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Thread: Guardian Angel Publishing

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW kristi26's Avatar
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    Guardian Angel Publishing

    A fairly new publisher of children's books, I believe. Anyone have any experience with them? Their website says they mostly do e-books but have the option of getting a paperback copy POD if the author is interested. The catch? The POD option has a $100 set-up fee? Is that a problem? What does everyone think?

  2. #2
    The King and Queen of Cheese BenPanced's Avatar
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    RUN. Anybody asking for an upfront fee isn't worth the hassle and usually doesn't have your best interests in mind. There are other options that do not require a fee and you'd be better off using them.
    I still poop rainbows.

    I won't steal any of your ideas. I have enough of my own I'm not using.


  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW kristi26's Avatar
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    The e-book option is entirely free and they don't require you even consider the POD option, just mention that it's available should you wish to hold the book in your hands. I just want to be clear about this.

  4. #4
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    This is still fee charging. Look at it this way, a publisher should have the capacity to print books, the capital to fund the printing of books, and the sales to recoup that investent. That or they shouldn't print books.

    The most sympathetic interpretation would be that they are a commercial epublisher combined with a vanity print publisher. The less sympthetic option would be they don't anticipate selling many ebooks either but the negligible costs of digitizing a file mean the lack of capacity, capital and sales is not 'flagged' in this area by an overt fee, but is equally present.

    p.s. http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com -- they also seem to require the author to register copyright and pay the associated fee. Their books look quite nice but my advice to them would be to not offer print if they will not cover the costs and recoup them via sales. It crosses a line between publishing models.
    Last edited by veinglory; 08-08-2008 at 07:02 PM.
    Emily Veinglory

  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW kristi26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
    p.s. http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com -- they also seem to require the author to register copyright and pay the associated fee. Their books look quite nice but my advice to them would be to not offer print if they will not cover the costs and recoup them via sales. It crosses a line between publishing models.

    I didn't notice that in my initial overview. How much does the copyrighting cost? That seems like an additional somewhat hidden cost, doesn't it?

  6. #6
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    It is only about $35 online, as I recall. Many small publishers just leave the author to decide if they will do this, their contract seems to require it.
    Emily Veinglory

  7. #7
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Smile Guardian Angel Publishing

    As one of the authors fortunate enough to be published by Guardian Angel Publishing I have to step in here. I feel truly blessed to be one of their authors. The print books are done by Lighnting Source and the results are beautiful. The publisher is in your corner and sees to it that your books are available everywhere. The e-books are wonderful, and done in a flip book format that children love. If you are on the CW list you may know Kevin Collier, Margot Finke, Cynthia Reeg, Donna J. Shepherd, Susann Batson, and many, many other of GAP's authors and illustrators.

    I started out with e-books and later opted for the print versions too. I recouped the cost of set up in no time at all. I have three books with GAP and a fourth coming out this fall.

    I think we have to be very careful how we judge publishers these days.

    Check out my blogs: http://www.sharilyle-soffe.com
    http://www.rooterandsnuffle.com

    Shari

  8. #8
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    I should have added....you are not required to copyright your book. It is copyrighted as soon as you write it. If you want the further protection of registering your copyright you may do it, but it is an option not a requirement.

  9. #9
    I grow my own catnip JulieB's Avatar
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    Commercial publishers tend to think of registering the copyright on a book as part of the cost of doing business. It isn't an option.

    I'm not a lawyer, but it's worth pointing out that copyright registration protects both you and the publisher because you would now be able to collect statutory damages and attorney fees if you are successful in court against someone who has infringed on your copyright. Lawyers don't come cheap.

    Copyright registration should never be an option.

  10. #10
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shari Lyle-Soffe View Post
    I should have added....you are not required to copyright your book. It is copyrighted as soon as you write it. If you want the further protection of registering your copyright you may do it, but it is an option not a requirement.
    By the letter of your contract you are required to *register* copyright and submit proof to your publisher. I consider registering copyright in America very much optional. Not being American being the first and most obvious reason.
    Emily Veinglory

  11. #11
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Talking Copyright and other things....

