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Rivkah רִבְקָה

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Making lemonaid out of lemons [Jun. 13th, 2008|05:35 pm]
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Just got off the phone with my editor, and it looks like not-so-good news for Steady Beat. In fact, it looks like not-so-good news for anybody who's working with TP right now. I'm not sure how much I should say for fear of causing an outright panic with other creators, but essentially, nearly all of Tokyopop's future books will be going straight to web. This wasn't a case-by-case scenario. Neither I nor any other single creators were singled out. It looks like nearly the whole line of non-licensed material will cease printing and be promoted online only.

However, this does not mean "Steady Beat" will never see print. Borders on the verge of bankruptcy hurt a lot of people, but it doesn't mean the end of the world. There are other publishers, other outlets, other venues. Tokyopop could in the future still print the third volume of Steady Beat.

In spite of this potential, however, I am going to try to negotiate print rights back from Tokyopop until such a future time as they choose to bring my books back in print. In the meantime, should Tokyopop fail to follow through with their promise of at least web print, I will put full "previews" of all the books online myself.

We'll see what other rights I may be able to negotiate back, as well. My business partner just recommended a lawyer to me who worked closely on the WGA strike and getting writers paid for online content. What concerns me is this: how will royalties be calculated for online content for our graphic novels? If the books have ads on the web page, we writers should be paid a portion of the add revenue. If readers are required to pay to view, we writers should be paid portions dependent on percentage of hits. Web content was not clearly defined in my contract and therefore should at least fall under that 8% "everything else" clause.

These are the questions I am asking, at least. I'll try to keep people updated with the basic answers I receive from Tokyopop.

Unfortunately, this also means I don't even want to LOOK at "Steady Beat 3" at the moment. I am heartbroken and torn, but I've had a feeling over the past week that I'm going to need to focus on other things. Tokyopop is still paying me for what remains of Steady Beat, but it hurts just to think that it may never see print. If I'd known it would only be published online, I would have spent far less time on inks and artwork, but as it stands, I'm committed to maintaining the quality I started this book off with. And that's okay. I'm proud of this book. I've put a lot of time and effort and improvements in it that I feel blow the first two out of the water completely.

But now, this just means that I'm going to have to delegate it to the back burner for a bit longer and focus instead on finding "Jane's S.O.S." a publisher. I'm a little nervous because it's pushing me out of the nest; I've been keeping "Jane's S.O.S." safely tucked away on my hard drive ever since I finished editing it, because a part of me is scared of putting my little baby out into the world, exposing it to all those terrible elements (and the critics!). But it had to happen sometime. I'm looking at this as it's opportunity to become something real.

And in the long run, I'm remaining optimistic. I truly believe that everything that happens to us has a purpose. I cried after that phone call with my editor, and I've a feeling there will be a lot more crying later once the shock wears off. But I believe firmly in framing in my mind the positive thoughts that will lead me forward instead of the negative ones that leave me spiraling ever inward. It's sad. But it's okay. Life goes on. And I know that from this, I will find better and greater things.

What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger, right? I know I'm a decent writer. I know I'm a decent artist. One little setback can't hold me back. Not ever.

-Rivkah


quick edit:
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Looks like TP may be able to give me the print rights back to book 3. Let's keep our fingers crossed!
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[User Picture]From: coppervale
2008-06-13 11:26 pm (UTC)

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Hang in there, little sister. Let me know if there's anything I can do for you.

xo

James

Edited at 2008-06-13 11:32 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]From: ardwynna_m
2008-06-13 11:28 pm (UTC)

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*hug* Hang in there, dear! It's really true that when one door closes another opens, another opens, and with your determination, if there ain't no door, make a hole.
[User Picture]From: psychofish
2008-06-13 11:34 pm (UTC)

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are some of the writers in Tokyopop WGA members? And can comic artists actually be qualified for WGA membership (provided that they made their own story)?

Anyways, stay strong there. I think the fact that you have someone who worked closely with the guild is going to make a strong front for you on Tokyopop.
[User Picture]From: rachelmanija
2008-06-14 01:11 am (UTC)

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The WGA represents writers of movies, television, and in some cases radio. You cannot join by writing comics.

ETA: They also cover online content, which is what Rivkah's referring to; though I've never met anyone who became a member solely by writing online material.

Edited at 2008-06-14 01:15 am (UTC)
[User Picture]From: rosalarian
2008-06-14 12:12 am (UTC)

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Is there any way you can get the rights back to Steady Beat and print/distribute it yourself?

There's plenty of "vanity press" companies out there, and with your fan base, I think you would do very good at it.
[User Picture]From: tonysalvaggio
2008-06-14 12:25 am (UTC)

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BUmm-R! Darn, we were so close with our book as well (about a week of tones and the final lettering in In-Design). About a week before the awfulness, Bryce said, "I'm going to not be email accessible because I want to finish book 3".
Hey, let me know what you find out about the printing stuff. I wish I could take a loan out and at least print the pre-orders for book 3.
Best wishes on "Jane's" and other projects. I'm sure you will rock it out!
[User Picture]From: originalmanley
2008-06-14 12:30 am (UTC)

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Considering I'm also in the process of reinventing what I have to offer and how I offer it, all you've said resonates with me... hard.

I'm in a position where I think I've painted myself into a corner and didn't realize it until I had a couple of dead albatrosses hanging on my neck... or at least one and one that's on life support.

We shuffle off those birds... spit out the feathers... and stuff our mattresses with them.

