I was thinking about writing about De Montfort Literature myself, but Alliance of Independent Authors watchdog John Doppler defeat me to it, with this excellent warning post. What must writers agree to in return? DML, accept online revenue royalties (always a huge red flag), day careers (yes and give up their, you read that right). Early variations of the DML FAQ referred to a punitive non-compete provision barring writers from writing for other publishers for just two years after departing DML; that appears to have been re-thought, and is no longer pointed out on the site.
Update: By early November 2018, the FAQ has been revised to state that authors do retain their copyrights. Per DML’s Twitter feed, response has been overpowering. This seems to have resulted in multiple delays (the delays were verified to me with a participating writer). I don’t doubt that we now have good intentions here. And any beginning article writer (and even many founded ones) can appreciate the appeal of a reliable salary to practice their craft. Jonathan De Montfort, the individual behind this enterprise, is an effective hedge fund supervisor who credits his firm’s success to “a mathematical system based partly on the Fibonacci series”.
He claims this system has successfully expected financial markets, the 2008 crash, and Brexit, and other events, and believes it could be applied to literature now. “I’ve taken what I understand about hedge fund management and applied it to literature,” reads a quote on the company’s website. However, De Montfort’s experience with publishing is apparently extremely limited; his first novel, Turner is scheduled to be published on August 31st of the year.
In a June 1 interview with The Guardian, De Montfort’s view of publishing becomes more obvious. He says, “The traditional publishing models for fiction authors are full of obstacles. a large number of career authors who are earning a living wage from their “invalid career choice” may take exception to the people’s comments. Lack of experience and untested concept apart could De Montfort Literature succeed?
Could it maintain good and honest working relationships, establish excellent marketing and distribution systems, and parlay a well balanced of writers and books into a profitable business for everyone concerned? 1. The writer goes by DML’s screening and it is accepted in to the planned program. 2. The author quits their day job to pursue their passion, writing. 3. The writer collects a reliable paycheck. 4. DML’s algorithms determine that steamy vampire detective thrillers have high profit potential. 5. DML assigns the writer a steamy vampire detective thriller project very loosely predicated on the author’s original historical love idea. 6. DML requires six steamy vampire detective novels per yr.
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Writer’s block is not allowed. 7. The author comes with a basic idea for a remarkable reserve on a topic that has captivated their interest. DML declines to pursue the project. The idea now belongs to DML, and the writer is prohibited from authoring similar works. 8. Although the author is entitled to 50% of the steamy vampire world wide web profits, DML promises that marketing, production, and wages have led to a net loss.
9. The writer quits in disgust… or DML informs the author that they are no more needed and dismisses them. 10. DML keeps the rights to use the author’s name, branding, ideas, and books. 11. The writer is prohibited from writing or posting anything for just two years. 12. Meanwhile, DML markets some horrendous steamy vampire detective thriller under the author’s name, ghostwritten by an overworked amateur.
Doppler notes that further information from Mr. de Montfort qualifies some of these projections: for example, the algorithms will be utilized only for writer selection, not to choose book genres. Still, I can’t resist proposing my own alternate scenario: DML disappears without ever placing out a single book apart from de Montfort’s own.
Turner is DML’s first (and so much only) publication. UPDATE 9/7/18: I am doing a little of research into Mr. de Montfort and his investment firm, De Montfort Capital (DMC). The firm’s current website claims that the company was founded in 2013. And even, DMC’s web domains were registered for the reason that 12 months. However, from 2013 through at least early 2018, DMC’s website was essentially a placeholder, filled with non-working links and artificial Latin text fillers (not forgetting typos). Three associates are listed: Jonathan de Montfort, James Turner, and Richard de Montfort.
It’s worthy of noting that Jonathan de Montfort’s middle name is Richard. DMC’s business address at that time–145-157 St John Street, London–was a virtual office address sold by Companies Made Simple. Companies Made Simple offers company formation services also. DMC’s website was re-vamped sometime after March 2018 to give a more stylish and fully functional (if curiously bare) website. Co-working space is designed for the lease at the Wenlock Street address, so DMC’s address may not be completely digital.