Time for updates. Please pardon the style of these, but I’m trying to remain as factual as possible, and not inject too much of the overwrought emotions I feel into this. The situation is already emotionally volatile enough.
Here are my updates on the Aspen Mountain Press situation:
On September 21, 2011, the first certified letter I sent, back this past summer, was returned to me, unopened and unclaimed. In this letter, I had expressed my wish to move on with my work, the expiration of my contracts, and extended an offer of payment to take my covers with me. The publisher’s failure to respond to either this letter or the e-mail copy sent to her indicates that she is NOT holding to her contractual obligation to answer all communications in a timely manner. (The letter and e-mail were originally sent the beginning of August).
Due to this failure, on September 26th I sent Aspen Mountain Press’ publisher a second certified letter, this time DEMANDING the removal of expired books from sale and revoking the publisher’s right to continue publication of the third book in the series, under breach of contract and ethics/legal violations.
At the same time, I also drafted and sent a letter to Lawyers for the Arts, in Denver, to see what help they might be able to offer me in this matter.
I have sent an e-mail to the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, at the White House, as well, and drafted letters for the Colorado Better Business Bureau and the FBI’s Cyber Crimes Division (should I need it).
On September 27th, I sent an e-mail to the Denver Post, outlining what was happening in facts, and offering them the chance to investigate and write up the story, as well.
Since the post to the publisher’s in-house board I mentioned in my first blog post on this subject (her post being Sept. 22, 2011), there has been no further real communication from the publisher, and she appears to be ignoring e-mails and letters alike, again. Still no royalties being paid out. Still no new book releases. Still no attempts to remove expired books from sale, or to revert rights first requested and then demanded from authors unwilling to face this uncertain and mercurial atmosphere, any longer.
As I mentioned in my ultimatum to the publisher, posted on my Facebook page (to which she has access as a “friend” still), if the basics of business ethics and publishing standards were not met (ie, honoring contracts, taking down books on which contracts are expired, etc), her chances to rectify the situation without public outcry were destroyed. I don’t like to be a harda**, and there’s nothing I dislike more than having to take grievances that could have been kept private public – but if one party is unwilling to do the right (read legal) thing, I have to step up. Not just for myself, but for all the other authors who are, as yet, unable to find their voice.
So, from this point forward, I ask all readers of this blog: Please do NOT buy any books published by Aspen Mountain Press, until you hear that a resolution has been reached. The authors are NOT getting paid for the books you purchase, and in many cases, the sales are illegal to begin with.
Again… PLEASE DO NOT BUY BOOKS PUBLISHED BY ASPEN MOUNTAIN PRESS UNTIL YOU HEAR FROM ME THAT ISSUES HAVE BEEN RESOLVED. As soon as I know that royalties have been made good on, contracts have been properly honored, and books have been released from this publisher’s stranglehold, buying a book from this publisher is disrespectful to the author(s) you claim to love.