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Red Rose Publishing Sends Legal Letter; Does Not Want Publicity

Letter One from RRP

We are writing in regard to recent statements which you have made concerning Red Rose Publishing on an internet blog entitled “Dear Author.” Your blog entry of September 2, 2010 and the statements contained therein are false and misleading and have damaged the reputation of Red Rose Publishing.   We hereby request that you remove the blog posting entitled “Red Rose Publishing Having Problems Internally?” and all related threads and/or comments, and that you refrain from future posts regarding Red Rose Publishing.

This letter is not submitted to you for publication and we do not want the same published nor the matter to receive any further attention.   Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.   Please contact our office if you have any questions.

****

My response:

Thank you for your letter regarding my blog post titled “Red Rose Publishing Having Problems Internally?“.   Before I can take any action, I will need for you to please articulate the legal basis for your letter.

Sincerely,

****

In the interest of fair use, I suppose I have to make some commentary on the above posted letter. There is no identification of which statements are false, misleading and damaging and how they are false, misleading and damaging. The implication is that the statements in the blog post that I made are defamatory which is why the “false” part of the accusation is so important.   Truth is always a defense to defamation.

Statement 1: Red Rose Publishing is having some issues conducting its regular business activities. TRUE: See Wendi Felter, Owner of RRP’s, email in which she admits that “Yeah, I am behind getting out the statements to those who have not sold $20 because I have been dealing with some serious family issues and for that I am sorry. “

Statement 2: Authors are reportedly not getting their work published within a specified time.
TRUE: From Piers Anthony site: “An author suffered bad editing by an editor who then disappeared without notice. A new editor had problems with both the manuscript and the prior editing, then claimed that requested changes had not been made, when they had been made. That editor, too moved on. In the end, correspondence about the manuscript was ignored, and the book was not published. Finally giving up, the author asked for reversion-’and was threatened with contractual breach.”

Statement 3: If rights are requested to be reverted because of this breach, the publisher is reportedly sending the authors bills for cover art and editing for those books. TRUE: Both Piers Anthony and Erecsite has warnings based on author statements that there are reports of fees. Someone at Absolute Write posted the terms of the kill fee.

Statement 4: Notices of editors and cover artists that they are quitting are reportedly being ignored. TRUE: See infra Piers Anthony “But some artists have not received statements or checks, with little or no response to queries, and there are reports of retaliation.”

Statement 5: Statements were not being sent out and emails to the publisher went unanswered. TRUE: Wendi Felter, Owner of RRP, in her email stated: “Yeah, I am behind getting out the statements to those who have not sold $20 because I have been dealing with some serious family issues and for that I am sorry. I apologize for having some serious family issues going on with me.”

Statement 6: A few authors at Red Rose Publishing, unhappy with non payment, posted their complaints to the readers loop. TRUE: Wendi Felter, Owner of RRP, in her email stated. “This is not intended for the authors who did not go in the readers loop to whine and complain!” and “I can not believe that someone would feel that they had to take this to the readers loop, not the authors loop or address this to me, so that tells me either #1- you had no idea, #2- you are out to do the company and your fellow authors problems or #3- You do not care about Red Rose Publishing, your books, sales or the reputation of the company!”

Additionally, there are the email posts on the RRP Yahoo group readers list.

The second part that Wendi Felter and RRP would have to prove is damages. In other words, she would have to prove that my statements were not only false, but also damaging to RRP’s business reputation. Given that RRP has been the subject of scrutiny at other sites like Piers Anthony, Preditors & Editors, and Erecsite, it is hard to see how my blog post has further damaged the reputation of this publisher.

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

63 Comments

  1. meoskop
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 10:13:13

    Is there any legal basis for the line about not being submitted for publication? Once you send a letter, doesn’t it become the property of the person you’ve sent it to?

    ReplyReply

  2. Courtney Milan
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 10:24:52

    Meoskop: the letter itself is the property, but that doesn’t necessarily grant the person publication rights. Everything that is written is the subject of automatic copyright.

    That being said, the reproduction here is obviously a fair use.

