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Category Archives: Writer Beware

Stop: Vanity Publishing aka Subsidy Publishers

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Stop-Vanity-Publisher
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99% of All Manuscripts Will Be Accepted
Within half an hour I was asked today about two different “Self-Publishing” companies who had the authors’ manuscripts accepted. Both writers had tried to find a trade publisher and after receiving numerous rejections, they were glad to get an “offer” – as long as the authors are willing to pay totally inflated prices for printing, editing and cover art. It took me only one minute, using the word “complaint” along with the companies name to find long lists of complaints on author websites, blog posts and “Writer Beware” on Google.
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Vanity publishers are often working under several names, change addresses and their websites. Some trade publishers, up to at least one of the “Big Five”, affiliated recently with subsidy publishers and also directs authors, who’s manuscript they had previously rejected, to these companies. The main goal of these vanity publishers is to have their printing company busy, so they are not really into executing the work of a traditional publisher. A background check reveals in almost all cases that they are either printers or affiliated with a printing company. Even one of the best Canadian book printing companies went into vanity publishing a year ago.
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You often might have seen these small ads in literary magazines or on the internet: “If your book deserves publication, send your manuscript now to …”. And authors do not have to wait long for a response to their submission.  A real publisher doesn’t need to advertise!  They are overwhelmed with queries from authors.

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Money Upfront
Authors are certainly surprised when they encounter a “publisher” who wants money up-front. It should be the other way around shouldn’t it? After the author, having signed a hefty check, eventually learns that paying for publication is no guarantee that a single copy of his book will appear in any book shop, not even the local ones.
Many vanity publishers will charge somewhere between $8,000 to $20,000 (or even more) to publish a book depending upon its length. Why would an author pay $20,000 when he or she can have the same book printed for $2,000?
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Contract Full of (Empty) Promises
Nevertheless, the contract will be full of promises, it will state what exactly will be paid to the author for subsequent reprinting, subsidiary, for audio and e-books, mass-market paperback rights, for TV & Radio rights, merchandising and commercial rights and even film and foreign rights – to make the author believing that his “publisher” actively solicits his manuscript in Hollywood.
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Free Copies
Vanity contracts include usually a certain amount of “free” copies for the author; sometimes even as much as 10 books and if he/ she require more, they have to be paid.  Which means, that the author is paying for them twice…  I also have never met an author who goes into the print shop to watch his or her books manufactured or to see them stored in the warehouse. In most cases, only a certain number of copies (I suspect not even this will happen) in an edition will actually be bound; the rest will remain in the warehouse as flat printed sheets until required, which is probably never.
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Reviewers are Wary of Vanity Presses
Vanity / subsidy publishers are not concerned with editing, promotion, sales or distribution – unless the author pays additionally. For most vanity books, neither exists, and should review copies really being sent out: Reviewers are wary of vanity presses because they know that little attention is paid to the editing of the book. Unless the vanity house has a proven distribution and sales organization, authors will have to sell their printed book themselves and usually it will sell fewer than 200 copies.
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As seen in a Vanity publisher contract:
“In the event of bankruptcy or liquidation of the publisher for any cause whatever, the author shall have the right to buy back the publications at fair market value to be determined by agreement or arbitration.” (That means, die author has to pay a second time for all his unsold books). “If the author does not purchase remaining copies of the book, the representative of the publisher shall have the right to sell same at the best obtainable price without payment of royalty to the author.”
Unbelievable! Unethical! Criminal!
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Beware of These Signs:

  • Don’t trust flattering letters concerning your manuscript.
  • Be suspicious of vague promises of quality production. You will not get it in writing…
  • Be wary of promises to sell television and film rights, serial books and other money-making options.
  • Read, read and read once more the contract.
  • Don’t pay a dime, get a copy of the contract and show it to a lawyer that is specialized in contract / copyright law.
  • Watch out for contract clauses, that allow the publisher to renegotiate his initial pitch, and also where the “Publisher shall have the right to license the rights set forth”.

