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Thread: Dreamspinner Press

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  1. #38
    Yeah okay, women are the weaker sex cool pop's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Quote Originally Posted by thethinker42 View Post
    Dreamspinner and many other small presses have clauses in their contracts that if they close, we get our rights back immediately. And they don't have life of copyright contracts, so at least when we see the ship is sinking, we have a better shot at getting our rights back and getting out before things get too bad. I've already pulled my two oldest titles from DSP (I'd pull the rest, but they're part of a group project and the other authors want to keep the series together). I haven't looked at my Big Five contract in a while, but I seem to recall being a little nervous at the time because it *didn't* have those "if we implode" failsafes.

    So yes, I agree that small presses are imploding like crazy these days, but let's be real about the risk: signing with a Big Five publisher has plenty of its own very real risks (having your book go out of print and never see the light of day again, not being able to get your rights back when things go south, etc), while small presses at least have (usually) escape clauses.

    I'm mostly self-publishing these days, but my agent is shopping some books around to the bigger presses. They're the only ones I'll sign with anymore because of their marketing and various other reasons, but I also know that I'm potentially signing away those books forever. I release enough books every year that I can risk a trilogy here or a standalone there. If I only wrote one or two books a year, I would be hesitant to sign with *any* publisher, big or small.
    Lori, I agree. We're saying the same things. I'm not saying big pubs don't have a risk either. Honestly, I would tell anyone to self-publish off the bat! I don't feel any author needs a publisher this day and age if they are willing to learn how to self-publish and sell books. That's just my opinion. I realize many writers feel differently and some don't want to do anything but write but honestly even with a publisher you will be doing way more than writing.

    I am an ex-trade author. Was with Simon and Schuster years ago and was with many small presses and each small press I was with (which were pretty decent back in the day) have closed. It all started the same. They would start having money issues and got to where payment was late or never came and by the time we'd ask, they informed us they were closed. Some I got rights back ASAP, others I had to fight for my rights including getting the Author's Guild involved when I was a member. Still had to wait months because of the pub being shady and just cutting off contact. These were all pubs that USED to be some of the best or at least reputable. All are gone now and all ended up treating authors like crap.

    Let's make it clear. I am not defending big presses! LOL! I am pro-indie now all the way. But, I am saying if you have your heart on signing your work away, do it with a big press that can do things for you. Sure, they are not perfect either but you have less of a risk because most times a big house is not going to just close and leave you hanging. You at least know that most likely they will be here a few months down the line. A small press? Not so much. They can be gone tomorrow. Big houses at least have money to pay and you won't get dropped without warning or the CEO won't just disappear one day and you can't find her. There is more protection (especially if you have an agent) and a big house can at least do something a small press cannot. What makes small presses pointless in my view is most (with a few exceptions) don't do anything for you you can't do yourself. Many don't have decent editing and all they do is stick your work up on a retailer and think one tweet is promotion. A big house is not gonna do much promo for you either but they will do more than just sending a few tweets. They'll roll the red carpet out for you if they think you've written the next Eat, Pray, Love.

    So that's what I was saying. For those who insist on a publisher (and that's their choice), I believe it's best overall to try and go for the big ones because being with a small press is far too risky these days and rarely worth the effort. The hundreds of threads for defunct small presses right here in the Bewares and Background section is proof of that.

    I just hate seeing authors stuck out like this. I've gone through it many times with small presses and I have MANY friends who have as well and that's why I now feel the way I do about small presses. It's the same old story just a different day.
    Last edited by cool pop; 08-11-2019 at 11:54 PM.

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