    On a more privacy related note, it’s idiotic to send a cease-and-desist letter–essentially threatening to file a publicly-discoverable lawsuit–with any expectation of privacy.

    ReplyReply

  3. Mike Cane
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 10:28:13

    >>>TRUE: From Piers Anthony site: “An author

    Hearsay!

    Overruled.

    Tut, tut!

    ReplyReply

  4. Mireya
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 10:31:42

    Watch her sue the law firm she hires for malpractice next …

    ReplyReply

  5. meoskop
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 10:41:50

    @CourtneyMilan – thanks, my experience with that is limited to people setting up research libraries & donating all their correspondence.

    ReplyReply

  6. gwen hayes
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 10:50:00

    We are encroaching on Chachbag territory here.

    ReplyReply

  7. Courtney Milan
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 10:53:42

    @Mike Cane: Jane said “reportedly.” And then linked to a report. She doesn’t have to prove the veracity of the statement, just that a report was made.

    ReplyReply

  8. Lori
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 11:13:34

    This is better than renting a movie. Seriously. Only an idiot would take on Jane.

    ReplyReply

  9. Shiloh Walker
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 11:21:49

    Oy. I’m wondering if the person who sent this letter has watched the DA site much. Or at all.

    It’s not a hidden fact that Jane’s a lawyer. You’re going to have a hard time use legal bullying with a lawyer. Plain and simple.

    Aside from that? The DA blog doesn’t strike me as one that’s going to back down.

    All the email did was make things worse for RRP… IMO. Um, I’m legally entitled to state my opinion, right? I’m not defaming anything, harming anything…sheesh.

    ReplyReply

  10. Janet P.
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 11:37:37

    Kind of reads like:

    You’d better stop it. Because I say so. Or else Missy!!!!! I’m gonna count to 3 ..

    1

    2

    2 and one half

    2 and three quarters……

    ReplyReply

  11. Marcella
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 11:40:18

    Don’t you love soaps?

    ReplyReply

  12. Ridley
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 11:50:02

    RRP has totally jumped the shark with this one.

    ReplyReply

  13. Chrissy
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 12:03:04

    When I had a dirtba– epublisher pull the same thing I checked this carefully, and:

    Emails are not protected from being cited unless there is a note in the email saying “don’t share, etc.”

    As long as you cite the source and they didn’t put a tagline in saying “we know what BS this is, so we forbid the sharing of our BS” you’re good.

    Kinda stoopid.

    ReplyReply

  14. EGS
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 12:09:29

    That’s just embarrassing. RRP certainly isn’t helping their image pulling this stunt.

    ReplyReply

  15. Mari LaCroix
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 12:13:29

    Getting some more popcorn to sit and watch this better than TV excitement….

    ReplyReply

  16. Robin
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 12:14:45

    So it’s okay for Piers Anthony to publish all that he does about publishers, but it’s not okay for someone else to refer to it? Okaaay.

    ReplyReply

  17. SonomaLass
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 12:35:50

    Should I pop some corn?

    Seriously, Jane, thanks for this. A less experienced blogger, or one who wasn’t an attorney, might have been intimidated by this letter. Standing up for your rights publicly is a great service to the rest of us.

    ReplyReply

  18. Jayne
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 12:41:18

    @Robin: That’s exactly what I was thinking. Unless he got a letter too.

    ReplyReply

  19. Mireya
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 13:11:17

    I am very curious. Will be interesting to see if they bother to reply to Jane. I am sure that her reply is not what they must have been expecting.

    ReplyReply

  20. SandyO
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 13:33:45

    So is the attorney going to keep sending Jane C&D letters when he doesn’t get paid?

    ReplyReply

  21. Anon
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 13:37:05

    This reminds me of that Seinfeld where Jerry is getting skewered by Sally Weaver with her one-woman show “Jerry Seinfeld is the Devil.” Every time he makes contact with her it just becomes more fodder for her show.

