The Playwrights Forum Home 
  STAGEPLAYS BOOKSHOP NEW CYBERPRESS PLAYS PLAYWRIGHTING BOOKS PUBLISH MY PLAY AFFILIATE PROGRAM  
The Playwrights Forum > General > Announcements > Letter to Bakers

* STAGEPLAYS WANTS TO PUBLISH YOUR PLAY *
click here for details

 Moderated by: Paddy, Edd
New Topic Reply Printer Friendly
Letter to Bakers  Rate Topic 
AuthorPost
 Posted: Sun Sep 3rd, 2006 12:46 am
  PM Quote Reply
1st Post
Alan
Member
 

Joined: Fri Jun 9th, 2006
Location:  
Posts: 130
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
I don't know the best place to post this on the board, but this will do.  I thought you folks might be interested in the e-mail I sent to Baker's Plays recently.  Here's what I said:

Dear Mr. Dingledine:
 
I just received a letter today requesting changes to my play, "14 Lines."  I have no problem with either of these proposed changes and hope the high school will have good luck with the play.
 
I was chagrined to see the date on the letter, however:  July 21, 2006.  Why am I getting this so late?  As I see it, by this point the high school could well have decided against the show because they haven't heard back, or they've gone ahead with their changes and not bothered to get permission. 
 
Unfortunately, I must admit that I see this latest issue as just another in a long, negative trend at Baker's Plays.  I was thrilled when "Making Nice" was published years ago.  At that time, I found Baker's a welcoming, responsive, dynamic company.  In the years since that first publication, though, Baker's has not maintained such high esteem for me.  Some of my fellow directors here in Vermont have reported that Baker's is hard to work with and seems disorganized; my royalty payments have often been late; the amount Baker's pays me per book and production is the lowest of any company I have encountered; and I feel a general sense of disconnection from and disinterest by the company.  As a result, though I have written many plays over the past several years, I  no longer send any of them to Baker's for consideration. 
 
By contrast, when I signed on with Playscripts almost five years ago, they were a fledgling company and I had only mild hopes that my play would be well represented there.  Since then, I have placed 39 more shows with them, have seen my productions and my earnings grow past my greatest hopes, and have seen Playscripts become a leader in the industry. 
 
I understand that Baker's has recently changed editorial staff again.  While this may be a hopeful change, I have seen two such transitions in the past (since Jack Welch's departure) and have seen no improvement.  I believe that the plays I have placed at Baker's--"Making Nice," "The Chronicles of Jane, Book Seven," "14 Lines," and "Sinking El Diablo" are all pieces that have worked well for high and middle schools, but they all have had less exposure than they deserve.  I suspect that, had I placed these with Playscripts, they would all have seen many more productions and I would have earned a great deal more from them.  In short, unless I have concrete proof of positive changes in the near future--a willingness to renegotiate higher royalty payments, a greater responsiveness to customers (particularly educational customers), and a more active interest in my work, I will not only continue to disregard Baker's as a publishing option, but will take steps to pull the above-mentioned plays from Baker's and place them with more aggressive companies...Playscripts being my first choice.
 
I hate to be harsh or seem demanding.  I want Baker's to succeed, and I have tried to be patient.  I have run out of patience, though.  I sincerely hope you can somehow assure me, in tangible ways, that Baker's continued representation of my work will benefit my career as a playwright.
 
 
Sincerely,
 
Alan D. Haehnel
 

Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

 Posted: Sun Sep 3rd, 2006 04:15 am
  PM Quote Reply
2nd Post
Edd
Moderator


Joined: Sat Jun 10th, 2006
Location: Denver, Colorado USA
Posts: 1631
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
What a great letter.  Yes, you have the product and they are but middle-men.  I like the way you have taken the driver's seat without once being rude or inappropriately aggressive.    Really is there such a name as Dingledine?  Sounds straight out of Dickens.

Back To Top PM Quote Reply

 Posted: Sun Sep 3rd, 2006 06:08 am
  PM Quote Reply
3rd Post
haywardb
Member
 

Joined: Mon Jun 12th, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 17
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
Very well stated, Alan.  I wish I had read your letter before signing with them.  Let us know what becomes of it...

Last edited on Sun Sep 3rd, 2006 06:08 am by haywardb

Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

 Posted: Sun Sep 3rd, 2006 06:43 pm
  PM Quote Reply
4th Post
Alan
Member
 

Joined: Fri Jun 9th, 2006
Location:  
Posts: 130
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
If Dingledine's a pseudonym, the guy didn't let on.  I think it's legit.  I'll keep everyone posted as to how things progress.

