Dancing Unicorn is a registered imprint of Purple Unicorn Media, and the childrens' book division. This new imprint focuses on books for children aged 0 to young teenagers.
We generally use Amazon, or another print on demand company that sells through Amazon, to print the books. Whilst Amazon may choose to create stock for its own interests, these books are essentially printed and dispatched in response to orders. This is a quick process, however, and in general any books purchased will be with the buyer within a couple of days, Amazon UK certainly using its own couriers to deliver these.
Below, you can find our full basic Contract, to which any relevant additional clauses may be added by mutual agreement.
Registered Imprint of Purple Unicorn Media
Dancing Unicorn, as a registered imprint of Purple Unicorn Media (hereafter PUM), undertake to publish the book and pay any expenses in doing so, including cover design to our choice, or mutual agreement, sending out the legal deposit copies, using our purchased ISBNs, and sending out a number of review copies.
Dancing Unicorn, through PUM, will assign one of our ISBNs to each version of your book (Paperback, Kindle, Epub etc). This is registered with Nielsen Title Editor, and ensures the book gets into the trade catalogues, making the publication available to order. Under Legal Deposit, we send 6 copies of the paperback to the British Library, Welsh and Scottish National Libraries, and the university libraries of Oxford, Cambridge and Dublin. Each book will be listed on Amazon for paperback, and for Kindle, and on the various ebook retailers (e.g. Kobo, Barnes and Noble) for the epub version.
All versions of your book will have the Dancing Unicorn logo and the imprint and publisher name in them, prominent on the first interior page, and on the copyright page, and if space allows upon the back cover of the book. One of our websites may appear in them also. We make it clear that copyright is assigned to the author, and not the publisher.
Your book will be featured on Dancing Unicorn's website for the period it is in print, and extracts of your book may be used in advertisements, both on our websites, social media, and in any other advertising we may enter into.
Dancing Unicorn, through PUM, undertakes to keep your book in print for a minimum of two years. You, the author undertake to keep your book with us for that period of time. After two years you may ask us to unpublish the book. It is very rare for us to want to unpublish of our own accord, but we reserve the right to do so without mutual agreement after two years. In most circumstances we will send an email each year, after the two years, requesting confirmation of an extension of publication for another 12 months.
In exceptional circumstances, either side may request an emergency termination of publication before the two years, to occur by mutual consent.
PUM and its registered imprints reserve the right to terminate the first edition and issue a second edition as it sees fit, if the agreement to publish remains in effect. All 2nd editions will have a new ISBN and be subject to another tranche of Legal Deposit copies.
A publication date will be assigned to your book upon the agreement of the contract. We will undetake to meet this, subject only to technical issues which might arise. Missing the publication date by a reasonable and excusable margin shall not make PUM or its imprints liable to be sued.
PUM and its imprints does not have an in-house graphics department, and cover illustrations will be agreed on a case-by-case basis with the author. We can accept any pre-existing cover design, or use any image provided to us, or we can hire a cover designer we have confidence in to render a cover within a price we are happy with. If the author has requirements outside of this, then they may engage a cover designer themselves, at their own expense, and we will work with the finished product.
PUM,and its registered imprints, is a publisher and not a printer. The printing is done on-demand by Amazon (or Blurb, Lulu etc. as we decide, also selling through Amazon). As such we do not hold a large amount of stock, and will buy in only enough to meet any orders that may come through the trade catalogue.
Exceptions are noted below.
PUM is a small independent publisher and thus does not have an American office, meaning that we do not qualify for a Library of Congress listing.If we are working with a US organisation to publish, there is the potential for them to act as an agent in this respect, but the legal ramifications of this would need to be examined by our solicitor.
Royalties from sales in whatever format they are made will be split 50% to the author and 50% to the publisher. They will be paid twice yearly, in July and in December, preferably by bank transfer if the required details (IBAN/BIC etc) are made available, otherwise by Paypal. As Amazon pays us royalties 2 months in arrears, payments passed on to the author will also be 2 months in arrears. We will send a screenshot of Amazon's and D2D's (for epub sales) pricing systems, showing the amount per sale of each book that is the royalty.
Paperbacks are made available to us at Author Price which is the basic cost price of producing them. However, the postage for these is not free, so has to be calculated in to any pricing.
For example, if a paperback sells at £3.99, its author price may be £1.70 - however the postage is likely to be £2.99, rising to £4.99 for higher bulk orders [All prices in this example are subject to change by third parties].
If the author wishes to purchase copies at author price, they must send PUM the money, including postage, and we will then process the sale deliverable to their address. Generally, Amazon will print and post from their nearest subsidiary to the purchaser, but this is their arrangement, and we have no input into it.
As books provided at author price do not incur royalties, within the Amazon system, we request that authors do not use this as the primary method for selling their books, otherwise PUM, and its imprints, will not be receiving any income upon the sale. Whilst happy to send out copies at this price for the author to give away, use as samples, or send out as review copies, PUM reserves the right to add a premium to the author price if large orders are placed for book signings etc. This premium will be equal to the royalties we would have received had the book been sold through Amazon, and the author will be free to keep the rest of the sales value, which by omitting Amazon's own cut, will still be a larger share of the income than from an online sale.
As a small independent publisher we do not have a deal with a distributor to chain bookshops, as this would be prohibitively expensive to us (basically the distributor's cut would exceed our profit so we would be selling each copy at a loss). However, deals may be done with independent bookshops, and PUM and its imprints, undertakes to provide up to 6 copies of the book at author price to any bookshop on a sale or return basis. Details and prices, percentages, will be agreed on a case-by-case basis, and this will only be entered into if PUM is not operating at a loss by doing so.
Our undertaking is that we will attempt to get bookshops to carry the book, and if so the above will apply. As it is entirely up to the shops whether they do or not, we cannot give any guarantee that the books will appear in physical shops, though we would hope they do.
PUM undertakes to advertise all published books across our social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Mastodon), using those for the registered imprint where they exist, or the main PUM account for where they do not. We will feature new books prominently on our website, and in our quarterly newsletters. All books shall have a dedicated page upon the relevant imprint's website, and if information is provided to us, a dedicated page for the author.
Review copies of any books published by us can be made available to magazines, blogs, etc and we undertake to send these out. Please make us aware of any recipients you wish your publication to be sent to.
As a rule, the limit for any publication would be 10 review copies, unless exceptional circumstances obtain.
Dancing Unicorn has a dedicated YouTube channel, and we can host an "author-with-books" video on the channel if the footage is made available to us. Additional book advertising on our YouTube channel may be entered into, either designed by PUM, or sent to us (book trailers, songs etc).
When PUM attends book fayres etc we will take copies of your book. These are however slow to resume after COVID and we have none in the immediate future. [Subject to change].
Appropriate advertising options, incluuding paid-for adverts on Facebook, or Twitter, in magazines, or on podcasts, will be entered into by PUM, and the registered imprints, as we can afford to.
a) If PUM, or its registered imprints, undertakes to publish a book by a certain date, but after 2 weeks the book has not appeared, the author may terminate the agreement, with no rights to sue PUM.
b) If the author agrees the formatting of the manuscript and PUM, or its registered imprints, go ahead and complete this formatting, but the author at the 11th hour requests a complete formatting change (NOT to include copy edits, proof reading corrections, or simple textual changes) PUM may charge a Re-editing fee not to exceed £200 or reserve the right to terminate the publishing agreement.