The AW Amazon Store
Buy books by AWers

 

Welcome to the AbsoluteWrite Water Cooler! Please read The Newbie Guide To Absolute Write

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 88

Thread: Napkin Books

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin cameronknight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    35

    Napkin Books

    Has anyone heard of Napkin Books? (Canadian publisher, appear to be quite new, can find them here: http://www.napkinbooks.com)

    Their website is quite sparse (as well as being poorly edited, with many grammatical and punctuation errors).

    Any reliable info, whether positive or negative, would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!!

    Cam.

  2. #2
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Coastal Desert
    Posts
    13,061
    A cached "About" page is little help. The old address was an apartment and the current is a commercial space.

    Without knowing who/what's behind the company, there's nothing worth pursuing, IMO.
    ICAO
    ---------
    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

  3. #3
    Fish Whisperer aka eraser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Gone around that next bend.
    Posts
    6,794
    The poorly written content on their site should be enough to earn a pass from any discerning writer.
    Recently Thunk Thoughts
    www.frankbaron.com
    My book makes a great gift!

    He who conquers others is strong. He who conquers himself is mighty. - Lao Tzu

  4. #4
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    In a van down by the river
    Posts
    13,508
    Canadian citizens only.

    Tri

  5. #5
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin cameronknight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    35
    Thanks guys (I am a Canadian citizen, hence my interest). An acquaintance of mine has accepted a contract from these people, for her novel which is coming out in January. She has worked hard on the novel over a long period of time and is very excited about its imminent publication. She insists that Napkin Books are legit, however they do not appear to be members of the Association of Canadian Publishers - which, coupled with the poorly edited website, gives me pause.

    I do hope she's not getting ripped off. I guess if, in January, her book is front and centre in my local Chapters, I'll have to eat my words.

    Cam.

  6. #6
    2 WIP? A glutton for punishment astonwest's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    smack dab in the middle of nowhere
    Posts
    6,562
    Quote Originally Posted by cameronknight View Post
    She has worked hard on the novel over a long period of time and is very excited about its imminent publication. She insists that Napkin Books are legit...
    Unfortunately, those of us who have been around long enough have seen that same sort of situation and author opinion from many others who have been taken up by some of the worst types of publishers.

    Hoping for the best with regards to your friend, but not expecting good things. But then, I've been wrong before...

    Big Daddy West
    Make sure to visit AstonWest.com
    I'm also on Facebook and Twitter

    Check out my newest novels, Death Brings Victory (the latest Aston West "in-the-series" novel) and The Cure.

  7. #7
    Cover Me! Lainey Bancroft's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    southern Ontario
    Posts
    613
    I wish your friend all the best, but I wouldn't be lining up at Chapters to search out her book.

    January isn't all that far away, if her release is a sure thing, I'd expect the publisher site would have a cover, blurb and release date listed.

    I know publishers large and small have to start somewhere, but it always baffles me when sites launch with NO content whatsoever.

  8. #8
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Far from the madding crowd
    Posts
    6,668
    It's always a good idea to avoid brand-new publishers until they've actually proven they can publish books.

    - Victoria

  9. #9
    Brian Boru brianm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The desert of S. California and the coast of N. Ireland.
    Posts
    3,170
    Someone on this site sent a request for more information and received a response from Napkin Press. Here are a couple of excerpts from that response.

    For yourself before you submit anything to anyone; you should mail
    your own copy of the work to yourself. Leave it sealed and date
    stamped by the post office, so if ever need be you could open it in a
    court of law to prove it was yours.
    Oy. This is an indication they are really quite clueless.

    As for the name of a contact person, you state that "you are actively
    interested in getting published". It is the policy of large publishing
    companies not to accept unsolicited manuscripts, Most large publishing
    companies require authors to have agents. Both Random House and
    Penguin Group do not list contact person's for submissions but
    discourage submissions. So we are not sure to whom you are referring
    to that posts their editor contact details. We are a Publishing House
    and our editors are employed to edit after our directors have selected
    work which they feel they can promote and will be successful.
    Okay, so you are a new company but you don’t want anyone to know who is behind the company?

    If you are going to open a new company, it is expected that you would indicate who is behind the company in order that you can assure people you know what the heck you are doing. Not wanting to tell anyone who you are is a major red flag and usually indicates the people behind the company haven't got the experience and knowledge to open a publishing house. If they did, they would be posting that information smack dab in the middle of their homepage.

    It also appears that their office is located in an apartment building.
    Last edited by brianm; 10-30-2008 at 06:11 AM.
    "This is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever." Sigmund Freud (about the Irish)

    "Opera singers have resonance where their brains ought to be." Anna Russell

  10. #10
    Fish Whisperer aka eraser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Gone around that next bend.
    Posts
    6,794
    How long, ya figger, before someone at Napkin Googles themselves and shows up here to rebut?

    I'm gonna set the over/under at 10 days.
    Recently Thunk Thoughts
    www.frankbaron.com
    My book makes a great gift!

    He who conquers others is strong. He who conquers himself is mighty. - Lao Tzu

  11. #11
    Brian Boru brianm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The desert of S. California and the coast of N. Ireland.
    Posts
    3,170
    Quote Originally Posted by aka eraser View Post
    How long, ya figger, before someone at Napkin Googles themselves and shows up here to rebut?

    I'm gonna set the over/under at 10 days.
    Hmm... is there bingo in our future?
    "This is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever." Sigmund Freud (about the Irish)

    "Opera singers have resonance where their brains ought to be." Anna Russell

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by brianm View Post
    For yourself before you submit anything to anyone; you should mail
    your own copy of the work to yourself. Leave it sealed and date
    stamped by the post office, so if ever need be you could open it in a
    court of law to prove it was yours.
    Oy. This is an indication they are really quite clueless.

    Just so everyone understands the meaning here, what Brian is eluding to is the fact that sending yourself a sealed copy of your manuscript is a copyright "myth" -- it won't hold up in a court of law.

    Any publisher should know this.

  13. #13
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Coastal Desert
    Posts
    13,061
    Any publisher should also know what an (acquiring) editor is/does. There's a whole new level of cluelessness at work here, folks: Don't just walk away, run.
    ICAO
    ---------
    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

  14. #14
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin cameronknight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    35
    By the way, I received the exact same form letter in response to my enquiry.

    A fellow (published) writer friend suggested I check the Association of Canadian Publishers. Guess what? Napkin Books is not listed as a member.

    The aforementioned acquaintance is now apparently engaged in meetings with a graphic designer, provided by Napkin, for cover art and promotion. I certainly hope she has not paid any money to them for this service. As well, they are creating a Youtube trailer for promotion of her book. ?? Is this normal practice for a publisher?

    I too, would have expected the website to at least have a listing of published works. That is of course, unless they don't have any ...

    Re: copyright - you are absolutely correct regarding the old "quick and dirty" copyright myth - the only way to secure legal copyright is to register your work (the Writer's Guild of Canada can help with this - there is a small fee, around $50) and it is a simple process. You are given a copyright number and a dated certificate which is legally valid. Anything else is just not good enough.

    Thanks to all for your excellent thoughts - I will wait to see what happens with my acquaintance's novel ! In the meantime, I just signed up for NaNoWriMo so I'd better get cracking!

  15. #15
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Far from the madding crowd
    Posts
    6,668
    Quote Originally Posted by cameronknight View Post
    As well, they are creating a Youtube trailer for promotion of her book. ?? Is this normal practice for a publisher?
    The YouTube trailer is now the gold standard of pseudo-book marketing. It's free, it requires no special expertise, and because it's very Web 2.0, it lets the publisher act all savvy and cutting edge. In reality, there's no evidence that book trailers sell books, or that anyone is going to pick out your YouTube book trailer from among the gazillion other things on YouTube. When well-done, which many aren't, trailers are a neat idea and can be a part of an integrated promotional plan. But they are no substitute for real marketing and distribution.

    Re: copyright - you are absolutely correct regarding the old "quick and dirty" copyright myth - the only way to secure legal copyright is to register your work (the Writer's Guild of Canada can help with this - there is a small fee, around $50) and it is a simple process. You are given a copyright number and a dated certificate which is legally valid. Anything else is just not good enough.
    By law, you have copyright from the moment you write down the words. Nothing else--including registration--is required. Registration is an extra step you can take, in the very few countries that offer a formal registration process--but while registration may confer extra evidentiary benefits (and in the USA is necessary in order to file an infringement lawsuit), it provides no additional protection.

    - Victoria

  16. #16
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Here and there
    Posts
    3,306
    Email from Napkin Press:
    We are a Publishing House and our editors are employed to edit after our directors have selected work which they feel they can promote and will be successful.
    Uh-huh. So they don't have acquisitions editors - the selection work is done at board level. That kind of suggests that they don't have many personnel in their company.

    MM

  17. #17
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin cameronknight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    35
    It's funny that when I did a Whois search, the Napkin website came back registered to an address in Dublin, Ireland (although their "office" address is listed as Burlington, Ontario, Canada).

    And Victoria, I understand and agree with you that copyright automatically resides with the author as a matter of law, but in general, registration would be preferable in the event of any kind of plagiarism attempt or legal challenge of ownership. Ownership of intellectual property is notoriously difficult to prove in the courts, and to have a publisher suggest the old "mail it to yourself" trick smacks of the worst kind of amateurism.
    Last edited by cameronknight; 10-30-2008 at 11:36 PM. Reason: Dublin is not in the U.K. !!! (doh)

  18. #18
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    18
    I just LOVE it when folks I don't know, who don't know ANY of the Facts fabricate information, especially when said individual claims they are an 'acquaintance' of mine.

    On that note, please let me introduce myself...

    I am Napkin Books' debut author in Canada. The contract is still being negotiated and if signed soon, my novel will NOT be out in January. I don't know where this January date came from. It will be out in May 2009 if all goes well.

    Since they are a small house publisher, finding my novel in Chapters/Indigo nationwide is not realistic. Chapters/Indigo's take on any book is too great on a national level for an emerging publisher and author. It will be available by independent book sellers and online.

    As for not being a member in the Association of Canadian Publishers, not all publishers are. For example, Edge Publishing in Alberta and Penguin Press in Ontario is NOT and they are quite reputable. Membership in a non-government body that does not bestow publishing privileges does not mean a publishing house is disreputable.

    As for their website...well, wait until the contract is signed. Also I have seen MANY author websites and small publishing houses that were hack jobs. Theirs is just more of a holding place.

    I have also never paid one cent to them for anything, graphics or otherwise. As for what other misinformation that is going on, if you anyone here has any questions, I'd be happy to answer them in so far as I am able to.

    Yes, Napkin Books is brand new in Canada, and a small publishing house. MANY small and medium sized publishing houses have one or two people in them. To expect the same level of business practice as one of the Six Sisters is ridiculous.

    Oh....and I checked with my intellectual rights councilor (yes I have one...my brother in law) and if one can't legitimately copywrite their work in Canada, mailing oneself a copy works and holds up in Canada. EACH country has their own copywrite laws and therefore when a book or other intellectual property crosses boarders, copywrite needs to be maintained for that country within their country's copywrite laws.

    Intellectual property is easy to prove in the courts if one is properly protected through a well devised contract. Case in point. J.K. Rowling.

    Sincerely,

    Karen

  19. #19
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    In chaos
    Posts
    21,128
    Quote Originally Posted by KarenDales View Post
    (snippetty-snip:
    Oh....and I checked with my intellectual rights councilor (yes I have one...my brother in law) and if one can't legitimately copywrite their work in Canada, mailing oneself a copy works and holds up in Canada. EACH country has their own copywrite laws and therefore when a book or other intellectual property crosses boarders, copywrite needs to be maintained for that country within their country's copywrite laws.
    I think you mean copyright, Karen.

    (PS: Welcome to the cooler. There's lots here that you might enjoy.)

  20. #20
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Far from the madding crowd
    Posts
    6,668
    Quote Originally Posted by KarenDales View Post
    Oh....and I checked with my intellectual rights councilor (yes I have one...my brother in law) and if one can't legitimately copywrite their work in Canada, mailing oneself a copy works and holds up in Canada.
    There's a very simple reason why mailing a copy to yourself and retaining it unopened (a.k.a. poor man's copyright) probably won't hold up in court (anywhere): it's too easy to fake. You could have mailed the envelope empty, and filled and sealed it later.

