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In general, basket accounting happens when you sell a publisher several titles in a single contract. In that case, no additional royalties are paid on that contract until the entire advance on that contract is paid back.
Do read your contracts carefully.
Also: the idea that the publisher owns the edits is abusive. If you find that in a contract, line it out. If they insist: walk.
The only agreement between an author and a publisher is the contract, signed by both.
A good agent now can save you heartache later.
FYI, I've received another report of DSP trying to retroactively change contract terms during the rights-reversion process. Just in case it needs to be said, it is not standard practice for a publisher to require an author to sign anything to get their rights back (after the initial request, of course). Should you receive any such document(s), proceed carefully.
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:
Regarding the previous issue (ownership of edits) the RWA has taken legal advice on this very thing and here's a link to what they have to say.
In short, "Rights reverted to a novelist upon the exercise of an out-of-print, or reversion of rights, clause include editorial revisions, so long as those revisions are not independently copyrightable. …Although editors may make many useful revisions, unless both participants enter into the venture as joint authors, editorial contributions are not separately copyrightable."
I highly recommend people read the thing in its entirety.
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I'm a little peeved by them just at present.
For eight years, they held a "daily dose" which is a short story anthology, printed once per day in June. So I wrote one per their guidelines (the theme this year was "storybook romance") but, rather than give me either an acceptance or a rejection, I got a notice saying "due to lack of author interest, we won't be reading any of the stories submitted. And we won't be doing edits/suggestions the way we usually do." [paraphrase mine] Le Sigh. I think they could at least have bothered to read the story and tell me if they were interested in a longer version, or not waited until they'd said acceptance/rejection letters were going to be received to tell me that they were quits.
But I know the industry is really putting a NASTY squeeze on a lot of publishers these days, and I can't say I entirely blame them. Perhaps this is my opportunity to know if self-publishing is the way to go for me.
I just looked at the Dreamspinner submissions page and it says they're currently closed to "general" submissions (since March 31, it looks like).
Does anyone know what this is about? I've been trying to diversify over the past couple years so I haven't been paying much attention to DSP... have they closed to general submissions before? It looks like they're still taking manuscripts for their category lines, maybe?
Anyone heard anything?
Kate, they recently closed to general submissions. They also laid off a lot of people in the process. They say it's because they want to "achieve greater success" for their authors.
Maybe it means they're going to back off the aggressive release schedule. I'm not sure how any given book receives adequate attention when they crank out several new releases almost every day. That wouldn't be the worst scenario. I hope it doesn't mean they're struggling.
If they are in danger of closing, I hope they do it with the same efficiency, transparency, and aplomb with which they closed their retail business, the defunct RainbowEbooks dot com (which is oddly still online, albeit empty of product--also red-flagged as not secure by my antivirus software , so visit at your own peril).
I can only speak for myself here, but if it helps, I contract edit with them and I'm still receiving editing work. I'm not as busy, but with subs being closed, that speaks for itself. I've honestly heard nothing about closure, but please note I wouldn't hear about closure etc, just that my service is no longer needed. I've not been told that they're not.
I don't believe they are closing, but they are definitely cutting back heavily.