You may remember Lightsword, the scandal-plagued publishing company that defrauded authors and crumbled under author/editor Linda Daly's ineptitude and scores of lawsuits. Well, now Daly is back with LSP Digital and has announced that she's accepting manuscript submissions next year. She writes:
Linda continues her quest and passion for writing by working on several manuscripts and screenplays; while still mentoring gifted storytellers. As much as she enjoys creating a holiday for the mind, she remains mindful that without the guidance and direction from above, none of this would be possible.
It's nice to know that Daly is on a mission from God, but what could she possibly "mentor gifted storytellers" about? She doesn't know how to write, she's never had a screenplay produced, and she clearly doesn't know how to run a publishing company. But don't take my word for it. The shameful, sordid history of Lightsword is easy to find on the Internet…and her own, um, writing speaks for itself. Here's her description of her book SEA OF LIES:
From the opening scene, it is unclear he appears to be, or the devious and manipulative gigolo Jordan's uncle, and her friend Jules Storey, believe him to be. As two women, who look very much like Jordan, are brutally murdered, and a mysterious man shadows Jordan, fear sets in. Jordan begins to question just how well she knows her husband. Believing Grant intends to kill her, Jordan flees with Jules for the safety of her uncle's home in England that culminates into an explosive finale.
And here's her pitch for her novel PAPER HANGER.
Hours following the release of an inmate from Cumberland Penitentiary, the savage rash of murders including a seasoned and honored FBI agent are discovered. Further investigation unravels a life of corruption that may include conspiring with a fugitive from one of the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted and the unsolved Gardner Heist, valued over 500 million.Saucy, intelligent, and beautiful, Sharon Walker, a seasoned agent for the Department of Homeland Security, accepts the challenges and dangers surrounding her work, that is, until it reaches her own private world. Following the untimely deaths of her parents, killed execution style, Sharon's world is further rocked when she uncovers their secret lives as plate forgers for a counterfeit ring. Further investigations reveal that those who murdered her folks intend to keep their secret life a mystery, and will stop at nothing to assure it. Chad Lewis, (from "Sea of Lies") retired from the department is called in to uncover the truth.
The only thing sharper than her writing is her business savvy. LSP is launching a new line called "Coffee Break Reads" and she is generously sharing 45% of the royalties with the authors. But it's not clear what service LSP is providing in exchange for their 55% cut, since she requires authors to pay for the editing:
These stories must be in the most pristine edited condition before they will be considered for publishing. During the submission read-through process, we will determine the need for further editing, and while LSPD will not provide editing service on these reads, we will provide you with names of editors familiar with LSPD format. These editors are professionals and usually charge on average $3.00 per page. This is a one-time fee for a one-time edit, but it's well worth it, and you will be working with these editors one-on-one and completely separate from LSPD. We want these little reads to be exemplary and polished. And make note, we will not suggest you go through the editing process if we don't truly think we will publish your story. We live on tight budgets, too. We're here to help you make money, not cost you needlessly.
I suppose what Daly is offering is the same, stellar marketing expertise that has propelled her to the heights of literary obscurity and bankruptcy. Or perhaps it's the combinaton of all of that and her amazing eye for cover art, like this:
Despite her utter failure as an author, screenwriter, and publisher, she has the chutzpah to peddle a book that she's written called "ASPIRING WRITERS GUIDE: An Author Screenwriter and Publishers Perspective on Creative Storytelling, Volume 1." It's a whopping 32 pages and it's a steal at $7.98.
I can't imagine why any sane person would get into business with Linda Daly…or LSP Digital. There's is nothing she can do for you that you can't do better yourself…and that includes flushing your money down the toilet.
UPDATE: I am still trying to figure out exactly what LSP Digital is going to do to earn their 55% of the royalties from the books that they "publish." The authors have to pay for their own editing and, as it turns out, they are also responsible for all the marketing as well. She calls that LSP's "Commitment to Marketing." By that, I guess she means your commitment to marketing. Here's how she explains herself on her site:
I'm not suggesting that the marketing plan that we at LSP Digital have developed will offer you an opportunity at this year’s recipient of a Pulitzer or making the New York’s Best Sellers List. What I am suggesting, though, is that before your career can ever take off, you need to promote your work — create a buzz and we intend to help you.
