AshEdit—News About Books & Writers

February 12, 2012

TRESTLE PRESS ALLEGED STEALING ART FOR E-BOOK COVERS

Filed under: Uncategorized — ashedit @ 1:00 pm

ELAINE ASH: Hello Giovanni! How nice to hear from you. I run a blog about books and writers that has a loyal following of dedicated book readers and buyers.  www.ashedit.wordpress.com I would love to run a piece about Trestle and some prominent authors who have signed with you. If you would kindly say yes, my first question is below.

Trestle Press is mentioned all over these days and some very good authors have signed with your company. Can you tell me what Trestle does and what it offers authors?

Best regards,

Elaine Ash

GIOVANNI GELATI of TRESTLE PRESS: That is a loaded question.

We are a growing publisher that is currently in the midst of spinning off a variety of new Imprints to help our authors enjoy a more focused voice and drive more potential readers their way.

For our Noir/Hard-Boiled authors we have started “Dark Pages Press” and for the Christian/Inspirational authors “Helping Hand Press”.We will be announcing the names of other Imprints for Romance, Paranormal/Fantasy, and Horror very soon.The websites for all Imprints will be up and running before Thanksgiving.

We do all our work in house:editing ,formatting,cover art…

As Far as what we offer, I am going to say that we have a very unique team spirit here and that is a testament to the authors we have been fortunate to get the opportunity to work for.They are selfless, dedicated,passionate about their craft, and also have a strong desire to satisfy their readers and form bonds with them.

Thanks and what else do you have for me? What can we do for you?

Elaine Ash: Is Trestle actually housed in a building, or are you a group of workers connected by the company and the internet? Can you tell me the people who make up the team?

Giovanni Gelati: No I can’t really tell you the cast of the team, I drew the short straw and I am the front man for this party.I am open to answering other questions.Giving away the size and strength of our army is not in our interests. We do not do this for notoriety, we here at Trestle, simply do it to help authors and those that wish to authors to realize their hopes and dreams, and to help readers find them and form a bond. Those that wish to join the party are welcome, we are all for inclusion.

Elaine Ash: I understand. How about the deal you offer writers? Have you defined your royalties to compete specifically with other publishers? How do you feel Trestle compares to other e-publishers such as Snubnose Press or New Word City?

Giovanni Gelati: No we have not, I really haven’t seen or been spoken to anyone else about that. We decided to try to be different, have a different operating model, look at things from a different angle and just move forward as best as we can.We cannot be concerned with what others do, say, put forth. Things change on a daily basis, we are built to go with that and try to remain focused and flexible.We ask each of our authors for input: “How can we do better, how can we serve you and the reader better?”

Trust me they have opinions and very good ones. The power of their collective, brilliant, creative minds is just amazing.

Personally it is a joy to wake up to it and be a conduit for it.I take no credit for it ,believe me.

Elaine Ash: Understood. Thanks Govanni. How about royalties. How often are they paid out? Is it quarterly like Amazon? Does each writer have an account such as Paypal where proceeds are accrued directly or are writers paid directly via the good old snail mail check system?Is there a general royalty percentage for everyone, or does  each writer negotiate his/her own deal?

Giovanni Gelati: Some things I don;t discuss with anyone but the writer, that is one.I am a bit surprised by the nature of your questions.

Elaine Ash: I’m sorry Giovanni, did you not understand this was an interview about the company? These are standard business questions that are included in a business profile. Unless I have it wrong and you are a charity. Did I miss some important info? Please set me straight, if so.

Best regards,

Elaine

Giovanni Gelati: I have no idea who and what you are, I have an email address that says anonymous -9. I stick to our policy, it doesn’t move for anybody, sorry.Your tone is a bit much, I know that is part and parcel of email, but that is the view I have here. So to set you straight, if you are really a good friend of [name redacted], then you would respect my wishes without the pointed questions, to date with the interviews I have done ,I have fielded some serious questions but yours have crossed a line I am not going over.

