book?
View previous topic | View next topic >
Post new topic Reply to topic
M.A.I.L. Forum Index -> Fund Raising
   
Author Message

Joined: April 15, 2002
Posts: 1819
Submissions: 1
Location: Calgary, AB. Canada.

Reply with quote
Posted on Tue Nov 02, 2004 11:12 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

If you check the thread Kim mentioned.. it's really starting to look like this is a scam. We suggested creating one book, and then next day one of the publishers we mentioned comes along and says "Gee, Lark Books is writing a book on this. Just... um... send some samples of your work to them", doesn't identify himself as the editor/owner of Lark Books, though he is.

In my interperatation, he was intentionally misleading, and that's deception. BlackFire also did a little research into them on the BBB and the company, and discovered that if you donate any material, you do not make money from it, and you have sign agreements saying you give your content entirely to them. MAIL won't make a penny off the book that Lark Books is trying to get us to write for them.

We still haven't heard more details, nor has Terry from Lark Books showed his face again to defend himself, so, I'm even more leaning towards it being a scam. Anyway, read the thread, there's a lot more detail there.

Writing a book for ourselves still sounds cool though.

Joined: March 3, 2002
Posts: 4372
Submissions: 79
Location: tres piedras, new mexico

Reply with quote
Posted on Sun Nov 07, 2004 10:29 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

i brought up the book thread with tim of brynmorgen and got this response:

=========================
Hi Kim,

Thanks for approaching me with the possibility of publishing a book on chainmail, and for pointing me to the relevant thread on the M.A.I.L. site. Here are a few thoughts:

I think the approach from Lark is a promising ndevelopment for you and your colleagues. I was surprised at the suspicion that was directed at the person from Lark. A good acquisions editor has his or her antennae out all the time, looking for a readership hungry for a new book. This person was doing his job, and strikes me as being right on the ball. If you or someone else approached Lark with the idea of a book on maille, the first thing they would do is hook into as many chat rooms and newsgroups as possible to get a sense of the size and temper of the community.

Lark is a good company with a long history of quality books in the crafts field. They have a much larger network than a small company like me, and this would work to your advantage. They are much more likely to get books placed in bookstores like Borders than I am.

Several of the people in the thread expressed concern about being ripped off. I think these fears are unfounded. As worried as you might be about this, a big company is even more concerned. They really don't want to spend time and money defending themselves against plagarism. The author verifies that the text, images, and information is either his own, in the public domain, or that he has received written permission from the person who owns that information. This makes sense: the author is an expert in the field, and more likely to know who owns what, and what is common knowledge than an editor would be. There was concern about the use of images from the site. Again, they really don't want to use anything they aren't certain they have permission to use.

If I was taking this on (and I think this would apply to Lark or anyone else), I would insist on working with a single author. From the publisher's point of few, it is important to have a single person to deal with. This person takes responsibility to deliver the manuscript and illustrations on schedule. The publisher needs someone, someone specific, to communicate with. Whether the author works independently or with a host of helpers, is not really a concern to the publisher, as long as the ms. arrives on schedule. The way this customarily works is that the publisher creates a contract with the author that specifies the size, theme, and nature of the book, and the financial arrangements of both parties.

Similary, the publisher probably won't want to pay royalties to a group. For legal protection of their own, it's much better for them to pay the author. What that person does is entirely up to them. You can make the book as a group project, then turn all the funds over to the group when you receive them, but all that will happen outside your relationship with a publisher.

It sounds like you've got some enthusiastic helpers there, and I wish you success with the project!

Tim

=====================

his mention of the single author thing is tricky.. but makes sense..

i'm heartened by his support and the kind words he has for lark.

kim


PSA: remember to stretch.
3.o is fixing everything.

Joined: March 26, 2002
Posts: 142
Submissions: 3
Location: Saskatoon, Sk, Canada

Reply with quote
Posted on Mon Nov 08, 2004 3:38 am
Link to Post: Link to Post

TRL publishes "The Art of Chainmail" by Dylon White.

TRL is the sole distributor of the book.

