Am I allowed to act like a teenager and say “Ha ha told you so!”?
Because I think I should be.
Finally, they’ve released the contracts and self-publishing deals.
And, well, let’s just say, AUTHORS BEWARE.
Steph first told me about it last night and my jaw was literally wide open as she briefly described some of the terms and conditions.
I think the easiest and most concise way to find out is to read The Australian Literature Review’s summary of the contracts.
Some of the ‘highlights’ of the contract include:
Dymocks are given editorial control
The relevant clause here is under the heading of Legally Objectionable Material but don’t let that fool you, because another clause states that:
“headings are [for] the ease of reference only and do not affect interpretation.”
Therefore the clause below applies, whether related to legally objectionable material or not:
“If the Author refuses to amend or delete passages in the Work to Dymocks reasonable satisfaction then the Author must, at the request of Dymocks, repay all monies paid by Dymocks. On repayment of all monies this agreement terminates and the rights granted to Dymocks revert to the Author.”
An author’s future earnings potential, which could be based on years of time and effort, are put in Dymock’s hands and can be taken away
As the holder of exclusive rights, Dymocks could take punitive measures against authors they have a disagreement with by decreasing distribution or stopping it entirely for the author’s book(s) and not allowing the author have that work published elsewhere.
There are more, heaps more. It sickens me to think that D Publishing is sinking this low.
I would have expected more from them. Not much more, but more.
I think an important thing to remember is – as The Aust Lit Review points out – the Dymocks shops and franchisees probably had little to nothing to do with this.
This won’t shop me from shopping at Dymocks – especially at franchise stores – but there’s not much they can do will get my respect back.
Yes self-publishing tends to be bad. But this bad? Honestly?
It’s interesting to note that they’ve already amended the contract and taken certain parts of it off their website – no doubt thanks to the back-lash which is quickly making its way around the internet.
The worse part is that there are writers out there desperate enough to pay Dymocks and sign their writing souls away.
The power Dymocks has to stock books in their stores is large no doubt, and many people will over-look the crap contract to see their shining book in the Dymocks stores.
It’s really awful how companies such as this can blatantly rip people off and get away with it.
Yes, no-one is forcing people to sign up with Dymocks but does that make it any better? Where are the morals?
Anyone who spends half a day in publishing can tell the contract is awful and shouldn’t be allowed.
“We wanted an author paid rather than the publisher pull,” Grover says in my interview with him.
What an utter joke.