing was to change my work and then lie and say I needed nothing but to get rid of the brand names), to ones that made sure my book was as tight and well written as possible and went over and above board to make it so.

    Editing is a necessary process and I honor the editors who take the time to partner with me to make my work the best it can be. I’ve learned a great deal from my editors who treat me with professionalism and respect. Actually, I’ve learned a lot from the bad ones too. What not to do! *smile*

    But to ignore the process because it is time consuming, costly, or irritating? Ridiculous!

  37. Cindy
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 20:32:39

    Oddly enough, I’ve known one of those authors who refused to do revisions, rewrites and edits. She supposedly was published (I’ve never seen her name anywhere, she never mentioned a psuedonymn (sp). We were co-writing several stories and one night she went off about me ruining stories and characters (!).

    I had repeatedly offered to rewrite, rework, and during the argument she grew haughty and said, “I don’t do rewrites.” Never spoke to her since and I took my part of the big story and rewrote it to revolve around my characters. Ended up nearly 400 pages. And much better than anything she co-wrote with me.

  38. Jana Oliver
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 20:37:09

    I worship my editor. She saves my a** on a regular basis. She takes my books to heart, streamlining the story, taking me to task when I need it. She knows my characters better than I do. I would freak if she wasn’t on my team. We share the same goal: the best book possible.

    What NCP is really saying is, “The readers will buy anything so why spend the $$ for editing?” It has little to do with the authors, but NCP’s bottom line. How insulting, not only to the readers who put down their hard-earned money, but to the authors who work so hard to do their very best.

    I’m hoping their readers vote with their dollars. There are better presses out there, both small and large, who take their work seriously and try to ensure their customers have the best reading experience possible. Clearly at NCP that’s not paramount.

  39. Rebecca Goings
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 23:43:28

    Oh, this is rich. I predict cover art will be pulled next. lol

    Clearly, the Head Honchos at NCP suffer from a debilitating case of FiM Disease while also presenting signs of advanced BS. Unfortunately, these maladies might prove fatal for NCP.


  40. Lori
    Mar 20, 2008 @ 00:25:02

    Ugh… just ugh.

  41. Kathryn S
    Mar 20, 2008 @ 01:26:22

    I love getting revisions from my editor. She always has suggestions that make me take my work up another notch. I don’t know what I’d do without her. Editors don’t just take a pencil to your book, they help you grow as an author, and I think most take satisfaction from that. I can’t imagine an editor who wouldn’t WANT to make her authors the best she/he can.

  42. katiebabs
    Mar 20, 2008 @ 07:08:48

    NCP feels uncomfortable making the books the best they can be? No editing? OMG. I am just as speechless as he rest. What an interesting meeting this must have been when they decided on this!

  43. Sheryl Nantus
    Mar 20, 2008 @ 07:10:34

    wow… just… wow…

    what’s that quote about believing ten impossible things before breakfast?

    *dazed look*

  44. Bernita
    Mar 20, 2008 @ 07:23:25

    If any editor did not suggest revisions to anything of mine I would think – no, know they were nuts.

  45. Kate Scott
    Mar 20, 2008 @ 08:18:26

    This is really interesting. I read the original whole post on Karen’s blog (think if it hadn’t been so jaw-dropping I would have fallen asleep on my keyboard), and I still can’t believe it.

    As an editor, I’ve worked with 20-odd authors. And I’ve had ONE author refuse to edit. ONE out of all of those. So yes, those authors who think their work is absolutely perfect and nothing needs to change do exist, but from my experience they’re few and far between. Most authors understand (see that, Madris?) that a fresh eye needs to look at the manuscript, and most are grateful that issues were caught before the books went up for sale. Because you know what? If an editor hadn’t caught it, a reader would have.

    In all honesty, there are good and bad editors out there, just as there are good and bad writers. But to blame everything on the authors who are “too stupid to understand” editing? Deplorable.

  46. Anon76
    Mar 20, 2008 @ 09:52:04

    What a sad picture this is. I cannot wrap my mind around the fact that a publishing company would have these views.

    I mean, seriously. How many steps away from being Publish America is this company? Sure, they may not ask for money to publish your book up front, but they will do the same limited things for you and keep 60% or so of each book sale?