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Bound to the Vanity Publisher for Life!
Beside their over-the-top printing prices, Vanity publishers might cheat you in a contract that expires only 50 years after your death and with worldwide rights, even universe rights – a contract that a friend of mine signed in Renfrew, Ontario, Canada (and paid dearly) stated:

“The author hereby grants the publisher, during the full term of copyright, the sole and exclusive right to manufacture, print, publish and sell and to otherwise use, as set out further in this agreement, including, but not limited to, acting as agent and/or exercising any or all subsidiary rights, throughout the universe the work.” And: “The copyright remains with the author, until fifty (50) years after the death of the author. All covenants and grants of the author shall bind the author’s successors or assigns.”
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Vanity Publishers / Subsidy Publishers are not actively promoting books. Their business is not publishing, but printing and selling authors all kind of over-priced services. Despite so many warnings all over the Internet, there are still writers who fall into the trap of vanity / subsidy / self-publishing. And as soon as one vanity publisher stops his “business”, another fills the gap.

Please read also a comparison of Publishers – Vanity Publishers – and REAL Self-Publishing here:
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/11/13/comparison-of-trade-publishing-vanity-author-publishing/

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $159 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars Or visit http://www.e-book-pr.com/book-promo/
to advertise your new book, specials, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals.

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Best and Worst About Literary Agents

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Literary-Agent-Search
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Most US writers have to go through an agent – over 80% of all publishing deals are made through a literary agency. Publishers in the USA don’t want to deal directly with authors. In Canada, only ten percent of authors / books are agent-ed. Aspiring and established authors successfully submit the majority (10,000 plus) of the titles published every year directly to editors at publishing houses.
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IMPORTANT:
Study the agents’ website and submission guidelines carefully and learn how to write a query.
Be prepared when meeting for the first time with the agent for questions like this, that can make or brake your contract:

  • How are going to market your book?
  • What’s your platform
  • Why do you want to be published?
  • What’s your next book about?
  • What else are you working on?
  • Where do you see this series going?

Even more in your favor will be when you are already working on your second book and have at least the outline for the third. Your manuscripts don’t have to be a part of a series but should be in the same genre as the book the agent will pitch.This will show both the agent and publisher that you have the potential of becoming a career author. Have a sense of how long it takes you to write a book, including all of its editorial stages. This way, you will know what kind of delivery commitment you can make.
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Agent’s Fees
As an author trying to find a literary agent you have heard or read from, is not an easy task. And you might find an agency describing itself as “non-fee-charging” but then nevertheless wants money up-front. Most professional agents’ associations adopted policies prohibiting members from charging fees, called “reading fees” or “evaluation fees”.
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Reputable agents will NOT charge you a fee up front to represent your book. They earn their living by selling your book to a publisher and gaining a commission. That commission is a percentage of the proceeds your book earns. For one thing, this gives the agent an incentive to actually market your book around to various publishers likely to buy it for publication. This is another reason why many agents pick submissions carefully. They know what publishers are looking for and they will not accept anything which is not ready for submission or close enough that a few days of editing will make the difference.
Most agents these days charge 15% commission on domestic sales (North America).
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A literary agent gets his commission AFTER the book contract with a publisher is signed and the first money flows. If they charge reading or evaluation fees or any of the following fees – author beware:

  • marketing fees
  • submission fees
  • travel fees
  • legal fees
  • advance fees
  • or “per hour” fee
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Have a look at the do’s and don’ts of both sides:
Never under any circumstances should you pay expenses or any fees up front: Agents only receive money by deducting his or her 15% commission from your eventual earnings. Should an agent tell new writers that she/he was charging 15% commission plus expenses — that’s a rip-off; don’t agree to it. The Association of Authors Representatives (professional organization of literary agents) also forbids the charging of “reading fees.” If an agent asks you to pay a fee for his or her “evaluation” of your manuscript, refuse!
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So, what could you encounter?
Some agencies pressure authors into various additional services and charge fees for websites, sample cover mock-ups or illustrations or social media listings.
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AgentQuery (Database of Literary Agents) wrote on their website: Industry Red Flags:
“Be wary of any literary agent that contacts you out of the blue, especially if you have not queried that specific agent and do not have a public platform or presence. Fiction writers should be particularly cautious unless the agent has a logical reason to contact you, like you’ve recently won a prestigious writing contest, or they’ve seen your blog or read your published stories, etc..”

“Beware of agents that offer representation for a fixed fee, offer representation only if you pay them money to edit your manuscript, or charge you up-front fees in the range of thousands of dollars to off-set the cost of submitting your manuscript to publishers. These are all warning signs—unethical behavior from an unprofessional scammer. Scammers will tempt you, especially if you are desperate and inundated with rejections. They will tell you how fabulous your manuscript is and you will want to believe them.”

