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[Publisher] Tingle Media

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

nkkingston

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http://www.tinglemedia.com

A recently launched erotica-by-text site. I was tempted to submit, but the submission form insists you enter your state, which to someone outside the US suggests my submission might not be welcome anyway. I have a couple of stories that happen to be in the kind of format they want anyway (they began as writing exercise - 100 words per PoV and so on) which wouldn't suit most other publishers.

I'm having trouble signing up to receive stories (you get a free one when you do), since I can't find my phone provider's SMS Gateway, so I can't judge the quality of what's already on there. I have a suspicion it may not be terribly friendly to non-US readers either, so I've fired off an email to ask about that.

Author Agreement here

I've also emailed to ask exactly what they pay, since I can't see any hard numbers in that document. I think there's some red flags, but it's been a long day at work and I'm failing to parse legalese.
 

jennontheisland

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from the page you linked:

EXHIBIT A
Rate Schedule for Author Submissions
Author shall provide Content as described further in the Agreement for sale on tinglemedia.com. Tingle Media shall pay the Author forty percent (40%) of the proceeds of each story or piece of Content sold to tinglemedia.com Members. Payment of these proceeds shall be subject to the terms and conditions of payment listed in the Author Agreement.
it's at the very bottom.


So 40%, which is standard, assuming proceeds means sale price. But:



5.Compensation & Payments
a.Tingle Media agrees to pay a portion of the fees collected in respect of Accepted Content (“Payment”) that is purchased by members according to the rate schedule set forth on Exhibit A to this Agreement, as it may be modified from time to time (the “Rate Schedule”). The Rate Schedule is subject to change in the sole discretion of Tingle Media, Inc. in the ordinary course of its business without notice by posting such changes on the Website. If at any time the Rate Schedule is not acceptable to the Author, you may refrain from providing additional Content or terminate this Agreement in accordance with its terms.
could change at any time without notice should they decide.
 

nkkingston

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In theory, it's 69c a story for, but the more 'credits' a reader buys the more they save, so I wonder if that amount would vary depending on the package they bought. It's a low price for a short story, even by epub standards.
 

jennontheisland

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I thought it was 69cents for the 100 or so word section... with each story being made of multiple sections.



ETA:

Okay, I think I read that wrong... It is low for shorts, but most epubs that carry shorts want minimum ~12K, and charge 99-249 for them, so 69 for 2K isn't that bad by word in comparison. It's definitely incentive to write short since your per word earning will dip significantly if you hit their high end of 8K.


Looks like they use some kind of average for determining your sale price.
Site published authors will earn an above average percentage of each story sold on the site. Once purchased by a customer, stories will be sent to their mobile phone or email in serial "bite-sized" chunks of approximately 300 words crafted by the author.
I'd really like to know what they mean by that.
 
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nkkingston

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Yeah, I'm looking for epubs for a 3k story at the moment, and it's proving a pain. But even somewhere like Ravenous charges $1.99 for shorts, and a net payment on that is going to be more than a gross payment on 69c.

If/when I hear back from them, I'll share what I can. I suspect being outside the US is going to make me too awkward for them to deal with, at least at the moment, but it's still worth finding out.
 

Stacia Kane

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I'm pretty sure Ravenous Romance started out planning something like this, didn't they? Installment erotica delivered to people's phones on a daily basis?

There's no mention of it on their site now. If they, with the media blitz they had when they opened, couldn't drum up any interest in the format, I don't see how this house could, to be honest.

I could be misremembering, but I know there was a lot of discussion about it at the time.
 

jennontheisland

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Ravenous also had traditional formats to work with and promote, and these guys don't. Specialization within a niche delivery format may be the difference.

69cents is a cute number for erotica, and it is a small enough number that people will give it a shot. Whether those shots generate repeats will make the difference. But since it seems that there is no mention of editing (beyond the request that authors make sure their work has been) and no real vetting process that I can see, the quality may not be sufficient to keep readers coming back.

Sure keeps their costs down though.
 

Unimportant

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Thanks for the link, Em.

The impression I get is that they are screwing authors not through malice but through cluelessness. I'm not sure which is worse. They're unclear on whether they are distributor, publisher, or agent; presumably they're trying to be all three.

IMO, any author who is mad enough to send a short story to this group and, by doing so, agree that Tingle will get 15% of all her advances, royalties, and story sale payments from all other markets for all her other works for the next two years is....well, utterly mad.
 

