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JustFiction! Edition? Scam or OK?

Discussion in 'Writer's Lounge' started by Flash Harry, November 19, 2018.

  1. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry Member

    I received an email from them asking permission to republish my books. This is a non-starter (I don't have books) but who are these guys?

    I'm downright sure they are a scam, but they're offering POD, distribution, review services and all that jazz, and offering to pay royalties wht's the up'n'up?
     
  2. Reader

    Reader Vile Critic

    They have been contacting a lot of authors. Before you consider doing any business with them, read this article about their parent company:
    Writer Beware®: The Blog: Victoria Strauss -- VDM Verlag Dr. Mueller

    They are one of the imprints of the house under discussion. I don't think they are a scam, but as an author mill they do not have to be a scam to be a very bad deal you are best to avoid.
     
  3. jessica

    jessica Citizen of Logres

    "The contract requires an exclusive life-of-copyright rights transfer,":down: that you can't challenge for five years:eek:, during which time they can give it to anyone they want:mad:? Just no.
     
  4. luri

    luri Member Scribe

    I just checked the site, everything looks normal for me. They publish books and list the title for sale on their website. But my suggestion is why get your books published on a little-known platform when you are a more popular self-publishing platform like Kindle Direct Publishing where you publish ebook and paperbacks for free.
     
  5. Hova

    Hova Member

    This means all I need to do is come up with interesting material and leave the rest to Kindle. This is cool. I think I might give it a try.
     
  6. sliara

    sliara Active Member

    Well even if there's Kindle, it is still advantageous to place your novel in both sites for exposure, so don't underestimate a fledgling site, since it can help you in getting more attention with regards to your novel.
     
  7. luri

    luri Member Scribe

    The benefit of publishing on Kindle Direct Publishing is you can market your book worldwide via Amazon. Amazon is the biggest online store and your book will have a wide reach. There are other free publishing platforms, however, they are nothing compared to Amazon Kindle.
     
    Hova likes this.
  8. Hova

    Hova Member

    I'm so glad I ran into this thread because I'm pretty sure I can come up with an e-book or two by the end of the year. At least that is my goal.
     
  9. luri

    luri Member Scribe

    I am yet to write my first book, however, I have written hundreds of articles for my clients and also on my blogs. I write in English as a second language and I am afraid I might not be able to come up with a good book. If I ever publish my book, the first book will be a non-fiction book, perhaps a travelogue or memoir.
     
  10. Hova

    Hova Member

    My advice would be to just go ahead and do it. Personally, I'm planning on coming up with a short esoteric text that I'm sure will help people out there who like me have been chasing after the mysteries all their lives. I'm still working on the allegory.
     
  11. CatInASuit

    CatInASuit Administrator Staff Member

    I would agree, go ahead and write.

    I would also add: make sure you get someone to edit it and help out structuring it into the right format for Kindle, Smashwords, Draft2Digital or any of the other places that you can submit works to. It is fairly easy to do so, but I have seen lots of books that missed those steps and they all suffer.

    Of course, our dear reviewers suffer if they wind up reading any of those unformatted books ::weeping::

    You don't also have to write in English, there is still a massive market for books written in any language.
     
  12. Hova

    Hova Member

    Great advice there. I didn't even consider the book formats.
     
  13. Kindler

    Kindler Active Member

    Good luck with your writing. Always great to see new works appear.
     
    Hova likes this.
  14. Hova

    Hova Member

    Thanks. I can't wait to get started.
     
  15. Reader

    Reader Vile Critic

    And then certain reviewers ensure that suffering is returned with interest to the author via the medium of a review. Others throw an e-reader at the wall. These options may be combined.

    @Hova, as advice to a new author, formatting matters. Confronted with a solid wall of text, or a book where the author has added random lines between the paragraphs, or has chapters start at varying positions on pages, many readers will give up. Content matters, but if the presentation prevents a reader reading it, your writing will not sell.

    It is one of those worrying things where if you get it right it merely removes an obstacle but does not help sell the book, while getting it wrong can prevent any sales at all.

    I did not see this line in your post before, so I feel I should correct it as it could result in considerable problems for you and others down the line. Checking the site is one thing, but you must always check the contract.

    'Exclusive life-of-copyright rights transfer' is not normal. Most publishers will take a licence which can be revoked if the author needs, or if the publisher fails to fulfil their end. 'Transfer' means that those copyrights belong to that company and that company alone, akin to work for hire. If the company goes bankrupt, usually the licences are either transferred or bought out. In this case, your work is part of their IP, and you have no say over where it goes.

    If you remember how that went for authors like the writer of "The Vampire Diaries" or "I am Number Four" you will know why that is a bad idea, as you can be fired from your own book, and prevented from writing sequels if it is a hit.

    By being allowed to give those rights to anyone they want, the publisher can circumvent the need to pay royalties at all. A certain large firm did this some years ago, buying rights at an already-low royalty to the author of ten percent of net profit per book. If I recall correctly, they then passed the rights to a subsidiary, who handled the print, publishing and so on, and paid the parent company a couple of cents. The books were printed at a cost of a few cents, they were sold for a few dollars, making the subsidiary a few dollars per book, but the author's royalties were only on the few cents that the parent company got from the subsidiary minus the costs of administering the deal and whatever the subsidiary could charge back to the parent.

    This is, perhaps, one of the reason why self-publishing through platforms like Kindle and Kobo has become so popular.

    <MOD-EDIT: Merged Posts>
     
    Last edited by a moderator: June 13, 2021
  16. jessica

    jessica Citizen of Logres

    ::concern::I am sorry, but who did that? What happened? I ... I jUst...::book zipped::
     
  17. Reader

    Reader Vile Critic

    The messy details? Just for anyone who assumes such things only happens with small or unestablished publishers.

    It was Harlequin.

    In 2012 three authors sued Harlequin because ebook rights for titles released between 1990 and 2004 were being sold under the AOR (All Other Rights) clause in their contracts. This reduced the royalty substantially. The case stated that the contract said that authors would receive 25% of net receipts/the cover price in royalties. The AOR rights, licenced to Harlequin Switzerland, resulted in an effective royalty of 3-4%

    A Summary: Harlequin faces lawsuit over unpaid e-book royalties | Financial Post
    A Legal Assessment: Friday News: Harlequin sued in a class action for underpayment of royalties

    The case was settled for $4.1M while Harlequin denies any wrongdoing.

    Court Approves $4.1m Settlement for Harlequin Authors - The Authors Guild

    Author Patricia McLinn provides details on her experience, and receiving her settlement cheque. As a USA Today best selling author, she is not new to publishing, and covers exactly how the contracts were set up by Harlequin.

    Harlequin Lawsuit's Happy Ending - Patricia McLinn: USA Today Bestselling Author

    Understand that, if this can happen to a USA Today best selling author, it can happen to you. There are a great many sharks in the publishing pool.
     
  18. jessica

    jessica Citizen of Logres

    ::book zipped::::sickmask::::thumbdown:: ... Just ...::book zipped::
     
  19. Hova

    Hova Member

    I want to be her friend now. That is a lot of money.
     
  20. Reader

    Reader Vile Critic

    The 4.1M was shared between the 1,200 affected authors. It was about 3,400 dollars per author on average, though it obviously varied depending on the titles and sales.

    However, it would have obviously been preferred that the authors had simply been paid their royalties up front and not had to resort to a five-year lawsuit and appeal to receive their contracted earnings.
     

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