Chip MacGregor

February 3, 2014

The LAST last word on WinePress?


Okay, so I lied… I guess we’re still living with the fun-filled antics of those wacky WinePress people. Just in case you’re following the story (and you can get the whole thing in my previous post), let me offer a handful of quick updates.

1. WinePress is out of business. Or it’s not. Or it is. Seems like they can’t decide. They posted on their website that “the time has come to end” — which surprised exactly nobody, since the time to end probably came when they started not producing the books authors had paid for. But then they sent out an email saying they weren’t out of business, things were in “a state of flux,” and that authors could still get their books. Then it changed, and they were out of business after all. Then… well, you get the picture. Like most everything else at WinePress, pinning down the truth can be a bit tricky.

2. Remarkably, they’re asking authors for more money. Um… you might find this hard to believe, but in their most recent email to authors, they shared a link which asks authors to send them money in order to get their book files back. This from a company that is being accused by many of having taken their money (I personally talked with a woman who says she sent them $17,000 and received nothing; another who said she sent them more than $12,000 and got no books). So as far as I can figure out, the new line goes like this: “Hey, suckers… You think you haven’t sent me enough dough yet? I got an idea… send me some MORE. Trust me, it’ll be fine.”  Anyone who falls for that should have his or her head examined. And I’ve heard from more than one source that a Class Action suit is going to be filed against them. You know the old saying — you take one person’s money, it’s a mistake; you take a bunch of people’s money, it’s fraud. I don’t know what former authors are planning, but I can’t see anyone sending them another dime.

3. They owe a LOT of money. As in, a HUGE amount. According to papers shown online, they’re behind in their building and warehouse rent hundreds of thousands of dollars. The employees have been let go. My point: These folks may not be a great risk to be sending money to.

4. They continue to deny they’ve got an obsession with their founder, Athena Dean. But, uh, check out their website. The headlines: Athena Dean Initiates Setup of Malcolm Fraser, Athena Dean Steals $20,000 of Property, Athena Dean’s Legal Lies, Athena Dean’s Hate Crime in the Making, Athena Dean: The Sociopath Next Door. The last time I saw people this obsessed with one person might have been when I was standing behind teenage girls at a Justin Bieber concert.  (Okay… I was never really at a Justin Bieber concert.)

5. Speaking of Athena Dean, the founder of WinePress, she started a new company, and has all the old WinePress files. I first heard this in my “comments” section, and found it hard to believe, but it turns out it’s true. Athena has started something called Redemption Press. The odd thing (well, it was odd to me) is that she has all the old WinePress files. I checked into it, and here’s the story I was told: The person who owns the building WinePress was in got tired of waiting for them to pay their bill, and after months of waiting, locked them out. According to him, the property left in the building can be confiscated by the landlord and sold, in order to help cover the costs of the unpaid rent. So he took the computer files and gave them to Athena Dean, asking her to help out the authors. I asked Athena about this via email, and she said she had checked with an attorney, who told her this was legal. So she has offered to GIVE WINEPRESS AUTHORS THEIR FILES BACK, or to have them pay $391 so as to get a new ISBN, have the WinePress logo removed, and get the book uploaded and back into distribution. (Let’s be clear: I am not here to take her part, or recommend Athena’s new company to authors. Just to let people know what’s going on. I saw that WinePress had sent out an email claiming that Athena has stolen the files, that she has access to their credit card numbers, and that — I don’t know, that she was carving pentagrams in the carpet and tossing a goat’s head in the middle, probably. By this time, practically everything I see from WinePress I dismiss as utter bullshit.) Hey, I’ll understand if an author doesn’t want to work with Athena due to her long association with WinePress Publishing… but if you can go to her and get your files back for free, that seems like a reasonable solution.

6. In a weird move, the WinePress website sent authors to Deep River Books. Weird because Bill Carmichael, the very nice gentleman who owns Deep River Books, doesn’t know the folks at WinePress, is not a part of their church, and really doesn’t want anything to do with this entire debacle. But he’s well connected to the Christian publishing scene, and when I talked to him on the phone, he told me he has been talking to numerous authors just to try and help them out. So let me be clear about something: Bill is a good guy, who has nothing to do with the charlatans at WinePress, and shouldn’t catch any grief for them posting a link to his site on their page. If you contact him, be nice.

