This is an extremely long post. If you are already acquainted with the issues included, scroll down to the third section, and read from there. While we’re thrilled at the response to the “new” Permuted Press, our staff has been burning the candle at both ends pulling everything together. Many people are upbeat about the results here but to be totally honest – we’re worn out.
In order for us to use at our ideal and to be able to build upon the successes we’ve already seen, we need to make a few changes to your original programs. So, we’re writing to see you of some important changes that are occurring right away. 1: We will be ceasing the creation of print-on-demand books.
Exceptions may be produced for top sellers or for works we subjectively choose. Our data revealed that 41.65% of our creation team’s time is spent making a print on demand variations of our books, but those products take into account only 7.41% of our income. This disproportionate shape revealed the necessity to make prompt changes to our previous policy.
2: We are pausing the discharge of most new game titles until early 2015. This will give us the time essential to increase the margin in our production schedule. This will have a positive influence on our promotional efforts and allow us to better serve our authors. PP authors–and outside observers–reacted with anger and shock.
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News coverage was similarly uncomplimentary. PP did have its defenders, plus some of the news coverage was criticized as inaccurate and biased. But for most commenters, PP was a scummy outfit that got greedy with acquisitions, wound up in over its head, and, by suspending print publishing but retaining print rights, wished to have its cake and eat it too.
I first became alert to Permuted Press in 2006, while i served as a judge for the World Fantasy Awards. They submitted several books for consideration, all of which were well-edited and attractively-produced. Unlike many small presses, they’d been able to gain real-world presence in physical bookstores, and had achieved significant sales success with some of their titles. In ’09 2009, they inked a co-licensing offer with Simon & Schuster.
In 2013, the PP was sold. Under new management, acquisition ramped up, with a ginormous increase in the business’s release schedule. PP also launched Permuted Platinum, designed to increase its brick-and-mortar existence with distribution through Ingram Publisher Services, and established Permuted Pictures, a film development arm. Probably due to the leap in acquisitions, I noticed from a number of authors in 2013 and early 2014 who desired me to comment on their contracts. I had fashioned serious concerns, which I discussed last springtime at Absolute Write.
A life-of-copyright offer term without adequate provision for reversion (books were said to be “in print” as long as they were “available from the publisher or licensee in virtually any edition”). Reversion in a life-of-copyright agreement should be tied to specific sales minimums always. Royalty rates potentially substantially reduced by “special discount sales” –defined as any print books sold at a discount greater than 40% (most trusted online retailers demand a much bigger discount), in which particular case royalties dropped to just 5% of net. Substandard book royalties (20% of world-wide web, poor even for a big publisher, seriously harmful to a small press) and uprights splits (30% of net). A too much long publication screen (four years).
When the shit hit the fan the other day, I reached away to PP with a couple of questions. I quickly heard back from PP President Michael Wilson. Our recent decision to go to an “e-first” model was based on an analysis of sales for print on demand titles that we were issuing.
We found enough time and work that went directly into producing those imprinted variations were disproportionate to the amount they were getting in sales. So, our shift in policy went from a book getting an automated print on demand version, to one where in fact the book’s sales must warrant us doing that print edition first. That situation may reply to your question. When a book well in ebook format performs, we will move that written book to printing.