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Thread: Line by Lion Publications

  1. #1
    To dance and write is divine. TheDancingWriter's Avatar
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    Line by Lion Publications

    I have a friend who submitted to Line by Lion and got accepted by them. From what I've seen, it's a disaster. One of the clauses in the contract states that if you want to get out of it, you have to pay a $2500 fee. And you only get a puny advance of $25, despite having to pay such an exorbitant amount if you want your book back. The copyright isn't yours, either.

    I wanted to know your take on it.

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  2. #2
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    Well, there's no information on their webpage about any of the company's principals (and from their photos, they all look mighty young). So all you have is their word that they're "professionals." Their covers are largely awful. And when I finally found and clicked on "Submissions," I got a page that said "I'm a title. Click here to edit me." Why would anyone with a grain of sense want this company to publish their book?
    Last edited by mrsmig; 07-23-2015 at 08:11 PM.
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  3. #3
    starting over Marian Perera's Avatar
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    From their website:

    About Us Line by Lion Publications, LLC is a indpendent, small press
    'Nuff said. If they can't or won't proofread their own website, they can't adequately edit books.
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  4. #4
    To dance and write is divine. TheDancingWriter's Avatar
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    Both the website and covers killed it for me, but despite this, my friend still wants to go with them. However, I want to know your opinion on this. This was what my friend posted in response to our worries about going with Line by Lion:

    "I reviewed the standard contract of a "Big Five" publishing house, and apparently, including copyright is legit and normal, a necessity even. The only things I saw were 1. The "warranty" clause is usually negotiated, in that in the case of any lawsuits, the publisher is not responsible. However, I'm not sure that would entirely be worth pushing, as even agents lose that case sometimes, and it's standard. 2. The buyout clause is standard as well, so it's not a big concern to me. It's probably new to you because, while this publisher does publish online, they rely heavily on physical/retail-store sales, and so keep a lot of books in stock. This clause would apply if I wanted to buy back rights AND all current books in stock, which makes sense, because the publisher can't afford to give away dozens or hundreds of free books; this also applies to remaindering, giving the author the right to buy all stock and sell at his/her own prices before it can be sold for $1 closeout. 3. I didn't notice, however, a bankruptcy clause, which reverts rights back to the author in case the publisher goes backrupt/out of business, so that's something to keep note of."

    I also checked out the books and saw the publisher owns the copyright, thus the buyback clause.

    When Stars Die (AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc., being re-released soon.)
    I Am the Bell Jar (2013: A Stellar Collection)

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  5. #5
    *lurk*
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    Your friend is very, very wrong.

    The publisher owning copyright is NOT standard, not at all, unless it is a work for hire (i.e., doesn't have their name on the cover). Publishers may or may not REGISTER copyright on your behalf, in your name, but they do not take it. That alone should be enough to run far, far away. Why would you want to not even own the property you put so much work into? Heck, even PublishAmerica doesn't take copyright last I checked.

    I have only seen a buyout clause be "standard" among presses who make their money that way, rather than selling books. Someone more knowledgable than me can go into the why, but I have not seen any press large enough to order print runs on a regular basis charge the author for the remaining stock. And IANAL, but from what I've seen here in other threads, a bankruptcy clause may not be enforceable due to how bankruptcy works, so that really is the least of their worries. I mean, how are you going to get rights reverted anyway if you don't own the copyright anymore?
    Twitter: @tiakall

  6. #6
    To dance and write is divine. TheDancingWriter's Avatar
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    I figured as much. I'm really just trying to talk her out of this deal, so I wanted more knowledgeable views on this. Thanks!

    When Stars Die (AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc., being re-released soon.)
    I Am the Bell Jar (2013: A Stellar Collection)

    Goodreads

  7. #7
    I grow my own catnip JulieB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiakall View Post

    The publisher owning copyright is NOT standard, not at all, unless it is a work for hire (i.e., doesn't have their name on the cover).
    To clear up a misconception, a work for for hire may very well have the author's name on the cover, but the copyright is in the name of the studio. This is very common for tie-in books. I know because I wrote one. (And yep, I knew going into it, and if I didn't, the contract with the studio made it crystal clear.)

