Noble Romance No More

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!

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7 Comments

  1. Hi Mandy,

    I am so happy to hear that your battle with Noble Romance has come to an end. I can only imagine how horrendous the decision to no longer post under your pen name, and somehow finding the strength to endure a beloved piece of your writing being abused was:( I received the email last night as well. To me the news was very disheartening…even though now it is clear to me that I dodged a massive bullet.

    It was Wednesday February 13th 2013, that I received the news I had always only dreamed about. That me…little ole me…was going to be a REAL published author. That all my hard work and sleepless nights had paid off. I even had the wonderful cover art delivered to my email…and wow…you know?! It was real. I feel like they have taken this from me. I feel almost embarrassed to have been associated with Noble…since yes, of course, I told everyone who would listen to me my wonderful news. So now here I am left with my thoughts, back at the beginning, and honestly a bit pissed off!!! Time to start anew.

    I look forward to seeing your book in the loving arms of a caring and professional publishing house.

    All The Best:)

    Laura<3

  2. I understand completely. When Jill announced she was leaving, I cried. For days I was totally useless. It wasn’t that I felt she was abandoning me personally or that without her the company wouldn’t succeed. On the contrary. I’d had problems within months of signing…before my book ever released…which was under her tenure. Once I’d tried to look at the bright side of things, the optimistic side of me thought her leaving could be turned into a good thing. I’d been wrong.

    What was even more frustrating for me was that I’d chosen Noble… as in, I had three acceptances and I went with them (Noble did Y/A and erotic, so I’d foolishly hoped I was expanding my erotic connections as well). The other two publishers are going strong, so I understand all about regret and embarrassment.

    What you have to do is take this as an experience and move on. Chances are none of us is going to hit the book lottery (have a one hit wonder), so it’s going to take time and a lot of books to build a following and make money. My Noble book has never sold well. As in, maybe 20 copies over the nearly two years its been out…at least as what my irregular statements showed. Yet I sale thousands of other books a month.

    The sad truth is this happens all the time. I know authors who’ve had publishers close their doors, had agents who’d left the business, and signed book deals with “major” publishers only to get dropped because the first book didn’t do well. They think they’ve arrived only to get pushed onto their asses. What we have to do is be diligent and work hard. Make those connections and interact with our peers. If you work hard, you can succeed.

    As for my book, it’ll never see the light of day again in it’s current form. I’d already decided to go a different direction with the series after this had happened. I used the negative and turned it into a positive by focusing this brand on erotic. You’re lucky in that yours hasn’t been published by them. You can go to a new publisher without the strings attaching you to Noble. They aren’t the end all be all. I’d start big and work your way down to the smaller, reputable ones…and there are still good, smaller publishers out there. Amira Press has been awesome to me. I’ve heard good things about Evernight, Jupiter Gardens, etc., but don’t settle on a publisher you don’t believe in just so you can have that accolade. Great example… I was in talks with Harlequin on a series. I’d love to work with them, but they wanted me to change an element I felt was crucial to the story. I walked. I was professional, and would still send them other projects, but I wasn’t going to settle just so I could be published with them.

    Be proud of your work and never settle for what you believe isn’t the best. 🙂

    • Luckily, I have a strong optimistic side to me as well. So here I am, picking myself up and dusting myself off. Thank you, Mandy:)

      • Anytime. 🙂 We are all feeling the range of emotions right now. But as I sit here sipping my wine after typing “Then End” on another manuscript, I know there are brighter skies ahead for me. 🙂

  3. Congrats, Mandy! Onwards and upwards for all of us now! I’ll be posting in a few hours, too 🙂

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