This feels surreal to me. After thirteen months of fighting for the rights back to my only Y/A book, Season’s Change: Summer, Noble Romance is officially closing its doors. Meaning? I have the rights back to my book, and an official letter to prove it. Finally.
The first certified letter I sent requesting my rights back and outlining breaches to my contract was dated July 27, 2012–over a year ago. I sent the last one on August 15, 2013—just last week. The first one was sent before the new CEO came on board. A man who’d never worked in the publishing industry. This had not instilled any confidence, and I’d promptly notified him that I still wanted my rights back. What followed were months and months of emails…some condescending…some downright shocking. All with no resolution. I’d met with an attorney. I knew my rights. I’d gone through the proper channels to get my issues fixed. I owed Noble no more books, but I still had a fight on my hands to get my first one taken down as had been my right at that time. It was a fight I didn’t want to endure at the time, so in January of 2013, I finally made an announcement about my issues with the publisher, pushed it aside, and focused my energy on more positive things.
Then my royalty statements ceased and more breaches mounted. My book disappeared from a retailer without explanation. I thought, good! They are finally taking it down like they should have effective 90 days after receiving my letter dated July 27, 2012. Then the book mysteriously showed up again. At this point, I didn’t care that this Y/A book wasn’t a breadwinner in that incarnation. I just wanted it back and to distance myself from the clusterfuck. Another round of emails started… one sided—I never received a reply from anyone…and back to the post office for yet another certified letter. Then the clouds parted yesterday with an announcement from Noble Romance Publishing that they are going out of business and all rights to my work have been reverted.
This has been a long battle. One that has taken time away from my writing, but one that also formed friendships with authors in the same boat. I’m glad it’s finally over…and that I have friends and colleagues who have emerged from the battlefield ready to move forward and away from the problems Noble Romance Publishing caused.
Let the celebration begin!