Underwater Mountain, Inc(Uwpublishing) joined the arts industry in 2014. With Christopher Poindexter(christopher poindexter ) agreeing to become part owner and publish his first book, Naked Human, with them they had the momentum to become a legend, groundbreaking, and it did that. They chose the popular Instagram poets, and soon they began to publish the books. Poets like Joe Straynge, Alicia Cook, Jack Raymond, and Marisa Crane were among the first featured artists of this company.
Since then, they have expanded to also own and operate other companies such as 451 Press(451press) and Upstream Merchandise. They have published many books and many of these books were top sellers on Amazon.
A few Days back, Jack Raymond ( J.Raymond) posted a series of complaints in his Instagram against Underwater Mountains and 451 Press. The complaints were grievances that he listed in detail. He talked about the outright lies, misappropriation of funds, a ponzi scheme accusation, and unquestionable thievery. He further added that they took money from the artists of the 451 self publishing imprint. The artists and the employees for UW as a whole were not paid royalties on books that they rightfully earned. Payments actually made were also never on time.
Jack, a best seller has no idea how many books of his has been printed and sold. He has asked the CEO personally many times about all the sales details and has always received nothing but excuses in return. He doesn’t know what amount he rightfully should be getting. He even points out that the company releases special editions and pre-orders to lure the readers to pay premium amounts and either they usually receive it after months of waiting, and at times books are never shipped at all.
He had requested the company to remove the book from the retailers which has not been done. When we asked for a reason, he said that for the last one and the half years he literally had to beg for royalties which he had rightfully earned. They would just pay him certain x amount and wanted him to believe that was correct for how many books were sold. Plus, he realized that in-store Barnes and Nobles began carrying his books in thousands (UW directly claimed that amount of books) in which he had no idea beforehand and no information regarding the inventory was given.
In his third series, he mentions that he was hired as a project manager for 451 press. The writers paid service fees, monthly plans and the company had under qualified and minimal staff. The employees, Jack included, also had a hard time getting their salaries. The various artists at 451 press had emailed their completed manuscripts, and the company had only one person to edit all these manuscripts, creating unfair waits, lacking editing, and money being wasted out of 451 artists pockets. The artists waited excessive amounts of time, hoping that the company would complete the editing, design, so that it can go up for sale. Months go by, credit card gets swiped and he can’t give any update as a client rep because of the situation.
Soon after Mr. Raymond came out with the internal problems of the company and the manipulations of the CEO, many other artists came out and stood with him.
There are sad, disturbing story of women in the company getting harassed but more than just once. Poets like J.R. Rogue, a victim of previous sexual assault, were forced to talk to the CEO after she blocked him and openly said she felt uncomfortable doing so. She had to talk to them so that she could terminate her contract.
Kat Savage, one of the best sellers too, had to face such problems. Promises which were made to her were broken. Like others, Kat was also promised contracts, flight trips, and much more.
Another artist, Katie Young, was underage when first contacted by UW, and was manipulated emotionally and sexually in many ways. She was promised a contract, book tours and collaborations with Christopher Poindexter, and never got a book published to date. To this date, Katie is suffering from the emotional consequences. The company not only broke the promises made to them but also made the artists question their art and self worth.
Following these posts, more than 100 artists came together and voiced out their problems. They have tried to communicate with the company but they don’t get responses. Most of the artists from Underwater Mountain Publishing, 451 press have officially terminated their contracts. They are demanding refund, royalties which they rightfully earned.
On the other hand, Underwater Mountain Publishing’s CEO has resigned, however, last summer he “resigned” also. The president, Joey Parris, resigned as well, stating that he can’t work for a company with these practices. Christopher Poindexter, part owner, is also terminating his relationship with UW. The company has posted an update saying that they will pay back the royalties but have not commented on any harassment other than comments of upcoming legal ‘action’ and blocking artists who shared their story. . The emails have not been responded to either.
Following are the screenshots and evidences proving the same.