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Thread: Fantastic Fiction Publishing / ForbiddenFiction

  1. #1
    Professional Heretic horrorshowjack's Avatar
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    Fantastic Fiction Publishing / ForbiddenFiction

    They are new as a company. Publishes erotica, and welcomes the more extreme sort. Editors like erotic horror, which is nice. It's a mixed bag to my eyes. I'm hoping the community can provide more info about the company and editors.

    Things that look good to me:
    The staff page indicates a lot of relevant experience. According to wikipedia the EIC was running Locus when they won a Hugo. Then again it's Wikipedia.

    They're planning for multiple revenue streams. (Ebook for antho and individual stories, POD, forum advertising percentages)

    Quarterly accounting.

    Things I'm worried about:
    Seven year contract.

    Annual pay.


    It's tempting, but is this something I should run screaming from or ...?

  2. #2
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    I submitted to them. They responded promptly to my submission, but their contract -- which I turned down -- was horrendous. They have since revised their contract but it still is not something I'd ever sign.

  3. #3
    Bemused Girl nkkingston's Avatar
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    I've got a story that fits one of their special calls, so I'm giving them a shot. I'm generally more willing to take a risk with shorts than I am with longer stuff, so we'll see. I'll keep you guys posted.

    Hungry? Check out my other half's blog Colonel Mustard in the Kitchen.

  4. #4
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    I, too, will take a lot of risks with short stuff, but... I agree that there are few publishers for this niche, but I'd suggest you read their contract very carefully before signing, particularly the clauses regarding derivative works and required promotional assistance..

  5. #5
    Bemused Girl nkkingston's Avatar
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    So, I've got the contract (2 day aceptance, which is a woo! regardless). Asking if they're willing to negotiate some of the terms. Unimportant is right - it's a hideous contract as stands, even (especially!) for a short story.

    Hungry? Check out my other half's blog Colonel Mustard in the Kitchen.

  6. #6
    Writer is as Writer does Terie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nkkingston View Post
    So, I've got the contract (2 day aceptance, which is a woo! regardless). Asking if they're willing to negotiate some of the terms. Unimportant is right - it's a hideous contract as stands, even (especially!) for a short story.
    Maybe you could pass it along to Victoria Strauss, if no one else has?
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  7. #7
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    I think the real disconnect in FF's contract is between novels and short stories. It makes sense for FF to want their novel authors to participate regularly in their online promotional thingies, or to have a no-compete clause so that sequels don't get published with other presses. But for a short story in an anthology, from the author's POV it's a one-off. Regular attendance on promotional forums for years and years? Waste of time. ROFR on derivative works? Odds are FF won't have any interest in a different short story that shares the world or character. No compete clause? How do you define that for a short story?

    Also, a lot of short story writers derive a fair bit of their income from reprint sales, publishing their own collections, selling the audio rights separately, etc. To sign all rights exclusively to a single publisher, authors are likely to want a substantial advance and to want the press to be well set-up to exploit all those rights.

    FF might want to think about tailoring their short story and novel contracts separately.

  8. #8
    Bemused Girl nkkingston's Avatar
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    I meant to come back to this sooner, but I didn't want to say anything while the contract negotiations were ongoing and apparently I have the shortest memory.

    The seven year term is still in there, but a lot of the payment stuff has been straightened out. There was a bit of a disconnect between what they planned to do and what the contract said they'd do (advice to new start-ups is if you hire an IP lawyer to write your contract be aware it may tip so far into your favour authors won't sign it!). It's gone through a lot of drafts since the first version i saw (and the even earlier version Unimportant was sent). Obviously the fact it went through several drafts after they started accepting authors is an issue, and I don't know if the alterations have been offered to authors who signed the earlier versions. Anyway, it reached a point where I was comfortable signing it, so I did.

    Edits were on a par with what I've experienced with short stories before. No real content editing, but line edits and then proofing. I don't know how people with novels have found it, but I imagine there's more content editing there. There's a spreadsheet of warnings/search terms you can mark off to make sure the story is tagged properly, and the promotion sheet (genres, blurb, previous exposure, similar books etc) is pretty similar to what I've had from other houses. I haven't seen the cover yet, though the FAQ states that short stories tend to have simpler covers than novels as they sell for less. You do get input on it.

