What’s next…

As I sit here, thinking of what I should start …

The past few days, I’ve had…

I’m not even sure how to…

 

ARGH! This whole situation has made it so I can’t even think of how to start a blog anymore. (If you missed “the situation”, my last blog post “When Publishing Goes Wrong… Starring Undead Press” went viral in less than 24 hours, being re-tweeted by huge names in the writing industry.) I’m not going into detail on this because I’m pretty sure everyone who reads has heard.

So here we are, exactly a week after receiving my first copy of the book with She Makes Me Smile in it.

In the last 7 days:

Over 30 000 people stopped in to visit my blog with more than 400 people taking a moment to post words of support or their own horror stories from their dealings with Tony G.  This is what happens when your blog is shared and spread across the Internet like a promiscuous girl at the bar.

Vincenzo Bilof, the editor of Cavalcade of Terror, has come forward and apologized for the butchering of my story. James Roy Daley from Books of the Dead Press conducted interviews with Vincenzo and myself. Tony G. agreed to do an interview as well, but has yet to respond to Daley.

Cavalcade of Terror has been pulled from the shelves. Yesterday, I received a blank email from Tony with the subject: “cavalcade book has been pulled from distribution”. (Please note, having the book pulled was NOT what I intended. In my email, I asked Tony to remove my story and name from the publication and void my contract, not pull the entire book.) I’m not sure what happens to the contracts for the stories in Cavalcade, but I’ll be looking into this.

So what now you ask?

I’ve decided to self-publish* She Makes Me Smile as an e-book/story for 0.99 (That’s right! Less than a dollar for the story EVERYONE is talking about.) For 0.99$ you will receive my original story just as Undead Press received it, as well as “She Makes Me Smile” Redux. (This would be the version I wanted everyone to see, with proper editing, my personal writing tone and no blatant spelling or grammar errors.)

*(I’ve decided to self publish SMMS because of the controversy surrounding it. Tons of people and presses have offered to help me with SMMS, and while I thank everyone for their support, I think this is the best way to get it out there. I currently have Kelli Owen working on editing my story. (She’s used to edit most of the genre, knows what she’s doing, so it’s all good.)

~Here’s where this gets awesome.~
(Mind the caps, this deserves to be yelled!)

50% OF EVERY SALE FROM “SMMS” IS GOING INTO A FUND.

FROM THIS FUND, I AM PAYING EVERY AUTHOR ($25 and a contributor’s copy of the book) FOR THEIR STORY IN CAVALCADE OF TERROR.

THEN, WHATEVER IS LEFT WILL BE GOING TO A U.S. (MASSACHUSETTS) LAWYER TO REVIEW CONTRACTS BETWEEN TONY’S THREE PRESSES AND THE AUTHORS THAT FEEL THEIR WORK WAS BUTCHERED AS MINE WAS.

What I need from all of you is the same thing we did the last time, just share the link for She Makes Me Smile once it’s up and running. I’ll take care of the rest.

Well not really, I need a lawyer, (or will need one once fund start coming in). If you know of a lawyer who would deal with contracts and things of this nature, preferably based out of Mass, please let me know.

***

That^ would be the plan at the moment.

I don’t want this to happen to anyone else. I am not the only one who’s fallen under the spell of being published. There are so many people who have the same story. I understand there are people who have had good experiences with Tony and his presses, but the bad experiences greatly outweigh the good and something needs to be done.

Here’s a good analogy to why something needs to be done.

There’s this daycare I know of, where 20 kids are dropped off each week. Out of the 20 children, 5 are abused…
Should the daycare be permitted to stay open?

My words are my children.

Thanks for listening.

MDG

Do as I say, not as I do: I want to reiterate to everyone that Tony G. is not only Undead Press, but also OpenCasket Press and Living Dead Press. *(I posted links because I want people to see what to watch out for.) It was mentioned to me, by another author, perhaps my work needs editing. Maybe it did… No, of course it did, it was my first-ever published story. Many people have verified what happened to my story was not editing, it was altering. Please be cautious when reading your contract, don’t be afraid to ask questions and GET PAID!!! *(The publisher IS, why aren’t you?)

Kelli Owen will be posting a blog on Monday for new writers and one of the topics covered, which was throughly beat into me this weekend is GET PAID!

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45 comments

  1. Darren WJ Mills

    I an extremely impressed with what you are doing. You are an inspiration. My novel was also mutilated, just like your short story and although Tony G has breached my contract and in actual fact, my contract isn’t worth the paper it is printed on. The contract is for ‘The Unnatural’, but my manuscript was changed/added to without my knowledge and then released as ‘The Unnatural Dead’, something no contract exists for, making it a breach of copyright, (I have told him this) Tony G still refuses to remove the book from being on sale and insists the book is his and the contract stands until 2016.