We print 500 at a time at a cost of around $5000 US per run

We sell about 500 a year.

We pay an extremely generous royalty monthly.

If a book sprang up from MAIL we'd be happy to consider publishing it (i.e. paying that up front $) and handling sales of the book..

Joined: March 3, 2002
Posts: 4372
Submissions: 79
Location: tres piedras, new mexico

Reply with quote
Posted on Mon Nov 08, 2004 3:50 am
Link to Post: Link to Post

what topics does "the art of chainmail" cover? i wouldn't be interested in covering ground already trod. that's why i've made the maille i've made and not cookie cutter garbage.

does "the art of chainmail" use photographs, or drawings/renderings?

what are the page count and list price of "the art of chainmail"?

thanks for stepping up here, jon. i, for one, am definitely interested.

kim


PSA: remember to stretch.
3.o is fixing everything.

Joined: March 26, 2002
Posts: 142
Submissions: 3
Location: Saskatoon, Sk, Canada

Reply with quote
Posted on Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:25 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

The Art of Chainmail
Specs:
Retail price $19.95USD
pages 64 sides (i.e. 32 sheets) 8.5"x11" coil bound
Professionally printed in color, 2 pages of pictures - rest is rendered drawings.

Topics covered - in general its a book on 4 in1 weaves:
Basic ring handling info
4 in 1 pattern with all the bells and whistles about expansions, contractions, circular pieces, etc
King's mail
King's mail with a twist
6 in 1
8 in 1
box
round + a variation
gridlock
A brief history of chainmail
2 pages of finished project photos

There's a lot left to cover

Joined: March 3, 2002
Posts: 4372
Submissions: 79
Location: tres piedras, new mexico

Reply with quote
Posted on Tue Nov 09, 2004 5:08 am
Link to Post: Link to Post

there is a -ton- left to cover.

jon, a couple more questions.

how would the deal be set up? would there be one author in the contract, like tim mccreight of brynmorgen said was industry standard..? would we list the author as MAIL on the cover and in contract, and then individually list authors.. (what i'd perfer, but i don't know if that works without MAIL being registered somewhere as an organization..)

i've never done anything like this before. what format would you need to receive the book in? .pdf.. or..? i'm such an ignoramus.

the rendered drawings, what are the limitations with these? 3 colors.. 2 colors.?

i'm having a lot of trouble imagining fitting all the info we'd want to cover into 64 pages.. how much does the price increase to add more pages?

and a question to MAIL.. do you think that this would be considered a form of endorsement. we have tried extremely hard to not endorse any professional mailler or supplier..what do you think?

kim


PSA: remember to stretch.
3.o is fixing everything.

Joined: April 15, 2002
Posts: 1819
Submissions: 1
Location: Calgary, AB. Canada.

Reply with quote
Posted on Tue Nov 09, 2004 8:46 am
Link to Post: Link to Post

Hrm. This is starting to get interesting.

To answer Kim first, this isn't a donation or an endorsement. We're (planning on) writing a book, and TRL will sell it and give us a cut of the profits. That's a business deal.

The sticky issue is what kinds of rights TRL would like for it. Does he want to be the exclusive distributor of the book? Could we sell the book ourselves? (And thus compete with him?). Could Charles order a bunch of copies and sell them too on Decodene?

If not, and if we have to pick one vendor.. then for this to not be an endorsement.. we have to look at it as a business deal exlusively. That means looking at a few options:

1) Selling the book on MAIL or through MAIL.
2) Giving Jon/Charles/any-other-bidder rights, receiving a cut.
3) Selling the book to an agent, who'll get it on store shelves.
4) Self-publishing and marketing ourselves.

From what I hear, #4 is very doable, but it takes an incredable amount of time and is essentially a full-time job. That's not really an option from an effort perspective.

The other three are valid business options. If we want to sell it ourselves, we need to address the question of whether MAIL will have products. Will we turn this site into a business? We live on Donations and community fan-gear (do we sell any of that stuff?) right now. If we make and sell products, we become a business.

