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Thread: [Packager] Paper Lantern Lit, LLC

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    [Packager] Paper Lantern Lit, LLC

    Hi, everyone.

    Iím a long time lurker that finally registered. First, a quick thanks to those of you who post all the time Ė you have been a huge help in all of my previous research.

    A couple months ago I read an article about Paper Lantern Lit (www.paperlanternlit.com) and was intrigued enough to submit a writing sample to them. Itís going on 11 weeks now and I still havenít heard anything from them but I expected a longer wait because of the holidays.

    I was wondering if anyone has submitted to/ auditioned with them and what kind of experiences theyíve had.

    I am fully aware that this is a book packaging company and that they will retain all copyrights if I write for them but I also feel that it would be a great experience to work with Lexa Hillyer and Lauren Oliver.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    The owners appear to have substantial experience in the industry. However, I'm not sure why their submission guidelines require that:
    You must not have any work currently under contract with any book publishing house.
    It sounds as if anyone who does work-for-hire with them can't write books for anyone else?

  3. #3
    Know what you write...
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    They seem to be aiming at new writers. Normally I would consider that a red flag, but I can't really find much to complain about except that one sentence Unimportant already mentioned (you should really change your name, pal. You're much more important than your name suggests.)

    From the FAQ section:
    What is a literary development company?
    At a literary development company, as you might expect, we are interested in making books. We are not, however, interested in manufacturing books—the paper, the glue, the covers, the pages? We leave that to the publishing giants.
    Instead, we develop stories. Paper Lantern Lit collaborates with great up-and-coming writers to help bring those stories to life. Finally, we approach the big publishers to get those books sold, produced, and placed into bookstores.

  4. #4
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    If I'm reading this correctly then they want the writers to:

    • Write 1-2 Chapters & Submit it.
    • Write 'a few more' chapters
    • Then shape it into a 50-70 page proposal

    ... and all of this for no pay.

    Then, if the 50-70 page proposal gets any interest then you may get paid .. but they'll own all the IP for the project .. so it will just be a work for hire after you've done all of this work on spec.

    I'm not really sure what their contribution to the project is - the writer is doing a lot of work purely on speculation for them.

    Mac

  5. #5
    Know what you write...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mac H. View Post
    If I'm reading this correctly then they want the writers to:

    • Write 1-2 Chapters & Submit it.
    • Write 'a few more' chapters
    • Then shape it into a 50-70 page proposal

    ... and all of this for no pay.

    Then, if the 50-70 page proposal gets any interest then you may get paid .. but they'll own all the IP for the project .. so it will just be a work for hire after you've done all of this work on spec.
    They mention that it's work for hire in the FAQ. I hope they don't expect you to agree to such a contract simply by submitting.

    Little worried now. Mac, where did you read the 50-70 pages thing?

  6. #6
    someone let me off this crazy ride YAwriter72's Avatar
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    Mac, you are not reading it correctly.

    To clarify, you "audition" for a project (using a "spark" page they send outlining the chapter they want you to write and whats going on. They basically want to get a feel for your voice and style, to see if it fits the project), then if they like your sample chapters, they enter into a contract with you. There are many authors vying for the same projects.

    Then THEY give you the entire synopsis for the book, and a comprehensive chapter by chapter outline that you would use to write approximately 70 pages of the book. They edit it with you, then when its ready, they submit it to select publishers. They're rate of selling is 100% as of right now. When they sell it you get part of your fee, then you finish writing the book (working with them) then it goes to the publisher that bought it for review.

    The whole packaging deal from a publisher standpoint is that they are getting a pretty solid book that will require very little editing.

    The plus on the writer's side is that you work exclusively with an editor throughout the entire process, so you learn a TON along the way.
    Highway to YAH!

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  7. #7
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    I'm not sure I am reading it incorrectly.

    After all, in your own explanation you say:
    When they sell it you get part of your fee
    My question is simple - *if* they do not sell it then do they pay the writer?

