Many authors want to write. Just write. They don’t want to edit or format their book (nor assist in the process). The don’t want to build a website. They don’t want to publish a blog. And, they don’t want to participate in any marketing activities. Period. They would far prefer to pay someone else to do all of that. And, that’s where publishing consultants step in…if an author can afford such a luxury.
These folks hold an author’s hand from A to Z when getting their book published and, often, beyond. Sometimes, freelance webmasters step into this role for the author. Occasionally, it’s an author’s secretary who does it (even if the secretary actually works for the author in their regular, non-publishing-related day job).
Unless that person has a power of attorney from you, they can’t legally “sign” (physically or virtually) a contract for you.
But, that’s not what we’re here to discuss today. Today, I’m talking about TRUST.
At BookLocker, we have a beneficiary clause in our contracts that states who will receive an author’s rights and future royalties. When a secretary, or webmaster, or someone else completes an author’s contract with the author’s name and contact info., we may or may not realize it’s not the author him/herself completing the contract.
THE SNEAKY, GREEDY WEBMASTER
Today, an author wrote in wanting to confirm that their beneficiary was a specific organization. I pulled up his contract and that organization was NOT listed. Rather, it was the author’s webmaster who was listed at the beneficiary. Of course, the author had no idea, when trusting this webmaster to complete a contract online for him, that the webmaster would take it upon himself to GIVE himself the author’s future royalties and book rights should something happen to the author.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time we’ve seen this happen and it most certainly won’t be the last. In this case, I told the author to quickly complete a new contract, which would replace the old.
WHAT ELSE HAVE WE SEEN?
One author had a secretary who logged into the author’s account, and sent us a message, telling us to change the payee for the royalties, saying the author “had passed.” The rep had completed the author’s initial contract, and had named herself as the beneficiary. That author was still very much alive. I was suspicious, of course, and contacted the author. Needless to say, that secretary lost her job.
Don’t even get me started on authors who have trusted their own relatives with the account login info., and who have almost fallen victim to theft that way.
WHAT MIGHT ALSO HAPPEN?
What else can happen if you ask someone else to complete a contract on your behalf?
1. You might be subject to additional fees and other stringent contractual conditions that you didn’t know about because, you know, you didn’t want to read the contract, or deal with any other administrative tasks to get your book published.
2. If your publisher finds out you didn’t complete the contract, they may suspect fraud, and instantly terminate your book.
3. If you refuse to pay the fees listed in the contract, or to abide by other items your representative agreed to, your book could be terminated.
4. The publisher could claim that, despite the lack of your signature, that you knew the terms of the publishing agreement and that the terms are still valid and enforceable.
While I know reading contracts is a pain in the tookus, doing so is necessary. If you really, really don’t want to deal with that stuff, have your lawyer do it for you. While not all lawyers are honest, the chances of an attorney ripping you off are probably far less than some webmaster or publishing consultant you hired online, sight unseen.
Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela Hoy.
About The Author
Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the author of 19 books, 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).
Angela has lived and traveled across the U.S. with her kids in an RV, settled in a river-side home in Bradenton, FL, and lived on a 52 ft Irwin sailboat. Angela now resides on a mountaintop in Northwest Georgia, where she plans to spend the rest of her days bird watching, gardening, hiking, and taking in all of the amazing sunrises.
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 https://twitter.com/AngelaHoy
BOOKLOCKER ON FACEBOOK - Provides links to free excerpts!
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Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!
Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE
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