    ReplyReply

  22. Sunita
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 14:13:52

    @Jayne: @Robin: Yup, me three. Everything in that post that came from somewhere else had “reportedly” attached to it. Except, of course, for the information that came from RRP’s original email. Which I think counts as primary material. ;_)

    ReplyReply

  23. Anonymous
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 14:22:27

    One wonders if Red Rose Publishing and their lawyers have ever heard of the Streisand Effect. The initial post on DA would have made me wary of them, but their attempts at legal bullying sealed the deal. They’re never getting any of my money. Good going, guys.

    ReplyReply

  24. CourtneyLee
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 14:22:46

    I agree with Shiloh. Treating a lawyer like a layman (which is what this kind of bullying strikes me as) just because she’s not officially wearing her lawyer hat on her blog is pretty dumb.

    And I’m SO enjoying the show. Anybody need anything form the snack bar?

    ReplyReply

  25. Lynnd
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 15:17:07

    @Robin: I wonder if Piers Anthony got a letter as well?

    Go get ‘em Jane.

    ReplyReply

  26. adobedragon
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 16:22:02

    @Robin: I wonder if Piers Anthony got a letter as well?

    Seems they’d have to send a letter to Absolute Write, since the meltdown was a topic there, as well. But then, I reckon the AW folks are used to publishers whinging that they’ve been maligned with the truth.

    *Munches on popcorn*

    ReplyReply

  27. Kati
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 16:38:46

    Is it just me, or doesn’t it sort of seem like the author of this letter went to http://www.c&dletters123.com and followed the bouncing ball?

    Or, maybe watched a bunch of episodes of Law & Order?

    ReplyReply

  28. Catherine Bybee
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 18:13:29

    *~Snort~* I’m up for more popcorn, anyone want a glass of wine?
    I don’t think the term… there is no bad publicity, applies here.

    ReplyReply

  29. Interested in Maintaining Standards
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 19:04:43

    There’s something shifty here that no one seems to be catching. I find it hard to take any information seriously when writers or bloggers refuse to stand behind their real names. In journalism school a reporter’s name is his or her badge of honor.

    Just saying…

    ReplyReply

  30. RRP Author
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 19:08:31

    @Interested in Maintaining Standards

    RRP authors have to sign a non disclosure agreement to not say anything negative about RRP.

    They are trying to stay out of a contract mess with Wendi.

    ReplyReply

  31. gwen
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 19:23:09

    @Interested in Maintaining Standards:

    I missed the part where somebody involved was supposed to be a reporter.

    ReplyReply

  32. Me
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 19:24:15

    @Interested in Maintaining Standards

    May I ask why you are not using your real name? I know my reasons for not reavealing mine.

    ReplyReply

  33. MaryK
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 19:29:09

    @Interested in Maintaining Standards: Possibly, the writers/bloggers don’t want whack jobs stalking them (or their families) in the flesh when said whack jobs take offense at the writers’/bloggers’ opinions.

    ReplyReply

  34. Isobel Carr
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 19:35:38

    @Interested in Maintaining Standards:

    The only shifty things going on are going on with the publisher. If the publisher had a leg to stand on, the letter would be heavy on specifics (and yes, it’s pretty stupid to try and file a C&D that if not followed would lead to a fully public disclosure as the next step).

    ReplyReply

  35. Merrian
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 20:05:46

    You sound ready and up for the fight Jane so hope the tiresome-ness and pettyness of the process of dealing with it all doesn’t wear at you.

    @interested in maintaining standards. The worst things were in the words via email of the RRP person herself. Interesting way of trying to shift the focus from this.

    ReplyReply

  36. Suze
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 20:32:35

    I bought a batch of e-books last night, and when I noticed that the publisher of a book I was semi-interested in was Red Rose, I ditched it. Sorry, author. Couldn’t do it.

    @Kati: It’s not just you. I couldn’t open the link, but I read the kill-fee clause at Absolute Write, and I’m wondering if the contract was written by an actual lawyer, or if it was cut & pasted from some on-line boilerplate–and badly re-written.

    Jane, if this actually goes anywhere and costs you any money, do put up a donation link.

    ReplyReply

  37. Mireya
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 21:05:48

    @Interested in Maintaining Standards: your point being?