    Retaining drafts, notes, synopses, query letters, and other material relating to the work will establish ownership much more effectively.

    - Victoria

  21. #21
    Hapless Virago IceCreamEmpress's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    6,442
    Quote Originally Posted by KarenDales View Post
    I just LOVE it when folks I don't know, who don't know ANY of the Facts fabricate information, especially when said individual claims they are an 'acquaintance' of mine.
    I would suggest that it's probably not you who is being discussed here, but someone else who actually is having a book published in January and meeting with cover designers now, as cameronknight describes.

    Why do you think that cameronknight's post is about you?


    Oh....and I checked with my intellectual rights councilor (yes I have one...my brother in law) and if one can't legitimately copywrite their work in Canada
    Canada has an Intellectual Property Office through which authors may easily register copyrights on their intellectual property.

    mailing oneself a copy works and holds up in Canada.
    It really doesn't. And it's ridiculous for a publisher to suggest that someone follow the outmoded "poor man's copyright" canard rather than registering a copyright with the Intellectual Property Office.

    EACH country has their own copywrite laws and therefore when a book or other intellectual property crosses boarders, copywrite needs to be maintained for that country within their country's copywrite laws.
    This is completely false, and I refer you to the Intellectual Property Office's own website for confirmation.


    I don't know anything about this Napkin Books, but refusing to give the acquisition editor's name to a prospective submitter is bizarre. And, Canadian folks, please familiarize yourself with the Intellectual Property Office's FAQs on Canadian copyrights rather than going with the guidance of Napkin Books or its authors' brothers-in-law.

  22. #22
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    In cahoots with the other boo-birds
    Posts
    8,146
    Quote Originally Posted by IceCreamEmpress View Post
    I would suggest that it's probably not you who is being discussed here, but someone else who actually is having a book published in January and meeting with cover designers now, as cameronknight describes.

    Why do you think that cameronknight's post is about you?


    That was my thought, too.
    http://www.staciakane.com

    FIVE DOWN, a Downside anthology, available now!
    Four previously published short stories and one brand new novella, together in one volume.

    Click here for more details.


    WRONG WAYS DOWN available now!


  23. #23
    Brian Boru brianm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The desert of S. California and the coast of N. Ireland.
    Posts
    3,170
    CopyRIGHT is automatic in Canada, just as it is here in the USA. Meaning your work is protected by Canadian law the minute you place pen to paper. I expect Karen is confused about registration when she uses the word "legitimately" in her response.

    Again, any publisher who advises a writer to mail themselves a copy of their manuscript to protect copyright is clueless.
    "This is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever." Sigmund Freud (about the Irish)

    "Opera singers have resonance where their brains ought to be." Anna Russell

  24. #24
    Noobus Perpetuus ejket's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Perambulating the verge
    Posts
    287
    Quote Originally Posted by KarenDales View Post
    Oh....and I checked with my intellectual rights councilor (yes I have one...my brother in law) and if one can't legitimately copywrite their work in Canada, mailing oneself a copy works and holds up in Canada.
    What is your brother-in-law's profession? Under what circumstance couldn't one "legitimately" copyright one's work in Canada? (I guess if it's not yours you couldn't...) Sorry for all the questions, but what you're saying makes no sense to me. One thing is certain: the "poor man's copyright" was never effective for anything except wasting postage.

    EACH country has their own copywrite laws and therefore when a book or other intellectual property crosses boarders, copywrite needs to be maintained for that country within their country's copywrite laws.
    Also incorrect. Read this.

    You can register copyright in Canada here, and if you're interested, the WGC also offers a registration service. If I were you I'd be concerned that my publisher doesn't know any of this stuff---which is the original context in which the subject came up.
    "Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future." - Oscar Wilde



  25. #25
    Cover Me! Lainey Bancroft's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    southern Ontario
    Posts
    613
    ((HUGS)) Karen!

    Sorry you were introduced under questionable circumstances. Please don't misunderstand. No one here wishes You (or your publisher) ill-will. It just is...what it is...And what it is, is 'questionable circumstances' with some newer publishers. But I hope you don't leave here thinking 'negativity' is a theme. There is soooo much great information (for not only new writers, but also new publishers) I hope this hasn't soured you on the value of research and I wish you the very, very best!

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Custom Search