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Archive for September, 2010
The blog update restructured the post order, and the oft referenced Very Bad Publishers saga is now at the very back of the queue.
Since I don’t know how to fix that, here it all is in order.
My first shock came the day I found out that even though you are with a publisher that has retail trade distribution, those retail trade distributors are not necessarily going to order your book. At the time, the direct trade market distributors like Diamond carried almost everything, and that was what I was accustomed to.
After being told by my publisher my work would be in major bookstores like Waldenbooks (a major chain at the time) I found the retail distributors weren’t even ordering most of the GN’s the publisher was producing – or anyone’s GN’s for that matter. I do not believe they made any orders on my first GN created by The Woman for this publisher at all, and when the combined orders for both the direct market and the retail trade came in, the book had only moved just over 3,000 copies.
Far from content to print 5,000 books when they got orders for 3,000, it was not unknown for them to publish 10,000-12,000 books when they got orders for 3,000.
On one book, they gambled so big I simply could not believe it.
When The Woman was unhappy with the coloring on the first print run of the GN I had illustrated for her, she ordered the entire print run be redone from scratch. The first print run was 12,000 copies against an initial order of 3,000 copies…ludicrous.
However, cross collatoralization virtually assured that I would not see any of those expected and needed royalties. For the duration of my contract (which was going to take years to complete) I was being consigned to a life of rock bottom poverty, and even the possibility that I would have to work for two years or more with no income at all.
So, when I found out that my publisher (the one who had, within a week, gone from telling me to get out of publishing to telling me I was like a daughter to him) had sold my reprint edition rights to A Distant Soil to another publisher, a move that would, yet again, cut my non-existent royalties in HALF, the shit really hit the fan…
Since my new book was a $12.95 trade. I’d be getting a whopping 16 cents a copy on all sales in the direct market. So, if my book actually sold 30,000 copies there (NOT) I’d gross all of $4,856 – about enough to pay the colorist, but not enough to pay the letterer, or any other costs…including me. In order to earn out my meagre advance within a two year period, I would have to move something like 50,000 copies, assuming at least half of those were sold in the retail trade where I’d get a bigger royalty. Worse yet, even if I did earn out the advance, the take would be eaten up by the cost on the NEXT volume of the book, and the deficit on The Woman’s book.
But all was not lost! No sirree! They were going to give me a goodie to compensate for cutting my pay!
Can you guess?
Can you guess what the goodie was?
Oh, I bet you cannot guess!
OK, I will not keep you in suspense any longer.
The publisher was going to print my name in the book.
This man who had just spent a half hour claiming he was my good buddy, who had just sold himself as my first publisher, who had sold himself as the creator of the graphic novel, as the publisher of my first graphic novel, as Mr. Gladhand the Artist’s Friend, the man who was a partner in the company that had helped consign me to grueling poverty, this book to which I had dedicated so many years of my life for which he was trying to take credit while never having paid decent money for it, that sonofabitch couldn’t even remember the damned book’s name.
I do not approach my clients with the intent of forming familial relationships, especially when those clients are conducting their accounting in such a way as to assure I’m treated like a red-headed stepchild.
Never sign a confidentiality agreement with Teh Crazy. In Crazy Land, they will expect you to fulfill the terms of every agreement (especially the confidentiality clause) no matter how much Teh Crazy lies, cheats, or steals, even if the US Supreme Court informs them that slavery is dead, and copyright squatting does not make them a creator. That said, my lawyer advises me to take the high road with them, and that is easy enough, for they are so low.
There are plenty of other posts about some other Very Bad Publishers, so click the tab. I hope you find the posts educational.
Marvel at the kahunas on this dude who thinks you should be thrilled to work on spec! Don’t miss the epic jolly in the comments thread. Comedy gold.
Never a dull moment when dealing with Very Bad Publishers!
Emeris threw a little something on and almost missed.
Several works in the Art Shop are now sold. All sold art remains for one week and then is removed. Thank you so much for your support!
The complete text of the bill introduced on September 20.
This bill is not only meant to address entertainment piracy, but online medicine shops as well as widespread counterfeiting of designer products.
Text of S. 3804: Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act
S 3804 IS
To combat online infringement, and for other purposes.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
September 20, 2010
Mr. LEAHY (for himself, Mr. HATCH, Ms. KLOBUCHAR, Mr. WHITEHOUSE, Mr. SCHUMER, Mr. KOHL, Mr. SPECTER, Mr. DURBIN, Mr. BAYH, Mr. VOINOVICH, and Mrs. FEINSTEIN) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
To combat online infringement, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ‘Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act’.
SEC. 2. INTERNET SITES DEDICATED TO INFRINGING ACTIVITIES.