Elaine Ash: Sir, I mean no offense. In my first email I gave you my name and the address of my blog. I have a devoted following of readers and writers. I blog about books and writers. I am a professional editor. I know [names redacted] on a professional basis. I know they have all entered into publishing agreements with Trestle. I was hoping to do a professional business interview and tell my readership a bit about your business and what you have to offer. Publicity can help companies sell books.

I am sorry that you feel that my tone is incorrect. I am only trying to ask questions on behalf of my readership and get valuable information which can help them decide if a publishing company is right for them.. That’s all I was trying to do.

Regrets,

Elaine Ash

Giovanni Gelati: I will do what I do with the other interviewers then, send me 5 or more questions, I will answer those that I feel I can.The others i do not do not answer. I hold many confidences in my position, I will stick to them. If that is unsatisfactory then I apologize.

Elaine Ash: Mr. Gelati, here is my preliminary  email to you so you can see the way I introduced myself from the very start, below. You will see that I have explained myself, my blog, and what I am trying to do, in detail and followed up with detailed questions. If you would like to change any of your answers, go ahead and submit the new information. Readers will judge the best publishing company for their work, based on clear, factual information that explains services and profit split/distribution in detail. The more detail you provide, the more readers like it.

Thank you for your time.

Best regards,

Elaine

Giovanni Gelati: Submit what other questions you have if any, if not then I guess we are done. None of us do this for the spotlight, none of do this for any other reason than to help others. Your need for information and what you think is your right to know is not my concern.My concern is the confidences I have with those I work for and I am not about to breach that.

If someone wants to judge me on that, print this verbatim without taking any of my words out of context or being removed from the sentences.

We have and do exercise on a daily basis teamwork and inclusion for all, that does not mean or give me the right or the need to air any ones business.

Enjoy and have a nice day!

END INTERVIEW

For more information on stories posted on the cover-art-theft allegations please go to:

http://litreactor.com/news/digital-publisher-trestle-press-dinged-for-stealing-cover-art

http://doodle777.deviantart.com/journal/Art-Theft-Boo-282415361

http://sandraseamans.blogspot.com/2012/02/trestle-press-heads-up.html

Trestle Press website: http://www.trestlepresspublishing.com/

Comments are encouraged, below.

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25 Comments »

  1. LOL. What an absolute [expletive deleted] this guy is.

    Comment by Lewt — February 12, 2012 @ 2:07 pm

  2. lewt, just to expand on your comment: what an absolute POMPOUS [expletive deleted] this guy is.

    thx for this, elaine, an [expletive deleted] to avoid, for sure!

    it’s not like you asked for specific numbers, merely logical ‘company’ policy that should be open to anyone requesting same, whether writer, artist, editor, or whatever…

    he even has the balls to say, from the outset: “We do all our work in house:editing ,formatting,cover art…”

    seems to me, anyone not forthright about their “business” practices, is one to RUN from, not just walk!

    hope the artists sue not only his, but also his trestle press’ asses off!

    good to see genuine writers abandon this twit; he appears a travesty, a shylock, a charlatan

    nuff said!

    Comment by laughingwolf — February 12, 2012 @ 2:41 pm

  3. Thanks for the comments guys! I have redacted the more colorful terms just to CYA everybody. The story has smashed all records at Ashedit. Hundreds of readers have poured into the site, and the day ain’t over yet.
    EA

    Comment by ashedit — February 12, 2012 @ 7:34 pm

  4. Sounds like he thought you would write up a nice puff job on him and the company, with no real information to help authors wisely choose (or not) a publisher. And methinks the gentleman doth protest just a wee bit too much, as well as being rude

    Comment by Suellen Roley — February 12, 2012 @ 9:01 pm

  5. I think it’s fairly clear that Trestle is a one-man band – the reason Gelati won’t provide details about his staff is that there is no staff. Gelati (or whatever his real name is) doesn’t even have time to read submissions, let alone edit them in any meaningful sense.

