1. sportslady0312
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    sportslady0312 New Member

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    My publisher wants money to publish my novel!

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by sportslady0312, Aug 11, 2008.

    Hello everyone, I hope you are all well. Can someone tell me if they have had any dealings with Melrose Books? I've successfully submitted my first novel to them and they want to publish it but are asking £5997 (!) for the priviledge!! Is this common? Am I foolish to want to pay?? Is there any way that I can ask for a grant from a specialist writing council? Hopefully someone will have been through this and can give me heartfelt, honest advice. Many thanks. sportslady
     
  2. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sportslady0312

    It is common for a vanity publisher to charge its authors, but for a regular publisher, one whose books you will find in bookstores, the author NEVER pays to see their work in print.

    I just scanned the publisher in question's website (I googled it and found a UK publisher with the name you mentioned). They offer 50% royalties...unless they are an e-publisher, that is very generious. Most authors earn (depending on the contract) between 8% and 15% of the cover price, give or take a little for print books--depending on the type of book printed. E-books earn a far higher royalty for their authors, as there is little layout cost and no print cost to the publisher. What this publisher is offering is generous because you (the author) are paying them up front a very large sum of money. They are not being generous.

    Major houses offer advances for books (they pay the author money up front against royalties). Smaller houses sometimes offer small advances, and even if they don't and just pay royalties on book sold, they do not charge thousands of dollars/pounds to publish a book.

    The question to ask...
    Is this publisher going to make money from:
    a. selling books
    b. getting money from authors whose books they agree to publish.

    I just looked it up: in US Dollars this publisher is asking about $11,500. That is A LOT!


    Say your novel sells for £8. That means you earn £4 per sale. That means you would have to sell 1500 books before you even break even. On the other hand, they've earned £12,000 (from the sales plus the money you paid them to publish your book). In the USA, average sales from a vanity press (I've read) is about 50 to 100 novels--usually to the author, family and friends.

    I strongly suspect that they will not invest much in distribution and marketing. Do any of their novels make top sales lists? (ie in the USA NY Times Best selling list. or if SF/Fantasy: Locus rankings from major bookstores/chains, etc).

    What it sounds like you have submitted to is a vanity publisher. I believe you would do far better financially if you simply took the money and spent it self-publishing. While I am not recommending this specifically, you would spend a miniscule fraction of that amount if you hired a freelance editor and commissioned a cover artist, and then set up through someone like Lulu.com to print your books. Even if you spent £1000 on the editor, artist, setup costs, ISBN, and on marketing, you'd be £4997 ahead of the game.

    What I am taking a long time to say is I believe that you can do MUCH better. If you feel your work is ready, submit it to traditional/legitimate publishers instead of subsidy houses (those who charge you to get your work published). You should earn money from your labor, not have to pay for your labor to see your work in print.

    Personally, I would NOT work with this publisher. I would not spend any money, let alone thousands of dollars to a publisher, to see my work in print.

    Terry
     
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  3. ParanormalWriter
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    ParanormalWriter Contributing Member

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    Ditto to the above. TW usually knows what he's talking about in these matters. I'd look for a publisher who doesn't expect to be payed to publish your work.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto the ditto!... no traditional publisher [= non-vanity one] will ask for a single penny from the writer... the money is supposed to go from the publisher to the author, not vice versa!... anything else is what's considered 'vanity publishing' at worst, or 'self-publishing' at best, since the writer has to pay to get his/her work in book form...
     
  5. sportslady0312
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    sportslady0312 New Member

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    Many thanks to all!

    Hi everyone, many thanks for your input. I did think that was a little bit suspicious! :) Much appreciated. sportslady

    PS - as a thank you, click on this link to see my website, my fiance and I are photographers. (I have no spare time!!)

    www.westonphotographics.co.uk
     
  6. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think there is anything wrong with this type of publisher as long as they are upfront about what they do and how they do it. Some of them are totally legit and treat it more like a service than act like a regular publisher but then say that the writer has to pay. Regardless, I don't think I would want to put forth the money unless I was in total control and got to chose the cover illustration and all that stuff.
     
  7. StormWarrior
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    StormWarrior Member

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    What does this mean?
     
  8. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Locus is a magazine (and online) that that tells what is going on in SF and Fantasy. It lists who (author) sold what novel to who (publisher), and through who (agent). When novels were turned in, those which sold foreign or media rights. It tells when an editor is hired or switches major houses, or leaves.

    Also it publishes monthly sales reports from the major books stores (like Dalton/Walden etc)--the top ten hardcover, mass market etc. That is what I was referring to. If the publisher being discussed never appears in such listings as selling a lot of books, shelling out the equivalent of $15,000 meant that certainly one would not expect to earn their money back.

    Hope that clarifies it.

    Here is the link for Locus: Locus Magazine

    Terry
     
  9. Rastaman
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    Rastaman Member

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    it is terrible
    there are loads of so called publishers out there who make money by making people pay to print their own work!

    sad but true :(
     

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