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Thread: Bold Strokes Books

  1. #1
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Bold Strokes Books

    Do any of the scam-busters have any info on the publisher "Bold Strokes Books"? (http://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/FAQ.htm) From their webpage, they look like a fairly legit small press, except for this bit: "the author is expected to copyright their own work and provide proof of copyright application to the publisher upon signing of the contract." Is this deviation from the norm acceptable in small, royalty-paying, non-advance-paying, non-POD publishers?

  2. #2
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    If I'm reading the royalty clause correctly, they also pay on net. From what I've seen, stuff like this is common with highly specialized niche publishers like this one, but whether it's "okay" is still up in the air (IMO, at least). But the bottom line remains whether they can get your book on a shelf.
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  3. #3
    A bit of a wallflower absitinvidia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unimportant
    From their webpage, they look like a fairly legit small press, except for this bit: "the author is expected to copyright their own work and provide proof of copyright application to the publisher upon signing of the contract." Is this deviation from the norm acceptable in small, royalty-paying, non-advance-paying, non-POD publishers?

    That particular genre has had more than its fair share of issues with plagiarism. My guess is this publisher wants to make absolutely sure they're in the clear in case of a copyright infringement suit.

  4. #4
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    absitinvidia, you've lost me. Why does it matter, from a plagiarism standpoint, whether the author or the publisher pays the thirty-odd-dollar copyright fee? Either way the author would be held responsible if s/he'd plagiarised the story.

    CaoPaux, thanks for the info. I know such contracts aren't ideal, but I guess micro-niche writers sometimes have settle for less-than-perfect. (I'm not able to check if they or any other lesbian press gets their books into bookstores, since I don't live in the USA.)

  5. #5
    A bit of a wallflower absitinvidia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unimportant
    absitinvidia, you've lost me. Why does it matter, from a plagiarism standpoint, whether the author or the publisher pays the thirty-odd-dollar copyright fee? Either way the author would be held responsible if s/he'd plagiarised the story.

    Well, for a definitive answer you'd have to ask them. It just sounds to me like they are asking for tangible evidence of the author's copyright on the submitted work before the editorial process begins.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by absitinvidia
    Well, for a definitive answer you'd have to ask them. It just sounds to me like they are asking for tangible evidence of the author's copyright on the submitted work before the editorial process begins.
    IANAL, but I don't think that alone would protect the publisher in the case of copyright infringement by the author. When commercial publishers take on a book, they register copyright for the author so they have recourse to sue anyone who violates that copyright--not so they're protected if the author violated someone else's.

  7. #7
    boldstrokesbooks
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    Clarification Re: Bold Strokes Books

    Hello - -hopefully I can answer this question - we have provided FAQ pages on the Bold Strokes Books website to provide an overview of our publishing model and by way of introduction to the company. We also note that this information does not represent the terms of any individual author's contract. All terms are negotiable, as with any contract. In regards to copyright, we do anticipate that authors will have copyrighted their work before sending manuscripts to publishers/agents/etc for consideration (a wise practice, I might add) and would like to have that information on record. The cost of copyright, for those unaware, is $30. I don't believe there is any "standard" practice related to copyright registration in the industry anymore than there is a "standard" royalty scale. We pay all royalties based on retail price, not net, by the way. In some circumstances, we copyright the material for the author. If anyone has any other questions, please feel free to contact me , Len Barot, Publisher, BSB

  8. #8
    Apex Predator Jaws's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unimportant
    absitinvidia, you've lost me. Why does it matter, from a plagiarism standpoint, whether the author or the publisher pays the thirty-odd-dollar copyright fee? Either way the author would be held responsible if s/he'd plagiarised the story.
    Because if the author provides it in advance of publication, some publishers believe that the publisher cannot be held liable for contributory or vicarious copyright infringement. They're wrong, but only those of us who actually litigate these things know that…

    Remember, there's almost always more than one person/entity one can hold responsible for copyright infringement. That's the whole point of the DMCA: to limit (but not eliminate) liability for ISPs who undertake certain responsibilities.
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    comments, by me or anyone else — as anything other than general guidance.
    Unfortunately, no scam agents, vanity publishers, or other similar carrion-eaters were bent,
    folded, spindled, or mutilated in creating this post (not for want of motivation).
    Of course it's "fine print" — it's small and red.

