Should I take the risk... ?

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by Maestro, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. Maestro

    Maestro Active Member

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    #1 Maestro, Dec 2, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
    Greetings ladies and gentlemen.

    I received this E-mail from my publisher yesterday (please note that it is a group e-mail, every authors received the same message). Like there is several authors within our community, I thought I should ask for an advice here.

    The problem is, even though I know PublishAmerica's intentions are good, I doubt it is gonna get any attention from anyone at DreamWorks. Let me explain...

    A while back, I sent my book to FOX, hoping to get a review (yeah, I know... why would a book get reviewed on TV ?) But the dumbass that I am never made the link between FOX (TV) and the 20th Century Fox (production company), which are two divisions of the same company. I received a letter two weeks later (with my book included) stating that : "The 20th Century Fox is not accepting unsolicited material. We are therefore sending your book back to you."

    And I can tell, by the way the book looked, that no one even opened it.

    Now, has PublishAmerica a deal with DreamWorks ? I don't know. It isn't stated anywhere in the letter.

    Also, in order for DreamWorks to receive the five free copies offered in that letter, I must buy a minimum of 12 copies of my own book (which makes about $100.00 CND).

    Making a movie based on his own book would be a dream for any author. Me included. But if I pay the 100 bucks and DreamWorks sends the books back to PublishAmerica untouched (like FOX did with me), then I would have been ripped of $100.

    Getting your book back untouched is always tough on the self-esteem (but everyone get used to it), but being ripped of $100 of my hard earned money on the top of it would literally piss me off.

    What do you think ? Should I take the risk ?
     
  2. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Why do you have to buy 12 copies of your own book to donate 5 to them?
     
  3. Maestro

    Maestro Active Member

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    It's kind of a "deal" that my publisher is offering. If I buy 12, they print five more and they send them to DreamWorks. There is no real reason... May be to cover the price of printing and shipping five books across the United States.
     
  4. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Don't bother!
    In the UK at least, every major publishing house recieves a fairly high number of unsolicited works every week. these are not even looked at and, to recieve any form of reply is about 50/50. Even those works submitted by genuine, professional literary agents are often not even read. In fact, trying to find, and secure the services of a suitable agent is almost as difficult as getting published in the first place!
    I'd also avoid the route of self-publishing, or 'vanity publishing', just to get into print. This can be done, normally by paying for the costs, but it is rare that these are recovered, let alone any profit made.
    I had a fantastic review for a novel, from a publishing agent and a publisher. However, the company was not really the right one for my work, but they did provide an excellent reference for me to use via another firm. With this introduction, the work was sent to a well-known, international publisher for consideration. That was 14 months ago! I guess it hasn't even been read.
    The fact that this company you are dealing with is asking for money up front suggests that is one way in which they make money, and although they might indeed send your MS to a film studio, unless they have a solid contact, with a genuine interst in new work, the likleyhood of anything actually coming out of this is very slim.
    Of course, the final decision is yours, but to have to buy your own work in order to have it, hopefully, sent to a film company is not something I think I would rush out to do.
     
  5. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    Its a scam, dont do it...
     
  6. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    I agree - scam. Why buy your own books? If they truly believe in the material they should be overjoyed to send it to Hollywood. Its a scam.
     
  7. Maestro

    Maestro Active Member

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    Yeah, I know English publishers receive a lot of works. I remember reading on several publishers' website in the UK the lines : "Please, do not send unsolicited manuscripts. We only accept manuscripts comming from agents. If you still send your unsolicited work to us, we will send it back to you without even reading it."

    They may be a little "picky", but at least they are honest enough to warn authors on their website. Unlike French publishers who don't give a sh*t about you unless you hire an agent. Manuscripts submitted without the help of an agent will most likely end in the trash without even being read... And none of them are warning you on their website.

    I think I got seduced by their sweet talking : "We are not a vanity publisher, we never ask money from our authors... Blah, blah, blah...." No, I din't pay to get published, but I'm doing all the f*cking marketing work ! Plus every now and then I receive e-mails like this offering me "discounts" on my books. They're selling books of new writers $15 USD and resell them to the author for $8 when they should already sell them to that price to ANY customer... :rolleyes:

    By the way, don't despair, Airframes. If you haven't received any news it must be a good thing. From my experience, publishers always answer to anyone submitting a manuscript. No matter if it is to accept or decline the offer. Some of them are nicer than others, though.
     
  8. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Same in Hollywood especially Dreamworks.
     
