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Thread: MuseItUp Publishing

  1. #1
    Literary Laureate Sn00py's Avatar
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    MuseItUp Publishing

    Has anyone heard of this new Canadian publisher, MuseItUp Publishing? Looking through the available information on their website, they look solid, albeit new. The "blogspot" in the url gives me pause, though, since it costs so little money even for a vanity press to establish their own domain name.

  2. #2
    I grow my own catnip JulieB's Avatar
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    They do have a web site: http://museituppublishing.com/

  3. #3
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    Sn00py:
    Looking through the available information on their website, they look solid, albeit new.
    Why do you think that?

    Sn00py:
    The "blogspot" in the url gives me pause, though, since it costs so little money even for a vanity press to establish their own domain name.
    They do: http://museituppublishing.com/

    MuseItUp Submissions Guidelines:
    Our view is that new writers aren't given an opportunity to showcase their talent.
    Wrong. New writers are given the opportunity and they're paid for it. Debut novelists are published every day.

    MuseItUp Submissions Guidelines:
    Although a submission doesn't guarantee an acceptance, we will offer comments with tips on how to improve your manuscript and invite you to resubmit.
    A submission should never guarantee an acceptance unless you're running an author mill.

    Commercial publishers don't have the time to offer critiques on rejected manuscripts - if you're lucky, you may get some feedback on a manuscript but if you do, you are very, very fortunate.

    MuseItUp Submissions Guidelines:
    We are a small and upcoming royalty paying independent Canadian e-publisher,
    I've never heard of them before, but a lot of the other AW members have experience with epublishing and can give a better idea of whether they really are "upcoming".

    MuseItUp Submissions Guidelines:
    We're seeking quality work, not first drafts, ranging from 3,000 words minimum to novel length.
    3,000 words seems v. short to me to be profitable but maybe one of the ebook experienced members here could comment. I see they're pricing it at $1.99, which seems a bit high to me but again, I'd appreciate an experienced view.

    MuseItUp Submissions Guidelines:
    We are an e-publishing house with the aim of publishing e-books first and print books to follow an e-book release within a year (only novel length books will be considered for print.)
    I'd want to know what conditions have to be met for a book to go into print and what distribution/marketing/promotion is in place for print books. I'd also like to know if there's a different royalty on print than on ebook format.

    MuseItUp Submissions Guidelines:
    cover letter introducing yourself, work, and any marketing plans you may have sketched
    I'd be happier with this if there was anything on the site to indicate what promotion/marketing/distribution they had in place - all they say is:

    MuseItUp Website:
    We'll also actively seek other promotional and marketing opportunities for our authors to help with the success of their books.
    MuseItUp Website:
    Our contract asks for 3 years exclusive worldwide English rights to produce, publish, and sell the Work in electronic rights and print. For print we do state that if your book is not published within a year after your e-book is published we will revert the rights for print back to you and maintain the e-book rights until the duration of the contract.
    They're based in Canada and they're new so I don't see why they need worldwide rights.

    There's nothing to indicate how they determine whether a book is going into print and 3 years seems to me to be a short period for a printed book although I think it's more reasonable for electronic rights, depending on how it deals with reversion on expiry.

    In any event, print runs are done via POD, which means there'll be limited sales.

    MuseItUp Website:
    Publisher will pay Author a quarterly royalty of 40% off the list Price for sales of the Work at the publisher's website, less credit card processing fees for eBooks sold from our site. For digital books sold through outlets requiring distribution discounts, the royalty will be 40% net off sales received by the publisher from the distributors, minus vendors discounts, and any handling charges requested by vendors.
    That seems to me to be in keeping with what a lot of epublishers do on royalties but an experienced ebook poster can say more.

    MuseItUp Website:
    Publisher will pay Author a quarterly royalty of 20% of the net proceeds for sales directly from the publisher’s website. For print books sold through other distribution outlets, Author will receive a royalty of 20% of the net proceeds.
    I'd want to see the royalty paid on the cover price and not net for printed books.

    MuseItUp Website:
    What happens if you go bankrupt or close shop?

    Well, we have no intention of either of those things happening but life has a way of hitting you in the gut at times. IF this ever happens all rights revert back to the author.
    Someone experienced in Canadian law should comment on this, but in general on insolvency all rights go to the liquidator for them to determine whether to sell off or return on an insolvency.

    MuseItUp Website:
    Why should I publish with you?

