I have made posts before about my publisher. At first I was so thrilled with being published that I ignored warnings about dealing with her from other people who had previously dealt with her on a professional level. Then, things were going so well, and so quickly, with the publication of my chapbook that I had nothing to complain about, nor did I have the chance, such was the speed at which things were moving.
Shortly after the book was released, I had a few indications that things were not quite what I'd hoped, such as only receiving half the number of copies I was promised, and many of the copies I'd received being damaged in the binding process, or just poorly bound, crooked and creased. I tried, however, to forgive this, ignore this, or convince myself that it was a one time thing.
Then I began getting complaints of buyers getting copies in this same condition, or better yet, not receiving their copies at all. Shipping time was horrendous, one order was never even seen, responded to, or filled at all.
There were also issues with the publisher being "too busy" "unable" or "unwilling" to fulfill the promises made before publication. I was promised a web page - and my book cover was indeed put on a web page with a blurb and an order button... an order button that was linked to a paypal account with a faulty email address, and a button that seemed to work intermittently. Then I was promised that there would be advertising and press releases. Neither ever came to fruition.
I was promised quarterly reports and payment. The first quarter ended on July 5, 2005, the second ended October 5, 2005. I have yet to see a penny of payment. I did receive my 'report' for the first quarter, but haven't even received that much for October.
I am now 6 months post-release. My emails go unanswered for days and/or weeks, when they're answered at all. The replies I do receive are nothing more than thinly veiled excuses for why I haven't been paid, which basically amount to the fact that the money simply isn't there due to (her) personal reasons. She claims to have come up against some personal crises that forced her to move, and go without internet connection. What in the world does that have to do with the money from the sales of my books? And if she has no internet (which is her reasoning for not replying to me most of the time, since August) why can I find 2 different places that she's posted or in some way left evidence of her online presence since then? And how is it that she's corresponding with other people via email during this same period?
The moral of this rambling post is this: should you be approached by Shaela Montague Phillips, or submit to Blue Steel Publications||Meeting of the Minds Journal||Chapbook Enterprises et al and be accepted for publication. Beware.