View Full Version : MA2BOOKS Electronic Publishing

06-22-2010, 09:06 PM
I was just wondering if anyone knows anything about ma2books, a UK ebook publisher.

06-22-2010, 09:15 PM
"We are writer-driven because we are writers ourselves and our work will be on this site. Traditional publishing is dying and e-books are the future of publishing."


06-22-2010, 09:23 PM
Adding link: http://ma2books.webplus.net/

Since they state they don't edit beyond spellcheck, I advise reading through the extracts for an idea of what they consider publishable.

06-22-2010, 09:28 PM
ah, good point.


Momento Mori
06-23-2010, 02:17 PM
MA2Books Website:
because traditional print publishers won’t take a risk on writers without a track record

Lie. New writers with no track record are published every week. Just because your book didn't get an advance paying contract, doesn't mean that no one else's will.

MA2Books Website:
We use Paypal for all transactions. They can process your card payments so we never have access to your personal financial information. They are the industry leaders in e-commerce and have a disputes procedure if you’re not happy with anything.

Interesting point of information for UK users of Paypal, if the supplier you're buying from goes bust, you do not benefit from credit card legislative protection (under English law, if a supplier goes bust and you've paid over 100 on a credit card, then the credit card provider must refund that amount). If you pay by Paypal, you don't get that protection.

Also, if there's a dispute between you and a supplier and Paypal finds against you, you have no recourse except to the courts.

MA2Books Website:
How many books can I hope to sell and how much money can I make?

How good is your book? How good are you at promoting it?

This sums up everything you need to know about the company. It suggests that they are not going to do a great deal (if anything) to help sell your book.

MA2Books Website:
Traditional publishing is dying and e-books are the future of publishing.

And yet it's the print publishers who still make most of their revenue from print publishing ...

MA2Books Website:
They offer a much more cost-effective way for writers to get their work in front of a reading audience. This means that electronic publishers can pay much higher royalty rates than traditional publishers.

Ebooks may be cost effective and they may offer higher royalty rates, but if people don't know about your ebook in the first place to buy it, a 50% royalty rate on zero earns you zero.

MA2Books Website:
Publishing is a business and when your novel is published you are expected to take part in that business by promoting your work. You will be provided with cover art, press releases, banners and hyperlinks but you will be expected to join us in letting the world know about the wonderful book you’ve written. We have a range of guides to help in promoting your book.

If this is the sum total of MA2Books marketing support, then thanks but no thanks. You can do all of what they're offering by yourself. They need to do something more concrete to get word out then offering you a do-it-yourself guidebook.

MA2Books Website:
We are writers before we’re publishers,

Well, at least they're honest. Personally though, I'd prefer someone who's focus is on publishing because at least they're dedicated to the business - not part-timers hoping to get their own work out there first.

MA2Books Website:
let’s look at traditional publishing. Printing, publicising and distributing a print book is an expensive business which few authors can afford. Publishers exist, therefore, to cover this financial gap. They will advance the money to print, publicise and distribute the book on the expectation of making a profit. They are a business and rarely take a risk on a book that might not make them money.

This is of absolutely no use to authors, who sweat blood to write because they are driven to it. Their writing deserves an audience because there is no value in writing that goes unread.

What a load of old bollocks.

If you want to give your work away for free then there's nothing stopping you doing that - set up a website and do it. However don't pretend that advance paying publishers have no benefit for new writers - a writer getting an advance is getting paid for their work and IMO, any advance they get from an advance paying publisher is going to be considerably more than they could ever hope to make from MA2Books with its higher royalty rates.

It also says lots for MA2Books and their business model - by their own words they are not taking a risk on new authors who they expect to get out there and sell their book in return for 50% of their sales.

MA2Books Website:
This means, effectively, that every word written by an author is available to a reading audience. Writers have finally found the promised land. The challenge now is for writers to publish their work as ebooks and for readers to accept that doing their reading on an ebook is inevitable.

Authors already had their "promised land" way before ebooks came onto the scene because they could either self-publish or put it up on the web.

In addition, this assumes that readers will switch allegiance completely to ebooks at some point in the future. They won't. Some people will always prefer the printed work and some types of book just don't work in ebook format.

Finally, this plays on the notion that every writer has produced something that the public want. They haven't. 95% of writing is dreck and will never find an audience, let alone people willing to pay for it.

I also took a look at the same contract and author information they've got on their site.

Marketing suggestions use the old chestnuts of signing up to Twitter and Facebook, which are unlikely to boost sales.

There is a hilarious section where they suggest that they are a better option to publish with than Ellora's Cave. The romance/erotica posters here will be able to give more information on why Ellora's Cave has more clout than this unknown outfit.

The site admits that it's not going to do anything to promote their website until it starts earning money. In practice, this will only happen because authors (who will presumably be doing the bulk of the marketing) will be pushing customers the site's way.

The contract has a number of fundamental errors in it. For example, it talks about being governed by the "laws of the United Kingdom". An English/Scots qualified lawyer will know that it should be either "the laws of England and Wales", or "the laws of Scotland" or "the laws of Northern Ireland" - it's important in this case becase MA2Books is based in Glasgow - therefore Scots law is more likely to apply and Scotland has a slightly different legal system - particularly in relation to insolvency and property.

It looks like the contract is taking exclusive world-wide epublishing rights in the book - I'd prefer to see that limited to UK territory (I know that ebook posters here disagree, but I'd like to keep options open).

On the good side, after 1 year the contract can be terminated by 30 days written notice by email by either party. If you get a publishing contract then the contract terminates automatically (the wording of this clause is terrible, but the intention is clear). The bad news is that you have to wait 1 year.

The contract term is 5 years after the work becomes available for sale on the publisher's website and it explicitly states that the work will never be deemed to be out of print. With the 30 days notice period, I'm not too worried about that, but it is again amateur drafting.

There's nothing in the contract stating within what period the publisher must publish an accepted work. Given that the contract term doesn't start until it's available for sale, I'd want to see a set period within which this must happen.

I love the fact that the contract has a clause obliging the author to self-promote but preventing them from using the publisher's name for self-promotion without the publisher's prior consultation.

I don't like the assignment provisions - MA2Books can assign the contract to anyone without the author having a say.

The liquidation provisions are meaningless as the applicable insolvency law will state whether the contract remains in place or not.

Personally I think that everything about this site screams clueless amateur and I don't see anything that would entice me to tie up my work with them.


06-23-2010, 02:53 PM
Thanks so much for taking the time to go into it like that, Momento. I couldn't find out much about them as far as criticism goes, I can see why now. I'm still just building up a list at this stage; nice to know where this one can go.

01-13-2012, 08:54 AM
Site is gone, and blog hasn't been updated since 7/10.