Tuesday, October 11, 2011

PUBSLUSH Press- Writer Watch Out!

Victoria Strauss Deciphers PUBSLUSH Fine Print Beware!

Publishing Watchdog Blog 'Writer Beware' featured a PUBSLUSH Review by author Victoria Strauss, which points to PUBSLUSH pitfalls. Short story? DO NOT SUBMIT YOUR WORK! Want to know why/ Read on!

What is PUBSLUSH Press?

PUBSLUSH Press, a new crowd funding venture for books has a rather interesting concept couched in philanthropy PUBSLUSH supporters pledge to buy books; when the number of supporters for a book reaches 2,000 credit card pre-orders, PUBSLUSH publishes your book,and donates a book to a charity for each book they publish. Interesting concept,but why couch it in terms of philanthropy? Something smells fishy to me.

PUBSLUSH Publishing Contract Perils

Author Victoria Strauss, has a number of concerns, about this company, especially regarding PUBSLUSH's publishing contract.  Earlier this week, Ms Strauss published an article on the Writer Beware blog outlining her concerns about PUBSLUSH. PUBSLUSH contacted her shortly after her post appeared online. As a result of her 'cordial email exchange' with the company, PUBSLUSH made some positive changes. However,major concerns still exist.

Despite Tweaks, PUBSLUSH Publishing Contract Still Stinks

Apparently, simply submitting your work to PUBSLUSH constitutes acceptance of the terms of its publishing agreement,something rather odd,and not apparent unless you are a diligent fine print reader like Victoria. PUBSLUSH apparently treasures this part of their policies,and does not wish to change it,PUBSLUSH did tell Ms. Strauss they will be re-designing their submission page to make it clearer to authors that they're binding themselves to a legal agreement. Frankly- I wouldn't hold my breath.

Conflict of Interest-Publisher=Literary Agent

Victoria points out another hidden item tucked away in the publishing contract, is the circumstances under which PUBSLUSH magically becomes the writers' literary agent, and the commission charged for this service: 15%. Hmm.. 15% for selling something to themselves? I'm not quite clear on what exactly literary agents do, but this certainly seems to be a conflict of interest. I thought a literary agent received their commission by haggling to get the best deal paid to you by a publishing company. Haggling with yourself?  Even being an inexperienced author,this turns on big flashing neon STAY AWAY sign!  Suffice it to say, if Victoria,a published author, has concerns, that's enough sign for me to avoid PUBSLUSH.

More Major Contract Problems

Ms, Strauss also flagged numerous other contract issues in her first post that PUBSLUSH doesn't seem to want to address either: the rights reversion clause lacks a definition for 'out of print'; royalty rates only set after a work's selection for publication; and the option clause's sweeping claim on sequels and related works. So my understand is if I were to take up their offer of submitting my best 10 pages to PUBSLUSH,and a synopsis, PUBSLUSH could choose to pay me any rate at all,say one cent, for my work. Plus- if I wanted to use my characters in a sequel,they would be allowed to continue to pay me any paltry sum of their choosing. Woah! Get me out of here!
Ms.Strauss does note that PUBSLUSH 's willingness to respond to criticism, and to put changes in place, is welcome and commendable. However, she remains concerned about the viability of the PUBSLUSH concept,and PUBSLUSH's staff's apparent lack of publishing industry experience.
Thanks to Victoria Strauss for alerting writers about the Perils of PUBSLUSH I stamp this one - STAY AWAY !
Read full details of Victoria Strauss' PUBSLUSH critique at Writer Beware™ Blogs!: PUBSLUSH Press: Update


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