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WRITER BEWARE notes: 
“Not all agents who charge marketing fees are dishonest. Some are simply inexperienced or inept. But scam or amateur, the bottom line for the writer is the same: a lighter wallet and no book contract.”

Remember, that many of these publishers operate under more than one name and as “in-house” referral services. This means they always find a reason to refer you to another company which they also own… Editors Nielsen-Hayden summed it up: “Writing may be an art or a craft (or both), but publishing is a business. It’s best to know the business before diving in.”
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Resources and More blog posts regarding Literary Agents:
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How Agents work and How to work with Agents
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/how-agents-work-how-to-work-with-agents/
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Must-Read Blog to learn more about agents and how to approach them
http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents

Database of Literary Agents
http://www.agentquery.com/
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What Literary Agents Want to Know From You
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/what-literary-agents-want-to-know-from-you/
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How to Write a Query Letter
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/5-tips-for-successful-book-submissions/
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100′s of Links to Publishers and Agents
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/100s-of-links-to-publishers-and-agents/
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Which Literary Agent is Right for You?
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/which-literary-agent-is-right-for-you/
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Association of Author’s Representatives (lists agents)
http://aaronline.org/

Lynnette Labelle Editorial Services
www.labelleseditorialservices.com
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Visit often and get the latest alerts from WRITER BEWARE:
http://www.sfwa.org/for-authors/writer-beware/alerts/
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Comparison of Trade Publishing – Vanity – Author Publishing

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Comparison

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Every writer, no matter if they author-publish (self-publish) or if they have sold their manuscript to a publisher, has to do their own marketing. But how can you promote your book, if you are at the mercy of a publisher – trade or vanity?  What if you don’t own the ISBN and if you have no access to the retailers’ publishing / author pages, such as Amazon, B&N or Apple?  We had clients whos publishers were not able to properly set up the Amazon page, did not choose the proper category, took weeks to make changes to a wrong price and months to add the images and text the author had provided for their Goodreads or Amazon page.
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This is a huge problem (among many others) that authors face after they have given away their work for a pittance – or worse, have paid thousands of dollars to a vanity publisher. So, what’s the difference between both, beside the fact that they make it difficult for their authors to market their books?
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TRADITIONAL PUBLISHERS

  • Author needs to have a platform
  • Trade publishers accept very few submissions (average: 4%)
  • Authors might have to pitch dozens or hundreds of puplishers / agents
  • Authors receive a small advance and even smaller royalties
  • They do not use POD (single or few books), rather print large quantities
  • Authors have barely any say to cover image, publishing date etc.
  • Authors cannot decide the sales price, e-book prices are often un-competitive
  • It takes very long until the book is published (12-18 months average)
  • Publisher pays for printing, editing services and cover image
  • Distribution services are covered by the publisher
  • Professional marketing services available – but only for celebrity writers
  • They own the ISBN for the book

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VANITY PUBLISHERS

  • Author needs to have a platform
  • Accepts almost ALL submissions
  • Author never receives any advance in this “partnership
  • Author contracts are often worse than those of trade publishers
  • Author pays for printing or ebook-formatting, editing services, cover image
  • Authors have barely any say to cover image, publishing date etc.
  • Authors cannot decide the sales price
  • Mostly Quick turnaround and Print on Demand (POD)
  • Barely any distribution services, compared to commercial publishers
  • Vanity publishers don’t live from book sales, they live from printing/author services
  • No professional marketing services
  • Very few royalties – if any at all
  • They own the ISBN for the book
  • Your book has only 3 months time in bookstores to sell – before being discarded!
  • Bookstores generally are wary of vanity books (except maybe local writers)

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AUTHOR-PUBLISHING

  • Authors needs to have a platform in order to build a brand
  • Needs to learn about the publishing / book distribution industry
  • Needs to plan the publishing / marketing process
  • Authors have to find / compare author services (POD, distribution, formatter, designer)
  • Authors pays for printing or ebook-formatting, editing services, cover image
  • Authors can decide everything: cover image, publishing date, retail price etc.
  • Authors can do their own or hire marketing services
  • Authors get up to 70% from the books retail price (or 100% if sold from own website)
  • Authors own their ISBN – which is FREE in Canada! and low-cost in other countrie
  • Bookstores generally are wary of author-published books (except maybe local writers)

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Conclusion:
If an author has all these challenges, waiting times (or costs to cover, in the worst scenario) – and cannot even do the necessary marketing without huge problems, what is the point in having or even paying a publisher?  Why not author-publish / self-publish in the first place, and be totally independent when it comes to your marketing?
Whatever you will decide, take your time, don’t rush in anything and don’t let you sell any services, before you have thoroughly evaluated them. It does not matter if your book launches a month or a year later – important is that you have a platform as a writer and that you find a way of publishing that suits you and that gives you the freedom of your own decisions. If you decide to go with a publisher, don’t forget: Real publishers sell to readers – vanity publishers sell to writers!

