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to sign or not to sign

I received the following e-mail the other day from Olympia Publishers  

Dear Mr Forinton,

Thank you for submitting your work to us to review and consider. I understand it can be frustrating when waiting to hear back from publishers. However, we have now completed our evaluations of your adult fiction ‘I Am Still Me?’.

 In the last few days we have considered and discussed your novel. Editorial consider various aspects of each work we are sent to conclude what type of offer, if any, that Olympia can make. We agree your work is well-written with a consistent and absorbing narrative, we believe that your work deserves a chance to reach the wider market.

 When we accept a work, we can offer either a traditional publishing contract or a hybrid publishing contract. In this instance we would be able to publish your work under the Olympia banner and wish to make a hybrid publishing offer for ‘I Am Still Me?’.

 Please consider this offer carefully. This type of contract would incur a one-off fee for the publication of your work. Any future costs, to cover marketing over the lifetime of the book, will be covered by Olympia.

 We understand this decision cannot be taken lightly and you will need to see the contract before you can make a decision. The contract, along with the one-off fee and royalties, will be finalised once we have a request to view it.

 At this stage we are seeking only an agreement in principle to view the contract. Please note, there is no obligation with the contract and both parties are still free to withdraw at any point, until contracts have been signed.

 Please note the finite figure can be paid in monthly instalments over 10 months.

Now I have sent my manuscript to other literary agents, which I am awaiting responses from. 

Has anyone else been offered or accepted a "hybrid" offer before? What are the pros and cons of such a deal?  Do I wait for what others have to say or take the plunge and sign this contract after seeing it?

Any advice will be most appreciated.

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Replies (15)
    • The simple answer: run. As far and fast as you can.

      No bona fide publisher will ever ask an author to pay them anything. Publishers pay authors. Simple.

      The moment you put up any money, it becomes vanity publishing, and they won't do any serious promotion of your book. For them, the one-off fee is their main income generator.

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      • Hi James  This 'hybrid' tag has really muddied the waters because I've seen the odd publisher that falls under this umbrella talked of positively in the writing press which just makes negotiating these waters all the more complicated for the debut author.

        In this case, Rick had it spot on. A quick Google search will tell you they're a sister company to Austin Macaulay, renowned vanity publisher. I found an article you may be interested in  

        https://www.google.com/amp/s/writersdisease.net/2015/09/16/olympia-publishers-and-the-art-of-the-soft-scam/amp/

        The article is a few years old, though. The thing is, these companies often do what they say, but it's self pub masquerading as something closer to trad and you can get a better service for your money with a good self pub company.

        Tell them to sound their hook ☺️


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        • I was interested in 'sound their hook' so I looked it up on Google and got the response 'a dark theme is available'. Rather suitable for you. LOL

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          • Haha! The joy of swipe text! You're right, though, Georgina - so appropriate for me😂

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            • Fascinating article on Olympia. Interesting they asked him to remove his post…

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            • Better self publish than using these types of services - it's just not worth it...

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              • We agree your work is well-written with a consistent and absorbing narrative, we believe that your work deserves a chance to reach the wider market.

                So why not offer a trad. contract?  I believe this type of offer is otherwise known as "partnership".  It's a euphemism.  It's the money they're after.  Keep away.

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                • Rick is totally right and that was my reaction, too.

                  If anyone here has an actual, legit acceptance letter, I'd love you to post it here so we can see the difference. I think it is very important for all writers to have a reference point so no one gets taken advantage of. Thanks!

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                  • Thanks for the advice, everyone. There does seem to be something dodgy about the whole "hybrid" publishing malarkey. Suppose it is a positive to be offered a contract of sorts.Anyway I've been in contact with several literary agencies who offer traditional contracts. So lets see what they have to say. 

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                    • Sorry to burst the bubble, James, but this is one contract offer you really shouldn't take as too much of a positive. Let's go with the more generous interpretation, being that they send the same "it's great, we'll scam you" response to everyone.

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                    • I published via Austin Macauley Publishers not good. Illustrations great but no marketing and not a good experience. Take care.

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                      • Hi Debbie, I got a glossy offer from them too but I would have to spend a bunch of money and it seemed a bit like a mirage so I gave it a wide berth.  I'm sorry you had to go through that.  We are all learning- I have made so many little mistakes along the way that I just try to shrug them off. cheers, Lorraine


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                      • Does anyone have experience with hybrid publisher Red Door? They had a featured webinar at the 2020 summer festival and I was intrigued. 

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                        • HI Sara

                          I'm not convinced the "Hybrid" model is that much different from the Austin McCauley's of this world - if you have to pay anything to publish your novel then I'd stay well away - surely better to self pub than pay someone else to do what you can do yourself - even if it looks good at the end of the day any marketing they will do for you will cost, any royalties received will need to be split - my advice is to either seek a full publishing contract or go it alone.

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                          • Thanks, Danny. I appreciate your response. Buyer Beware.


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