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yoki
03-16-2012, 09:17 AM
What to do
I have been offered a five year contract by a small publishing endeavour, so small in fact that the owner seems to be editor, author and goodness knows what else. I put their name up in the bewares recommendations and background check department and got a less than favourable response ,due to these facts. On the other hand many bigger publishing concerns have turned me down. So what to do, take the offer maybe whittle the contract time down a little or hangout for a contract elsewhere.

blacbird
03-16-2012, 10:17 AM
If you got a less than favorable response on your background check, just sprint away from this outfit and forget they exist. If you haven't been able to attract interest from more reputable publishing concerns, take a hard objective look at your writing.

This is a good place to present your writing for critical evaluation, in the Share Your Work forum, after you have accumulated 50 posts. Stick around, pay attention to the relevant forums, and participate. If and when you post something in the SYW forum, be prepared for critique; it ain't always a matter of pat-you-on-the-back-good-job commentary here.

caw

BjornAbust
03-16-2012, 11:04 AM
It's tough to turn down a contract-- especially if your work has been rejected by other publishers.

Let me put it to you this way, though.

I've decided to start a 'small publishing endeavor'. I don't have any past experience, but I have some money in my wallet and an internet connection. Will you sign with me?

CAWriter
03-16-2012, 11:06 AM
What type of writing are you being contracted for? I'd be reluctant to be tied to a specific writing concern for that length of time if there's any kind of exclusivity involved. I've had multiple book contracts, but those are typically specific books, spelled out in advance.

Honestly, the size of the publishing endeavor would be of less concern to me than the commitment, unless that commitment included a very specific paycheck that I could count on for those 5 years.

Anne Lyle
03-16-2012, 11:10 AM
I put their name up in the bewares recommendations and background check department and got a less than favourable response ,due to these facts.

Walk away. Do you really want to be tied to a bad publisher for that long, when a couple more years' sustained work on your writing could bring you up to a level where you do attract the interest of a better publisher?

Signing a bad contract because you can't get anything else right now is like getting married to someone unsuitable just because you're lonely. It's expensive to get out of, and you might miss out on Mr Right by being unavailable when he comes along.

Libbie
03-16-2012, 11:48 AM
If you got a less than favorable response on your background check, just sprint away from this outfit and forget they exist. If you haven't been able to attract interest from more reputable publishing concerns, take a hard objective look at your writing.



THIS.

It may be that your writing isn't where it needs to be yet to get interest from reputable publishers. Or maybe you're just writing in areas that are so obscure that no reputable publishers want to risk money on you. If your writing is really good objectively but too out-there to attract a mainstream publisher, you may find some success with self-publishing your work (though self-pub is VERY VERY DIFFICULT to succeed in). If your writing still needs some improvement, patience and practice will get you where you need to go.

A disreputable small press will not be worth the trouble they'll put you through. If their distribution, marketing, editing, etc. all suck, what good will it do you? Zilch.

Libbie
03-16-2012, 11:51 AM
Signing a bad contract because you can't get anything else right now is like getting married to someone unsuitable just because you're lonely. It's expensive to get out of, and you might miss out on Mr Right by being unavailable when he comes along.

OH MY GOD, PERFECT ANALOGY!! I know 'cause I've been there (with the loneliness and the terrible marriage, that is.)

RUN, author! RUN!

Stacia Kane
03-16-2012, 02:24 PM
Walk away. Do you really want to be tied to a bad publisher for that long, when a couple more years' sustained work on your writing could bring you up to a level where you do attract the interest of a better publisher?

Signing a bad contract because you can't get anything else right now is like getting married to someone unsuitable just because you're lonely. It's expensive to get out of, and you might miss out on Mr Right by being unavailable when he comes along.



+2


And just as an aside, I can tell you from personal experience that when your writing has improved and you've published somewhere bigger? You'll be embarrassed to have less-than-stellar work out there with your name on it.

I know it sucks to wait, but do. Sign with a quality house, not just anybody willing to tak your ms. A house that came up as a bad bet in B&BC is almost definitely not going to be considered a viable publishing credit anyway.

Marian Perera
03-16-2012, 02:48 PM
What to do
I have been offered a five year contract by a small publishing endeavour, so small in fact that the owner seems to be editor, author and goodness knows what else. I put their name up in the bewares recommendations and background check department and got a less than favourable response ,due to these facts. On the other hand many bigger publishing concerns have turned me down. So what to do, take the offer maybe whittle the contract time down a little or hangout for a contract elsewhere.

Depends on what you want for your book.

If all you want is to be able to say, "Someone accepted my book and it is now in print", this one-person outfit may work for you. Though you might want to check out publishers like Capri or Rain in the Bewares forum to be prepared for the possibility of the book not going to print. One-person micropresses can implode, and when they do they take books down with them.

If you want professional editing, good cover art, sales, royalties and a publishing credit which will mean something when you query your next manuscript, look elsewhere.