7. Several people have asked me why I’m doing this. I mean, I’m not usually the crusading journalist. But I’ve been ticked that this was happening, and authors were getting screwed, and people seemed to know, but nobody wanted to talk about it. I feel the same way when I hear about some schmuck claiming to be an agent, but then he or she gives lousy advice and screws up an author’s career — that’s just not how things should happen in this business. (And there’s a difference… when an agent gives bad service, he or she is usually doing it for free. It can still screw up an author’s writing career, but the author isn’t paying for the privilege. When someone is charging for service and outright cheating an author, that’s another story, and it needs to be hauled out into the light. It’s why I hate when so-called “agents” working in CBA do things like charge for career counseling, or run a sketchy editorial company as a side business. I love this business, and proud of what I do — so maybe I’m just tired of seeing people damaged.) Where were the watchdogs? Why didn’t someone at CBA or ECPA or someplace like that look into the claims and do some policing? The facts at WinePress are pretty clear — they were tied to a church that many people consider a cult, they were run by the senior pastor of that church, they were turned over to the associate pastor who was then arrested and convicted of raping a child in the congregation, they have taken the part of the child rapist and have virulently attacked those who condemned him, they were accused by many clients of taking money and not delivering the contracted product, they have been accused by both customers as well as employees of the business of using bullying and harassing tactics, they’ve gone to extraordinary lengths to attack the woman who founded the company in what is clearly a vindictive show of force, they apparently have not paid their bills and owe a number of people large sums of money, they have used slanted facts and occasionally outright lies on countless occasions, usually complete with numerous bible verses to offer a veneer of spirituality, and it turns out they were nothing more than a funding vehicle for an oddball religious group.

That’s why I’m not very friendly to the people who say things like, “There are two sides to every story” or “we need to be kind to these folks even if they made a mistake.” Sorry, but my patience with this is at an end. The other day, one of the followers of their weird little group wrote a comment on my blog, claiming that Athena Dean had accused the senior pastor of the church of killing his wife to collect the insurance money. I looked into that. I can’t find a single instance of Athena Dean ever saying that. In fact, I hate bringing it up, since it’s nothing more than a scurrilous accusation to get people off the real topic. But that’s the sort of crap they pull — using lies and accusations and threats to make them seem like they are the victims. Sure, there were some authors who actually got their books done with WinePress, or writers who met the former president and thought he was perfectly normal. But that’s like the neighbor of the most recent mall shooter going on TV to say, “But he was always such a nice boy…” Good grief, people. How much evidence does it take? The former prez is in jail for raping a child. The leader of the group is still defending him. The landlord has locked them out for not paying their rent. There are former employees telling stories of harassment and intimidation. There’s a list of authors as long as your arm claiming they paid money, sometimes thousands of dollars, and didn’t get their books. I know editors who did work for them and are now saying they didn’t get paid. And it’s all in support of a separatistic religious group who cult watchdogs say to be wary of. How much more evidence you need?

The jerks at WinePress don’t need your sympathy — the victims of their business do. I’m happy to help get the word out.

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  • Christy Scannell says:

    I’m six months behind on this but the Driscoll debacle reminded me that I hadn’t read an update on one of the other “Christian prizes” — WinePress — in quite some time. This all makes me so sad because I edited for them several years ago and had the privilege of working with many lovely, talented authors. I also knew Carla Williams very well and published one of her first children’s books in my role as an acquisitions editor. She was a wonderful person who (I believe) was brainwashed by her sick husband. I hope she rests in peace and that he gets help for his mental illness so he can perhaps make amends for all of this wrongdoing. Very sad indeed.

  • Marie Josee Queneau says:

    I walked away from Wine Press in 2011, frustrated with being ripped off by the excessive fees and lack of services. I am just now learning that they are going under and to that, even my being a Christian, I say, “what goes around comes around.” You can’t treat people the way you treated me and expect to have a good name. I was “sold” on the Whole Shebang package, a self package that costs $8k. Just before my book went to print, I realized I as getting no more than the Blue package for $2500. By that time I had alredy paid them $5K., but managed to get my book to those who had prepurchased Instead of readjusting my account, they added every charge they could think of, placing me in “payment arrangements” I did not agree to. By the time it was done, and after a personal, nasty letter from Frasier as to how I had now put the lives of all the staff in jeopardy by not paying my bills, my debt, originally $2499 left to pay, mushroomed to over $10K I still owed them to keep my book in print. In addition, things like renewal of print fees ($200) was never disclosed. Even though I paid the 2011 renewal, printing of my book was shut down. I was then harrassed by collections, to which I threatened to file suit. After 2012, I never heard from them again. I can’t say that I’m sad that this is happening to them. Especially since now I’m with a publisher I adore–who deals upfront, no hidden costs or charges or games….MindStir Media. Thanks, Chip, for this updated blog.

  • Sara Tusant says:

    Ahhh, my head is spinning and my stomach is in knots from all that I am reading. Both with the emails from Winepress and what I have researched on-line with regards to Athena. I have been with Winepress since 2011. I have had a bad feeling about this publishing company for a long time but I couldn’t get any information out of them or online. I am a new published author who is learning (mainly from all the errors from Winepress) what to not to do. I am wanting to start my next book but feel stuck and now without any money to start over. Meanwhile, half my book order sit in boxes in my living room and I have contacted an attorney to find out how I get the rest of my book order from Winepress. Thank you for shedding some light on this company and telling the truth so that authors like me know what plan I need to take from this point forward.

  • Guest says:

    I am all about second chances, but common sense would indicate these people are, at the very least, crazy and at the most terminally toxic. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck, chances are, it’s a duck! They won’t get any sympathy from me. I sincerely hope that the authors that were taken advantage of get at least some of their money back. They are the ones that have my sympathy!

    • chipmacgregor says:

      I agree, guest. Appreciate your comment. I talked to someone the other day who said she has paid more than $17,000 to WinePress and was still waiting for books. Seventeen THOUSAND. Yikes.

  • David Becker says:

    News release from Christian Retailing from 2006. “…the company will continue to be at the forefront of custom publishing with a reputation that communicates integrity.”

    WinePress Publishing Group changes handsSUNDAY, 25 JUNE 2006 07:00 PM EDT
    WinePress Publishing Group has announced an upcoming change in ownership. Timothy Williams will be purchasing the company from Athena Dean. Williams’ wife, Carla, will continue in her role as editorial director.

    Dean called the new management structure “a team effort. With Timothy’s gifts of administration, Carla’s gifts of editing and my gifts of marketing, the company will continue to be at the forefront of custom publishing with a reputation that communicates integrity.”

    WinePress Publishing Group, located in Enumclaw, Wash., publishes 350 titles per year and has three imprints: WinePress, its large print-run division; Pleasant Word, its print-on-demand division; UpWrite Books, its writers’ resource division. The company also has a new audiobook division.

  • David Becker says:

    Sounds like Tim might be joining Malcolm in prison at the rate things are going. (And maybe Josiah Williams and others too.)

    • chipmacgregor says:

      Josiah is the son? Is he running the show now, David? I don’t know the situation.

    • David Becker says:

      Hi Chip, I don’t have any information beyond what has been published at various sources on the Internet. I offer the following comment based on those sources.

      Josiah Williams took over from his father, Winepress Publishing Chief Executive Officer Timothy S. Williams, as pastor of Sound Doctrine Church, after Timothy retired as pastor at age 50. Dennis Box of the Enumclaw Courier Herald reported the following at Malcolm Fraser’s trial (a jury convicted Malcolm, and Malcolm is currently serving a sentence of at least 18 years, although Malcolm, Malcolm’s wife, James Owens and others maintain Malcolm’s complete innocence). From

      “Josiah Williams, senior pastor of Sound Doctrine and executive director of WinePress Publishing, took the stand at 10:15 Thursday for the defense….He described Sound Doctrine as a small, community Christian church. Carey asked him if it was a cult. Williams said it was not and the term cult was ‘a slur against the character of our church.’ He said to be a member of Sound Doctrine was to ‘love the lord your God with all your heart. Love your neighbor as yourself.’ He stated if some came took an objective look at the church ‘you will see we are not a cult.'”

      According to a post by Athena Dean,, Josiah is among those on unpaid loan documents.

      I have to think that appropriate government officials are looking into this whole Winepress situation, given the many public statements of unpaid authors, unpaid contractors, unpaid employees, unpaid landlords, etc. If government officials are not doing so, they should be. At this writing, as far as I know, Winepress has announced it is out of business, but it has not formally declared bankruptcy. At this point, it seems that Winepress took in thousands of dollars, and nobody seems to have any explanation or accounting as to where that money is.

