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Happy Friday, my lovelies. ❤

Today is a good day!

I’m happy to announce that I have severed ties with the company Red Rose Publishing, and that they are no longer distributing my books. Believe it or not, this was a long time coming. ;o)

I received many emails from fans with questions on why I hadn’t released another novel for the Dragon Queen series. Thank you for your concern and please forgive me for my silence on the matter when you inquired, but now you know why.

In addition to unlawfully holding onto my books, this publisher has not paid me my royalties. However, I’m not angry, nor surprised. I expected nothing less, being that this company has done this same thing to many other authors, cover artists, and editors before me.

I won’t go into a long spiel on why I left Red Rose Publishing, but just know it was a necessary move. I don’t regret what I went through with this company, because it taught me a valuable lesson, a lesson I can pass onto inspiring authors, so they don’t make the same mistake I did.

I know the feeling of submitting your work and waiting impatiently to hear from the publisher. It’s nerve wracking. I also know the delighted feeling you get when you receive that letter from the publisher expressing their desire to publish your work. You’re so overjoyed that you’d blindly sign the contract, anxious for the moment your book goes out to the world.

The first thing you should do is research that publishing company. If there are any negative blogs or reports about the company you’re looking to submit to, then you should cross them off of your publishing list and move onto the next. Also, please look into Preditors & Editors. They will let you know which publishers are worth your submission. Any publisher with Not Recommended, or Strongly Not Recommended next to it, you should avoid them.

Once you receive the contract, read through it, thoroughly. If you have any friends that are attorneys, have them take a gander at it. If the contract is poorly written, DON’T SIGN IT. If there are any terms in it that inhibits you from getting your rights back after a reasonable amount of time, DON’T SIGN IT.

You must be aware of your rights as an author, and know the terms of your contract with the publisher. Keep in mind that the body of work you submit is still yours; you’re just allowing the publisher to distribute it and collect a percentage of your royalties.

Should the publisher not meet the terms you agreed to, like advertising your work, or paying your royalties on time, you should reevaluate the publisher you’re with. If you ask them why you never see them advertised anywhere, and all they have are excuses, then they are not doing the job worthy of the 40% or more they get from your royalties. If they are sitting back, taking your money and not doing anything to advance their company in this market, then you’re getting played. Empty promises don’t count either. Saying they’re going to do something and actually doing it are two very different things.

If you decide to disassociate yourself with that publisher, make sure to follow the steps in the Terms of Contract in order to get your rights back. Should the publisher refuse to comply with your demands, don’t let it get you down, just take some aggressive actions. Like hire an attorney. If the publisher ignores the demands from your lawyer, contact the web host provider, like GoDaddy for instance, and explain to them that the publisher is infringing on your copyrights. Attach a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (”DMCA”) notice, along with your attorney’s demand to the letter. The web host provider will respond very quickly.

So that you are informed, read Section 512. Limitations on liability relating to
material online
 (Add this link to your “DMCA” letter as well.)

Should you find yourself in this unfortunate situation and you can’t afford an attorney, there’s a yahoo group of authors who have a lot of useful information to offer. http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/RRPImplosion/?yguid=354324235

I’d like to give a huge thanks to my attorney, Myra Loughran at Jaxbeachlaw! She was very aggressive and reliable with my case. I couldn’t have asked for a better lawyer.

Don’t just sit back and be a victim to these small publishing companies. Get up and do something about it!

Now to the fans of the Dragon Queen series… Hey, ya’ll! 😀 The novels will be re-released in May on Amazon and available for print. I will be giving away some signed copies and Dragon Queen T-shirts to the fans who have supported me from the very beginning. It’s my way of saying thank you. 🙂 I will also be releasing a new novelette and novel for the series later this year, so stay tuned. 😉