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Thread: Blade Publishing

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW Matthew Warner's Avatar
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    Blade Publishing

    Does anyone have any positive or negative information about this e-book publisher? Here's their link.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    I saw some basic grammar errors, they offer to publish all genres instead of focusing on something more specific. Don't know the experience behind either the publisher or senior editor. Only one book on the front page. The covers are okay, I suppose. Some are really bad photoshop jobs.
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  3. #3
    Hakuna Matata Little1's Avatar
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    I only quickly looked and I would not submit to them. There covers look horrible. A attractive cover pulls people in. I also get the feeling it's a group of authors trying to sell there books. I noticed a lot of the authors where the same.
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  4. #4
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Never heard of them.

    The fact that they take all rights in their contract (as per their FAQs) and the placeholder cover art they have for their gay/lesbian line (all of which appear to feature a man and a woman) are enough to cross them off my list.

  5. #5
    Grumpy writer and editor Absolute Sage Gillhoughly's Avatar
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    Red flags all over. So hard to pick just one!

    It looks to be an overly ambitious e-publisher hoping to cash in on the demand for e-books.

    Nothing wrong with that, but---

    While it is important for the author to help market him/herself, we feel that by publishing too many books each week we are taking away from our ability to market each one of our authors and their books as best we can so we may only publish six books the entire month.


    Moses on a pogo stick. ONLY 6 books a month? It takes me that long to edit ONE book, never mind that they also have to do the cover art, interior design (even an e-book needs it!) and a few thousand other details if one is going to make a good job of it.

    With the amateur "art" I wouldn't go near this bunch on a bet.

    They have fake covers with "coming soon" as page fillers. Let's assume that means they have no books for sale.

    Dear publisher--when you have just a couple books to sell, please just list THOSE. All the blanks are frustrating to customers.

    The Inspirational section has the same steamy "covers" as the Historicals, Non-Fiction, etc. Hilarious. I can take that to mean they have a limited supply of stock images.

    we may only
    They're not SURE??? Clearly no solid business plan is in place, so writers beware. This reeks not of ill intent, but howling inexperience.

    See if they're still around in a year. Ellora's Cave had a similar rocky start and crappy art. (Heck, some of the art is STILL crappy!)

    But they were focused, not all over the map like a GPS with a wonky battery.

    Contrast this e-house with DarkStar Books, which has only a few titles, but they make the most of what's there.



    Mathew--in shopping a novel don't start at the bottom. That's a rookie mistake.

    Start at the top with the biggest house you can find and work your way down. Start with the big print houses that pay real advances.

    By the time you reach this bunch it's time to start over with a new book.

  6. #6
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    Time for a flog ...

    Blade Publishing Website:
    Blade Publishing publishes books of all genres in multiple digital formats.
    As has been said by other posters here, it's usually a better idea for a new epublisher to focus on one or two specific genres, so that they can build up a reputation in that particular market and focus their marketing and promotion activities.

    Blade Publishing Website:
    Our goal is not to put out as many books as we can each week, but to publish a select few from the best authors we find each month.
    This suggests that they're looking to publish from monthly submissions, which means there's a risk of this becoming little more than an author mill. If an epublisher isn't properly geared up to sell to the public and finds itself dependent on selling to authors, then the temptation is to increase the number of authors it takes on.

    It also suggests that they're not focusing so much on finding and publishers authors that they can sell in accordance with a set publishing business plan. They're not looking forward to decide how many slots they can effectively promote and sell in a year, they're looking no further than each month at a time.

    Blade Publishing Website:
    While it is important for the author to help market him/herself, we feel that by publishing too many books each week we are taking away from our ability to market each one of our authors and their books as best we can so we may only publish six books the entire month.
    As others have pointed out, 6 books per month will still be too much for a small epublisher to effectively market. This again points to cluelessness on how best to market and sell books.

    Blade Publishing Website:
    Abby Carmichael - Publisher

    Senior Editor - Shonna Brannon
    There's no information on either of these lady's credentials to do their job. A quick Google search only turned up that there's a romance author called Shonna Brannon (no idea if she's the same one) but I can't find any books published on Amazon under that name.

    Blade Publishing Website:
    Q. Do I need an agent in order to submit to Blade Publishing?
    A. No.
    This suggests that they're not paying advances.

    Blade Publishing Website:
    Q. What rights does Blade Publishing acquire?
    A. Blade Publishing's standard contract rights are for 3 years. The author does however have the option of terminating the contract after the first year if he/she is not satisfied.
    I'd want to get more details on how that termination right works and whether there's any fee payable in connection with its exercise.

