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[Publisher] Proverse Hong Kong / The Proverse Prize

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rejectME

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"Please give details about any publicity of yourself in any context, which might help to create, increase or sustain interest in the book under proposal."

Kind of says it all...
 

CaoPaux

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As does the fact most of the books are by the owners. But it looks like a small literary press that could suit you if you're looking to sell poetry in the that market. As for the Prize; a good test is to look up past winners and see where they are now, what else they've published, and where.
 

Momento Mori

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The telling thing is that not one of the people listed in the "About Us" section of the website has worked in the publishing industry. In addition, while their mentoring programe for writers seems well-intentioned, I'd want to know who has used it and gone onto be published by a commercial publisher.

The questions you need to ask yourself nomolos are:

1. Are they paying me an advance to publish my book?

2. What distribution do they have in place and can they put books on shelves in bookstores (whether in Hong Kong, which is where they are based or elsewhere)?

3. What will Proverse do to promote and publicise my book? Do they organise reviews (including ARCs), provide books for signings, help generate interviews etc?

4. If I am expected to get involved in publicity, what am I expected to do and how much is it realistically going to cost me (e.g. in printing posters etc)?

5. How does the royalty scheme work and how much is the percentage?

6. If the only way I can make money is to sell books myself, do I still get royalties on those copies or is the book competitively priced to allow me a margin of profit as against other books on the market?

Although authors do get involved in promoting and selling their book, you should not be the only person doing so and if you're at the stage where you're spending money either buying your books to supply to others or paying for large amounts of publicity material, then you are unlikely to make back enough to cover the expenditure.

Hope this is useful.

MM
 

Momento Mori

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nomolos:
I entered a novel comp. which was apparently judged in 3 weeks. 3 weeks! normally, these take 6 months. The contract they have offered has terrible terms, wanting me to sign over copyright??!! and that they get 50% of any prize money + wanting any new work I ever write to go to them (though they might be negotiable on that). Let's face it folks, it don't look good - what do ya'll advice me? give it a wide berth?

You've already answered your own question. :)

I am curious though about having to give them 50% of any prize money. Shouldn't you be the one getting prize money if you've won?

MM
 

nomolos

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oops

oops was actually 3 months or so, it'll be alright, prob. just me being paranoid
 

Momento Mori

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Whether it's 3 weeks or 3 months, the prize money (equivalent to £800) isn't a huge amount - especially given that the entry fee is £30 - and you'd need to verify whether Proverse is getting books stacked on shelves within book shops to decide if publication with them is worth while.

In any event, some of the competition rules seem a little strange to me, for example:

Proverse Competition Rules:
I promise that, if I win or am one of the winners of The Proverse Prize or any supplementary prize awarded to my entry for The Proverse Prize in any year, I will include this information, specifying my name, the title of the winning book and the year of the winning entry, in my future publications and publicity materials, in the following form, or similar: "Winner of The Proverse Prize [year] for [title]", "Joint Winner of The Proverse Prize [year] for [title]", "Winner of [name of supplementary prize] [year] for [title]".

It's the first time I've ever seen a novel competition where entrants have to get a friend to vouch for them and state how long they've known the entrant.

And they're claiming all rights in the work by virtue of completing the application form - including audio rights when there's no indication that they do audio publishing and all translation rights - and they keep those rights for 5 years, even if the entrant has not won the competition. That sucks.

Then there's the fact that winning entrants are still expected to promote the book even if they've won and there's no mention in the entry form about royalties payable on published copies.

MM
 

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