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites:  We offer all this and more for only $ 179 for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
Or visit http://www.international-ebooks.com/book-promo to advertise your new book, specials or KDP Select Free Days.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 900 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

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The Traps in Publishing Contracts

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Traps-in-Publishing-Contracts
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Traditional Publishing Contracts – Part Two of a Series 

There should be a large neon sign that says: NEVER, NEVER, NEVER sign a contract without having your contract lawyer going over it and explaining it to you in detail – sentence for sentence. The contract clauses described here in this blog post are the “norm” in publishing. It is difficult to see how your publishing agreement will play out in the long term, what you sign today could have profound, long term consequences.

Contract attorney Ivan Hoffman explains in his blog:
“In the US, many contracts that consumers commonly sign, such as for mortgage or auto loans or to
obtain a credit card, are subject to statutory requirements for fairness, clarity, etc.  If some of the clauses and drafting techniques commonly included in publishing contracts used by publishers were found in consumer contracts, those provisions would be deemed void and unenforceable. In some cases, they might even constitute consumer fraud and would subject publishers to fines and penalties.”
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My advice: Before you even have a publishing contract meeting, do your homework and google the publisher, adding the word “complaint”. You might be surprised what you will discover!
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Publishing contracts are not negotiated from the ground up between the author and the publisher. They are prepared by the Publisher and delivered to the Author as though ready for signature.  And many authors sign without understanding what the contract contains or what rights they are giving up. They focus only on the royalty rate and the advance, if there is any. While those points are important, they might be far less important than some other provisions in the agreement. Authors should not assume a “standard” contract will be fair or equitable. Nor should authors assume they will be able to easily get out of that contract if found out later to be unfair.
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Samples of unfavorable publishing contracts

Duration of the contract and Territory:
“Author grants and assigns to publisher the sole and exclusive rights to the manuscript throughout the
territory, (which means the World – I have seen contracts that state “throughout the Universe” ….) during the entire term of the copyright and any renewals and extensions thereof.”

What is means: This contract is for the life of the author, plus 70 years after her death, plus renewals and extensions, binding to your heirs as well… Have you ever seen or signed a contract that extends beyond your lifetime? Pretty unfair and one-sided! It also should have a clause, that you get the rights back if the publishers doesn’t exploit it in a given time. For example: if they don’t translate your book into French, Spanish or Cantonese, they should state in the contract to return the rights for those countries to you, say after 2 or 3 years. Most likely they will refuse to …
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Rights granted by the author to the publisher:
“The Publisher has the exclusive rights to:

  • Magazine or newspaper before and following publication
  • Publication of condensations, abridgments, and in anthologies
  • Book club publication
  • Direct sale and mail order”

What it means: In their contracts, publishers will almost always seek to obtain ALL rights to the
manuscript. No author should give up all rights. If the author is in a stronger bargaining position, the
author may be able to withhold electronic rights, foreign rights or any other of the rights. If for any reason the contract terminates, there should be a clause, dealing directly with what happens to the rights in the book in those events. Do the rights revert to the author?
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Manuscript delivery and unsatisfactory material:
“If the manuscript for a book is not, in publisher’s sole judgement, satisfactory in all respects, the
publisher may terminate this agreement upon written notice.”

