OK, ok we.ve all heard the boring bleep storm that is the epic clusterbleep that involved Mystic/Phoenix Press.
I’m going to lay down the facts now as I’m getting thoroughly sick of it all.
This is the contract from Mystic (blank obv) that states what I would pay and for what; (I’ve deleted contact details)
Owner\Chief Executive Officer/Creative Manager
Co-Owner/Senior Executive Officer/Business Manager
This contract is entered into on ___________, between Mystic Press Publishing (hereinafter known as “Publisher”) and __________________(hereinafter known as “Author”)concerning a work presently known as _______________(hereinafter known as “Work”).
The Contract is considered legal and binding in all countries. If there should be any legal dispute, the laws of the state of Texas shall apply.
I. The Author hereby represents and warrants to the Publisher that:
A. The Work is free and clear of any counts of libel, plagiarism, breach of privacy or misrepresentation of facts.
B. The Work does not infringe upon any copyright or proprietary right, common law or statutory law, and does not contain any material of libelous nature.
C. The Work is not in the public domain and the Author is the sole owner and copyright holder of the work with full power to enter into this contract.
D. If the Work has been previously published in whole or part, the Author currently holds all copyrights to the Work and is legally permitted to enter this agreement.
E. The Author releases Publisher from any responsibilities relating to any legal actions incurred by the contents of the Work or the Author.
This representations contained herein are true on the date of the signing of this contract.
F. The Publisher will obtain appropriate ISBNs for the Work under the name of Mystic Press.
II. Grantor of Rights:
A. The Author, on behalf of himself/herself and his/her heirs, executors, administrators, successors and assignees, agrees to grant the Publisher exclusive rights to produce, publish and sell the work in print and electronic format (including email, download, disk, CD, or any other digital format known or to be invented) the work.
B. The author may request their book be put into POD (Print on Demand) at the author’s expense. Author agrees to pay printing costs to the publisher prior to the publisher submitting the work to print.
I. $35.00 (USD) Createspace + 1 proof copy (includes shipping) per title
II. $20.00 (USD) Cover Art per title (unless author has own and must be approved by publisher)
C. If added to a returnable catalogue, the author and publisher accepts full responsibility to “buy back” any books returned by stores and or distributors hereby relieving the publisher of any financial responsibility.
D. The publisher will provide the author with professional, “Mystic Press Approved” editors. If the author wishes to use their own editor (which must be approved by publisher) the author is fully responsible to pay for the editing at time of service.
E. The author agrees to cooperate with the editor and design team, and also agrees to meet deadlines set by the publisher.
III Term of Contract:
A. All rights will be exclusive for 2 years commencing on the date these books are released. After such time, the contract can continue if both parties agree.
Contract may be terminated after 1 year by either the author or the publisher with a 90-day written, certified mail notice or other receipted delivery service, and all rights granted the publisher will revert to author.
Upon breach of contract, the Contract may be terminated by either party with a 30-day written notice. Notification of breach and intention to terminate the contract is to be delivered by certified mail, e-mail or other receipted delivery service. If breaching party corrects breach within 30 days, the contract shall continue to remain in place until its natural expiration. Upon expiration of the contract term, all rights granted the Publisher will revert back to author when the disclaimer is signed and returned.
B. During the term of the contract, the Work will not be said to be out of print.
C. Author may terminate the contract at any time, with 30 day notice. The cost for early contract termination is $350.00 (USD) to be paid at the time notice is given. This is for the publisher’s time and efforts, book pr work, book trailer etc.
IV. Manuscript Preparation:
A. Author shall provide an acceptable, final revision of the manuscript in either Microsoft Word or RTF within the time agreed upon or this contract will be void. Publisher will not be held liable for lost manuscripts. Author should always keep a backup copy.
V. Royalties and Statements
A. Publisher and Author will mutually set the retail price of the Work based on length and comparable works. A. Publisher and Author will mutually set the retail price of the Work based on length and comparable works. Publisher agrees to pay to the Author, a royalty of 50% of the retail E Book price. If the Work is purchased in print, the royalty will be 60%.
B. The Publisher has the right to contract with distributors, bookstores, vendors, organizations and or outlets of printed and electronic books to sell the Work in association with the Publisher’s name. For all sales through these outlets, the Author will be compensated 30% of the download and/or sale price less any handling costs or discounts charged by the outlet.
C. In order to stimulate sales, the Publisher reserves the right to lower the price of the Work after a reasonable amount of time if the price appears to be too high (no sooner than three months).
