As I’ve mentioned before, I’m in an agony of indecision on whether to let CCC Press have my story or to withdraw it.
On the one hand, I do not know how the publishing world works, and maybe this is the norm outside Asia. On the other hand, I find the contract quite biased towards the publisher, because:
they don’t just want first publication rights, they want the right to publish my work till they decide to let it go out of print,
they want the right to publish it later in an abridged form,
they want to charge sub-licensing rights to any publisher who would include my story in an anthology with a print run larger than 500 copies, and this could be an anthology exclusively of my own short stories.
I don’t want to make a big hoo-ha, but I wish someone who has published in anthologies in the UK or USA before could tell me if all publishers there have exactly these clauses.
So far I have been working with some Asian Presses and Marshall Cavendish, and all of them are ok with me re-publishing the story as long I mention they did it first.
I still have not withdrawn my story, but am debating the pros and cons.
Any advice welcomed and much appreciated, as a comment on the blog, or via email, about this dilemma I have about CCC Press !
Update: Sharon Bakar has picked up the issue and blogged about it here, (Thanks Sharon!), and my post on the Daily (w)rite blog has received responses too. No one so far says I should continue.
I’m still waiting for more votes. So far 14 people from the publishing industry all of whom I respect for their ability and stature have voted for withdrawal of my story from the CCC Press Anthology.
Sure, John, I can only repeat how grateful I am that you took the time to comment.
Ee leen, I usually delete them pronto, all comments are moderated anyway.
I posted this over on Sharon's blog, but I hope you don't mind if I copy and paste:
Damyanti, such restrictive contracts do exist, most commonly in literature-to-film adaptations. Essentially, you are required to sign away most (if not all) of your rights. However, any sour feelings are smoothed over by the fair compensation you receive as part of the deal.
Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to be the case here. You are only receiving 50 quid (roughly RM240). Convention suggests you should be receiving at least three times that amount.
Don't be afraid to raise these points with the publisher in question, and find out if there's room to negotiate.
Also, do sit down with a pen and a piece of paper. Draw a line down the middle. On one side, jot down the benefits you'll enjoy as a result of going ahead. And on the other side, jot down the the negative consequences. This will help ease your confusion and bring some clarity. Keep in mind, writing and publishing is meant to be fun, not a downer!
Btw have you been getting blog comments in Chinese? Keep an eye because now spammers are leaving spam Chinese comments on Blogger blogs; even setting Comments with word verification won't work because these spammers have google accounts.
Thanks Ee leen, let's see how things shape up, I am beginning to lean towards withdrawing my story.
Thanks John, really appreciate your comment.
And no they are not willing to compensate me much, just 50 GBP….
I have published my short fiction in the US and the UK. But I have never come across clauses as restrictive as the ones you've just mentioned. To me, they are quite unusual.
However, if CCC Press is willing to compensate you fairly in return for such rights, then you could consider proceeding. Otherwise, steer clear.