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Thread: [Publisher] Virtual Tales

  1. #1
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    [Publisher] Virtual Tales

    Has anyone dealt with this e-publisher?

  2. #2
    I heart Malamutes! :-) JerseyGirl1962's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ixchel
    Has anyone dealt with this e-publisher?
    Here's the website: http://www.VirtualTales.com.

    And...

    I noted in their submissions that they serialize novels and novellas. Is this what you want to do with your novel/novella? From what I gather, they split your novel/novella into 4 parts, the first 3 parts are sent free, with the idea being the person who receives the first 3 will pay for the 4th installment.

    My personal take on that is: Meh. I guess I'm just not the type of person to want to go the serial route - I want the whole shebang right up front.

    But that's me.

    As for the legal side of things, I haven't dealt with them (and they've only been around since last December), so I can't comment on that.

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  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW james1611's Avatar
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    i got rejected by them

    I had my book rejected by them, stating there were too many editing problems?

    That's interesting since its being published now, has recieved wonderful reviews by published authors and even a Professor of English Literature?!

    Oh well.

    --James

  4. #4
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    Unprofessional

    My recent experience with this publisher: I wrote to them after reading their help wanted page, and applied for work as an editor. Per the guidelines on the website, in my email I told them which genres I was interested in editing and gave them a link to my site, which has samples of my work.

    Today "P. June Diehl, Director of Submissions" wrote back saying my application had been passed to the "Board of Directors". In the reply she asked for which genres I was interested in editing, and for samples of my work.


    Needless to say, I'm not impressed with this level of incompetence. If she can't parse the information in one email, how can the company be trusted with handling royalty payments? (The editors get paid royalties, just like the authors.)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SonoranWriter
    (The editors get paid royalties, just like the authors.)
    That's a new one. (To me, at any rate.)

  6. #6
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Not entirely unique. ABPG also pays the editors royalties.

    IMHO this is ... a questionable practice.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald
    IMHO this is ... a questionable practice.
    Since I've never heard of it before, I haven't given it any thought.

    Can you enlarge on what you see as the possible drawbacks? Just curious.

  8. #8
    haz a shiny new book cover Christine N.'s Avatar
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    One drawback is that if the book doesn't do well, neither does the editor. The editor does the work... say one long book, requiring hours of editing. Another editor has a shorter book, or one that doesn't need so much editing. If the shorter book does better than the longer book, the editor gets more money for less work than the other editor. There's no scale for the work.

    Authors expect and accept risk when they publish, editors should be paid fair rate for their work.
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  9. #9
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    It seems a little arbitrary to me as the amount paid would depend on the quality of the book, not the quality of the editing--and it could end up being very low and rather unpredicatble. On the upside it could also keep earning over a long period.
    Emily Veinglory

  10. #10
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    Instead of getting an agreed-upon per-page fee, the editor has to judge whether the book is going to be successful enough to justify the time spent editing.

    If the editor decides it's not worth it, the sensible thing to do (in terms of business) would be return the manuscript and refuse the job. This is rather unprofessional unless the publisher has previously agreed to take back the work if the editor refuses it. It also wastes everyone's time.

    Writers tend to accept that they will be paid according to how commercially successful their work is - this goes for small and big publishers alike, although with a big publisher at least you get an advance (still usually a pittance relative to the number of hours spend producing the manuscript). On the other hand, editors don't generally work that way. They charge per page or project, and get paid in full when the work is delivered.

  11. #11
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    I was just looking at this publisher since they asked for a full ms. on a novella I have out (the market for novellas is pretty limited).

    I wanted to point out that some of the information in this thread is inaccurate. I haven't decided whether to send them the full ms or not, but here is the correct information on how they sell their novels and novellas. They do also now offer readers the option to buy the entire work at once instead of serialized.

    From their submission page:

    Accepted works are broken down into installments of about 1,500 to 2,500 words, with two installments emailed to readers per week. The first four (4) are sent to readers as a free trial, with readers being able to purchase all additional installments. As such, we require fourteen (14) installments completed and edited before we can offer a new serialized work for sale.
    The "free sample" thing for epub books seems to me to be a good idea, kind of like reading the first chapter in the bookstore before you decide whether or not to buy.

    They have added several novels/novellas to their list recently it looks like and seem to be a viable market for works not suitable for larger houses. They're well past their first year in business and seem to be fairly stable as far as I can tell.

    Whether they are a good choice for editors is a question I'm in no position to judge.
    Last edited by J. R. Tomlin; 11-09-2007 at 07:20 AM.

  12. #12
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Brenda's Avatar
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    From what I know, Virtual Tales was created by KIC (KEEP IT COMING) Refugees. KIC went "belly up" a few years back. It publishes serial fiction.

