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Anybody else get this e-mail looking for submissions for a "Paper Art Today" book? It looks legit (they're not asking for any money), but I get so many scams in my e-mail inbox, I can never be sure:
Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., a leading publisher of art reference, decorative art, and design books, is calling for images for Paper Art Today. We are looking for beautiful, professional quality photography of dolls you have created in any style or works by artists you represent, as well as interesting, engaging information about you or your artists for potential inclusion in this new publication. All materials submitted will be reviewed. Those artists chosen will receive a letter of acceptance listing their pieces that will be featured in the book.
Schiffer Publishing takes pride in these books. For the artists involved, it is like a juried show in permanent, published form that will be available for years to come and available globally. The book’s listing of artist contact information and gallery locations is an excellent way to expand an artist’s or gallery’s patron base.
Unlike most juried shows, submission and inclusion in this book are absolutely FREE! An artist’s only cost for participation is a little time, creative writing, and professional-level photography. A gallery’s involvement would be to encourage their artists to participate. Contributing artists are credited on the page with the photo caption information, the introductory information about themselves, as well as in the listings providing their contact information and gallery and museum locations where their work is on exhibit.
In order to help keep the publishing house’s overhead low and avoid charging a submission fee as some publishers do, Schiffer Publishing does not provide complimentary copies of the book to contributing artists. However, every participant is offered an initial 40% discount should they wish to purchase copies of this book or any of our 5200 titles.
Our website has a complete listing of our titles in print. Interested in participating? Contact me for more information and a submission form. Our submission deadline for all materials is May 1, 2014.
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road
Atglen, PA 19310 USA
Yes, Mark. My wife (Vivienne) got one. I can only think it was via a picture from her gallery that was posted on another site. I checked out the publishers, which seem entirely genuine. I have also written to Terri Jones but as yet have had no reply.
An associate from a Facebook papier mache group has also been solicited- I reckon they used this site as a shopping list.
Good to know other paper artists have received it as well--that also lends it more credibility. Kindly let us know what response, if any, you get from Terry Jones, David.
I'll have to think about whether I want to submit anything or not; as Jackie said, they really are just soliciting free content for their book (very much a case of the resulting tome writing itself). Certainly, it's nice to see your name and work in print, but, in this day and age of online connectivity, a web site is arguably a much better vehicle for your art than the printed page. I can recall, years ago, submiting poetry to similar collections, where they'd publish your verses and then offer to sell you copies of the book at a discount.
Some thoughts on this I collected elsewhere:
Looking at the nature of publications by Schiffer, many are compendiums of contemporary artists- some of which impose upon those same artists to provide pictures AND text for the publication... and are not given even a single copy of the publication in exchange. Each artist that participates becomes an advertising node.
I'm not suggesting there isn't value for you- only to make that assessment with eyes open. Part of that calculus must be that participants are those who are willing to do a good portion of the work normally done by the publisher an author, and accept a contract that conveys little or no direct remuneration. Does that qualify the prestige of publication? Perhaps. You will have to decide if inclusion benefits or damages your brand.
When performing a Google search for Schiffer Publishing, the first suggested auto-complete by the search engine was "vanity press". There were many hits from that combination, as well as searches including "scam". The Better Business Bureau only has one complaint filed against Schiffer, which has not responded to the Bureau's request for basic information. Not definitive- just a starting point.
"What do I have to lose?" Worst case scenario? The curator of a juried publication/exposition reviewing hundreds of submissions gives yours short shrift or prejudice rejection after recognising on your short publication list the presence of a vanity publisher.
Depending on the print run, the primary value may be in filling out your publication history; if on-demand, electronic, or very limited print run, the actual document may server you less than the entry in your personal history. Ya, I know that is contrary to the concern I voiced above.
By-the-way: while searching for Schiffer Publishing on Amazon, all the merchant advertisements below the catalogue were for vanity publishers...
12 hours ago · Like
One could make the argument that most publications are inherently vain in nature, as, whatever rationalizations we come up with to justify it, it's ultimately about the basic desire to be noticed/recognized by others. More-or-less: "I'm here and I have something to say/show/teach the rest of you". From that standpoint, a Schiffer volume is no better, or worse, than any other.
Last edited by Patraw (2014-01-22 16:18:58)
Well, I received an answer from Terri Jones. It was very brief, careless in that it missed out a word that was necessary for it to be intelligible, and made no attempt to answer some points in my own email. She said that she looked at this site for most of her links.