D. Royalties shall be calculated and paid no later than forty-five (45) days following the end of each calendar quarter for sales during that quarter. Royalties shall be paid by check, unless previous arrangements are made with the author. Payment arrangements, mutually agreed upon by the Publisher and the Author, shall be made for payment of royalties to Author if he/she resides outside the USA. Royalties equaling less than $20 will be held until such a time as they accrue to $20 or above. Any withheld royalties shall be made immediately upon contract termination.
E. No royalty shall be paid on paper or digital copies distributed for review, advertising, publicity, promotional purpose, samples, or other similar purposes, or on copies sold below or at cost.
E. If Author has elected to grant Publisher the right to contract with various distributors and outlets, royalties will be paid to Author contingent on payment received from distributor. In most cases, distributors pay Publishers every sixty to ninety days for sales through their channels during those timeframes.
F. The Author is responsible for paying his/her own taxes on all royalty payments received from Publisher and is advised to keep accurate records for tax purposes. A 1099misc form will be sent to the author if necessary.
VI. Marketing and Promotion
A. The Author shall provide the Publisher with biographical information, a photo, and a suggested blurb for use on Publisher’s website. Author agrees to give Publisher the right to use the Author’s name, likeness, title of work and biographical material for publishing, advertising and promoting the Work. Publisher reserves the right to edit or rewrite the blurb submitted by Author.
B. Cover art will be provided by Publisher. If the Author has his/her own cover art, the Author must warrant that the provided art is either owned by the Author or that it does not infringe on any copyright.
C. Publisher reserves final approval of art in consultation with Author.
D. Author agrees to self-promote the Work to the best of his/her ability. If Author has his/her own website, the Work must be linked to the Publisher’s website. With any promotional material the Author generates, the Author will consult with Publisher to insure proper use of Publisher’s name and/or other information.
E. Author may use the first 10 pages of the work to post on his/her website or to give away as “teasers” to promote the work provided it includes a link to Mystic Press.
F. Publisher will send out the work for review to no less than three review sites. Author may request a review copy in e-book format. Author is encouraged to solicit reviews along with the Publisher. For added promotional purposes, Publisher and Author agree to notify each other as to what review sites submissions have been made.
G. With enough advance notice, Publisher will provide Author any needed book copies for Author appearances or signings. These copies would be in the format of print and can be purchased by the author at a discount set by the Publisher.
H. The publisher agrees to provide the author with marketing/p.r.guidance and to the best of Mystic Marketing and Public Relations ability.
I. Author is required to maintain a website/blog at all times. A Facebook page will be sufficient.
A.”Mystic Press” may at any time sell itself, or the majority of itself, its holdings, or licenses. Current contracts would transfer to the new owner.
B. Bankruptcy: If “Mystic Press” is legally judged bankrupt or liquidates its business, this Contract shall be terminated effectively and all rights granted to “Mystic Press” shall be terminated.
This states that the money I sent would pay for the COVER and Create Space. I chased up payment for the cover with the owner over and over and over and over because the artists did provide the cover and I wanted to ensure she got paid for it. I was promised time and again that she had been, but then the cover artist tells me she is to chase the payment up with ME as I haven’t paid!
I got the email about Mystic going down and was wondering about a refund. Obv the £20 for MLF is fine as she did produce a cover, but the other money should be returned as nothing else was done for me and from what I’ve heard Create Space don’t charge a penny. If you could arrange for a refund it would be much appreciated.
Createspace does charge for expanded distribution. It is 10 dollars for the ISBN then 25 for the expanded distribution which gets you in print. I have no problem getting that info to you. I have emailed about refunds as the notice stated. As soon as I receive your payment I purchase your one of kind ISBN then upload all info I have regarding the title then purchase the expanded distribution this way all I have to do is upload the manuscript. Once I know of anything I will message u via email
Yeah if you can send me the info/links etc that would be helpful
… 13 November
Hi X, I just wanted to check that Cover Designer has been paid for the cover she did for me as she has really come through for me and been a complete star
… 17 November
Also please could you MAIL me the copy of the contract that you have with a VOID stamp and your signature on it as apparently just the email doesn’t count. I understand that you’re probably ignoring my emails at this point, and I’m quite content to take this further if I have to.
… 18 November
I am not ignoring anyone. I have not had internet and can only check Facebook thru my phone. I work during the day and have been busy. The letter that I sent out was how my attorney informed me it should be done. It states all contracts are null and void.
… 18 November
But there’s no signature so I could have written it myself! Also have you ensured that MLF has gotten paid as she has completed the cover.
… 18 November
Cover Artist is always taken care of. My PayPal is frozen at the moment but she has a money order on the way. And as my attorney stated it was sent by my email and by Texas law it will stand up in court.
My PayPal has been frozen for awhile now and I cannot retrieve any funds but I have been in touch.
Cover Artist says she hasn’t been paid and at this point, that’s all I care about as she has worked really hard.