    You certainly won't become wealthy off of serial fiction, but it does provide a writing credit, experience in dealing with deadlines and some income. You'll probably have to sign a contract, so be absolutely certain that you can meet their deadlines before signing.

    The fact that VT is offering the etire e-book at once instead of the serial fiction is new. If I wanted to venture into serial fiction again, I'd certainly give them a look.

    Good luck with it.

  13. #13
    banned as an incurable tosspot
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    I've seen their contract. Considering my inexperience, I'm not much of a judge but it looks ok as far as I can tell. They do want one. The novella is completed so meeting the deadline shouldn't be much of a problem. I don't think any of the epubs are a "get rich quick" proposition. You're totally right there from what I have been able to tell. But some income is better than none and it is a market where novellas can be sold, not like the big houses that won't touch them.

  14. #14
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    If it is an effort by Keep it Coming staff using the same model I wouldn't be enthusiastic.

    If you are looking at epublishing the novella markets are really quite considerable and some sell routinely in the high thousands. This market compares more sensibly to epresses than a big NY house.

    You might try asking what their typical sales figure are like. Sales in the low double figures might be a possibility here.
    Emily Veinglory

  15. #15
    banned as an incurable tosspot
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    Quote Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
    If it is an effort by Keep it Coming staff using the same model I wouldn't be enthusiastic.

    If you are looking at epublishing the novella markets are really quite considerable and some sell routinely in the high thousands. This market compares more sensibly to epresses than a big NY house.

    You might try asking what their typical sales figure are like. Sales in the low double figures might be a possibility here.
    I didn't say I was enthusiastic. They're well below a number of other publishers on my list. I was more interested in correcting the misinformation. If another publisher who is looking at it doesn't take it, I may look at them though.

    However, I'm struck by your comment about there being a big market for novellas. Where is that? Could you expand on that a little? I wasn't sure if you meant at Samhain, or elsewhere.

    And I have had a really hard time getting sales figures from anyone. I'm not sure where to find that. Is there somewhere that epub sales figures are published? I still have a heck of a lot to learn.
    Last edited by J. R. Tomlin; 11-12-2007 at 11:32 AM.

  16. #16
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin raegenhare's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if anyone is following this thread anymore, but I wanted to comment on some of the misinformation, in case someone comes here through a search. It's how I ended up here ;o).

    Firstly, while it is true that some of the Board Members met through KIC, it is because we were authors, artists or other talent. KIC was owned and managed by one person, and when she disbanded KIC, some of us decided to pick up where she left off and start up a totally new venture, with totally new and independent management.

    Virtual Tales publishes paperbacks, eBooks and eSerials. Submission requirements are posted at our website. As to payment, EVERYONE -- authors, editors, cover artists and management -- are paid via royalties. Editors choose the books they wish to edit, so they have a pretty good idea about the amount of work they will be doing when they choose to take on an assignment.

    Here's the bottom line -- Virtual Tale publishes works by new authors. We do not charge anyone anything for the privilege... if we accept a work for publication, it will be professionally edited, given an ISBN and professionally created cover, be professionally typeset and made available in print, eBook and eSerial formats through a long list of distribution outlets (see our website for a complete list).

    Some books, of course, are more popular than others... but that's the way the cookie crumbles. The point is, we DO pay royalties, because we do sell books. There really aren't a lot of publishers who are willing to take on new, unpublished authors and give them a chance with no agent and absolutely no money required on their part.

    As for novellas, we have published several in both print and eBook formats, so if you have a novella that is at least 30,000 words, please send it to us for consideration. If we like it, chances are good that we'll publish it.

    If you have any questions about Virtual Tales, eSerials, etc., please feel free to post and I will try to answer it.

    Sheri
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    Sheri Gormley

  17. #17
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    There really aren't a lot of publishers who are willing to take on new, unpublished authors and give them a chance with no agent and absolutely no money required on their part.
    Really, there are.

    Nowhere at all in commercial publication is an author required to pay money. And many publishers (particularly small press and e-pubs) don't require agents.

    All presses are on the lookout for new talent.

  18. #18
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    I never understood how 'some sell more than others' is given as an answer to 'basically how well do you books sell?'. You can give a ballpark figure or range very easily.

    As for the big market for novella online, try Piers Anthony's list of epublishers. There are hundred. Of course most do not boast high sales--but some are quite respectable.

