New Concepts Publishing refuses to honor contract by Samantha Storm

New Concepts Publishing is in breach of their contract with me. As per their contract they are supposed to send me accumulated statements twice a year whether I have sales or not. They failed to give me statement information for a period of three months last year. I notified them that I was missing this information and requested that they send it to me. The company replied that they would but I never received the missing information. I contacted them numerous times and still the missing information never appeared. The term, per their contract, to cure the breach is sixty days from being notified. That time past at the end of last year.

I have sent them a cease and desist letter notifying them they no longer have the legal right to sell my work. I demanded my work be removed from the NCP website and any affiliated websites immediately. Since I sent in my cease and desist, the management and I have been going back and forth in emails regarding the issue. They refuse to acknowledge the breach. Reason does not seem to be working with them. I thought at this point it’s getting so ridiculous that its time to share some of the things that NCP is capable of. This is not a case of me going to them hat in hand and asking for my rights back. Legally, as per their own contract, they are in breach and no longer have the right to publish this work. New Concepts has made a lot of noise about authors honoring their contracts, yet they refuse to.

Here is an example of their latest attempt to tell me that they are not acknowledging the breach. My responses to their latest email are indented and in red.

“Ms. Brown,
We are in no way in breach and are not going to take your books down. Your books will remain on the page until they are out of contract. I know that we’ve emailed back and forth on this issue. This is not in any way holding anything hostage as some angry authors have suggested. No one forced you to sign the contract. Both parties agreed to it. It is legal and binding. We are both honor bound to it just as you are.”

This is correct. As you have pointed out, both parties are bound by the contract. I have notified you that you have not honored the terms of our contract and requested a cure to this breach. You have not only not cured the breach, you are now refusing to honor your contract.

“We only expect you to uphold your end for a little longer until each book’s contract has expired. Our end of the contract does not even require us to sell the book. If we sell your book, then we are required to pay you, which we have. Procuring statements in a timely manner is only curteous, not part of the contract and not a breach of contract if neglected.”

The contract does in fact require that NCP provide a statement. I will quote it here directly:

“(m) Publisher agrees to provide Author with a statement of Account and to pay Author twice yearly for sales accumulated by Author’s Work during the pay period. Money collected to be paid out first of the year and mid-year. Statement shall be provided to Author regardless of whether any money is due or not.”

According to this clause, you are in clear breach. It is also clear that you do not properly understand your own contract.

“I know that it may not seem to be, but NCP is a small company . . . small. We have thousands of customers and hundreds of authors and very few employees that work long, hard hours tyring to placate customers, bookstores, authors, and the like. This brings many to suggest hiring more help. We do. Constantly. Unfortunately, flame wars and other agitants have scared away many employees in our small town and many other employees that worked from their homes via the computer. “

The best system for avoiding “flame wars and other agitants” is to deal with the public in a businesslike manner. The authors and customers who have voiced problems have had many valid concerns. Dealing with those problems in a businesslike manner would have derailed any public outcry. Your reply here provides another example of excuses and blame rather than concrete solutions. It is this type of response that has damaged your reputation to the point that no one wants to be associated with this company.

“I hope that this letter may help you to understand that our resources are limited. We are not trying to be hateful, spiteful, mean, vindictive or anything of the sort. This is business and as such should be treated professionally and without emotion. “

If this is viewed as pure business situation, without emotion attached, then you are mishandling this badly. The money made from the contracts in question has been small for both of us. The cost of the bad press generated by this kind of public disagreement far outweighs any possible profit. This does not set a precedent for letting other authors out of their contracts, as that is not what I am asking. I merely want you to honor your entire contract, not just those clauses that benefit you. To do anything else is hateful, spiteful, mean, vindictive, or something of the sort.

“You are now a professional author, and we are kindly maintaining that you keep to your contract.”

You are now a professional publisher, and I am kindly maintaining that you keep to your contract.

“I have already contacted distributors to let them know that your contracts are ending and that they should take down your books before contracts end so that we can swiftly revert your rights back to you at the end of the agreement. Thank you for your patience and understanding in this matter.

Megan, NCP”

You no longer have a right to publish this work under the terms of our contract, and I am all out of patience and understanding in this matter.
Samantha Storm Aka Cat Brown Aka Chaoscat

(Chaos – It’s not just a lifestyle, it’s a state of mind)
Owner/Operator Romance Junkies
http://www.romancejunkies.com
***
writing as Samantha Storm – http://www.samanthastorm.com/
7 Free reads available now @ http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SamanthaStorm/***

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=532401128
*.¸¸.•´¨`*.¸¸.•´¨`*.¸¸.•´¨`*.¸¸.•´¨`*

11 responses to “New Concepts Publishing refuses to honor contract by Samantha Storm

  1. NCP always has an excuse for behaving badly towards authors/readers.
    Over the years I have read- internet down, disgruntled staff, computer virus, computer crash, small company, understaffed, too busy with important issues, sick, flu-broken bones- surgery- accidents, difficult authors, readers who don’t know any different anyway- which all translates to “don’t really give a damn”.