I have asked for a proper reply so will suspend judgement for the moment.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) isn't really any indicator of quality. All of the businesses who "subscribe" to them (aka, pay them money to join) seem to get good reviews, or no negative ones. The BBB is primarily a money-making operation.
Curators of juried publication/expositions all have their own agenda, just like the people who judge dog shows, and politicians. If you produce good work, it's still just luck if you're chosen, depending on whether or not you and your work fit today's erratic agendas, fickle opinions, social media hypocrisy, and what advertising outfit is helping to foot the bill.
Sue the Cynical
I do remember seeing something on the news about the Better Business Bureau and their questionable activities along the lines that you've just described, Sue.
As far as juried publications/exhibits go, I think the majority of them are fair, or at least they try their best to be so. Sure, there's always going to be some people that show favoritism or have ulterior motives, but I feel that most people will give you a fair shake. If nothing else, the judges/curators have their own reputations to worry about, and if they become notorious for being unfair, they aren't likely to get invited back to select artwork/artists again in the future, or, artists will choose to simply not deal with them or their organization(s), decreasing their influence.
I have had a reply from Terri Jones. She says she is dealing with 200 replies or requests for information or application forms. Nevertheless, she did not answer my questions or comments.
As has been said, this is a move by a (creditable) publisher to produce a book at very low cost to them. All the onus is on the people who would like their work to be included. I suggest that it is better to avoid it.
Scylla has written this, which I post on her behalf . .
I'm away from home for a month, and didn't bring my PM forum password
so I can't reply to the forum. I also got the post, and my response
was similar to all of yours. I think the company is looking for free
content, and I deleted the post. Like David, I found the email rather
unprofessional (I received 3 slightly different posts) in format and
I had just submitted a proposal to a magazine called "Cloth Paper
Scissors" here in the US, because they had published a call for
submissions for articles regarding paper arts. For a minute I thought
the Schiffer post was related, but it is not. If you are interested,
here is the URL to the "Cloth Paper Scissors" artists submissions
guidelines (scroll to the bottom for info on 3-d works.
http://www.clothpaperscissors.com/conte … sions.aspx
I have now had this email -
Thank you for your questions and your interest. We can assure you this is no scam. The cost to you involves your time, four to ten images that represent the range of your work, and the written materials we require. Nothing else will be asked of you, certainly no entry fee. When published, the Art Today series of books are sold throughout the United States, Europe, and into Asia, and remain on the market for years. The return on investment is the introduction of you as an artist and your work to interested readers/art connoisseurs who may become active clients/collectors of your work. The books are well printed, hard bound editions that reach a serious readership. The publishing house producing the book celebrates its fortieth year in business this year. Schiffer Publishing is a well established house.
Publishing is a competitive business. As such, we cannot reveal to you how we conduct that business.
We look forward to receiving your submission if you choose to follow up on this opportunity.
So the bottom line is that they make the money for cheaply publishing a book, and the artists may receive some advertising. But... do the artists retain all rights to the works and photos, or will the "authors" feel free to publish the photos elsewhere?
The Rule: If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
Well, I guess that's about what I expected. Thanks for attempting to get more info on this, David! I got the same e-mail from Scylla, but thanks for sharing it anyway.
While I'm still not certain if I'm going to participate or not, I went ahead and requested a submission form, as that document will likely provide more concrete information on the nuts and bolts of the affair. If I do participate, I'm probably going to have to make some original stuff, as I don't think it would be right to submit photos of copyrighted characters (which is the bulk of my work).
Who retains ownership of the photos submitted is a good question that I hadn't thought of, Sue. While it would be foolish to assume anything, I would think that the publishing company would have fair right to use them for the book, reprints (if any), and promotional purposes, but beyond that, they would remain the property of the artist and/or photographer, but I could be wrong. I asked Terri that question, along with my request for the submission form, so, I should find out one way or another, in the near future.
I am fairly certain that an artist always has copyright of their own work. This has certainly been the case with the various publications I have had work in. Unless an agreement is met between the artist and the publisher, but I personally would not be seen for dust if I was asked to hand over copyright.
U.S. copyrights are protected in the U.S., and I'm sure it's the same in Britain.
And there's no such thing as an "international copyright" that will protect your work in every country. Some countries have bilateral agreements with the U.S. (and Britain, separately) and will honor your copyrights, under the Berne Convention, and some won't. The copyright mark © [c in a circle] should always be in plain sight.