    So, yeah, that's where we stand. I have another couple of short stories I'm going to send them. I don't expect to necessarily make much on them individually, but I think the more I have on there the more I'll see from them. I'm not sure how the subscriber model is going to work out, and I think it'll be a while yet before anyone sees how that plays out, but the money from that is on top of royalties rather than part of them.

    Hungry? Check out my other half's blog Colonel Mustard in the Kitchen.

  9. #9
    Professional Heretic horrorshowjack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nkkingston View Post
    I meant to come back to this sooner, but I didn't want to say anything while the contract negotiations were ongoing and apparently I have the shortest memory.
    No problem. Glad to get more information.

    Quote Originally Posted by nkkingston View Post
    So, yeah, that's where we stand. I have another couple of short stories I'm going to send them. I don't expect to necessarily make much on them individually, but I think the more I have on there the more I'll see from them. I'm not sure how the subscriber model is going to work out, and I think it'll be a while yet before anyone sees how that plays out, but the money from that is on top of royalties rather than part of them.
    Even better. Glad to hear their contract isn't so onerous anymore. If I can ask are they still annual payment only?

  10. #10
    Bemused Girl nkkingston's Avatar
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    I have my cover It's the first one to use a custom made image (rather than stock images) since it turns out six breasted short haired mermaids are few and far between. I've also subbed another short to them, for their SF collection, which has been accepted as well.



    The payment is still annual, though there's no minimum threshold. They're hoping to make payments more regularly once everything is up and running, but they didn't want to commit to anything they weren't confident they could deliver.

    Hungry? Check out my other half's blog Colonel Mustard in the Kitchen.

  11. #11
    So many ideas, never enough time. michael_b's Avatar
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    Fantastic Fiction Publishing [Publisher]

    I know zip about them other than the fact they want me to be their friend on GoodReads.

    Here's the link to their site:
    http://www.fantasticfictionpublishing.com/

    Very little information up at all, other than they're rebuilding their site and looking for other options for payment other than PayPal.

    No clue if they are a writer's cooperative or if they plan to open for submissions. None. Nor is there any info regarding this on their site.

    ----
    Edited to add their blurb from GoodReads.

    Fantastic Fiction Publishing is a new independent publisher of ebook and print books. Our first imprint is ForbiddenFiction, an erotic line dedicated...more Fantastic Fiction Publishing is a new independent publisher of ebook and print books. Our first imprint is ForbiddenFiction, an erotic line dedicated to pushing the boundaries of well written erotic fiction. Future lines to be announced.

    For information about ForbiddenFiction, see our website at ForbiddenFiction.com and join the ForbiddenFiction group on Goodreads.

    Guidelines and what not are all on the Forbidden Fiction site. This probably needs to be merged with the Forbidden Fiction info, sorry about the double posting, I didn't see the other link in their info.
    Last edited by michael_b; 10-11-2012 at 07:59 AM.
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  12. #12
    Needs More Hands.... Fallen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael_b View Post
    I know zip about them other than the fact they want me to be their friend on GoodReads.
    No problems, michael, I wanted to update with FFP anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by nkkingston View Post
    Edits were on a par with what I've experienced with short stories before. No real content editing, but line edits and then proofing. I don't know how people with novels have found it, but I imagine there's more content editing there.
    From the novel end, I went with FFP because my novel fell outside of some content list guidelines. (I edit for Dreamspinner Press so know from that perspective what's accepted / what isn't with some publishers. I knew this when I wrote it.)

    Content editing is covered quite well: 1st indepth (character developement, plot, pacing etc), then 2nd, 3rd if needed, onto proofing after that.

    You do have to go in with your eyes open fully to the contract, AW quite rightly picks up on that (and FFP does stress on site for authors to make sure they understand their approach).

    They've had a few gripes with their site, in that server issues took them offline for a few times, but they were up and running pretty quickly, keeping authors/readers informed. FFP's in the middle of a site rebuild, and as I don't know anything whatsoever about that side, I can't say if it's normal or not.