Lainey Bancroft

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I actually think the concept and the site is kinda neat.

I'd have considered shooting a few shorts in...until that clause Veinglory mentioned. I'd like that clarified. I mean, if I had 10-15 shorts that did well and I wanted to pod self-pub (unlikely, but hypothetical...) would Tingle get 15%?

Also, the termination is...iffy:
b.Upon termination, Tingle Media, Inc. will be entitled to retain all amounts owing to the Author for a period of thirty (30) days to determine any applicable rights of set-off, and shall be entitled to deduct from such amounts, a reasonable administrative fee for establishing, managing and terminating your account.

"Reasonable" is pretty open-ended. Considering they have a $25 min payout and you'd need 90+ downloads of a $.69 story, if you only got 10-20 reads a month and decided you could do better taking the story down and selling it elsewhere, what's to stop them from charging a $24.95 administration fee?
 

jennontheisland

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There's a lot of CYA in their agreement. A lot of ways for them to keep other people's money if their end falls through.
 

Unimportant

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I actually think the concept and the site is kinda neat.

I'd have considered shooting a few shorts in...until that clause Veinglory mentioned. I'd like that clarified. I mean, if I had 10-15 shorts that did well and I wanted to pod self-pub (unlikely, but hypothetical...) would Tingle get 15%?
Lainey, it's not just that they take 15% if you decide to self publish a print version of the story(ies) you have them distribute digitally. They take 15% of EVERYTHING you sell to ANY publisher, whether it be a non-fiction book or a novel in another genre or a story to a magazine or an anthology reprint, for the next two years. They're acting as your agent (so says their website) though they don't submit anything for you or negotiate any contracts. They just take "their" 15% of everything you sell, in return for supposedly getting you exposure along with sales of the serialised erotica short stories they distribute for you.
 

Stacia Kane

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Lainey, it's not just that they take 15% if you decide to self publish a print version of the story(ies) you have them distribute digitally. They take 15% of EVERYTHING you sell to ANY publisher, whether it be a non-fiction book or a novel in another genre or a story to a magazine or an anthology reprint, for the next two years. They're acting as your agent (so says their website) though they don't submit anything for you or negotiate any contracts. They just take "their" 15% of everything you sell, in return for supposedly getting you exposure along with sales of the serialised erotica short stories they distribute for you.


Just wanted to quote the relevant passage from their contract, because that is indeed what it says; they want 15% of anything and everything you sell for two years.

In fact, I may be reading this incorrectly but it actually looks as though it isn't just two years from the date you publish with Tingle Media; it's the first two years of the contract with the other publisher, which means you could sell to another house a year and a half, or two years, or five years later, and for the first two years of that contract Tingle gets 15% of your earnings.

It doesn't say anywhere for how long after you publish with Tingle that clause applies, nor does it say how that clause terminates; there's a contract termination clause, but just because you're no longer actively published with them doesn't necessarily mean that clause is null and void, at least I don't believe it does (IANAL). It doesn't say "while their Content is published on the Tingle Media site," it says "after their Content has been published on the Tingle Media site."

Authors understand that Tingle Media will be providing a platform for Authors’ content to be viewed and purchased by not only consumers, but also by publishers. Author will benefit from Tingle Media’s marketing efforts, site traffic initiatives and presence at industry events, etc. If Author subsequently signs a publishing contract with any publisher after their Content has been published on the Tingle Media website, Author shall pay Tingle Media 15% of any Payments Author receives from such content for the first 2 years of any such contract. Such Payment shall be to compensate Tingle Media for all marketing, networking and publicity efforts enacted on behalf of Author at no charge while Author has Content published and available on the Tingle Media website.


I think this is the most astonishing rights grab I've ever seen.
 
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Lainey Bancroft

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:crazy: Good luck to them with THAT!

Thanks, Unimportant and Stacia. I'd read it as a rights grab of posted content and thought that was quite bad enough. A grab of writings they've never seen/had anything to do with is just......
 

scarlettjames

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clause removed

Hello. This is Scarlett of TingleMedia. I just came across this thread today. Please note that this clause that you are discussing was removed from the author agreement some time ago. I could explain what the initial thought was behind it, but it's probably not relevant.

Thank you for your comments. Additional feedback is definitely welcome. We are trying something new. Hoping to help out new authors and find new customers to the genre.

xo
Scarlett
 

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