Sunday, December 23, 2007

Your Red Flags--veinglory

So now we have seen the preamble, what would you consider red flags? Because it seem to me that these are things that should be added to listing at the e-publisher list. What about:

Royalties on net
Royalties below 25% on ebooks
Fees of any kind (e.g. POD set up)
Owners not named?

Yes... no? Anything else that is more than a preference but less than a stop light?

p.s. I am trying to check and expand the publisher links. Any suggestions welcome. Any idea where to find out more about LoveStruck Books other than their full online description of: "We are primarily an ebook publisher, but we do offer many of our titles in trade paperback format."


Imp said...

I won't look twice at a publisher that doesn't get ISBNs for its books.

Diana Castilleja said...

The lack of owners, staff and professional information on a site disturbs me. (LSBooks that was mentioned.) But I'm finding that others are not as leery. As for your list, I'd say POD charges are discretionary (WCP et al). However, a requirement to purchase if you do the POD option is a red flag.

I didn't know anyone paid less than at least 35% on e-book, and no, I wouldn't contract if they did. Royalties on net is just a way to garnish more than the agreed upon split. Another I wouldn't agree to.

The thing that really gets me is the start up with no information, but the owner's books are the first (and usually only) books available. That just rankles me.

veinglory said...

35-40% seems standard, but there are some down as far as 10%

Teddy Pig said...

Emily if you want to piss everyone off say bad cover art. That will get a response.

Even though I personally think if the ePub does not care enough to pay for good packaging why bother.

Same it true about poorly designed website.

Erastes said...

1. Payment of ANY kind
2. Any sign of non-transparency.
3. Free websites, badly designed with huge graphics full of typos, grammar errors and not up to date.
4. Bad communication. It's ok if they don't list their owners, but I expect a prompt reply to any queries I might lodge with them. Lack of response will always sound big warning bells with me. If they don't respond to me simple query of "may I see a sample contract" then you can bet your bottom dollar they are not going to reply to anything once I'm contracted.

Anonymous said...

ANY deviation of a contract is ALWAYS a red flag....if an owner comes back with a "we verbally told him/her so" line, that's garbage. The contract does not extend to outside the borders of the paper's four corners, therefore all the verbal crap is heresay, not actionable, and any court will tell you so.

As Teddy said, a website and covers that are crap will basically convey the owner's level of professionalism...a website (and covers) is a customer's first impression of a company, so why any company would display below-standard cover art or website graphics is either an indication of color-blindness or an indication of "they don't know quality from beans," and in both cases, customers should (but don't, which is the major problem) avoid at all costs! About half of the current e-pubs in business today suffer from this nonsense...stretched graphics that are pixelated, Poser cover art or covers where the "artist" puts titles in white-on-white and thinks it's "readable," etc.

Also, I found that a list of authors who have "historically bounced from one company to the next" (and yes, there are dozens of authors who do so!!!) is also an indication of trouble. Several authors have praised a company for its magnificence on Monday and drag their author friends to sign up will be cursing them on Tuesday, then abandoning that company on Wednesday (leaving their "friends" who they recruited to suffer) then bad-mouthing that same company on Thursday, then joining a new company (which, chances are, they have something to do with the formation) on Friday, then on the weekend, all hell breaks loose. Google authors and see which of them have bounced from house to house to house to house and it will shock you. This is a sign of potential red flags, since some authors have a tendency to start a company (with an actual owner as the figure-head) then get their panties into a twist a month down the road when things don't go their way and vamoose, only to talk some other person into doing the same thing, etc. etc. Venus Press is/was a prime example!!!

lynneconnolly said...

For me, when I was looking at epubs:
Badly edited excerpts
Poor cover art.
difficult to navigate website.
A publisher that accepts the really skanky stuff like incest and rape.
A website which contains the books of one or two authors, and then you find they belong to the owners.
A site where the owners aren't listed.
Bouncing authors can be from a few causes - that the author publishes with one of the biggies, but her book either doesn't fit the profile or she writes too fast and has her slots filled. Or authors who are starting out and so are bouncing as publishers collapse.

Teddy Pig said...

Now see bouncing authors is what I recommend these days folks. It is a good idea to me to work with more then one ePublisher due to the very fact that there are no strict standards and people need to learn what is a good publisher relationship and what is an abusive one.

Vanity Presses get away with charging the author fees because half the time the authors do not know any better than to be scammed.

I see a eBook writer that works with several top ePubs a sign of professionalism and good judgment not a warning.

A worry for me is an eBook writer that has no experience except working with one outfit.

Teddy Pig said...

Teddy Pig said...

My publishers is LoveStruck Books, an electronic one, so how will I ever get to hold my own first book, "If Promises were Kept", in my hot little hands? The publisher offers a print book option, but I decided not to take the offer.

Sounds like another Risky Creek Press to me Emily.

Emily Patterson-Kane said...

I wonder about the cover art thing. I know some publishers seem to do well despite art I think is pretty atrocious. I used to be more worried about it but with time the association between quality of cover art and overall professionalism just didn't seem to be that strong?

Katrina Strauss said...

All of the above, and let me expound on Lynne's "poorly edited excerpts" by adding "poorly edited blurbs." If the author can't manage to write a coherent blurb free of syntax and spelling errors, and in turn the promo dept. does not take the time to edit said blurb - or notice there's anything wrong - then this is a house I would not trust my work to.

And while gossip abounds and there are divas at every house, if I hear negative comments from more than one author and/or admin member, then I steer clear. I'd advise others to pay heed to multiple complaints from more than one source.