    The interactive side is still in the works, and I'm waiting to see how/if it's going workout. I hope it does, if not, maybe a change in the contract to see the royalties go up for the author to balance that 5% offered from that outlet?

    Overall, and maybe a touch cliche: no problems so far/content with the production team.

    Sales, of course, will be the best guider.
    Last edited by Fallen; 10-11-2012 at 03:57 PM.

    Author Website: Jack L. Pyke
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  13. #13
    Posting on AW instead of writing
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    Quote Originally Posted by nkkingston View Post
    Edits were on a par with what I've experienced with short stories before. No real content editing, but line edits and then proofing. I don't know how people with novels have found it, but I imagine there's more content editing there.
    My experience with the short story I have out with them so far was different here, FTR. I did get some content editing suggestions -- partly just in the "see if you can up the heat level of this scene" sense, but also some "hey, focus more on this element to play up the contrast with your main relationship" stuff, which I think really did my story good. So it may depend on the particular story, too!

    My one gripe with them right now is waiting after acceptance to get started with editing (I have another short story and a novella accepted but not yet edited); they only have a couple of editors on the team and it seems like that's led to them being swamped with work. The last email sent out to authors mentioned bringing on more editors, though, so I'm crossing my fingers that will help with the bottleneck.

  14. #14
    So many ideas, never enough time. michael_b's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallen View Post
    No problems, michael, I wanted to update with FFP anyway.

    They've had a few gripes with their site, in that server issues took them offline for a few times, but they were up and running pretty quickly, keeping authors/readers informed. FFP's in the middle of a site rebuild, and as I don't know anything whatsoever about that side, I can't say if it's normal or not.

    The interactive side is still in the works, and I'm waiting to see how/if it's going workout. I hope it does, if not, maybe a change in the contract to see the royalties go up for the author to balance that 5% offered from that outlet?
    No, this isn't normal for any publisher that relies on online sales. Usually you have a fully functional site working--though maybe not live--before you start selling books.

    You also don't plaster the 'beta site' information all over the place if you want readers to trust your site and buy books there.

    Rebuilds may be mentioned to the readership--Samhain did this recently--but not in the way it's done here, which does not inspire confidence. Loose-id had a recent outage, but they got it under control quickly and did many things to relieve customer and author anxiety. I don't see that going on at FFP.
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  15. #15
    Needs More Hands.... Fallen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael_b View Post
    Loose-id had a recent outage, but they got it under control quickly and did many things to relieve customer and author anxiety. I don't see that going on at FFP.
    I can't talk from a customer's pov here or other authors, but I had private private communication with both editor and owner during these times. Explanations were given, with alternative contact details.

    My anxieties stem more from my own lack of server knowledge, and in any such discussion, I'll easily hold my hands up and let those who do know these things, talk. But it might be where Fantastic Fiction comes in, though. Ebook sales for Forbidden come direct from there, and which (to my knowledge) Fantastic Fiction wasn't down.

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  16. #16
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Has anyone had any recent dealings with Forbidden Fiction?

  17. #17
    Bemused Girl nkkingston's Avatar
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    I have three shorts with them. The longest standing one has sold in the high double figures (as of the last statement I received - there's another one due any time now) the second low double figures, and the third single figures. They pay quarterly. Only two of the special collections have gathered enough stories for anthologies - I got an email a little while back asking if I knew anyone who write erotic wingfic, since Taking Flight is only a couple of stories short of a full anthology.

    Until recently, the majority of promotion has been done by the authors, but I think FF is getting more involved now. Several books have popped up in the Rainbow Awards - Lovers in Arms, Don't, Inherent Gifts & Held in Dreams - and there's been a few Goodreads giveaways. They're looking for editing/marketing interns at the moment (as well as a web developer, which has been listed for over a year now, I think).

    I know some authors have had issues with communication, though I've not been affected myself. I have noticed the site going through dry periods in terms of releases. It's worth signing up for a free membership to the site and having a real good look through all the blogs and forum available.

    Hungry? Check out my other half's blog Colonel Mustard in the Kitchen.

  18. #18
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Excellent, thanks for the update! I was considering submitting to a couple of the open anthology calls and possibly the novel I'm working on once it's ready for the light of day. I really enjoy the concept of the organization and coming from the world of fanfiction to paid publishing as many of the staff and writers there have I think we'd be an excellent fit.

