"My work may be garbage but it's good garbage." Mickey Spillane
Early Wednesday morning, I emailed Jean to ask for the rights back to my Journey of the Sacred King quartet.
On Wed, Aug 6, 2008 at 12:13 PM, Jean Marie Stine wrote:
you agreed to wait to see what sony and amazon did – sony is just about to report on june sales and we received amazon figures only yesterday
we won’t know till later this month when sony arrivres
i have yet to go over amazon as i was uploading books yesterday
Half an hour after that email, I get this one:
just looked at the Amazon figures for may and though there was 400 percent growth in overall sales in the six months since they opened, the sacred king books were not active. So sure, we will be glad to revert the rights and tell distributors to remove them from sale.
Back in 2004, I had a collection come out from Wildside called In the Darkness, Hunting: Tales of Chimquar the Lionhawk.
Jean made me an offer for them and so did Sean Wallace at Wildside.
I compromised by giving Jean the ebook rights and Sean the print rights.
A few months later, Jean asked me to help broker a deal between Renebooks and Wildside to bring out print editions of the best selling titles in the Renebooks lines. I did so. I also got a finder’s fee for doing it.
For reasons I will probably never know, the deal got canceled. My impression was that it had something to do with the covers that Jean insisted upon using. Since back then Jean was using shoddy porno covers and had not yet begun to buy original covers (with the exception of the cover to my collection), I was not surprised at all by it.
My books were selling in big numbers, so I asked Jean to allow an artist of my choice to do the covers for my books. That was Kaolin Fire. He did the covers for the lycan series, the Sacred King books, and the last three books of my Dark Brothers series.
Then she asked me to find her more artists. I brought her Joel Wideman who still does erotica covers for her and the team of Tabitha Brown (line artist) and Phil Smith (colorist).
Payments to her artists were always late. And they got later and later, just as all the other payments did.
Susie Hawes sold Jean four volumes in a series called Dragon Creed. The first two covers matched the book properly. Then Jean sent Tabi the fourth book to do a cover for without having first sent her the third book.
The cover for the third book was the cover for the fourth book.
Who got the blame?
Why? Well, I still have not figured that one out yet.
Karen Taylor has never been paid for editing Serpent’s Quest.
When I mentioned that Blood Harvest and Blood Arcane were flawed and needed a new version, Jean blamed Karen and tried to foist off on me an editor who only edited porno. I threw a fit and managed to talk her into hiring Steven Beeho.
It took me from February to mid-July to get Steven paid by Jean. Every time I complained, she told me that the vouchers had gone in to Helene and Helene was messing up.
Finally I got very ugly with her and Steven had his money within an hour via paypal. Odd how that works.
But Karen has still not been paid.
Now, let’s talk about print editions.
After the Wildside deal fell through, Jean told me that there would be print editions of my work out within six months. She told me that Renebooks was going to do PoD through Lightning Source. A new contract would be issued for the print rights.
She told me and others that those print editions were just around the corner. She gave me an inflated cost for doing them with LSI, but I was not aware of just how inflated they were until last February. She told me that it took hours to produce each book in Adobe Pro (she said ‘the software’) and that I should not attempt to do it myself.
Needless to say, I believed her.
In March, Crystalwizard showed me how to typeset the books, load them to lulu, (which creates an Adobe Pro pdf like LSI wants), and then take that lulu pdf and upload it to LSI. Minutes.
It is now 2008. I have been waiting for three years for her to do print editions. She always had another excuse. She always changed her figures for cost and her date for doing it. Some of her authors left Renebooks over the fact that she did not come through with the print editions.
Now, let’s look at another set of lies. Roughly 18 months ago, she told me they had a deal with Sony and that it was going to cost them $50 per book to get them transferred to the Sony Reader format. Later she told me it was $100. Then she told me it was $75. Then she told me it was $35. Then she told me it was $50. And, that my books would not earn royalties from the Sony site until that money had earned out. Per book.
The books were uploaded to Sony in March. Long time. No see.
As for these blogs posts, all I can say when/if Jean finds them is: the beatings will continue until morale improves.