Contributory Publishing Deal? - Page 3


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Thread: Contributory Publishing Deal?

  1. #21
    Real publishers may ask you to do a lotta things (social media campaigns, book signings, interviews, helping market the book...) but they will never ask you for money.

  2. #22
    The fact that there is even a couple people questioning this is scary. It’s a scam. Period.
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by luckyscars View Post
    The fact that there is even a couple people questioning this is scary. It’s a scam. Period.
    It just goes to show that there's a sucker born every minute. If there wasn't, these kinds of scams wouldn't exist.

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Moose.H View Post
    I believe that the situation swings both ways. My first book had a deal that they withdrew due to bookshops unilaterally changing their terms of payment (the tail was wagging the dog). They went onto govt printing. I fully understood their following offer some months down the line for a pay to publish. Not a lot but being broke I could not indulge. I had some colleagues beta proof my work and it changed significantly enough for a UK publisher published it for me. A huge lesson on set outs and formats etc. But it made me appreciate the huge investment of time needed to get a book to print. I had done the graphs and illustrations myself, not needing complex pictures.

    Take my second book. I have a massive amount of time invested in its production, well critiqued to this point it still has a way to go. The pictures need professional illustration. I know that there will still be a lot of work for an editor. The publishing costs include graphics cheaper than the amount my very slack artist has quoted. I would like to stay with my illustrator but she is doing me no favours and I have missed my more important deadlines.

    Publishers have a vast volume of manuscripts being submitted only a precious few make the cut and even fewer succeed to make money. This is against slow paying book stores. They don't go in much for further risk on new genres and authors unless you have a brilliant topic well edited and presented.

    Saying that - you need to set your goals and priorities. Pay and pray or have the validation that others have faith in your work and presentation enough to back you. If it is money then you have to tick all the boxes so that they can make money off your work.
    This is just nonsense.

    Publishers are not some charity suffering to do divine work. They are a business. They make money - or try to - by contracting product (books) and reselling it at some level of profit either to bookstores or directly to readers.

    If this wasn't books we were talking about but coffee beans, we wouldn't be sympathizing with Starbucks if they tried to get some newly-sourced Guatemalan bean farmers to start paying them for the privilege of making espressos for them to sell on the basis of 'there's just so much coffee around these days' and 'it's a risk' .

    We would be talking about how exploitative and unethical such an idea is. We would be agreeing that risk is an inherent part of business (because it is) and that if a company is unable or unwilling to deal with risk without outsourcing it to somebody else, they are no longer a business but some variety of parasitic disease. We would be comfortable with the reality that if Starbucks can no longer afford to pay its suppliers it probably has lost the right to call itself a business, much less a responsible one.

    Bottom line: People can fuck off when it comes to weeping over the plight of publishers, like they're benevolent capitalists just because they sell books instead of oil or ivory tusks. I am all for supporting our publishing industry, especially independents: I have personally contributed stories that have been published for zero dollars in pay because I recognize the 'publisher' wasn't really a commercial enterprise. But there's a MASSIVE difference between giving something away for free on honest terms to an organization that openly admits it isn't about making money in the first place (like your average college magazine) and paying in real money to carry risk that the 'business' in question isn't willing to absorb.

    Charging authors to publish material is either a scam or a sign of incompetence. It doesn't swing both ways.
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

  5. #25
    Music Guru Trollheart's Avatar
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    I absolutely agree with Lucky, which was one of the lines I put into the letter (which has now been posted back, along with the unsigned contract and their glowing letter of acceptance) - to wit: I also understand that you would be taking a risk by publishing anunknown author, but then, isn't that the risk every publishing house takes anyway? Nobody is famous from the first; every writer had to start somewhere, and I'm willing to bet that even the likes of Stephen King or Clive Barker or, hell, Charles Dickens, were not asked to pay to have their first works published!

    Bottom line to me is that if there was no risk on any side everyone would get published and publishers would get paid because everything - everything - they published would do well. Of course the world isn't like that: publishers take a risk on new authors in the hope they will become the next King or Barker or Rowling or Martin, but authors should not have to PAY for the publishers to take that risk. Is it not something similar to starting a new job and your boss saying "Now I don't know if you'll be good at this, so for the first six months YOU'RE going to pay US!"????

    As we say here in Ireland, Bollocks to that.
    Come away, human child to the waters and the wild
    With a faery hand in hand.
    For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand. - WB Yeats "The Stolen Child"

    I drink to forget, but I never forget to drink.

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    He'd be gunned down cold by the CIA" - The The, "Armageddon Days Are Here (Again)" - Mind Bomb, 1989


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  6. #26
    Board Moderator J.T. Chris's Avatar
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    There's a risk in publishing, but there is also a vetting process. They have professionals gauge the salability of unsolicited manuscripts before they commit to a contract. Vanity publishers do not vet because their business model is to make money off naive authors, not book sales.
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  7. #27
    Having done almost no research into the price of things, if I was gonna spend 2300 anyway, I'd blow 500-1000 on editing, another 1000 on Amazon ads, and the rest on original cover art. Then, I'd keep any money it made (or at least 70% of it) for myself.

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Trollheart View Post
    I absolutely agree with Lucky, which was one of the lines I put into the letter (which has now been posted back, along with the unsigned contract and their glowing letter of acceptance) - to wit: I also understand that you would be taking a risk by publishing anunknown author, but then, isn't that the risk every publishing house takes anyway? Nobody is famous from the first; every writer had to start somewhere, and I'm willing to bet that even the likes of Stephen King or Clive Barker or, hell, Charles Dickens, were not asked to pay to have their first works published!

    Bottom line to me is that if there was no risk on any side everyone would get published and publishers would get paid because everything - everything - they published would do well. Of course the world isn't like that: publishers take a risk on new authors in the hope they will become the next King or Barker or Rowling or Martin, but authors should not have to PAY for the publishers to take that risk. Is it not something similar to starting a new job and your boss saying "Now I don't know if you'll be good at this, so for the first six months YOU'RE going to pay US!"????

    As we say here in Ireland, Bollocks to that.
    Honestly, the letter was probably a waste of time. They don't care. It's not like they valued you, or any writer, in the first place. But if it made you feel better, I guess that's worth it!

    I'm glad you've come down on the right side of this anyway. Plenty don't. Any predatory business practice is something I get very annoyed about.
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

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