    If they only pay the writer if they sell it, then we have no dispute .. as we both agree that:

    1. The writer is writing on speculation and will only get paid if there is a sale.
    -and-
    2. The writer will not own the final IP as it will be a work for hire.

    I don't think (2) is in dispute.

    I think I'm right on (1) as well - it is consistent with your reading *and* my reading.

    I'm sure you are right and it is a great educational opportunity for the writer. But that isn't the same thing as a good financial opportunity.

    Mac

  8. #8
    someone let me off this crazy ride YAwriter72's Avatar
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    Its how you look at it as to whether its a good financial opportunity or not, I think.

    If you are making nothing because your own stuff isn't selling, or you can't find an agent, or you're just starting out and want to learn how to make your writing stronger, then it could be financially sound. You have a lot of one on one editorial feedback as you go too, which is an advantage for someone who wants to strengthen their writing. Most established writers who get advances and royalties probably would not find this kind of thing financially advantageous.

    For me personally, this has upped my agents ability to sell my future work that I write under my own name. I have learned a ton working one on one with my editor and can now use that to make my own writing that much stronger and salable. *That* was the main reason I chose to go this route. I have a day job and this isn't my only source of income, so, with eyes wide open, it worked out very well for me.

    Is it for everyone? Absolutely not. Does it work for some people? Absolutely yes. Its about educating yourself about the whole process of what this packager does and how this particular work-for-hire works and deciding from there.
    Last edited by YAwriter72; 02-24-2012 at 08:47 PM. Reason: Long winded and lost the point, heh
    Highway to YAH!

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  9. #9
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    I gave it a shot. Hope I'm not penalized for other publications. Didn't know the flavor they were looking for either. I just "sparked" them.

    Tri

  10. #10
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YAwriter72 View Post
    For me personally, this has upped my agents ability to sell my future work that I write under my own name.
    I'm assuming you worked with PLL prior to contracting with Delacorte, given their sub guidelines. Did your agent support working with PLL? Do PLL require you use a pseunonym? Does it mean the authors listed on the PLL website and on the published book are pseudonyms, and can't use those names on books with other publishers?

  11. #11
    someone let me off this crazy ride YAwriter72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unimportant View Post
    I'm assuming you worked with PLL prior to contracting with Delacorte, given their sub guidelines. Did your agent support working with PLL? Do PLL require you use a pseunonym? Does it mean the authors listed on the PLL website and on the published book are pseudonyms, and can't use those names on books with other publishers?
    I was actually on sub with one of my own books when I contracted with PLL. The book deal in my sig with Delacorte *is* my PLL deal. My agent and I talked extensively about the pros and cons of writing for a packager, so yes, she was very supportive. I chose to use a pseudonym with them because they do own the name you use. If I used my real name, I couldn't use it with my own stuff, but I don't have to hide that I am Lanie, if that makes sense? (Though book signings, tours, etc. will be as Lanie Bross) But yes, I would not be able to use Lanie for anything outside of PLL. (Though again, we can use the fact that I sold under that name to our advantage when subbing under my real name to other publishers in the future)
    Highway to YAH!

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  12. #12
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Thanks! I apologise if my questions are stupid or overly intrusive; I'm still trying to get my head round this book packager concept.

  13. #13
    someone let me off this crazy ride YAwriter72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unimportant View Post
    Thanks! I apologise if my questions are stupid or overly intrusive; I'm still trying to get my head round this book packager concept.
    Not at all. I had no idea what they were or did before my agent and I discussed it. I also had no idea just how many books out there are from packagers! I think most people don't know it.
    Highway to YAH!

    My Website

    FATES - Random House/Delacorte-Summer 2013
    FATES SEQUEL - Random House/Delacorte-2014
    (writing as Lanie Bross )


    TANGLED WEBS - Disney/Hyperion-Summer 2014
    TANGLED WEBS SEQUEL - Disney/Hyperion-Summer 2015

  14. #14
    practical experience, FTW Kats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IrishLass View Post
    A couple months ago I read an article about Paper Lantern Lit (www.paperlanternlit.com) and was intrigued enough to submit a writing sample to them. It’s going on 11 weeks now and I still haven’t heard anything from them but I expected a longer wait because of the holidays.