    The owners may not like that comparison, and granted, it’s not 100% on the mark, but then there are twists to this. What value is lost to an author when a company contracts his/her book to flesh out what appears to be a line-up of books from NUMEROUS authors? When in reality those NUMEROUS authors equate to a select group with multiple pen names.

    To me, the only benifit this company provides is being a psuedo book store. But you’ll pay a 60% or so cut to be on the shelf.

    Sad, sad, sad

    (And please, I said psuedo bookstore, which means absolutley no disrespect intended to the wonderful booksellers who are totally legit)

  47. Sheryl Nantus
    Mar 20, 2008 @ 09:57:21

    maybe I’m just overly naive, but how do these companies survive and thrive nowadays without anyone noticing?

    isn’t there ANY organization that should be monitoring these publishers?

    at this point I’d be afraid to submit to ANYONE because of the possibility of author abuse…


  48. Karen Scott
    Mar 20, 2008 @ 10:08:41

    isn't there ANY organization that should be monitoring these publishers?

    Yeah, they’re called EPIC, but they are about as much use as a chocolate fireguard.

    They’re too busy sucking up to publishers and organising their annual conference to actually do anything worthwhile.

  49. Teddypig
    Mar 20, 2008 @ 10:48:46

    they are about as much use as a chocolate fireguard.

    Shiny! I like that one.

  50. Rhonda Penders
    Mar 20, 2008 @ 13:53:21

    I very rarely speak to such things as this but I will say this is why epublishers are all judged in such a poor light. The best advice I will give to any author is to research the company you are submitting to. Talk to their authors, ask questions. How long did it take for them to respond to your query? Can you email key people and ask questions before you sign your contract? Does your email get answered in a timely manner? The way you are treated before you are contracted is a good indication of how you will be treated after. There are always warning signs of a publisher who might not be what you are looking for.

    To be honest, my jaw dropped at the comments as well.

    Rhonda Penders
    The Wild Rose Press

  51. Anonymous-with-apologies
    Mar 20, 2008 @ 17:38:19

    There are always warning signs of a publisher who might not be what you are looking for.

    Two years ago, when my 1st book was contracted, none of this was visible, much less visible-with-a-vengeance…the way it is now. NCP has been around for 12 years. Is it possible that for 12 long years the large membership of NCP authors had been muzzled and was in a stranglehold by few…preferred authors and owners/staff? Sure it’s possible but also improbable. If NCP has been a ticking-bomb, 12 years is an awfully long time for it to ‘tick’ and then just suddenly go off. It’s hard to accept that NCP as a company had no merits at any given point in its 12 years of operation. When I contracted my 1st book, I had no comparison standard for this company as to what was ‘bad’ and what was ‘good’ behavior. I am one of the authors whose emails were answered 90% of the time – the other 10% reflects now-situation when I wouldn’t be surprised if my email didn’t bounce-back to me, never mind was actually answered. It took more than a year for my book to come out from time of acceptance. Since it took 11 months for my other novels to come out with my other e-publisher, this didn’t cause me any concern. What did concern me were promises that continued to be unfilfilled with each email answered. Not knowing your book’s release date wreaks havoc with your promotion schemes and plans – and makes you look like a fool when you promote to death but the book’s release has been pushed back again by another month, and another, and another….

    My cover art came to me suddenly, unexpectedly and nearly 4 months before the actual book was available. The same day as my book was released, I received a detailed critique of it – note I said critique because it wasn’t an edit. There wasn’t time for that, according to the critiquer. Fortunately, I’m a consumate editor, in addition to having many editor-friends so my work’s fairly clean by the time it goes in for sub. Still, as Marianne, my harshest editor says, no two editors will agree which Manual of Style to use and every editor has his/her own preferences. I learn from every edit – about myself as a writer, about my editors as persons and about the craft itself. With NCP, I didn’t get a chance so I can’t say anything about the quality of their editing.

