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Biography of John Hays Hammond Jr. & Other Hammond Castle Books Now Only Available Through Publisher
The Titles Have Been Removed from Online Vendors in Order to Combat Plagiarism
By: Holly Benedict
In the late 1990's, the Quincannon Publishing Group began producing a series of Hammond Castle-related titles. The publisher has once again been forced to curb sales as a way to combat a flurry of misuse by other would-be authors.
"We were fine for about two years of selling through online vendor Biblio.com but this past summer we've been hit with more than a few suspicious orders which, when investigated, made us very very uneasy," explains editor-in-chief Alan Quincannon. "Past experience has taught us that the only way to deal with such matters is to limit sales."
What could have brought about such a drastic maneuver?
The precaution is due to one too many suspicious orders in which the potential buyers refused to respond to e-mails. That discourtesy most-assuredly raises a red flag since the Internet has become a cloak of anonymity.
"We are obligated to protect our authors’ intellectual and creative properties. At some point, you just say, ‘Enough!' Computers and the Internet have allowed the concepts of origin and ownership to become blurred. People don't think they are going to get caught stealing someone else's work but they always do and they are shocked when we address such things through legal means."
Until the Quincannon books, any information about Hammond was sketchy and wildly speculative. None of which was ever helped by Hammond's own exaggerations in interviews and press releases. He was a showman. But Hammond biographer, John Dandola, bothered to do years of detective work and amass his own personal archive of photos and documents which rivals that of the museum. It put both himself and his publisher in enviable scholarly positions but not without risks.
"There have been some pretty bizarre incidents surrounding these books," said Mr. Quincannon. "There was the author who astonishingly admitted an intent to transpose our Hammond biography into simpler sentences and sell it to another publisher. The intended publisher was as stunned as we were and they pulled the plug on the project. Believe it or not, we’ve actually been confronted by that same scenario twice from two different authors peddling to two different publishers. Then there was the writer who taught journalism but lifted entire passages for a magazine article and never gave credit. And of course, there's been a rash of others who were too lazy to do their own research and also never bothered to cite our books as their source materials. Scholarly integrity is fast becoming passé but we are fully aware that no one can produce anything of accuracy about Hammond without our books so keep it honest and give credit where credit is due."
To that end, the Hammond Castle titles will now only be sold through the publisher’s web site where check or credit card payments are accepted.
Living in the Past, Looking to the Future: The Biography of John Hays Hammond, Jr. by John Dandola is 272 pages and contains not only a full index but over one hundred restored vintage photographs. Dandola is gradually finishing a second volume of the biography which has been much delayed due to work on his mystery novels (Hammond is a character in two of them—Dead by All Appearances and Dead in Small Doses), screenplays, and stage plays.
The expanded second editions of both The Ghosts of Hammond Castle and Echoes from the Castle Walls: The Fiction of John Hays Hammond, Jr. are also available, whether bought separately or as a specially-priced pair.
Ghosts recounts years of ghostly happenings in true sitting-’round-
The only other Hammond title never available anywhere else is Recipes from Hammond Castle by Nellie Nally Connors and Patricia M. Drury, which is now in its expanded second edition.
"That title always had to be ordered directly from our offices for a very good reason," said Quincannon. "The late Mrs. Connors was Hammond's cook. The cookbook includes very personal reminiscences and was a very personal undertaking. Our agreement with her was just as personal and we are obligated to protect her work and her wishes. People should bear in mind that these recipes are offered to cook and enjoy but they are fully protected by copyright and cannot be reprinted in other collections."
The publisher is also quick to point out: "Make no mistake, all of our Hammond titles are all still very much in-print. I always find myself saying that because some very large popular online sites have marked these titles otherwise because we don't sell through them due to the deep discounts they demand while allowing us no protective control over our product."
Before ordering any of these titles, please inquire at Sales@QuincannonGroup.com.