The first thing we ask each of our authors to remember is that YOU must promote your book. That requires hard work, dedication, persistence and a solid marketing plan as the foundation for your business. One that we at LSP believes will pave the way to your and our success . Below is a list of fundamental tools needed to 'Market your Wares', many that LSP create for our authors to assist them in their marketing endeavors. NOTE: Although LSP Digital will offer support to our stable of authors, by providing them with an extensive marketing kit and valuable tools, we firmly believe that it is the author that must promote their work, not the publisher. We publish books and should not be confused as an authors publicist.
Uh-huh. So I guess what that means is that Daly will add a cover on your book and send it to Kindle and CreateSpace for you. Well, that's certainly worth 55% and not something you could do yourself. But wait, what about all those kernels of marketing wisdom Daly can provide? Here's a taste of her marketing brilliance, which has served her so well:
** Create your own Business cards (include logo and / or tag line (see below). MS Word has templates to choose from.
** Create a Tag line – one or two sentences describing your story to use for promotional materials.
** Add an Email signature. It should include your logo and/or personal tag line.
Wow. That's powerful stuff. How come nobody has ever thought of that before? Print my own business cards? Why the hell didn't that ever occur to me? Add a signature to my emails? Sheer genius. I'm putting that advice to work for me right away. But wait, there's more. She expects her authors to:
*** Requesting that they mail out (a minimum of 100) announcement letters to family, friends and colleagues introducing their release.
*** Send an email blast announcing the release.
*** Mail an introduction press release to local & national publications, talk shows, local media and local book stores.
My God, I am breathless. Her approach is revolutionary. No, that's not giving it enough credit. Her ideas are a revelation.
It is with great pride that we at LSP Digital offer such an extensive marketing plan and support to our authors. Ultimately, we accept without reservation that it is up to the author to embrace 'Marketing Your Wares' if they are to become the success that they are striving for, we just believe that by assisting them on this wondrous journey these added steps will set LSP and our authors apart from the others. After all, LSP Digital was founded to help others see their dreams come true, and we continue to do so as we move forward in this technology revolution.
It's so great that they embrace, without the slightest reservation, that their authors are responsible for everything and that LSP is responsible for absolutely nothing. That takes guts. No wonder Linda Daly has had such incredible success as an author and publisher. Now, if you will excuse me, I have to embrace my potential and print up some business cards.
5 thoughts on “Inept Publisher Rises from the Dead”
Flinching. I thought this load of bad news was done for good. Guess not. I had the privilege of knowing some of the authors she published as Light Sword, and they were unfortunately not open to suggestion that they improve their product and look for a legit publisher. I hope Limp Sword again does a quick fade-out.
I could not stop laughing at your comments, Lee, in the Update! You have a the true gift for “the hilarious rant” and if you would write a stand-alone about a crusading lawyer who is out to inform and save naive books-writers from such a scam like Light Sword, the sales would get started on a possibly super-selling new series, and the first entry would get made into a successful world-wide feature.
This your gold. Absolutely one hundred percent of you is behind these feelings, and the passion blasts out as authentically as it gets. Put these feelings into a novel. This is your sweet spot–the intersection of outraged morality versus ethical misconduct, the fight to save the soul of naive and desperate writers.
And it looks like the alerts have had an effect over at good ol’ Limp Sword! They’ve removed all the references to when they will be accepting submissions. They’ve also taken down the page that introduced new staff members, Charlotte J. Parker and Sheryl Hames Torres. The ‘Coffee Break Reads’ link is gone, too. Let’s hope this means the lights are out. We already knew nobody was home.
If anyone wants editing services, I can provide them for less than half the price of LSP. I have no relevant qualifications or experience, but I’ve ever appeared in bankruptcy court so that has to count for something.
Seriously? I’m never sure whether to feel sorry for the people sucked in by publishers like this, or to just shake my head in wonder that people can be so stupid.
Great piece, Lee, as nice a flaying as I’ve read in years. How do these parasites sleep at night?