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GHWard
07-03-2013, 07:06 PM
Is this ever a prudent decision? If not, can you outline some of the usual tactics that publishers or other organizations may employ to manipulate/ hoodwink authors out of their rights?

Anne Lyle
07-03-2013, 07:11 PM
Is this ever a prudent decision?

You mean as part of a print book deal? Hell yes - if the publisher is going to bring out ebooks alongside print. I see that as the only sensible tactic in today's market - anything else is going to frustrate readers who prefer the ebook format.



If not, can you outline some of the usual tactics that publishers or other organizations may employ to manipulate/ hoodwink authors out of their rights?

No, for reasons above. I have no experience of manipulation or hoodwinking - I have an agent who was happy for me to sign over ebook rights (in a sensible contract).

Terie
07-03-2013, 07:26 PM
Is this ever a prudent decision? If not, can you outline some of the usual tactics that publishers or other organizations may employ to manipulate/ hoodwink authors out of their rights?

No reputable publisher manipulates or hoodwinks authors at all. If that's what you think publishers do, maybe trade publishing isn't your cup of tea.

That said, there are plenty of disreputable publishers who engage in manipulation and hoodwinking. Cough*PublishAmerica*Cough.

It's your job as an aspiring author to research publishers to find out if they're reputable or not.

FluffBunny
07-03-2013, 08:12 PM
You can get a pretty good education by reading the threads in the Bewares and Backgrounds section here - http://absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=22 Reading about the good agencies/publishers as well as the bad will give you a good idea of what to look for.

Writer Beware also has an excellent site and their section called "Case Studies" is interesting reading. That can be found here - http://www.sfwa.org/other-resources/for-authors/writer-beware/cases/

Old Hack
07-03-2013, 08:59 PM
GHW, could you be more specific in your question, please? For example, do you mean selling e-rights in addition to selling print rights, or do you mean just selling e-rights? Are you interested in finding out about e-only publishers, for example, or publishers as a whole? And how or why do you think publishers might try to manipulate or hoodwink writers? Are you thinking of vanity presses which masquerade as trade publishers, perhaps?

Your question seems so odd to me that I do wonder if we're missing something significant here.

GHWard
07-06-2013, 04:29 AM
GHW, could you be more specific in your question, please? For example, do you mean selling e-rights in addition to selling print rights, or do you mean just selling e-rights? Are you interested in finding out about e-only publishers, for example, or publishers as a whole? And how or why do you think publishers might try to manipulate or hoodwink writers? Are you thinking of vanity presses which masquerade as trade publishers, perhaps?

Your question seems so odd to me that I do wonder if we're missing something significant here.

LOLL I wasn't trying to be cryptic in my inquiry. I'd heard about situations in the past where some e-book authors were asked to relinquish all e-book rights in some contracts with conventional publishers... only to become dissatisfied later with the outcome.

Aggy B.
07-06-2013, 04:42 AM
LOLL I wasn't trying to be cryptic in my inquiry. I'd heard about situations in the past where some e-book authors were asked to relinquish all e-book rights in some contracts with conventional publishers... only to become dissatisfied later with the outcome.

In general, you don't want to sign a contract that takes rights that a publisher has no intent to use. (I.E. An e-book publisher that takes print rights even if they don't do print versions. Or a print publisher that takes e-publishing rights even if they don't do e-book versions.) That's a rights grab and would make most authors unhappy.

And, I think, that typically when you sign a contract for multiple rights there are royalties/advances assigned for each format. (At least, you should consider trying to get different royalties for the different formats since e-book royalties are typically much higher than print royalties.)

At least, this is my understanding.

Aggy, only sold short fiction at this point

Old Hack
07-06-2013, 11:44 AM
LOLL I wasn't trying to be cryptic in my inquiry. I'd heard about situations in the past where some e-book authors were asked to relinquish all e-book rights in some contracts with conventional publishers... only to become dissatisfied later with the outcome.

To nitpick, I don't think anyone is an "e-book author": the format depends on how our books are published, not how we write them.

There will always be stories of people who feel they were duped by their publishers, but it's important to look at what's really happening.

No one is forced to sign a contract in which they relinquish all rights. If someone does sign such a contract and then regrets it later, then so long as the publisher honours its obligations the writer has to bear the responsibility for that bad decision.

However, if the publisher doesn't honour its obligations then they're in breach of contract, and the writer has reason to be dissatisfied.

Good publishers rarely try to hoodwink or manipulate their authors: they will try to get them to sign contracts which favour the publisher rather than the author, however, which is why it's important to have good representation. And bad publishers? You wouldn't want to sign with them anyway.