    I subbed my 2nd novel 3 months after 1st’s acceptance because that’s what NCP email said an author ought to do. Six months later, when I didn’t hear anything, I queried again. The Author Liaison replied that NCP had a hard-drive crash and many submissions were lost – re-submit directly to him. He would pass it on. I complied. A week later I got contract for it as email attachment and a curious note from Andrea that she ‘found’ my novel. I didn’t question how that was possible if there was hard-disk crash and let it go. In January, I made a delightful discovery (purely by chance) that my 1st novel was on Fictionwise. I also received cover-art for my 2nd novel and have to say I like it very much. February 4th. I receieved a sales statement and was very pleased with the volume my 1st novel sold. Royalties were 3 times as much as at my other e-publisher. And that’s my NCP experience. I’m one of still several authors who have yet to see a penny of those royalties and considering what’s been going on, my 2nd novel, with wonderful cover-art is probably in limbo.

    It’s difficult to move in any direction from my position with NCP. It’s also difficult to stand still. But the most difficult thing is that I can’t even begin to define what I want in this situation. In my opinion, that’s the real crime NCP perpetrated on quite a few of its authors.

  52. Anon, we shall write anon
    Mar 20, 2008 @ 21:28:01

    Two years ago, when my 1st book was contracted, none of this was visible, much less visible-with-a-vengeance…the way it is now.

    Precisely. In 2006, NCP was slow to communicate, but they did communicate. The checks were late, but they were always the same number of days late, so in that sense they were “on time”. ARCs were sent out for review to a long list of review sites. Large ads were run in RT. Reader events were organized. And books WERE EDITED.

    My editor was fantastic (she is now working for a different house).
    My NCP book won several awards and accolades – even from All About Romance and they aren’t easy to please. :)
    I couldn’t have done that without my editor.

    So NCP used to be a good house, and their books used to be quality products.

    I don’t understand what happened in 2007. Everything changed. And 2008 has only gotten worse. It’s devastating.

    I feel so bad for everyone….including my poor little hostage book. I know that’s probably a selfish thought. But it’s a good book – I only hope people will remember to read it a few years from now when it gets re-printed somewhere else.

  53. An Editor for an Epub
    Mar 21, 2008 @ 09:47:32

    As Marianne, my harshest editor says, no two editors will agree which Manual of Style to use and every editor has his/her own preferences.

    Um, two editors who work for the same publisher should certainly always agree which Manual of Style to use. The epublisher I work for (which expects its editors to do three editing passes on each manuscript) has an in-house Style Guide to which editors and authors are expected to adhere. True, there are some editing changes that I suggest to authors that may be a matter of my personal preference, but when it comes to grammar, spelling, etc.–the Style Guide rules.

    I want to add that while I am a published author at the house for which I edit, I got the editing job after my first book was accepted for publication. Since I am not an acquiring editor, my position in no way assures that my submissions will be accepted for publication, nor is having an “in” the reason I took the editing job. (Call me weird, but it’s really just that I like releasing my inner high school English teacher.) I do have a different “nom de plume” in my guise as an editor and an author, primarily because I have two very different purposes in each persona and separating them is good business sense.

    When it comes to NCP and their lack of editing standards, I could have told you they didn’t do much (if any) editing of their books without having read a single one. How? Why, by reading the excerpts! If I can find five or six glaring errors in a 500-word excerpt from a published work posted on an author’s website and find the same errors in the excerpt on the publisher’s site, I know it was never properly edited.

    There are good epublishers out there. The house I work for hasn’t been mentioned on either side of the ledger, and I’d prefer to keep it that way, hence, my anonymity. But if you want your work held to a high editorial standard, I suggest that you can find out a lot by reading the excerpts on publisher websites. It’s pretty instructive.

  54. Jana Oliver
    Mar 21, 2008 @ 18:46:34

    I have to admit that’s how I judge whether I’ll take a gamble on a small press or self-pubbed book – the book blurb or the sample chapter. Or on a NY-pubbed book, for that matter. If you can’t get through that example without typos or without sloppy sentences, you’ve lost me. Picky? Sure am. Not only is it $$ spent, but it’s time.

    I know that when I shuffle off this mortal coil, St. Peter will not look down at me, consult his big book and credit back all those hours I wasted on badly executed books. Pity.

  55. Bad Apples « The Not-so-deep Thoughts
    Mar 22, 2008 @ 02:30:47

    […] 2008 at 12:00 am (Writing) (E-publishers, Ellora’s Cave, Small Publishers) With the dust-ups over New Concepts Publishing and Torquere Press going on at Karen Scott’s blog and Dear Author, Emily Veinglory put out a […]

  56. Lena Austin
    Mar 24, 2008 @ 22:03:45

    I cannot believe any reputable publisher would totally forego editing, no matter how clean a manuscript gets turned in to them. Every manuscript must go through some sort of change. No one is perfect.

