Friday, May 18, 2012

Jonathan Maberry Slams Undead Press


My Lord. Can this Undead Press story get any weirder?

Back in November I wrote about the Awesome of AnthoCon. While I was there I found myself in a conversation with Anthony Giangregorio, the man running Undead Press. We were discussing our business practices. It’s not going to come as a big surprise when I say that Tony and I didn’t see eye-to-eye when it came to business. My business philosophy is simple: pay everyone involved as much as you can get away with and put out the best products possible. His philosophy is simple, too: why pay people when you can get them to work for free?

Now, I want to make something clear – I’m not commenting on his ideology because I read about it on a random blog and I’m assuming that it’s right. No... that’s what he said to me, face-to-face. I know this for sure. And while we were discussing things, back at AnthoCon, I remember getting upset – because I disagreed with his business practices, and also because it seemed like he thought I was stupid for paying people. I told him how much I had paid one of my cover artists, and I honestly remember him rolling his eyes at me. 

But this is not the point... 
People are people... whatever...

Once the conversation was over, writing superstar Jonathan Maberry made his way over to me and we started talking. Within a minute or two, once Anthony realized that Jonathan was there, he jumped into our conversation and asked Jonathan if he would cough up a story for one of his anthologies. I was really surprised that Jon said yes - especially since I had just finished having an hour long conversation about questionable business practices with Anthony - but then it occurred to me that Jonathan is the nicest guy in the business. Jon - I know from experience - is on a mission to help the little guy. It’s one of the many reasons Jonathan is so great. I was lucky enough to publish Jon in Best New Zombie Tales Volume One, and our newest book, which should be released in paperback any minute now, Best New Werewolf Tales Volume One.

That conversation was... what? About six months ago, I guess. 

I didn't know that in the past six months Jonathan and Anthony had worked out the details, but I just found out that the oddly titled: Gnomes of the Dead: A Zombie Anthology is staled for release on May, 21st. It is being released by one of Anthony's imprints, Open Casket Press.  But before the book has even been made available, Jonathan has posted this on his facebook page:


Holy Shit. Jonathan is the NICEST GUY IN THE BUSINESS - and Anthony mangled his story! How did that happen? Why did that happen?

Making matter worse, Jonathan then stated that Anthony phoned his home and tried to get Jon to buy back his story - at a higher price! 

What?! Are you kidding me? 

This whole affair is becoming legendary. 

21 comments:

  1. I wish I could find this guy so I could beat his head in.

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  2. Unreal. It just goes on and on. Hopefully he has dug his hole deep enough that he can't ever crawl back into the publishing business again. Not that I'd trust him to make my change or fries at McDonalds, either, but it seems a more appropriate career path.

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  3. wow. that's insane. so stupid. JM is a great guy. what do we have to do to put this guy out of business?

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  4. Amazing. Does anyone know how Undead Press works? Would anyone buy back their story, really?

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  5. Tony G has no repsect or care for anyone other than himself. I am currently in a battle with him to get the rights back to my novel that he mutilated, but his responses to the situation are laughable. He just doesn't care. If you're interested, what he did to me is in this article.
    http://www.theworldofhorror.com/#/victims-of-a-rogue-publisher/4564468485

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  6. This guy is definitely lining himself up for a Griggs Award.

    (The Griggs Award is an imaginary award, given out for special achievements in author-publisher relations. It is named for Judith Griggs, publisher of Cook's Source.)

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  7. This episode just keeps getting better and better. I am thrilled, for once, to be the observer and not the participant.

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  8. Can any of the authors tell us if their stories were edited by "Vincenzo" or by Tony G.? Just to compare their editing style, mainly because there are more authors now starting to come out of the woodwork informing us that their work was mangled/changed. I still believe Vincenzo and Tony are one and the same. It's not like it would be the first time that Tony has assumed an alt identity.

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    1. I've wondered the same thing. Sometimes it seems like the same person, sometimes not, and nobody has come forward saying that they personally know Vincent. They also both share the same mistake while spelling Mady's name - each spell it Mandy De Geit. I hope that it is two different people. I'm not sure how I would feel if I did an interview with Tony while he was pretending to be someone else. Someone skilled in the art of tracking IP addresses - or interested in following the instructions available on the internet - could find out quickly.

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    2. According to her blog, that's her name. She smashes the two together as her pen name.

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    3. James, are you talking about somebody tracking the IP from the header of the emails? You need an email from Tony, and an email from Vincenzo, and yes it can be done.

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    4. I do not have any current emails from him, but the last IP traced from Anthony G was 76.118.63.61. I don't know if this is current. This IP is from 2010.

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    5. She smashes the two together as her pen name? Well. Now I know...

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    6. I thought you could track an IP from a blog posting. But maybe not.

      Clearly, I've never tried to figure it out...

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  9. Jonathan Maberry has been extremely helpful, and very friendly and approachable every time I've talked to him. It speaks volumes about him that he would lend his very successful name to a project by a small press like... whichever AG house it was.

    It's unfortunate this whole thing had to happen, and the entire chain of events saddens me.

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  10. *sigh*
    This Tony guy seems a total douche. 'nuff said.

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  11. My story "Better Than Candy" is in Cavalcade of Terror. I had a good experience with the editor. he edited as one should, doing only tweaking and clarifying a scene with an added sentence. I am an old pro in that I am well-known in romance, so I asked to be sent the edits for me to check.

    I am disgusted by Anthony's behavior with this new author. I am also very bummed that this happened. This was my first short story horror (a zombie tale) and I was using this anthology as a way to get my new pen name out there. I am currently working on a zombie novel.

    Now I've been given my story back. Anyone interested in reading it for placement in a new home contact me at Myranour@aol.com.

    Lucky for me I'm a huge horror fan, because this experience has been a horror to me.:(

    Myra Nour
    aka M.L. Traxler

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  12. I don't get the business sense in burning every bridge you come to, of antagonizing every author -- an articulate bunch -- who works with you. You get a bunch of free stories, yeah, but also bad publicity and books that no one wants to publicize.

    I wish the best, and most deserved, outcome for all concerned.

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  13. The "editor" assured me back in May that my story was to be pulled from all versions of the book. I learned today that the POD and Kindle versions of GNOMES OF THE DEAD still includes my story. So, now he's moved into the realm of actual theft and fraud.

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  14. Oh my God. That sucks. Thank you for sharing, Jon. I'm really sorry that this has happened to you. You deserve so much better. You're one of the nicest guys in the industry...

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