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[Publisher] Pan Macmillan / Macmillan New Writing

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Jaws

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ResearchGuy said:
Is this a sign of a new type of Gresham's Law? Bad publishing drives out good? (Gresham's Law is the economic phenomenon that bad money drives out good. Should be a highly Googleable term.)
I'm afraid that's not quite accurate, Ken; there's a special corollary in publishing.
Grisham's Law: Bad fiction drives good fiction to the remainder bins.​
 

ResearchGuy

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Jaws said:
I'm afraid that's not quite accurate, Ken; there's a special corollary in publishing.
Grisham's Law: Bad fiction drives good fiction to the remainder bins.​
Seriously, what usually seems to be in the remainder bins is what is left from a second, third, or fourth printing (or a very large first printing) of a successful book. Of course "good fiction" and "bad fiction" are to some extent in the eye of the beholder. To some, I imagine, the Robert B. Parker detective novels to which my wife and I recently became addicted are bad fiction. They certainly are not belles-lettres. But boy-howdy are they ever readable. And popular. One of our most recent purchases of his books was among the hardback remainders at Barnes & Noble (and two bucks cheaper than the mass market paperback edition).

--Ken
 

Roger J Carlson

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Well, the story made yesterday's Publisher's Lunch:

[size=-1]UK Publisher Rolls Out No Advance Program for New Writers
[/size]
[size=-1]In the UK, Macmillan is launching a New Writing fiction program. The Guardian reports: "If it decides to accept a novel for the list, terms are unnegotiable; no advance will be paid, though writers will receive 20% of royalties from sales. Macmillan will copy edit books, but if manuscripts need more detailed work, it will suggest that writers employ freelance editors." They acquire world rights, and the right to publish a second book on the same terms.[/size]

[size=-1]Initiated in February, the publisher says they are getting 200 submissions a month, and will begin publishing with six novels in April 2006, followed by one or two a month thereafter. Opinions in the UK trade run the gamut.[/size]
Runs the gamut. Sure.
 

dink

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It's not going to be six books a year. They plan on publishing six books under this scheme next April, and then one or two each month thereafter.
 
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Zolah

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Several years ago, Macmillan rejected my first book. Thank God. I definitely wouldn't want to be one of their regular authors now - the brand will be cheapened beyong belief, and how long before they start asking their midlist authors to think about accepting the same deal?
 

TashaGoddard

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Macmillan New Writing

I thought some people might be interested in this.

http://www.panmacmillan.com/aboutPan/macmillannewwriting.html

[I have nothing to do with them at all. My husband saw an article about it and thought it sounded interesting.]

Obviously, they're a big, well-established publisher, which should make a difference. Apparently, they will copy-edit, but won't offer bigger story-based editing. 20% royalties, but no advance. No tie-ins to buy a certain amount of copies or anything like that. They're not going to be publishing everything that is submitted, so it doesn't seem to be vanity or self-publishing in any way. But it's also not 'conventional'.
 

TashaGoddard

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Oops! Should have looked there first. I was very sceptical when Chris started telling me about, but he turned me around, somehow.

Ah well.

Note to self: think before you post!
 

DaveKuzminski

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Well, I thought I'd see if I could possibly get an acceptance and see what the contract actually looks like. Instead, I received just a neutral-sounding rejection as follows:

I regret we are unable to accept your work for publication.



Macmillan receive many thousands of manuscripts every year so unfortunately it is not possible to respond personally to every author.



Because we receive so many mss and are able to publish only a small percentage, rejection does not automatically imply anything about the quality of the work we are unable to use.



There are many reasons why a book may not suit our lists. We may have other, similar material in production, we may be oversubscribed with good submissions during this season, we may have decided not to publish books on certain themes, etc.



Thank you for contacting us. We wish you luck with your work.





Michael Barnard

Publisher, Macmillan New Writing
 

robeiae

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What was the turn around time, Dave? Do you think they read what you submitted?

There are a number of Vanity/Subsidy presses that claim to screen manuscripts; I sent one in to several and they responded so quick, I questioned whether they actually read what I submitted (none were PA if that's what you're thinking).

Rob
 

JennaGlatzer

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I'll say this much: They had my sting manuscript since the day this announcement was posted a month ago, and they rejected it today. Same form letter as Dave's.

