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Permuted Press

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

seun

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Haven't heard a thing. After today's events, I count myself lucky although it's still annoying to think about the time I've wasted with them. Of course, it's much worse for their signed authors.
 

williemeikle

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Yep - I've been hearing rumors these past few days. Looks like today's the day it all blows up. There's a few buddies of mine going over their contracts closely tonight.
 

JessicaMeigs

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There is a LOT of misinformation in that post. I'm still reading through it, but I'll make a few corrections here in just a few minutes.
 

JessicaMeigs

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Just to take a few of her assertions in the order they’re written in her post:

(though they paid for a party bus at Wizard World and an open bar from what I hear)

Preface: I was in Nashville at the Wizard World convention and Permuted Press meet-up in particular. The author of that post was not.

The “party bus” in question was a coach, not an actual party bus (though those of us who were ACTUALLY in Nashville jokingly referred to it as such). One of the new owner/investors of the press also owns a transportation company that specializes in coaches, and he let the press use one for a shuttle to and from the airport, hotel, and convention center. The costs for the coach were minimal as a result. And if there was an open bar, not one of us found it. The only bar we had contact with outside of the ones on Broadway was the one in the hotel—and everyone had to pay their own tabs. And on the bus, the closest we got to an open bar was an author bringing on a bottle of fireball whiskey and passing it around for everyone who wanted some to share. Otherwise, it was chips, granola, and soft drinks and water the entire weekend.

Apparently, over the last weekend of September, while some of the writers and the managers of Permuted Press gathered in Nashville at Wizard World, the announcement was made that it was now too expensive to create POD (print on demand) books so anyone who wasn’t a "best seller" would no longer have their book available in print format.

This was NOT what Permuted Press announced in Nashville. What they ACTUALLY announced was that the press makes its money predominantly from ebooks (as in, in the ballpark of 90% of their money). Their production team spends almost 42% of their time creating paperbacks for all the books the Press publishes, and the Press’s income from paperbacks only amounts to 7%. The president of the Press took the problem to the owners when it was discovered, and the owners called the shots and said to cut out paperbacks because it isn’t a good return on investment. *However* currently available paperbacks will remain available, and they’ll produce paperbacks for those who sell well in ebook—thereby proving that the production team’s time is worth using to put together a POD book. (And, for the record, this will also put a book thatmuchcloser to being included in the Permuted Platinum line, which does offset printing and nationwide bookstore distribution. The fact that said authors had no problem working to sell more to end up in Platinum but suddenly have a problem with selling more to get a POD book--and increase their chances to get into Platinum--kind of confuses me.)

They kept this secret from the rest of us until two weeks later when they released a form email to the authors alerting us to this change in our contracts.

Several things here: it wasn’t kept a secret. Permuted told us at Nashville that we were welcome to tell people about it, but they did ask us to not post about it in the author FB group until after they sent out the announcement via email—which came after they finished crunching numbers.

Also, the contract hasn’t been changed. The contract gives the publisher the print rights; however, nowhere in the contract are they *obligated* to produce print copies of any of their books (just as they’re not obligated to produce audiobooks either, but they’ll take those rights also). Instead, it gives them the *option* which, until recently, they’d exercised until they saw that there was a disproportionate amount of time spent on paperbacks versus its investment return.

There’s also the looming question mark of what exactly the great expense is for creating POD books? … But apparently, this is too expensive for a company that claims to be in publishing.

It’s nothing to do with expense/cost, as Permuted has said multiple times to all their authors. It has to do with *time management.* They’re spending too much time on something that they’re barely getting a return on - indeed, there are quite a few authors who are lucky to sell one paperback book a month. They’re just being more selective about how they spend their time so they can use that time for other, more important things than formatting paperbacks. Like, say, maybe marketing, promotion, or putting out even higher quality products.

Meanwhile, they’re starting a film production company. Oh… Did I forget to mention that?

Yes, but you also forgot to mention that the film production company is being fundraised through Kickstarter - none of the Press’s money and time is actually being used on the film they’re producing; it’s all happening on weekends, nights, and lunches.

As you can imagine the carnage of the war that had begun is unspeakable. Authors are going after one another as the ‘chosen ones’ defend Permuted and the rest are defending their sorrow and sense of betrayal.

This coming from one of the authors who I witnessed personally attacking multiple other authors on Facebook. (And I have no doubt she'll shout that I'm one of the "chosen ones defending Permuted" too.)

We trusted in Permuted Press to take care of our creations, to be honest with us, to protect us from the rest of the publishing world, and to do right by us.

Funnily enough, I’ve done everything I can to be pleasant and businesslike with them—because this is what it is. A business. And you know what? They’ve done everything I’ve asked them to do for me. Up to and including moving around release dates so it’s more beneficial to me. But besides the point, Permuted is a business. You know what I trust businesses to do? What they feel is beneficial for THEM. Who do I trust to look out for me, to do right by me and protect me from the rest of the publishing world? Myself.

The investor, who continues to remain nameless although I’ve heard almost DC Universe depictions of his wealth and stature from multiple parties, doesn’t care about the writers—he wants a return on his investment and he wants it now.

You mean Duane and Anthony? That's the “nameless” investors. While I haven't had the pleasure of meeting Duane, I've met Anthony more than once, and he's been nothing but a pleasure to work with and, on top of that, a really nice guy with a really great head on his shoulders (and the bonafides in the big leagues of the publishing industry to back it up). And frankly, if I put my personal savings into a company, I’d want to at least break even on it, and that includes making tough decisions to make the company more profitable.

Once again, there has been no contract violation: I’ve been over the thing with a fine-toothed comb, as has my agent, as has my lawyer. There is no violation of the contract in play. It’s just a tough business decision that has upset a lot of authors, but it’s one that, when you look at the numbers, just plain makes sense.

