It looks like Baker's Plays is under new editorial leadership. I just received a letter from the new managing editor, apologizing for whatever problems I had been having. They, too, were dismayed to find out that my contract had not even been processed (after over a year), and that my script was erroneously left out of their 2005-06 catalogue. However, now I feel like I am in better hands and look forward to seeing what the future holds for the company.
Yeah, I'm pretty miffed about that, too. I almost called them today. At least their trend of not paying on-time violates the contract, which will give me ammunition if I decide to jump ship--a move I've been considering for a long time.
actually, they're always late. i think the excuse is that the checks must be sent to sam french in nyc to be signed. why this takes an entire month is beyond me. perhaps someone walks them down from boston, walks them back to boston once they've been signed & they're mailed from there.
hi alan. just got my plays actually published by baker's (after a two year wait). so what is the procedure to get yourself away from a publisher? i'm not doing it, but just interested. i'm gonna stick it out with baker's and hope they right their ship.
I've only had the experience once, with a publisher called Encore Performance Publishing. They had a few of my shows for over ten years with virtually no productions and promise after promise of things just over the horizon. This guy had been late with the pittance of a royalty check many times, so when I wanted to part ways with him, I just reminded him of the number of times he had violated contract. He didn't give me any hassle, really. I got free of him and placed the plays with Brooklyn, where at least some of them have had productions. I may try to do the same with Bakers, but I'm not sure.
I have been trying for 18 months to get a play away from Encore. (5 years - no productions and inquiries on my Website which I forward to them). Every time I inquire, they say - getting productions - but have never seen a check. How do you even get them to amswer you? They ignore my e-mails about taking the play back.
Hm. Is Mike Perry still the president? I happened to know him out in Utah--that's partially how I got my shows placed with Encore originally. Anyway, he was always good about getting back to me, though he did make a couple of moves; he was in Nova Scotia for a while. The leverage I had on him was that he did not pay me royalties according to the contract. When I finally broke from him, he didn't give me any trouble about it. I think I had to write him a formal letter stating my intentions to leave Encore and it took a little while after that. I just wish I had done so much earlier.
By the way, I called Bakers Plays today, and they said the checks should be coming in about a week. The guy in accounting blamed the delay on the recent change of editorial staff.
Good luck, Claudia. I would call and write and e-mail insistently until something happens. Don't be afraid to be pushy; it's your play. Let me know how it goes.
Thanksgiving morning and I am up googling my plays. Thank-you, my dog for VERY early morning on a day I can sleep!
ENCORE: I got no response from e-mails. I found my play was produced and no royalties were paid to me (neither did I ever get my complimentary copies). 4 years - 5 years? No monies even though I get bites from website and religiously forwarded them to Encore. So, now "the letter" goes out tomorrow. I have never had a play sit stagnant for that length of time. I did ask for the royalties, books sales and my play back. We shall see. I sent Encore the who, what and where of the production I found. In a sense, it was a very nice Thanksgiving discovery.
And as for DRAMA PLACE (looking for large-cast plays for teens - my field!), they accepted a play of mine and I did not accept the contract. There were a lot of clauses where I would need to pay them for this, that and the other thing and I would not open myself up to anything like that. They are not planning on a catalogue for some time, so the chances of early royalties - they told me would be minimal. I thought it would be good to go with a new company but I sent the contract back. They were very amiable to deal with - it was the contract.
Meanwhile, still counting my blessings on this very American holiday. Hope everyone enjoys their Thanksgiving and to our friends abroad and in Canada - have a wonderful day.
Good grief, Claudia. Who are these companies!? Pioneer Publishers who are situated right here in Colorado might be a great fit for you. They specialize in those large cast school plays. I know a woman who makes an astounding amount from her once a year royalty check from them.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and everybody who is reading this. Our friends outside the U.S. can celebrate by taking a minute to think about all those things to be thankful for; such as not being a turkey in America.
Pioneer and I have tried to get together for years. It seems every time they like one of my plays, I have just agreed to publish it elsewhere. I shall look again at writing for them. Thanks for the tip.
Encore has had its problems - which I didn't realize four years ago when I was semi-new to this. (See Alan's posts above) I have learned a lot. I am getting fussier. I used to be grateful for everything - and still am - but have learned that I should carefully match up work with publisher and not just "let it go." DRAMA PLACE is brand new - it's been posted here and on binge board and I thought I would take a chance because they have a lot of the same mission that I have - provide opportunities for young performers to get on stage! Their contract had a lot of red flags.
But on the plus side, Brooklyn is coming out of its "slump," Eldridge has been very good to me, Heuer has been good to work with, Dramatic Publishing (although this was in an anthology). I.E. Clark was exceptional but they are now having problems and might be up for sale. But I have had a great run with them - so not all bad. I look forward to someday being with Playscripts. I need patience. I need patience. I need patience. (I've pulled every play I have submitted to them)
Meanwhile, have gotten fond of turkeys because they run around the school where I sub and delight. Hard to fathom on turkey day. Of course, they live in a protected area and seem to know it. Thanks again Edd for reminding me of Pioneer.
To echo Edd's sentiments, I just want to say that Pioneer Drama Service has been top-notch with all my dealings with them (have one play with them, hoping for many more!) and I highly recommend them. They do better with large-cast plays, as they mostly serve the school market. Certainly a world of difference from Brooklyn (my other published play) which has done nothing in two years. Has anyone here tried to pull a play from Brooklyn? I'm looking into it, as it's been over two years now without a single production. Granted, it was coming out just as their troubles began, but still.