Here is some info on U.S./International copyrights: http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl100.html
And here is some info from the UK on the Berne Convention: http://www.copyrightservice.co.uk/copyr … convention
Here is a list (from 2006) that lists the countries that abide by the Berne Convention: http://www.copyrightaid.co.uk/copyright … gnatories. However, I found that there is somewhat of a gray area on where or not certain places are considered countries; Taiwan is considered a country in some circumstances, but not in others. I wonder how many other places there are?
And if someone in another country does reproduce your work for their own profit or use, how many newcomers to the art/craft field would have the means to fight? Personally, if it seems like it might be shady, you have a decision to make: you can "donate" your work and plan on losing it without a fight, and then move on; if you have the wherewithall (or a generous attorney in the family), you could put up a fight; stick with sources from your own country. But another question comes to mind: how will you really know if your design has been copied?
Okay, I got the submission form from Terri, here are all the details:
For each artist participating, we need:
1. Information about the artist and the artwork. For artwork that is part of an installation, a brief history of the project will be needed. A brief description (250 words or less) of your techniques and creative process for each item is needed. One purpose of the book is to allow the artists to tell their own stories about their artwork. An artist’s statement will also be required. Brief interesting anecdotes related to various pieces and installations are also welcome here. We will need to receive text submissions as Microsoft Word documents. Please do not send us articles written about you and your work by others. We are interested in your reflections on your own work, not the copyrighted words and ideas of others. A resume is required for the judging.
2. Four to ten examples of your work, captured in any of the following formats: slides; digital imagery, requiring an image with 400 dpi JPG in the fine format (quality of the image) in Adobe RGB color mode at a 4" x 6" size or larger (consider 4" x 6" to be the minimum acceptable size for a 400 dpi photo). If your image is larger than 4" x 6" at 400 dpi, please do not reduce the image to the 4" x 6" size. It will be fine as it is. Digital images may also be sent as raw files. Glossy prints measuring 4" x 6" or larger are also acceptable. All materials need to be properly identified for return once the project is complete. These need to be high quality images, images you would be proud to enter into any juried art show…considering they will be in print for some time to come throughout the United States and abroad. We ask that the images you send be of artwork that has not appeared in another publication. Materials accepted for the book remain safely with the publishing house until the book is finished and are then returned to the contributors, approximately 2 months after publication of the book, if the contributor has requested that they be returned.
3. Caption: For each image sent include the artist’s name, title of art (if applicable), identification of object form, media, technique, measurement, date, courtesy line as needed (i.e. both contributor’s and photographer’s credit). Please note that courtesy lines need to be included in the captions if they are to be included in the book. The reason for this is that at times when artists have provided such important information in cover letters or elsewhere, they have been missed in the final writing of the book and we want to avoid that situation. We will need to receive caption submissions as Microsoft Word documents.
4. Release form: Please sign the attached release form, signifying that you are the owner of the copyright for the imagery you have sent us. If you need to have your photographer sign the release as she or he is the copyright holder of the images, please ask the photographer to add your name to the release form along with his or her own so we know which artist the photographer, and the release form, belong with.
5. Please remember to provide a return address so your materials may be returned, and identify each image with your name.
6. Complete the Contact Information Sheet that is provided. Include any galleries or museums that showcase your work.
To recap, please, make sure your submission packet to us includes:
1. Your artist information, resumé, and artist statement
2. 4-10 images with captions for each
3. Signed Photography Release form(s)
4. A CD with your completed contact information
Send all your materials at one time.
Schiffer Publishing Ltd,
4880 Lower Valley Road
Atglen, PA 19310
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the thrust of the book?
We are presenting the broad scope of work currently being done in this field. We want to represent all of the different forms, materials, and techniques being used in this dynamic field today. We are looking for images of work done within this last decade from each artist that has not appeared in a previous publication so readers may see what is happening now in the field. We want readers to become familiar with current, professional artists working in this field, artists readers may want to follow in years to come and artists whose work readers may want to invest in.
What sort of work should I submit?
Since this book seeks to show the range of work currently being undertaken in this field, we would like to see images that reflect the range of work you are creating today. This is your opportunity to put your best foot forward with a broad reading public. Choose the pieces that you feel best reflect the full scope of the work you create in this dynamic field.