I'm available for further questions if anyone else wants to know what's going on at Permuted devoid of borderline hysterical emotional rhetoric.

*Note: No, I am not employed by the Press. I, however, do have a total of 12 books under contract with them. And the vast majority of my experiences with them has been pleasant, even taking into consideration some rough patches from last year that boiled down to communication issues with the Press’s old owner.
 
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victoriastrauss

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I've seen the email Permuted Press sent to authors. In addition to ending POD production, they're "pausing the release of most new titles until early 2015." They say that this is necessary in order "to increase margin in our production schedule".

In other words, when they ramped up production from about 25 books a year to over 100 released so far in 2014, their eyes were bigger than their stomachs and they now need time to regroup. This is not a good sign, IMO--either the huge increase in titles or the fact that they seem to have been unable to plan a realistic publishing schedule. They do say that when publishing resumes, they will have a "less aggressive" release schedule.

This may also put the halting of POD production in a new light. Could it be that the time management problems are less to do with publishing in a particular format than with just signing on too many books?

I've also been told that Permuted is offering to let authors out of their contracts--as long as they pay a hefty fee (four figures, in one case) to cover production expenses.

- Victoria
 

popgun62

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I've also been told that Permuted is offering to let authors out of their contracts--as long as they pay a hefty fee (four figures, in one case) to cover production expenses.

- Victoria

That's just for authors that already have books in production. If your book isn't in production, there is no fee.
 

Filigree

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I don't want to see them go under. I'd like to see them prosper. But after that signing binge earlier this year, and this new development (though I'm respecting the arguments from both sides), I wouldn't commit a mms with Permuted. Not until I see how they're doing in another year. I hope they have stronger marketing in place by then. A pity, too - I've been looking for an outlet for some of my horror/dark fantasy fiction.
 

popgun62

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It's no different than what DarkFuse did - they went all Amazon, meaning you could no longer get your paperbacks into book stores. A lot of authors hated it, but most stayed on and dealt with it. They are also cutting out novellas, which pissed off a lot of people, but novellas weren't making them any money. It's business - you have to do whatever keeps you relevant, or you die.
 

BarbaraSheridan

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Can someone shed a bit of light for me on this comment from the Gabrielle Faust post? (bold mine)

The second book, THE DEATH OF ILLUSIONS, was supposed to be released on Thursday. Yes, this Thursday. Now it will only be available in e-format. Which means I’m going to have to refund all of the money for the other two books to all of the people who pre-ordered because my publisher decided to change the rules halfway through the game.
I'm not sure why an author would have to repay readers for any pre-ordered hard copies if the publisher cancelled production. If they ordered through a brick & mortar store and had to pay upfront, wouldn't the store do the refund?
 

JessicaMeigs

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Can someone shed a bit of light for me on this comment from the Gabrielle Faust post? (bold mine)

I'm not sure why an author would have to repay readers for any pre-ordered hard copies if the publisher cancelled production. If they ordered through a brick & mortar store and had to pay upfront, wouldn't the store do the refund?

From what I understand, the author did this on her own. Permuted doesn't really have a method for taking preorders of paperbacks at this time, so what she did was do "preorders" that came with an added bonus of a magazine subscription to a 'zine that was related somehow to her books (I remember seeing her promote this deal on Facebook a month or so ago). The readers paid her directly. I think her plan was that, when the paperback was ready, she would buy the appropriate number of books from the publisher at her author discount and then ship them out to the people who had preordered from her, then pocket the difference/whatever was left over. Permuted wasn't directly involved in this preorder; this was something she did on her own outside of any of Permuted's systems.
 
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Old Hack

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I've seen the email Permuted Press sent to authors. In addition to ending POD production, they're "pausing the release of most new titles until early 2015." They say that this is necessary in order "to increase margin in our production schedule".

In other words, when they ramped up production from about 25 books a year to over 100 released so far in 2014, their eyes were bigger than their stomachs and they now need time to regroup.

I find this news more worrying than their decision to stop producing POD editions across the board.
 

ULTRAGOTHA

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More from the digital reader.


And ETA that if you belong to a writers association, ask for their help with conflicts with publishers.
 
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Undercover

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Permuted Press has a new imprint Winlock Press: https://www.facebook.com/WinlockPress

They are looking for Paranormal/Supernatural, Sci-fi, Steampumk, Thriller, YA.

I submitted to Permuted about a year ago, but they declined mainly on genre. Mine is more paranormal. And since their new imprint takes that genre, I went ahead and submitted. Hopefully I'll have better luck this time around.

They don't have a site up yet though.
 

J.R. Jackson

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I was recently signed on with Permuted and they were very straight forward about the time frame for releases. So far, they've been a pleasure to work with.
 

Undercover

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Did they get rid of their print books? I read the link of Victoria's and it seems like they're only doing books in print if they're popular. Unless I'm reading that wrong.
 

triceretops

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That sucks that print might have to go. I hope that's not the case. But, oh well. Like was stated, Winlock Press is a new imprint of Permuted and they only have guidelines on their FB page. Their website is under construction. I turned this one over to my agent, not having to do so, but I already FBooked them about it. They'll take my YA UF in full.

tri
 

haunted

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They did not get rid of print books that were already in place with them, but did get rid of print books for all new authors--unless your release becomes a bestseller, then there is a possibility of a print release.

Unfortunately for me, I had to pull all 3 of my upcoming titles with them as I sell too many print copies at personal events. A shame, as I do like the company. My titles were in one of their newer genre's and I wasn't sure they would sell enough to garner a print version because of that.

However, I might submit to them again with the right sort of apocalyptic novel.