    And I still can’t believe how easy it was to trace the stolen images he used as covers! It infuriates me that Goodreads is still using three plagiarized covers AND the profile photo Gelati swiped from Flickr. I’ve told Goodreads about this twice and they still haven’t removed them.

    Comment by Julia — February 13, 2012 @ 2:41 am

  6. I can think of better answers to some of those questions. That second question could easily be answered, “We use freelance professionals, so the staffing varies from day to day. As for a building, there has to be a contact address for legal reasons, and we each need a place to work, but there is no one place which is Trestle Press. It is a new way of working, a new way of organising a company, that became possible with the internet.”

    Maybe I should start a publishing coimpany. It sounds easy enough.

    Comment by Wolf Baginski — February 13, 2012 @ 4:43 am

  7. I think he knew the jig was up by this point and was defensive.
    He approached me as well. The lack of professionalism and basic copy-editing in his email soured me from the start.

    There’s nothing wrong with being a one-man band. Publishing, even self-publishing, is a lot of work, when done right.

    “We do all our work in house:editing ,formatting,cover art…”
    That says it all, right there.
    Me fail English? That’s unpossible!

    Comment by Thomas Pluck — February 13, 2012 @ 6:16 am

  8. Wow, talk about saying a lot and saying ‘nothing.” That would scare me off the site for sure.

    Comment by charlesgramlichCharles Gramlich — February 13, 2012 @ 6:20 am

  9. Even without having heard about the alleged copyright violations, this interview would have been enough for me to file Trestle directly into the “Scammers” bucket. I’ve heard MLM pitchmen who sounded like that.

    Comment by Dave H. — February 13, 2012 @ 6:39 am

  10. I’m really glad we’re having this conversation. Perhaps I should have run the interview when it was given. Perhaps people like yourselves would have commented on the lack of substantial answers. Perhaps Trestle would not have been so brazen. Perhaps more writers about to hand their work over to Trestle would have seen the writing that wasn’t on the wall and been more careful, demanded contracts and screenshots of the accounting provided by Amazon. I learning a lesson about speaking up. Thought I’d learned it already, but obviously only part way. I didn’t need to make any statement regarding Trestle at all. All I had to do was run the interview and let the chips fall where they may. As it is, by staying silent, I actually helped Trestle. Big lesson for me. Never again.
    EA

    Comment by ashedit — February 13, 2012 @ 7:10 am

  11. I think since Trestle Press appeared on the scene, a lot of people have been complicit by their silence. Many of them have kept quiet for very selfish reasons. Others have been reluctant to speak out for fear of offending friends/colleagues/other writers who had signed with Trestle. Let’s be frank — it was obvious to many from day one that everything about the outfit was amateurish and suspect, but it was difficult to say so publicly without causing upset to some good people, not to mention that there would inevitably have been accusations of sour grapes or ulterior motives behind any criticism.

    Comment by SJM001 — February 13, 2012 @ 7:39 am

  12. This guy came off as arrogant, combative and downright snotty. I can’t imagine what he expected to accomplish with this attitude. Trestle could certainly have chosen someone to represent them and their company in a more positive light. He handled the entire interview as though he had something to hide. What a jerk.

    Comment by Lonni Lees — February 13, 2012 @ 7:42 am

  13. SMJ001, you hit the nail on the head and summed up the situation brilliantly. Thank you.
    Lonni, Trestle was Gelati. As far an anyone can tell so far, there was only one guy pretending there were more people. I look forward to more facts coming to light so the real truth can shine about Trestle Press and everyone involved.
    EA

    Comment by ashedit — February 13, 2012 @ 8:00 am

  14. doh!

    Comment by nigel bird — February 13, 2012 @ 12:50 pm

  15. Interesting article. Please know that should you ever choose to do an interview with us about Untreed Reads, we’ll definitely be as transparent as we possibly can be. We believe part of being in the publishing business is to also help educate writers on pitfalls and other things to look out for when finding a home for their work.