Back To Top PM Quote Reply

 Posted: Mon Sep 4th, 2006 05:20 am
  PM Quote Reply
5th Post
leon
Member


Joined: Fri Jun 9th, 2006
Location: Upstate, New York USA
Posts: 335
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
i feel sorry for mr. d.  he's a decent man (with s. french) who inherited a bad situation.  however, i think those at french should have known that baker's was in chaos much, much sooner.  possibly, very little money was/is given to baker's to read and format scripts; hence, not enough staff.  i'm sure their high-school writing contest took a big bite out of the reading staff.

 

i'm with you, alan.  not sending anything to baker's till they straighten out.  but do you have a legal -- out?

Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

 Posted: Tue Sep 5th, 2006 12:51 pm
  PM Quote Reply
6th Post
Alan
Member
 

Joined: Fri Jun 9th, 2006
Location:  
Posts: 130
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
They have broken the contract several times by sending royalties late.  Beyond that, I don't know what sort of leverage I may have when and if I try to get out.  We'll see.

Back To Top PM Quote Reply

 Posted: Wed Sep 6th, 2006 12:19 am
  PM Quote Reply
7th Post
haywardb
Member
 

Joined: Mon Jun 12th, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 17
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
To be honest, it doesn't look like they'd put up a fight.  With the staff shuffle, it's likely the issue wouldn't be a top priority.  Which is ironic, considering playwrights are what keep them in business.  I like to think (or at least hope) that my other publishers would be scrambling to keep me, rather than take a long time responding to very serious concerns of their writers.

Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

 Posted: Wed Sep 20th, 2006 02:00 am
  PM Quote Reply
8th Post
leon
Member


Joined: Fri Jun 9th, 2006
Location: Upstate, New York USA
Posts: 335
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
so what happened with this?

Back To Top PM Quote Reply

 Posted: Fri Sep 22nd, 2006 12:50 am
  PM Quote Reply
9th Post
leon
Member


Joined: Fri Jun 9th, 2006
Location: Upstate, New York USA
Posts: 335
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
alan, have you received your royalties?  haven't got anything here.  maybe i haven't sold enough plays yet.  two plays were published about four months ago.  is there a minimum under which they don't cut you a check?  leon

Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

 Posted: Fri Sep 22nd, 2006 01:34 am
  PM Quote Reply
10th Post
Alan
Member
 

Joined: Fri Jun 9th, 2006
Location:  
Posts: 130
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
I did finally get my royalties.  I also got a nice reply to my e-mail, but I'm still not convinced I shouldn't try to jump ship.  I'm not sure what the cut-off is for issuing royalties, but for most it's a minimum of $20.00.  Sales for my shows were definitely mediocre, as they have been over the last few years since management started getting shaky.  We'll see, we'll see.  Good luck!

Alan

Back To Top PM Quote Reply

 Posted: Fri Sep 22nd, 2006 10:15 pm
  PM Quote Reply
11th Post
leon
Member


Joined: Fri Jun 9th, 2006
Location: Upstate, New York USA
Posts: 335
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
called, and found out that book royalties are paid in april.  performance royalties come twice a year.  no shows yet for me.

but got a royalty check from brooklyn today.  forty-nine smakeroos.  now i can buy that new car.

Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

 Posted: Tue Sep 26th, 2006 12:18 am
  PM Quote Reply
12th Post
haywardb
Member
 

Joined: Mon Jun 12th, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 17
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
I just got $500 from Brooklyn, which was a pleasant surprise.  They really seem to have bounced back from their slump.  And $200 from Baker's, which I'm also pleased with considering I still haven't made their print catalogue after well over a year.  So it looks like a good year for pocket change so far :-)

Back To Top PM Quote Reply

 Posted: Tue Sep 26th, 2006 12:43 am
  PM Quote Reply
13th Post
timmy
Member
 

Joined: Fri Jun 9th, 2006
Location: Oz, Minnesota USA
Posts: 1085
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
Maybe settle for a new coffee mug, leon. You've been holding that same one for what seems like an eternity.

timmy

Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

 Posted: Tue Sep 26th, 2006 02:59 am
  PM Quote Reply
14th Post
leon
Member


Joined: Fri Jun 9th, 2006
Location: Upstate, New York USA
Posts: 335
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
it was a while ago, but i don't think that's a mug.  i think i was drinking seltzer or some soft drink.

Back To Top PM Quote Reply

Current time is 03:15 am  
The Playwrights Forum > General > Announcements > Letter to Bakers Top




UltraBB 1.17 Copyright © 2007-2011 Data 1 Systems
Page processed in 0.2305 seconds (23% database + 77% PHP). 25 queries executed.