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[YADS/pub svcs] Tablo

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

mrsmig

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This link popped up in my Facebook feed today: https://tablo.io/

It seems like a subscription-based variant on the Kindle Scout model to me: you upload your WIP (either the complete book or segments as you complete it) and get people to follow it. When it's done, Tablo willl publish it as an ebook on Kindle and iBook. They'll also take a 20% commission on your sales. Apparently you have to maintain your subscription or the book will drop out of the virtual bookstores and revert to a "free" book on the website.

Without registering for an account, you don't seem to be able to access the actual cost of a subscription, nor whether Tablo provides marketing (doubt it), editing (doubt it as well) or cover art (well, maybe). There's also no information on the public access pages about what rights Tablo takes.

I don't have time this a.m. to register and explore further, but maybe someone else does.

ETA: They are running a contest (perhaps in partnership with NaNoWriMo; they were using the NaNo logo in my FB feed) where the five NaNo books with the largest following will be forwarded to Momentum, "the digital imprint of Pan MacMillan," for publication consideration. That wording makes me think the winners aren't actually guaranteed any kind of publishing deal.
 
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Dmbeucler

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I commented over on facebook... it looks like they really didn't think the contest through. The deadline is (or was) at the end of Nano... so no chance to edit your book before they "send it to one of the big 5 publishers." When I saw the contest they weren't specific on which one, or which editors. It all looks half baked and a world of bad to me. (And wouldn't it be already published via Tablo?)

Looking a little at their terms for regular publishing, they take 20% of your royalties to "format" (I'm not sure what they actually do formatting wise), upload your book to various stores, and register an ISBN number for you.
 

mrsmig

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I expect, in that case, their use of the NaNoWriMo logo might come as a surprise to the NaNo folks. Hmmm...

ETA: I joined, and sent an email asking about what publishing services Tablo provides (specifically, if they provide editing, cover art and ISBNs). I also asked what rights they claim if they publish the book. We'll see what the response is.

The whole site smacks of brand, brand new. Lots of places where the page heading artwork makes it hard to read content. Some glitchy-looking code stuff on the account setting page, along with a section they are jokingly calling "The Danger Zone," which is currently not operative but will eventually allow members to delete their accounts and remove content. Sorry, I'm not putting any content on a website that doesn't give me a way to delete it.
 
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Dmbeucler

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This keeps popping up on my facebook page. So this is the link to their contest: https://tablo.io/momentum

On this version of the page (vs the one if you just google them) there is the following blurb about the contest,
We'll be selecting the 5 books that attract the most readers, followers and engagement on Tablo
and handing them to Momentum for review. All you need to do is publish a book on Tablo
and the most promising books will have the chance to be published.

This is the sole bit I can find about their terms (without signing up, which I am loath to do):
Click a button and your books will be published on the iBooks Store & Amazon.
We assign an ISBN, distribute your book and provide you with a beautiful dashboard to track your sales.
It's free, and Tablo only seeks a 20% commission on the sale price of your book.

It seems very not worth it to me.
 
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mrsmig

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I had a prompt, cheery response back from Tablo in response to my questions:

We don't provide any editing services or cover design services. We do however compile all sorts of eBook files, assign a unique ISBN and distribute to Amazon and the iBooks Store. You can publish your book with a single click, and it's free :)

We don't seek any rights to your work. You keep everything!

I'm a bit curious about the ISBN thing, though. Since it's their ISBN, doesn't that effectively make it their book?
 

CaoPaux

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Yep. From their ToC:

Publishing to Bookstores

If the bookstore distribution features of Tablo are utilised, you thereby grant Tablo the right to act as a distributor for your work on third party services and retailers including but not limited to Apple’s iBooks Store. You accept that Tablo will distribute the book through its own accounts and act as a ‘Seller’ or ‘Publisher’ for your content.

If Tablo provides an ISBN, this ISBN will be owned by and registered to Tablo but will be registered with your book's title and your author's name. This is a non-transferable ISBN.

You maintain the full rights to work distributed with third party services and retailers. You maintain the right to edit, update or remove the content at your own discretion. Tablo will endeavour to make sure all publish requests, submissions of metadata and all update requests are carried out accordingly, but you understand and agree that Tablo cannot ensure that all requests can be completed due to the various terms, guidelines, timelines and other uncontrollable elements of third party services.
 

Freya Yuki

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I first found out about Tablo when its Twitter account followed me on Twitter. I checked out the site and tried to find more info about it. It looks like people can read books for free there. The site layout and interface reminds me of Medium. I didn't join though.

I guess it's great if people want to share their works for free. Tablo also offers publishing services, but, since they don't provide editing or cover design services, then why would one want to bother using them as opposed to just self-publishing their novels? And it's not really free if they get royalties from publishing your work.
 

BenPanced

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Tablo -- "write, read, and self-publish"

Weasel words ahoy.

Tablo, based in Australia, is a new service that's taking things in a different direction. I think. Except they sound like everybody else.

You start with writing your work on their site for no charge. You can share it with readers and they claim some members have gotten agents and other deals but I couldn't find any names beyond "some of our members". When you're ready, you can go to the next step and publish your ebook for only AU$99 per year or take it up a notch and go for the paperback package for AU$299 per year. You'll get an ISBN number, they'll proof your "assets", and offer distribution through what they claim to be the largest network in the work.

Except your books aren't available directly in places like Barnes & Noble. Customers need to order POD books.

But you get 100% of your royalties. Right after the distributors' commissions are paid.

Except when you don't.

When you select the paperback option, there's a printing cost of AU$4 - $6 per book based on the length. Except they tell you over and over on the site "we don't take anything". I've read these sections about 4 or 5 times to make sure I'm understanding them correctly and I believe I am, unless they're talking about the print centers that print the POD books and send them to the customers. No, that sentence in the "about" section explicitly states "we'll deduct" the printing costs associated after the retailer takes the commission.

Then if you want cover art, you'll need to provide it. You can either design it yourself or hire an artist but if those don't work, you can opt for their dreary, bland, unimaginative generic words-only covers, as pictured in the title header on this page. Okay. Look. I can understand something like that designed for a very specific book by a very specific author to convey a very specific mood and tone about the novel contained therein. But across the board for every category? I can't even. But the spine is in their very favorite shade of red! I still can't even. And do you need an editor? Great! We all do! They provide some handy suggestions on where to find one because they don't provide editorial services but highly recommend having your work edited before you self-pub. At least they give a quick overview on the different sorts of editors out there.

Yeah, YMMV and all that but my Spidey Sense is not only tingling, it's gone downright seismic.
 

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