Setting the Record Straight: Rosy Press

As a professional writers association, RWA stands firmly against any attempts to directly solicit RWA members to pursue vanity/subsidy publishing or other author-financed forms of publication. Publishing programs (lines, imprints or divisions) that directly solicit or refer writers to Predatory Publishing companies or other author-financed means of publication will not be allowed to participate in RWA’s annual conference as a featured publishing program.

For RWA purposes, "Predatory Publishing" means a business model based on selling products or services to authors rather than selling books to readers. Services or publishing packages offered by the entity are usually priced higher than similar services found in the open marketplace. Promises of mass-distribution, marketing services, or expertise in editorial, design and delivery of quality works made by Predatory Publishing companies are rarely fulfilled and often result in unsuccessful distribution or sales. This definition includes, but is not limited to, publishing programs that withhold or seek full or partial payment or reimbursement of publication or distribution costs before paying royalties.

Rosy Press's Janelle Asselin questioned Romance Writers of America's rejection of the publisher's Qualifying Market application to participate in the 2016 RWA Conference. Asselin published only part of RWA's letter to her on her Tumblr page, so we're posting the e-mail in its entirety below to provide clarity on why the publisher's application was rejected.

Questions may be directed to RWA Deputy Executive Director Carol Ritter at carol.ritter@rwa.org.

 

On 5/2/16 7:39 AM, Carol Ritter wrote:


Hi Janelle,

Thank you for sending the sample publishing agreement. RWA’s mission is to advance the common business and professional interests of career-focused romance writers. Before RWA allows any publisher or distributor to promote services to RWA conference attendees, we vet the company by reviewing terms of services and/or contracts offered to authors.

There are a few clauses in the Copyright License and Publishing Agreement you provided that have caused concern during my review.

First, for RWA purposes "Predatory Publishing" means a business model based on selling products or services to authors rather than selling books to readers. Services or publishing packages offered by the entity are usually priced higher than similar services found in the open marketplace. Promises of mass-distribution, marketing services, or expertise in editorial, design and delivery of quality works made by Predatory Publishing companies are rarely fulfilled and often result in unsuccessful distribution or sales. This definition includes, but is not limited to, publishing programs that withhold or seek full or partial payment or reimbursement of publication or distribution costs before paying royalties.

In the agreement, Net Revenue is defined as the total amount of money generated from sales of the Magazine and Book minus any fees or costs directly associated with formatting, editing, printing, distributing, and storing the publication, including Talent’s page rate and any attorney’s fees Publisher may incur. This definition is in conflict with the final sentence (underlined) in our definition of Predatory Publishing. Specifically your company is withholding or seeking reimbursement for what we consider normal publication and distribution costs carried by the publisher, which should be deducted from the Publisher’s portion, not the author’s portion of earnings.

I am also concerned with the following sentence found in the License & Publication section: If Publisher does not extend the exclusivity period, the licenses become perpetual and non-exclusive. Could you explain what this means? Because the sentence in Other Legal Bits (After the exclusivity period this Agreement may only be terminated upon mutual agreement of the parties.) implies that if both parties do not agree then the contract cannot be terminated, or the author may not publish their work elsewhere.

Sincerely,

Carol Ritter | Deputy Executive Director
carol.ritter@rwa.org
Romance Writers of America
14615 Benfer Road
Houston, Texas 77069
832.717.5200 ext. 127

E-MAIL CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender and delete the message. You may not copy this message or disclose its contents to anyone without permission.

Recent Stories
December 11 Romance Bestsellers

We're All in This Together—RITA Theme Announced!

Award Nominations Due Dec 31