  9. #9
    Slave to the metal Rhush's Avatar
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    BoldStrokes Books.

    Theyve requested my ms. Anyone have any thoughts on them? Ive been to the website, just wondering if anyone has some insider info or heard anything. Good or bad. Thanks!

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  10. #10
    Resident in Question Button's Avatar
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    Upon only glancing at the website, looks okie dokie to me.

    Here's how I figure that. The first page doesn't say anything about asking you to please submit, etc. It sells books. They boast their company, yes, but they boast about their books right up front.

    The have a selective sort of process. Looks like just ebook sales, but they don't sell books at the website either. Rather, they give you a list of booksellers that buy their books. (Or ebooks in whatever case your book might be published.)

    So... looks okay to me. Just a small publisher. (An I use the term JUST very loosely, as a way of stating it is not look like a publisher one should be worried about, doesn't look like a scam or a publisher that has no clue what they are doing, etc.)
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    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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  12. #12
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    And to add... there are many reasons not to require authors to pay copyright in America. Not least that it is staggeringly unlikely to be necessary and many of us need our money for food and other luxuries.
    Emily Veinglory

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    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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  14. #14
    Persisting AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
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    Submission guidelines no longer mention copyright, FWIW.

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  15. #15
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unimportant View Post
    Do any of the scam-busters have any info on the publisher "Bold Strokes Books"? (http://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/FAQ.htm) From their webpage, they look like a fairly legit small press, except for this bit: "the author is expected to copyright their own work and provide proof of copyright application to the publisher upon signing of the contract." Is this deviation from the norm acceptable in small, royalty-paying, non-advance-paying, non-POD publishers?
    They don't say that anymore. I've read the updated FAQ's!

    http://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/pages.php?pageid=9

  16. #16
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    I see Bold Strokes books well represented on the shelves of chain book stores.
    Emily Veinglory

  17. #17
    figuring it all out lilysea's Avatar
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    Bumping this thread in the hopes that someone has publishing experience with Bold Strokes.

    They just offered me a contract and I am trying to find writers with real world experience with them.

    I have seen their books in stores, they seem to have a solid distribution system and have been growing in recent years. If these things weren't the case, I would not have pitched them.

    But before I make a decision, I sure would like to hear from someone with experience.

    (My book, by the way, is a gender-bendy YA historical adventure.)
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  18. #18
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Negotiate your contract carefully and severely limit any options clause.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Unimportant View Post
    Negotiate your contract carefully and severely limit any options clause.
    Is that just a general matter of good advice, or is there something in BSB's contract that makes it worth extra attention?

  20. #20
    figuring it all out lilysea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaylahHunter View Post
    Is that just a general matter of good advice, or is there something in BSB's contract that makes it worth extra attention?
    I second this question.

    Also: anyone recommend a good site for boiler-plate contracts? I hate not having an agent...
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  21. #21
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    I haven't seen one of their contracts for many years, but the ones I did see were, um, not terribly author-friendly -- low starting royalty rates, no rights reversion clause, and ROFR on everything for life of copyright.

    Lilysea, feel free to PM me if you have more specific questions, or need another pair of eyes to look over the contract.

  22. #22
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Just a note that they've dropped the www, which occasionally makes a difference: http://boldstrokesbooks.com/
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  23. #23
    I got it covered Undercover's Avatar
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    Any more on this publisher? I see they take general fiction too.

    Does anyone know the advance range they offer?
    My blog Lists of YA (and Adult) Publishers that pay advances and are accepting unagented submissions

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  24. #24
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Undercover View Post
    Any more on this publisher? I see they take general fiction too.

    Does anyone know the advance range they offer?
    I'd like to know that too. Book store presence was mentioned. Does that mean they have some type of distribution in place?

  25. #25
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    I look in the gay and lesbian section of large bookstores whenever I travel and I almost always see around half a shelf full of their books. So they must have decent distribution capabilities.
    Last edited by veinglory; 12-10-2013 at 04:32 AM.
    Emily Veinglory

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