At least it proves that they're not accepting everything, but I fail to see the point in this endeavor of theirs.
 

Dhewco

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Sorry about bringing up this old post, but...

Dave and Jenna, did you send it to them under your real names? If so, do you think they could have been suspicious that well-known authors such as yourselves were submitting to such a program? That might have encouraged a rejection, and encouraged them to actually read what you sent.


Just Curious,

David
 

VeggieChick

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Macmillan New Writing - What do you make of this?

Does this sound ok or does it seem suspicious? Any thoughts?

Macmillan New Writing

Writers: send us your novels
Macmillan New Writing is an imprint within the Macmillan group, designed to give an opportunity for new authors to achieve publication. The books are published at the company's expense, no contribution costs will be sought from authors, and royalties on sales will be paid. The books are sold in the market by Macmillan and will be carried in the company's catalogues, but to keep costs to a minimum to allow the maximum number of new writers to get a chance at publication, all arrangements for publication and contracts with authors are standard and there is a minimum of communication between publisher and author.

If you have a novel you would like considered for this list, please:

  • Send an email with a standard wordprocessor file of the novel attached to [email protected]
  • Do not send ideas: we would prefer a complete book; at the minimum, a synopsis and sample chapter
  • Do not send long explanations about the work
  • Do not send non-fiction books
  • Do not send children's books; all other genres will be considered
  • Do not send previously published work
  • Do let us know if you have published other work
If we do not wish to proceed to publication, we will let you know within a reasonable time but will not be able to give comprehensive reasons.

If we do wish to consider publication of your book, we will send you a copy of our guide for potential authors, which outlines the terms of the author agreement.

http://www.panmacmillan.com/aboutPan/macmillannewwriting.html
 

VeggieChick

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Thanks. I should've done a search for it. I'll check the thread.
 

roger

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Hi, I've just joined today. This thread kind of jumped out at me, as I'm going to be published by Macmillan New Writing in April 2006. I'm going to be one of the first six titles put out when the imprint is launched. They're also taking my book to Frankfurt. I've met the publisher, Mike Barnard, and he explained how the initiative came about and how the selection process works. If anyone is interested in knowing about my experience of working with Macmillan New Writing I will gladly tell them more, maybe in a private message. I can honestly say the scheme has been misrepresented - in part because Macmillan didn't do themselves any favours when they announced it. I know this is an old thread - sorry.

I'm interested to know, Jenna and David, whether you each submitted deliberately bad stuff, to catch them out, or something you genuinely thought was worthy of publication.
 
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roach

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Roger, welcome. I would be interested in hearing your experience as well. You can send me a private message via this site if you'd like.
 

mreddin

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Since I had considered self publishing, I've crunched the numbers on both per unit costs and plant costs for launching a title into the marketplace. The spreadsheet I used came from an accounting consultant for small presses, so the line items were relatively comprehensive. It's pretty obvious what Macmillan is really doing. I do not believe the operation is a scam, though the terms are certainly not "author friendly". They are simply trying to eliminate risk from the business model by shifting the burden to the author through the elimination of royalties and excess editing charges. This means the break-even point on a small offset print run be readily obtainable. The loss of subsidy sales would be a serious loss to the author but a great boon for the publisher.

Questions for Roger...

Are these books printed digitally or offset?
Are you required to buy your own books?
Do you receive any books for free?
Will there be a catalog published and sent to bookstores?
If a catalog exists, do you need to pay any monies to Macmillan for inclusion?
Are wholesalers and bookstores receiving industry standard discounts?
Are the royalties based upon the retail cover price or the net sale price?
Were you asked to provide a list of friends and family members?
Are they providing custom cover design or giving the books a templated cover?
Are any of their existing titles being stocked by real, "brick and mortar" bookstores?
Will their sale force actively attempt to make sales to wholesalers and bookstores?

My suspicion is that the answers will reflect a more routine publishing model. The "ugly" part of this business is the though will be loss of the advance many authors are dependant upon for survival. The real question though, if their reasons for chosing your title is forthright and honest, then would have you been better off finding an agent or publishing with an advance paying small publisher instead? This might be difficult to answer until you've had a chance to generate sales. The lost revenue potential from subsidy sales would be nigh impossible to guage. This really begs the question; If your good enough to get accepted, then why bother with Macmillan's imprint?

Mike