What it means: the Publisher can end the deal for pretty much any reason it sees fit, or for no reason at all. This clause has no single criteria to determine if a book is satisfactory – and it doesn’t give the author equal power to terminate the contract if she/he is not satisfied by the book the publisher created, for example if the publisher did not edit the book properly, priced it to high for the market or choose a terrible cover or a ridiculous title?
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Advances and Royalties

What is an advance
An advance payment is not a signing bonus. Instead, it is money the publisher is paying the author to live on while the book is being written. The publisher will be paid back this money once the book starts selling. They will take the advance money right off the top of your earnings. Depending on the size of your advance and how well your book sells, you may not receive any royalty payments for a long time. Maybe never. When a book sells enough copies to cover the cost of the advance, it means the book “has earned out.” Now your royalties can start rolling in …
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Royalties:
“Hardcover: 10% of the invoice price for the first 5000 copies, 12.5% thereof for copies from 5001 to
10,000, and 15% thereof for copies in excess of 10,000. Mass Market Paperback: 8% of the invoice
price for the first 150,000 and 10% thereof for all copies thereafter. On Ebooks: 25% of the amounts
received by Publisher, excluding taxes and handling charges.”

What it means: Between 8% and 12.5% for books is a pitance, and a lousy pay for the hard work of the author. And equally outrageous is what the author gets on e-books: 25% royalties – which is equivalent to 17.5% of the list price. However, the publisher gets 52.5% of the list price! Compare it to 70% you get from Amazon for books between $2.99 and $9.99. Do I need to say more?
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Royalty Payments
“Publisher shall provide Author with semi-annual royalty statements showing the amount due to the
Author, by April 1 and October 1 of each year for the six-month period ending the preceding December 31 and June 30th, respectively.”

What it means: These publishers might have never heard from a computer, nor do they use any : ) It does not take 6 months to compile the data for sold books, Amazon shoes your sales in mere minutes, and Barnes&Noble, CreateSpace and Kobo pay monthly. But if the money is withheld for months,it’s to the Publisher’s advantage. The longer, the more interest they can earn on the principal due to delayed payments.
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Most important: What is your royalty based on?
Retail price? Wholesale price? Or net price? Bookstores and other retailers get often deep discounts, up to 55%. If your contract states 10% of net, and the book is delivered at 55% discount to retailers, you might end up with only a couple of cents per book …

  • At a discount of 50%, 20% of net is same as 10% of the retail price of your book
  • At a discount of 40%, 16,66% of net is same as 10% of the lretail price of your book
  • At a discount of 20%, 12,5% of net is the same as 10% of the list price of your book

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Joint accounts – another trick of the trade publishers:
“Books one, two, and three will be held in a joint and open account, and the publisher shall not pay the
author’s share of royalties and subsidiary rights income on any book of the work until the author’s share of royalties and subsidiary rights income for all books exceeds the total advance.”

What it means: If you have a three-book deal with an advance of $60,000, you don’t make a cent in
royalties until all $60,000 has earned out – if for example book one earns already royalties, those
royalties go toward paying off the advances on books two and three. This is called a basket account or joint accounting. This way you might not earn anything, even with one very successful book, just
because other books in the basket weren’t as successful, often at the publishers fault – or haven’t been released yet.
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Statements and Payments
“Books one, two, and three will be held in a joint and open account, and the publisher shall not pay the
author’s share of royalties and subsidiary rights income on any book of the work until the author’s share of royalties and subsidiary rights income for all books exceeds the total advance.”

What it means: If you have a three-book deal with an advance of $60,000, you don’t make a cent in
royalties until all $60,000 has earned out – if for example book one earns already royalties, those
royalties go toward paying off the advances on books two and three. This is called a basket account or joint accounting. This way you might not earn anything, even with one very successful book, just
because other books in the basket weren’t as successful, often at the publishers fault – or haven’t been released yet.
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Reasonable Reserve
“The publisher may retain a reasonable reserve against returns in any accounting period. If the author
receives an over-payment of royalties resulting from copies of the work reported, sold, but subsequently returned, the author shall repay such amounts to Publisher to the extent that Publisher is not able to deduct such amounts from monies due to Author at the end of the royalty payment period after the period in which the over-payment is discovered.

What it means: This looks like a Publisher can pretty much withhold money from an author, and it
doesn’t define what a “reasonable” reserve is.

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As contract lawyer Ivan Hoffman wrote:
“However, in the absence of consumer-type protections, the laws governing (publishing) business contracts assume that each party to such contracts will watch out for themselves. If both parties sign a contract, the strong presumption is that each party understood what the contract meant and voluntarily agreed to be bound by it. In extreme cases, if a lawsuit were filed, a contract might be deemed unconscionable and voided in whole or in part, but that is a high hurdle to clear.”
Knowing the problem is widespread, doesn’t mean it should be ignored. Big companies are exploiting artists. They are getting rich, and the creators are getting shafted.
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Stay tuned for number three (final) in the series, and spread the word, RE-BLOG these articles, so that as much writers as possible learn about the tactics of the publishing industry and how to read between the lines.