    Blade Publishing Website:
    Q. Will Blade Publishing help its authors market their books?
    A. Absolutely. While I cannot go into detail of our marketing campaigns beyond the usual Internet marketing: forums, newsletters, newsgroups, ect... We will also be submitting your books to multiple review websites. I have many great ideas to market both Blade and its authors. More will be revealed as each campaign draws near.
    Almost every epublisher I see on this Forum talks about internet marketing and submitting to review sites and what concerns me every time is that it shows they're either either not able to or not prepared to actually spend money on a marketing programme, with advertising in trade press and other initiatives to get the book out there.

    I'd definitely want to question them further about the marketing strategy they want to use for me book before accepting an offer from them and I'd want to see something more concrete than this - i.e. specify how they intend the campaign to work and what they're actually going to do and on which sites.

    Blade Publishing Website:
    Q. Out of all the other e-publishing companies available why should I submit my manuscript to Blade?
    A. Blade Publishing is dedicated to its authors. We will go above and beyond to help new authors succeed in marketing their work and we will help veteran authors by giving them new marketing ideas. If after a years time you are not satisfied with your level of success you can terminate your contract. It is that simple. If you want to start out small, just to get your feet wet with us, write and submit something small, like a novella. You will not be disappointed that you did.
    If I had a quid for every epublisher that emphasised how dedicated it was to its authors ...

    If you're not satisfied with the performance after a year, then even if you terminate you've lost first publishing rights, which means you're stuck with a book that probably hasn't sold many copies and which will therefore make it difficult to find another publisher willing to take it on.

    You need to find out what the average sales figures are for existing authors with this company. If they're low (or the company won't tell you) then my recommendation would be to walk away.

    Blade Publishing Website:
    Our books are published in digital format (eBooks) and our authors are paid a royalty of 35% of the download price determined by Blade Publishing Ltd. If you co-author a book the royalty will be split between the 2 authors. Blade Publishing LTD reserves the right to offer eBooks at a discounted price to help increase the books sales. The author will receive royalties based on the sale price.
    So they're paying 35% on net. I don't like the "35% of the download price determined by Blade Publishing Ltd" line. There should be an agreed cover price for the book and your royalties are charged against that cover price. If they're going to pay on net, then the royalties should be calculated against the cover price less the agreed net costs (which would typically be listing costs but should in any event be clearly set out). The fact that Blade is paying royalties based on the cover price as they decide it, means that they could very easily make a decision to reduce prices to 1 cent, leaving royalties as being 35% of that 1 cent. This is obviously not a good deal for authors.

    Blade Publishing Contract:
    This Agreement shall begin with the execution of this contract and continue in force for a period of three (3) years from the actual date of publication of each edition.
    If you check out the publication clause, then you can see that Blade has 12 months from the date of signature of the contract to publish the books. Therefore, if they delay publication until the last day of the 12 month after signature of the contract, the final contract term could be 4 years instead of 3. I'd therefore want to amend this clause to make it clear that the agreement runs from 3 years from the date of signature. If Blade then delays in publishing the manuscript, it's at their risk.

    Blade Publishing Contract:
    The Publisher has the right at its discretion to terminate this agreement and remove the Work from the website and any other websites prior to publication, during publication, or after publication of the Work if the Publisher deems it necessary. Publisher shall give 30 days’ notice to Author prior to Work being removed from Publishers website. Notice must be in writing by certified mail. When Publisher removes the Work from sale, this contract shall terminate and all book rights that the publisher had are reverted back to the Author.
    This is a unilateral termination right and I would strongly resist it - not least because I don't see why they can terminate on 30 days notice, but the author must give 90 days served by certified mail.

    Blade Publishing Contract:
    The Author may request termination during the agreement period, but not prior to one (1) year after the actual date of publication. Request for termination by Author must be in the form of a certified mail notice and must be received 90 days prior to the effective date of termination.
    In addition to my objection to the notice requirements, I'd also point out that:

    1. this effectively ties in the author to a minimum of 2 years before s/he can terminate the contract if Blade has waited the maximum period of time before publishing; and

    2. I would want to see an addition to this making clear that on termination all rights will be reverted to the author.

    Blade Publishing Contract:
    Author will be asked to produce proposed back blurb text and suggestions for cover art.
    This is all the publisher's job and while the author may have a say in it, they shouldn't be producing it.

    Blade Publishing Contract: (BOLDING MINE)
    Author agrees to self-promote his/her Work to the best of his/her ability. While Publisher will do what it can, the Author must also market. If Author has his/her own website, any Work mentioned on said website must link to Publishers website. Any promotional material the Author wishes to use must be consulted with the Publisher first to ensure proper use of Publisher’s name and/or other information is being used
    The "best of ability" wording has strong potential to be used as a get-out by the publisher for not doing their own marketing (and I don't see why they are not being held to the same standard in this clause).

    I don't like the requirement for authors to link to the publisher on their own website. They're not advertising the publisher, they're promoting the book and I don't see why Blade should have any say in what I put on my website.

