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Thread: Dead End Street Publications, LLC

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW
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    Question Dead End Street Publications, LLC

    Anybody here have any experience with these folks? http://www.deadendstreet.com/

    Here's something from their FAQ page that some of you may have insight on:

    DO I LOSE THE COPYRIGHT?
    No. Unlike many of our competitors, Dead End Street® does not require transfer of copyright. Rather, our authors grant us an exclusive license to the work. An exclusive license essentially provides that the author cannot produce or distribute copies of the work herself. All copies (other than the author’s complimentary and/or promotional copies) must be distributed by and through Dead End Street®. This exclusive license allows us to gauge demand for the work. It also increases our chance to recoup the money we spend to edit, produce, promote and distribute the work.

  2. #2
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    If your synopsis peeks our interest, we’ll contact you to solicit the entire manuscript.
    Um, yeah, a whole lotta money spent editing, uh huh.

    Personally, I'd avoid "integrated" ventures like this. There is far more money to be made from film, and I expect that's where most of their effort will be focused.

    And (all together now!) have you ever seen a DES book on a shelf? Have you ever read a DES book? Has anyone you know? What do you expect for your book?
    ICAO
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    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:

  3. #3
    Ooo! Shiny new cover! Absolute Sage Cathy C's Avatar
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    "Exclusive license" equals "loss of copyright." There aren't any other ways to say it, Elwyn. Let's equate it to a house. You own the house, but you've granted someone the "exclusive license" to use the house. You don't get to live there, you probably don't have a key and certainly can't invite people to visit you there. As a place to hang your hat, it's useless.


    My best advice is to look elsewhere. Good luck.
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    Cathy Clamp
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    "Cathy Clamp is a visionary author, creating new worlds that are both strong and vividly drawn. Adventure and excitement at its best." -- Yasmine Galenorn, New York Times Bestselling Author

    "A struggling community under attack, compelling action, characters struggling with dark secrets ... FORBIDDEN hit all my favorite notes, and I love the rich world of the Sazi!" - Rachel Caine, New York Times Bestselling Author

  4. #4
    haz a shiny new book cover Christine N.'s Avatar
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    I actually DO know some DES authors. But I don't know anything about the publisher. SOrry.
    Christine

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  5. #5
    5 W's & an H Sassenach's Avatar
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    'peeks'????

    I hope they meant 'piques.'
    I feel God in this Chili's.
    -Pam Beesley









  6. #6
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Ah, but that's not the heart of the matter. We know lots of PA authors, but've never seen a PA book on a shelf, etc.

    I see that DES gives the good ol' "available through bookstores" line....
    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:

  7. #7
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sassenach
    'peeks'????

    I hope they meant 'piques.'
    Maybe they use a peer review system. Peer? Peek? Get it?

    *cough*

    Anyway, they go on to say "if you don't hear back within 30 days, presume we're not interested". How professional.
    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:

  8. #8
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cathy C
    "Exclusive license" equals "loss of copyright."
    Actually, I would guess not. I suspect these folks are not knowledgeable about contract terms, and simply mean "exclusive right to publish in book form", or something of the sort.

    A look through this company's website doesn't suggest much ability to market or distribute. I'm betting that the books don't often see the inside of a bookstore.

    - Victoria

  9. #9
    Gone
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    Unlike many of our competitors, Dead End Street® does not require transfer of copyright.
    I'm immediately suspicious of any publisher that tries to tell me most other publishers require me to give up my copyright, which isn't true. I don't know who they consider their competitors, but if "many" of them require copyright transfer, that should tell you a lot about what class of company they're in.

  10. #10
    Ooo! Shiny new cover! Absolute Sage Cathy C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by victoriastrauss
    Actually, I would guess not. I suspect these folks are not knowledgeable about contract terms, and simply mean "exclusive right to publish in book form", or something of the sort.

    A look through this company's website doesn't suggest much ability to market or distribute. I'm betting that the books don't often see the inside of a bookstore.

    - Victoria
    I'm not so sure about this, Victoria. I've seen a number of rather slimy publishers lately who are actually taking a LICENSE to the copyright for a period of time -- in effect acting as both the publisher and author. Unfortunately, that means they can sell off the translation rights, or audio rights, etc. and KEEP the money, regardless of the contractual language.