      As Pastor of Sound Doctrine and as an Executive Director of Winepress Publishing, Josiah is accountable before God on the Winepress situation, more so than others.

  • Elizabeth says:

    I mean this in the nicest way possible, but you have to have been born yesterday if you are (or already have) sent them any more money to have YOUR files, that you ALREADY paid for sent to you. I know it’s peanuts to you bigtime authors, but they already owed me $100 in royalties, that I’ll most likely never see. Why would I, or anyone who isn’t completely gullible, send them MORE money to deliver something to me that I ALREADY PAID FOR with the thousands of dollars I spent to have my book published to begin with? The files belong to me. Take the dang postage out of the royalties you owe me, but how dare you try to take me for more money?! I truly hope most of the authors are smarter than the suckers Tim Williams is trying to make us out to be. He is not God, people. Although he seems to think he is. Stop bowing to his every whim!

    • J Moreen says:

      I’d like to assign all the reader’s here a little homework. Please take a moment and if you have not been there in the past couple days- go check out the website where TW, WinePress Publishing owner and president is Editor in Chief. It’s so hard to believe that this website bares the name of the town which makes it sound so legitimate and newsworthy. And please spend your time on the LOCAL news of the past few days of February and backward. Read the article about Athena Dean and the fortune cookie. The town must hide its face with this shoddy journalism that smears even the town and it’s civil servants and authorities- with photos and accusations. And of course the person who wins the award AGAIN for being the #1 villain of the week, and in many of its other “documentaries” is Athena Dean- Oh PLEEEZZZEEE. Enough is enough already! I would suggest that readers write letters to the Enumclaw Courier Herald newspaper and share the website links to Chip Macgregor’s 3 articles on WinePress, including the WinePress Follies. That might point a spotlight on to it’s brightest when local readers read the articles and especially the comments section pointing to who the real villain is. This man needs our prayers. Get a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy the “news” of Enumclaw.

    • Anonymouse says:

      I took the time to file a complaint against that website via the website of the actual city of enumclaw. Here:{922413DD-BCB8-42A5-8F98-37CBC90DF1E4}

      Maybe if we get enough complaints, they will think to do something? I don’t know. All I know is that is a disgrace.

    • Shawn says:

      There is nothing that can be done with the website because Winepress or who ever owns the domain name, not the city. It is not the city’s to police a website. As much as I find their behavior reprehensible, I believe in the freedom of an individual or organization to spew trash and make fools of themselves. Perhaps the city could buy the name, I hear Winepress could use the money.

  • Linda Glaz says:

    So hard to convince a writer who desperately wants their work out there not to ever, ever pay any agent or editor to work with them. So many folks heartbroken because they rush to be published.

    • chipmacgregor says:

      You should certainly NEVER pay an agent, Linda. Ever. EVER. And yes, lots of people wounded in this current situation.

  • chipmacgregor says:

    An update: Those fun people at Winepress have a new idea… this time they’re telling authors that each author “must” receive their print files directly from WinePress Publishing (i.e., not from Athena Dean) or they’re claiming it’s not “legal” and their contract is still in force. Uh-huh. Still in force, with a company that’s out of business. My view of this? Check your contract — if they go out of business, you probably have a clause that says all rights revert to you. But check your contract. I can’t think of any reason in the world you’d have to get the files in the mail from them, rather than from anyone else. (Tim Williams… what a horse’s ass. One last gasp to try and show everyone he’s boss.)

    • Ellie Whyte says:

      Kind of sounds like over-dramatized death throes in a badly acted play…. just die already! LOL

  • Bob says:

    I am wondering if anyone can give us some help. We are not a WinePress Author, but have a large number of pallets of one of our titles, The SourceView Bible, held hostage in the WinePress warehouse. Unlike the WinePress authors, we simply had a deal for warehouse space and Pick, Pack and Ship, arrangement with WinePress. No sales went through WinePress and they do not have any owner interest in our Bibles. We are at a loss for how to retrieve our stock and have orders that have not been fulfilled and angry customers. Anyone have a lead on how to get our books out?