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Resources:

Great Book Contract Checklist

Book Publishing Contracts: Checklist of Deal Terms

Copyright Termination

How to Read a Book Contract

Author Concerns and Complaints at Crimson Romance Contracts

Blog Posts by a New York Contract Lawyer

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only $ 159 for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/ Once you are on this website, click on Seminar to register.

Please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are 840+ of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and to StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

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Secret of a Successful Press Release

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Mailbox

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A client emailed me recently:

“I received an offer: Promote your book to 1,000 websites, media outlets, and search engines. What do you think? Is there a realistic ROI (Return of Investment) for the $97.00 press release?”
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My reply:
“Do you really want an honest answer? It is terribly expensive for what you get! Their work-effort is five minutes maximum, these mass email costs them less than a dollar – and the rest is profit…
The recipients are not selected to the readership of your books genre. It goes out in a mass email to any websites, any media outlets (can be a lifestyle magazine or a Christian newspaper, or a garden / cooking magazine, a sports magazine, just about anything …).  Well, and you are in search engines listed anyway with your blog and your website.
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The one who writes the press release will be you! They just copy / paste it into an email form (images seems not to be included, as far as I can see) and off it goes by mass email. NOT to your potential
readers! ROI (Return of Investment) with this kind of mass email? No way!”
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You might have read two former blog posts: 7 Errors To Avoid When Dealing With the Media and How to Write a Press Release for Your Book

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No time to read thousands of emails every day
Journalist, reporters and editors are under constant time pressure and overwhelmed with emails, they don’t even read them anymore, and for sure they are not reading mass emails with press releases that were not directly sent to their name, rather were sent to their newspaper office.
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Statement from a journalist:
“Why do companies and PR’s still target these useless muppets to waste journalists’ time, bombarding them with irrelevant stories. Do your homework properly, build up your own media contacts list and deal with them directly.”
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Make sure you email the right person.
Put together a file of hand-picked contact people at newspapers, radio stations, TV stations and other organizations that would be a good fit for your niche. The days of… blind copying everybody and hoping somebody picks up your press release is really over. Reporters and editors just get annoyed.
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If you want to receive great results from a promotional campaign, it must go to a target audience. To promote your book, you need to find journalists who are writing about books, and convince them that your work stands out among thousands in the same genre – and that it is useful / interesting for their readers. Having a great story is just not enough anymore. You need to know how to get reporters to listen. A successful press release campaign needs to be well planned:

• research of recipients
• research of key words
• research of benefits for readers
• creating a compelling headline
• get stunning photos
• write a catchy text
• editing, editing, editing
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As with everything you learn as an aspiring author-publisher-entrepreneur: When you do it the first time, it is a bit of en effort, but from the second Press Release on the learning curve is very steep, you have already a prototype, you have your checklist, and a number of journalists, reporters and bloggers coordinates in your files. Now you just need a brilliant photo or two, and to craft the article, which should be a breeze. After all you are a writer, right?

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only $ 159 for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/ Once you are on this website, click on Seminar to register.

Please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are 830+ of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and to StumpleUpon.

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The Author Exploitation Business

ebooksinternational:

Penguin and Author Solutions
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We wrote in dozens of blog posts about the difference between publishers, self-publishing service companies and Vanity Publishing, recently in an article

A Must-Read for every author is David Gaughran’s article about Author Solutions, where he explains:
“Traditional publishing doesn’t talk about Penguin’s 116m purchase and ownership of Author Solutions. No-one wants to talk about how a supposedly legitimate publisher now owns the most successful author scamming organization on the planet, that has cheated 150,000 writers out of their savings.”

Unfortunately Author Solutions / Penguin also own  XLibris, Balboa, Trafford, iUniverse… ,collaborates with Lulu, and spams the internet with FindYourPublisher.com
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The good news: Three authors filed a class action complaint against Author Solutions Inc. and Penguin Group USA in US District Court for the Southern District of New York. Allegations include breach of contract, unjust enrichment, various violations of the California Business and Professional Code, and violation of New York General Business Law and request release of publishing rights for the class, and payment by the plaintiffs of restitution, court costs, and compensatory damages in excess of $5 million.
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Read David Gaughran’s extensive article and re-blog it, to warn as many writers as possible, so that they do not fall into their traps.