    This man has no respect or care for anyone other than himself and needs to be punished for what he has done/doing. I have written an article about my ordeal with my novel and LDP and am now seeking legal aid to retrieve my story from his dirty hands.

    • mandydegeit

      I’m so sorry this happened. I couldn’t imagine having this happen to my novel. I was upset over 5000 words, I couldn’t think of what would have happened if he butchered 80K of my words. Thanks for the support. Hopefully, we can raise enough $ to get a lawyer for everyone.

  2. By Adam P. Lewis (@ByAdamLewis)

    I’ll have to scan all my stories published through Living Dead Press and Open Casket Press to which were added too. I know of a few. I also know an ending to one of my stories was completely changed and not written by me. I am sure there are others that I never checked. I emailed Tony yesturday and said to start clearing his name all he had to do is give back rights to the authors that were published under his presses. This would’ve been a very good move for him. He emailed me back wanting to know if we could talk. I replied if he wanted me to buy back my rights then the answer is no, he couldn’t call me. I never heard back from him. Draw your own conclusions why he didn’t respond to me. I have my reasons he didn’t. Tony has his supporters, that’s true. Even I feel sorry for the guy. No one deserves their name and business to fall as it did. However, he did bring this upon himself.

  3. Brian Panowich

    I hear you. What happened to you was wrong and what your doing about it is admirable. But listen, your words are NOT your children. One day when and if you have kids, you’ll see how naive and melodramatic it is to say that. Anyway, good luck with the fight and I’ll be buying your story when it drops.

    • .

      actually, the metaphor works. she created them. she breathed life into them. she shaped them and gave them direction. and she never wants actual human children… so yeah, ink is her sperm =)

      • Brian Panowich

        Acually, it doesn’t. I took a dump this morning. I created it. I “breathed life” into it. I shaped it and gave direction. Does that make it a child? Nope.
        Again, I’ll repeat, before I take on massive amounts of flack, I support Mandy so don’t break out the knives.

      • Brian Panowich

        Sorry, I thought my comment about taking a dump got gone for being to crude. It just hadn’t been approved yet. I guess I’m just feeling overly combative today.

  4. Bob Ford

    Hmm. Well, I’m a father of two amazing children, and while I love them dearly, I agree with the metaphor about stories being your children as well. When I’m truly finished with a piece of writing, there is a parental satisfaction and pride and when I send them out to be read, it’s much like sending out a child into the world. I think it’s that way with pretty much all creative pursuits. The time, love, energy and effort to express your passion and actually create something out of nothing but your own drive… it makes you extremely attached to those works and in many ways they take on a life and soul of their own.

    After seeing the direct comparison to Mandy’s original story compared to the extensive rewrite and additions, to put it bluntly, Tony took a coat hanger to her literary uterus and tried to perform an abortion to her creativity.

    • mandydegeit

      I feel the same way after we did the comparison of both… SO MUCH RED! Once I post the photo, everyone who thinks I may have been exaggerating will see I wasn’t. Thanks for the support :D

  5. Mad Hatter

    I am very impressed by all that you have done in regards to making sure your creation is not mutilated by others; I only wish I had been able to do half as much when a novel of mine was destroyed in a similar manner by a different publisher. May your writing career only flourish after this assault on your work!

    • mandydegeit

      Hopefully this little movement will send a message to other presses with shoddy business practices. I’m so sorry this happened. I couldn’t imagine having a novel molested. Thanks for your support!!!

  6. Tim

    Good luck, Mandy, I wish I had your (old fashion word alert) gumption. I didn’t have a bad experience with the one story of mine published by Open Casket…I wasn’t pleased by a few things (maybe that is a bad experience after all), but nothing really story changing. I received an email from Tony today asking if I would be willing to do a testimonial on his behalf….he even gave me an idea of what to say, something like working with Open Casket Press was a wonderful experience and I loved the book they produced. I’m afraid if I was fair and wrote both the good and bad aspects of my experience, he might just edit it or put me on his enemies list. I just have don’t the time and energy at this juncture for a battle with someone who would probably, actually there seems to be no probably about it, never admit where they went wrong. I may be on the sidelines for now on this fight, but I am there cheering you and all the others in the fray on. He should release everybody contracts, make real apologies and do something a la Robert Downey Jr., clean up his act, stay clean and play fair with people. But I guess after getting the testimonial request, that will never happen. I believe you have made a name for yourself, Mandy, in a good way.