    I personally adore my editors. They may slice and dice my work as needed, because I’m selling a product to them that cannot be perfectly suited to the changing needs of my publishers. I accept the need for editing as part of the process of doing business.

    Oh, well. Not my problem. I’m going back to work. Deadlines. Gotta love ’em.

  57. AnonymousNCPer
    Mar 25, 2008 @ 16:39:54

    The issues at NCP are definitely a sign that the company is about to implode. They weren’t always this way. And the owner Madris appears to be mentally ill based on my recent interactions w/ her. That may be the reason the company is in so much trouble. (Or maybe she’s mentally ill b/c her company is collapsing—who knows, it’s a chicken-and-egg question).

    Madris & co. have recently been very upset that many of their top-selling authors (me included) have been jumping ship and taking contracts with big NYC print houses. The fact that the NCP (non-negotiable!) contract is so crappy is probably a good indication why so many of their top-selling authors have left. (I know I got screamed at via email when Madris & co found out I had gotten contracted by a large print house—-she said something along the lines of “you ungrateful print authors are destroying my company!”.)

    I think in the early days, NCP published the kind of novels that mainstream print publishers weren’t interested in (i.e., paranormal, urban fantasy, erotica) so those types of authors had nowhere else to go. Now that the print houses can’t get enough paranormal/UF/erotica, those authors have learned that there are better contracts/royalties/editors to be had than what NCP has to offer. NCP is only getting second- and third-tier new authors as a result. And NCP is scrambling for revenue and screaming bloody murder at the fact its sales are declining and their top authors are abandoning them.

    I think they must be having a lot of trouble paying their bills because of all this, and are probably too busy dodging collectors and landlords to pay attention to their authors.

    FWIW, I have a couple titles w/ them, and have earned respectable royalties by ebook standards. But their editing/administration has deteriorated beyond repair. I think they will be out of business by the end of the year.

  58. AnonymousNCPer
    Mar 25, 2008 @ 16:45:09

    I should add that my NCP titles DID get thorough edits. But I was given less than 48 hours (!) to approve them—-when my contract stated I got 90 days to approve edits. They threatened to pull my book if I didn’t comply.

  59. Jana
    Mar 25, 2008 @ 16:47:02

    Fortunately, not all small presses are upset when their seasoned authors move on to NY. My publisher knows I will take that step eventually and actively encourages me to do so. She’s knows that’s how things work in this industry. The series I’ve created for her will benefit as my “star” rises. Backlist does sell. It’s short sighted to ignore the truth. Besides, I hope to continue penning the occasional book for my current publisher. She gave me a start after all.

  60. Jana
    Mar 25, 2008 @ 16:48:00

    48 hour to approve the edits. Geez… Don’t get me started…

  61. AnonymousNCPer
    Mar 25, 2008 @ 17:05:44

    And the fact that NCP wants to “streamline” its backlist to get rid of titles by “troublesome” authors just shows they do not understand how the business works. If they hung on to and better-promoted the backlist by the authors who have moved on the NYC it would be a good revenue stream for them.

    Just shows how the owner Madris has lost touch w/ reality. She is vengeful, irrational, and mean, IMHO.

  62. Ellen Ashe
    Mar 25, 2008 @ 22:05:25

    Just what are they all smoking at NCP?? I don’t ever want to be standing down wind.

  63. Kathryn Taylor
    Apr 01, 2008 @ 20:13:50

    I was one of the first authors published by NCP. Andrea DePastuer was the editor and she was fantastic to work with. The whole publishing process was a great adventure. But I was new to the game and easily duped. When my novels were published without any editing I was mortified. I had made mistakes and thought the editor would volunteer suggestions. This never happened. I asked for help and never received it. I was eager to learn and to change and did everything asked of me – but editing and making changed did not enter into the agreement. Since the early days NCP has moved toward publishing novels with a high level of sexuality. I don’t write this genre and I am happy to have my novels withdrawn from the backlist. Good luck to them – they made e-publishing a force to be reckoned with and I wish them well.

  64. Cher Gorman
    Sep 26, 2008 @ 16:19:44

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