Originally posted on David Gaughran:

penguin (1)Writing is a glamorous occupation – at least from the outside. Popular depictions of our profession tend to leave out all the other stuff that comes with the territory: carpal tunnel syndrome, liver failure, penury, and madness.

Okay, okay, I jest. I love being a writer. Sharing stories with the world and getting paid for it is bloody brilliant. It’s a dream job, and like any profession with a horde of neophytes seeking to break in, there are plenty of sharks waiting to chew them to bits.

Publishing is a screwed up business. The often labyrinthine path to success makes it much easier for those with nefarious intentions to scam the unsuspecting. But it doesn’t help that so many organizations who claim to help writers, to respect them, to assist them along the path to publication are actually screwing them over.

Before the digital revolution made self-publishing viable on a…

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Are You Sure You Know Your Rights As Author?

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Racoon

Smart Racoon

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If you are serious about being a writer, you need to know a bit about the business. Let’s start with your rights as an author and how to read a publishing contract, in case you are not an author-publisher, keeping ALL your rights.

Anne Rooney summed it nicely up: “Publishing is a business and no matter how friendly and reassuring your editor, they want to make as much money out of the deal as they can. If “it’s just the standard contract” you say that’s fine as a starting point, but now you are going to make it suitable to you and your book. If they say “no one has ever objected before” that means either they are lying or no one ever has read the contract properly and taken a professional approach.”
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As an author you own the copyright, and you own all the rights to your work. You can sell – or give away these rights or use in several ways:
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First Serial Rights
They can be print or electronic and mean you are selling a publisher the right to publish your article once for the first time. In the case of print rights you are free to immediately sell the piece to an e-magazine or e-zine before print publication and, after the print magazine containing your article hits the newsstand, you are free to sell it again as a reprint to other print markets.

First Serial Rights Electronic
However, first serial electronic rights are different – for sample e-magazines or e-zines buy first rights for an exclusive time period, usually one year (often for the laughable amount of $5 or $10), and at the same time, ask for non-exclusive rights after that. While you can immediately sell the same piece to a print market as a “first print right,” you cannot even post the article on your own website until the year is up. After that you are free to sell the article to other electronic markets as a reprint and post it yourself online everywhere you want.

North American first serial rights
Most Canadian and US freelance authors sell North American first serial rights, reserving the right to sell in other world markets  (e.g. Great Britain, Australia, Asia). Specify what type of rights you are selling: First North American Electronic Rights Only.

Second Serial Rights
These are reprint rights and apply to print and electronic markets. Never sell reprint rights, keep them at all costs. Even you will earn less money for each reprint, you can sell your work over and over again.

Subsidiary Rights
Other rights that authors and freelancers hold are subsidiary rights, including, but not limited to movie rights, dramatic, TV and radio rights, audio and other media rights.

Digital Rights
However, don’t give up or sell your electronic rights to a traditional book publisher without receiving a large lump sum or at least 50% royalty from the retail price. Most publishing houses are not really experts in e-publishing and often don’t use the electronic rights to your book. But it would prevent you from e-publishing your own work or selling it to a high-royalty-paying e-publisher.

All Rights
In this case the author gives up all future income from the article or book and only retains the copyright. Giving up all your rights should be only considered if a tremendous sum is paid for.

Copyright Protection in the USA and Canada
Copyright protection in Canada is automatic upon the creation of a given work, regardless of the medium of its creation, and it lasts until fifty years after the creator’s death – in the USA seventy years.

Before You Sign Any Contracts:
Always first contact your national authors’ or writers’ associations for further information and get legal advice from a lawyer who is specialized in copyright. This can save you ten thousands of dollars.

Sources:

http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/
http://publications.gc.ca/site/eng/ccl/aboutCopyright.html
http://www.stroppyauthor.com/2010/07/how-to-read-publishing-contract-part-15.html
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/how-to-sell-foreign-book-rights/
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/03/16/part-2-great-opportunity-for-authors-foreign-right-sales/
http://www.sfwa.org/for-authors/writer-beware/
http://www.writing-world.com/links/rights.html
http://www.cipo.gc.ca
http://www.writersunion.ca

 

If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book heavily promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only a “token” of $1 / day for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com

Please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are 785 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and to StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://on.fb.me/TvqDaK

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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