I don't know what to make of this offer....


#1

Hey guys!

So, I just received a message on my personal FB account from someone claiming that they have read my novel and want to offer me a deal. Now, normally, I would think it was a hoax as they contacted me from my personal FB account- which I’m not even sure how they got that- and offered a global copyright deal.

But, the way the message goes and even after doing some research on the company, they seem legit though they are a Chinese based company and I write in English. The things they mention in the message seem a bit too goo to be true for a company that I think is quite small.

Has anyone ever heard of this company either?

I’ve posted the message below to get some opinions on it and if I should blow off the message and not respond or at least ask for some more details.

Thank you for any help you can provide :slight_smile:

Dear *******(My real name lol)

I have recently come across your work on Wattpad and think that your novel “Behind Closed Curtains” has the potential to attract many readers around the world. I work for a major growing web novel company which is currently collaborating with one of the top three web literature platforms in China. They have a worldwide audience, so this would definitely be a great opportunity for you to get your story out there and increase your fame as an author.

With that being said, we would like to formally ask you if you would be willing to negotiate your global copyright for your novel to be e-published globally and adapted into a variety of forms (comic books, graphic novel, audiobook, etc.) and languages. We believe it will be a big hit with readers and would hate to miss out on the opportunity to give it to the world.

If you are interested in negotiating your global copyright or even part of it, please let me know so I can get you more information. Thank you very much for your attention and consideration on this matter.

We look forward to hearing from you!

  • Nyoi-Bo Studio

#2

I can tell you from my five minute search that their covers are pretty bad. They also don’t actually seem to be publishing any of the books… I don’t find them on Amazon. It sounds like they just make them available on web platforms online. I would honestly ignore it and stay away.


#3

Good to know. I went to their website and it looked pretty legit but I got skeptical when I saw they only had three published novels to offer. I didn’t even think about looking for them on Amazon.

I’m still curious how they got my personal FB account. lol I guessed it wasn’t anything to get actually excited about, but still got butterflies at being asked to negotiate for a global copyright deal. lol

I think they’re a real company, just not the kind I want to go with.


#4

In these situations I always say keep the compliment, but skip the scam. They did pick you because you’re good, but they likely just want to profit off of that for minimal effort on their part. So you deserve better!


#5

I suspect they will offer to buy your copyright and you will lose total control of your book. Once they have your book they can do anything they want to it. But if they get your book/story first you will see little or no compensation.

The fact that it mentions copyright is a flag for me.


#6

Thank you so much for your advice! I truly appreciate it :slight_smile:

@GerrySaunders Why is the mention of copyright a flag in your opinion?


#7

With new copyright laws, once you give your copyright to someone else you lose all control of your work. Something to be aware in if you publish your book, some publishers will want your copyright and you lose all control.

Getting a formal copyright for your work is not hard, (I’m Canadian, it costs $50 Cdn.) and can be done online.

That’s good for 50 years or until your death.


#8

So, wait. What about traditionally published novels? Don’t authors who sign with those publishing houses have to relinquish copyright for however long the contract is for to that book?


#9

That’s a downside as well. I had a friend who signed with a small publishing firm. What they produced had little semblance to his original story. He waited for his two year contract to end so he could restore his story. He had to change the name of his book and many character names so as not violate his contract.


#10

Hmm. I’ve heard stories from many years ago of publishing houses changing stories drastically without the authors permission, but nothing as of recent years. I thought for the most part, all legit publishing houses stayed as true to the original manuscript as possible nowadays with any final edits being approved by the author?

At least, that’s what I’ve heard and my published friends have experienced so far in the past few years.


#11

That may be true. I’m just recounting his experience.

I did a publish my first novel through a vanity press. It was a heartbreaking and frustrating experience. When I look at Amazon, kindle and the rest, I see “The odds are not in my favor”. But I want my work read and enjoyed by the select few who will enjoy my stories.

That is why I am contemplating putting my entire series of books on Wattpad.


#12

No, no, no – you’re confusing rights that are licensed with copyright.

A traditional publisher is purchasing certain publishing rights. Those may be very broad – all languages, all formats – or sliced very thin – North American English, ebook only.

Guess which is better for the writer? Guess which the trad publishers are grabbing? (Grumble, grumble, grumble.)

The copyright remains with you when you traditionally publish, though. They are NOT changing your story without your permission. If they want changes that you aren’t willing to make, that’s usually grounds to cancel the contract (though you would have to return all monies).

Now, HOLLYWOOD does demand copyright, and that’s problematic. They can then do anything they want and you get nothing beyond that contract. That includes making sequels, merchandising, etc. That’s a HUGE issue. But that’s generally not the case for publishing, unless you sign a REALLY bad contract.

And you would have any contract gone over by an IP attorney before you signed it, right? RIGHT?


#13

Thanks for the clarification. I don’t know if he took it to a lawyer or understood what he signed.

I do know his book sits on his computer collecting dust.


#14

Most people don’t – or they don’t take it to an IP attorney. (They ain’t cheap!) And that’s a mistake. IP attorneys will catch the bad-for-writers clauses, and there are LOTS, even in the contracts from the good publishers. In the contracts from the bad publishers… well, no IP attorney would allow a client to sign one. They’re AWFUL!


#15

This is what I thought! Though I was admittedly confused by what he was saying and thought maybe I was wrong. lol

Thank you for the clarification. And yes, I’m not an idiot. I would never sign anything without having someone go over it with a fine tooth comb. I just wanted to post this message here to see what people thought of it, if they’d heard of the company, and if they thought it was worth sending a message back asking for more information.

I’ve gotten a few ‘publishers’ who’ve reached out to me with the same sort of MO, but never one that sounded quite as legit. So, I wanted a second opinion on the matter from you all.


#16

Because of the range of projects that this company does – and because they’re based in China, not the West – they may well want your copyright/IP. No way in hell that would even be on the table if it were my work.

I’d give it a pass.


#17

Thank you for your advice and honesty!

I messaged them back and said that I was flattered by their interest in my work but wasn’t ready to publish or relinquish any rights at this time. Turns out it was one of the editors of the company who messaged me after being told to do research on popular online romances.

Said they publish the works through online platforms through other companies.

Hard pass. lol


#18

From your wattpad profile.


#19

That’s my author FB page linked to there. Not my personal one.


#20

I had one maybe 2 years ago that looked very much like that; could be word-for-word as far as I remember it. But it didn’t mention the company name and described them as “one of the top web literature platforms in our country”, which I remember because it seemed odd. But this one was sent by email, to an address I used to post stories on a niche (fetish) website.

A few questions on the associated forum revealed that every author on the site seemed to have got the same email, sent over a period of about 3 hours, and they’d all been received in alphabetical order. In every case, the story listed was the author’s second story in the alphabetical listing. To those who replied, the editor claimed he’d been sent to find some of the best erotic romance on the web, and only emailed the ones who particularly stood out. When called out on this he got quite aggressive, ranting about how authors are stupid and don’t want their work to be known.

Maybe this one’s legit and they used a similar email? If they’re a Chinese company recruiting English authors, maybe they’ve got their initial letter from some resource that provides stock letters for specific business purposes, to guard against blind idiot translation. I can easily imagine something like that would exist.

My thoughts haven’t changed much. The stories that I really care about, I wouldn’t want to relinquish control. But if they want to take some of my other stories, the ones that I dashed off quickly because an idea came to mind, or written for one of the “write a story inspired by this picture” contests on various forums, I don’t have such an attachment to those. I’d be happy to sign them over and see if someone with more marketing skills can turn them into money.