Good News on the Ridan Front
I spoke with Ann Crispin about her situation with Ridan Publishing. Apparently Robin Sullivan, who runs Ridan, called this morning and said she is going to fix this.
I have to say, I’m a little stunned. This is exactly what I had hoped for when I wrote my blog post last night, but I didn’t know what would actually happen, and I didn’t expect anything to happen so quickly.
I also want to publicly thank Robin Sullivan for making what I imagine was a very difficult phone call, and for working to make this right. I hope Sullivan will be able to work things out with all of her authors in a timely way.
And to those who signal-boosted (thank you!), would you mind linking back to this update, please?
October 6, 2012 @ 12:37 pm
Jim, you rock. I’m glad you’re my friend!
Mary Robinette Kowal
October 6, 2012 @ 12:49 pm
Now THAT is using your Hugo-award winning power for good.
October 6, 2012 @ 12:59 pm
For some reason I’m hearing the “He-Man” theme song in my head right now. Well done, man!
October 6, 2012 @ 1:10 pm
Its good news hopefully for Ann but I also hope Robin makes the same overture to Nathan Lowell he is owed a tidy sum as well more than a years worth of royalties So I would not not back off on the “Hugo-award winning power for good” pressure just yet
October 6, 2012 @ 1:21 pm
That’s right. One author is out of the woods. A great many more are still getting screwed. The flames should not be removed from the feet until this whole ugly business is unraveled.
Jim C. Hines
October 6, 2012 @ 1:25 pm
I don’t know that anyone is out of the woods yet. A phone call is a very good first step, but it’s only a first step.
October 6, 2012 @ 1:57 pm
I don’t trust this. Robin is *very* good at calling off the most dangerous dogs. She sends a royalty payment to a particularly aggrieved author or gets out one author’s book while the rest suffer even longer delays. This call to Ann will put the wrath of the internet back in its cage for a bit, and I’m not sure that’s a good thing. I hope Ann gave her some very clear deadlines – if it were me, I’d make them public. (All books down in 48 hours and a signed reversion letter would be a good start). I don’t trust this. At. All. I hope it’s real and I hope it gets resolved quickly and fairly, and does so without costing other Ridan authors. But color me extremely skeptical at this point. I’d love to be wrong.
October 6, 2012 @ 2:15 pm
Jim, on a very practical level, does Ann need help with formatting, covers, the technical bits of getting her books back up under her own name quickly? I suspect they’ll launch to a blaze of orders. Those of us who have been self-pubbing for a while could probably help make this fast and easy for her. (Feel free to pass on my email if that might be helpful).
October 6, 2012 @ 2:46 pm
Anyone have contacts or juice with amazon and other bookseller sites to let them know what’s up with this publisher and affected authors?
October 6, 2012 @ 4:22 pm
I’ve also offered my services (as Alliteration Ink) in whatever measure Ann might need them.
October 6, 2012 @ 4:55 pm
That’s fantastic, Steve :). I know self-pubbing seems like a steep mountain for some people, so hopefully people will pitch in to help Ann and any other Ridan authors suddenly left in the lurch.
Jim C. Hines
October 7, 2012 @ 10:55 am
I’m checking into this, and will let folks know what I find out.
October 7, 2012 @ 10:22 pm
Thank you for your post, and for rightfully reading me the riot act. I’ve been suffering with my own personal problems and unfortunately they bled over to Ann. The two payments I missed (April 30 and July 31), were not due to a purposeful attempt to defraud, or due to insolvency. It was just because of the time consuming nature of tallying so many small payments from so many different sources. I pulled an all nighter and sent her money via PayPal.
Also, I wanted to make sure that Ann’s transition from Ridan to self-publishing was one that caused the least amount of disruption to both her and her fans. To that end, I asked her to create accounts on the various platforms (kindle, nook, kobo) and provide me with login and passwords. I’ve posted all of her books to those, and once they went live I took my books down. So she is up and running!! If you or your fans want to support her I ask that you go by one (or all) of the 5 StarBridge books, she will receive 100% of the proceeds.
October 7, 2012 @ 10:36 pm
Patrick & KM – Nathan is not in arrears, nor any other Ridan author for that matter. Ann was the only one missing her Q1 and Q2 payment, which she has now. Nathan routinely earns five-figures per quarter and has been made six-figures from Ridan.
Deb – I’m committed to the success of any Ridan author whether they are with me or not. Most publishers retain their intellectual property after reversion, so yes the authors usually have to seek out others for new cover designs and formatting. I do not. Not only have I reposted all the files on Ann’s behalf (so she is up and operational now) but I’ve given her full rights to the covers (at no cost) and the raw files so she can do editing in the future.
October 7, 2012 @ 10:50 pm
Deb Ann did not give me deadline but I did give myself ones and since you wanted them public here you go.