    ReplyReply

  38. David Bridger
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 21:47:53

    @Interested in Maintaining Standards: I take it your real name is Irony Bypass?

    ReplyReply

  39. FormerAuthor
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 22:02:53

    I have never written for RRP, however, I did have dealings with Wendi in other capacities several years ago before RRP was founded. The dealings I had made me very wary. The behavior that the authors and DA have reported does not surprise me a bit.

    I had occasion to witness her being sneaky, vindictive and underhanded, and seen her seek to destroy peoples careers, businesses, and reputations because of a perceived slight. People like her are why I would rather read books than write them these days. (and yes, I’m hiding my name too……is there any doubt why? Chicken? You bet ya!)

    ReplyReply

  40. azteclady
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 22:27:24

    @Interested in Maintaining Standards: srsly?

    If so, borrowing from the very smart bitches: bitch, please.

    ReplyReply

  41. JessicaP
    Sep 17, 2010 @ 00:44:58

    @CourtneyLee -

    I’d take a diet Coke if you’re up.

    Shouldn’t a lawyer cite something? Like a law, or a fact, or other stuff? It would have made for a better letter.

    ReplyReply

  42. Nadia Lee
    Sep 17, 2010 @ 03:45:14

    @Interested in Maintaining Standards:

    There's something shifty here that no one seems to be catching. I find it hard to take any information seriously when writers or bloggers refuse to stand behind their real names. In journalism school a reporter's name is his or her badge of honor.

    Just saying…

    So what’s your name?

    ReplyReply

  43. Avid Reader
    Sep 17, 2010 @ 05:23:06

    I suppose next will come the Men in Black mind eraser for all of us. The horse is out of the barn! Waaayyy out.

    ReplyReply

  44. Anonie
    Sep 17, 2010 @ 06:26:20

    Seriously, Red Rose, concentrate on getting your act together, rather than sending out letters demanding blog posts to be taken down.
    I’m not a RR author either. But I’m a reader who is turned off by a publisher who cannot get its act together.

    ReplyReply

  45. Jennifer Armintrout
    Sep 17, 2010 @ 06:58:05

    This whole thing smacks of “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.” RRP wants to dick over their authors, they just don’t want anyone to call them on it.

    ReplyReply

  46. Angie
    Sep 17, 2010 @ 07:31:54

    @Jennifer Armintrout:

    RRP wants to dick over their authors, they just don't want anyone to call them on it.

    That’s pretty much what a general NDA (as opposed to one clearly focused on specific trade secrets, that sort of thing) means, correctly translated, so it’s not like this is a surprise. At least they’re staying consistent. [wry smile]

    Angie

    ReplyReply

  47. emdee
    Sep 17, 2010 @ 08:46:20

    Did they not know they were dealing with a lawyer?

    ReplyReply

  48. Suzanne Rossi
    Sep 17, 2010 @ 09:09:14

    Have gone through an entire bowl of popcorn and a couple of beers enjoying this.

    To RRP–never underestimate the power of the readers. They BUY your books, dummy. Don’t piss ‘em off with tacky tirades to DA followed up by an even tackier lawyer wannabe threat.

    To DA–keep it coming. This is better than anything RRP could publish. Thank God my publisher has her head screwed on right.

    ReplyReply

  49. Interested in Maintaining Standards
    Sep 17, 2010 @ 09:23:26

    @Nadia Lee:

    Little Richard

    ReplyReply

  50. katiebabs
    Sep 17, 2010 @ 09:55:02

    Uh oh, you posted their letter for everyone to read. Will they send another letter saying this is a letter to stop you from posting that letter?

    Is RRP going to sue Piers Anthony also?

    ReplyReply

  51. Patrice
    Sep 17, 2010 @ 11:08:47

    This is better than daytime TV!
    @ David Bridger – Irony Bypass? LMAO I almost inhaled coffee up my nose!

    Jane, sorry you have to put up with this mess, but ^5 on defending your rights!

    ReplyReply

  52. Tracy Lucas
    Sep 17, 2010 @ 11:40:46

    Wow. This ought to be interesting…

    It’s understandable to have family problems impede you as the editor or owner of a small press; I’ve been going through that myself lately.

