Tim Marquitz is a writer who published through Damnation Books and who wants to warn other writers away from the company. He writes:
After filing a justice court suit against Damnation Books on November 15, 2012 for multiple counts of breach of contract, I won a small financial judgment against the publisher on April 26, 2013. The judge, however, did not feel it was within his power to rescind the disputed contracts despite finding in my favor, referring me to a higher court. (Damnation Books On Notice!)If you are thinking about signing with Damnation Books, read what Tim has to say about their business practices.
I heard about Tim's plight through Passive Guy's blog post on the subject: Beware Damnation Books. There's a lot of good advice in that post about how to avoid shady publishers. For instance:
1. Google the publisher's name with words like "warning" and "beware"
2. See what the folks over at Absolute Write have to say.
Absolute Write contains a wealth of information on publishers and agents. If you have a question about a publisher, agent, editor, then head on over and search their extensive database and, if you don't find anything, post your question.
I found this over at Absolute Write in a post asking about Damnation Publishing:
Overall my experience with Damnation was quite pleasant, until we disagreed on the design of the cover. They were unwilling to negotiate, so I asked to be released from my contract. At this time, they sent me a letter charging me a $800+ “termination agreement.” This letter included an itemized list of expenses—and as a publisher myself I know how exorbitant and ridiculous these charges are.
Further, there was no mention of a termination fee in the contract I originally signed. . . . When I refused to pay the fee, Kim Gilchrist told me that unless I paid it they would go on and publish the book without my support. (Show Me)
3. Search the archives of Writer Beware to see if Victoria Strauss has blogged about the company.
Writer Beware contains a wealth of information. In fact the person who left the comment I quoted above talked to Victoria Strauss about Damnation Books and their practice of charging kill fees. She pointed him to this article: Publishers' Kill Fees, and Why They're Bad For Everyone.
Have you had a bad experience with a publisher? What do you look at when deciding whether to sign with someone?
Other articles you might like:- Where To Find Cover Artists
- 10 Tips For Proofreading Your Manuscript
- Chuck Wendig's Flash Fiction Challenge: Smashing Sub-Genres
Photo credit: "London Calling #2" by Thomas Leuthard under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.