    Great question and I won't even go into the usual response about providing a family atmosphere, a home, and a dedication to our authors; these are given statements that all publishers should offer.
    No. All publishers should answer that question with: "Because we know how to sell your book to make money for you and for us."

    MuseItUp Website:
    I'll be open and honest that we are a new publishing house with dreams and aspirations to offer our authors a place where they can help one another with promotions besides the marketing we will do for them. It's hard in this business to get a good start but we aim to do just that.
    That says to me that they don't have the budget to do effective marketing and promotion and don't have the experience either. Authors should not be doing promotion work for other authors unless it's a book they really feel passionate about.

    MuseItUp Website:
    Each year I offer a FREE online writers conference, The Muse Online Writers Conference, and invite writers, editors, publishers, and agents to workshop for a week. I mention this to show you that the dedication to authors began before this publishing house came about, and the same dedication will be offered to the authors of MuseItUp Publishing.
    I don't understand this. Why would publishers and agents want to go to such an event? How does this prove MuseItUp's dedication?

    MuseItUp Website:
    The job of the Editor will be to work with our authors to produce the best book they possibly can. Editors are paid 10% on books sold which they edited.
    That is terrible and not a way of getting professional editors involved in the business.

    There isn't a whole lot of detail on the staff page either as to which publishing houses the editing staff worked for.

    Personally, I'd wait a couple of years and see if they're still in business.

    MM

  4. #4
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Momento Mori View Post
    Personally, I'd wait a couple of years and see if they're still in business.
    I agree. Give it some time to prove itself before you approach it. This also provides time for complaints to surface, if there are any, and allows you to assess things like cover art, editing, marketing, and distribution.

    - Victoria

  5. #5
    Bemused Girl nkkingston's Avatar
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    They're based in Canada and they're new so I don't see why they need worldwide rights.
    I would say that for eBooks, your market is anyone with the internet, so why limit it just to Canada before you even begin? That's why print is a bit vague; most ePublishers only sell print books on their own website and Amazon, as far as I've seen.

    MuseItUp Website:
    Publisher will pay Author a quarterly royalty of 40% off the list Price for sales of the Work at the publisher's website, less credit card processing fees for eBooks sold from our site. For digital books sold through outlets requiring distribution discounts, the royalty will be 40% net off sales received by the publisher from the distributors, minus vendors discounts, and any handling charges requested by vendors.

    Publisher will pay Author a quarterly royalty of 20% of the net proceeds for sales directly from the publisher’s website. For print books sold through other distribution outlets, Author will receive a royalty of 20% of the net proceeds.
    Am I misreading this, or are they actually stating two entirely separate royalty rates for the same thing?

    Honestly, most of it looks fairly standard for a start-up, but a lot of ePubs don't survive long because they underestimate what's required. It looks a hell of a lot easier than it is. Though I think everyone here is well meaning, they wouldn't be my first choice to submit to by a long shot. None of them appear to have a serious business background in ePublishing.

    Some of their editors have experience, but none have much. The Publisher has editing experience, but mentions no publishing experience, and one of the authors shares her (unusual) surname. And if these are really their covers then as a reader I wouldn't touch them (though if it you look at the artists' websites, I do get the impression they could do much better. But then, why not put your best foot forward now?)

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  6. #6
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    nkkingston:
    I would say that for eBooks, your market is anyone with the internet, so why limit it just to Canada before you even begin?
    Because a publisher that can't market a book to get good sales in Canada is very unlikely to be in a position to market the book to get sales elsewhere. If MuseItUp were only taking ebook rights then I might be more relaxed, but they're also optioning your print rights when they have no presence or distribution in other countries.

    nkkingston:
    Am I misreading this, or are they actually stating two entirely separate royalty rates for the same thing?
    Yes, there appear to be separate royalty rates for ebook and printed books, although I think this is more usual.

    MM

  7. #7
    Bemused Girl nkkingston's Avatar
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    Yes, there appear to be separate royalty rates for ebook and printed books, although I think this is more usual.
    Ah, I was misreading it then. I had it in my head those were both royalty rates for eBooks.

    (is it just me, or is 20% high even for an ePub on print books?)

    Because a publisher that can't market a book to get good sales in Canada is very unlikely to be in a position to market the book to get sales elsewhere.
    The point I was making about print was that they're probably not going to have distribution in any major stores. The only one I've ever seen around here that had was Ellora's Cave, and they couldn't keep it up. Of course, getting an account with Ingrams would probably have been the first step (read the comments), but most ePubs don't have the money to fund proper distribution and marketing to bookstores, and can't handle large volumes of returns financially. EC's financial woes belong in another thread, but it wouldn't surprise me if other ePubs had completely scuppered themselves trying to do the same thing.

