PODdy Mouth Post comment

A few days ago I posted about a query on the excellent PODdy mouth blogsite regarding Raider Publishers. A follow up comment was later posted by “Wordsmith”. I would like to take this opportunity to reply to the comments left.

“Wordsmith” wrote,

Mick, you should be more careful to find out the facts before you write things such as this. Do you just believe everything you read on the internet without checking it out for yourself first?! Surely this is the wise thing to do?You say the ‘wonderful and decicated‘ man you mention is a ‘champion’ for author’s rights BUT this man is a competitor of Diggory’s so it is in his interest to diss their reputation! Also he makes some very dumb and also contradictory claims in his complaint. You can be sure that IF he had a case this would have been through the courts already. To date, Diggory have not been taken to court by anyone, (these facts are easily verifiable), far less had any judgment against them, so how could any author be ‘screwed’ over in the British law courts? It is just more lies by this so-called authors champion, very easy to say and to damage a company’s reputaton, but impossible to actually backup! In fact easy to prove its a lie.It is very easy to cry ‘wolf’, but no proof has been provided anywhere he actually tells the truth on anything. In fact there is actually plenty of evidence he is talking nonsense. He claims he has a long list of authors but he has said that for many months and it is just what HE says. You believe him at your peril for he makes some really ludicrous claims such as them making secret isbns and so on. How can you even do this?!! It is impossible. I feel very sorry for Diggory Press.
January 15, 2008 8:11 AM

Thank you “Wordsmith” for your comments. Firstly, let me point out that I stand corrected. Currently, as of this month, no formal action by Stephen Manning of Checkpoint Press, by himself, or on behalf of any authors has reached the British courts as a class action against Diggory Press in the uk. However, what cannot be in dispute is that writers through a number of well know on-line forums have expressed complaints about their treatment by Diggory Press. Through 2007, and in particular on the BooksandTales POD writers forum, an unseemly tirade of exchanges ensued, with claims and counter-claims . Few casual forum visitors could possibly have avoided it. I have rightly edited my original posting, and this reflects the situation, that there remains questions about this whole affair, and any writer considering POD publishing would have reservations about placing their work with Diggory Press. Some writers may concur with “Wordsmith’s” view that Stephen Manning has been unfair to Diggory. They may even feel that this view is the majority view. This is not entirely my view, by any means.

To any perspective POD author, who has carefully thought about publishing through the self-publishing/subsidy channel, they would probably be familiar with the Predators&Editors site and forum. This is a site which is well respected by writers who publish both through traditional channels and POD. Let me remind writers and “Wordsmith”, that this site currently classifies DiggoryPress as “Not Recommended”. Hmm…they must believe everything they read on the Internet too, like me, huh, “Wordsmith”?

Most writers who write and are published still have to hold down full time jobs. This is the honest reality of the field of writing. Most of them work for companies in many varying industries and services. Most of these companies in the normal course of business will have customers, some elated with the service they receive, some quietly satisfied, and there will be those in a natural minority who are not satisfied, perhaps they are even deeply unsatisfied and aggrieved. From Stephen Manning’s input on his own site and various forums, I think its fair to say which category he would have an affinity with.

Regarding the above, let me draw “Wordsmith” to what I said in my original posting, in case he thinks I am unfairly taking sides, or foolishly jumping on an Internet victim bandwagon.
The reality I have found is that most authors who pay for a POD services get what they pay for, and if they complain afterwards, its usually because they went into the POD process naive and as author Mark Levine might say, didn’t read “The Fine Print of Self Publishing”.

Let me take this opportunity to set things clear and straight. I have never met Stephen Manning, though he has been a part of posting threads on forums that I have posted to. It is my opinion that Stephen Manning feels deeply aggrieved about his experience with Diggory Press and does believe he is championing other authors causes. As I have not met him, I do not know if some of his motivation is revenge, though I have seen countless blog postings and forum postings from aggrieved authors who have expressed exactly that feeling and motivation.

Quite frankly this whole business has taken up far too much time and bytes on the Internet over the past year, and as “Wordsmith” rightly pointed out in his comment, until and if an action ever comes about we can all hold our own opinions, as nothing will truly be proven as fact unless it lands in a court of law.

I would urge any perspective author to research any POD publisher they are submitting to and while you can be guided by the forums and other writers, it is you who will have to put things in perspective and decide what you are looking for from a publisher.

I have always stated that what appears on this blogsite are my views and opinions and I am happy to stand corrected. I would like my own right of reply in regards “Wordsmith’s” comments.

To date, Chechpoint Press have listed a half dozen or so books, so I would not describe them as a competitor of Diggory. I’m sure they are quaking in the boots at the rise of the Manning empire.

I entirely agree regarding the ISBN issue. Having self published under my own publishing imprint, once assigned, ISBN’s are simply not transferable. This is ludicrous as each ISBN is unique and identifies the publisher with the first few digits.

I don’t do nicknames or pseudonyms, I express my opinions under my own name. While I may be critical, I will not engage in abuse or personally derisory remarks.

Let me leave you with “Wordsmith’s” own words speaking about Stephen Manning on Emily Veinglory’s blogsite some weeks ago regarding this very same issue in case there is any confusion as to where he stands;

The guy is obviously not right in the head, he makes some really ludicrous claims. I feel very sorry for Diggory Press. The guy has made similar complaints about other companies before, and seems to be a serial nightmare customer from hell. According to Diggory’s website, they are not currently taking on any new projects as they are at full capacity, but their output continues nonetheless with their latest batch of books brought out in December.

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