Filigree
03-16-2012, 04:03 PM
And when they take books down with them, your work can be tied up in publishing limbo. If the small-press vanishes, you've still signed away first rights, and re-selling the book can become difficult.

The ego boost now isn't worth the nightmares later. Politely say 'no thanks,' and walk away.

quicklime
03-16-2012, 04:27 PM
one more vote for no. a bad publisher isn't better than none at all, because it can become an anchor and also establish certain preconceptions about you and your work and business savvy you have to deal with later.

Stijn Hommes
03-16-2012, 04:31 PM
I'd recommend running.

If you can't stand to decline the contract, please make sure they include a clause that returns your rights if they go bust. Make sure your payments are clear and make the contract for a limited time.

If they are not open to negotiating the contract, that will be another reason to run.

The Lonely One
03-16-2012, 07:46 PM
I don't think an indie pub is inherently bad, but if you're getting the thumbs down from other writers in the Bewares section, that's another story.

EthanJones
03-16-2012, 08:16 PM
Look for another publisher or try to self-publish.

Ethan

yoki
03-17-2012, 09:46 AM
Thanks to you all for responding, yes I am going to walk away especially as some parts of the contract seem a bit suspect. Problem is someone has your ideas, if only two chapters and a chapter breakdown. Still thatís whatís required for a submission and itís a risk all authors have to take. Yoki

Anne Lyle
03-17-2012, 10:38 AM
Thanks to you all for responding, yes I am going to walk away especially as some parts of the contract seem a bit suspect. Problem is someone has your ideas, if only two chapters and a chapter breakdown. Still that’s what’s required for a submission and it’s a risk all authors have to take. Yoki

No publisher is going to steal your ideas*. Ideas - and naive new writers - are cheap, writing books is hard work. The risk you speak of is vanishingly small.

(*Well, maybe if it was something awesomely high-concept, on a level with, say, Jurassic Park. But few books are that high-concept, and few publishers, even bad ones, resort to such underhand strategies.)

heyjude
03-17-2012, 02:37 PM
Thanks to you all for responding, yes I am going to walk away especially as some parts of the contract seem a bit suspect. Problem is someone has your ideas, if only two chapters and a chapter breakdown. Still thatís whatís required for a submission and itís a risk all authors have to take. Yoki


I'm glad you didn't take it. And don't worry about your ideas being out there. We all have to send our stuff out; it's how it works. It'll be fine.

Marian Perera
03-17-2012, 03:17 PM
Thanks to you all for responding, yes I am going to walk away especially as some parts of the contract seem a bit suspect. Problem is someone has your ideas, if only two chapters and a chapter breakdown.

It's unlikely the one-person outfit is going to produce a great book from your chapter breakdown, not to mention getting the book successfully published afterwards (which you know from personal experience is not easy). Don't worry about it.

Old Hack
03-17-2012, 09:39 PM
Thanks to you all for responding, yes I am going to walk away especially as some parts of the contract seem a bit suspect. Problem is someone has your ideas, if only two chapters and a chapter breakdown. Still thatís whatís required for a submission and itís a risk all authors have to take. Yoki


They offered to publish your book based on a couple of chapters and an outline? That's definitely a strike against them. You've had a lucky escape.

And don't worry about them stealing your ideas: it's writing the book that's the hard work, not having the idea in the first place; and if they're as inept as they seem, they won't be able to do anything significant with it even if they try.

jjdebenedictis
03-17-2012, 09:45 PM
I think it was Chuck Wendig who said: "Don't worry about other people stealing your ideas. You'll have other ideas. They won't."

In other words, an idea can be stolen but talent can't. And you have talent.

Susan Littlefield
03-17-2012, 10:19 PM
Thanks to you all for responding, yes I am going to walk away especially as some parts of the contract seem a bit suspect. Problem is someone has your ideas, if only two chapters and a chapter breakdown. Still thatís whatís required for a submission and itís a risk all authors have to take. Yoki


I think you have made a the right decision. You want someone reputable to publish your work.

As for the ideas--they are a dime a dozen (or maybe a penny for two dozen when on sale. :D). People who steal work generally steal from published writers.

Just keep submitting to other places.

BethS
03-18-2012, 01:13 AM
What to do
I have been offered a five year contract by a small publishing endeavour, so small in fact that the owner seems to be editor, author and goodness knows what else. I put their name up in the bewares recommendations and background check department and got a less than favourable response ,due to these facts. .

There's your answer. Don't do this. Five year contract? Nooooo.

Little Ming
03-18-2012, 06:45 AM
Thanks to you all for responding, yes I am going to walk away especially as some parts of the contract seem a bit suspect. Problem is someone has your ideas, if only two chapters and a chapter breakdown. Still thatís whatís required for a submission and itís a risk all authors have to take. Yoki


As all the others above me already have said, ideas are cheap, it is extremely unlikely that someone will steal your idea. What will help you is to research the publishers/agents before you query so you know they are legit. ;)