At the time of my last posting, the contract language of TextNovel.com was definitely "wanting." It was waaay heavy on the publisher's rights to anything you might post/publish on the site and could have really messed up what starry-eyed authors may have hoped for with their early publishing experiences.
That post got founder, Stan Soper's, attention. He was kind enough (and humble enough) to realize the clause he'd figured was pretty standard was actually not necessarily fair to would-be writers. He suggested (via comments) an alternate clause he could replace the previous one with.
Unfortunately it was between the time of my post and his posts that my internet came to a squealing (like an angry piglet) halt. I had no idea Stan had posted his comments and only realized and replied (briefly) last night.
I hopped over to his site just a few minutes ago to see if the contract language had indeed changed. It has. Here's the new clause:
2. Content: Textnovel does not acquire ownership of the content you publish on the Site, unless you win the Textnovel contest (and in that case, only the rights specified in the Contest Rules and in any publication agreement you sign). When you publish content on the Site, you continue to retain all ownership to the content, subject to the license terms described herein.
* You retain all rights to any content you submit to Textnovel, except for whatever rights you grant if you are the winner of the Textnovel Contest, pursuant to the Contest Rules (and you will have the chance to approve the grant of those rights at the time you choose to accept the prize). However, you understand that Textnovel will have the right to display your "public" works to its readers.
* You represent that you are the sole and exclusive creator of any content you submit, or have a valid license or agreement to post the content, and have the authority to grant the foregoing license. You represent that the content you provide to Textnovel does not contain any viruses, Trojan horses, worms, time bombs, or other computer programming routines that are intended to damage, detrimentally interfere with, surreptitiously intercept, or expropriate any system, data, or personal information in or connected to Textnovel.Now THAT's a heck of a lot better! I must congratulate Mr. Soper on his willingness to revisit and revise contract language which might frighten off potential authors.
So, Saoirse, (you may be asking yourself ;-) How do you feel about TextNovel.com now?
I feel MUCH better about TextNovel.com. Let's be frank (when aren't we? ;-) --It has a ton of potential, especially for genres attracting young and tech-savvy audiences (in my mind that's the YA market, Fantasy, Science Fiction and Romance, initially) .
Will we ever see gobs of Westerns and memoirs as cellphone novels? Maybe someday... My Dad consumes Westerns faster than I can down good coffee, but he still gets stumped by his cellphone ("the electronic tether," as he jokingly calls it). I think if TextNovel gets the press it needs it can be a great start for writers--maybe even their chosen venue, in time.
If TextNovel were my cellphone novel site what would I be doing next? I'd find some writers to hit any and all blogs, ezines, mags, etc. on TextNovel's behalf as fast and as hard as possible (while still being pertinent and not pesky). I'd get a MySpace and Facebook account for TextNovel. I'd do press releases like crazy. Any news agency that covered the cellphone novel craze in Asia would be getting a press release from me, too. I'd look up any tech-related conventions or literary-type events that a TextNovel board member can get to and at least get fliers on tables or in bags, if not set up a table/booth (I could even suggest a few of these, personally). I'd get an ad on the NaNoWriMo site in hopes of snagging great stories at the end of this year's November run. I'd offer a few widgets so folks participating in TextNovel can post a visual link to their story from their blog or site. A couple of well-placed ads in mags like Writer's Digest and The Writer... But it all has to be done like yesterday because of the lag time faced by regular print magazines.
I really do wish TextNovel the best--there is some cool potential for it. Will I personally submit a book? I'm considering it again, thanks to Stan Soper. :-)
Thanks, Stan! Much luck! :-)