    Jay Hartman
    Editor-in-Chief
    Untreed Reads Publishing

    Comment by Jay Hartman — February 13, 2012 @ 12:54 pm

  16. Hi Jay! I really appreciate you offering me an interview and I think it’s a terrific idea. Nearly 600 folks have clicked over to my Trestle story in less than 24 hours, so interest is high, and I don’t think it’s just scandal-driven interest. My readership and Twitter following are made up exclusively of writers and book enthusiasts. People really want to know more about the business side of writing. Of course some business details are private to a company, as they are to each individual writer, and I understand that and keep my questions professional. There are other business principles that are universal, as you know, and writers should feel okay about asking them. So I’ll gladly accept your offer, and perhaps it will be informative and worthwhile to everyone.
    EA

    Comment by ashedit — February 13, 2012 @ 1:48 pm

  17. Hindsight and all that, but there were warning flags all over this from the start.

    Comment by Al Tucher — February 13, 2012 @ 2:33 pm

  18. Unfortunately, it sounds like this guy and his company would be tailor made for working in the government sector.

    In the government sector, so long as money is spread to certain people, no real background check is done on whether or not the business is legit.

    Comment by G — February 14, 2012 @ 3:38 am

  19. […] just discovered one of my stories, ‘The Puppy Wrangler’, was included in a book by the now discredited Trestle Press. I have removed that book from my Goodreads author profile and am just disappointed my story was […]

    Pingback by Do you like your hardboiled fiction by the dozen? « Lily Mulholland, Writer — February 27, 2012 @ 3:08 am

  20. Hi Lily, as I’m so fond of saying, “In God we trust, all others sign a contract.”
    EA

    Comment by Elaine Ash — February 27, 2012 @ 6:09 am

  21. What was this guys problem? Any reputable company would have a written standard policy covering such details as royalties anyway. As Dr. Phil would say, “People who have nothing to hide, hide nothing.” Won’t be querying Trestle Press EVER. Thanks for putting this out there. These interviews really help author’s like myself weed out the lame-wads of publishing. ~Christi Anna~ Thief of Life Series

    Comment by Christi Anna — February 27, 2012 @ 8:19 am

  22. While all you people are castigating Trestle Press, I want you to know that I have a standard, written contract with them. My literary agent, who is very legit, Worked the contract. The owner tolerates no bullshit. Personally, I do not think it’s anyone’s business what my royalty rate it either. That is between me and my publisher. I have not had any bad experience with Giovanni–only positive. I can’t speak to the cover issue because, before my agent found Trestle Press, I was going to self-publish and had my own cover designed, which he used. And I have not paid him anything for him to publish my book.

    Comment by Anonymous — June 27, 2012 @ 3:03 am

  23. At the time of this interview Trestle did not offer signed contracts to writers or a defined profits split. That you now have a signed contract is an unsubstantiated claim. You defend Trestle reasonably, yet sign as Anonymous and destroy all credibility this post tries to make. If what you say is true and you’re a real writer with a “legit” agent, then why are you reluctant to sign your name? You should be confident to defend your publisher if what you say is true. Sorry, but you have only added to the obfuscation surrounding Trestle with this anonymous posting that cannot be fact-checked.
    EA

    Comment by ashedit — June 27, 2012 @ 7:10 am

  24. […] Ashedit’s Blog […]

    Pingback by Justice is Served: The Fall of Giovanni Gelati/Trestlepress | A Knife And A Quill — August 21, 2013 @ 1:13 pm

  25. The answer is that he pays royalties when it’s convenient and he feels like it..by cashier check which cannot be traced, can it? My 1099s came in with an amount that is COMPLETELY different than what he paid me…when he paid me…which he eventually stopped doing…

    Comment by Sarah Price — March 16, 2014 @ 2:33 pm


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