    If you do please e-mail me at

    Bob Norsworthy,
    SourceView Publishing, LLC

    • chipmacgregor says:

      Bob (and others in this same situation) — I’m going to encourage you to be in touch with the landlord. I have asked about the books WinePress has in their warehouse, but haven’t received any clarity. I know that Athena Dean (who is central to this whole story) has talked with the landlord, though I don’t know if she has any more help to offer on this topic. But it’s my understanding the books in the warehouse are now probably the property of the landlord, who takes ownership and can dispose of them. The guy is owed tens of thousands of dollars, so surely he’ll be interested in somebody wanting to come purchase their own books. Try that. I’m sorry I don’t have a name and email for you, Bob.

    • Kathyalto says:

      I emailed Bob with the landlord’s name and contact information. Athena was kind enough to get that info to WP authors like me who have some1,500 books sitting in that warehouse. She also apologized up and down for not rescuing our books herself. For heaven’s sake, she can’t get in the building! Does it seem to you she asks too much of herself?

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hi Bob, I took the liberty of forwarding your message to Athena. Hopefully she will be in touch with you soon with the name and contact information for the landlord. You may also look up the City Attorney for Enumclaw. The landlord and City Attorney are one and the same, I believe.

    • Dave93446 says:

      I think that someone said that there are TWO Landlords involved. The office – who I think was the one referred to as the City Attorney, and a second Landlord who owned the Warehouse. It seems to me that I heard they owed some $280,000 on the office, but only $15,000 on the warehouse. So that isn’t as much of a burden to the warehouse Landlord, so he may not be as inclined to do anything.

      BUT PLEASE = Do not mess it all up for those of us trying to get our books out. I’ve got three TONS of books (six pallets) and HAVE sent WinePress a check for shipping. I know, that was a risk sending the check, but it was still only a fraction of what the books are worth, if they are ever really sold. I can just see the WinePress “volunteers” who (hopefully) are really trying to get our books shipped getting locked out of the warehouse by complaints of other authors. The shipping quote was high, but considering that it is three tons and six pallets, my searching turned up some quotes that were 2 to 3 time higher. It;s very close to the UPS quote.

  • Mary DeMuth says:

    Thank you. What is hard/sad/painful (besides all these authors who have been orphaned and taken advantage of) is that for many years, WP was a viable alternative to trad publishing. And I heartily recommended them to several friends. I now feel just AWFUL that I recommended them, and somehow feel complicit in the losses they’ve experienced.

    • chipmacgregor says:

      Agreed, Mary. I feel the same way, which is why I took this so hard. (I once talked with them about my son working there as an editor — ACK!) I too feel complicit, having said nice things about their books on numerous occasions at writing conferences. So I live with the fact that I offered the best advice I could at the time… and now I’m trying to do the same. I really appreciate you coming on the blog to say something.

      (And for those who don’t know, this would be bestselling author Mary DeMuth, who has a dynamite website and some wonderful books on being set free from the past — some of which she self-published, so authors have a chance to see how this can be done right. I encourage you to check out her work at

    • Mary DeMuth says:

      Thanks Chip. Truth in advertising: I’m not a bestselling author, just a plain ol’ author plugging away book by book. 🙂

    • chipmacgregor says:

      Um… okay. I admit to getting that one wrong, Mary. But for those reading the comments, Mary’s book “Thin Places” was very significant in my life — something I don’t say very often. So there.

    • Mary DeMuth says:

      Thanks so much.

  • Patricia Zell says:

    For those authors who would like to see their books return to print, I would suggest Dog Ear Publishing. I self-published with them back in 2011 and have found them to be competent and honest. They diligently worked with me to produce a book that I am proud of, and their prices were quite reasonable at the time. My book is available in in the hardback, paperback, and e-book formats. And, yes, I receive a monthly royalty check (small ones because I have not extensively promoted my book).

    • chipmacgregor says:

      Thanks, Patricia. I know there are a number of small printers/presses who can do this job well. I’ve not worked with Dog Ear, so it’s good to hear of an author having a positive experience with them.

  • Gayle Ottemiller says:

    Thank you, Chip. I’m a current author with Winepress with books in storage, ironically titled ‘Faith Lifts: When life lets you down’. I’d like to have access to them to sell, show, or give away. Just so they don’t burn them. It is also appropriate that God has me teaching my first 6-wk series ‘Stressed or Stretched’ which started the week before all of this came up. God does have a sense of humor…and an excellent sense of timing. Do I want to know what comes next? Maybe not but it is a great adventure. God bless you!