* Ann received her two royalty statements, an full payment
* All 5 of her published books have been republished on Amazon and my books are now removed
* All 5 of her published books have been republished on Kobo and my books are now removed
* All 5 of her published books have been republished on Nook and my books are now removed
* I corrected some formatting errors in Shadow World and provided her .epub, .mobi, .azw, lit, .lrt, and .pdb files of them
* She has all raw source files for all her books so she can make changes in the future
* I have created and provided her with ebook files for her 6th book that she can post once she has reviewed (or I’ll post it for her if she needs help)
* I can’t produce her 7th book as she never gave me the final file but as soon as she does I’ll be providing that as well.
* A reversion letter was mailed.
* A letter granting her continued use of the cover artwork has been mailed.
* I’ll produce a matching cover for the 7th book so that the series is consistent.
As for Nathan…
* I’ve edited his ebook files to strip out all mentions of Ridan and produced and delivered .jpg, .azw, and .epub for him to propogate
* As soon as he tells me his books are live I’ll pull mine
* I’ve given him raw files for all his books so he can make changes in the future
* I’m waiting on new ISBN’s then I’ll provide him with similar files so he can continue to produce his printed files
* A reversion letter has been mailed
* A letter granting him continued use of our covers has been mailed.
If there is anything you feel I’m forgetting, please let me know.
October 8, 2012 @ 10:48 am
Ok, I hope there aren’t any more issues, then.
October 8, 2012 @ 11:12 am
So that I don’t repeat myself, I’ve replied on KB. http://www.kindleboards.com/index.php/topic,128742.msg1907054.html#msg1907054 Many thanks to Jim for his help in bringing this into the spotlight.
October 8, 2012 @ 11:14 am
It’s a good start, Robin. I’m glad you’ve made it.
October 8, 2012 @ 1:01 pm
@Robin why is your website ridanpublishing.com still selling Ann’s books and Nathan’s ?
And you say all of your authors are paid I don’t believe it Lowell’s have mentioned several time that their accounts have not been paid and quote “the party involved is sitting on enough royalties to send our high school senior to college for a year (in the dorm! a consummation devoutly to be wished! ) and the unreturned edits for a book that was supposed to be out several months ago THIS time around.”
October 8, 2012 @ 7:55 pm
Robin, I’ve met you at cons. I read your very useful blog before you stopped blogging. I believe you’re well-intentioned. However, the impression I’ve always gotten was of a brilliant woman pathologically incapable of delegating.
Here’s what’s missing from your litany of curatives – how will you keep this from happening again? Because it will happen again. You will get sick. You will get overwhelmed and depressed and have personal crises and emergencies and much-needed vacations. If Ridan = Robin, then your authors will be left hanging every time, perhaps for months.
You’ve spent considerable effort telling self-publishers that they can do everything themselves. That means that you are not the only one who can perform these functions that are bringing your business to a screeching halt. Hire a secretary! A personal assistant! An employee or 3! Something! A secretary could surely have done the math to calculate Ann’s royalties. He or she could have answered Nate’s emails and let him know what was going on, even if you were too paralyzed to move.
Don’t think you can afford it? That secrecy would have paid for himself just by preventing you from losing 2 authors – Ann and Nate. He would have saved you public embarrassment and a tarnished reputation. He would have been worth his weight in Kindles. Learn from this. You are not the only person who can do math and send email. You may be the only person who can work your personal wizardry with Amazon SEO, but that doesn’t mean you have to do every single thing at casa Ridan.
Look at Kris and Dean and WMG publishing. They’ve already brought on an employee, and so far, they don’t appear to be publishing anything other than their own pseudonyms (unless you count Fiction River, which just began). They know they can’t do it all themselves, even though they know how all the moving parts work. In addition, they fell flat on their faces with a publishing house that went belly-up years ago. They’re smart, and they still went bankrupt. Publishing other people’s books is tricky, even for smart people.
In trying to fix your current predicament, you’ve promised all kinds of free work, which will just cause you to fall further behind in meeting obligations to the authors you still have…if you’re still trying to do everything yourself.
I mean this kindly, Robin – you’re not Super Woman. Start delegating. Save your personal attention for the things that you truly do better than anyone else. I predict everyone will be happier, and you’ll keep your authors.
J. R. Tomlin
October 8, 2012 @ 10:23 pm
I probably sound mean, but here is my honest opinion.
I have a VERY hard time with the idea of thanking someone for doing something that they were contractually obligated to do, that they should have done months ago and that their neglecting caused other people a lot of pain and problems. What’s more, I see no mention AT ALL that Robin Sullivan is taking steps to see that this kind of situation does not arise again.
I am very sincerely glad that Ann is getting her books back and her payments and that Nathan is as well, but this is no more than what Robin should have done. Better late than never. But that doesn’t exactly warrant thanks.
And I am not happy about Robin Sullivan taking it upon herself on KindleBoards to reveal the amount of Ann’s royalties (and to try to use that as some kind of excuse). Not well done.
Jim C. Hines
October 9, 2012 @ 9:38 am
At this point, it sounds like she’s all set. See today’s blog post for more details.
Jim C. Hines
October 9, 2012 @ 9:39 am
As am I, and thank you for the updates.