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Thread: [Packager] IC Romance

  1. #1
    the world is at my command jennontheisland's Avatar
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    [Packager] IC Romance

    http://icromance.com/index.html

    Someone asked about them on another forum. My response:

    IC Red Flags.

    They don't seem to show anything on the site about who their clients are, what kind of rates they pay (though they indicate that they do pay "nominal rates"), or what the contract terms are (other than the fact that they "buy full rights to existing original manusctips"), or who even runs the joint.

    I find it interesting that they suggest not wanting to publish under your legal name is a good reason to hand over a manuscript to them in the "Unguided Ghosts" section. Really, a pen name is all you need to avoid any compromising positions or awkward questions.

    Their formatting requirments seem a little off to me too.

    My overly cynical completely jaded and entirely speculative ever so humbe opinion:
    Not a chance.

    For your consideration I propose the following scenario:
    IC Romance buys full rights to manuscrips for a nominal fee. IC Romance "sells" said manuscripts to a publishing company. Which one? Well, a completely separate legal entity owned by the same unnamed people who own IC Romance. The publishing company pays royalties to IC Romance, or themselves if you'd like, and the author never sees another dime, and has completely given up all rights to their work forever and ever amen.
    You are more than welcome to take anything I say personally, whether it was intended that way or not.

    Eat This.

  2. #2
    ~writes for Him~ Robin Bayne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jennontheisland View Post
    http://icromance.com/index.html

    Someone asked about them on another forum. My response:

    IC Red Flags.


    .


    Clever. Thanks for sharing.

  3. #3
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    From the "Unguided Ghosts" section (my bolding):

    We cannot write contracts that give the writer on-going rights or royalties on their work or derivatives of their work, nor can we guarantee that all or some of the title will ever go into print; or, if it does go into print, it will not be under your legal name, or in the form of its original submission (i.e. we will consider your submissions to be ghostwritten). If the work is accepted after submission, we offer a one-time nominal payment covering all rights to the work and its derivatives, across all publishing and media formats.
    My guess: they don't just buy all rights, they buy copyright.

    For the "Guided Ghosts," I'm guessing it's a work-for-hire arrangement.

    - Victoria

  4. #4
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Yes, they seem pretty clear that this is a work-for-hire scheme.

    "Ghostwriting for IC Romance is ideal for inspired people who can easily write one page of original yet well-written text per hour, with minimal effort and minimal guidance.....While payment depends on the genre and/or project, IC Romance pays nominal rates in line with what is typically offered to freelance journalists or writers."

    Question from the clueless: One page an hour sounds reasonable. The rates I've seen for freelance writers (including from the national writers union survey) are around $60 per hour or $60 per page. This would put a 400 page manuscript (200 page novel) at $24,000 -- which is not what I would consider "nominal". What am I missing here?

  5. #5
    What happened? ChristineR's Avatar
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    This is rather odd, and I wonder if they have ever actually bought any books. I can think of three categories of people who use ghostwriters.

    1) People accomplished in some other field (William Shatner, Fabio) whom it might superficially seem would be able to write in a genre (SF, romance), but who are actually not writers.

    2) Accomplished writers whose name has become a brand, and who for some reason can't or won't keep up with the demand for their brand.

    3) Publishers who own a "writer" who isn't actually one person, but actually just a set of styles and a brand, similar to above.

    These guys can't really be any of the above, can they? And one thing all three groups have in common is that they know lots of people who are well qualified to write their romance novels. Heads of corporations writing their autobiographies might have to look around for the right ghostwriter, but I think we can safely say that Fabio knew lots of good romance writers whom he could hire before he started writing his own books.

    Anyone else have any ideas which I might have missed?

  6. #6
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    My assumption was that big romance houses like Harlequin buy ghostwritten romances to fill their category lines, and IC was one of their providers. I've no idea if this is actually the case.

  7. #7
    What happened? ChristineR's Avatar
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    Harlequin certainly buys tons of books to fill their category lines, but if they want a book with particular style elements to be written, and then to be published under a particular name, they know many writers who can help them. I didn't think that many Harlequins were ghostwritten though, although I could be wrong.

  8. #8
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    I would be amazed if Harlequin used this kind of middleman. They don't need to and they would not benefit from doing so.
    Emily Veinglory

  9. #9
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    I agree. I can't imagine what kinds of publishers ICRomance caters to (if indeed it caters to any), but I'm betting they're not on the order of Harlequin.

    And another thing. If you're going to establish a reputation as a packager (which is really what this endeavor sounds like, not ghostwriting--it suggests cluelessness that they are describing themselves in terms of ghostwriting), you don't keep the names of the publishers you work for anonymous, as ICRomance claims to do in their FAQ. Who you work for is your resume, and establishes your credibility. Without that info, there's no way to know whether the company is hooked up with Harlequin or Light Sword Publishing.

    - Victoria
    Last edited by victoriastrauss; 07-01-2009 at 05:21 AM.

  10. #10
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    Or if there are any publishers at all.
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  11. #11
    Hapless Virago IceCreamEmpress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unimportant View Post
    My assumption was that big romance houses like Harlequin buy ghostwritten romances to fill their category lines, and IC was one of their providers. I've no idea if this is actually the case.
    This is absolutely not the case. HQ gets many more competent submissions than they can use. If they have a particular topic/subject/area/subgenre in which they want a book, they turn to one of the folks who is already publishing with them.


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  12. #12
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Thanks, ICE. I had no idea so made a wild guess. (The ICRomance place makes it sound as if it's quite commonplace for a romance publisher to need a ghost writer to finish up a manuscript left incomplete by a contracted author.)

  13. #13
    Every single romance publisher I'm aware of (and I'm aware of most of them--even the new startup epubs) get more submissions from writers in the traditional vein than they know what to do with. I've never heard of an in-house or continuity project that wasn't handled with authors already in the house or simply with a call for submissions dealing with a certain subject.

    One possibility of this here is that this is a startup effort for one of those bloggy-type sites that get their real cash from pageviews and adverts. I've seen them all so far under nonfiction subjects of general interest, where the site collects reprintable articles or employs short-piece writers to create short articles that appear laid out on pages with multiple spaces serving up targeted advertising. The general idea being to make the money through page-views and clickthroughs, with the article serving to add nominal value and search engine relevance.

    I could easily see this as a venture to collect copyright-free material to create a "fiction-zine" style site under which the main money would be made from advertising. The initial outlay of "nominal fee" means the fiction could be kept, recycled, derivatived, etc. as long as necessary to generate "new" content to keep users coming back to view more ads.

  14. #14
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Work for hire or not...yeesh.
    By submitting to our Unguided Ghost program, we guarantee that your original manuscript will neither be published under your name, nor the name of an existing writer who might take credit for your work. Rather, this program is for writers who desire anonymity and are not concerned with how or whether their work is published. It is for writers who simply love to write romance for the sake of writing romance, whether or not the work sees the public light of day. Since your manuscript will be submitted as a work of a ghostwriter, IC Romance may edit, modify and/or combine with it with other projects in its pipeline. If any part or all of your manuscript appears in print, it will appear under a fictitious pseudonym. If you are interested in retaining any rights to your work or derivatives or your work, then do not submit to IC Romance.
    ICAO
    ---------

    Censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates in the end the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion. -- Henry Steele Commager
    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

  15. #15
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    So....what's the point then? I don't get their logic here, or how this is even an attractive incentive. This is the kind of thing that could break one's brain.
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  16. #16
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Shuffled their site a bit mid '15, but is gone now.
    ICAO
    ---------

    Censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates in the end the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion. -- Henry Steele Commager
    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

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