News SoA, WGGB hybrid publishing report coming 'later this month'

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E G Logan

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A joint report into the "hybrid publishing" sector is to be published later this month by the Society of Authors (SoA) and Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (WGGB).

The organisations have prepared the report because this area is causing concern to their members. They are increasingly being contacted, they say, about “hybrid”, “contributory” and “partnership” publishers — more commonly called vanity publishing — which charge authors to release their work.

Issues being investigated include: aggressive marketing tactics and emotionally manipulative sales approaches; opaque contracts and processes; services that fall short of expectations – and fees, which are "typically four or five figures, often with the authors surrendering a wide range of rights and control over their work", the organisations say.

In an interview with The Bookseller, the SoA repeated its advice: "we advise any author never (to) sign a contract or pay upfront for a service without first having it professionally checked – whether by an agent, a lawyer with publishing experience, or of course by the Society of Authors."

* It is not clear whether the report will be public or available only to SoA and WGGB members, but highlights at least can be expected in both the mainstream press and also in The Bookseller.
 
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