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Saturday, April 30, 2005
 
Major Publisher Does Something Shocking

Macmillan (the British one I guess) has a program for new writers where writers receive no advance (although they do get higher royalties) and might even have to pay for editing costs. Oh, and Macmillan gets all rights and can publish the next book under the same "deal." Read more at http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,1473588,00.html

Yikes! When a POD publisher makes an offer like that, everybody tells the writer to run away and find a real publisher!

What's really pathetic is that one Macmillan's executive director responded to the criticism by saying "I find it strange that established authors don't want new books to be published I find that position very hard to defend."

Noooo! That's not what they're saying at al! They're trying to protect authors from this horrid horrid contract. His language was so close to the garbage put out by some of the vanity and POD presses that it is scary.

I hope they get excoriated for this and that no other publisher thinks this is a good idea. This sucks completely and utterly. It totally sucks for authors.

This is so bad for authors that I might start calling Macmillan MacPAmillan or PAmillan or something. Heck, this is so bad the record company executives are looking at it and saying "Wow, I can't believe they have the gall to do that!" ;-)
Comments:
Hi Anne. Nice blog! Soooo sensible. But I don't really agree with you on this one. Sure, the advance-then-maybe-royalty-payments-eventually model works for most publishing projects. But I think there are all sorts of manuscripts that would benefit from the MacMillan plan.

I published a short-story anthology called "Shivers" in 1989 or thereabouts. I prepared a sequel, "Let's Shiver Again," and the publisher turned it down. "Shivers" went out of print and found a new publisher a couple of years later (with a second advance -- yummmmmmm!). The second publisher turned down poor old "Let's Shiver Again" too. (Which makes me crazy because I think it is better than the first book, which sold quite nicely for both publishers. Even without the zillion copies my mother bought.) At this point, "Shivers" has been out of print for three years and the other book has never been published. How much of an advance do you think I want for it? Guess what I'd say to MacMillan if they offered to publish it with no advance but a 20% royalty?
 
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