Contributory Publishing Deal?


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Thread: Contributory Publishing Deal?

  1. #1
    Offline: Depressed Trollheart's Avatar
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    Contributory Publishing Deal?

    Need your help here guys, especially those who are well versed in the world of publishing.
    My heart is racing as I just received a publishing contract for one of my longer short stories, which I reckon these guys intend to publish as a book. Novella I guess - about 50,000 words. They seem very enthused about it. However they're offering me a contributory contract, which means I have to stump up 2,300 as a one-time payment.

    Does this sound right, and has anyone any experience of doing this? I don't make much money, being a fulltime carer, and that's a hell of a lot of money for me to find. I'd have to ask family for help, and that's fine if it's a loan against sales, that I can pay back to them later. But if it just disappears into a black hole and I never see anything back from it, then I'll be very upset.

    I know nobody can predict how a book will sell, but is this the way to go? Or, since these people expressed interest in the story/book, should I look further afield to see if some other publisher will take it on without asking me for money? If I decline this opportunity am I losing my only chance at publication or should I not move too hastily?

    Any help very much appreciated.
    Thanks
    TH
    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.

    "If the real Jesus Christ were to stand up today
    He'd be gunned down cold by the CIA" - The The, "Armageddon Days Are Here (Again)" - Mind Bomb, 1989


    The most destructive force on the planet is not nukes or global warming...it is the human ego. - Ralph Rotten

  2. #2
    Google Vanity Publishing. The author should not be paying to have their book published.
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  4. #4
    Offline: Depressed Trollheart's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. This is what rankled with me. They say it's "to help offset publication costs", but really, why should I be paying to get my work published? One thing if there was, somehow, a guaranteed return promised, but when the future of my writing would be down to chance, that money could end up disappearing forever.

    Does this, though, put me in a stronger position? If I now go to another publisher and tell them the story was not rejected but actually accepted by these guys, but that I didn't like their terms, do I have a better chance of them taking it? Or, if I go back to the publisher here and explain I can't afford the fee and might as well take it to another publisher, would that be likely to make them rethink? If they're not just trying to blow sunshine up my skirt and actually like (and want) the story, would they be prepared to lose it for a few grand which they could probably likely easily recoup on sales? They won't have offered, I would imagine, a publishing contract to me without expecting it will sell, so while they're obviously just covering themselves are they going to pass up on what might be an earner for them and let me take this elsewhere?

    Again, any advice very much appreciated. Kind of feel like I've been on top of the world momentarily, only to find myself falling and being brought back down to earth.
    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.

    "If the real Jesus Christ were to stand up today
    He'd be gunned down cold by the CIA" - The The, "Armageddon Days Are Here (Again)" - Mind Bomb, 1989


    The most destructive force on the planet is not nukes or global warming...it is the human ego. - Ralph Rotten

  5. #5
    Tread carefully, my friend. I had a deal a couple of years ago, where a publisher, who only dealt with authors through email, took me all the way past designing the cover, when I got an email saying they were in financial trouble and to get my book "back" from them, I had to pay over $700. They even gave a time frame before the deal would be null and void. I couldn't afford that kind of money, for something that was rightfully mine, so I had to pass. About a year later, the same title, with my name on it, appeared on Amazon as a Kindle Book, and they were asking an outrageous amount ($10) for an unknown author. I hired an attorney and through a lot of back and forth, my rights were reinstated. I then contacted Amazon and was able to convince them that the publisher - All Classic Publishing - did not submit the book in good faith, that I had received no money from them on any ebook sales, and it was removed from their website.

    I'm not saying this is the same as your situation, but whenever up front money is involved, my hackles go up. Be sure to do research on the publisher. I contacted the Better Business Bureau and the Chamber of Commerce in the city in California where All Classic was from, and no one could confirm a publishing company was even located at that address, but I my attorney did send them a letter (requesting signature) there, saying if they did not reinstate my right with ten days, the rights would automatically revert back to me. Someone on their end signed, but then the opened letter was returned, as if no one was there. So strange. Wish I had done research before I got into that mess!

    Good luck and let us know what you find out.
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  6. #6
    Offline: Depressed Trollheart's Avatar
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    Thanks Sue.
    Yeah, I feel I'm going to try the first option, which is to write back to them and explain I can't accept the terms and see if they'll offer me a contract on which I don't have to put up any cash, then if they don't I'll look into other publishers. It seems almost counter-intuitive anyway to pay someone to publish your material. If it's that good, shouldn't they have faith in you and be prepared to shoulder the publication financial burden? Isn't that, after all, what publishers do?

    Anyhow, I'll see if threatening to take the story does anything, and if not then I'll probably just thank them and part company with them. Without a signed contract they have no rights to my work, would that be correct? Then I can take it to whichever publisher I prefer.

    Thanks again
    TH

    Note: this is their website, in case anyone wants to look into them.
    www.austinmacauley.com
    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.

    "If the real Jesus Christ were to stand up today
    He'd be gunned down cold by the CIA" - The The, "Armageddon Days Are Here (Again)" - Mind Bomb, 1989


    The most destructive force on the planet is not nukes or global warming...it is the human ego. - Ralph Rotten

  7. #7
    No. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever pay a red cent for publication. Money always flows to the author, never away. This is a scam.

  8. #8
    Offline: Depressed Trollheart's Avatar
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    If anyone wants to see it, I can also post copies of the cover letter and the page of the contract which asks for the "partial payment"...

    They say a lot in the covering letter that seems to indicate they appreciate my writing, though of course that could all be part of the attempt to relieve me of my money. In fairness, they did mention this contributory contract from the beginning as being a possibility, so I wouldn't quite think it's a scam, but I do think they're hedging their bets a little too much and I certainly don't fancy parting with my hard-earned, which I don't even have anyway.
    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.

    "If the real Jesus Christ were to stand up today
    He'd be gunned down cold by the CIA" - The The, "Armageddon Days Are Here (Again)" - Mind Bomb, 1989


    The most destructive force on the planet is not nukes or global warming...it is the human ego. - Ralph Rotten

  9. #9
    You might want to look at this, Trolls. Let's just say that this guy is not Austin's biggest fan

    https://jerichowriters.com/austin-macauley/
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  10. #10

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