I am very interested in using a particular POD publisher for my book. But, I can’t find a link to their contract anywhere on their site. When I ask them for a copy, they just send more advertising mumbo jumbo. What should I do?
First, you should NEVER pursue a relationship with a company that doesn’t answer your questions, or honor your requests for specific information and/or links immediately, and in a forthright manner. You shouldn’t have to ask more than once, unless something is lost in translation, of course. (Sometimes, new authors use the wrong industry terms when asking a question, which can cause confusion.)
Second, you might be able to find the contract on their website on your own. Using your favorite search engine’s advanced search option, search that publisher’s specific website URL for words like contract or agreement, or terms like “Author Agreement” or “User Agreement” or “Author Contract.”
Many POD publishers put links to their contracts deep in their websites (if at all!), forcing you to click on page after page of shiny (overblown!) marketing materials. At BookLocker, our contract link is right there on our main publishing info. page.
Many POD publishers don’t want you to actually READ their contracts because you may then see HOW THEY REALLY DO BUSINESS!
- Most POD publishers (NOT BookLocker!) take all rights to production files – files YOU paid them to create – making it difficult or impossible for you to move to another firm if you’re unhappy.
- You may discover that YOU are responsible for paying for errors your publisher probably noticed during the initial publishing process, but didn’t bother to tell you about…
- You might even discover that very basic services you assumed would be included in their initial fees are NOT.
- You may learn that your book can be used to promote your publisher’s own services, with no payment being made to you.
- You might discover there’s an annual fee associated with your book that is ridiculously high.
- And, you may find even more horrible gremlins that never before crossed your mind!
If any firm hesitates to show you their contract, they’re hiding something. They don’t want you to read the contract until they have your money in their pocket. So, run! Run as far away as you can and find a firm that openly publishes their contract, and encourages authors to read it.
Have a question for Angela (writing/publishing) or Richard (marketing)? Contact us here.