    It was the "increases our chance to recoup..." language that made me think it's something other than a simple miswording. I'm VERY leery of this one.

    Perhaps Jaws will wander by and weigh in on this one.
    Want FREE reads? Click here!

    Smiles!
    Cathy Clamp
    USA Today bestselling author
    ILLICIT, coming 7/16!
    My Website
    Follow me: Twitter
    Now on Facebook! Come friend me!



    "An entertaining (and occasionally very dark) mystery." -- Locus

    "[Shapeshifter] fans are about to hit the jackpot as Clamp returns to re-energize this amazing series. Searching for layered plotlines and complex characters? Look no further, as Clamp truly delivers!" -- RT BookReviews

    "Cathy Clamp is a visionary author, creating new worlds that are both strong and vividly drawn. Adventure and excitement at its best." -- Yasmine Galenorn, New York Times Bestselling Author

    "A struggling community under attack, compelling action, characters struggling with dark secrets ... FORBIDDEN hit all my favorite notes, and I love the rich world of the Sazi!" - Rachel Caine, New York Times Bestselling Author

  11. #11
    practical experience, FTW
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    "Dead End Street"???

    Now there's an encouraging name...

  12. #12

    My 2 cents...

    Elwyn,
    The main issue I see here is that you can't even purchase copies at a reduced author's price. You can't obtain a stock to do a signing at a library or a book store. The "Promotional Copies" bit is not defined at all - you may not be able to get your book to retailers, magazine or newspaper reviewers, or anyone for that matter. It sounds to me like they want to 'lock it away' and deal with it only on their terms preventing the author from getting involved in the promotion of their books - I understand even the 'big boy' publishers encourage an authors participation in promotion. Something smells bad with these guys.

    I have had great success with Diggory - Rosalind is GREAT to work with - and it is at minimal expense even when compared with the Lulu (see the Infinity thread here for the nickel and dimes of this.)

    We are constructively learning all the ins and outs here - this is an awesome forum. I still update the Infinity thread with a nearly day-to-day analysis of my Diggory experience for those that are interested.

    Good luck Elwyn

    Epicman
    Glenn S. Hamilton
    http://www.cometogetherbooks.com

  13. #13
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Well, they corrected "peeks", at least. Has anyone seen/read their books?
    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:

  14. #14
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Guess not, cuz they're now gone.
    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
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    They've got a new site up, but still nothing published since '05.
    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:

  16. #16
    Murder isn't so bad...
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    Ha! How ironic. Dead end street publishing hits a dead end! Sorry, just had to say that.

  17. #17
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Post At a Loss! Dead End contract (merged into pub's thread in BR&BC)

    I have consulted an attorney and for that, it cost me 50.00. Most of us are not rich from our writing so wracking up legal fees is a hard option.

    My problem
    In 2001, I signed a contract with Dead End Street, LLC
    It was for 7 years. I remember that.

    I never saw a penny despite the book sold, they charged me daily legal fees against my royalties. Sent me and four authors on a convention the charged that against royalties as well.

    Dead End street hasn't published a book since 2006. They have no kindle versions. I want my book back. Since I hadn't heard from them since 2007, I wrote and asked about the contract. They said it was self renewing. I then asked for my book back to which they replied, "we have big plans for rebirthing the titles, so no." I asked them to produce the contract because of moving, I lost mine and they said they had it in storage.

    They said they were reissuing by the end of the year but i haven't heard anything.

    It's a one man operation.

    I contacted a lawyer who would draft a letter asking for the contract, but its nothing I can afford, especially since he'll then charge me to review it and what further action is needed.

    It's been 12 years. What kind of contract is self renewing

    Can I demand a copy of the contract and if I don't get it in x days, take my book back?

    Should I say heck with it and publish under a new title

    How long should I give them for the contract?

    I'm at a loss and the last contact I had with them, the guy was arrogant and was like its theirs to sit on

    Anyone ever have this? Excuse any typos I'm on my iPhone

  18. #18
    starting over Marian Perera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakedru View Post
    I never saw a penny despite the book sold, they charged me daily legal fees against my royalties.
    Maybe I've misunderstood something, but how do you get charged legal fees against royalties? Was there a lawsuit going on?

