On 16 December 2011 I signed with Trestle Press Publishing, a group I had every reason to believe was legitimate. Before I signed the contracts I searched everywhere I could to find out their track record, authors published, any bad `vibes' about the company. I found nothing which caused me the least concern. They were a new company, I discovered, not quite a year old, and they had a good number of authors already signed with them who had published multiple works.
Today, less than two months later, I have left Trestle Press - as have most of the other authors - due to a scandal involving art theft by the publisher for use in cover images. The editor-in-chief (who, I now realize, was the whole company, more or less) was telling authors that he was a graphic artist who designed his own book covers when, in reality, he was stealing images from other artists, tweaking them, and passing them off as his own work. In my own case, the night this editor sent me my cover art, I congratulated him on his work and told him how impressed I was. He accepted the compliment and, in further communications, lead me further to believe the art work was his own. Little did I know my book cover was a Google Image he had picked up and tweaked in, perhaps, ten seconds.
My fellow authors have experienced far worse than I in that their book covers were images stolen from more famous, and copyrighted, sources. These writers pulled their titles from Trestle Press when the scandal broke because they did not want to be associated with a publisher who lied, cheated, and stole from other artists. Incredibly, there are other so-called `writers' who did not leave, or left only when their own self-interest suddenly dawned upon them, who question this integrity simply because they were too chicken-shit afraid to do the right thing when the scandal broke and are now trying to justify their behavior by attacking those who left earlier. Every time they question the integrity of those who left Trestle Press they show themselves for who they truly are. An example of the `integrity' and maturity of Trestle Press may be seen in the following post from Deviant Art in which a writer suggests the press remove one of the book cover images and received a most `professional' response: BRB TAKING ADVICE LAWL by ~hellbunny on deviantART.
Please warn other writers not to deal with Trestle Press. This so-called `publisher' is nothing more than a crooked one-man band making noise for his own self-aggrandisement. I count myself fortunate that I escaped from this company with relatively few scars and I wish all the best to the others who did the same. Hemingway wrote, "Writing, at best, is a lonely life." Writers don't need anyone making the experience any more lonely and difficult and, further, when a publisher does so, we should stand together against that common enemy instead of condoning such a breach of trust simply because doing so is in our own best interest. `Integrity' is not defined as `doing what is best for me' but doing the right thing.