    My reference to registering a copyright referred specifically to GAP. Since I have signed four contracts with GAP I think I am in a position to know what I am talking about.

    I would like to mention that the world of publishing is changing and it is wise to be cautious but unwise to have a closed mind. You are free to believe what you want but let me assure you my experience with Guardian Angel Publishing has been 100% positive.

    Shari

  12. #12
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Fromn their website: http://www.guardianangelpublishing.c...usive%20author

    "__X___ Author will be responsible for registering the copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office, including payment of any fees and the costs of preparing printed and/or electronic documentation of the work as required by the U.S. Copyright office. Author will provide a photocopy or facsimile copy of the Copyright certificate to Publisher within 45 days of receipt. Publisher shall be listed as the publisher of the work in all formats indicated in Section I."

    If that is not true I can only suggest they modify their website to reflect their real contract terms.
    Emily Veinglory

  13. #13
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    If I register my copyright I am to do it in the way indicated and to notify the publisher etc............
    The point is the publisher is not going to do it, so if you want it done you must do it yourself.

    By the way e-books do sell.

    Shari

  14. #14
    practical experience, FTW kristi26's Avatar
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    Thanks for putting in your opinion and experience here, Shari! I really appreciate it as the starter of this thread! It's good to get some comments from people who've dealt with them directly.

  15. #15
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Thank you, Kristi

    The most important thing I want to get across is that GAP is not a scam. You have nothing to fear. Everything is up front and above board. If Simon and Shuster wants your book go for it. If not, you have nothing to lose with Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.

  16. #16
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Guardian Angel Publishing -

    I would like to throw my hat into the ring regarding Guardian Angel Publishing - known to their published writers as G.A.P. And like Shari, I am one of those writers. One book published on paper, CD and download, with two more under contract.

    Everything Shari wrote, in answer to the various posts, was correct. Publishing today is changing. Kids today are computer savvy. E-book readers are available, and will soon be capable of including picture books. Expensive now, for sure, but look at TV, or microwaves when they first came out. As sales and popularity grow, prices will fall dramatically.

    Just because a publisher is prepared to deliver out-of-the-box solutions to writers, does not mean something fishy is brewing. I know several dozen children's writers, with books published by G.A.P. ( many with several), who are very happy with their print books, their e-book versions, and their royalty flow.

    More importantly, the support of the G.A.P management, their innovative and cool promotional ideas, and their attention to detail, is appreciated by all. We are encouraged to brainstorm together, on a by "invitation-only" online list the publisher set up for their authors. Awesome ideas surface when a bunch of talented and imaginative writers get together to talk PROMOTION IDEAS! And, CEO Lynda S. Burch is there to mentor and guide us every step of the way.

    Sure, there is a set-up fee if you want a print book, and the contract states clearly that copyright registration is yours to do - or not. The G.A.P. contract is simple, clear, with no tricky wording that might trap you later. The changing world of book publishing has forced many dedicated writers to look for alternatives to the traditional method of putting our books into the hands of kids.

    Publishers like G.A.P are pioneers. Writers who sign on their dotted line are taking a well calculated leap of faith. OF COURSE do you homework. Make sure the publisher you choose is legitimate, honest, and knows the business of publishing books for kids. But don't let innovative new publishing ideas stop you from becoming published.

    Many traditional publishers are stuck in the old ways, and reluctant to take risks. "Bottom line" accounting has taken over. They like a sure thing, and books are NEVER a sure thing. If they knew ahead of time what would sell big, all publishers would be rolling in money and success.

    I have heard no hint of dissatisfaction from any of G.A.P's authors or illustrators. Hey, no deal is perfect, so until one comes along, the GAP contract, and the openness between them and their clients, gets my enthusiastic thumbs UP! The royalties are pretty good, too!!

    You can e-mail me privately if you want further details, or check my Website and Blog. I am not new to writing for children.

    Margot Finke

  17. #17
    I grow my own catnip JulieB's Avatar
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    Welcome to AW, Margot. I hope you stick around.