We'll almost certainly have to incorporate for that to occur. Or, very much more than now, officialize a person who runs our finances. There will need to be one person who the cheques are written to, and this will be the person who 'owns' MAIL. I think that's still Lorenzo right now. He owns MAIL. All of it. He happens to relinquish much of that control so that the community appears to own it as a whole, but it actually doesn't.

If we all donate content into a book, have bidding for it, and recieve a cut of the profits, that's pretty much the same thing. (And to not just be endorsing someone we like, we'd need to open bidding to everyone who's interested. We'll need to choose whoever we think will net us the largest return. That means looking at and evaluating proposals of expected sales, not just looking at who pays the highest royalty per book).

There will also be a discouraging amount of legalese that will need to be attended to. We'll need to hire lawyers to draft donation, liability, and other documents. We can't just do this on a handshake like the rest of the site. You enter into a whole other legal ballpark when there's money making involved. Now you have profits you can be sued for.

So, I think it can be pretty easily done without endorsing anyone. If Jon claims it's in our best interest to choose him because of the royalties he's willing to offer, there's no rudeness in evaluating that claim and letting others bid on it. If he's right, it'll end up being true anyway, and we've avoided endorsing anyone in the process. If he's giving us a higher-than-competitive royalty deal, that's *him* endorsing *us*. That's up to him. (and very cool).

A nice thing about not doing everything ourselves is that there's no overhead. We don't have $5000 to drop on a printing fee. We could borrow it from a bank or a person, because it should be obvious it'll make money. But what if the book bombed? We can't collect $120/year for our hosting fees. Does anyone here have $5000 to risk burning on a business venture for a art website? Our partner will put up that money (not to be stupid, they obviously will think it will make money, but at least they have it to lose, we don't).

Moving on.. another thing we'll have to think about is what we do with the money. Lets say we get $2000/year from this. Maybe $200 goes to hosting. What do we do with the other 90%? That's a scary amount. Should we split what MAIL gets 50/50 with the people who put in effort to the book, and divide that 50% up based on agreed proportions to the efforts people put into its creation? Should we pay our BOD members a salary? (Which can allow us to make some concrete demands/expectations of them, because they would be in fact getting paid for something). Do we want to use it to hire a site coder to make some of the larger changes we might want? Do we want to hire (well, compensate) people for MAIL tasks like writing articles?

Should we use it to purchase items from maillers, and keep an actual inventory? Buy bracelets, buy necklaces, buy weave samples.. so we can use those for whatever we want in the site itself? Create a bit of a real-world exhibit potential? Should we use it to move that inventory to conventions and set up a MAIL booth? (Not to sell things, none of our items will be for sale, but to showcase the art itself).

Lotsa stuff we could do. But first figure out what we want and if we can even use this amount of money. I'm actually starting to get partial to having a mini-museum.

Who will write this book? Who will put it together? However much effort each of you think it takes to get a book from individual pieces to a publisher... I bet it's 5 times that hard. Why would this person do this, instead of getting together with just the authors and writing a book the same way, that'll actually make *them* money. People usually have no trouble donating their time.. but if their time is making money, I think people are a lot less likely to donate, and want a piece. A lot of people making maille are doing it for practically table scraps. Some do it for fun, others are in desperate need of money, or additional income. A fair cut of the royalties (which continue to stream in every year) is a gold mine compared to what you can make actually making and selling maille on an item-by-item basis. But that makes me wonder.. why hasn't anyone done this up until now? Smile

Joined: March 3, 2002
Posts: 4372
Submissions: 79
Location: tres piedras, new mexico

Reply with quote
Posted on Tue Nov 09, 2004 2:10 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

i would be interested in keeping all of the money in MAIL control.. i think paying people sounds confusing, and opens the possibility of people feeling they were cheated. if everyone knows that their time is donated from the outset, it alleviates a lot of that confusion.

basically, i'd like to keep 1000$ as a security blanket for site hosting. and if we have a large sum of money when this server contract runs out, maybe we could think of a more expensive (faster, more space, more bandwidth, etc) server.

