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Thread: [Publisher] Aberdeen Bay / Champion Writers

  1. #1
    figuring it all out De Lady's Avatar
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    [Publisher] Aberdeen Bay / Champion Writers

    Has anyone heard of them, dealt with them etc.?

    http://www.aberdeenbay.com/default.aspx
    If I didn't worry I'd have to find another pastime.

  2. #2
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    They're an "imprint" of Champion Writers: http://www.championwriters.com/index.html, and looks to be a self-pub wanting to expand. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/se...r=Andy%20Zhang

    I'd feel a lot better about them if there were (in no particular order), info on the people behind it, ability to buy books from the website, and better cover art. As it is, I don't see anything to recommend them.
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  3. #3
    figuring it all out De Lady's Avatar
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    Thank you. I have the same feeling. I won't even bother with them.
    If I didn't worry I'd have to find another pastime.

  4. #4
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Hi all:

    Aberdeen Bay is a traditional publisher. Books published by Aberdeen Bay has world-wide distribution and available in many major booksellers.

  5. #5
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Welcome, Aberdeen Bay.

    Unfortunately, your use of "traditional" reinforces the impression you're unfamiliar with commercial publishing. Could you elaborate on what you mean and how you'll get your authors' books on shelves?
    ICAO
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    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
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  6. #6
    banned as an incurable tosspot
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    Although they're listed on P&E, the website doesn't give much information. Like Cao, I'd need to know a lot more before submitting to them.

  7. #7
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    The website says:

    "Aberdeen Bay works with the largest book distributor in the world. For each title we publish, our distributor offers world-wide distribution. In United States and Canada, readers can order your book in most major booksellers such as www.amazon.com, over 800 Barns & Noble bookstores and www.bn.com, and Borders.

    Independent bookstores or gift shops can order books directly from Aberdeen Bay with 30% discount. Author can also can also order books directly from Aberdeen Bay with 30% discount. Please note that all direct sales through Aberdeen Bay are non-returnable."


    Which would translate as not being available in bookstores, only online. How you can be available "in" a website I don't know, that phrasing seems misleading to me.
    Emily Veinglory

  8. #8
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    Aberdeen Bay Website:
    Royalties are based on the payments we actually receive from worldwide sales, not include shipping and handling charges or sales and use taxes.
    According to this, royalties are paid on net book prices, which reduces the amount that the author will take home. I'd be particularly worried about the fact that they seem to be deducting shipping and handling charges, which should be provided for in the price of the book anyway.

    Aberdeen Bay Website:
    We offer discounts to retail and wholesale customers, so the royalty amount you receive depends upon which type of customer bought your book and any discount they received.
    According to their website independent stores can get a 30% reduction, which means that authors will be losing a third on their royalty payments (before losing more in respect of shipping and handling).

    Aberdeen Bay Website:
    Author book purchases are royalty exclusive. You will earn royalties on all books not purchased by yourself or any co-authors
    In practice I would suggest that given the apparently lack of availability in bookstores, Aberdeen authors will need to sell their books themselves, for which they will not be eligible for royalties. One of their books retails for $14.95 on Amazon.com, which means that to make any money, an author selling books themselves would need to price higher or make a loss.

    Aberdeen Bay Website:
    For each book we publish, we go through the steps of: submission verification, design and layout, author proof, revision, and final production. Once we receive author’s publishing agreement and completed manuscript, it usually takes around 90 days to complete the publishing process
    90 days is very short and suggests that it's unlikely there will be an effective marketing strategy in place by Aberdeen by the time the book is available.

    Then there's the fact that their submission process is strange. Here's what they ask you to provide:

    Aberdeen Bay Website (BOLDING MINE):
    1. Author photo (in JPG or JEPG format)
    2. Author bio (written in third person voice)
    3. Completed, edited, and finalized manuscript in Microsoft Word format (see Manuscript formatting guidelines)
    4. Short synopsis (less than 400 words) in Microsoft Word format
    5. Long synopsis (less than 800 words) in Microsoft Word format
    6. All images author would want to include inside the book (if any)--not guaranteed for placement in the book
    7. Cover image author would prefer to be used (if any)--not guaranteed to be used as the final book cover
    8. Optional elements such as foreword, dedication, acknowledgment, and others. We encourage author to include the acknowledgment section to appreciate people who had made a difference in her life--such as being supportive, encouraging and kind. Most people would appreciate such recognition.
    9. Your signed & dated publishing contract.
    There's no copy of the contract on the website, so how an author is supposed to sign this before they submit, Lord alone knows. In any event, the fact that it does have to be signed and dated on submission kinda suggests little negotiation room.

    I particularly love the encouragement to put names in the acknowledgement section - I suppose that helps Aberdeen Bay gauge the number of likely purchasers ...