    • chipmacgregor says:

      Thanks, Gayle. I”m sorry about all of this. Authors who have books in the warehouse are really the folks getting hurt, since they’ve already paid for their works but don’t have access to them. Others have told me that if they can talk to the warehouse landlord, they hope to gain access to their works and have them shipped. Of course, if there are a lot of copies, that could be a bunch of money. Not sure how best to move forward, but I’d encourage you to try and get your printed copies. If that’s not possible, you will certainly want your print files so you can start the process over. Remember, it costs nothing to post your ebook on Amazon, the iBookstore, and Barnes& Hang in there.

  • scmathisen says:

    Thank you, Chip for this information. I am sure it will help many. Bravo!

  • Cameron Bane says:

    Chip, big kudos to you for addressing this mess, as well as allowing
    those who’ve been devastated and feel they have no voice to know they’re
    not alone.

    I wish I could say the WinePress debacle is an outlier in its
    peculiar kind of awfulness, but I don’t think so. I’m sure there are
    even more Cthulhuian (is that a word? It should be) presses waiting to
    strip writers of hope.

    You, sir, have stones of iron for taking on the monsters.

  • You’re right, Chip. Winepress fatigue has set in for many of us. It’s hard to know where to go from here. Tonight I am grateful for truth, for like-minded authors who’ve come alongside me to link arms in this struggle, for final pages to chapters that have exceeded their word limit, and for new pages eager for fresh ink. I am ready to turn the page. Thank you for the gift of your time and your words that have, no doubt, given us a voice during a very chaotic time. peace~elaine

    • chipmacgregor says:

      Yes. Turn the page, Elaine. There are plenty of good options awaiting. It’s time to move on.

  • Cameron Bane says:

    To quote our friends from south of the border, “olee chit.”

  • Kathyalto says:

    Chip, I’m one of the orphaned authors. I’m in prayer for all who have harmed by greed that led to the downfall of what had been a good company – authors, editors, printers, landlords, underling employees, family members, and the company founder, Athena and her family. Onward, though! We’ll get our print files back free of charge and keep our books in circulation. We must press on in forgiveness even while we maintain professionalism and seek justice for those who have lost thousands of dollars and the chance to see their words in print. Side comment: thanks for putting forth accurate facts and also giving me a much needed laugh. You’re writing is sharp and hilarious! Very cathartic for me.

    • chipmacgregor says:

      Glad you could laugh about an admittedly difficult situation, Kathy. And a question… did you get your author files back from Athena? I ask because that would help Michelle (the author whose comment is above yours) and others who are wondering. Thanks.

    • Kathyalto says:

      The “big return” begins Monday evening. Athena’s company, Redemption Press, who were GIVEN the files by the Enumclaw City Attorney who was also WinePress’s landlord, will start sending them by email to all of us. I read somewhere that WP had 2,800 titles in its inventory. That’s a lotta uploads for RP to do! What a hero that landlord is! He put a landlord’s lien on all property in his building ’cause he’s got $280,000 in rent to try to recover. But he recognized that the book files are not his property, or WinePress’s, but OURS. Maybe we authors or the CBA could create some sort of medal for him…? A smiling goat with its head still intact for the symbol?

    • chipmacgregor says:

      Really? Okay — I’m going to check this out, Kathyalto, just to make sure. But if that’s the case, you’re absolutely right… the guy deserves a medal for helping out former WinePress authors. Thanks for coming onto the site!

    • Kathyalto says:

      Athena deserves a medal too. Her company is getting the files to us. That’s a lot of work hours. Of course she’d like us to produce more books through RP, and she has the grace to offer reduced prices to former WP authors with print-ready files. But she isn’t charging one red cent to get our files back to us. WP, on the other hand, is making us send a pre-paid mailer to them so that they can send us our files sometime in March…maybe. I guess I could get two copies of my files if I felt like hassling with a SASE. I haven’t had to send one of those for 10 years now. And I know you’re asking the question we all are: how can WP offer to send us our files if RP has them? Hmn? I have the right to know how many copies of my files are out there. We’re all waiting…for answers and to get our careers and ministries going again.

