Good news! You just landed a traditional contract for your self-published book! Better news!! Your current self-publishing service (a POD publisher) has a 30-day termination clause. That’s good because the traditional publisher offering you a nice advance isn’t going to want to wait for you to get out of another contract. Some traditional publishers require proof that an author’s book is no longer under contract elsewhere, and no longer for sale. In fact, if you can’t provide that proof, they may rescind their offer, and offer that contract to a competing author instead.
Guess what? If you’re an Xlibris, AuthorHouse, or Trafford author, terminating your book isn’t as simple as their “30-day” contract termination clause may appear. If you read the fine print of their contract, you’ll see they can keep selling your print edition and ebook (and more – including derivative works and compilations!) for A FULL YEAR after you terminate your contract with them!
Yes, you read that right. They’re “License Continuation Post-Termination” clause states it quite clearly –
7.3 License Continuation Post-Termination. For a period of one (1) year, beginning at the conclusion of the Term, regardless of the reason for Termination, We are granted, by You, the non-exclusive, worldwide license to manufacture, store, use, display, execute, copy, reproduce (in whole or in part), warehouse, host, store, use, transmit, modify (including to create derivative works), import, make, have made, offer to sell, print, publish, market, distribute, and sell (individually or as part of compilations of collective works), and license for use via any subscription model, through all distribution channels (now or hereafter known, including online and electronic distribution channels), and otherwise exploit in any language, in print form, digital format, audiobook format, or via any other medium, now known or hereafter devised, the Work.
What a mouthful! They can do ALL THAT to your book AFTER you think you’ve severed ties with them! Good luck dealing with your traditional publisher if they find your old book on the market months after you’ve signed a new contract.
AuthorHouse (which is owned by the same company) has the same clause.
Trafford is doing it, too.
This doesn’t just affect self-published authors who later land traditional contracts. Any author who leaves AuthorHouse, Trafford, or iUniverse to publish the same (or updated) book elsewhere may end up losing new book sales. How?
THE OLD EDITION MAY COMPETE WITH YOUR NEW EDITION FOR SALES!
While all of these contracts are non-exclusive (you can publish elsewhere simultaneously), this contract clause means these firms will be competing directly with the new edition of your book if it goes up for sale within a year. Most self-published (and some traditionally published) books do just that! And, you can bet your traditional publisher is NOT going to be happy about this. If you find out people are getting confused, and buying the old version instead of the new version, you’re not going to be happy, either! Your readers may get upset if they find out they purchased an old edition, and may demand you replace that copy with a new one.
Author Solutions, which owns AuthorHouse, Xlibris, Trafford and others, is being sued (for other things). A judge recently denied their request to dismiss all the claims of the suit. The law firm heading up the lawsuit has a form online for (alleged) victims to complete.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
First, never sign with a publisher who has this ridiculous clause.
If you already have, and if you’re moving your book elsewhere, or publishing a new edition, consider renaming the book. That way, customers won’t get confused, and buy the old edition online as a result of your new marketing efforts.
We have lost some great BookLocker.com authors to traditional publishers over the years. We are always thrilled for them! We terminate their contract same-day with a smile. Some of them have even returned to BookLocker after being dissatisfied with their traditional publishing experience! You can read one of those stories HERE.
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.
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Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!
Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE