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Mundania Press / PhazE / New Classics Press

editing_for_authors
Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

JL_Benet

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http://www.bookcatcher.com/articles/covers-sell-books.php
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/booksblog/2009/feb/23/book-covers-le-tan
http://www.abebooks.co.uk/books/great-fiction-covers.shtml
If covers were already good, why were the Andrew Mayhem book covers redone when the author started to get more notoriety for his books from other houses.
Veinglory, you mentioned their sister house Phaze. It would be interesting to see if there are sales differences between the Poser and non-Poser cover books.
 

triceretops

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They're too far into the book mill territory for my liking. As long as they've been in business, they've had ample opportunity to invest in distribution and really shove the books for their authors. Haven't seen it. The K-mart mentality is to sell thousands of books for a handful of sales each and step away with the casholah.

Tri
 

Sheryl Nantus

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They're too far into the book mill territory for my liking. As long as they've been in business, they've had ample opportunity to invest in distribution and really shove the books for their authors. Haven't seen it. The K-mart mentality is to sell thousands of books for a handful of sales each and step away with the casholah.

Tri

I can only speak for myself, but I've had nothing but bad experiences with them.

They've had a short story of mine under contract since 2005 and it remains unpublished. Originally it was signed under the idea that Mundania would be putting out short stories by authors with other titles, so when I secured a release for my one book with them I assumed it'd be easy to get a contract release for the short story.

Not a chance.

It's been over a year of emails, mostly unanswered, of asking for the release.

And a few months ago I received the third quarter 2010 royalty report for my book - all rights had been returned long ago, but I understand how print copies can still be out there for sale.

The royalty report said that Mundania had sold an ebook copy recently, years after returning the rights to me.

When I contacted them I was told that it was an error, a sale had been made from an old web page link. And that the sale would be applied to my outstanding balance.

What, you say? Outstanding balance?

The contract I signed with Mundania had no reserve against returns when it came to the print copies.

So the bookstores who ordered in copies (mostly on my urging, since the promotion help was little to nil from Mundania) resulted in my getting paid on those print copies right away. When the books were returned, as is going to happen, there was no reserve against returns to dip into. Thus my book is in the red with Mundania and will probably remain so unless they sell a lot of old print copies.

I wrote back that this still didn't justify the sale of illegal ebook copies and was told that I was lucky they weren't pursuing legal action to regain the lost money. Obviously, this wouldn't stand up in court for a second. But this is the treatment I received at Mundania's hands over and over again. Ignored emails, attempted intimidation and, now, illegal sales of my book.

I cannot recommend them from my own experiences that continue to the present day. Others may have different experiences, but these are mine.
 

Sheryl Nantus

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Sheryl, that's really hard darts on you. I would expect that they honor their contracts and keep accurate records, according to sales and returned rights. Was this an anthology? And have you received any type of payments for it in the beginning?

Tri

No, it was a call for short stories to be published as singles. Later on they clarified it to be *only* from authors who had current titles with them. There was no payment in the beginning and it was supposed to be released in ebook form, much like the Kindle singles and so forth.

When they released me from my contract I assumed that it'd be easy to get the short story contract broken as well, since there'd be no logic in publishing a story against their own guidelines.

I was wrong.

:(
 

priceless1

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They've had a short story of mine under contract since 2005 and it remains unpublished. Originally it was signed under the idea that Mundania would be putting out short stories by authors with other titles, so when I secured a release for my one book with them I assumed it'd be easy to get a contract release for the short story.
Sheryl, I assume your contract says nothing about when the book was supposed to be pubbed. This is standard contract language. All contracts MUST stipulate when they the book will be published. That way, if the publisher drags their feet, the contract becomes null and void because they blew the release.

Keeping your book for 6 years without publishing it is outrageous. It would be appropriate for an attorney to inquire when they plan on pubbing it, and why they haven't. Since there is no language in the contract, how long is too long? They certainly can't keep it forever, can they?

In truth, I think they're keeping that short because they deem you a troublemaker and want to see you suffer. It's Mundania's immature version of payback, and unbecoming someone who claims to be a professional.

This, alone, should be an object lesson as to how this publisher works. If it happened once, it'll happen again. The underlying tone here is, "Do NOT rock the boat. Play nicely, or we'll sic ourselves on you." Shades of Publish America, if you ask me.

The royalty report said that Mundania had sold an ebook copy recently, years after returning the rights to me.