    Dead End street hasn't published a book since 2006. They have no kindle versions. I want my book back. Since I hadn't heard from them since 2007, I wrote and asked about the contract. They said it was self renewing.
    With no option for the author to do otherwise?

    Should I say heck with it and publish under a new title
    Publish the same book under a new title? No. While this publisher (for lack of a better term) holds the rights, you can't publish the book yourself, unless you want to give them a good reason to sue you and probably win the case.

    I'm at a loss and the last contact I had with them, the guy was arrogant and was like its theirs to sit on
    I'm very sorry you're going through this.

    Not much advice I can offer, except that if they're determined to hold on to your book and if you signed a contract that gave them the legal (if not ethical) right to hold on to your book for as long as they want, you may need to cut your losses and move on.
    Sleeping Beauty-inspired m/m romance : Editing.

  19. #19
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    There was no lawsuit. The legal fees were called 'daily maintenance legal fees', thats what is stated on the royalty statement.

    I need to see the contract. 50.00 lawyer consultant. 125.00 letter to demand a copy of the contract, and TBD to review contract.

    I wonder if I can write the demand letter myself and save the 125.00

  20. #20
    practical experience, FTW benluby's Avatar
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    One of the more established guru's on here can answer this, but don't they have to have a copy of the contract on file somewhere, where it would be available via FoIA?

  21. #21
    starting over Marian Perera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakedru View Post
    There was no lawsuit. The legal fees were called 'daily maintenance legal fees', thats what is stated on the royalty statement.
    I still don't understand what these fees are. I mean, what are you paying for? A lawyer they're retaining? Why should you be paying for that?

    I plugged "daily maintenance legal fees" into Google and the first page of results has nothing to do with publishing. They might as well ask you to pay their electricity bill.
    Sleeping Beauty-inspired m/m romance : Editing.

  22. #22
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by benluby View Post
    One of the more established guru's on here can answer this, but don't they have to have a copy of the contract on file somewhere, where it would be available via FoIA?
    I did ask them for it they said it is in storage. They have to have it, right?

    And I NEVER understood the legal fees, I asked them about and they said my contract agreement was I was responsible for legal fees and I was paying for to retain one.

    PLEASE remember I have NOT gotten a royalty statement since 2005. So they apparently have a 'dead' business but holding my book.

    I started looking up other others from the house and they aren't really doing much, oh, one guy is big in the news for being a cyber stalker. So I avoided contacting him.

  23. #23
    Just the facts, please
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    One of the more established guru's on here can answer this, but don't they have to have a copy of the contract on file somewhere, where it would be available via FoIA?
    The Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, only applies to federal government records. There is no general public right of access to private business records.

    - Not a lawyer, but played a journalist in print for 10+ years.

  24. #24
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    You'll probably have to cut your losses unless you can find a pro-bono lawyer. Have you contacted the watchdog group Popehat, yet? That might be a place to start.

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  25. #25
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    I've seen a lot of weird publisher terminology, but "legal maintenance fees" is a new one, and it sounds like B.S. to me, if for no other reason than that I seriously doubt this tiny publisher--which claims to have been in business since 2007 but in all that time has managed to put out only 29 books--has the resources to maintain legal counsel.

    Unfortunately, contracts can be made "self-renewing" by including language that provides for automatic renewal of the contract once the initial contract term expires. In most cases like this, you can cancel the renewal by giving the publisher adequate notice of termination. Of course, to do that, you have to know when the contract renews and what adequate notice is.

    I wouldn't count on the publisher having a copy of your contract. They may have lost it also--that could be one reason why they're stalling you.

    This publisher is shining you on and ripping you off. Since you've tried a direct appeal and been rebuffed, I second the recommendation to look into legal action. On the Legal Recourse page of Writer Beware there are links to the American Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service and Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (a volunteer organization that specializes in providing legal assistance for people in the arts). Either service will arrange an initial low-cost consultation for you to discuss your situation, after which you can decide on what further action to take.

    - Victoria

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