Have any of you heard of Macmillan New Writing?

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Have any of you heard of Macmillan New Writing?

Post by willow on Mon Apr 13, 2009 11:34 am

I read an interview on Amazon about them. I've been to their web site but I can't find anyone that's actually dealt with them. The upside of MNW is that they are first time authors only. They plan on editing your ms. The down side is that if they agree to publish you, they retain all your rights to the first novel and they retain the right to publish the second. There is no advance. You get 20% of net sales. I'm about ready to go ahead and send them my first ms. I know that it can take forever to land an agent. Once you land said agent--it can take forever to get a book deal. I'm thinking that this might be a way to side step that issue and get a novel published. With no pub. credits to my name, at least it will give me something to put on my cred. sheet.

Any thoughts?

Willow
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Re: Have any of you heard of Macmillan New Writing?

Post by NaClmine on Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:51 pm

Did you check them out on Predators and Editors?
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Re: Have any of you heard of Macmillan New Writing?

Post by NaClmine on Mon Apr 13, 2009 1:01 pm

MacMillan Publishing is NOT the same company as you have mentioned. MacMillan was formerly "Pearson Technology Group" and "Macmillan Computer Publishing" before that. They no longer maintain web sites at MCP.com MacMillan New Publishing may have teken a name that is close to the legitimate and "recommended" MacMillan Publishing company, so that they "look" legit on any casual check with P&E.

As far as I can see, the company you mentioned has not been screened by P&E. I would recommend against sending them your manuscript without a great deal more background investigation. What is their URL? I'll check them out.
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Re: Have any of you heard of Macmillan New Writing?

Post by NaClmine on Mon Apr 13, 2009 1:31 pm

willow wrote: I read an interview on Amazon about them. I've been to their web site but I can't find anyone that's actually dealt with them. The upside of MNW is that they are first time authors only. Probably a POD (print on demand) company. They plan on editing your ms. For free? The down side is that if they agree to publish you, they retain all your rights to the first novel and they retain the right to publish the second. That is nonsense! I would never grant them exclusive rights to a second novel. They are giving themselves a sweet deal. If your book fails, no biggie...it didn't cost them anything to set up a POD book. But, if you are a powerhouse self-marketer and you happen to create some good sales, then they are guaranteeing THEMSELVES a good profit on your next book, when you could have sold it on the open market to a regular publisher for a lot of money! NO WAY on the second book "guarantee". There is no advance. You get 20% of net sales. This 20% is misleading. What do they mean by "net" sales? Also, POD books are notoriously expensive so most are purchased only by family and friends. It's a nice little profit for the POD publisher but almost guarantess the failure of the book commercially because of the high book-cost. Who is going to pay $17 for a genre paperback that normally sells for $9-12? I'm about ready to go ahead and send them my first ms. I know that it can take forever to land an agent. Once you land said agent--it can take forever to get a book deal. I'm thinking that this might be a way to side step that issue and get a novel published. With no pub. credits to my name, at least it will give me something to put on my cred. sheet. Wrong. The traditional publishing industry frowns on self-published authors. Those "credentials" mean nothing and may actually work against you with agents in the future. I am a big believer in true "self-publishing", but POD contracts are NOT the best way to self-publish. Amazon does not care if your book is a POD book...they get 55% of the face price of the book. If hundreds of wannabe authors sell a couple dozen POD books to friends and relatives through Amazon, they make millions in profit. But, real bookstores like Borders and Barnes & Noble will not even stock POD books. So, you are limited to ONE outlet that has a reputation for taking advantage of hopeful writers.

Any thoughts?

Willow

willow,

If your book has commercial potential, a literary agent and publisher WILL eventually pick it up. And, when they "produce" the book, they will take care of all the essentials without ever charging you a dime. That includes: editing, printing, binding, distribution, obtaining professional reviews, registering the copyright, accounting and more. Patience and determination are the foundation of successful authors as they seek real credits for their work. Don't be duped by POD sales pitches.

