NOTE: BookLocker.com does NOT take ownership of their authors’ production files. BookLocker’s authors own all rights to their books and to their production files from the get-go. Period.
In January, 2017, after much trouble, numerous complaints posted online, and a handful of lawsuits, Tate Publishing bit the dust. They’re calling it a “transition” on their website (uh huh…), while also saying they have “stopped accepting new authors and artists.”
Many authors assume they have retained the rights to their manuscript, and they probably do. But, the rights to your words (your story) are completely different from the rights to the files used to print your book, meaning the interior and cover production files.
According to attorney Mark Levine in his book The Fine Print of Self Publishing, “A Tate representative told me that, if the author should determine to leave Tate and publish elsewhere, the book’s design files would remain with Tate.”
That means Tate Publishing was one of those snakes (my words, not Mark’s) who claimed ownership of their authors’ production files. This is VERY IMPORTANT. In a nutshell, authors paid them upwards of thousands of dollars to format their interior files, design their book covers, edit their manuscripts, etc., etc., and Tate then claimed ownership of the files the authors PAID them to create.
In whose world is it fair to pay someone for files that you won’t own? In my opinion, this practice is NEVER fair.
Then, Tate took it a step further. They are offering to sell their authors’ production files back to them for an additional $50….but the authors also must sign a contract stating 1. they won’t sue Tate and 2. they agree to get no refund from Tate. So, if you want your production files, that’s the only way you can get them.
Unfortunately, most POD publishers / publishing services firms have a similar contract clause. Why do they do this? We call it a “forced marriage.” Think about it. If an author must pay another firm all over again to design print-ready files (and even to edit the manuscript), what incentive does an author have have to leave their current (greedy) publisher? Unless they have hundreds or thousands more to spend, they’re stuck with that publisher. That ensures the publisher can not only continue to get residual sales for the book over the years, but they can also keep attempting to upsell the author on more services.
REPEAT: BookLocker.com does NOT take ownership of their authors’ production files. BookLocker’s authors own all rights to their books and to their production files from the get-go. Period.
According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print of Self Publishing, the following publishers DO take the rights to their author’s production files:
Magic Valley Publishers
Other firms we researched:
Lulu – if you use their resources/services, they own the rights to those files.
CreateSpace – if you use their resources/services, they own the rights to those files.
There are others in the industry as well and some of them use very confusing legalese in their contracts so authors can’t really understand what they’re giving up. For example, they may claim the author owns all rights to the files the author submitted to the publisher. If nothing more is mentioned, you can bet the publisher is claiming rights to the ready-to-print production files.
Beware of companies that do offer authors their production files, but refuse to give you copies of your files until after your book is terminated. You should be able to obtain copies of your production files at any time so you can set them up at a new publisher or printer before terminating from the first one. This will ensure your book is not “out of print” at any time.
Again, BookLocker.com takes NO RIGHTS WHATSOEVER FROM AUTHORS. BookLocker authors can terminate at any time and they can use their files at another publisher or printer. This includes the final MSWord file (that contains the final formatting, and can be easily edited/updated by the author), and/or the print-ready pdf files (cover and interior). BookLocker even gives authors their epub, mobi, and pdf ebook files.
About The Author
Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).
WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.
BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."
Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.
PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!
Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.
Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)
See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.
ANGELA ON TWITTER
BOOKLOCKER ON FACEBOOK - Provides links to free excerpts!
ANGELA ON TUMBLR
Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!
Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE
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