    Next: A buyout clause? Not only no, but (expletive) no. I'd strike that and it would probably be a dealbreaker if the publisher decided to keep it.

    Also: A bankruptcy clause is only as good as the paper it's printed on. Which is to say just about worthless. I used to believe otherwise, but I've seen too many cases where a publisher went into bankruptcy and those rights were considered assets, for sale to whoever made the best deal with the court. It's a noble gesture on the part of the publisher, but when push comes to shove your rights are an asset just like the office furniture.

  8. #8
    Pedaling Pescado Bicyclefish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrsmig View Post
    Well, there's no information on their webpage about any of the company's principals (and from their photos, they all look mighty young).
    Old Facebook posts turned up some names.

    K.A. DaVur, also known as Amanda Huntley [...] was first published in 2010, when she debuted a picture book entitled "Meanwhile Miles." Her first novel, "Hunter the Horrible," was published in 2013 and later that year she opened Line By Lion Publications/3 Fates Press with fellow authors Marian Allen and T Lee Harris. In 2014, the partnership was ended though Line by Lion lives on, adding more titles and becoming more profitable each quarter with the invaluable help of the editor in chief Amy Eye and Artistic Director Stacy Garrett as well as the brilliance of the authors, artists, and public relations team who have become like family (source)
    In 2013 they ran an Indiegogo campaign to help start up the publishing house, but the website for Three Fates Press not sure if it was an imprint or not is gone. They may have consolidated.

    They also appear to frequent Renaissance festivals and steampunk fairs to promote their books.
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  9. #9
    Now with more stubble VeryBigBeard's Avatar
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    I'm already running away from that name as fast as I can. Line by Lion?

    The fonts on their website make me want to hurl. Especially the green one. Some of their cover thumbnails are so pixelated I can't even read the titles. Like, this is basic web layout that any blogger should know. Book layout is considerably more arcane and difficult than web layout.

    Your friend should not go near this place with any idea of selling a book to the reading public. Especially since it appears if I head over to the second page on their "Shop" slidey thing I get a bunch of empty slots with prices and a buy button but no books. When I click the buy button it adds $11.99 of nothingness to my cart, which then come up as people's books only when I scroll down to the checkout, where I am greeted by this in black text on a black background:

    I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. I’m a great place for you to tell a story and let your users know a little more about you.
    Hi, Paragraph!

    I'm just going to assume they don't have distribution. I think that's fairly safe. Re point #2 above: this makes no sense at all, even for the publisher. One, that stuff is taxed as inventory and I highly doubt local store sales will offset that. (I worked for a place with this model. It went bust partly because of this model.) So you're really buying back the publisher's massive business mistake. Why oh why would they print so many books if they don't think they could sell them? It just boggles the mind.

    This is a business relationship. Your friend has a product--a newly-minted, awesome story to sell. It's worth more than $25. If your friend wants to publish in any way, approach it as a business decision, which means making decisions that are to the benefit of your friend as much as possible. What could this partnership possibly give you in return for that story? Even ignoring all the massive, massive red flags, what can they do for this book? Your friend is trading work for nothing. How is that in any way a fair valuation of what writers do or what your friend has already accomplished in finishing and preparing the MS?

    Just some thoughts to pass on if you want. Good luck.

  10. #10
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Just reading the Kindle sample of Starphoenix turned up some awful formatting errors...but the text itself was an interesting mil/sf space opera with Iain Banks touches. Why didn't the author sub to a recognized sf publisher with actual track record & distribution? Maybe he did. I suspect not... Baen might have gone for this one. Too bad.

    To the OP, your friend sounds like they've already drunk the fruit-flavored instant beverage. Cut your emotional losses, but be there in two years to either congratulate them or offer 'there, there' consoling shoulder pats. You just can't save some people from themselves.
    Last edited by Filigree; 07-24-2015 at 06:57 PM.

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  11. #11
    To dance and write is divine. TheDancingWriter's Avatar
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    My friend turned down the contract, think goodness. It took quite a bit of teeth pulling.

    When Stars Die (AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc., being re-released soon.)
    I Am the Bell Jar (2013: A Stellar Collection)

    Goodreads

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