Trestle Press Bad Business Practices: Flash Over Removed

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This is one of those very rare times that I am not writing fiction here.

It is with a really sad heart that I am writing this: the “publisher” of Trestle Press has removed my eStory, Flash Over, from Amazon and Barnes & Nobles.

Without any notice, I got an email this week from the head of Trestle Press:

We feel that it is best that we unpublish your work at this time. Maybe at some point in the future we can work together. Thank you for being nice enough to give us a try and work with us. The rights of your work now belong to you. We wish you the best of luck in your journey; hopefully you will realize your dreams.

I wrote him back, it taking three times to attain clarification as to why he was doing this. This is what I got from him hours later:

To be cold about it: sales are zero, you are not on the social media I have asked everyone to be on, and we are implementing some exciting new things.I need everybody to be on the same page, period.
I understand everyone is an individual and have different needs and forces pulling at them in their lives, but by the same token we have invested time and effort.

Sales are zero: can’t argue with that. I pushed this as much as I could with my readers, but only so many bought it.  He only pushed it one time, as far as I know. As to the social media, I was on everything asked: Goodreads and Facebook. If there was more, I don’t know about it.

What I am angry about is not so much parting ways with a “publishing” group whose owner has been involved in very underhanded methods dealing with unlicensed artwork (see below), but in the way that it was handled.

If I had gotten an email that I needed to step up and do certain things or I’d be let go of my “contract”, that would have been professional and a way for me to respond. I could have done as he wished or said no, let’s cut ties. The “publisher” was never a good communicator, and he handled both this and his other misadventures very poorly.

Many other authors associated with Trestle Press took back their work, not wishing to be associated with the owner. I left Flash Over as it was, deciding that instead of asking for it back it would just be the only piece I’d have with Trestle. Obviously, I am now sorry I didn’t pull it like others did at the time. Live and learn.

Writers Please Take Note/Beware of Trestle Press: If you have thought to work with Trestle Press, please look into their business dealings first before you decide to go with them. The following are only a few articles on what occurred in the early part of 2012. There are many other accounts of the situation.

Trestle Press Dinged for Stealing Cover Art

Trestle Press, Art Thief

The Reprehensible Acts of Trestle Press

The Implosion of a Publishing Company

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39 responses »

  1. I don’t want to add fire to your flame, but did you check this company on Preditors & Editors before you contracted with them? I asked because I just did and it says, “Not recommended.” I don’t know how long that has been there which is why I asked if you checked them out initially. Doing so can save a lot of heartache and frustration.

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    • Brenda, not sure if you looked at the date of the post, but this is way behind us. Thanks for letting me know about Preditors and Editors. Not Recommended is the “nicest” thing one could say about Trestle Press

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      • This is the first time I’ve come across the post, so I thought I would mention it. i guess I’m more fortunate than many because I actually became aware of this site back in the early 2000s when i first thought about publishing. While I’m still working on my novel, I’m still researching potential publishers for the right time.

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  2. I was an author with Trestle Press and I left him. He wasn’t professional, he more or less gave me the run around and frankly I was tired of it. Then afterwards I heard of his copyright stealing. I was glad I left him when I did. I’m sorry that you had a bad experience with him, but it is a good thing
    that you are not with him anymore. Don’t give up, there are other publishers that are much better and trust worthy.

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  3. Stu, you have every right to be ticked off at the way this was handles. As you said ,he could have contacted you and discussed his problem with your work,so you could have had some reason or feedback without having to chase him down. I don’t know how all this works, but it sounds like self publishing may be a good way to go. I ‘m sorry for the letdown, but I know you’ll have success in the future.

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  4. Stuart you gave it your best and there are so many other ways to get published. I have heard great things about self-publishing and from the comment above, it seems to be a good alternative. Hang in there, you know you are an amazing writer, you will find the right niche to showcase your work and then this event will be forgotten.

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  5. Self publishing and using CreateSpace, Smashwords and others are so important. And you are using social media to tell the world about a questionable publisher’s practices. I hope they monitor social media backlash

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  6. I’m sorry too, Stu. But as you said, “Live and learn.” It’s the only thing we can do at times.

    I agree with Janette — self publish. I do with Lulu.com using their ISBN to publish and submit to Amazon.com for sales along with Lulu. It’s worked for me — my content stays with me and I can use my books as I see fit (or until they tell me otherwise).

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  7. I am sorry you had to deal with this publisher, Stuart. I am also surprised at the unprofessional way they communicated with you.
    I guess most anyone can call themselves a publisher these days. If I were you, I would self-publish my ebooks on Amazon. That seems to be where the action is.

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  8. This reminds me of the piece I wrote when one of my music business friends cut ties with a shady promoter. I agree with what John Hansen said, “It’s the publishers job .” Of course anyone who has a book published is going to do everything they can to get it sold. Lord knows if we didn’t want to sell our book we’d continue blogging or not write at all. But, unfortunately this kind of thing happens a lot and I am glad that you got out of it quickly and with your rights. Some people struggle for years back and forth to get those back. Thank you for sharing this, it is very helpful to all of us who are trying to be published.

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  9. I’m sorry to hear that happened. It does seem like they should have emailed you if they thought you should have been doing more–before they removed your book!

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  10. Don’t listen to anything the “publisher” tells you. It’s their job to sell your books, not yours. You should at least contribute, but if it’s sold nothing, the author isn’t to blame. It’s the publisher. Plus, you’re better off without them.
    Good luck on your future endeavos!

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  11. The good thing is that they didn’t appropriate your creative endeavor.
    The bad thing is that they appropriated others’.
    The surprising thing is, based upon the press information you provided, that you were surprised at the indifferent way you were dispensed.

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    • Roy, it was just that it came out of left field. All he had to do was leave my estory up, make any money off of it (if any), and at the end of the year just let it revert. I was not bugging him or doing anything “wrong”…so, screw him and the horse he eats for dinner.

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  12. Sorry to hear it, Stu. They handled that very poorly. Hopefully this setback will become an opportunity to take your fate into your own hands and grow.

    As for the ‘exciting things’ they have planned, from all the bad press I keep hearing about them I’m wondering if they consider bankruptcy to be exciting. Oh well, to each their own. 🙂

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  13. It pays for a business to instruct their clients on how to help, or how to help do better. I hope your investment in this company wasn’t anything more than your time. I’m VERY certain you’ll do better next time around.

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    • Thanks Anna. No more time then writing and posting about the story. He also wanted me to shill for others work, but I never saw them do it for me. It’s all good. Just another example of being careful of things that come too easy.

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  14. Agreed. If he was unhappy he should have contacted you with suggestions. In addition, Trestle collects what…30%? 40% ?. Part of that royalty fee should be to cover promotional costs (not that there are any – Trestle only use free social media anyway). By signing with Trestle, the author gets very little; a questionable cover, little/no editing, and uploading to Amazon which anybody can do with enough time. Then they are expected to pretty much promote their book – and everyone else’s, BTW – on their own. Not a great deal. You’re better off self-publishing or looking for a real publisher.

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    • Li…it also cost him nothing to just leave my eStory up and at the end of the “contract” year just let it go. I have no idea why he felt he had to expend the energy/time into doing this. Not a very good business person.

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