    It's always good to hear all sides regarding a publisher.

    I am, however, very concerned that copyright registration is not required. I've stated my reasons for this upthread and won't repeat myself.

  18. #18
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by JulieB View Post
    Welcome to AW, Margot. I hope you stick around.

    It's always good to hear all sides regarding a publisher.

    I am, however, very concerned that copyright registration is not required. I've stated my reasons for this upthread and won't repeat myself.
    Another GAP author chiming in here. I think the copyright issue is very minor. I have 4 publishers, including a "NY" publisher that pays advances. None of the POD publishers that I have pay for the copyright. None of them but GAP mentions it in the standard contract. That is one thing that actually impressed me about GAP. Very above board. The fee for the copyright is minimal. The copyright is in my name and it's tax deductible as an 'intangible asset.'

  19. #19
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
    This is still fee charging. Look at it this way, a publisher should have the capacity to print books, the capital to fund the printing of books, and the sales to recoup that investent. That or they shouldn't print books.
    Says who? Do booksellers need to stock books to sell books? Not anymore. A few years ago, this model was scoffed at too. The world of publishing is changing. Fast. I feel very fortunate to be part of the GAP author crowd. This is the most nurturing, creative and forward thinking publisher I have met. You'll be seeing great things from GAP in the future. That's why forums like this are so important because a standard contract is a cold bit of legality that tells an author only the bare bones about a publisher.

    Kim Chatel
    Author of "Rainbow Sheep"
    www.kimchatel.com

  20. #20
    The King and Queen of Cheese BenPanced's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shari Lyle-Soffe View Post
    I should have added....you are not required to copyright your book. It is copyrighted as soon as you write it. If you want the further protection of registering your copyright you may do it, but it is an option not a requirement.
    Quote Originally Posted by JulieB View Post
    Commercial publishers tend to think of registering the copyright on a book as part of the cost of doing business. It isn't an option.

    I'm not a lawyer, but it's worth pointing out that copyright registration protects both you and the publisher because you would now be able to collect statutory damages and attorney fees if you are successful in court against someone who has infringed on your copyright. Lawyers don't come cheap.

    Copyright registration should never be an option.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shari Lyle-Soffe View Post
    If I register my copyright I am to do it in the way indicated and to notify the publisher etc............
    The point is the publisher is not going to do it, so if you want it done you must do it yourself.

    By the way e-books do sell.

    Shari
    Quote Originally Posted by Margot Finke View Post
    Sure, there is a set-up fee if you want a print book, and the contract states clearly that copyright registration is yours to do - or not. The G.A.P. contract is simple, clear, with no tricky wording that might trap you later. The changing world of book publishing has forced many dedicated writers to look for alternatives to the traditional method of putting our books into the hands of kids.
    But a laissez-faire attitude about copyright can. Yes, something is copyright the very second you create it, but registering it can give you a needed shot of legal clout in the future, if need be.

    Many traditional publishers are stuck in the old ways, and reluctant to take risks. "Bottom line" accounting has taken over. They like a sure thing, and books are NEVER a sure thing. If they knew ahead of time what would sell big, all publishers would be rolling in money and success.
    Which is why, as you claim otherwise, commercial publishers (the term "traditional publisher" is accredited to Publish America, one of the scammiest scams to ever scam a scam) take those risks in publishing new, innovative material.

    Quote Originally Posted by kimchatel View Post
    Says who? Do booksellers need to stock books to sell books? Not anymore. A few years ago, this model was scoffed at too. The world of publishing is changing. Fast. I feel very fortunate to be part of the GAP author crowd. This is the most nurturing, creative and forward thinking publisher I have met. You'll be seeing great things from GAP in the future. That's why forums like this are so important because a standard contract is a cold bit of legality that tells an author only the bare bones about a publisher.
    It actually speaks volumes about the publisher. There are other threads on AW about other "nurturing, creative, and forward thinking" publishers with horrible, horrible contracts that effectively wring every last penny from their authors. Yet people have flocked and still flock to many of them because of that warm fuzzy feeling of "family" they get when they get a book printed.
    Last edited by BenPanced; 08-10-2008 at 05:10 AM.