Hey I finally got a response from her and she states that the invoice for your cover art is still outstanding. I am just so pissed at this point. And have no clue what to do now.
(These are messages she recieved from Mystic)
of course she paid for her baker and taylor and createspace. I still have an outstanding invoice for art. She needs to leave you alone and understand she can pay or simply not use the cover. Period.
12:09am COVER ARTIST
She said her $55 invoice was for I. $35.00 (USD) Createspace + 1 proof copy (includes shipping) per title
II. $20.00 (USD) Cover Art per title (unless author has own and must be approved by publisher)’
yes that was before she agreed on baker and taylor
that 55 covered baker and taylor and createspace
I have no idea what Baker and Taylor is, and have no documents stating that I paid for it (seriously, wth is it?) but I do have paperwork stating that I paid for the cover. At this time, the cover artist still hasn’t been paid.
Then it all kicks off on blogs and no end of other messes. Until this was posted about me;
‘This Lily Crussell, seen you around, heard the sob stories, and that mysterious virus, you really think Tabetha is smart enough to pull something like that off. Why don’t you look at other people that have it out for you. I had several friends that picked up the same virus, it was a random thing but no you jumped quickly at her. And you didn’t complain when you got scammed by that one company that was putting you in print. You didn’t pay back all those donations people made for you. I had a very dear friend that contributed to that for you and I din’t see you offering up any money. Maybe you got what you deserved.’ – Wendy Hayes-Hunyor – former Mystic owner
The ‘virus’ thing was something I was warned about by another author and I simply passed on the warning. Essentially it was reported that Mystic were getting people to enter into chat convos, then virus’ were being sent to their computers as revenge. It didn’t happen to me, nor did I ever say it did, I just warned people about what I’d heard.
‘And you didn’t complain when you got scammed by that one company that was putting you in print’ I don’t even know what this is refering to as the only person who’s offered to put me in print is Mystic!
‘You didn’t pay back all those donations people made for you. I had a very dear friend that contributed to that for you and I din’t see you offering up any money.’ I’m guessing this i from my Pubslush appeal. With Pubslush if the author doesn’t hit their target (which I didn’t) no one pays, so this is a blatant outright lie and slander.
This is my profile page from Pubslush, had the book campaign finished or been funded, it would appear here;
The only parts I’ve blanked out are my hometown and the other pages I was looking at in the tabs above. I never recieved any money, and I can guarantee if I had, you’d have heard about it from the angry people I supposedly ripped off.
These are the FACTS;
-All I received from Mystic was a cover that was designed by an outside artist who hasn’t even been paid.
-I’ve tried to get a refund on the money taken from me and recieved nothing but threats of attourneys (I’ve asked for the attourney’s details so I can talk to them about it, but have never recieved a response despite asking publicly at least six times now.)
-My name is being dragged through the mud when all I’m doing is trying to get money back that was STOLEN from me. How does the victim become the bad guy?
-I have physical proof of what I have paid, what it was for and when. Mystic keeps stating that they do, but never provide it.
-Mystic Press closed down and reopened as Phoenix Fire with the same people involved who are now taking more money from authors.
This is the email I got about Mystic closing;
November 9, 2012
It is with a heavy heart that I must announce the closing of Mystic Press after almost a year. Unfortunately when I took over the company from the previous owners I also took hold of any and all debit. All financial backing is now gone. I have had to take up full time employment starting on Monday just to keep my own family going.
To authors that have already released: Any and all royalties will be disbursed as they are deposited. I have no intention on keeping anyone’s money. Book covers are yours to keep please have the logo removed by the cover artist. Any swag that is owed to you will be mailed off as soon as possible.
To authors that have paid but not yet released: I am working closely with the createspace team to see if a refund will be issued. In past cases they have not, but seeing this is a new circumstance I will know soon. The process works this way; I invoice, once paid it transfers directly over to createspace. I set up your title, buy your ISBN and select your expanded distribution channels. If I have the cover I upload it, setting up a sort of ghost account until your manuscript is uploaded. This is why no refunds have been given but I am working closely with them to get this figured out.
I apologize for any trouble this causes you, and you must know it is not a decision I have made lightly. I love the art of making others dreams come true, especially in the writing world. I will continue to support each of you. If anyone needs copies of their cover or completed manuscript please notify me before I destroy all content. Again I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused but it is something I could not prevent. All contracts are void and null. All rights to all work return back to the author.
I fail to see how this is legally viable as I could have written it myself! Plus it states that royalties etc will be paid. I still haven’t recieved the ISBN etc from Create space that I was promised, and guess I never will. But I’m not going to keep quiet when other authors are beign preyed upon by the same people who scammed me and a ton of other authors.
You’ve been warned.
Love Lily x