COMMENTS AND CRITICISMS
There’s a web site out there, SEE THE LINK BELOW, that went through a few days of intense ATTMP-bashing towards the end of last year by folks that don’t know us, haven’t submitted to us, haven’t published with us, have never contacted us directly, and who presented, in our minds, a great deal of skewed information. We chose, after a couple of attempts to reach out to these people, not to continue to participate in their “chat” since it appeared to be degenerating into some pretty ridiculous commentary and sarcasm. And, quite frankly, it appeared to us that the entire “chat” was turning into something extremely vicious, not to mention the fact that the majority of the “informed” comments and “legitimate concerns” were based on half-statements, out of context statements, and misinformation. It also appeared to be becoming a semantics war based on certain people preferring one word over another, or perhaps just not having a grasp of certain words at all.
However, since some of their concerns may be your concerns, too, and you’re the folks we’re concerned about, we’ve put together the follow to hopefully help clarify.
They raise concerns about our request that submitted manuscripts be as error-free as possible, and question whether or not there’s an editing process.
Yes, we send manuscripts back for correction and editing. Gee, what a shame these folks’ publishers don’t share corrections and editing suggestions with them. We like to keep our authors totally involved in every step of the process. It’s your book, after all, and we’ve found that our authors appreciate knowing where it’s at in the process, and having input into the ultimate final product. We edit with a vengeance. But it does throw up a red flag for us when someone submits something with so many typographical errors that it’s obvious they didn’t even run a simple spell check, or when the submission is impossible to read because of the number of spelling errors. We certainly don’t insist on “error free” submissions; we do recognize that mistakes are made. There have been typographical errors on our website. Welcome to the human race! But we do look for submissions that show the author’s commitment to what they’ve written. We are most certainly not “a PDF dump.”
They accuse us of requiring our authors to use the pay-for editing service advertised on our site.
ATTMP authors and/or authors submitting to us are prohibited from using the editing service listed on our website. It is absolutely not allowed, and that fact is clearly stated. That service is available for authors who, while not choosing to submit to us for whatever reason, such as their genre doesn’t fit with us, would like to have their book edited prior to submission to the publisher(s) of their choice. We, in fact, frequently refer those authors to other editing services, just in case their work turns out to be something we’d offer a contract on when it was complete, so as to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.
They complain that we’re not brick and mortar oriented.
They’re right. We make it very clear right up front that we’re not targeting brick and mortar stores. If that’s where you want to be, that’s fine. It’s just not what we do. Brick and mortars can order directly from us at a wholesale discount.
They don’t like some of the marketing information we’ve provided.
The marketing info is just that, information. Take it, leave it, take parts of it. It’s an attempt on our part to share information. We didn’t write it; we’re sharing it.
As for contract concerns, let us address some of them for you, please, using some of the already existing posts on the site. (PLEASE ALSO VISIT OUR Q&A PAGE AND NOTE THAT OUR CONTRACT IS POSTED FOR ALL TO SEE PRIOR TO SUBMISSION).
“C. Publisher may, at its discretion, remove the Work from publication or distribution for reasons of poor sales, excessive returns, or other reason deemed by Publisher to be injurious to Publisher’s or Author’s best interest. Publisher shall give notice to Author of removal from distribution and the reasons for the withdrawal. If Publisher removes the Work from sale, this contract shall terminate and all rights granted shall revert to the Author.
In particular, what the publisher deems as 'injurious to publisher or author'!! Seems a little pie in the sky to me.”
Well, to our way of thinking, “injurious” would encompass such things as, oh, say, one of our authors suddenly going off the deep end and becoming a mass murderer. That would be injurious to us. Of if one of us did the same, that would be injurious to the author (and to us, too). Or if one of our authors who had published under a pseudonym for personal reasons were to suddenly start receiving death threats, that would be injurious to him. Obviously, legal language in contracts is intentionally written a bit vaguely in order to encompass unforeseeable future contingencies. If our attorney had tried to list every conceivable possible “injurious” circumstance, the contract would be pretty long!
“I'd at the very least try to contact one of their authors to see how they have found their experience with the publisher, but ultimately, Allthingsthatmatterpress are not a tradition publisher, with no advance given, but inflated net royalties of 40%. Not uncommon in publishing, in fact, more and more LARGE publishing presses are no longer offering authors upfront advances. HarperCollins set up HarperStudios with this model of author/publisher contract.” (Emphasis added.)
By all means, please visit any of our authors’ websites and contact them directly. We encourage you to do so. For reasons of privacy, we do not give out our authors’ personal contact information unless specifically requested by them to do so, but we are in the process of gathering comments from them and will be happy to share.
Oh, and by the way, I think the word this person was looking for is “traditional,” not “tradition” publisher. Ooops! Didn’t proofread that one, I guess. However, thanks to that person for the comparison of ATTMP to HarperCollins.
On the issue of royalty, our authors get 40% of every penny that we receive from sales of their books. Every penny, any venue. The term “net profit” refers to the money paid on each sale after the printer takes their cut, because that’s the net profit . “Gross profit” would refer to the amount before the printing costs were taken out. We share the net profit, not the gross profit.
On poetry and short stories. It is very difficult, as was been pointed out, for a poet to get his/her work published. While the market for poetry and short stories is limited, as, again, was pointed out, we don’t feel that that’s a reason not to publish quality poetry and short story collections.
On some of the other contract “concerns.”
We have extended the term of our contract to a five year period because the thought in the post was correct; it is difficult to build up sales in a short period of time. Good point, and thanks for it.
We’re not limiting our contract to “territories.” Sorry, c’est la vie. The contract is the contract is the contract.
We do copyright all of the books we publish, although the author has the option of doing so, as well, through the U.S. Copyright Office.
Find me a publisher that doesn’t reserve the right to put a book on sale, please. That’s adjusting the price. And, no, our books are not priced higher than comparable sized books in the market. Go to Amazon.com and check it out.
Authors do not “organize distribution discounts.” Wholesale order discounts are structured in such a way that the author does not lose any royalty value on the sale of their book through this channel.
Correct, we do not have an obligation to contract with any distributor, bookstore, vendor, organization, or outlet. The word here is any, as in any particular, meaning that the option exists to expand the distribution channels as appropriate (and, yes, that’s as appropriate in our opinion).
Actually, most of our authors prefer to be paid by check, which is what we do in those cases. Note the phrase “other arrangements.” One of our foreign authors receives his royalty via PayPal; there is no fee associated on his end for the transaction.
Perhaps a reviewer wouldn’t want an autographed copy, but the clause is not limited to reviewers.
Of course books purchased at the author’s discount rate are ineligible for royalty. Please see Section VII (F) of the contract, where it clearly spells that out. See, this is our issue with this web site -- quite a few of the people posting don’t have a clue what they’re talking about!
Obviously, we have not addressed every single comment contained in the posts. Please feel free to contact us directly if we’ve missed something that’s important to you, and we can have as in-depth a dialogue as you’d like.
We absolutely welcome direct contact from anyone with legitimate concerns and/or questions about our press, and are more than happy to answer them.
WE HOPE YOU WILL READ THE ENTIRE CONVERSATION
AUTHOR OF WHERE YOU ARE,GEMINI'S BLOOD AND GEMINI
I have been immensely pleased with Deb and Phil Harris in the way they have expeditiously handled my mss; the promptness of their replies to my concerns; their professional, straightforward dealings with me. I have had experiences with other small presses and can say without hesitation, that they have been the best.
E. JOYCE MOORE
AUTHOR OF RAMBLING THROUGH THE ATTIC OF THOUGHT