If you decide to "self-publish" in the true sense, then I can explain how that is done. I set up my own real publishing company -- business licenses, printing/binding contracts, wholesale distribution system, industry registration. I can produce a paperback book for less than $3 per book, sell it through Barnes & Noble for $9 or $10 and make a profit of almost $2 per book. The books are accepted by B&N because they are not considered POD or Vanity Press books. They are competitively priced for their genre, and as of this month, are selling pretty good.

There are many ways to see your manuscript in book form: traditional press, POD, Vanity Press, true self-publishing, eBooks, web-based/monthly release subscription site. Ultimately, only the traditional publishing system will give you credibility with agents and traditional publishers. The true self-publishing that I chose will NOT give me industry "creds" but I can still make a substantial profit while slowly building a fan base. Eventually, the traditional industry will notice my sales results and get their attention. Until then, I'll cry all the way to the bank! LOL
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Re: Have any of you heard of Macmillan New Writing?

Post by willow on Mon Apr 13, 2009 1:51 pm

Here is the link to their site. When you have time, please look it over and let me know what you think. I was under the impression that this was not a self publisher. Thanks so much for the info Nacl!

Willow

http://www.panmacmillan.com/Features/displayPage.asp?PageTitle=About%20Macmillan%20New%20Writing
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Re: Have any of you heard of Macmillan New Writing?

Post by NaClmine on Mon Apr 13, 2009 3:47 pm

General info: Pan Macmillan is one of the largest general book publishers in the UK and part of the Macmillan group, operating in over 70 countries. Their imprints include Macmillan, Pan, Picador, Boxtree, Sidgwick & Jackson, Tor, Macmillan Children's Books, Young Picador and Campbell Books. Macmillan is known for academic, scholarly, educational, fiction, non-fiction and reference publishing. In the UK, its divisions include Palgrave Macmillan, Macmillan Education, Macmillan Distribution and the Nature Publishing Group. Macmillan is a privately-held company, owned by Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH, a large German-based company. Holtzbrinck owns around forty companies in addition to Macmillan, headquartered in Stuttgart. Its interests include book, magazine and newspaper publishers, television and radio companies and new media firms

Interesting: Of all the publishing companies listed above, only Tor is a “recommended” publisher. The others are strangely missing from P&E.

Here is the submission guideline for Macmillan:

http://www.panmacmillan.com/Features/displayPage.asp?PageTitle=Submitting%20a%20novel%20to%20MNW

This is an excerpt from the guideline with some key points underlined by me: “Macmillan New Writing pays its authors a 20% royalty on net receipts but does not pay an advance (i.e. an advance payment against future sales). Our contract is standard and non-negotiable and we acquire world rights in all titles, with rights revenue split 50/50. We also reserve the option to publish the author’s second novel on the same terms as their first. If we acquire an author’s third novel it and any subsequent novels we acquire will be published, with an advance, under one of Pan Macmillan’s ‘mainstream’ imprints.”

What does this mean? “net receipts”

When a book sells through Amazon, Borders or Barnes & Noble, these distribution systems take 55% of the book price, leaving 45% as “net payment” to the publisher. On a $10 book, that leaves $4.50 as payment to the publisher. Do you get 20% of that figure? If you did, then you would get ninety cents per book. Unfortunately, publishers legitimately reduce the gross receipts by certain production costs, storage costs, shipping costs, marketing costs and other “expenses” so the “net receipts” number is much lower. Most first time authors can expect $.40 to $.45 per book. AND . . . the publisher holds back some of that money in a “reserve account against returns” (bookstores reserve the right to return un-bought books for a full refund so publishers hold back a certain amount of royalties to cover anticipated returns.)

What does this mean? “world rights in all titles”

If your book is successful, then the publisher has retained “world” rights for wider distribution of your book. Since Macmillan is based in the UK, that means THEY own the rights to U.S. distribution.

