Thursday, January 9, 2014

David and Goliath - An Author Fights Back

In September 2013 I discovered my first novel, ICED UNDER was being sold on my former publisher's website three years after my rights were returned to me due to breach of contract.

After a long, often absurd exchange of emails in which the publisher admitted he did not hold the rights to my work or of a few others on his site---nor did he intend to provide royalty statements for the books that were sold, nor did he intend to apologize for the piracy of copyrighted work--the website was abruptly pulled this morning and a new one installed in its place.

He claimed no books were sold and demanded I take his word for it. Hmmm. In my experience, the man who cannot be trusted with little,  cannot be trusted with much. My debut novel was a little thing to him, but ICED UNDER was a big thing to me. I had to fight for it. He accused me of being vindictive. I was not nearly as vindictive as I wanted to be or was capable of being. Hell hath no fury like a writer scorned. He should count his lucky stars that the website was pulled this morning and not 24 hours from now.

The contempt I was treated with during this battle was one thing. It will interest and amuse writers in Canada to learn that this publisher received $65,426.00 in government grants in 2012/2013. It amused me at any rate. I can't get a government grant to write. I have to prove myself first.

Or do I....?

Hey! Why not buy a website, attract a bunch of authors to contract their work to me, and then throw their books out there without editing, proofreading, copy editing and wait for the government grants to start rolling in?

I couldn't do it. No right-minded person could. I like writers and their books, the printed word and trees too much to make a hash out of publishing from laziness and greed as Ashis Gupta of Bayeux Arts Press did.

So there it is. Now you know. Not a happy ending but an ending. The next time I speak of ICED UNDER, (and I will) it will be under happier circumstances.


  1. This is a must-read! We all know that this kind of bad practice has been happening for the past years. And many have been a victim of it. Some keep their silence, maybe to avoid the long process of lawsuit. But you didn’t. You fought back and made sure that everything will be stopped. It’s not an easy journey and may not have had a happy ending, but what's important is you regain what’s rightfully yours and kept it that way.

    Charlotte Brock @ MKT Law, PLC

  2. Charlotte, thank you. The Writers' Union of Canada was in my corner which was empowering. I feel that now, with the Internet, it is even more critical to keep a close eye on the business practices of one's publisher. And respond immediately to red flags. I am still cleaning up misinformation about ICED UNDER that's online. And for the most part, it'll never be corrected. Thank you again.