    Blade Publishing Contract:
    If Publisher files for protection under the Bankruptcy Laws, all rights included in this agreement shall immediately revert to the Author, however, the Bankruptcy Trustee may petition the court to hold this agreement as an asset of the Publisher. If the bankruptcy filing involves reorganization and Publisher continues to operate during the reorganization, Author and Publisher may agree in writing to continue this agreement under the same or revised terms.
    I'd want to check with a Canadian insolvency lawyer to see whether this is enforceable in practice. In the UK in an insolvency situation, the publisher will usually seek to exist or will be deemed to have ceded all management control to the liquidator who is under no duty to honour any such requirement as their function is to dispose of assets to recoup money for creditors.

    Blade Publishing Contract:
    If the Publisher sells its assets to another Publisher, who does or plans to market and promote books of the type and genre of the Work, the successor Publisher will be bound, as a minimum, to the same terms delineated in this agreement. If the successor Publisher does not plan to market and promote books of the type and genre of the Work, all rights delineated in this agreement shall revert to the Author not more than sixty (60) days after the sale of Publisher.
    I'd want this deleted in its entirety. Blade should not be disposing of my manuscript to anyone without my express written agreement and I should be under no obligation to give it. If Blade wants to dispose of my manuscript and I don't agree, then I should have the option to terminate the contract and have all rights reverted to me.

    There's no governing law and jurisdiction wording - presumably it's intended to be governed by Canadian law and the Canadian courts, but I'd want something inserted to make it clear.

    MM

  7. #7
    the world is at my command jennontheisland's Avatar
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    Appears to have shut down.

    Notice may or may not have been sent directly to authors, but at least two found out through the grapevine, then went to the site to see this: http://www.bladepublishing.org/

    NOTICE
    With regret and due to unforseen health issues, Blade Publishing will have to close its doors effective November 1, 2010. All books will be removed from third party websites.
    Over the next few weeks we will be mailing out reversal of rights letters, along with last royalty payments.
    We wish all of our authors well, and much success.
    BLADE MANAGEMENT
    You are more than welcome to take anything I say personally, whether it was intended that way or not.

    Eat This.

  8. #8
    practical experience, FTW
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    Seriously people. Writer beware. This is happening all to often.

  9. #9
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    Well, it's good that Blade are at least trying to do the right thing by sending out accrued royalties and rights reversion letters.

    Sadly though, I've seen this type of thing all too often since I've been here in AW. It just goes to show why it's so important to do a background check on a company and make sure that it's well capitalised and staffed by people who know what they're doing.

    MM

  10. #10
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Just noting that I'm aware of several Blade authors who are having a very difficult time getting in touch with the owners of this house for their revision letters; as far as they (and hence I) know, no revision letters have been issued. The email address they had for the owners just bounces or end them an auto-reply saying the house is closed. No one has heard from the owners.


    *shakes head*

    We informed them thusly...sigh.
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    Click here for more details.


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  11. #11
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin PatriciaB's Avatar
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    As one of their authors I have to say that up until this summer, I had absolutely no complaints about the company. Unlike some of the authors, I always stuck to my guns on cover art, did promotions and such, and was always able to contact the owner.

    Having said that, I must admit that I'm still awaiting my reversal of rites letter and final royalties - but as soon as I have that I'm looking forward to moving on.
    Patricia Bates
    Putting history back in Romance.
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  12. #12
    practical experience, FTW
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    Any news on authors getting their rights back?

  13. #13
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin PatriciaB's Avatar
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    Reveral of rites from Blade

    Sadly, no. Nothing yet. I'm going to be emailing her yet again today in the vain hope that she responds. Being familiar with Canada post, my letter should have been in the beginning of the week...but nothing so far.

    So I'm back to doing an email a day or two...or three...until I get some closer.
    Patricia Bates
    Putting history back in Romance.
    www.patbatesromances.com

  14. #14
    practical experience, FTW
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatriciaB View Post
    Sadly, no. Nothing yet. I'm going to be emailing her yet again today in the vain hope that she responds. Being familiar with Canada post, my letter should have been in the beginning of the week...but nothing so far.

    So I'm back to doing an email a day or two...or three...until I get some closer.
    Send a registered letter to make sure you have proof that the person received it. It may help you to know that in future dealings with them, if you have to take other action.

  15. #15
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin PatriciaB's Avatar
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    The registered letter is on my desk and due to go out tomorrow or Friday morning. I think its only fair to those of us who have been dealing with this that what belongs to us is returned. LOL - No sour grapes here though. Its been a learning experience.
    Patricia Bates
    Putting history back in Romance.
    www.patbatesromances.com

  16. #16
    practical experience, FTW
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatriciaB View Post
    The registered letter is on my desk and due to go out tomorrow or Friday morning. I think its only fair to those of us who have been dealing with this that what belongs to us is returned. LOL - No sour grapes here though. Its been a learning experience.
    Oh I agree.

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