Via our friend, the novelist Venita Coelho, we learn that things are not quite what they seem at Cedar Books. I'm pasting in a letter Venita forwarded to me, with the name of the writer to whom it was sent removed.
We are glad to inform you that we are ready to publish your novel provided you agree with our certain terms and conditions.
Following are some of the terms which you will be required to agree before we take things forward. A detailed contract will be send to you once you agree with these terms.
1. Considering the word count, we will keep the price of your book at Rs 175.
2. You have to buy back 300 copies of the book at a discount of 25%.
3. You have to make one time payment either through DD or Cheque along with the signed copy of the agreement which we will send, after you agree with these conditions.
4. An additional Rs 5000 will be charged if we design the cover for you and if you chose to design your own cover then for the final designing part we will be charging Rs 2000.
5. As we promote our books through various digital mediums we charge Rs 3000 for that.
6. And lastly you will get a 4.8 % royalty on the cover price for each book.
Hope you find these terms suitable.
Do acknowledge the receipt of this mail along with your response. Please feel free to mail your queries, if any.
What this means is that to publish this author, Pustak Mahal would charge her/him Rs 39,375 (75% of the cost of 300 copies s/he would be forced to buy) + Rs 2,000 as a design fee even if s/he designed her own cover (Rs 5,000 of she wanted PM to design a cover) + Rs 3,000 for promotions. That's Rs 44,375 (Rs 47,375 if PM did the cover).
I'm not sure of current prices, but it looks like the author would be paying Pustak Mahal / Cedar Books enough to totally cover the cost of printing, with a handsome profit left over. Note that Pustak Mahal / Cedar Books has no obligation to actually print any more than the 300 copies that the author must buy. Even if they did, the author would get a piddly 4.8% royalty on any sales, despite financing the entire operation.
Sounds like rather more than the 'benign scam' of the poetry.com type of website. There, at least, you can choose to buy only one copy of the book, even if at a high price.
If you know of similar publishers elsewhere, do please tell us about it in the comments.
By the powers vested in my by, erm, myself, I hereby declare that on the tenth October, 2010, at ten minutes and ten seconds past ten a.m., it will be Pink Panther Day. The Day will end at ten minutes and ten seconds past ten p.m.
Happy Douglas Adams Day! Douglas Adams fans would know that 42 is the Ultimate Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything, calculated in 7.5 million years by a supercomputer named Deep Thought. Today is the 10th day of the 10th month of the year, and if Y2K never happened, this year would be ’10. In binary notation, 101010 is 42 in base 10. Today’s the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything! Happy Douglas Adams Day!
Megha wished us a happy tennitus day (we feel the buzz).
We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually produce a masterpiece. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true.
~ Eyler Coates
to be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best night and day to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle any human being can fight and never stop fighting
~ e e cummings
In three words i can sum up everything I've learned about life.
It goes on.
~ Robert Frost
Ring the bells that still can ring,
Forget your perfect offering,
There is a crack in everything;
That's how the light gets in.
~ Leonard Cohen
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.
~ Edward Abbey, naturalist and author (1927-1989)
I fell in love – that is the only expression I can think of – at once, and am still at the mercy of words, though sometimes now, knowing a little of their behavior very well, I think I can influence them slightly and have even learned to beat them now and then, which they appear to enjoy.
~ Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet, short-story writer, and playwright, "Poetic Manifesto" in the Texas Quarterly, Winter 1961
A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.
~Thomas Mann, novelist, Nobel laureate (1875-1955)
The world in general doesn't know what to make of originality; it is startled out of its comfortable habits of thought, and its first reaction is one of anger.
~ W. Somerset Maugham, writer (1874-1965)
In times of profound change, the learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.
~ Al Rogers
Assumptions are the termites of relationships.
~ Henry Winkler, actor (1945- )
Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds.
~ George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans), novelist (1819-1880)
Either you think - or else others have to think for you and take power from you, pervert and discipline your natural tastes, civilize and sterilize you.
~ F. Scott Fitzgerald
There is no remedy so easy as books, which if they do not give cheerfulness, at least restore quiet to the most troubled mind.
~ Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, author (1689-1762)
Work like you don't need the money. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching.
~ Satchel Paige