    To an ePub, print is really just another format, like pdf or kindle. Your customers are almost entirely online, so that who you market your books to and that where you make them available. The money you need before you start a print publisher, to cover returns and distribution and a sales force (and advances to authors, though I don't quite know why the print model requires that but epublishing usually doesn't), just isn't available to an ePub, not at first. I mean, that's why ePublishing looks easy to outsiders - start-ups forget there're more costs than just the software and webspace - but it's also why it's a completely different market to print, selling different kinds of books to different kinds of customers.

    Personally, I don't think these guys are doing anything hideously wrong, but I don't think they're doing anything right enough to really make this work. More good intentions than good resumes.

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  8. #8
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    nkkingston:
    To an ePub, print is really just another format, like pdf or kindle. Your customers are almost entirely online, so that who you market your books to and that where you make them available. The money you need before you start a print publisher, to cover returns and distribution and a sales force (and advances to authors, though I don't quite know why the print model requires that but epublishing usually doesn't), just isn't available to an ePub, not at first. I mean, that's why ePublishing looks easy to outsiders - start-ups forget there're more costs than just the software and webspace - but it's also why it's a completely different market to print, selling different kinds of books to different kinds of customers.
    Fair point, well made.

    nkkingston:
    I don't think these guys are doing anything hideously wrong, but I don't think they're doing anything right enough to really make this work. More good intentions than good resumes.
    I agree.

    MM

  9. #9
    Bemused Girl nkkingston's Avatar
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    Thanks I have to admit, I hadn't considered world rights outside of epublishing before, so I'll bear your point in mind about making sure a print publisher can make the sales locally before going for the world pitch.

    (after so many frustrations with geographical restrictions on eBooks, I forget the same apply to print. It does explain why the third Stieg Larsson book has been out in the UK for months but US readers are still gnashing their teeth. To be honest, it's just nice to come first occasionally!)

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  10. #10
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    I find it interesting that their tag line addresses authors, not readers.
    Emily Veinglory

  11. #11
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    And by interesting, do you mean 'we know where that leads to'?

    Slight derail, but that is a GORGEOUS cover veinglory!
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  12. #12
    Hakuna Matata Little1's Avatar
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    I am contimplating submiting to them... Anyone have any dealings with them? or any other thoughts?
    In Progress:
    Prince$$ Ti@ of Alumin@ Querying :S

  13. #13
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    IMHO startup epublishers are a risky option in many way. There are plenty of established epublishers to choose from if you want to go that route.
    Emily Veinglory

  14. #14
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    This thread was linked through my writing channels. I have signed 2 contracts with MuseItUp, so I wanted to answer a couple of things.

    First, the new website is now geared towards readers. You have to realize that the old website was trying to attract authors to submit

    The original requirement for only Canadian and American authors is gone, now that the behind-the-scenes stuff is straightened out. There are two international authors that I'm aware of that have been picked up.

    The print books are happening a year after ebook publication, on (I believe) 45k+ length (mine is a novelette, so I don't have print...I might be wrong on the print number, it's either 45 or 50K). When you sign the digital rights, you can opt to keep your print rights. They are using Lighting Source for POD. There won't be print books until late 2011, since (like I said), they are doing them a year after epub.

    The company has done a significant amount to help market. I'm one of their pre-launch books (the bookstore opens in October...the official launch of the publisher is in Dec). I've had book reviews, blog tours, assistance paying for materials on vendor tables at conventions, etc. The editor has been promoting the publishing house, as well as individual authors.

    I believe they have over 40 authors now between both houses (MuseItUp and MuseItHot).

    The contract terms were very fair. 40% royalty off books purchased from the publisher's website (royalties might be affected when purchase on smashwords, kindle, kobo, etc). They've signed a number of distribution agreements. First rights refusal (90 days) on stories using the characters/universe in the story they purchase for the length of the contract, 3 years. You keep your rights to your character.

    A quick thing about short stories - erotica sells many very short stories. I know a handful of folks who do and make some decent money off it, more than just selling the stories to various magazine markets.

