1. ToBeInspired

    ToBeInspired Contributing Member

    Jul 16, 2013
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    Few basic questions

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by ToBeInspired, May 12, 2016.

    I understand that some of these could be sub-categorized into other parts of this forum, but it's easier to have it all in one place.

    1) Would a publisher help with establishing e-publishing as well? For instance would they assist in marketing if I choice to establish myself on Amazon. If they did, how would it be different from self-publishing?
    2) What prevents a beta-reader from potentially stealing your manuscript and releasing it as their own? What prevents any publishing agency submitted to from the same such actions?
    3) Is releasing your book into physical stores that much of an increase in potential profit sales? It seems to me that the future is leading farther and farther into e-publishing. Of course, you could always order a hard copy delivered to your house. I see Barnes & Nobles shutting down often, along with other corporate book stores.
    4) How exactly does Kindle Unlimited work? I don't quite understand how the author gets any monetary compensation (I do know that it requires 10% of the book to be read before any money is transferred and then I'm lost).
    5) What's the legalities on cover art? I like in a very art friendly city and could get my cover art for free or very cheap. If I have my lawyer write up a document (perhaps able to find online or write myself) that states they allow use of such work, does it matter if I made J.K. Rowling money? A simple transaction, correct? One and done.
  2. Selbbin

    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

    Oct 16, 2012
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    1) Some publishers only e-publish. But they will not help if you self-publish or control the market. It would be on their terms. E-publish doesn't mean self-publish, and vice versa. Self-publishing is exactly that, doing it yourself, and that could include printing physical copies.

    2) Because you can sue them and defame them. As long as you have drafts, you can easily prove you wrote it. It's not worth the risk.

    3) Not really. Depends on many factors.

    4) Dunno, but the info is easy to find.

    5) You have to have the rights to the image. Be it one you made yourself, paid someone, or have their direct express permission. If someone else, the contract needs to say that once rights are given they have no more claim, unless further claims are part of the contract. Sometimes a monetary value of at least $1 must be paid for a contract for a service to be legal.
  3. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Mar 9, 2010
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    It sounds like you're assuming that:

    self-publishing equals e-publishing


    traditional publishing equals paper publishing

    Those assumptions are incorrect. Self-publishing can be electronic or paper; traditional publishing can be electronic or paper.

    Traditional publishing gives you the services of professionals--editors, designers, marketers, distributors. It also means, to your prospective readers, that your book very likely achieves a certain standard of quality, because the publisher had to accept your book before it got published. Many people will argue that those are old arguments that are no longer true. I think that they are still true and will remain true for at least a decade.

    Also, with traditional publishing, the costs are the publisher's problem. With self-publishing, the costs are your problem.

    Going on to the question:

    1) If a publisher accepts your book, they will be in charge of both paper and digital publishing.

    2) In the case of the publishing agency, pretty much the same thing that prevents a store from using your credit card number to steal lots of money from you--the fact that they'd face criminal charges and lose all their business. In the case of the beta reader, copyright would certainly make what they did illegal, but I suspect that it would be difficult to collect much in damages given the uncertainty of publishing any book. So they won't profit, but you might lose. So you should choose your beta readers carefully.

    3) I think that this is about the assumption that traditional publishing is entirely about paper books. See the beginning of my post.

    4) I have no clue.

    5) That's a question for that lawyer.
  4. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Aug 12, 2015
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    London, UK
    As others have pointed out, self-publishing and e-publishing are not synonymous.

    And it wouldn't be your "choice" where the book was available, or in what format. They would offer you a contract for e-only or e and print, and it's up to you to accept it or not. Once you have a contract with the publisher you have no say in how or where they distribute it. I don't know if this is widespread but in my genre (romance) it's common for publishers to release it in electronic format first, and only go to print if it sells well. Some imprints don't have that second step, regardless of how well it sells.

    This is a risk (albeit a small one) with beta readers. Although it would be easy to prove plagiarism, you'd be unlikely to get much compensation. Chose beta readers wisely. If you don't know them and they aren't an established member of whichever writing community you find them in, perhaps send them a few chapters to begin with and check that they really are intending to offer feedback before you send the rest. Someone looking to make a quick buck through theft isn't going to take the time to do that.

    No reputable agency would do such a thing. As long as you're not submitting to shady agencies (check preditors and editors) you don't have to worry about that.

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