  9. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    This sounds a whole lot like a vanity press scheme. An honest literary agent would be pushing your work, and the publisher/film studio would be paying YOU for the rights to use it. You'll buy your 12 copies (great Christmas presents, at least), and then you'll get a "Dear John" letter from the studio or the publisher, along with a pat on the back and a "better luck next time, ole chap". Your best bet to get this on the big screen is to approach an agent. Most studios/publishers won't even open something that doesn't come from an established agent.
     
  10. Heinz

    Heinz Active Member

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    #10 Heinz, Dec 2, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
    Personally I wouldn't. I did a course in Professional Writing last year and met a lot of publishers and even though its hard to get a gig you're stilll providing the possibly very valuable material. Also this sort of thing starts setting a possible precendent as time goes on.

    Best of luck either way mate!
     
  11. Maestro

    Maestro Active Member

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    Thanks... That's what I'm gonna do. I'll keep my hands right in my pockets and wistle. :-\"

    I don't know what is more frustrating, though... Realizing that I was dumb enough to fall in that "vanity publishing" trap, or realizing that because of this, my writing career is over before even taking off.

    To quote a video game character : "Gooooodbye career !" :rolleyes:

    Thanks again for your advice, guys.
     
  12. Heinz

    Heinz Active Member

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    Keep positive man, its not a easy road but can be really rewarding.
     
  13. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    #13 Airframes, Dec 2, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
    Yep, don't give up. I've had work published in magazines, but getting a novel, in particular, to print can seem next to impossible. It's a case of plugging away until someone happens to find your MS is in the right place at the right time. Some publishers are starting to accept works direct, in an effort to cut out the agents, as more and more seem to be geting in on the act, adding to the fees that a publisher has to pay for a good product. But, as with my own MS, it's still a slim chance having it read. The publisher concerned in my case did state that if a reply was not recieved within twelve weeks, then the work had not been accepeted for consideration. This, of course, could also mean that there are so many works being submitted, that only a very few are actually looked at, out of which maybe three per year might actually see the market place.
    It takes a lot of time, but a study of all available literary agents, many on the Internet, might find a short list of those suitable, particularly if you prefer the work goes to screen. Then, it's a case of contacting each one, with a synopsis and CV, and always a pre-paid envelope for a reply, and wait to see what happens.
    Most agents will not touch a work if it has been sent to other agents at the same time, so you'll appreciate that weeks can pass before you can proceed to the next agent, or the next stage, and so on. This is true across the publishing world in general, not just the UK. Also, don't just limit yourself to 'local' agents - it might be that an agent or similar in a different country might be interested, and have contacts and / or a market outlet in the US or Canada, for example. And whatever you do, never even hint that you think the work would be successful because Aunt Sally, Joe down the street etc, thinks it's brilliant! That's at the top of the list for pet hates with publishers and agents!
     
  14. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Why is it over? This is only your first book, right? and this is just one publisher - as Terry pointed out, there are ALOT more...
    Keep trying new publishers, and KEEP WRITING ! :D
     
  15. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    As they say in the old B&W WW II movies of the '40s.....

    "Hang in there kid and keep pitching!"

    TO
     
  16. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Don't ever give up. Jack London was rejected over 500 times.
     
  17. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Agree with Eric but also agree with the rest. This doesn't seem like a good scheme perhaps something better will come up in the future.
     
  18. Maestro

    Maestro Active Member

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    Thanks for the kind words, guys.
     
  19. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    Vanity Press isn't writing suicide. Take a look at your fav magazines, see what types of articles they tend to run, and start there. A lot of times, the agents and book publishers like to see a history of ANYTHING published. I've been published twice in vanity press "annual compendiums" (three, actually...one was photography, two writing)...I'm a slow learner, I guess, but a publisher friend of mine said that agents/publishers don't look at the minute details like that: they see that you've been published, and that's what catches their eye. The more publications you have, the better. And as someone said, some of the top names today could wallpaper a large house with rejection letters. John Grisham had given up when his wife sent a manuscript to the 31st publisher...who accepted it. Keep sending them in...whats the worst that can happen? They'll send it back, so drop it in a new box and send it out again!
     
  20. muller

    muller Active Member

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    Send it to an agent in Ireland, just change your name to a female one, they seem to publish any old shite that women write over here!

    There's a coven of them in this country writng 'chick-lit', the bookshops are full of their works, Maeve Binchy is the High Priestess, they've been poisoning the minds of Irish women for years!!
     
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