    And then there's this huge red flat on the FAQ page:

    Aberdeen Bay Website:
    Question: Do I need to find and work with my own illustrator for my children’s book?

    Answer: Yes. Aberdeen Bay’s publishing principal is to preserve author’s voice and style. To ensure children’s story is fully illustrated according to author’s specification, we require author works with his/her illustrator and submits final manuscript along with illustrations.
    Firstly, producing your own illustrator is an additional cost for the author and its a cost that no children's author should have to incur as commercial publishers will have their own illustrators who they will pay to produce cover or other art.

    aberdeenbay:
    Books published by Aberdeen Bay has world-wide distribution and available in many major booksellers.
    Hi, aberdeenbay, and welcome to AW. Who are you distributing your books with, what stores will your books be available in and will your books be physically stocked in stores or will they merely be available to order from stores?

    MM

  9. #9
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    Eh, it looks like the are non-returnable books, if I'm reading them right.
    30% discount to authors is crumby.

    Tri

  10. #10
    Elf Queen Yeshanu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aberdeenbay View Post
    Hi all:

    Aberdeen Bay is a traditional publisher. Books published by Aberdeen Bay has world-wide distribution and available in many major booksellers.
    aberdeenbay has posted twice on these forums, and both times has made mistakes in grammar consistent with the usage of someone whose first language is not English, and who hasn't taken the time to learn correct English usage. I am fully accepting of that in someone who is not a professional writer or publisher, but if you're going to publish books in English, you should at least have someone on your side who knows English grammar inside out. From Aberdeen Bay's website:

    Ever wonder about manuscript submission timeline? From the time we accepted your entire manuscript to the time readers can purchase your book takes about 90 days.
    If Aberdeen Bay can't manage to edit their own website properly, I doubt they can produce books of high quality, especially in only 90 days.

    Given the payment structure, I wouldn't class them as a vanity or self-publisher. However, they don't seem to understand the publishing business very well, and that doesn't bode well for any manuscripts they take on.

    JMHO, but I've thought it through...

  11. #11
    Renaissance man DaVinci's Avatar
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    I too am in talks with Aberdeen Bay.

    I have written a children's book and have fully illustrated the book myself.

    After sending out my manuscript to several publishers, I was contacted by an editor there who said he "loves my story" and is asking to see my illustrations, but after reading this thread I can't help but be a bit hesitant.

    Does anyone have any new updates or info about them as a publisher?

    I am new to book authoring as I mostly write screenplays, so I am learning how it all works.

    Thanks in advance for your help!

  12. #12
    practical experience, FTW frandavea's Avatar
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    DaVinci:

    If you went to all the trouble to write and illustrate a children's book, it seems like a waste to talk to any publisher who can't even get it on the shelf. Most children's books tend to be impulse purchases, you unless you plan on doing a s**tload of self-promotion yourself, no one's gonna know about it.

    Stop at the top and work your way down.
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  13. #13
    Renaissance man DaVinci's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frandavea View Post
    DaVinci:

    If you went to all the trouble to write and illustrate a children's book, it seems like a waste to talk to any publisher who can't even get it on the shelf. Most children's books tend to be impulse purchases, you unless you plan on doing a s**tload of self-promotion yourself, no one's gonna know about it.

    Stop at the top and work your way down.

    Thanks for you thoughts.

    Are you saying that Aberdeen Bay does not promote it's books?

    I really don't mind promoting the book myself, but I would like the publisher to drive some of the marketing.

    Secondly, did you intend to say "Stop" at the top and work your way down....?

    If you would recommend another publisher, I am all ears.

    BTW, my book is a Christmas themed Story.


    Thanks again for your reply!

    -DaV

  14. #14
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    Here's what you do DaVinci:

    -go to the bookstore with a pad and paper. Venture into the children's section and write down every publisher you see that has a book on the shelf. You know these publishers are good because, well, their books are on the shelf.

    -check some of those books to see if agents are mentioned. Write down their names if they are. You know they're legit and can sell books because you're holding the evidence of that in your hand.

    -go to Preditors & Editors and look up agents & publishers that deal with children's books. Crosscheck with this section, Google and agentquery.com. A Not Recommended is a Not Recommended for a reason - if you see this beside a name don't bother with them. Note those names, look at their websites for submission guidelines. AgentQuery will have those guidelines if they have no website.

    -Start from the top publishers/agents and work your way down (which is what Fran meant to say - just a typo).

    -remember that good intentions don't sell books. Don't be a guinea pig for a publisher or agent who has no relevant experience. Stick with people who have a track record. Inexperienced agents will waste your time; inexperienced publishers will kill your book.
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  15. #15
    practical experience, FTW frandavea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaVinci View Post
    Thanks for you thoughts.

    Are you saying that Aberdeen Bay does not promote it's books?

    I really don't mind promoting the book myself, but I would like the publisher to drive some of the marketing.

    Secondly, did you intend to say "Stop" at the top and work your way down....?

    If you would recommend another publisher, I am all ears.

    BTW, my book is a Christmas themed Story.


    Thanks again for your reply!

    -DaV
    Oops. I meant to say START at the top. Thanx for catching that.

    And, no, it doesn't sound like this publisher does much promotion/marketing at all, aside from its own website.

    As far as children's publishers go, I'm not as familiar with them because I write YA fiction, but I do know most of the big ones (e.g. Scholastic, Penguin/Puffin) prefer to work with agents. You may want to try finding an agent who specializes in children's books before settling on a POD or self-ploclaimed 'traditional' publisher.
    D.M. Anderson
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  16. #16
    Renaissance man DaVinci's Avatar
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    Smile

    Thank-you so much!

    This is very helpful.

    I really do appreciate everyone's advice!

    I'll let you know what happens...

  17. #17
    Tough-skinned Newbie
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    Aberdeen Bay's website now states that they are a POD publisher. I was all set to send them my query packet when I found that little line buried in their FAQ section. At least I saved the postage. *weeps*

  18. #18
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Question: What is Aberdeen Bay’s printing method?

    Answer: Aberdeen Bay uses off-site printing and print-on-demand (POD) methods for our titles. For orders with large quantity (such as 1,500 copies or more), we use off-site printing. For orders with small quantities, we use print-on-demand (POD).
    Could they possibly mean "off-set"?

    At least the cover art is improving.
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  19. #19
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    Even if they do, isn't a 1500-print run both small and expensive if done with offset?
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  20. #20
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Yes and no; IIRC, the break-even point is around 1,000. Notice, however, they still wait for orders of the large quantities....
    ICAO
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    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

  21. #21
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    So....if there's next to no promotion or marketing for titles aside from their own website, just where are they expecting these 1000+ orders to come from?
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  22. #22
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Aberdeen Bay Publishing misrepresentation

    Based on a recent experience, I believe Aberdeen Bay Publishing, while presenting themselves as a traditional publisher, is in fact a vanity publisher or, at the very least, a subsidy publisher.

    After professing interest in a synopsis and three chapters I submitted from my novel, rather than asking me to submit the rest of my manuscript, they wanted me to answer a marketing form. This form included questions about the marketing I was prepared to do, which is fine, but also asked how many of my books I'd be prepared to purchase and how much money I'd be prepared to put toward the marketing of my book. In other words, it appeared to be all about the money rather than genuine interest in the quality of my book.

    Aberdeen Bay's website lists the writers they've published but when I contacted one of these writers, she was kind enough to share honestly that her experience with them had not been a positive one. She concluded with, "I think Aberdeen Bay is really looking for authors that are happy to see their names in print and perhaps be happy selling to family and friends."

    It was a dead giveaway when one of the emails I received from the Aberdeen representative who had first contacted me, included the statement, "Hopefully that gives you a better feel as to what it would be like to self-publish with us."

    This confirmed that I should take a pass on any dealings with Aberdeen Bay. My response to them included the following statement:

    "We writers put a great deal of time and effort into creating our very best work, and the novels we birth deserve the best from an interested publisher ... We unpublished writers can get so used to groveling for the least bit of attention from both publishers and agents that we are vulnerable to losing sight of our worth as writers and the value of our work."

    So, fellow writers, let's keep our self-respect and not accept less than full representation from reputable publishers!

    Hildi

  23. #23
    Rewriting My Destiny Cyia's Avatar
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    Hildi,

    "Traditional publishing" is a dead give away itself - that's a term coined by vanity publishers and used by vanity publishers to make themselves seem like commercial publishers. Though if they mention "self-publishing" in their correspondence, they're not being misleading about what they offer. That's pretty upfront.

    From what you've said, the only miscommunication was on your end with your own assumptions.

    And I'm not sure you understand what publishers do. They publish books - that's it. They don't represent anyone. Agents represent writers.



  24. #24
    Absolutely Fazed
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyia View Post
    "Traditional publishing" is a dead give away itself - that's a term coined by vanity publishers and used by vanity publishers to make themselves seem like commercial publishers.
    You'd think so, but everybody--including Nora Roberts--has been using the term to differentiate commercial publishing from vanity- and self-publishing when discussing the Harlequin Horizons vanity imprint. So sadly, it's entered the mainstream to refer to commercial publishing these days.

  25. #25
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin ImaWriterToo's Avatar
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    So everybody...It's about a year later. What's the final word on Aberdeen Bay? I've submitted to about ten publishers who don't require agents, and Aberdeen is the first to respond with positive interest. I submitted to them because their website showed no indication of Vanity or Subsidy, but the marketing deal was apparent, which I attributed to them being a small publisher. But after reading this thread, I'm wary. So...anyone?

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