What does this mean? “reserve the option to publish the author’s second novel on the same terms as their first”

If your first book succeeds, how much is your second book worth . . . up front? Under this contract, it is worth NOTHING up front as Macmillan already has you under contract with the SAME terms as for your first book. That means you get nothing up front, they own/control ALL world rights and you are limited to the same 20% of “net receipts”. If Tom Clancy signed such a contract, he would not have been paid millions in advances and for movie rights for his second novel.

Here is another important excerpt from the submission guideline:

“If we would like to publish your novel, we will let you know within twelve weeks of receipt. Unfortunately, due to the large number of submissions we receive, we are unable to respond to unsuccessful submissions. If you have not had a response within twelve weeks please assume that we have, regretfully, decided not to publish your novel.”

Have you ever read the submission guidelines for most literary agents? Exactly the same wording!!! How is this any better than sending a query letter to a good literary agent? If you get signed by a literary agent, your chance of successful publication skyrockets . . . along with the quality of your publishing contract.

MY IMPRESSION:

Macmillan is bypassing the literary agent to find a few good manuscripts. In the process, you/the author can submit directly to the “publisher” for consideration, but your chance for success is actually less than if you would have submitted to ANY good literary agent. Why? Because Macmillan is admittedly being bombarded by a “. . . large number of submissions we receive.” So, where do all the rejects by literary agents go? Uh huh! They go to resources like Macmillan that allow direct submissions. Your MS competes with all those other marginal “newbies” who think their MS is “the one” that will stand out.

Macmillan’s unilateral contract is terrible! Literary agents negotiate with publishing companies on your behalf. They argue about the definition of “net receipts”, getting you a better deal. They demand deadlines and limits on the “reserve account for returns” -- it’s YOUR money, and they make sure you’ll get it. Lit agents negotiate the following additional items: advances, “second” book terms, movie rights, international release rights, television rights, merchandising rights (stuffed creatures like the Star Trek Tribbles or Star Wars action figures), promotional budgets, television/radio appearances, book signing tours. Macmillan’s contract takes away most of the “rights” that are in a legitimate author/publisher contract.

Conclusion: Macmillan offers an aspiring author the ability to bypass the literary agent. They offer no greater chance of being “published”, on the contrary, it’s probably a lower probability. And, IF you are fortunate enough to “get published”, then you have a terrible contract with an obligation to complete a second novel under the same terrible terms before you are free to negotiate with other publishing companies for book #3. If you DO submit to Macmillan, do NOT sign any contract before they make you an offer to publish. If they demand such a contract prior to assessing your MS, then exhaust all your query letters to legitimate literary agents BEFORE you submit to Macmillan. Make them your last ditch effort.


Last edited by NaClmine on Mon Apr 13, 2009 3:57 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : afterthought -- since this is a UK company, any disputes would be resolved in British courts. Under their tort rules, the loser in a civil dispute must pay all the attorney's fees for the winner. Could cost you a bunch to "argue" with these p)
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Re: Have any of you heard of Macmillan New Writing?

Post by willow on Mon Apr 13, 2009 4:08 pm

Wow! Thank you so much! That is exactly what I needed to know. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to explain it to me.

I believe my book has comercial potential. But so does every other writer out there. So far I've had 14 people read the ms and all of them loved it.(None of them are related to me) Too bad you can't put that in a query.....

Thanks again,
Willow
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Re: Have any of you heard of Macmillan New Writing?

Post by Garmar on Mon Apr 13, 2009 4:55 pm

Some excellent information here. Thanks for sharing your knowledge, Dean.

I'm thinking this should be in the Writing Issues under "Publishers". This has gone beyond casual conversation.

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Re: Have any of you heard of Macmillan New Writing?

Post by NaClmine on Mon Apr 13, 2009 5:29 pm

You're welcome.

This is the first thread with detailed discussion that would be lost over time as it scrolls out of existence. The Reference Library is the place to save such information. I would suggest the link to this thread be under two topics: "Publishing" and "Writing contracts"
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