Surprised? – Don’t be.
So, at about March time (2018) I started sending out copies of Dawn of Eternity to prospective publishers, as every budding author will do.
I’m well aware that this is a process which does not happen overnight, and was fully prepared to meet with a long journey to my desired outcome.
A friend of mine is also on this same path, and shared with me an offer they had received for publication; it certainly seemed legitimate, and though I did wonder at some of the details, I encouraged them to at least consider it.
Anyway, not being one to miss an opportunity, I also sent in my own manuscript, and let time fly by – and well, here we are!
So, what gives?
Imagine this: you arrive home from work to find an enjoyably large envelope addressed to you (from London, in fact), and suddenly you begin to think back on all those applications.
Excitedly, I balanced my desire to see Tina and withdraw my athame (which was originally a letter opener), and then did my best to open it as aristocratically as possible.
By this point I knew what it was; I thought that finally, I had the outcome I wanted.
I began to read through the covering letter with some allowable pride, at their reception of my work. Every author wants to receive some recognition for their efforts after all, right?
Having read all reports…I can confidently state that your work was found to be an enjoyable and gripping read. You demonstrate a vivid imagination in the detailed description of your world and enable the reader to become fully invested in the fate of your characters.
This is exactly what I wanted to hear – I know I have the ability to write, and though I don’t profess to be an expert, I do at least believe in my style. This was great to hear and I really appreciated it.
That doesn’t sound like a no go?
It really doesn’t, and I certainly didn’t feel this way, especially reading the next few words:
The Board were confident in the view that this work has the potential to excel within its genre.
I know right? Everything is shaping up like the Sylvan horizon in Carmilla; a perfect summers evening, lifted with that breeze we all love so much.
Now, this is where things start to unravel.
The publisher in question state that they feel, as a new author, publishing my book would come with a certain, financial risk. Won’t it always? Won’t every new author carry this risk? Hmm.
To this end, a decision has been reached and, on this occasion, we are not able to offer you a non-contributory based contract.
I read further into the contract and considered their prices presented to me. It seemed that, if I wanted my book to be published with this company, I would need to shell out.
Girlfriend to the rescue
Having read through, letting myself deflate slowly, it all became clear that this, in it’s most basic truth, was not a traditional publishing offer.
And, that’s fine. This is how this company decides to operate; it’s legal and hopefully, people do meet success with them. BUT…
The reason I am writing this blog is this: there is one thing that really irked me after reviewing all the information.
From the very beginning we have worked with the ‘hybrid’ model of publishing contracts, which has become increasingly popular in recent years. This means that while we look at every new manuscript with a view to offering a traditional mainstream publishing deal, we also have the option of offering a partnership agreement instead, where the author may be asked to cover part of the cost of publishing the book.
The above is taken from their website.
‘From the beginning’…let that sink in.
Yes, I am fully aware they state that they try to offer a traditional publishing deal, but let’s go back a few steps.
‘The Board were confident in the view that this work has the potential to excel within its genre.’
I know that as a business, risk is something to be minimised. I understand completely, it just seems to me that, this is really how they approach new publications. I don’t know for sure, but something just felt otherwise.
To say that work has the potential to EXCEL, yet still stand back and ask for money, because I am new, just does not sit with me.
How many publishers set up shop for existing writers? Wouldn’t that be a small market?
No, I am not being salty I promise you; don’t forget, I am the one not being published here.
A positive note
I don’t want to end on a negative, and I really am not intending to post something hateful here.
I am grateful for the feedback given to me and I hope it was certainly genuine. Thank you.
But, it is something to document, and I do truly feel that this offer was a bit conservative. I believe that, if a publishing company believes a manuscript/story can be successful, they should work to achieve that, not take a financial fall back from the author.
Hopefully the real deal with not be too far away for me and DoE…after all, it does have the potential to excel!