In what format should I submit my work?
Please, see the Submission Form. For imagery, high end digital is the preferred choice, but other forms as described are acceptable.
May I email my materials?
No. Email makes it too easy for files to be lost or misplaced and too difficult to organize when it comes time to review all the submissions.
Is it okay for me to send this call for artists to a friend of mine who is also an artist in this field? Or to my guild, association, etc.?
Yes, please do. All we ask is that you send folks the complete submission form and release form so they know exactly what we are asking for.
Will I be notified if my work is accepted?
We will contact everyone who submits work to let them know whether or not their work will appear in the book.
How will I be notified that the book is out?
The Marketing Department at Schiffer Publishing will let you know when the book is available. Remember to keep us notified of any changes to your contact information should you move. Email any changes to your contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will I get a complimentary copy, if my work appears in the book?
In order to help keep the publishing house’s overhead low and avoid charging artists a submission fee, as some publishers do, Schiffer Publishing does not provide complimentary copies of our books to contributing artists. However, a discount of 40% on any participating artist’s first book order is provided in appreciation of each artist’s participation.
PHOTOGRAPHY RELEASE FORM
Per our lawyers, the following form provides certainty that you own the images and are allowing Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. to use them for this book project (and only for this book project). Please sign this agreement and return it with your submission form and images.
To: SCHIFFER PUBLISHING
4880 Lower Valley Road
Atglen, PA 19310
Attn: Karen Choppa
1. I am the sole copyright owner of the photograph(s) and grant permission for their inclusion in the book known as _____________________________________________ (the “Book�� ) which is being published by Schiffer Publishing (“Schiffer�� ). I acknowledge that no payment is required for this use.
2. I hereby grant permission to Schiffer to publish the Photograph(s) in any and all editions of the Book. Schiffer will take reasonable efforts to ensure that credit accompanies use of the Photograph(s).
3. I also grant to Schiffer and its agents the right to use reproductions for promotion and advertising of the Book and for sales materials in connection with the promotion and advertising of the Book.
4. I warrant and represent that I have obtained any and all permissions, authorizations, licenses and/or releases pertaining to the Photographs, such that I have the full right, power, and authority to enter into this agreement and grant the rights herein provided.
Signature of Owner or Agent Date
Printed Name of Owner or Agent
If above is not the artist whose work is represented in the photography, please, print the artist’s name below:
Last edited by Patraw (2014-01-25 15:21:59)
"We are presenting the broad scope of work currently being done in this field." The form letter goes on at length, avoiding implying exactly what the "field" in question might be.
I imagine that they use the same, or nearly identical, submission form for all the different kinds of art books that they publish. There's nothing wrong with generalizing a form so that you can get more use out of it; I'd likely do the same thing if I was in that position.
I have received various similar emails but have never responded to any. Mainly due to the fact I have not been working hard enough. Also because a few months ago I received an email from someone who had seen my work on this site. They emailed me making me believe it was a woman who wanted to buy one of my works. They sent a cheque for more than the amount we agreed on and said a shipper would be coming over to collect the work once I sent him a cheque for the extra amount added on their original cheque. This all sounded very strange to me. They emailed me several times and I said I would send the cheque only when their cheque had been accepted by FEDEX. Of course I never heard from them again. Have any of you had this experience? It has made me very wary of all emails as you have mentioned above.
I get commission offers, via e-mail, relatively frequently, but they've all been on the up-and-up; I've never gotten one like you described. Anytime someone is looking for you to give them money, instead of the other way around, you should be wary. The "I overpaid, so please send me the difference" is a classic scam. I seldom do commissions, but, when I do, it's my policy to require a signed contract and 50% of the price of the piece up front (non-refundable). That weeds out anyone who isn't serious.
Another type of e-mail I frequently get are offers from plastic injection molding factories in China that are offering to mass produce my work, and I believe that those are legit. Given the nature of the content of my web site, they probably see it and conclude that I'm running a toy company, which is probably why they're soliciting me.
That definitely sounds like a scam to me.
I remember I actually did overpay for a video game on eBay once, but I sent the money up front, in the form of a U.S. Postal money order, and the seller didn't have a problem with refunding me the difference. My point being that a scenario like that could legitimately happen, but, in general, it's best to be wary.
The message you replied to, Mark, was a scam, copying text from elsewhere and using it to carry advertising. I have deleted the scam from jothikasuriya yadhavan.