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  2. Christine Dionne

    you know, it makes absolutely no sense to me why they’d insist on keeping books by authors who want nothing to do with them – and why would they refuse to release books back to authors that they ‘don’t have to sell’ that just seems petty and childish – but at this point I’ve learned to accept nothing less than shallow performance out of NCP.

    I think it’s great that you’re speaking out and hopefully other authors will follow in your footsteps – I know some already are speaking out, but hopefully more and more of the new authors just being published will hear the rumors and steer clear of them

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  3. Samantha, so sorry to hear of your problems with NCP. I’d heard things weren’t going well.

    Years ago, I left RFI West for the same reason – failure to provide a royalty statement as required by contract. At that time, I snail mailed a registered letter to them and that seemed to work better than emails. A better paper trail, maybe? At any rate, it might be worth a try.

    Good luck!

    Linda

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  4. Linda – I did exactly that. I sent in a snail mail registered letter. And the company signed for it.

    Samantha/Chaoscat

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  5. Wish I had some good advice for you, Samantha. This situation really sucks. Hope it works out OK for you soon.

    Linda

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  6. As reader we need to unite against this kind of thing happening to our Authors. Need to shut down and stop buying book from there. It about time Authors come out and be honest about this kind of thing happening to us readers. This kind of thing need to be stop I put good money in those books because of a Author and for her not to get her royal or is treat badly. Well they wouldn’t be getting anymore of my money.
    Hugs!
    Lisa

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  7. Rita from South Africa

    It saddens me that this is done to authors, who put so much time and effort in producing material that I as a reader so appreciated!

    That company should realise it does not reflect to the rest of the world their so called professionalism. This is bad business – they are not the TALENT! that resides with an individual, someone as talented as you Samantha.

    I’m 100% behind you Samantha and hope you win your battle!

    Best of Success,
    Rita

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  8. I noticed the other day at Amazon that NCP hardly had any prints up and was asking a friend about it. Most of the ones that are up can only be purchased used. I think you are doing the right thing letting everyone know how they treat their authors. I hope you can get your legal rights back on your books. I couldn’t imagine actually publishing a book and the publisher taking it off the site and not even giving the rights back to you.

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  9. As you know I have been going back and forth with management via email regarding the breach. I found this latest response from them most fascinating:

    “I am merely pointing out that the matter which you are pressing is not cause for breach. The contract only says that we must provide a statement. What I said is that the contract does not state that we are required to do so in a certain length of time. And we are still honoring the contract because we have sent you statements and all the money due to you, which we courteously send out every quarter instead of twice a year.” – Megan, NCP

    According to New Conceptions Management their contract does not have a time frame to send out statements. According to their interpretation of the contract they do not have to accompany the checks with a statement telling you what sales you are being paid for. One of the few accounting transparencies written into the contract, that you will get a check and statement twice yearly on accumulative sales, is not a protection.

    According to Management they don’t have to tell, in any relevant time frame, how many copies of your stories you sold. They claim that this interpretation of the contract has nothing to do with their relationship to me and applies to all their authors.

    NCP Authors — are you aware that NCP management feels they have no obligation to give you a written statement in relevant time frame?

    Here is the contract paragraph in question:

    “(m) Publisher agrees to provide Author with a statement of Account and to pay Author twice yearly for sales accumulated by Author’s Work during the pay period. Money collected to be paid out first of the year and mid-year. Statement shall be provided to Author regardless of whether any money is due or not.”

    Readers/Authors — how do you interpret this paragraph? Do you feel it requires them to give you a statement twice yearly as I read it? Or do you feel that management is correct and there is no time period for them to give you a statement on sales and, as long as a statement shows up some time in the future, you have no reason to hold them in breach of their contract?

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  10. I’m dealing with computer issues, two books back to edit from two different editors…and a visit from son, coming from his post at a US embassay in Mexico on Thursday for a week. I can’t think well enough to comment, but I’ll be back.

    Brit – waving to Rita in S. Africa

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  11. Looks to me like it requires them to provide you a statement twice a year regardless if you have a check coming or not.

    Hang in there girl! I’m sending out some positive thoughts for you that this works out the best possible for you!

    Tina/Cassie

    Like

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