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Calling all Sports Publishing LLC authors

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by DS, Jul 28, 2008.

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  1. DS

    DS New Member

    Attention all those who have contracted to write books for Sports Publishing LLC:
    I am told by Peter Bannon, the publisher and managing partner of Sports Publishing, that the owners are trying to sell the company, which could have an impact on any advances due to you or future royalties. From discussions with a few of my fellow authors, it appears not everyone is aware of the sale.
    My last two payments on my advance are overdue from April and November, 2007, respectively. I was asked to settle for one-tenth of what is owed to me for a book that was published in November, 2007. I was also asked to sign a waiver releasing the current and future owners from paying the balance. I was also told the future owners would be responsible for paying any future royalties but this was not specified in the waiver. Nor have I seen anything from the future owners acknowledging this. Indeed, I have not even been told who these future owners might be.
    I was told if I did not sign this, the company could declare Chapter 7 bankruptcy and if that happened I would get nothing if I sued.
    It might be prudent for all authors to combine to hire a lawyer experienced in the publishing field for some advice.
    - David Shoalts
  2. In Exile

    In Exile Member

    Sorry to hear that - that's often the issue with second or third tier publishers - they'll always screw you first. And also the reason you want to have an agent represent you, because then the fight over $$ is the agent's battle, not yours, and they are often in a much better position to do so. When I do anything with a second or third tier publisher, I always ask for the bulk of the $$ first, none of this spreading out the advance crap.

    Word to the wise, any publisher that skips payments, as you described above, is already in it pretty deep. Better to have taken action then, I think. Now, compared to their other creditors, you'll be way way down on the list. Consult an attorney, by all means, but don't expect much, and by all means, don't spend much. They've had their attorneys working on this stuff for months already. If your book hasn't been published yet, you might be able to get them to assign the rights back to you, and perhaps even if it has been published.

    Nice how the company has been in financial trouble for well over a year but has still been signing people up to write books that will now probably not be published.

    Good luck.
  3. Blue_Water

    Blue_Water Member

    Given the two Sports Publishing LLC books I've read, I'm guessing third tier at best. I still haven't decided if I'm more disgusted with the author or the company that printed the books given the number of typos/factual errors.
  4. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    They have a pretty extensive list, but it's hard to conceive of a deep paying readership for many of their more recent releases . . . bad business, all around. Too bad.
  5. Logan

    Logan New Member

    I live less than three miles for Sport Publishing LLC. I can tell you that they have been in trouble for way longer than a year. It took almost three years for a photographer friend to get paid for photos they used in several of their books. He no longer does work for them or licenses image to them.

    I wouldn't sign the documents without talking to an attorney first. You and the others may be better off letting them slip to bankruptcy.
  6. Clerk Typist

    Clerk Typist Guest

    Sports Publishing was shorting its writers (and photogs, I'd imagine) when it was still Sagamore Publishing. I think it reorganized to avoid Chapter 7 or 11 a few years back.
  7. clutchcargo

    clutchcargo Active Member

    When a book publisher is in this state, dollars to donuts their biggest nut owed starts with their printers. Individual authors, or even collectively in a class-action suit, are a bit down the rung of secured creditors. Investors and banks also in the top rung(s).

    On the other hand, their best assets in a sale are the rights to those authors' books, even moreso than the inventory.

    So, they aren't going to pay the authors, but they sure as heck want to hang onto the publishing rights to those authors' titles. Either way, that doesn't bode well for authors---they make 10 cents on the dollar, maybe, but don't even get their rights back, let alone copies of the book.

    All this is covered in the author's contract reviewed (presumably) and signed upfront.
  8. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    You mean Tales From The Minnesota Twins Dugout by Kent Hrbek isn't selling a million copies?

    That's not a knock on anyone who has authored or co-authored one of those books...but it always blows my mind that they'd try to churn out those wafer-thin hardcovers and expect them to go for $20 or so.
  9. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

  10. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    Rotten bastards offered some of the worst deals in the business, then don't even live up to them.
  11. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    Actually, it's not a bad strategy on a limited basis. You start by paying the author shit to keep costs down, borrow photos from the team to keep costs down, then set up a royalty deal so the author can't make any money unless he pimps on every talk show and in every bookstore, to the point where he's competing with kids who have sidewalk lemonade stands.

    If they can sell 5,000 of them, they can make money. That's not impossible, given the number of hardcore fans and gift-givers who will buy a $20 gift because it has Twins or Tigers or whatever content. And if you can somehow get a team to buy boxloads of them as season ticket buyer premiums, you've hit the jackpot.
  12. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    My book sold more than 5,000 and I got all my advance and my first royalty. Since then, nothing. They owe me a good amount. I'm not optimistic.
    I had a second contract with them and said no thanks - I had no confidence I'd ever get paid.
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