    I have a 10k story and a 5k story with them. So far, I've been happy with everything that they've been doing for authors and such. Obviously, the proof comes when the doors open and the royalty cheque is issued. I recognize that a new publisher is a risk. I've placed smaller works with them (my full-length works are already out in submission world anyway) and I'm happy to take the risk.

    I'm personally happy with my book cover for Harvest Moon. I've had great response to the cover art. I'm sorry that some of you didn't like it.

    I hope that helps.

    Feel free to email me kristadball (at) gmail (dot) com if you want to ask specifics about the contract. I'd give more but I'm not at home ATM. I'd be happy to look it up (the contract was 10 pages long).

    Krista D. Ball
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    Last edited by darth tart; 07-14-2010 at 10:44 AM. Reason: Added additional clarifying info

  15. #15
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    darth tart:
    The original requirement for only Canadian and American authors is gone, now that the behind-the-scenes stuff is straightened out. There are two international authors that I'm aware of that have been picked up.
    I'm not that bothered so much as to whether its authors are Canadian, American or from Uzbekistan - the question has to be whether MuseItUp can sell books. If they're still taking worldwide print rights (even if you can opt out), then I'd want to know that they can sell a book worldwide (or at least, sell a book to a commercial publisher working in another country).

    darth tart:
    The company has done a significant amount to help market. I'm one of their pre-launch books (the bookstore opens in October...the official launch of the publisher is in Dec). I've had book reviews, blog tours, assistance paying for materials on vendor tables at conventions, etc. The editor has been promoting the publishing house, as well as individual authors.
    That's good to know - thank you.

    MM
    Last edited by Momento Mori; 07-14-2010 at 03:08 PM.

  16. #16
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Wouldn't "worldwide" rights allow for a Canadian company to sell in the US? So, in that case, yes, I think it would be pretty easy for them to sell a book in another country other than Canada. ETA: I suppose North American rights cover this, though honestly I've never signed a Canadian contract with this (lots of American contracts). I've signed for two other short pieces with Canadian companies and it's always been worldwide. I don't know the reasoning.

    Why would they need to sell their books to other publishers? They are a publisher. Or, did you mean bookstores? The chances of a MuseItUp book being stocked by a bookstore is low, just as it's low that the majority of the small press publishers will be stocked on a shelf. The author has to approach their local stores, do signings, etc to get their books on shelves. In other words, just the same as pretty much any small press author out there.

    With any small press, the author needs to know the choices that they are making and the responsibilities that they will be taking on. With a new small press, it's doubly so. Authors should always assistance in the promotion and marketing of their books (after all, it's their name on that cover!), and --let's face it --they'll need to do more for small press, more for digital only presses, and more for new presses.

    Many people have made the choice to go with MuseItUp, knowing the risks and choices of going with a new, small, independent digital publisher. Like anything, people need to research and decide for themselves what risks, what treatment, and what situations that they are comfortable with.
    Last edited by darth tart; 07-14-2010 at 06:30 PM.

  17. #17
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darth tart View Post
    First, the new website is now geared towards readers. You have to realize that the old website was trying to attract authors to submit
    I was referring only to the tag line, which is still addressed to writers.

    Quote Originally Posted by darth tart View Post
    I have a 10k story and a 5k story with them. So far, I've been happy with everything that they've been doing for authors and such. Obviously, the proof comes when the doors open and the royalty cheque is issued.
    Absolutely.
    Emily Veinglory

  18. #18
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by victoriastrauss View Post
    I agree. Give it some time to prove itself before you approach it. This also provides time for complaints to surface, if there are any, and allows you to assess things like cover art, editing, marketing, and distribution.

    - Victoria
    I did want to add that I agree with Victoria in many respects. If you are a person who's not comfortable taking a risk for whatever reason, than no, you should never go with a new publishing house.

    For me, I was happy to take the risk with two of my pieces. Realistically, the short story market for the kind of speculative fiction that I write is abysmal anyway, so I am tickled pink to lending my hand and a couple stories to see if a new Canadian start-up can make it.

    Victoria, if you wish, I'd be happy to send some feedback to P&E in the new year, once royalty statements and such come out. Just in case there are any troubles (or none). Either way, I'd be happy to share any negatives or positives that I have encountered.

    Update: There was a change to the first refusal rights. It's actually 60 days, not 90. Sorry about that.

  19. #19
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darth tart View Post
    Wouldn't "worldwide" rights allow for a Canadian company to sell in the US?
    Rather than Worldwide rights, North American rights would be more appropriate if that's what they're contemplating. That would allow the author to attempt to resell the work in all the countries that aren't the USA or Canada.