  21. #21
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    [QUOTE= Yet people have flocked and still flock to many of them because of that warm fuzzy feeling of "family" they get when they get a book printed.[/QUOTE]

    Hmmm. Why do I feel like I've just been insulted? In case you didn't read my earlier post. I have 4 publishers. I'm not a newbie in this business, and despite the title of my picture book (Rainbow Sheep) I don't flock. In fact, this as this forum has shown, writers have no idea what a publisher is really like until they sign up.

    When I say that GAP is nurturing, creative and forward thinking, the feeling of family is only a bonus next to the promotional ideas and opportunities that are available through its authors. I won't go into what those opportunities are here, because they are for GAP authors only.

    I don't usually pontificate about my publishers because in this industry it's not unheard of for small publishers to go under, even if they have a good track record. But, of all my publishers, GAP is the only one I have recommended to several fellow writers with a clear conscience, and they have all been happy with the group.

    Kim Chatel
    Author of "Rainbow Sheep"
    www.kimmchatel.com
    Last edited by kimchatel; 08-10-2008 at 05:33 AM.

  22. #22
    The King and Queen of Cheese BenPanced's Avatar
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    You're right. "Flock" was a poor choice of word, and I'd tried to write a reply that wasn't directed at anybody in particular. I hadn't known your book was about sheep, but that's just an aside and not an excuse.

    However, I will stand by my statement that many other authors defend their publishers' bad habits and even worse contracts on the grounds they've got "a family". I'm not saying you are, but it has happened in other threads on small/micro publishers.

  23. #23
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenPanced View Post

    However, I will stand by my statement that many other authors defend their publishers' bad habits and even worse contracts on the grounds they've got "a family". I'm not saying you are, but it has happened in other threads on small/micro publishers.
    Yes, I agree that there are some nasty publishers out there. That's why there are forums to discuss this. It seems to me that you are more interested in being "right" than listening to what the GAP authors are saying. But the original post was not by you, so I hope that others who read this, will take what they need from it. Three GAP authors have spoken out about this company. There are many others behind us who would do the same.

  24. #24
    The King and Queen of Cheese BenPanced's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kimchatel View Post
    Yes, I agree that there are some nasty publishers out there. That's why there are forums to discuss this. It seems to me that you are more interested in being "right" than listening to what the GAP authors are saying. But the original post was not by you, so I hope that others who read this, will take what they need from it. Three GAP authors have spoken out about this company. There are many others behind us who would do the same.
    What?

    This isn't a simple matter of "Cheddar is the best cheese" or "Tarantino is a better director than Hitchcock". It's not opinion-based. Several of us have just tried to point out that registering copyright should never be "optional" when getting published, as indicated in the contract. By saying this, we actually had your best interests in mind and were trying to protect you and your work.

    If you're getting what you want from them, mazel tov. But it's not something I would sign based on the copyright "option" alone.

    *bows out*

  25. #25
    I grow my own catnip JulieB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kimchatel View Post
    Another GAP author chiming in here. I think the copyright issue is very minor. I have 4 publishers, including a "NY" publisher that pays advances. None of the POD publishers that I have pay for the copyright. None of them but GAP mentions it in the standard contract. That is one thing that actually impressed me about GAP. Very above board. The fee for the copyright is minimal. The copyright is in my name and it's tax deductible as an 'intangible asset.'
    That's very wise of you to register the copyright. No matter who takes care of the registration (and generally speaking, it IS the publisher) it's something that has to be done in order to protect everyone.

    I'm surprised you haven't signed a contract that mentions copyrights. Please take a look at the SFWA model paperback contract, sections ten and eleven. Not all contracts will look precisely like this. Mine haven't. Yet, every one I've signed dealt with copyright - who registers and in whose (always mine, except for a work-for-hire) name. It just so happens that the publisher has always taken care of copyrights in my case.

    Believe me, a copyright issue won't be "minor" if you find someone has infringed upon your work.

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