It’s time to add another bundle of publishing scammers to the list.
Long time followers/readers might recall mention of friend and fellow author Bryce David Salazar on this site. He is the author of She Sees Metaphors, a master of imagery, and a strange thing for horse masks. In all, he is a pretty decent fellow I was delighted to see make it in the literary world with his debut novel.
Unfortunately, his debut has been spoiled by his publisher, Blue Deco Publishing. Bryce is one of seven authors ostensibly represented by the company who are currently petitioning, through Change.org, for reversion of rights and payment of outstanding royalties under what they allege is a voided contract.
That outstanding royalties bit is key. You see, Blue Deco pledged under their contract to pay third quarter royalties to their authors by Nov. 15 of this year. It now being November 27, they only just recently provided a brief severance e-mail and money to several of the authors. These authors also noted that such payments were similarly late in the second quarter. Being paid for one’s work shouldn’t sound revolutionary to anyone, especially not when it’s on paper.
That said, the company also has skimped on its actual duties. ISBN numbers, for those who don’t know, are a critical part of the publishing process. They represent the identity of the work, making them identifiable by publishers, booksellers, libraries and other retailers worldwide. It says, “THIS BOOK WAS MADE BY SO AND SO, THIS IS WHAT IT IS AND ITS FORMAT.” To get your own, unique ISBN, comes with a price tag associated.
While the ISBN doesn’t in and of itself provide any legal or copyright protection, it’s an absolute legal necessity in some countries. Amazon’s Createspace service handles it free for self-published authors, as it essentially becomes their publisher. However, it is usually publishers themselves who take on associated costs as part of production costs.
Blue Deco had, as part of its contract with its authors, agreed to provide ISBNs. Instead, it turned to CreateSpace to make these ISBNs, therefore negating a major factor behind going with a publisher: it made these books self-published, CreateSpace books, rather than attaching its own name to the works.
There’s more to the tale, of course, but the sum of things is that Bryce and his fellow authors have declared their contracts voided. Up until recently, Blue Deco hadn’t responded in any way to its authors. It was only until their public call for help and awareness that the company issued its severance. Even so, it still has them proudly listed under its authors.
Authors being taken advantage of by scam artist publishers is an unfortunately growing trend. There’s whole websites, like Writer Beware!, dedicated to tracking them down and exposing them for what they are. Often, they face no consequences beyond what public outcry can force upon them, by leaving them no shadows in which to scuttle.
Help get justice for these authors and guarantee the Blue Deco Publishing is no longer able to operate in the shady manner it has chosen. Spread the word. Support artists. Keep creativity alive.
(For more, check out Bryce’s own page on the issue: http://www.brycedavidsalazar.com/2017/11/please-help-me-get-unpublished.html)