Thursday, 4 April 2013
Why I Declined a Publishing Contract.
Then came the contract and that's when fantasy rudely bumps into reality!
When I originally submitted my manuscript to the publisher, I checked their website and knew they were offering 40% royalties. Now, that sounds good compared to many others whose royalty payments are designed to keep their authors humble - aka, poor. But, what I didn't realise was the royalty payment (40% gross) referred to books (ebooks) sold on their website.
I'd like know how many readers actually go to a publishers website to purchase books? Personally, I don't know of anyone. But, maybe I could be wrong.
Then there's the net payment of 40% on ebooks sold through online retailers, such as Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, Booktopia and Barnes and Noble... etc.
After taking their slice of the proverbial cake, what would actually be left for me?
I also noticed this publisher was a little slow uploading their author's titles on to those online retailers. They've been sitting on the publishers website for longer than a month now, and as yet I haven't seen them on Amazon, or anywhere else. That's at least 4-6 weeks of lost royalties.
2. Digital Only
What swayed my decision not to accept the contract was that this publisher was digital only. They don't do Print-on-Demand. Maybe I missed that in my hurry to submit, maybe not. I know ebooks are here to stay, yet how many of us authors long to hold a paperback copy of our books in our hot little hands? I do, and so do many of my friends. They still like the old-fashioned smell and feel of a 'real' book. Why deny them?
3. Cover Rights
A local graphics designer created a beautiful cover for my book which would have been modified to suit the publisher's taste. Now, I know I could have let them design a whole new cover, but I absolutely love my current one, and if I let them modify it I'd lose my cover rights.
The problem with that is, were I to self-publish in hard copy form (since I would hold paperback rights) I would have to create another cover.
I don't even want to contemplate the trouble that would cause. Imagine my ebook with one cover and the paperback with another! Amazon would have a field day!
So, not going there. Ever.
4. Publisher's Brand
Okay, call me a prude, but what finally persuaded me not to accept the contract was the their brand. It would have labelled my book as erotic - which it is not. It's simply not my cup of tea, as they say. More importantly, as a Christian, I don't want to give the wrong impression to my readers, let alone my family and friends.
It was probably my mistake submitting to them in the first place, although their books range from the sweet and romantic all the way to the erotic - just like every other publisher of chic lit these days.
I guess, as an author, there are things easily overlooked while desperately striving for that 'holy grail' - the publishing contract.
But, I'm grateful for this one thing - they proved I have a book worth publishing, and for that I owe them.
So, now what? Looks like I'm going indie!
Did I do right? I'd love to know.
Posted by Tima Maria at 11:04