When I contacted them I was told that it was an error, a sale had been made from an old web page link.
This is illegal, and no court of law would side with a publisher who did this. They MUST remove all links to your book. If they don't comply, they're committing copyright infringement.

The contract I signed with Mundania had no reserve against returns when it came to the print copies.
Then they have no leg to stand on. It's their neck on the chopping block. They must pay you all due royalties. If they suffer returns that puts them into the red, then they need look no further than their own stupidity. To basically steal money owed you won't make them very popular in a court of law.

I wrote back that this still didn't justify the sale of illegal ebook copies and was told that I was lucky they weren't pursuing legal action to regain the lost money.
You're right. This would never stand up in court. It's blustering by a bunch of bullies. They are counting on you not having the $$ to haul them off to court. And this is why abuses continue. Simply put, they know they can get away with it - and they have been for a long, long time. It's shameful.

Others may have different experiences, but these are mine.
The only reason I'm bothering to comment here is that you are far from an isolated case. I've talked to quite a few of their authors who contacted me at writer's conferences or via my blog site, wondering if their treatment by Mundania was standard of all publishers. I assured them that real publishers are too busy selling books to the stores and libraries (and not to their own authors) to waste time being bullies. Besides, there's no reason for it.
 

Sheryl Nantus

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I'm pleased to note that I just received a release from Mundania for my short story.

I've also been told that things have changed since I signed on with them years ago, but that's something people will have to decide for themselves. I think my recent experiences speak for themselves when it comes to deciding whether Mundania is a good fit for your book or not.
 

Sheryl Nantus

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Wow, Sheryl, congrats. They must read AW and decided to mitigate their bad press. Now, if they could do the same for the fourteen other authors who have contacted me...

Are they also seeking to get out of their contracts? Or are just dissatisified with their treatment at Mundania?

Just curious...
 

priceless1

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Trying to get out of their contracts because of the lack of sales and marketing support, crummy editing, feeling like they must order their own books in order to make sales. All of them have complained about nazi-like treatment/threats if they dare question the editors or voice their concern in a pubic forum. Sends shivers up my spine just to hear their stories.
 

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All I can say about Mundania is that I submitted a novel to them over two years ago, and never heard anything back on it--nor to the repeated requests for information after that. And that's pretty standard according to other authors I've spoken with. It's a shame too--I liked the concept of Mundania originally. Shame they couldn't or didn't follow through on it.
 

michael_b

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Their old contract used to say they could be off in their accounting by 50% on royalties payments. It has apparently been changed to +/-$100. Either way, that's an absurd amount IMO when the industry standard is +/-5% at most.

What has been said about intimidation and threats along with their tendency to 'punish' authors who don't toe the line is also my unfortunate experience.
 
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RSHunter88

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I submitted my manuscript (following their guidelines) on 9/25/10. Their guidelines say that they take up to 90-120 days to respond. They also say to contact them after 120 days.

I waited well over 120 days and sent them an email to their inquiries email address early in February asking for an update about the status of my submission. It went unanswered. I just sent a second email inquiring about the status of my submission on 3/25. It has also gone unanswered.

Very unprofessional. Then I come here and see they have a 31 page thread in the Beware section. I'm going to "write" them off.
 

Unimportant

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RSHunter, note that publishers like Tor and DAW and Random House have long threads here, too. Having a thread in the Bewares, Background Check, and Recommendations subforum isn't a negative sign; it's a sign that writers are aware of the press's existence and are discussing it -- good or bad.
 

LMILLER111

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they seem like just a run-of-the-mill epub.
 

LMILLER111

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What about the issues being discussed do you think are 'run of the mill' a.k.a. pretty normal for an epublisher?

"Normal" = "average" and crumby distribution, sub par editing, sub par covers, unprofessional treatment of authors --- seems pretty average for what I've seen on BRBC
 

veinglory

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Well, then I disagree. And if you want to talk about how you think most epublishers are unprofessional I think you should start a new thread for that.
 

LMILLER111

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Well, then I disagree. And if you want to talk about how you think most epublishers are unprofessional I think you should start a new thread for that.

I didn't want to discuss that. You asked, I answered. I didn't say there weren't good ones, I said it's average. Seems a new ePub sprouts up every time a bell rings, very seldom are they run by people who know what they're doing.
 

veinglory

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Which is a general point that I can really rebut without driving this thread off course. But I disagree and my experience with epublishing is not limited to reading threads in this forum.
 

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