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Old 10-10-2009, 10:01 PM   #326
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Originally Posted by eqb View Post
Many commercial publishers have a similar clause, and for a similar amount.

The reason PA's clause is bad is because of of PA itself--because they don't sell enough books to earn $49 in royalties for their authors.
I didn't know that, for that amount. I've seen it for much lower amounts, so to me $49 seems high (and that could also be colored because I know how hard PA tries to sell their books to the general public. )

Thanks for clearing it up
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Old 10-10-2009, 11:12 PM   #327
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they dont try to sell our books at all to anyone but us. thankfully we dont put money in their pockets either.You think this will make them go out of business.
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Old 10-11-2009, 12:05 AM   #328
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You have to sell 36 copies to get royalties!

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I don't think the clause is unreasonable in itself as such, although $49 is a bit high. It's a combination of bad things, like a) we know that once friends and relatives are tapped out, sales generally come to a standstill, and b) there's no Reversion of Rights clause that kicks in when sales fall below an agreed upon number within a specified time, say f.x. less that 200 copies sold in two consecutive royalty periods, or similar.

Overall, it just seems like insult added to injury in an already remarkably abusive contract.
When PA unexpectedly sold two copies of my book, they paid me $1.39 apiece in royalties, for a total of $2.78. At that rate, PA would have to sell 36 books before the royalties would aggregate more than $49.00. Unless the author purchases his own book during one of PA's "special" sales that includes payment of royalties, that level of sales would probably rarely be reached. So the net effect is that PA gets to keep your royalties for 7 years--or even longer if you fail to opt out of the automatic contract renewal.
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Old 10-11-2009, 12:19 AM   #329
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Yes, which is why it's so important to have a clearly defined Reversion of Rights clause in a publishing contract.
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Old 10-11-2009, 12:59 AM   #330
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If a friend hadn’t put me onto AbsoluteWrite, I would never have realised just what PA is all about – a big cheating SCAM to gullible writers like myself. Is there nothing that can be done to stop budding writers from falling into the same trap as me.
My book is also priced at 29.95 in America (around 19 in Britain) and no-one can or will afford that.
No shops in Britain will stock my book because of PA, and PA tell me that I’m not trying hard enough. They sent me a long list of things I needed to do to help myself, and I fell for it.
PA did allow me to go ‘digital,’ but I can’t find it stocked on Amazon because of the same reasons no bookstore will touch it.
PA luckily did change my book cover when I suggested something else (their’s was dreadful).
PA won’t leave me alone either with their constant emails wanting me to buy my own books.
And I still have 5 years to go!!!
The heartbreaking thing is that everyone who I’ve given my book to, friends and relatives, and other people who have bought signed copies straight from me, have loved it, but it has just ground to a halt through no fault of my own.
Now I’m submitting my second book to proper Literary Agents in the UK. I might be getting turned down at the moment due to the downturn in the money markets, but at least when it’s accepted I know it will be on merit.
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Old 10-11-2009, 01:20 AM   #331
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I have 6 more years to go. the only thing that they did good for me was the cover. and i got my author copies. But I have came to a very good conclusion that if we won the lottery and had the money to promote ourselfves, it still wouldnt make a bookstore take our books at all, it would just mean we would still put more money in their pockets to buy the book, and then how are we going to sell them? we still couldnt get booksignings. So whether you have money to market it thats not the problem. they are still going to make money off of us and no one else. we are all stuck unless we acan we buy 39 copies or 50 copies and get our rights back, and just what do we do then, now we got 50 copies of a book that we have our rights too, but still cant do anything with it and we can even reprint it because no publisher is still not going to touch, so that means we will be having book yard sales to get rid of them.
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Old 10-11-2009, 01:34 AM   #332
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I didn't know that, for that amount. I've seen it for much lower amounts, so to me $49 seems high (and that could also be colored because I know how hard PA tries to sell their books to the general public.)
It depends on the publisher. Smaller presses would have lower minimums.

My contract sets a $50 minimum. That translates to 20 hardcover books. For a large commercial publisher, that's a small number of books for a single royalty period.

I bet PA plans to claim that their clause is standard. And it is...for publishers who actually sell the book they acquire. PA doesn't, so for them, it's just another way to withhold money from their victims.
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Old 10-11-2009, 01:41 AM   #333
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Now that's something to remember when (you'll notice I say when and not if - cheerful little optimist I am ) I sell to one of the big boys. I never knew that about them.
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Old 10-11-2009, 01:45 AM   #334
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It depends on the publisher. Smaller presses would have lower minimums.

My contract sets a $50 minimum.
I've got one contract that has a minimum of $100 -- and that's for a short story in an anthology!
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Old 10-11-2009, 01:52 AM   #335
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PA did allow me to go ‘digital,’ but I can’t find it stocked on Amazon because of the same reasons no bookstore will touch it.
Whoa. Do you have that permission in writing?

There are places where you can create and sell ebooks, I think. Then you could at least sell your book independently of PA, assuming your contract with PA doesn't give them the right to horn in, of course.