    • chipmacgregor says:

      They’re asking for an SASE? Um… huh. I can’t remember the last time I sent one of those, Kathalto. But it leads to my question: Why don’t they simply email those to you?

    • Kathyalto says:

      The WP email said that it was forced to handle matters this way because of the “theft” of its files. We must also run off, fill in, and send an Author File Request Form. Whatever!

    • Guest says:

      When they asked me for a SASE I hit delete. All our prior file deliveries were completed via email. Why now, all of the sudden is a SASE needed? And, to fill in an Author File Request Form full of personal information that they say they no longer have? I think not.

      On a happier note: received my tax forms today from Amazon for Kindle royalties …two forms – one for US sales and one for European sales. God has a sense of humor 🙂

      Thanks again for this post.

    • Dave93446 says:

      Regarding “How can Winepress send us our files if RP has them.”
      This is actually a very simple thing and explanation. Athena mentioned it in one of her E-Mails. These are NOT paper files, they are COMPUTER/electronic files. What Athena got from the Landlord was a BACKUP copy, meaning the WP STILL HAS THE FILES. In fact, when Athena gives you the files she will STILL HAVE the files. It is simply copying the electronic files into (or attached to) an E-Mail. Although I would think that the files would be too big for an E-Mail attachment, so putting them into some sort of an OnLine portal would make more sense.

      But you are right about WinePress asking for a SASE. Using that process means that they will physically have to make copies on a CD or DVD or Flashdrive to send to you. It would be MUCH EASIER to E-Mail them or put them into an OnLine portal.

      As to who else might have copies of your files – – it could be any number. Just like hackers can steal your files, but you still have them.

      So all of this would be the same information about the Social Security Numbers, personal data, credit card numbers, etc. If Athena got it from a BACK up, WinePress would ALSO still have it. But Athena did also explain that all of that critical sensitive information was and always has been encrypted so a “normal” person could never see or read any of it anyway.

      I’d guess that the Landlord simply gave her a back-up tape of the WP system, which would also include ALL of their records, including your sales records, etc. BUT she would run the risk of violating some laws if she even LOOKED at some of that information.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Chip, the above information from Kathyalto regarding the money owed to the landlord and whatnot is what I thought Athena would be explaining on her broadcast on Saturday. Sorry for the mis-information. So now you know the story of how she came to obtain the files. I will keep you posted on when the authors in the fb group begin receiving their files from Athena. And for the love of God, I hope no one is naive enough to send WP anymore money!

  • michelle lazurek says:

    One thing, Chip MacGregor, your blog says Athena has agreed to return the author files away for free, but it does not say that on the link on Redemption Press’s website for Winepress authors. The author files are the author’s property and because they own the rights, they are entitled to them for free. Athena may want to clarify that so people don’t think she is trying to make a profit on files that are rightfully theirs. Just thought I would point that out.

    • chipmacgregor says:

      Hi Michelle – I don’t have anything to do with Redemption Press, nor am I a pleading their case here. I can tell you that Athena and I had an email exchange, in which she told me she would return the files to the authors who asked for them. As for whose property they are… that’s a question to ask an attorney, I think. I know if one of my authors signs a deal with a publishing house, and the house subsequently goes out of business, we have to check the contract to see what belongs to who. In some cases all rights revert to the author. In other cases those rights are considered company assets, and can be sold or transferred to another company. So don’t assume those rights are yours automatically — check your contract. That should clarify who they belong to. Hope that helps.

  • Cheryl Russell says:

    Wow, just–wow.

    • chipmacgregor says:

      Careful there, Cheryl… it was the word “wow” that first got me a threatening letter from WinePress and got this whole debacle started.

  • Mary Vee says:

    Thanks Chip. Although I have not worked with Wine Press, I’ve met Athena and Carla at several conferences. Learned a lot in their classes. You’ve stood strong and informed us. I really appreciate it.

  • JanalynVoigt says:

    I have talked with Athena Dean many times as friends and have never known her to be anything other than transparent and kind.

    • chipmacgregor says:

      Thanks, Janalyn. I think there are some longtime WinePress authors who are reluctant because of her past connection to the company. I can understand that, even if I personally believe Athena is a changed person. Everybody is going to have to make their own decision. Of course, her helping former WinePress authors by giving them their files is a huge step.

