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Partnership Publishing: the author’s and publisher’s stand-point
In the literary circle, partnership publishing is fast becoming a household name. The current financial state of the world has undoubtedly ‘forced’ publishers into embracing this mechanism to dealing with accepted authors, despite the merit of their works. Most authors, on the other hand, are completely dissatisfied with this treatment because their stand-point does not concur with their business-minded publishers’. Partnership-publishing involves the author making some payments to run the initial cost of production while the publisher run the majority under a contractual agreement which is to be signed by the author.
The Authors’ Stand-point
Many authors, especially the aspiring ones, claim partnership publishing is a way publishers extort money from them. For instance, American Book Publisher, in its recent contract, would read that they author pay a returnable deposit of $880 for the commencement of the publication of accepted manuscript. It is only returnable only if the manuscript sells at least 950 copies within a year of its being in print. It is fascinating to know that American Book Publishing exempts established authors from this programme. Without the money being paid to them, despite its acceptance, such manuscript will be left untreated. Olympia Publishers is another example. Provided you agree to pay a contributory contract, they offer you a non-obligatory contract where payments (as decided by the publishing board) would be made. This only happens if your manuscript is accepted. Dippers publishing charges varying fees to authors whose works are accepted; to be refunded only when their works make exceptional sales of at least a thousand copies, quarterly! Publish America, Zeus publishing and Anomalous Publishing are examples of partnership publishers who would charge the author in the name of contractual agreement, whose manuscript has been accepted (based on merit), despite the rigorous review and assessment processes money to move forward with the publication. Without the author paying a ‘fraction’ of the initial publication cost, the manuscript will be left unattended to.
The Publishers’ Stand-Point
Being business-minded, publishers see the need for this to avoid the risk of bearing all the losses, should there be a low turn-out of sales. For the fear of losing out completely, they and their clients (authors) will have to share the loss. It is uncertain, they reason, for an aspiring author to make anticipated sales. Therefore, inviting the author to this method of publishing is a way of sharing the loss burden. Who wants to lose out in the first place, knowing the predicament of the world’s financial state?
As an aspiring author, if you do not have the money to foot the payment, would you pass the contract and think of something else, despite your long struggles to get a publishing deal? Being a publisher, would you not proceed with the contract if author whom you accepted his manuscript for publication told you he or she can’t afford to pay the money you charged?
From → writing/publsihing/agenting