    But financial dickery and screwing over those who seek greener pastures by back-charging cover and editing work is just ridiculous.

    I can’t wait to see how this plays out.

    ReplyReply

  53. Daryl Sedore
    Sep 17, 2010 @ 13:45:52

    Good for you! Love to see when people stand for what’s right and not bend under pressure! Well done!!!

    ReplyReply

  54. Jocelyn Z.
    Sep 17, 2010 @ 14:04:59

    I sincerely hope that the attorney representing RRP ran a credit check before he started working on their behalf, and got a big retainer.

    If it’s “always a happy ending when the lawyer gets paid,” I forsee an unhappy ending in opposing counsel’s future.

    ReplyReply

  55. S.M. Carrière
    Sep 17, 2010 @ 15:17:28

    @David Bridger – I burnt my nose. I snorted so hard I inhaled tea!

    Irony Bypass indeed!

    Well played. Very well played.

    I do hope that RRP gets its act together soon, and the authors trapped in the ruins find some sort of recompense.

    Well done, Jane, for staying your ground.

    ReplyReply

  56. Jody
    Sep 17, 2010 @ 16:07:03

    Nothing frosts my cookies more than a bully–even if he’s/she’s merely a wannabe.

    Surely a legal professional wouldn’t be such an idiot to pursue this after Jane’s initial response. IMO, this is definitely a DIY job.

    Thank you Jane for being the right person in the right place at the right time. This certainly has brightened my day.

    ReplyReply

  57. Katie
    Sep 17, 2010 @ 21:46:51

    @azteclady:
    No, not them but Saturday Night Live. Smart Bitches are not that funny. Certainly not on the level of SNL. Really.

    ReplyReply

  58. Catherine Bybee
    Sep 18, 2010 @ 12:04:35

    I belong to the RRPImplosion group, have from the first day, and this small group is making an impact. Many of the writers who joined the group are getting their rights back. Let it be completely understood that Wendi is always on this loop, under a fake name and her own in the beginning, so everything said there makes it to her ears.

    So, if you’re a RRP Author and want your rights back, you might want to come on in and see what we are doing to cut away from RRP.

    http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/RRPImplosion/

    I’m still not completely free, but I’m getting close.

    ReplyReply

  59. anyonmous
    Sep 19, 2010 @ 18:52:41

    RE: Wendi Felter, Owner of RRP, in her email stated. “This is not intended for the authors who did not go in the readers loop to whine and complain!”

    No one whined or complained. A simple question was asked – does anyone know if statements have been sent? I haven’t received one. To which two authors replied- I haven’t received one either.
    Doesn’t sound like whining to me.

    ReplyReply

  60. Vacationing Author
    Sep 20, 2010 @ 15:06:12

    Aw ick!

    A friend of mine publishes with RRP and I wanted to defend the company on her behalf. However, after reading this blog and reading most of “Red Rose Publishing Having Problems Internally?“ I’m actually alarmed for my friend. Some of the owners’ behaviors described by the whistle-blowers sounds sociopathic.

    It’s unfortunate this has happened. I wish all the authors and RRP well. I’d rather think the owner was going through a “bad moment” and is not normally so lacking in self-control and professionalism. If such is not the case, RRP will eventually fail due to poor handling. Hopefully, none of the authors get burned by that.

    ReplyReply

  61. anon RRP author
    Sep 29, 2010 @ 13:28:17

    Wendi is retaliating against the authors who have requested rights back. She takes their books off third party sites but does not remove them from the RRP site, nor does she revert rights. She is also not responding to emails or certified mail.

    So for those of us who thought she deserved a second chance after her last publisher blow up, who thought she was not part of the problem…lesson learned.

    ReplyReply

  62. Angel Martinez
    Oct 02, 2010 @ 11:58:51

    In response to the offers of wine and popcorn – I think I need something considerably stronger at this point…

    ReplyReply

  63. anon RRP author
    Oct 03, 2010 @ 10:59:40

    *Passes shots of Wild Turkey.*

    ReplyReply

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