    Really looking forward to hopefully working with them soon.

  19. #19
    Needs More Hands.... Fallen's Avatar
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    I just wanted to update with these guys.

    They've been open two years now (same time as Musa, I think). I have a debut with them that was released in Dec 2012. My work's novel length, so I can only speak from that side of the deal.

    Changes & standards:

    Entry into comps: (Rainbow awards etc).
    The possibility of a distribution deal set in place.
    Updated distribution site.
    Marketing: paid ads in magazines etc
    ARC review packs and also general review packs.
    Coupons in the works from the main distribution site so if there's a giveaway, it's no cost to the auhor.

    Elements that still need a little work:

    Interactive side (I'd love to see this up and running or adjustments possibly made to the contracts so authors aren't tied in so long to contracts).
    Communication.
    Length of wait for work to be published. (They are a very small publisher, with either a novel or novella published once a month, with three shorts filling the rest of the month). They've closed to subs, except for in-house authors.
    A fully and in-depth schedule into how, when, and where a single work will go through the editing, proof, production stages etc. (We get calendar dates for release etc)

    With sales, I can only speak for my novel here.

    (Disclaimer: I was an unknown. FFP does ask authors to help with promotions).

    General details:

    Mine's novel length at 120k. First two weeks of sales saw higher double digits. A year later, it touched close to 4 digits. Sales into 2014 haven't done too bad, with a *touch wood* constant, taking those numbers higher into 4 digits. Entry into the Rainbow awards by FFP saw it pick up an Honorable Mention Award.

    For promotions on my part, I only sent out to review sites and avoided paying for ads etc with not knowing how sales would go for a debut author.

    They are niche and focus on erotica/erotic romance with a darker edge (or taboo content).

    For editing (again just on novels here as that's all I know), communicatons are first-class, with edits also running into three/four if need be. It's then proofed twice by seperate proofs.

    General overview:

    I do like the freedom of content I'm allowed with FFP (having edited for Dreamspinner, I know this debut wouldn't have been published without taking out some of the content I cover); the effort is there on the publisher's side to promote work from new and established authors, they do expect author input into promotions, but being a small publisher, the wait can be long to get the work through the system.

    I'm hoping the latter will hopefully have eased when they open up subs again.

    I can't speak for any other authors who have worked with FFP.
    Last edited by Fallen; 04-19-2014 at 12:23 AM.

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  20. #20
    Sick and pale with grief. StoryofWoe's Avatar
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    Anyone have recent experience working with ForbiddenFiction?
    Last edited by StoryofWoe; 10-09-2016 at 04:28 PM. Reason: typo
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  21. #21
    Needs More Hands.... Fallen's Avatar
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    I'm still with them, Woe. What would you like to know? Lost in the Echo was my most recent, pubbed in Aug 2016, and I have three under contract.
    Last edited by Fallen; 10-10-2016 at 01:33 AM.

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  22. #22
    Sick and pale with grief. StoryofWoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallen View Post
    I'm still with them, Woe. What would you like to know? Lost in the Echo was my most recent, pubbed in Aug 2016, and I have three under contract.
    Hi, Fallen. I read your post from 2014 and am curious to know if any of the "Elements that still need a little work" have been improved upon. Are you pleased with their marketing efforts so far? How have sales been for your most recent release, if you don't mind sharing?

    How much input did you have on the cover design? I really like the cover for Lost in the Echo but some of the others (on the site, not your personal offerings) don't really do it for me.

    I'm a little confused by the membership options and free serialized fiction model they have on their site, so some clarification there would be helpful. Are authors required to maintain a strong presence on their forums and in story discussions? What are your thoughts on these features? Do their marketing efforts extend beyond their site's readership?

    I checked them out on Sales Rank (which I know isn't the be-all and end-all, especially since it looks like they make a lot of direct sales from their site) but I can't say I'm particularly blown away by the numbers. Have you found that the majority if your own sales come from places other than Amazon?

    As for royalties, how exactly is "a proportional share of the website’s membership income, based on the popularity of authors’ pages" calculated?