Chapter 113 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
‘Sec. 2324. Internet sites dedicated to infringing activities
‘(a) Definition- For purposes of this section, an Internet site is ‘dedicated to infringing activities’ if such site–
‘(1) is otherwise subject to civil forfeiture to the United States Government under section 2323; or
‘(A) primarily designed, has no demonstrable, commercially significant purpose or use other than, or is marketed by its operator, or by a person acting in concert with the operator, to offer–
‘(i) goods or services in violation of title 17, United States Code, or enable or facilitate a violation of title 17, United States Code, including by offering or providing access to, without the authorization of the copyright owner or otherwise by operation of law, copies of, or public performance or display of, works protected by title 17, in complete or substantially complete form, by any means, including by means of download, transmission, or otherwise, including the provision of a link or aggregated links to other sites or Internet resources for obtaining such copies for accessing such performance or displays; or
‘(ii) to sell or distribute goods, services, or materials bearing a counterfeit mark, as that term is defined in section 34(d) of the Act entitled ‘An Act to provide for the registration and protection of trademarks used in commerce, to carry out the provisions of certain international conventions, and for other purposes’, approved July 5, 1946 (commonly referred to as the ‘Trademark Act of 1946’ or the ‘Lanham Act’; 15 U.S.C. 1116(d)); and
‘(B) engaged in the activities described in subparagraph (A), and when taken together, such activities are central to the activity of the Internet site or sites accessed through a specific domain name.
‘(b) Injunctive Relief- On application of the Attorney General following the commencement of an action pursuant to subsection (c), the court may issue a temporary restraining order, a preliminary injunction, or an injunction against the domain name used by an Internet site dedicated to infringing activities to cease and desist from undertaking any infringing activity in violation of this section, in accordance with rule 65 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. A party described in subsection (e) receiving an order issued pursuant to this section shall take the appropriate actions described in subsection (e).
‘(c) In Rem Action-
‘(1) IN GENERAL- The Attorney General may commence an in rem action against any domain name used by an Internet site in the judicial district in which the domain name registrar or domain name registry is located, or, if pursuant to subsection (d)(2), in the District of Columbia, if–
‘(A) the domain name is dedicated to infringing activities; and
‘(B) the Attorney General simultaneously–
‘(i) sends a notice of the alleged violation and intent to proceed under this subsection to the registrant of the domain name at the postal and e-mail address provided by the registrant to the registrar, if available; and
‘(ii) publishes notice of the action as the court may direct promptly after filing the action.
‘(2) SERVICE OF PROCESS- For purposes of this section, the actions described under paragraph (1)(B) shall constitute service of process.
‘(1) DOMAINS FOR WHICH THE REGISTRY OR REGISTRAR IS LOCATED DOMESTICALLY- In an in rem action commenced under subsection (c), a domain name shall be deemed to have its situs in the judicial district in which–
‘(A) the domain name registrar or registry is located, provided that for a registry that is located in more than 1 judicial district, venue shall be appropriate at the principal place where the registry operations are performed; or
‘(B) documents sufficient to establish control and authority regarding the disposition of the registration and use of the domain name are deposited with the court.
‘(2) DOMAINS FOR WHICH THE REGISTRY OR REGISTRAR IS NOT LOCATED DOMESTICALLY-
‘(A) ACTION BROUGHT IN DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA- If the provisions of paragraph (1) do not apply to a particular domain name, the in rem action may be brought in the District of Columbia to prevent the importation into the United States of goods and services offered by an Internet site dedicated to infringing activities if–
‘(i) the domain name is used to access such Internet site in the United States; and
‘(ii) the Internet site–
‘(I) conducts business directed to residents of the United States; and
‘(II) harms intellectual property rights holders that are residents of the United States.
‘(B) DETERMINATION BY THE COURT- For purposes of determining whether an Internet site conducts business directed to residents of the United States under subparagraph (A)(ii)(I), a court shall consider, among other indicia whether–
‘(i) the Internet site is actually providing goods or services to subscribers located in the United States;
‘(ii) the Internet site states that it is not intended, and has measures to prevent, infringing material from being accessed in or delivered to the United States;
‘(iii) the Internet site offers services accessible in the United States; and
‘(iv) any prices for goods and services are indicated in the currency of the United States.
‘(e) Service of Court Order-
‘(1) DOMESTIC DOMAINS- In an in rem action to which subsection (d)(1) applies, the Attorney General shall serve any court order issued pursuant to this section on the domain name registrar or, if the domain name registrar is not located within the United States, upon the registry. Upon receipt of such order, the domain name registrar or domain name registry shall suspend operation of, and lock, the domain name.
This was the first A Distant Soil painting published. A former client was against me painting my covers, so I did this one on my own incentive to prove my ability (you be the judge of whether or not I did!)
This portrait of Jason is now available in the Art Shop. (It is now SOLD! Thank you!)
The other day I had a very funny experience when a digital type asked me for one of my paintings in layers. And literally could not understand that there were no layers. Because it was a painting. On board. A real one.
And he asked, “Did you paint all those stars?”
Well, yeah, that’s how it was done. You painted all the stars.
PS: I’m experimenting with some new ads and placement. The site may look a little klunky for a few days. You have my apologies.