Sign up to the newsletter

Contribution based contract

Hi all,

It's lovely to meet you all here. I have recently digitally self published my book on Amazon and have submitted my manuscript to a few publishers. 3 of them came back to me (Novum, Olympia and Austin McCauley) with the interest to publish my book on a 'contribution based contract'. They are talking about few thousand pounds. I'm not sure this is normal. After having done some research on these publishers they are placed in the category as 'vanity publishers'. I'm therefore not sure what sort of risk I'm taking if I were to go with them. Any comments and advice is very much appreciated. Many thanks. Kind regards, Melinda

Asked by: Melinda Sharratt-Tung

  1. Wayne Bristow on September 5, 2016

    I have just had exactly the same thing from olympia and have had to look into them. I have been told that publishers would not ask up-front payment and would take a cut of the profit of your book when sold.

    I have quickly gone off the idea of using them, even though they liked my manuscript. It sounds like they like everyones

  2. Melinda Sharratt-Tung on August 14, 2016

    Thanks Lorraine, your comments are very much appreciated. I'll definitely stay away from them. Instead I'll find an agent to represent me.

    Many thanks.

    Melinda

  3. Lorraine Swoboda on August 14, 2016

    Olympia is definitely advised against at pred-ed.com (the site of Preditors and Editors) and at http://www.sfwa.org/other-resources/for-authors/writer-beware/thumbs-down-publishers/
    where you will see that Olympia is part of Austin Macauley. Read the article.

    These are vanity publishers, Melinda. They will provide a service of sorts, for which you will pay upfront, and as a result they will nearly always offer to publish your work for an inflated sum. They know they won't get anything back in the way of sales, and arguably they don't exist to try to push your work in any way. If they really think your book will make it, they'll charge you less, because they will get money from your sales. You have to read any contract very closely, preferably with legal help to find out what in fact they are going to do for all that money, and what you will earn, if anything, from any sales.

    The vanity part means that they make their money by offering contracts to novice writers, and hope that the lure of being able to say 'I've got a publishing contract!' is enough to make you blind and foolish. This is not a publishing deal such as you would get with a traditional publisher, and it will not make you or your work any more attractive to those trad publishers at a later date.

    Some of these companies shut down after bad publicity and re-emerge a day later under another name - doesn't make them any better. Sharks and minnows come to mind!

    Think of it this way: if they wanted to charge you £2000, and your book was priced at £2, you would have to sell 1000 books to make the £2000 you've already paid out, and then you might make a profit per copy. How much would depend on their cut. (Back to the contract again.) But many authors would struggle to sell that many copies, and new authors would probably not reach that level unless they were very special. Sales would depend upon publicity - which is down to you alone, so take the price of that out of your figures too. Would you ever make what you had paid to them? Not likely.

    It's so exciting to think that a publisher is interested in our work; but they are actually interested only in the money they can get out of you. Read the article to see what to watch out for; but frankly, I'd say you're better off self-publishing, when anything you make is at least going into your own pocket, and you'll save yourself a lot of grief.

    A few facts and figures to put this offer into perspective - I'll leave the sums up to you.

    http://publishingperspectives.com/2014/01/how-much-do-writers-earn-less-than-you-think/#.V7BWzjU6AoQ
    https://www.quora.com/How-much-does-an-average-self-publishing-author-make-on-Amazon

    Lorraine

    4

You must be logged in to post answers Log in