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General Chat - anything Goes > I've looked the gifthorse in the mouth

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message 1: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth White | 2067 comments Headline from www.thebookseller.com today:

'Banker launches publishing start-up offering novelists 24K salary.'

Fine if you want to share copyright on your ideas as well...


message 2: by Jim (new)

Jim | 22174 comments Fascinating

"To earn their place, writers will undergo "a rigorous selection process" which begins with psychometric testing using an algorithm to establish if candidates are suited to the writer’s life. In later stages, if authors get through, they will then be invited to an interview to discuss the ideas they would like DML to help them develop with the assistance of an experienced mentor and editor.

De Montfort said DML is willing to spend in the region of £80,000 on each book, taking into account an author's salary, editorial and production costs, and PR and marketing."

https://www.thebookseller.com/news/st...

To be honest I'm not sure how many novelists make that level of salary anyway. The ones who already do won't be interested but given the world is full of indie writers whose earnings don't cover the costs incurred in publishing properly, I suspect they'll be inundated


message 3: by Anna (new)

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 1749 comments Yep, Jim, inundated. I'll help him out and stay away.


message 4: by Benjamin (new)

Benjamin Appleby-Dean (benjaminappleby-dean) There are a few other publishers out there with this kind of work-for-hire arrangement (Abaddon Books, for one), but they don't seem to require an interview process first.


message 5: by Kath (new)

Kath Middleton | 25096 comments Inundations never end well. Unless you have an arc.


message 6: by David (new)

David Manuel | 1147 comments Jim wrote: "Fascinating

"To earn their place, writers will undergo "a rigorous selection process" which begins with psychometric testing using an algorithm to establish if candidates are suited to the writer’..."


Sounds a bit too close to The Silver Eggheads to me.


message 7: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth White | 2067 comments David wrote: "Jim wrote: "Fascinating

"To earn their place, writers will undergo "a rigorous selection process" which begins with psychometric testing using an algorithm to establish if candidates are suited to..."


Which has now joined my TBR list.


Rosemary (grooving with the Picts) (nosemanny) | 9139 comments What is it with wanting to shaft creatives?
http://painterskeys.com/general-copies/
Portia di Rossi (Ellen's missus, so obvs not short of a bob or two) has this new business that involves the artist shipping a "selected" artwork to her company, where it is copied in some fancy schmancy 3D printing process, it's then returned (at the artist's expense) at which point they can sell it or whatever - although they no longer own the copyright. Meanwhile prints are sold and the grand total of 5% is given to the artist. Less expenses!!


message 9: by Jim (new)

Jim | 22174 comments I think it's the same process which means that the BBC looks shocked if somebody they want to turn up to a programme asks for expenses.
"Everybody wants to be on TV, what do you want money for?"

So it's the same with this, "Your dream is being an artist, so we give you the dream and quietly pocket the money."
With regards the publisher, my gut feeling is that they're going to struggle.

There are some 'interesting' concepts

"Copyright is shared between DML and the author. However, DML retains the management rights. This means that writers have a right to be paid at the contracted rate if their book is published. They also have the option to buy DML out from their ideas, if they decide to leave the company.

DML retains the right to have a ghost writer take ideas to novel format in an author’s absentia, for example, if they decide they want an extended holiday or to leave the firm and not buy out their ideas (they will still be paid at the contracted rate in either case)."

Sounds a bit like film work where writers are brought in to work on an existing franchise


message 10: by David (new)

David Manuel | 1147 comments Elizabeth wrote: "David wrote: "Jim wrote: "Fascinating

"To earn their place, writers will undergo "a rigorous selection process" which begins with psychometric testing using an algorithm to establish if candidates..."


It's one of my favorites!


message 11: by Will (new)

Will Macmillan Jones (willmacmillanjones) | 11721 comments Jim wrote: "I think it's the same process which means that the BBC looks shocked if somebody they want to turn up to a programme asks for expenses.
"Everybody wants to be on TV, what do you want money for?"

S..."


Sounds like the Pan Macmillan New Writers scheme I was offered some years back. Basically PanMac could shoehorn in their house hacks to write a lot of novels under someone's name, for which they received very little indeed for their original concept. I ran away.


message 12: by David (last edited May 31, 2018 06:14AM) (new)

David Manuel | 1147 comments Maybe we should just start fundraising like those organizations I see advertising on TV. "For just 63 cents a day, you can provide desperately needed assistance to starving writers just like Jim and Will so they can spend their time producing books instead of worrying about their next meal. And as a thank you for your help, we'll send you this adorable 'I Care About Writers' blanket . . ."


message 13: by Jim (new)

Jim | 22174 comments David wrote: "Maybe we should just start fundraising like those organizations I see advertising on TV. "For just 63 cents a day, you can provide desperately needed assistance to starving writers just like Jim an..."

it could just have legs :-)


message 14: by Kath (new)

Kath Middleton | 25096 comments A blanket with legs... Ewww!


message 15: by Will (new)

Will Once (willonce) | 4053 comments It's an interesting idea, but I can't help feeling that it's replacing one lottery with another.

