Guest Post by Ruth Dewey
This one is in real time, readers. You have been patient enough so I will cut to chase and tell you what you can do if you have been victimized by Dorrance. If there is anything I hate, it is reading and reading, the rest of the story to determine whether what you reading is true, then I will continue to dissect the letters, e-mails and contract for you. You are probably asking your self if anyone could be so dumb. Yes, I am a blonde. That should answer the question. Now before I start writing word salad, here is the information for which you have no doubt been waiting.
What you can do to recover your money is two-fold. Number one, contact the Better Business Bureau and file a complaint. Hopefully you have kept all of your receipts, letters, e-mails and, of course, the contract. Dorrance will scream when you do this but let them scream. They have Chinese water-tortured you for several years, now, bled you dry and now it is time to turn the tables.
The Better Business Bureau will say they "in good faith" attempted to right the wrong. Balderdash! All they do is whimper that they are sorry that the author lost the money he or she "invested" in the book but they have no control over "the reading public." When they produce a book that they know will not appeal to the audience for which it was intended, they HAVE control and you have lost it as well as your money. When I did not accept their lame response, the BBB put them on their reliability report for three years. That was some satisfaction but that alone was not going to be enough to recoup my money. I then contacted the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office with my complaint. It took them about two weeks to process it and they assigned me an agent -- impressive!
The third thing you can do is to contact your accountant or other tax person. While you are waiting for mediation to take its course, when you file your tax return, you can take up to $3,000 as a capital loss. Hopefully, what you get as a refund and what the settlement the mediation process produces will
equal what Dorrance skunked out of you. Enter the police to break up the shell game. I have also just learned that Dorrance is now running television ads in the state of Florida to pull in more unsuspecting authors. If they have the money to run these ads then why don't they have the money to market your
books as they claim they will. I highly suspect that they used our promotional money to promote their "company." Their contract calls for a promotional bud get of $1,000 per book, yet I paid them between $3,000 and $4,000 after the book was produced. What do they do with the money collected after the
initial $1,000 is spent? While I realize that marketing is not cheap, if Dorrance collects that from each author and from the looks of their bookstore, they have enticed thousands of authors to partake of their program. Why is that money not better spent on television ads to promote the books? I will tell you
why. They do such a number on your book that no one wants to read a book published by them, much less by them. The book doesn't matter nor does the author. Again, it is all about the money. Once they get it, the "service" slows down until it is non-existent. They got what they wanted from the author and
you and your book are history as far as they are concerned. Your book was hook.
Ruth D. Dewey is a former English teacher turned gentleman farmer's wife. Her first book is SPRINGBORN, (Dorrance Publishing Co. 2009) a poetic chronicle of a calico kitten's life employing the Old English kenning. She is also a contributor to ANGELS magazine. Her current work-in-progress concerns her recent experience with Dorrance Publishing Company.