The Diggory Press website has been down since Christmas and it appears all direct ‘Diggory’ listings have been removed from Google’s search engine. It’s unclear at this stage if Diggory Press itself has ceased trading as a publisher or whether it is simply the early signs of a ‘Second Coming’. Over the past year, the story has featured in The Times, The Guardian and Private Eye Magazine as a consumer rights issue. This news that Diggory Press’ website and listings on google are no longer available, in itself, will be of no comfort to any authors who have signed up to any of Diggory’s author services recently, and certainly precious little comfort to the 78 authors still engaged in a lengthy legal action in the British Courts.
One wonders how many unsuspecting authors have signed up with Diggory recently, oblivious and unaware of the current ongoing legal proceedings, filled with their own writing and publishing aspirations. But again, it does underline just how many authors looking for publishing services will part with hard-earned money without fully examining and researching a perspective publisher, whether they operate as a traditional publisher or sell author publishing services. Some publishing services can range from a few hundred pounds to several thousand. The time has long passed for us to have an organisation or agency which can set down basic rules and guidelines for the operation of publishers who sell author services. I think this is as much the responsibility and in the interest of POD publishers to push for some form of proper business ‘charter of practice’ then just leaving it to the common writer to seek fair play and recompense in the courts of the land after the deed has been done. This blogsite has been filled over the past year with countless cautions, articles and updates on this ongoing issue, and the very basics an author should look for in a reputable POD publisher.
Stephen Manning, who has regularly been updating ‘all interested parties’, has communicated today that the court trial is now set for October 2009, and while there may be clear signs that the publishing entity of ‘Diggory Press’ is coming to an end, it continues to affect many authors who have recently signed up to their author publishing services.
The positive news for affected authors is that the ISBN agencies, Nielsens Book Data, Bowkers Book Data and also printers Lightning Source are now co-operating with these authors in an effort to remove original book titles and allow authors to re-published their books through different publishers.
It will be another long legal year for authors affected by this, and what is most disturbing of all is the manner in which personal disguise, intransigence and lack of sheer common-sense decency has allowed this case to spiral chaotically beyond what it should ever have become. This in itself makes one wonder what true business intentions were ever in place at Diggory Press. For the time being – that remains a job of the courts to preside over and carry out.