  20. #20
    A Gentleman of a refined age... thothguard51's Avatar
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    If they are only publishing digital for now, why do they need world rights when someone in another country can download on line?

    For print rights, I still am not sure how world rights help them because they will not be producing and distributing in individual countries. Lightening source will ship anywhere. Also, if they are grabbing world rights, does that mean they will have books translated into different languages? (A fairly expensive task...)

    I always have problems with publishers trying to grab more rights than they can afford...
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  21. #21
    Writer is as Writer does Terie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thothguard51 View Post
    If they are only publishing digital for now, why do they need world rights when someone in another country can download on line?
    Here's the crux of the matter right here: people in other countries CAN'T download it online, not if it's done properly.

    For example, Fictionwise will not let you buy an e-book if the computer you're using is located in a country to which rights for the e-book haven't been sold. Yes, I know this from personal experience. Had to buy book 2 of a series for $40 on eBay [instead of $5 for the e-book on FW] because it was out of print and UK rights to the e-book hadn't been sold. I have a friend who's an avid and voracious reader who's extremely frustrated that he can't buy many popular US e-books because UK rights haven't been sold.

    So I'm beginning to fall on the side of e-book publishers buying worldwide rights so that people all around the world can actually buy the book. Not being able to buy it leads to hacking, and then the writer earns nothing. And as in the case I mentioned above, because I bought a second-hand book, the author didn't get a royalty for it, when I would've been happier to buy the e-book so she'd get her royalty.
    Last edited by Terie; 07-15-2010 at 11:33 AM.
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  22. #22
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    darth tart:
    Why would they need to sell their books to other publishers? They are a publisher. Or, did you mean bookstores?
    No, I mean other publishers. Those commercial publishers who want worldwide rights (the best example I can think of is Oxford University Press) do so because they believe that they can sell the book to publishers in other territories. That way, they make additional money from the sale of the publishing rights. The author also makes money through the sale advance (less OUP's commission because it's basically acting as agent) and then the royalties on top (if the book earns out and subject to OUP's cut of the royalties for brokering the deal).

    Generally agents advise against authors giving away worldwide rights partly because it cuts into what the agent will earn, but also because a good agent should have a rights department who can negotiate publishing in other territories for you. If you're unagented, then it's only worth giving away worldwide rights if the publisher is capable of doing something with them (i.e. make the sale) or if you're not bothered about having the chance to retain publishing rights for yourself (because it's entirely possible that you can submit and get your own better deal elsewhere).

    Given that there's little to reinforce MuseItUp's ability to sell in North America, why should they rights grab for other territories as well?

    darth tart:
    Many people have made the choice to go with MuseItUp, knowing the risks and choices of going with a new, small, independent digital publisher. Like anything, people need to research and decide for themselves what risks, what treatment, and what situations that they are comfortable with.
    I don't doubt that some of MuseItUp's authors went in knowing the challenge ahead - you for example seem to be v. savvy about what you're going into. The problem with hanging out on these boards though is that you see situations where a lot of authors didn't realise how much they were signing on for in terms of having to do their own publicity, getting books into stores etc.

    MM

  23. #23
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thothguard51 View Post
    If they are only publishing digital for now, why do they need world rights when someone in another country can download on line?
    Because increasingly they can't. Online vendors like Fictionwise are being required to obey the letter fo the law and screen content for cutomers based on where they are connecting from. The publishers themselves will soon need to do the same. It's a pain in the ass for readers who find, once again, if you are not American nobody thought of you--even at the contract stages.
    Emily Veinglory

  24. #24
    So many ideas, never enough time. michael_b's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
    Because increasingly they can't. Online vendors like Fictionwise are being required to obey the letter fo the law and screen content for cutomers based on where they are connecting from. The publishers themselves will soon need to do the same. It's a pain in the ass for readers who find, once again, if you are not American nobody thought of you--even at the contract stages.
    Veinglory is right.

    Publishers who did their homework put 'World-Wide English Rights' in their contracts so they are able to sell their ebooks to any country in the world, in English. Those who don't have that clause can't sell to anyone outside the publisher's country of origin. This will soon apply not only to their own website, but to all the currently popular ebook distributors like All Romance eBooks and Fictionwise.
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  25. #25
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    Just by way of clarification, my concerns about worldwide rights relate to the print rights more than electronic rights.

    MM

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