Disintegration?

There’s a wee storm in the publishing world. It started last week when Jill Noble left Noble Romance. She sent out a letter to authors (I didn’t get one, but wouldn’t have expected to as I have only a single title there from February 2009) that can be found on Absolute Write if you want to see it. I’m not gonna post any links to stuff. There’s no need since this post is just my comment on what I read and observe and what facts I do know. And just so you know, my observations aren’t actual fact either because they are subjective. The bare facts are these:

  • Jill said she was the owner of the company.
  • She left the company and in the letter she sent out basically said she was an employee of the company not the owner.
  • She left the company without notice which, according to other Noble staff, left the processing of royalties in limbo since she was the one who did the reports.
  • She hasn’t removed the title of owner from all Noble Romance related social media or her own social media yet. It’s been changed on some but not all.
  • She said authors could contact specific Noble staff members for more information but at least one of those email addresses is now bouncing.
  • Editors were locked out of their email accounts. (This may have been because she left and passwords needed to be changed, not because the editors were being let go as some surmised.)
  • The author loop was shut down. (Purportedly because the authors were upset and panicked and expressed those emotions and a staff member took exception to the posts.)
  • A Noble staff member emailed at least one author and said there was already new management in place and Jim Noble, Jill’s brother and the man whom we are told by staff is the actual owner,  would make a statement by today.
  • Several authors opened a Yahoo loop for authors and staff after the other one was shut down. They also started a Facebook page for info posting.
  • Several authors have blogged about this. Also, Karen Knows Best, EREC, Teddy Pig and Dear Author have all mentioned it or devoted posts to it. (Comments on some of these have been…interesting.)
  • Jill and her daughter Natasha commented on author C.H. Scarlett’s blog about all of this.
  • Jill also commented on Facebook about it with a comment about cleaning out the trash which seemed to be directed toward Noble authors. That comment has since been deleted or made private but one author has a screenshot of it. (The comment is fact as the screenshot bears out, but the intent is subject to interpretation. I know what I think, but your mileage may vary.)

So what does this all mean? Well, for those of us who have been around long enough and have witnessed the demise of several publishing houses…it clearly appears to be disintegration of Noble Romance Publishing. A major person in the company either leaves abruptly, isn’t reachable, and isn’t conducting business as usual. Author panic ensues. Some staff defends the company. Other staff panics. A reorganization of some kind is attempted. Business as usual doesn’t quite come to pass. The house folds.

Noble seems to be following that pattern currently. Maybe I and everyone else who thinks the writing on the wall is wrong. Maybe Jim Noble can make this fly without his sister. Only time will tell. Meanwhile, there’s some nasty comments happening all over and someone on the author loop started feeding the posts there to Jill and/or her daughter Natasha which in turn has disintegrated into name calling and the public soothing of Natasha’s rumpled feathers by her mother on C.H. Scarlett’s blog. The only reason I mention this last thing is because it just seemed weird to me. Why do that in public? Can’t you just phone your kid? I mean, it leads me to believe that the comments were there for the authors who were panicked and ranting and not for Jill and her kid. Meh. What and ever.

I don’t have much vested here. I have a single title at Noble. I have never received a 1099 from them and will be requesting that they fix that. There’s a clause in my contract that they did not fulfill and I have already emailed the owner about that material breach and will be following it up with a certified letter. Basically, I want my rights back. They could just fix my problems with them and hold me to my 7 years. I don’t think they will last as long as it takes to make me wait until February 2016 for my rights. But we’ll see.

And now, here’s my photo for this week!

Yes! I finally finished the cover for Quintessence. I had been searching and searching for the right background and over the weekend I found it. This is the cover for Aiden and Cadence’s story.

And with that, I’m outta here. Have a great Monday!

 

UPDATE: One of the authors heard from Noble staff…the announcement from Jim Noble re the company reorg etc is now said to be coming middle of the week, not today. Hmmmn.

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10 Responses to Disintegration?

  1. Sammy says:

    They are not required to provide a 1099 unless you were paid more than $600 in one year.

    • Winter / Lex says:

      Actually, that’s incorrect. The threshold for royalties is $10.

      “The reporting threshold for nonemployee compensation, services, etc. and rents is $600. If the amount paid during the year is $600 or more, you owe the recipient a 1099-MISC. The threshold is only $10 in the case of royalties.”

  2. Sammy says:

    They are not required to provide a 1099 unless you were paid more than $600 in one year.

    • Winter / Lex says:

      Actually, that’s incorrect. The threshold for royalties is $10.

      “The reporting threshold for nonemployee compensation, services, etc. and rents is $600. If the amount paid during the year is $600 or more, you owe the recipient a 1099-MISC. The threshold is only $10 in the case of royalties.”

  3. Thanks, Jadette!

    Jen, it’s just one. I did the Child of the Week series with several other Cobb authors. I’m not even close to being as vested as some people who have over 10 books there. I’m not panicked. Either the breach gets me my right back or I get them back when they fold because I think they will fold sooner rather than later with no one at the helm who understands publishing. Plus they have a lot to clean up. I’ve never gotten a 1099 from them which is illegal. They could be fined in the hundreds of thousands of dollars for not issuing 1099s over the years.

    My personal take is that Jill and her brother got into it and she walked away leaving him holding a company that is fraught with issues. Business issues not just author issues. He’s a successful businessman so there’s no reason he wouldn’t know and understand these issues. He may be upset that she’s left him standing there as the person responsible for all the issues and for fixing them. It’s going to cost him money so the question becomes does he try to salvage it and fix all the breaches and other issues or does he cut his losses in an industry he’s not familiar with? It will be interesting to watch, that’s for sure.

  4. Thanks, Jadette!

    Jen, it’s just one. I did the Child of the Week series with several other Cobb authors. I’m not even close to being as vested as some people who have over 10 books there. I’m not panicked. Either the breach gets me my right back or I get them back when they fold because I think they will fold sooner rather than later with no one at the helm who understands publishing. Plus they have a lot to clean up. I’ve never gotten a 1099 from them which is illegal. They could be fined in the hundreds of thousands of dollars for not issuing 1099s over the years.

    My personal take is that Jill and her brother got into it and she walked away leaving him holding a company that is fraught with issues. Business issues not just author issues. He’s a successful businessman so there’s no reason he wouldn’t know and understand these issues. He may be upset that she’s left him standing there as the person responsible for all the issues and for fixing them. It’s going to cost him money so the question becomes does he try to salvage it and fix all the breaches and other issues or does he cut his losses in an industry he’s not familiar with? It will be interesting to watch, that’s for sure.

  5. Shit. I didn’t realize you had a title there. What a clusterfuck. Hope it all works out for you and the other authors.

  6. Shit. I didn’t realize you had a title there. What a clusterfuck. Hope it all works out for you and the other authors.

  7. Thanks for putting this out, Lex! Love your cover. Looks awesome!

  8. Thanks for putting this out, Lex! Love your cover. Looks awesome!