    However I consider myself fortunate that KIC folded before publishing my western novella that went on to do rather well at Loose Id as a conventional ebook novella (about 1000 copies sold to date).
    Last edited by veinglory; 06-05-2010 at 03:48 AM.
    Emily Veinglory

  19. #19
    Inappropriate Charmer Saanen's Avatar
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    Last month Virtual Tales offered me a contract for a fantasy novel. The contract was...not good. In addition to some other issues, they pay royalties on net AFTER a huge list of fees are subtracted--listing fees for online publishers and the like, some of which are yearly charges (and charged to the author every year, of course).

    When I wrote back to clarify some points of the contract and ask if they were negotiable, I received a long response, some of it copied-and-pasted from various websites (possibly Virtual Tales' own; I didn't dig too deeply at that point) defending the contract. They stressed that they are a small publisher, not one of the big boys, and they require a lot of work from their authors for books to succeed. One of the examples cited was an unnamed famous author who refused even to start a blog to plug his Virtual Tales book, and that of course the book had hardly sold any copies at all as a result.

    In other words: the contract is author-unfriendly and not negotiable, and Virtual Tales has no effective methods of promotion or distribution outside of author efforts. I forwarded a copy of the contract to Victoria Strauss and withdrew my manuscript from consideration. It occurred to me today that I ought to post here about the contract, since I had checked this thread before submitting and didn't think they sounded too bad.
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    practical experience, FTW Sargentodiaz's Avatar
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    Saanen - I'm sorry to hear your dissatisfaction with Virtual Tales. I have a contract with them and saw none of the things you referred to other than beyond placing the work in a wide variety of website and distribution sources, they only provide minimal publicizing and it is up to the author to do so. I have absolutely no extra fees or a "huge list of fees to be subtracted." I have always had a good working relationship with the staff and look forward to dealing with them on other works.
    My editor is most professional, btw.
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  21. #21
    Inappropriate Charmer Saanen's Avatar
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    This is the language in the contract offered me that lists the fees. This is not the only questionable part of the contract, but it certainly points out that, in my case at least, they charge fees--just not upfront:

    In compensation for this grant of rights, the PUBLISHER hereby agrees to pay AUTHOR the following Royalty Commissions:

    Fifty percent (50%) of Net Sales from the sale of all electronic and print editions of the WORK sold less returns after either:
    * Initial publication expenses for Amazon.com (US site only) distribution of seventy-five dollars ($75 USD) in Net Sales has been recovered by the PUBLISHER; or
    * Initial publication expenses for Amazon.com (US and International sites) and other US and International distribution outlets (including all of Ingram's outlets, such as Barnes & Noble, Powells, etc.) of one hundred and twenty dollars ($120 USD) in Net Sales has been recovered by the PUBLISHER. In addition the AUTHOR agrees to a twelve dollar ($12 USD) annual royalty reduction from Net Sales to maintain this level of distribution for so long as the AUTHOR desires. To revert back to Amazon.com (US site only) distribution, the AUTHOR must notify the PUBLISHER in writing thirty (30) days prior to the annual anniversary of publication of the WORK.
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  22. #22
    practical experience, FTW Sargentodiaz's Avatar
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    I read the same language in my contract and it appears the PUBLISHER is simply saying it has already paid those fees for the rights to publish and distribute through those links.
    I'm not a lawyer but it doesn't seem outrageous or wrong to me.
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  23. #23
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    I'm reading it that they don't pay royalties to teh author until AFTER they have withheld and kept for themselves a certain amount that the author has earned. If the author wants the book distributed through Amazon, the publisher keeps the first $37.50 of the author's royalties. If the author wants the book distributed through Amazon and other channels, the publisher keeps the first $60 of the author's royalties. This in effect means the author instead of the publisher is paying for distribution costs -- which ought to be borne by the publisher. To me, it is outrageous and wrong; YMMV.

  24. #24
    Inappropriate Charmer Saanen's Avatar
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    In addition to the contract, the response I received to my email was full of misinformation. I won't quote directly from the email since I don't have permission to do so, but I'll paraphrase one particular issue: in regard to the fees I had asked about (and which I listed in my previous post in this thread), I was told that big NYC publishers take fees out too, with the example that after the advance, writers don't see a penny until all the fees are paid back. Either the person who emailed me truly doesn't understand what an advance is and how publishing works--which is bad, since this came directly from a person who signed himself 'chairman'--or he was just lying.

    Either way, he didn't deny that these are fees paid by the author in order to publish.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saanen View Post
    I was told that big NYC publishers take fees out too, with the example that after the advance, writers don't see a penny until all the fees are paid back.
    That's a load of yak droppings. It's true that publishers withhold a percentage of all royalties as possible blowback from returns. That is listed very clearly on author's royalty statements - or they should be. In the case of e-books, there is no "returns," so there would be no withholdings. There are no other "fees." Once the author earns out, royalties kick in. Period.

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