    I was wondering if anyone has submitted to/ auditioned with them and what kind of experiences they’ve had.
    My info is a bit out of date now, but I thought I would share anyway: I submitted a sample at the end of 2010 and heard back about 6 weeks later saying they enjoyed my sample and might have an appropriate YA project coming up in spring, and they would contact me if it did go ahead.

    I didn't hear from them about it again but I think they would be a great company to work with and gain experience (obviously if you understand what you're signing up for). Thanks for sharing your experience with them YAWriter72 and congrats on your book deal!

  15. #15
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    Mine was a rejection a few days ago.

    Tri

  16. #16
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Tri, do you mind if I ask when you submitted to them? I'm still waiting to hear anything on my submission from early December.

    Thanks!

  17. #17
    practical experience, FTW Wisteria Vine's Avatar
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    Has anyone heard anything about this company recently?

  18. #18
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    They're very active on Twitter if you want to keep up to date. They keep selling like gangbusters. Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill and Venom by Fiona Paul (I think?) have had great buzz.

    The same thing that happened to Kats happened to me. I sent my sample, I got an email saying they liked it and would contact me in "a couple weeks" to set up the audition. That was early October. I actually nudged again at the end of December and got an intern email saying the first email to me had been from another intern who was no longer there and she would look into it.
    BLOOD WATER PAINT, spring 2018, Dutton Young Readers

  19. #19
    She who must be obeyed Amanda R.'s Avatar
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    I sent a sample in today. Will follow up if I hear anything back.
    Amanda R.

    "Literature is the most noble of professions. In fact, it is about the only one fit for man." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

    Read about my adventures in China.

  20. #20
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    What does work-for-hire typically pay? They say their rates are in line with industry standard, I'm curious how it works. I assume they pay the writer something before they start, and something when they're done. Has anyone done this kind of work?

  21. #21
    practical experience, FTW JoyMC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mustafa View Post
    What does work-for-hire typically pay? They say their rates are in line with industry standard, I'm curious how it works. I assume they pay the writer something before they start, and something when they're done. Has anyone done this kind of work?
    Paper Lantern only pays if the project sells. BUT they've sold 100% of the projects they've tried to sell. Stephen Barbara reps their projects.

    The above may be inaccurate now, but it was true a few months ago when I was looking into them.

    Here is a post by agent/author Mandy Hubbard about why working for Paper Lantern was a good decision for one of her clients. In it, she says "your flat fee may have been $10,000" - that's not necessarily what PLL pays, but it's probably ballpark.

    I do work-for-hire for private clients and I do get paid at milestones all along the way, so at first I balked at not getting paid until the project sold. But ultimately I was won over by the people involved and their track records.
    BLOOD WATER PAINT, spring 2018, Dutton Young Readers

  22. #22
    practical experience, FTW Wisteria Vine's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses - it sounds like a good deal.

    I'm wondering what kind of conflict, if any, this might have with an already agented writer. If the agent has signed a specific work and not an author, I suppose the writer could use a pen name...?

  23. #23
    Bemused Girl nkkingston's Avatar
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    Agents normally sign authors rather than single works. You'd want to tell your agent you're doing this, but since they're not part of the deal I don't know you'd need to give them their 15%.

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

  24. #24
    practical experience, FTW Wisteria Vine's Avatar
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    Bulk email form rejection after one week.

  25. #25
    New year, new avatar. hester's Avatar
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    Sorry for the R Wisteria . I just subbed a sample, so we'll see...
    Last edited by hester; 02-13-2013 at 06:58 PM. Reason: Forgot to capitalize.
    YA psychological thriller--repped and revising.

    YA sci-fi--drafting.

    YA mystery--drafting.

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