The recent development of Jill's resignation from Noble Romance has been one that didn't effect me directly, but did effect many that I am associated with, both in a family and friendly capacity.
My mom, Brita Addams, has been with NRP for quite a number of years, both as an author and as an employee. She has been and I imagine always will be effected by this sudden departure. Many emails about serious matters and not-so-serious matters have gone unanswered and for that, I am both honored and grateful that I never had to deal with the lack of professionalism that was and still is NRP, at least on the author side of it.
I was there for the YA line for a short time. In that time, I experienced many problems with lack of structure and actually knowing what my job entailed. I'd ask, but emails wouldn't be answered. I was left with no choice but to resign from my position because I can't just be told, "Here are the book covers. Figure it out."
I have read several blogs from authors and on-lookers alike and it pains me to see all of these very talented and hardworking individuals go unanswered to the very obvious yes or no questions. Some comments left by Anonymous individuals are ridiculous and obviously by a close spokesperson of NRP. The word "slander" has been used in some of these comments. I have news for you. The dictionary definition of slander is as follows:
1. defamation; calumny: rumors full of slander.
2. a malicious, false, and defamatory statement or report
The comments made by these very disgruntled authors are neither rumors nor are they false. They are very real and honest and I know that being the daughter to the most honest woman I have ever met.
Due to the contract breaches and blatant disregard to the authors and employees of NRP, I believe that it should have been an automatic option for authors to choose whether they wanted to continue their business with this company or not. The first email out should have been from Jim Noble, and not from an employee who knew just as little about the circumstances as the recipients of the resignation notification letter from Jill.
This unwritten letter should have offered the opportunity to part ways, as many have been trying to accomplish for months. My mother being the one trying to get an author's first refusal approved for many months now, only to be told it would have to go further up than Jill was capable of approving. Why then was nothing said from Jim or any of the other "higher-ups."
And for the record, Jill has never been quiet about the fact, or as it appears, fiction that she was the owner and operator and that her brother, Jim, was just the financial backer. Now, all of a sudden, she is but an employee and has no rights at all. Interesting.
If memory serves, Jill's maiden name is Noble and she used that name when it benefited her. Trust me. Now, in her letter, she signed it Jill Shearer. I imagine this was to separate herself from the Noble name, as to not be a target of, "Wait. You're an employee? Isn't your last name Noble?"
A business is not run, or rather shouldn't be run this way. The ONLY reason NRP has made it this long was BECAUSE of their authors and responsible employees. Now, if you can't appreciate the people who keep you in business and at least answer emails in a timely fashion, then what gives you the right to have to even think about giving the rights back to the authors if that is what they want?
If by the off-chance that anyone representing (in an authoritative capacity, I mean) NRP is reading this, please at least consider giving your authors the choice to get their rights back. Due to this current situation (not paying royalties on time, not releasing their books when they are told, not answering emails), I don't think you have the right to be choosy if you want to have even a slight chance of staying afloat.
As far as not releasing the books on time; I witnessed this with the YA line. Authors spend good money, time and effort to promote the release date of their books. We get psyched up for it and it's a proud day for all of us. We write blogs, Facebook messages, tweets and then the NRP authors get told that because the publisher screwed up and didn't manage their time correctly, that all the hard work and promotion was for nothing and they have to wait another week, or longer. Then on the date the book is actually released, sometimes it wouldn't even be uploaded until really late in the evening. I saw this happen to my mom and many of the YA authors when I worked there.
As an ex-employee who did promo for the YA line, it was hard to promo the books a week or a few days prior to the release date, because chances are, it wouldn't even have been released when it was supposed to. For this and for the other reasons mentioned above, I had to quit. I couldn't stand for something I didn't believe in and how the company was run.
With the royalties not being paid on time. I have six words for you. Don't mess with a person's money. Bills have to be paid and some people actually get paid enough in royalties to live off of, but to not pay them when they are told, that would be my last straw.
So, as if it's not blatantly obvious already, their rights should be returned if they so choose and I am so very lucky to have gone to Decadent when I was researching what publisher to go with.
/end of rant
And to "Anonymous," if you decide to comment and accuse me defamation or slander as you have done with many others, please pick up a dictionary and read those definitions first. It will prevent much embarrassment and idiocy on your part.