  • Dani says:

    I have met both Athena and Carla, as well as Joshua and Josiah. Athena and Carla were both very pleasant and earnest about their work; vanity press/self-publishing was never my thing, but it was nice to meet and talk to them at various functions.

    It’s hard to believe the “witch hunt” they’ve been conducting toward Athena, going so far as to accuse her of causing Carla’s death, IIRC. This is not the behaviour of people who love the Lord with all their hearts and love their neighbours. This is the behaviour of people more in love with their ego than their Lord.

  • Robin Patchen says:

    Certainly not the kind of thing one expects to hear about in Christian publishing. I’m glad you’re getting the facts out about these people. What a mess.

    • chipmacgregor says:

      I’d do it whether they were Christian or not, of course. I hate seeing authors get taken. Appreciate the compliment, Robin.

  • Ane Mulligan says:

    Bravo, Chip! I’m glad you’re talking about this. I think it’s shameful what they did.

    • chipmacgregor says:

      Always nice to see your name pop up on my screen, Ane. Thanks for being part of the conversation.

  • Patricia Zell says:

    There are very real, horrible messes in the world, but we have a Father who is able to work good in every situation. As an agent, Chip, you have every right to bring to light the misdeeds (to put it mildly) that this group of people has done. For all the authors who are ensnared in this fraud (crime, really), you are presented with a real opportunity to see God’s faithfulness as you seek Him for knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. This is why Christ died on the cross–he gave us the ability to access what we need to overcome circumstances designed to destroy us. A lot of people have a lot of choices ahead of them, and I am praying that God will bless people with repentance where repentance is needed, forgiveness where forgiveness is needed, and patience where patience is needed.

  • Barb Boswell says:

    Thankful I saw the writing on the wall and pulled my books, which of course, puts it out of print. At least I knew I was done with them. I saw too much in my dealing with them. I do NOT have my bookfiles and would appreciate those back. I keep sending emails to WP, just to “remind” them I’m waiting.
    I am concerned about those out there who are out of control with the “he said, she said’s” I’m not part of the private.secret group. I was added, but kicked out with accusations of things I did not say or do. So much for defending someone from another publishing company.
    Slow down. Be still. Wait. The Lord has his hand on this. He will deliver us all. Let’s not destroy each other while we wait.

    • chipmacgregor says:

      This is the first I’ve heard of a private/secret group, Barb. But Athena Dean told me if you go directly to her, she’ll help you get your files back. Worth checking out, in my view.

    • Heather Randall says:

      Hi Chip,
      After the WinePress announcement I started a private/ secret group in Facebook for those of us authors to come together for support and direction. I mentioned this in the comments of your last post. Anyone who was a current author with WinePress at the time of their shutdown is welcome. Friend me on Facebook and I’ll get you in. I do check to verify you were a current WinePress author though. Barb was not a current author so the group did not apply to her. After joining, some information shared within the group mysteriously got into the wrong hands. Some did point to her privately. She knows this. She is also well aware that she was not removed for this reason. She was removed solely because the issues we are facing as current WP authors did not effect her. She pulled her books before this situation occurred but did not disclose that until after being added to the group.

  • It would be fascinating except I know there are real people out there who are out thousand and thousands of dollars. I’m trying to keep up with the updates but confess, I’m still stuck (and laughing) at the last update that allowed the interpretation on how to pronounce Dumas. 🙂 I appreciate you getting and keeping everyone informed.

    • chipmacgregor says:

      Thanks, Julie. And I understand the hesitation with reading so much about all of this. Frankly, I hesitated blogging about it again — I think people have WinePress Fatigue. But there were several loose ends I felt I needed to mention. Now that I’ve mentioned them, I hope I’m done with this topic forever.

  • Jeanne Doyon says:

    Thanks, Chip. I appreciate the truth. So, where does Athena Dean fall in all of this. Is she reputable?

    • chipmacgregor says:

      Well, I’m not here to advertise for her new company, since there are several avenues a writer who wants to self-publish can take. But to answer your direct question, in my view, she is reputable. Athena has gone through a lot, and I think she wants to help people who were hurt by WinePress. But I certainly understand those who were burned by them, and who associate Athena with them, wanting to go another direction, Jeanne.

    • Jeanne Doyon says:

      Thank you, Chip

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