Continuing the discussion from What is the best writing platform for a newbie author to post on?:

I started the above thread yesterday and received a lot of good advice on which platforms I should check out so that’s what I’ve been doing. While some platforms are super straightforward and seem to be good options, others are a little bit more complicated.

For example, Readict. I am in no way fluent in terms of law and contracts so I’m looking for some help when it comes to the letter of intent that Readict makes you sign off on when you try to publish with them… maybe I’m just super stupid but I’m not sure I’m understanding it correctly. And I would like to set my mind at ease.

This is a link to the letter of intent(please let me know if you can access it or not and I will try another way to make it visible). Really, I’m just worried that if I post to Readict I’m signing an exclusive contract with them and I can’t post my book anywhere else. I’m also wondering if I do choose to post on their site does it mean I can never take my book down?

I want to post my books on multiple sites and make sure I gain as much feedback as possible and I hope Readict is one of them that I can use because so far it seems super nice.

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That’s, hmm… I don’t really get it. Like, the way I read it, they’re saying that they’ll ‘test’ your first 6000 words and if they pass this test, they’ll be paying you a copyright license fee… Which I would take to mean will prevent you from posting on other platforms.

However, I don’t understand what this test is, what happens if you don’t pass and if it’s at all mandatory to take it. Do you have to agree to this thing in order to post on Readict? Or can you post without agreeing?

@CJtheSiteWizard I know Your Benevolence is busy, but I think we could use your legal expertise here, haha :sweat_smile:

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Okay so I’ve gone through a few of Readict’s FAQs and other legal language to try and get a more complete picture of what they’re asking for. Before I write this out, I need to emphasize that I am not an attorney and am thus not qualified to give actual legal advice. But that being said, here’s my best interpretation of what they’re asking.

It looks like there are two sides to Readict: the incomplete/ongoing/“amateur” side, which seems more like Wattpad in that you can upload your book as you go and let people read it. That side (the “Create” section) does not appear to fall under this document (a “Letter of Intent”). The LOI seems to only apply to the “Writer Opportunities” area, meaning if you are interested in pursuing publishing/more professional representation, that’s where this document comes into play. So if you’re interested solely in uploading your work at first for readers/feedback and NOT for consideration for their publishing program, this document does not apply. If you look at the normal sign-up dialogue, they only ask you to agree to their Terms of Service and Privacy Policy (see below):

Now let’s assume for a minute that you do want them to consider your work for representation/publishing/etc. and sign up for their “Fast Track” program, which is what this LOI represents. As the name suggests, a “Letter of Intent” does not actually indicate a binding agreement (one you can be held to legally), it only serves to give you an idea what to expect should you enter their program.

It goes on to say that should they desire to include your book in their publishing program and you agree to move forward in doing so, that will then require you to sign a Copyright License agreement, which would be legally binding (“execution” means you and Readict both sign it in a legal capacity).

  • "Check and confirm the authorization for the test does not conflict with any valid and binding agreement"

This means they want you to make sure you’re allowed to publish with their platform. For example, if you’ve signed or agreed to a contract with another site to give that other site exclusive rights to your content, Readict won’t be able to do anything with your work because you have given exclusive rights to someone else. To elaborate with another example, Wattpad’s Watty’s legal language says that if you are shortlisted for a Watty, you must keep your book exclusively on their platform (I think it’s for a year). That means the book you submitted for a Watty would not be eligible for Readict’s program for a year, at least, if it was shortlisted for a Watty.

  • "Agree to negotiate with Readict about a Copyright License Agreement for the title that passed the test"

You’re submitting your work to their publishing program. That means they want you to be willing to follow through working with them if they like your book and decide to publish it. This does not, however, require you to sign an agreement with them, you just agree to negotiate with them about it. If you don’t like the terms they offer, you can walk away.

All that being said, here’s a few other things to consider before you move forward with the Readict publishing program:

  • They do not pay royalties. They only pay a licensing fee and a one-time signing bonus. So you would probably make a few hundred dollars (they say up to $10k but I suspect those licensing fees are few and far between), and then nothing else.

This is great in the short term, but it means if your book suddenly becomes wildly popular, you will only be paid the money they gave you upfront (at least until they implement a revenue share program, which they would not be obligated to adapt your contract to include, if you’ve already signed with them and getting royalties is not included in that contract). However, you could always insist that clause (to be paid royalties) needs to be included in any contract you sign, should such a program come into existence. You would do that when negotiating the Copyright License Agreement with them.

None of this is shady or under the table: in fact, they’re very upfront about their process, which is nice, but if you want to get published with them, keep in mind one of the criteria they consider when choosing novels to publish is:

Which means you’ve already done all the hard work of getting readers for your book, and they won’t have to work very hard to grow your audience: in fact, it’s more likely that your audience will come to Readict to read your work, which means more users for them, not necessarily more readers for you.

Anyway, this is my best interpretation of what these terms include, so I hope it gives you a little more insight into the process if you decide to move forward on their platform.

I’m happy to answer more questions to the best of my ability, if you have them.