with half of the remaining money, i'm up for discussion on this, but i think it would be cool to start a scholarship fund.. when we got some predetermined amount of money, hold a contest and send someone to school. or help out with a few grand.

the other half i would be interested in setting aside for prizes we could hand out.. hold mailling contests and have juried shows with prizes. a pound of silver, 30 pounds of 18ga stainless, loose rings, whatever... basically give it to the membership.

this is just my current vision, and there may be stuff i'm not thinking of ahead of time.

as to who owns MAIL. i believe that lorenzo owns it because the site is hosted in his name. i believe that jon (TRL) is our finance guy. and who would "own" the book. it would probably be easier to have one person who was trusted have their name there. preferably an author who submitted to the book..

kim


PSA: remember to stretch.
3.o is fixing everything.

Joined: March 26, 2002
Posts: 142
Submissions: 3
Location: Saskatoon, Sk, Canada

Reply with quote
Posted on Tue Nov 09, 2004 11:59 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

BTW - I'll resign from being finance guy before money starts changing hands between MAIL and TRL - that would sort of define a conflict of interest Smile

I think the beauty about dealing with an organization like TRL is that we would be very flexible in all aspects. For example we don't need to deal with a single author.

Colors - there is no limit on the number of colors used. Its a bit cheaper using 2 ir 3 colors but not enough to worry about (and black counts as a color).

I have no problem with MAIL selling books BUT is it worth all the set-up for 1 product? I'd also have no problem with any other company selling a book TRL had published but these books would be purchased from TRL at a wholesale price agreed on by MAIL and TRL. If MAIL member with a commercial webpage want to get involved to help out MAIL great - however there will not be much money in it for anyone trying to make a buck selling the book at any price TRL would be retailing it at.

Let me make a tentative proposal with some approx numbers.

The proposal assumes that MAIL handles ALL editing and provides a finished book in an exceptable electronic format (i.e. real publishing grade software)

1. Distribution
a- TRL retails and wholesales the book
b- MAIL retails the book on the MAIL webpage but the orders though the MAIL webpage are fullfilled by TRL. How could this work? MAIL sets up a quick paypal based order form. All $ is deposited directly into the MAIL paypal account. TRL gets a copy of the order - packs and ships the order. The full cost of printing plus 20% and shipping of all books sent out is then deducted from royalty's paid on TRL's sales. On a book with a selling price of $20 and a printing cost of $10 MAIL would make $8 and TRL would make $2.

c - Anyone can buy the books wholesale with a min order of 10 books from TRL. Mail provides links to theringlord.com to deal with wholesale orders.

2. Selling price
up front costs - printing
royalties to MAIL - suggested to be ABOUT 50% of printing costs (26.3% of selling price)
TRL's return on investment and profit - 25% of printing
TRL's cost of sale - included CC fees, salaries, overhead, etc 15%

On a book that cost $10 to print, MAIL would get $5 and TRL would get a total of $4.

I'd expect to sell about 500/yr (retail) at TRL for a total of $2500 for MAIL and $2000 for TRL. Mail gets the money free and clear. TRL has expenses that come out of that such as credit card/paypal fees (about 3% of selling or 6% of printing), salaries of employees that handle the books, time spent dealer with printer, storage of books, etc.

I'd like to point out that the only reason "The Art of Chainmail" costs $10 to print in is because we did a lot of work to find a company that could do the work at this price AND because we have the $5K to put up for 500 books. If MAIL self published 50 at a time you'd see the printing costs double or triple.

Wholesale
- printing costs stay the same.
- TRL - we'd have a min 15% markup on printing with a min of 10 books.
The question is would MAIL take a discounted royalty from a book store or webpage that wanted 10 or more. I'd suggest a royalty reduction to increase sales....


A word on the legal side.
Contracts don't mean nearly as much as most people think. Getting lawyers involved helps no one except the lawyers. The key is to do business with people and businesses you trust. Breach of contract is a civil matter. That means if you want to take a breach of contract matter to court it will cost more money then if would be worth even if you have a very easy to win case. We have a supplier that shipped us defective goods and refused to meet the terms of the purchase order. Its 18 months and $5000 in legal fees later and we're likely still 6 months away from resolving the issue. There's enough money on the line to be worth it plus we can handle a long term ugly court case however I'd be a whole lot happier had I never heard of this company.

Joined: April 15, 2002
Posts: 1819
Submissions: 1
Location: Calgary, AB. Canada.

Reply with quote
Posted on Wed Nov 10, 2004 6:00 am
Link to Post: Link to Post

Wow, that all sounds very good.

I wasn't even saying we needed to allow for things like other businesses selling them, I was just bringing it up as a possibility. If we can get a better deal without that claus.. that's worth looking at too.

With regard to your comments about legal issues.. the things I'm thinking about are making sure people sign away their rights to what they write. For example, if we don't clearly get them to give away their stuff, one of them could one day say "I want my material pulled from that book", which of course isn't possible, and so we'd have to stop selling them, and possibly do other things too. In terms of who we deal with, yeah, dealing with people we trust is good enough enough.

Joined: March 3, 2002
Posts: 4372
Submissions: 79
Location: tres piedras, new mexico

Reply with quote
Posted on Wed Nov 10, 2004 7:28 am
Link to Post: Link to Post

what is "real publishing grade software"? and does anyone here know how to use it?

::scared::


PSA: remember to stretch.
3.o is fixing everything.

Joined: April 15, 2002
Posts: 1819
Submissions: 1
Location: Calgary, AB. Canada.

Reply with quote
Posted on Wed Nov 10, 2004 3:35 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

I remember when Wil Wheaton (Whesley Crusher, from Star Trek), was on The Screen Savers, he said that he'd made his entire book using free open-source software. I'm pretty sure he also made a point of using linux for all of it too.

But, I bet there are free alternatives. *Tries a google search*. Hrm. Nothing obvious, everyone has a different opinion, and a lot of the sites seem to think you want to *make* the book yourself, not just write it yourself. If this is what we're going to do, instead of sending pictures and text to a professional and having them make a book out of it.. I guess we should contact the printers and find out, and ask them. They're the pros. That, or go to a writer's community, join the forums, and ask them. Or, rather, read their FAQ, 'cause this has got to be asked all the time.

Joined: February 15, 2002
Posts: 361
Submissions: 10

Reply with quote
Posted on Wed Nov 10, 2004 6:26 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

Back in college, a few professors who were writing textbooks were using QuarkXPress and FrameMaker.

Most theses and white papers I've seen on the net are in PostScript format. Any PS file should be acceptable by a publisher. I would think PDF would be acceptable as well.

As for "real publishing grade software," I'd say Word is probably fine, although the final output would probably need to exported to another format, such as PDF or PS. Word can do more now than I remember being able to do with FrameMaker back in college (1987-1993), with the exception of calling out text boundaries - those still require a workaround instead of being able to do it simply.


IGP (Irregular Grid Painter) Links:
Home | FAQ | Downloads

Joined: April 29, 2002
Posts: 3212
Submissions: 93
Location: Albany, New York

Reply with quote
Posted on Thu Nov 11, 2004 3:37 am
Link to Post: Link to Post

Microsoft Publisher can easily handle a book, but you've gotta shell out $100 for it...


"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one."

George Bernard Shaw
___________________________________

Maille Code V1.0 T5.7 R5.1 Fhd MCu Wc Cd G2.03/.56 I9.75/3.25 Pn Dacdjs S97 CCi

Joined: March 3, 2002
Posts: 4372
Submissions: 79
Location: tres piedras, new mexico

Reply with quote
Posted on Thu Nov 11, 2004 7:06 am
Link to Post: Link to Post

i have publisher and word. they came with office. i'm a lot less scared now.

so i have a question. how many people would want to contribute to something like this?

kim


PSA: remember to stretch.
3.o is fixing everything.

Post new topic Reply to topic
Jump to:  
Page 2 of 4. Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
All times are GMT. The time now is Tue Oct 21, 2014 7:54 pm
M.A.I.L. Forum Index -> Fund Raising
Display posts from previous: