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and life along the winding road

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Dog Ear Publishing Review

Some time ago I posted blog posts on the pitfalls of self publishing and one of those pitfalls was in choosing Dog Ear Publishing to publish my first cozy mystery, A Graceful Death. You can read some of the posts here. One of the complaints I had was that, unlike Outskirts Press they didn't offer e-book publishing. I rectified that by formatting my book myself and offering it for sale on Smashwords and Amazon (Kindle). At a later date, Dog Ear contacted me and asked if I wished them to provide my book formatted in e-book form as they were now providing that service (the special offer was 50% off their normal rate of $399). I declined and told them I already had the book available for Kindle, and Smashwords provides formats for other devices. So, after signing my book up for KDP Select, a new program through Amazon in which the author agrees not to publish the book in e-book form anywhere except through Amazon, I was surprised to find that Dog Ear had chosen to publish the book in e-book form that I had neither agreed to, nor approved the format. I also did not agree to their publishing it at a price of $9.57 (my e-books are all around $2.99 and occasionally offered free for Kindle.) Another problem I have is that the reviews on Google Play complain about the formatting which I find frustrating as I had neither seen the formatting nor approved the e-book. I have contacted Dog Ear Publishing and the Better Business Bureau and hope Dog Ear will remove it for sale on Google Play or anywhere else they might have taken it upon themselves to publish without my permission or knowledge.

Note: I did receive a response from Dog Ear to my BBB complaint and e-mail - . Here are their responses:

I can appreciate Ann Summerville's concern.  However, all she had to do was contact us and request the removal of the Google Editions version of her book.  In fact, she did contact us over this past weekend by leaving a voicemail.  We aren't open over the weekend.  We did respond on that first business day after the weekend.  Additionally, we contacted Google and asked that her book be removed from distribution. 
Miles Nelson

Thanks for leaving a voicemail message for us over the weekend. Per your request, I have notified Google to remove the Google Edition of your book. Google Edition is the sole digital format that comes with all of our packages as evidenced by the description of our Basic Package.

 Removing it from the package is fine and simply takes a request either by phone or email.
 You have not received our eBook conversion service (Kindle, Nook and iBook). The offer that you declined earlier was for this add-on service.
 Sorry that this resulted in any confusion. If you have filed a complaint with the BBB, please notify them of the above facts so that all parties know the source of the misunderstanding.
 Matthew Murry
Manager, Author Services
Dog Ear Publishing

In another e-mail from Matthew Murry he stated that a broadcast e-mail was sent out a year ago from Dog Ear to all authors offering a free e-book service (I didn't receive it and therefore didn't accept their "offer").  

My thoughts:
They seem to have missed the point. If Dog Ear changed their basic package several years ago and included e-book in this package after I first hired them to print my novel, I should have been informed, been given the option to review the e-book before it was "published" and given an opportunity to choose the retail price both of which were part of the process for the printed novel. Until Amazon contacted me regarding violating the terms of my KDP Select agreement with them, I didn't know that Dog Ear had published my book in e-book form and therefore their comment that "all I had to do is contact them" is redundant. Leaving the author out of decisions to publish copyrighted work is simply unacceptable.

Although as of today the book is still showing on Google Play, hopefully it will be removed soon. 


Mason Canyon said...

You have definitely experienced a pitfall with this company. That is no way to do business for sure. I hope you get things straighten out with them.

Thoughts in Progress

Joanne said...

Good luck. It's a shame that Dog Ear's just doing what they want with your book. But hey, at the time, the whole Amazon thing hadn't ramped up. A Graceful Death is such a good read. I hope it can all all get sorted out in your favor.

K9friend said...

How frustrating! Thanks, Ann, for alerting everyone to this situation. Hope it soon gets straightened out!

Critter Alley

city said...

thanks for sharing.