I’d like to let other authors know how handy I’ve found Melinda Clayton’s advice on Indies Unlimited regarding signing a publishing contract.
I’m so glad I read this because I was contacted recently by a publishing company which will of course be nameless. The manager / editor wanted to publish Revenge and Repent at Leisure to start with and then eventually take over all my books. They emailed me a contract.
I was impressed to read that authors did not have to do any marketing at all, which left them free to write. The publishing company would carry out all advertising through Amazon Marketing Services and via their in-house mailing lists. My books would have also been featured in Ingram’s wholesale catalogue and Baker & Taylor’s catalogue too.
The manager went on to tell me that all their books are priced at $0.99 and that they rely on Kindle Unlimited for the bulk of their royalties.
I thought about it and thought about it some more, read the contract, and then emailed them back to ask if I could start with just one book to see how things turned out. Amongst other things I also asked how long would the term of the contract be, as it was not stated.
Back came the reply that yes I could start with one book, but they reminded me again that they wanted all of them. Also there was still no update on the term of the contract. I smelt a rat so to speak , and decided not to sign.
When I read Melinda Clayton’s advice I was amazed to discover that unless stated otherwise, the usual term of a contract runs for 70 YEARS AFTER THE AUTHOR’S DEATH! If I had signed all my books over to this particular company, they would have had publishing rights over my work forever and I would never have been able to claw back the rights at all.
I’m even more convinced now that until that far-away day when I receive a contract from one of the big 5 publishers, I’m staying self-published. Why? Well…you are in control of your books, there is no middle-man taking a chunk out of your royalties, and any publisher can therefore not let you down by going bust or failing to carry out advertising or marketing promises they assured you they could do at the beginning but in reality cannot ever hope to fulfil. Why? Because the only person advertising, selling and marketing your books will be…YOU!