    That's all I have so far. Thanks for your time.
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    “There are two ways to reach me: by way of kisses or by way of the imagination. But there is a hierarchy: the kisses alone don't work.” ― Anaïs Nin, Henry And June

  23. #23
    Needs More Hands.... Fallen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StoryofWoe View Post
    Hi, Fallen. I read your post from 2014 and am curious to know if any of the "Elements that still need a little work" have been improved upon. Are you pleased with their marketing efforts so far? How have sales been for your most recent release, if you don't mind sharing?
    Hey, Woe, no worries. Most areas that needed working on, except for the serialization, have been worked upon (I'll cover the serialization below ).

    Are you pleased with their marketing efforts so far?
    Yeah. They have a good and consistent social media presence with releases, they handle ARCs through their reviewer's list, submit paid competition entries, arrange giveaways, author chats etc.

    How have sales been for your most recent release, if you don't mind sharing?
    I don't mind at all, but Lost in the Echo has only been released just over a month and I've had no statement yet. It is a previously published work, with a few extended scenes, so I don't expect it to sell as well as a new release. When the numbers come in, I'll let you know. (I'll cover another novel of mine below.)

    How much input did you have on the cover design? I really like the cover for Lost in the Echo but some of the others (on the site, not your personal offerings) don't really do it for me.
    Just the usual, really: stock chosen and designed by the FFP cover designer, with input from the author on minor changes. However, with Lost in the Echo, I'd been using that image to promo my work prior to that, and they went with that, so they are open to discussion, but state that their decisions are final.

    I'm a little confused by the membership options and free serialized fiction model they have on their site, so some clarification there would be helpful. Are authors required to maintain a strong presence on their forums and in story discussions? What are your thoughts on these features? Do their marketing efforts extend beyond their site's readership?
    This is where it ideally needs improving. The paid half to the serialization that's in the contract hasn't been set up yet. There's only the free side. With the free side, you can engage with readers and talk about the story, but it's nothing that swamps time. FFP ask that have a presence with a FFP blog, too, but I do mine once a year, or with a release (I'm not good with blogs). The serialization and marketing is all tied in together, so free serialized releases will get marketed alongside new releases, with a calendar for readers to see when and where serialization is coming in. It will also get marketed through the the likes of giveaways, author chats etc. But, as I said at the beginning, the paid serialization has yet to come in. With it being a small publishing company, it takes time, but unfortunately with it being a small publishing company, it's time that sees no royalties as of yet for authors on that side of the contract, and perhaps should ideally not be stated in the contract now as a selling point.

    I checked them out on Sales Rank (which I know isn't the be-all and end-all, especially since it looks like they make a lot of direct sales from their site) but I can't say I'm particularly blown away by the numbers. Have you found that the majority if your own sales come from places other than Amazon?
    FFP have their own store and presales can be good. They also distribute through all the usual channels, but Amazon remains a large chunk of sales. It' a niche publisher, targeting a niche readership. You'll just need to take that into account. I think to date, my first novel with them has been going since 2012 and has sold a few thousand copies. It's still selling comfortably *touch wood*, but I'm a very dark writer and I don't target a main readership. For example, I edit for Dreamspinner Press, but what I write for FFP would not be published by Dreamspinner because of the content.

    The easy answer: even if you don't have a story that's serialized, you get a percentage of the overall paid membership, this is on top of your usual royalty payments from work that's not been serialized. But as the paid side has yet to be established... at the moment you're just getting the usual royalties from distribution sales.

    That's all I have so far. Thanks for your time.
    I'm going to add here that at this time FFP take audio and translation rights, but barely utilize them. At this time, if you submit with them, I would ask to retain those right until FFP brings them in. Part of me wishes they'd focus more on that side than the serialization, to be honest. I've seen huge interest for translation of FFP work, and after four years, I would really have liked to have seen more progress on this side.

    They're a good fit for me because of what I write, though. And, most importantly, I have a good relationship with my editor who knows my style. Sometimes I don't write as fast as I should, so their small-publishing pace suits mine.

    Let me know what you decide, okay? Hope this helps.
    Last edited by Fallen; 10-10-2016 at 11:18 AM.

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