Best of luck... and go get 'em, Tiger!
[User Picture]From: rurouni_jedi
2008-06-14 12:53 am (UTC)

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Girl, I know the desperation you must feel. But hang in there--you are established and have the credibility many people can vouch for. I'm sure you'll make it out of this alive and in a better position that you started!
From: vinhluanluu.blogspot.com
2008-06-14 01:02 am (UTC)

Strange Times

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I hope things work out for you. Sometimes I wonder how TP's work their logic with their decisions and business practices. Best of luck.
[User Picture]From: commaqueen
2008-06-14 01:04 am (UTC)

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Sorry, did you just say that Borders--as in, the retail book store, is on the verge of bankruptcy?
[User Picture]From: lisalees
2008-06-14 01:31 am (UTC)

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Yes. Just Google "Borders bankrupt".
[User Picture]From: rachelmanija
2008-06-14 01:07 am (UTC)

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If you can get the print rights back, it might be worth your while to self-publish. (Or re-sell, but my experience in the prose world is that publishers rarely want to take over the third book in a trilogy whose first two were published elsewhere.)

telophase and I have been happy self-publishing our BL manga and selling them online and at cons-- we haven't made any real money once you figure in the cost of cons, hotels, etc, but neither have we lost any, and we're building a fanbase. And your fanbase is much bigger, so you should do better should you decide to go that route.
[User Picture]From: potionsmistress
2008-06-14 02:35 am (UTC)

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What was that? Did I hear someone say BL? Your webnets address, please. Here is my debit card. ---a fujoshi
[User Picture]From: cro2
2008-06-14 01:10 am (UTC)

Hey there...

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I wish you the best of luck in securing your rights back. This is a pretty surprising development, all things considered.

- Christopher, comics212.net
[User Picture]From: eclectic_gi
2008-06-14 01:40 am (UTC)

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Ugh... I wish you the best of luck and I hope that you're able to get your rights back. At least if it means having to put Steady Beat Online, you can make ad revenue and take 100% of the profit.
[User Picture]From: phthoggos
2008-06-14 01:41 am (UTC)

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fingers crossed for you.
[User Picture]From: hakeber
2008-06-14 01:51 am (UTC)

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I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.
[User Picture]From: sxyblkmn
2008-06-14 01:52 am (UTC)

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quick edit:
--------------------
Looks like TP may be able to give me the print rights back to book 3. Let's keep our fingers crossed!


hang in there riv! you've come this far and i know you'll keep on trucking no matter how it goes :)

(and when this crisis has passed i have a publishing question for you) :)
[User Picture]From: kittytreats
2008-06-14 02:11 am (UTC)

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I'm sure things will work out for you. It's nice to know that there are possibilities for you. Also, just think you got 2 books published so that will look great on your resume if you are seeking more stable publishing companies. I'm looking forward to your new project!
[User Picture]From: potionsmistress
2008-06-14 02:34 am (UTC)

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Non-licensed...does that mean all their OEL? That seriously blows (pardon my crudeness). Well, I'll still support you no matter what! You and Svet completely changed my view on OEL and for that you will always have a place in my dark little heart. <3 <3 <3
[User Picture]From: otakubarcode
2008-06-14 02:40 am (UTC)

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Oh no....after all your hard work....D: I am SO sorry. Don't worry though, things will work out, don't give up! Tokyopop seems to be in a real shit pickle at the time and once they get everything straightened out with their company I'm sure things'll be okay again and hopefully Steady Beat 3 will be able to hit the shelves. Keep us posted, I wish you the best of luck.
[User Picture]From: chrissydelk
2008-06-14 03:15 am (UTC)

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Best of luck vibes headed your way.
[User Picture]From: shanejayell
2008-06-14 04:26 am (UTC)

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Would a email/write in campaign help? As a fan I'd MUCH rather own books than digital format, so I'd be willing to complain to Tokyo Poop.
[User Picture]From: wonder1440
2008-06-16 05:24 pm (UTC)

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I am thinking about doing the same thing. I'm worried about series ending up without a final volume, online or in print. There's gotta be something the fans can do!
[User Picture]From: clockwork_hands
2008-06-14 04:37 am (UTC)

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Rah, hope the news gets better!
[User Picture]From: bsbartgurl
2008-06-14 04:44 am (UTC)

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well at least Steady Beat is getting a volume 3, from what I've read on other blogs, not every OEL manga will get a final volume. It makes me said to see this happening to series I love.
[User Picture]From: jou
2008-06-14 04:57 am (UTC)

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*crosses fingers* LUCK!! Shame to hear that they've bailed on the printing! I'll read it in whatever format, though.
[User Picture]From: tristantzara
2008-06-14 05:03 am (UTC)

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Best of luck, and I'm sure Steady Beat will have a print home somewhere. I think self publishing is a very good option--you could get a much better financial deal from the book than approaching a publisher, and I'm sure you could easily distribute through Diamond at the very least.

I'm a Borders specialty store employee, and from what I've seen, the situation is a bit more mixed than what one might assume from rumors of bankruptcy, which is that the company would just go away. They're recovering and changing, gradually.

I think Tokyopop is taking a pretty big risk in going towards online distribution, when commercial online distribution of comics has yet to really be perfected whatsoever. Looks like I'd better buy up all of those OEL titles I'd always wanted to get of theirs.
[User Picture]From: emmav
2008-06-14 09:39 am (UTC)

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Fingers crossed for you, hon. LJ seems scattered with bad news today....*hug*
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