Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Brent Sampson should look in the mirror

Brent Sampson is the often inept and dishonest boss of often inept and dishonest Outskirts Press. He and his staff do so much so badly that I frequently criticize them on this blog and in my books.

Brent blogs, too. Yesterday he pointed out clauses in the contracts of his competitors that he thinks are "funny" because they are so anti-author. You can click on this link to see what bothers Brent -- clauses that limit the rights and income of authors.

A while ago, I examined the Outskirts Press author contract. It was scary -- not funny.

  1. Author receives 100% of the royalties profit for each wholesale print copy sold for which Outskirts Press receives payment. If you work your ass off promoting your book, and pay Outskirts to promote your book, but Outskirts sells copies of your book and doesn't get paid, you don't get paid.
  2. Royalties are paid to Author within 90 days following the end of the calendar quarter in which Wholesale Book Sales occurred If a book is sold on January 1, Outskirts doesn't have to pay you your royalties until 90 days starting on April 1 (i.e., the end of June -- six months later!).
  3. The Outskirts Press online bookstore offers discounts of up to 55% on purchases of 10 or more books to "Wholesalers, retailers, distributors," and requires payment by credit card. A bookseller's money should be in the Outskirts checking account two days after a purchase, but Outskirts doesn't have to pay you until up to 178 days later. You will become Outskirts's bank, potentially loaning it money for nearly half a year, but not being paid any interest.
  4. Outskirts will cancel your book if you don't pay their $25 annual digital storage and hosting fee within 30 days, but you must allow them six months to pay you. Conceivably, your book could be canceled if you owe them $25 for 31 days, even while they owe you hundreds or thousands of dollars.
  5. Outskirts Press does not warrant that the service or product provided will be uninterrupted or error free. That's certainly no surprise.
  6. Outskirts Press disclaims any and all representations and warranties, expressed or implied, including, without limitation, the implied warranties of merchantability, salability, or noninfringement of copyright. In other words, don't expect Outskirts to do anything right.
  7. Outskirts Press’s total liability to Author or any third-party for any and all damages shall not exceed in the aggregate the amount of fees actually paid by Author to Outskirts Press during the one month period prior to Outskirts Press’ act giving rise to the liability. If the author paid $5,000 two months before the screw-up, but didn't pay anything in the immediately preceding month, the author gets nothing -- even if the Outskirts error costs the author a million bucks.
  8. To the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, in no event shall Outskirts Press, its parent companies, subsidiaries, or affiliates, or any of their respective officers, directors, employees, or agents by [TYPO: should be "be."] liable for punitive, consequential, incidental, exemplary, indirect, or special damages, including without limitation damages for loss of profits, revenues, business data, or other intangibles, whether or not such damages were foreseeable and even if Outskirts Press had been advised of the possibility or likelihood of such damages. In other words, if Outskirts Press screws up, don't expect them to pay for any loss caused by their errors -- even if they knew in advance about the problem.
  9. Any legal action related to the terms of or obligations arising under this Agreement shall be brought in the District Court of Douglas County, State of Colorado. If you live in Alaska, Hawaii or New Hampshire, and you don't like what Outskirts did to your book, you have to travel to Castle Rock, Colorado to sue them.

Outskirts says its mission statement is "To exceed the expectations of every author we help publish." Authors can expect crappy books and inadequate promotion from a company that hides behind legal weaseling, denies any obligation to do the right thing, and may deny any liability when they do the wrong thing. 

(Map from Google, Courthouse photo from ColoradoOuting.com. Thanks.)

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5 comments:

  1. Every time Brent Sampson opens his mouth, he puts his feet in it.

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  2. Why is Outskirts still in business? Because there is an unlimited supply of ignorant SUCKERS!

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  3. I was just getting ready to sign up with them, thanks,I will go another route. thanks.

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  4. I set up direct deposit for my royalties with Outskirts Press. They owed me a substantial sum of royalties for the 3 month period. Instead of depositing the royalties into my account, they withdrew that amount from my bank account. Had I not had that amount sitting in my account, this could have caused huge financial complications and damage to my perfect credit rating. While they did eventually fix their mistake, there was never any apology for this or any of their many many many other screw ups. I very highly DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS COMPANY or PEA WIT BRENT SAMPSON to anyone considering self publishing. AVOID THEM AT ALL COST!

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  5. I have some exposure to Brent Sampson and very little with Outskirt Press. What I can say is that you are all correct about Brent Sampson. But, Outskirt Press is a good company. Brent is a pathological narcissist who is soon to be divorced after cheating on his lovely, hard working wife, with another pathological narcissist Ranelle Kitajima Ratcliff. He is a liar and cheat and his illness should not reflect on Outskirt Press. They just need to oust him.

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