I would imagine that the chance of being accepted would be not that different from the standard agent or publisher route, but the terms seem less favourable for the author. I'd worry about the clause restricting authors leaving the scheme from taking up with anyone else for two years.

You don't get ought for nought in this world.


message 16: by Alicia (new)

Alicia Ehrhardt (aliciabutcherehrhardt) | 4609 comments When things aren't working, the solution is rarely to start everything up new from scratch - because it takes very long and many mistakes to get functional.

If you've exhausted the normal routes as far as you're willing to take them (i.e., advertising), maybe. But I'm not a venture capitalist, and I can't afford dropping nine unfeasible startups out of ten in hopes of a miracle.


message 17: by David (new)

David Manuel | 1147 comments Kath wrote: "A blanket with legs... Ewww!"

Oh, I dunno . . .

https://www.amazon.com/Catalonia-Wearable-Blanket-Sleeves-pockets/dp/B075RYLCZF


message 18: by Will (new)

Will Macmillan Jones (willmacmillanjones) | 11721 comments Will wrote: "It's an interesting idea, but I can't help feeling that it's replacing one lottery with another.

I would imagine that the chance of being accepted would be not that different from the standard age..."


Personally I suspect that 2 years clause to be so restrictive that it would not be enforceable in law, as an unreasonable restriction on trade


message 19: by David (new)

David Edwards | 446 comments Kath wrote: "A blanket with legs...

Isn't that just called a sheep?


message 20: by Kath (new)

Kath Middleton | 25096 comments That's a dinner with legs. 😁


message 21: by Will (new)

Will Once (willonce) | 4053 comments Will wrote: "Personally I suspect that 2 years clause to be so restrictive that it would not be enforceable in law, as an unreasonable restriction on trade"

Fair point. It does seem to be very restrictive.

I presume that the idea here is that this company will pay a writer to prepare a manuscript. They will mentor and guide the author and pay them a salary to allow them to work on the book full time.

What they don't want the author to do is to take all that money and help ... and then publish the book with someone else at a better rate of return than the 50% royalties that this scheme is offering.

So I can see why they want to do it. But as you say they could have a difficult time getting it through a legal challenge.


message 22: by Will (new)

Will Macmillan Jones (willmacmillanjones) | 11721 comments Will, I think that it would be easy to manage that target of protecting the investment, by saying that they retained copyright on work developed with them. That's quite a normal business arrangement with developers and creatives. saying you could not join another publisher for 2 years? Harsh. Too harsh, I'd say.


message 23: by Anna (new)

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 1749 comments David wrote: "Kath wrote: "A blanket with legs... Ewww!"

Oh, I dunno . . .

https://www.amazon.com/Catalonia-Wear..."


Looks like a trip hazard to me... in fact my mind has gone to Christmas present to 'murder weapon' to... Better stop there.


message 24: by Karen (new)

Karen Lowe | 2336 comments Jim wrote: "Fascinating

"To earn their place, writers will undergo "a rigorous selection process" which begins with psychometric testing using an algorithm to establish if candidates are suited to the writer’..."


Am still wondering what their concept of 'a writer's life' is. In my somewhat limited experience it means doing a lot of catchup on social media, sharpening pencils, making yet more coffee. I can think of writers with rather more interesting lives - Dylan Thomas, Coleridge, Oscar Wilde...


message 25: by David (new)

David Manuel | 1147 comments Karen wrote: "Am still wondering what their concept of 'a writer's life' is. In my somewhat limited experience it means doing a lot of catchup on social media, sharpening pencils, making yet more coffee. I can think of writers with rather more interesting lives - Dylan Thomas, Coleridge, Oscar Wilde..."

Just go to the Amazon page for The Silver Eggheads and, via their Look Inside, you can read most of the first chapter, wherein it is explained just what the "writer's life" is all about.


Gingerlily - The Full Wild | 36808 comments And what about Byron?


message 27: by Will (new)

Will Macmillan Jones (willmacmillanjones) | 11721 comments Try reading Stephen King's On Writing for a description we should, perhaps, aspire to.


message 28: by Karen (new)

Karen Lowe | 2336 comments Will wrote: "Try reading Stephen King's On Writing for a description we should, perhaps, aspire to."

Just bought it, thanks - looks interesting.


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