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Any artists here? Wife gets offer from book publisher..wth..?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Relic, May 19, 2011.

  1. Relic

    Relic Cow are you?

    Sep 12, 2006
    Robbinsville, NJ
    My wife got an email the other day from a book publisher who specializes in books about art and artists, stating that they are interested in including her artwork in a new upcoming book. The premise of the book is that it's supposed to give exposure to several new and upcoming artists etc. This will be volume 5 of that book series.
    I did some background research and it seems to be legit, at least on the surface. The publisher has a A+ BBB rating and a search of the book title shows that it is (and has) sold on Amazon and elsewhere.
    Sounds great so far except..... they are asking for big $ to be included in this book..??
    Wow, that just seems bass ackwards to me where a subject of a book (along with several others) has to pay to be included and get's no royalties or anything at all (save for exposure)?? Anyone ever hear of this before?
    I've run into this in the music biz before where the offer is that you end up being on a compilation CD so long as you send xxx$ along with your tune to be included, but this is a first for art.
    I'm proud of her, she is a great artist and has had offers from galleries and such, but this one is a new one for sure.

    Anyone here ever hear of such a thing before? She's considering it (once we make sure it's actually legit) because it might be great exposure but who knows...
  2. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    Hillsdale, Portland
    Well, publishing an art book is pretty expensive to produce from the printing to the paper and binding.. Still it seems like a come-on to invest in their books...like a vanity press.
  3. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Yup, I was once offered to have my writing included in a book. Theyre trying to gether money from the people who will be published to fund the publishing. I think the offer they made me required that i purchase at least 20 copies of the book or something. I passed. Then I got the same offer, from the same people, with the same talk about 6 months later. No book has been made as of yet.
  4. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Pay to play.
  5. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
    Yes it's one way for indie publishers to cover their overhead. Another way of pay-to-show is they'll publish your (her) work x-pages, x-images in a volume if you pay let's say $500 for 100 books then it's up to you to turn around & sell the books. Similar to gig tix for unsigned bands.

    If it's only pay to show without royalties, I'd tell them to eat a bag of dicks. There are one million other ways to show your artwork.
  6. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    This is a scam. Happens with poetry too. I've had a few poems published, and I almost regretted it because I was always receiving publication offers to be a part of a volume of upcoming poets, blah blah blah. The book isn't the focus of the business model as much as scamming artists out of money.
  7. Relic

    Relic Cow are you?

    Sep 12, 2006
    Robbinsville, NJ
    All good stuff guys, thanks for the input.
  8. It depends on the potential market. If it is a niche where everyone involved knows there is little or no money to be made, it may in some places be customary for a writer/artist to contribute toward publishing costs. This can be true even with very reputable publishers.

    For example, let us say that I am a poet who writes in the language XYZ and only a few million people worldwide speak and read that language. Only two or three poets out of the many hundreds published in that language have ever made money on a book and I am not one of them. Still there are many poets in XYZ who are looking to be published.

    Even though I may have excellent reviews, full houses for my readings and many publications in journals and periodicals, do you really think any publisher is going to develop and help market one of my books without some cost sharing considering the limited potential market?

    Unless there is some financial contribution by the artist, a government grant, charitable grant or similar ... forget it.

  9. L-A


    Jul 17, 2008
    It happens to my GF too, this is analogue to illustrators and artists "matchmaking" agencies. The idea is that your wife will get offers from the added visibility. IMO, it's worth it only if she is actively seeking visibility and the gain in it is worth the price the publishers are asking for.

    Not a "scam" per se, but most publishers using this model aren't worth what they ask for.
  10. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Not a scam, just pay-to-play
  11. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Yeah not really a scam, but not really great.
  12. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Yup, typical, considering I first found this place via craigslist, I believe.
  13. 6jase5

    6jase5 Mammogram is down but I'm working manually

    Dec 17, 2007
    San Diego/LA
    If the price equals that of what she might have paid to market herself to a similar potential audience, it may be worth it. In other worlds it's a huge no-no, like acting or music management as they don't make a penny until THEY make you money thus their %.

    Also as stated before, without a potential stake in the profits if any are ever cleared (with a full disclosure of expenses provided in detail..ie; printing, advertising, travel, etc.) I'd never even consider it.
  14. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    +1. Seen it before. Same premise as "Who's Who" -- it's who pays to be included.
  15. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    i work in book publishing, including art books.

    no legitimate publisher, independent or not, will ask for a fee to include your work in a book, whether you're a writer, artist, illustrator or designer.

    if they do, they are a vanity publisher (as has been rightly pointed out), which is a very different thing.
  16. L-A


    Jul 17, 2008
  17. Exactly what I was going to say.

    However, some research journals are pay-to-publish. On the up-side, it comes out of the grand, not my pocket, and a publication looks great on the CV. These journals also tend to have a reasonably high impact factor as they don't have subscription fee's to view the articles (so anyone can see them).
    (also, they are still peer reviewed).
  18. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    pay to play, hot chocolate city usa

    unless it is something major like cream, artnet, art review, or an art forum compilation i wouldn't do it, but then again i never had a trust fund or a super rich wife so my finances are usually limited, it is really difficult for artists to get exposure now in the digital age, because everything is so over saturated with art

    i've had over 12 solo shows, had my art purchased by 2 museums, and been in group shows with some of the biggest artists in the world, and done a 40k sculpture, but you've got to have a warehouse full of new art that people want every year and the galleries and collectors very rarely give advances or commissions for future work, that's why i'm scaling back in this economy and playing bass again for the first time in ten years

    if you want to pm me with some specific details i could probably help you out a little
  19. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    So yeah, it's not a scam.

    Tell your wife to diss those guys and put out her own book. Relic Power!!

  20. Jon_West


    Jan 8, 2009
    GTA, Ontario
    Tell her to assemble her own art book in InDesign, print out a hardcover copy at a local printing shop for 60 bucks, then pitch that to a publisher. If no one bites, hey, now she has her own personal art book. Get someone to buy it for 100 and make another one. Rinse and repeat.

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