Publisher incompetence and greed over “in print” can lead to bad reviews

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Daughter of God  remains a reader favorite as evidenced by a long and continuing stream of emails and social media posts that continues to this day — 18 years after it was first published in hardcover by MacMillan/Forge/Tor.

But a huge problem has arisen over the publisher’s lame attempt to technically keep the book in print. The contract says I can’t get the rights back as long as the book is in print.

So, the publisher has foisted a pathetically flawed Kindle and on-demand paperback at Amazon (Daughter of God Kindle Edition).

Sadly, a number of contacts from readers say their reading experience was ruined by those versions which are sloppy, and filled with numerous scanner artifacts that that they have been too lazy and/or incompetent to correct.

Edited by a kindergarten student!

Not surprisingly, a substantial number of unfavorable reviews are recent, and involve publishing mistakes, not the story or writing. (bad news, good news … still bad)

I have to agree with the reader who left the following comment:

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Buy used instead

Used hardcovers and mass-market paperbacks are available at Amazon and other used book sellers and will offer a good experience not marred by publisher incompetence.

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So why don’t I sue them?

Daughter of God has had way too many legal actions. I’m done with that.

Back in 2003, hundreds of readers emailed me to say that they felt The Da Vinci Code had plagiarized Daughter.

After reading Code, I wrote Random House and suggested — politely — that online and in a future edition, they give me credit. I didn’t demand money or threaten to sue. However, they eventually spent more than $300,000 suing me and asking a New York Court to declare that Code was non-infringing.


No jury, no experts, no evidence

After the judge refused my requests to allow the world’s foremost forensic linguist to testify, denied several university experts a hearing, and ruled out all of the emails from readers who saw plagiarism, and denied a jury trial, he ruled in favor of the Code publisher, Random House.

Random House later asked the court to make me pay their legal fees. But a small measure of justice was done when an impartial Federal magistrate — charged with determining whether I should pay them $300,000+ in legal fees they spent to sue me — said no, that my case was proper and well-founded.

Lengthy Vanity Fair investigation comes down unequivocally: Plagarism.

Investigative reporter Seth Mnookin (Newsweek, Vanity Fair) was one of the very few people who looked beyond Random House’s spin doctors and high-priced lawyers and into the facts of my verified plagiarism action against Dan Brown and the Da Vinci Code.

As Mnookin’s Vanity Fair article points out, the plagiarism was clear and seen by people from across the globe. The piece also shows how Random House “won” their legal case in New York only by exploiting a technicality that excluded the the smoking gun evidence that proved the plagiarism. One more victory for those who can afford to buy a court decision with big-money lawyers.

No more courts: Justice is too often bought and sold.

In a great example of how courts are all-too-often institutions of the personal whims of the judge instead of the law itself, the magistrate went on at length about how plagiarism seemed to have been present.

Indeed, a jury trial — which I requested and was denied in NY — would have been mandatory (along with expert testimony) if I had sued Random House here in California.

We are not a nation of laws. We are a nation of judicial whims which vary widely from one jurisdiction to another. While justice often does come from a court, only a fool should expect it.


Lew's Books