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Left Hand Publishers?

 
chuckt
(@chuckt)
Silver Member
Posts: 419

Anyone got info on this outfit? They accepted a story of mine but then I see that Duotrope has disqualified them for offering paid services to accepted authors. I don't know if I care about that if the services are optional but I certainly don't want to publish with someone that isn't considered legit.

And I see one article that points out some questionable things in the contract: https://www.patreon.com/posts/authors-should-17357718

36: R, R, R, SHM
37: R, HM, R, HM
38: HM, R, ?

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Topic starter Posted : September 24, 2019 2:28 am
Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1115

Anyone got info on this outfit? They accepted a story of mine but then I see that Duotrope has disqualified them for offering paid services to accepted authors. I don't know if I care about that if the services are optional but I certainly don't want to publish with someone that isn't considered legit.

And I see one article that points out some questionable things in the contract: https://www.patreon.com/posts/authors-should-17357718

A lot of the stuff listed on that example contract reads real bad--especially the stuff about first rights of refusal and royalties (the way that reads, you have to give them first option to publish anything featuring a character or setting they've previously published for, and you end up paying them if you use your characters and setting ANYWHERE afterward--for the rest of your life). I would read any contract they send you VERY closely before signing, and if it doesn't sit well with you don't sign it. Always protect your ideas; they're yours, and should remain that way.

If you are in difficulties with a book, try the element of surprise: attack it at an hour when it isn't expecting it. ~ H.G. Wells
R, SF, SHM, SHM, SHM, F, R, HM, SHM, R, HM, R, F, SHM, SHM, SHM, SF, SHM, 1st Place (Q2 V38)
Ticknor Tales

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Posted : September 24, 2019 3:15 am
jficke13
(@jficke13)
Bronze Member
Posts: 80

And if you have any doubts about contract language, reach out to people to help you parse it. Bad contracts are bad news.

HM x2, Vol. 34 Q4 - 3rd. http://www.jonficke.com

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Posted : September 24, 2019 4:39 am
Reigheena
(@reigheena)
Bronze Member
Posts: 69

wow, that sounds like a horrible contract. Pro magazines don't ask for that much stuff. SFWA has some examples of what a good contract looks like. Generally, the more rights a company wants, the more they should pay you for it, and it sounds like they're not even paying you pro rates.

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Posted : September 24, 2019 5:30 am
chuckt
(@chuckt)
Silver Member
Posts: 419

No they don't pay pro rates. I'm okay with that part. This story has gone through most of the pro-rate markets already.

The provisions last for 12 months. So I'm not giving away rights to the story elements forever. My story is a retelling of a chapter from the Odyssey so the characters are public domain anyway.

I just don't want to publish in something that isn't respectable.

36: R, R, R, SHM
37: R, HM, R, HM
38: HM, R, ?

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Topic starter Posted : September 24, 2019 6:56 am
Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1115

No they don't pay pro rates. I'm okay with that part. This story has gone through most of the pro-rate markets already.

The provisions last for 12 months. So I'm not giving away rights to the story elements forever. My story is a retelling of a chapter from the Odyssey so the characters are public domain anyway.

I just don't want to publish in something that isn't respectable.

It's the royalties thing that looks fishy to me. You have to pay them 5% of anything you make on the characters for the first 24 months, 2.5% for a year after that, and then 1% in perpetuity. That seems very wrong to me, especially if pro rates aren't a thing.

If you are in difficulties with a book, try the element of surprise: attack it at an hour when it isn't expecting it. ~ H.G. Wells
R, SF, SHM, SHM, SHM, F, R, HM, SHM, R, HM, R, F, SHM, SHM, SHM, SF, SHM, 1st Place (Q2 V38)
Ticknor Tales

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Posted : September 24, 2019 7:26 am
chuckt
(@chuckt)
Silver Member
Posts: 419

It's the royalties thing that looks fishy to me. You have to pay them 5% of anything you make on the characters for the first 24 months, 2.5% for a year after that, and then 1% in perpetuity. That seems very wrong to me.

Hmm. I didn't catch that. Doesn't matter for this story but that does seem a rather bold grab for most works.

36: R, R, R, SHM
37: R, HM, R, HM
38: HM, R, ?

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Topic starter Posted : September 24, 2019 7:28 am
Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1115

It's the royalties thing that looks fishy to me. You have to pay them 5% of anything you make on the characters for the first 24 months, 2.5% for a year after that, and then 1% in perpetuity. That seems very wrong to me.

Hmm. I didn't catch that. Doesn't matter for this story but that does seem a rather bold grab.

That's why I brought it up, yeah.

If you are in difficulties with a book, try the element of surprise: attack it at an hour when it isn't expecting it. ~ H.G. Wells
R, SF, SHM, SHM, SHM, F, R, HM, SHM, R, HM, R, F, SHM, SHM, SHM, SF, SHM, 1st Place (Q2 V38)
Ticknor Tales

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Posted : September 24, 2019 7:30 am
Henckel
(@henckel)
Silver Member
Posts: 417

It's the royalties thing that looks fishy to me. You have to pay them 5% of anything you make on the characters for the first 24 months, 2.5% for a year after that, and then 1% in perpetuity. That seems very wrong to me, especially if pro rates aren't a thing.

WTF????

While I don't have any specif experience in "publication contracts", in my day job I'm a Senior Procurement Specialist and thus, I write contracts in my sleep. ....and this one doesn't smell right. As a matter of fact, it sounds dishonest!

I recommend dropping them... In my humble opinion.

(2014) V31 Q1 – R
(2018) V35 Q3 – HM
(2019) V36 Q3 – HM
(2019) V36 Q4 – SHM
(2020) V37 Q1 – R
(2020) V37 Q2 – HM
(2020) V37 Q3 – SHM
(2020) V37 Q4 – Finalist
(2021) V38 Q1 – Semi-finalist
(2021) V38 Q2 – SHM
(2021) V38 Q3 – tba

Coolest Achievements
(2019) Published in Escape Anthology
(2020) Published in Sci-Fi Lampoon
(2020) V37 Q4 – Finalist
(2020) Dream Foundry - Shortlisted
(2021) Mike Resnick Memorial Award - 3rd Place winner!!! (to be published)

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Posted : September 24, 2019 9:10 am
chuckt
(@chuckt)
Silver Member
Posts: 419

I don't even see the reason for it. Is it remotely likely that some novice writer that publishes a story with them is going to hit it big using an element of the story in the future?

Again, none of this matters for this story but if good writers are shunning this market, it doesn't do me any good to publish with them.

36: R, R, R, SHM
37: R, HM, R, HM
38: HM, R, ?

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Topic starter Posted : September 24, 2019 10:03 am
chuckt
(@chuckt)
Silver Member
Posts: 419

I decided to sell the story to them anyway. The agreement's aggressive provisions don't matter for this story and I think this one would be a difficult sale in most markets. And it will end up in a real paperback that can be purchased off Amazon. That's cool. The editors check out as legit. We'll see.

36: R, R, R, SHM
37: R, HM, R, HM
38: HM, R, ?

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Topic starter Posted : September 26, 2019 6:25 am
chuckt
(@chuckt)
Silver Member
Posts: 419

So. Just to close this out, the book, with my story, is out. The publishers were very professional with me. No one offered to sell me anything and the book is quite nice. No problems to report with the experience.

36: R, R, R, SHM
37: R, HM, R, HM
38: HM, R, ?

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Topic starter Posted : January 3, 2020 5:33 am
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