    • mandydegeit

      Thanks for taking the time to post. If you wanted to speak to the experience you had with Tony, you could post it on your blog or your Facebook and let him link to it. That way no one can change what you have to say. I have absolutely no problem with people hearing both sides of the story, I believe they should. I wish Tony had agreed to do the interview that Vincenzo and I did, with Books of the Dead Press, but he didn’t. So now there’s only one side. Thanks again for your support. :D

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  8. Axel Howerton

    Excellent idea, Mandy. Thank you for turning this into a positive situation for all of those other authors who have been F’d-in-the-A by Tony G. I can’t commend you enough for this karma you’re spreading around. Keep using it well and you will be sure to make a positive and respected name for yourself and your work.

  9. Kayelle McClive (@kayellemcclive)

    Kuddos to you!! I am glad you wrote the blog but even more impressed that you are going to help others in trying to rid the world of TonyG. This man is not a publisher, he’s a jerk. Other less friendly words come to mind but I shall bite my tongue.
    I am self publishing my first novel very soon and hope that it goes well. I also applaud you for trying to help the other authors in the book as well!

  10. mandydegeit

    Thanks. I want to help everyone who has issues with the editing of their stories. I just lucked out wtih the avalanche of support from everyone else, now it’s time to give back to the community. :D

  11. mlchesley

    Good for you! I hope you also go over to AbsoluteWrite.com and post this in the beware section of their Water Cooler forums. This is one of the first places any author should go to check out the legitimacy of any publisher and to see if said publisher has a bad rep. I wish I had gone there first when I first stumbled across Publish America. Lesson learned, background checks are now always done first. ;)

    • mandydegeit

      Hey there. Thank you for taking the time to post. I will go over AbsoluteWrite and post about this. I have a lot of homework to do now this has happened. I want to make sure this never happens again. Thanks for the support. :D

  12. mlchesley

    Good for you! Now I hope you head on over to Absolute Write and post this in the Beware section of their Water Cooler Forums. This is one of the first places any writer should go to before entering into an agreement with any publisher.

    • mandydegeit

      This isn’t just my story, I’m just the one who said something about it. It was everyone else helped push this into what it is. :D Thanks for taking the time to post.

  13. Rogan

    Mandy: I’m the only screenwriter named “Rogan” on imdb & in the NEHW, and my sister is a Massachusetts lawyer. She handles criminal stuff, so this isn’t her area of operation, but she might know the right person. If you don’t get any “offers” (regarding Massachusetts lawyers) that are easier for you to track down and follow up, find me and contact me – maybe I can help. (Help find a MA lawyer for this business.)

    • mandydegeit

      Apparently, I’m a moron and cannot find you. I’m the search queen, but I failed seeking you out. ARGH! Please find me! Or send me a link me to your IMDB. You are the first person to mention knowing someone in Mass. law. THANKS SO MUCH!!! (mandydegeit at gmail.com)

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  15. Jason Aydelotte

    I’m sure you’ve heard this more than once over the past couple days, but I’m going to say it again, anyway.

    Speaking as the owner of a small press, I am absolutely appalled and outraged by the actions of this man. Small presses get so much negative attention – much of it warranted – and that makes it difficult for those of us who stand by our authors and do our best to put out awesome fiction while treating everyone involved as equals.

    There are a few bright lights shining in the darkness that is the small press industry. We’re one of them. If you’d ever like to submit your work to us, we’d welcome it. And I will personally guarantee that these sort of shenanigans will never take place.

    Sincerely,

    Jason Aydelotte
    Executive Director
    Grey Gecko Press, LLC

    • mandydegeit

      Thanks for taking the time to post. Sorry it’s taken so long to get back to you. :D I’ve been writing. lol. I don’t want anyone to think I’m painting everyone with the same brush, far from that. Thanks for the offer and I’m sure I’ll be in touch. Thank you again for the support.

  16. Figgy

    I have only just found out about this situation, and am in the process of reading through all the relating posts and comments.

    I haven’t read yet what you plan on doing with the old books. You mentioned something about it in your original blog post, but I can’t find anything specific in relation to cost or how to go about it?

    I would like to add it to my Travis Tea shelf (Travis Tea of Atlanta Nights), but don’t want to put more money into HIS pocket. As you have already purchased your copies, it doesn’t affect him whether you sell them or not… So, can I buy one?

    Sorry to be posting this out in the open like this, but I’m having a hard time finding a contact button.

  17. Nell

    Dear Mandy, my sympathies are with you but as a writer and a mother, I have to say that words cannot be compared with children and nor is a story being butchered the equivalent of child abuse. Words are important but children are alive, words are not. That said, I applaud your plan to help the other writers damaged in this situation.

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