How about CreateSpace? Lulu? Can you make ebooks on Lulu?
I'm sure you can find some good advice in the POD, Self-Publishing and E-Publishing forum.
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Old 10-11-2009, 05:54 AM   #336
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3,000 authors over the past year, earning $49 in royalties over their books' lives, comes to around $146K.
Remember that most (if not all) of a PA book's sales will be in the first year. This puts off paying for seven years.
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Old 10-11-2009, 06:49 AM   #337
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Old 10-11-2009, 07:20 AM   #338
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Quote:
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When PA unexpectedly sold two copies of my book, they paid me $1.39 apiece in royalties, for a total of $2.78. At that rate, PA would have to sell 36 books before the royalties would aggregate more than $49.00. Unless the author purchases his own book during one of PA's "special" sales that includes payment of royalties, that level of sales would probably rarely be reached. So the net effect is that PA gets to keep your royalties for 7 years--or even longer if you fail to opt out of the automatic contract renewal.
Don, I think your assessment is right on target, sorry to say.

To the readers here: If PA has your book, not much point in belaboring the fact.
Write a new book and get on with it.

Read Don's posts and realize your first book is gone.
What you do with the second one is up to you.

Best wishes to all you sincere writers out there, and don't let one stumble keep you from reaching for your dream.
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Old 10-11-2009, 04:24 PM   #339
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My contract sets a $50 minimum. That translates to 20 hardcover books. For a large commercial publisher, that's a small number of books for a single royalty period.
If one of my publishers was only selling 20 copies of one of my books a year, they'd probably put it out of print and return my rights.
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Old 10-11-2009, 05:50 PM   #340
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If one of my publishers was only selling 20 copies of one of my books a year, they'd probably put it out of print and return my rights.
Exactly. Commercial publishers expect to sell thousands, not dozens.

I can hear PA now, though. "But, but, it's a standard clause! That makes us traditional!"

Right. They're as traditional as a six-legged dog.
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Old 10-11-2009, 06:12 PM   #341
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cant we make them give us our rights back under the clause above because they arent selling anything at all.
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Old 10-11-2009, 06:26 PM   #342
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cant we make them give us our rights back under the clause above because they arent selling anything at all.
My understanding is that PA's contract does NOT have a clause like that. (One that says, "If we sell fewer than X books in a year, you get your rights back.")
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Old 10-11-2009, 06:26 PM   #343
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cant we make them give us our rights back under the clause above because they arent selling anything at all.
What clause would that be? PA contracts don't have a Reversion of Rights clause, as far as I know, and the money clause, the one that details how royalties won't be paid out until the amount accumulates to $49, means exactly what it says, nothing else.
There's no possible Get Out of Jail card in there, I'm afraid.
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Old 10-11-2009, 07:06 PM   #344
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I dont have the $49 thing in mine. guess we are all stuck.
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Old 10-11-2009, 07:14 PM   #345
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I dont have the $49 thing in mine. guess we are all stuck.
My point is that you'd still be stuck, even if you did have the $49 thing in your contract. There's no "out" in that clause.
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Old 10-11-2009, 07:42 PM   #346
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From what I've seen around here - it is very difficult to get out of a PA contract unless you:

1. Agree to buy them out (I think $300 is the amount they want - but I can't swear it isn't different for different people)

2. Take them to arbitration and you win

3. Just basically bash them over the head (with the most professional letters you can write and metaphorically speaking, of course.) that you won't buy or promote any of your own books. Ever.

Aside from that, you just accept that first book is gone and forget about it while you write the next book. And the book after that. And the book after that. etc.
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Old 10-11-2009, 08:19 PM   #347
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Let's hope they don't try to unilaterally change every PA author's contract to reflect the minimum payment clause.
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Old 10-11-2009, 09:28 PM   #348
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PA has a real doozy of a sale going on their web site. Of the 30 new books listed, one 12-pager has been reduced from $24.95 to $19.95, and so has many of the 12-40 pagers, all reduced from $24.95 to $19.95. I believe that is a better discount than you will get at B&N with a discount card. So hurry over and place your order. I think those people need help.
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Old 10-12-2009, 02:19 AM   #349
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my book was reduced to 19.95 and its 204 pages. Do you mean actually 12 pages in the whole book? wow!!!!!!!! they really think they are having a sale. Too bad we arent all buying. Jersey Girl, yes, that about is true. we need to just drown that 1st book in a PA river, and go on from there.
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Old 10-12-2009, 03:11 AM   #350
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Dreamer.

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Not a dream. Its fact. Since 1923 the average stock return for 1923-2009 has been 10.3%, the average decade 10.5%. Sometimes its a lot more, sometimes less. The best decade so far would have returned 20ish%.

But if you are buying long, you aren't interested in what a year or two or even five+ will net you. People today, sadly, think buying long means 6 months. Buying long means riding the waves and understand that even if it tanks like it did last October, or even in the Great Depression, stocks will come back up. And if they don't, you've got a lot more to worry about then losing investment money since civilization probably just collapsed

/stockrant.
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