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Thread: New Victoria Publishers Inc.

  1. #1
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    New Victoria Publishers Inc.

    Question for all you wiser, more experienced folks:

    New Victoria is a small press that's been around for decades, had a good reputation, put out lots of good literary-type genre books, had good distribution, etc.

    The owners sold it to someone new. The new someone is self described as a book lover and an (unpublished, as far as I can tell) author with no experience in editing, publishing, etc. The re-vamped website for this publisher contains no information about the owner or any of the staff members.

    On another list, someone asked about this publisher, and I opined that they might be a bit risky due to the new owner's apparently zero experience in the business. An unidentified spokesperson for NV arrived on the list and said: (1) my comments were mean-spirited and unsupportive of the lesbian publishing community; (2) the new owner had put together a good team and had just released their first book; and (3) the lack of staff/owner info on the website was deliberate for privacy and security reasons.

    I'm happy to concede each point. But I'm wondering: when a publisher changes hands, how much of their "good reputation" goes to the new owner? Can an author bank on the publisher's previous successes, distribution, sales, etc? How much if any is likely to be affected by new ownership?

    Thanks for any and all info y'all might have to offer!

  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW JulesJones's Avatar
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    As far as I'm concerned, if there's no continuity of staff, there's no continuity of reputation. They'll get by for a while on the reputation built up by the previous owner/staff, but if they don't have the talent/experience/whatever that led to the reputation in the first place, sooner or later it will be noticed by the people who distribute, sell and buy the books.
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  3. #3
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Ditto Jules. Good reputation stays if there's a reason for it to, but putting a company in inexperienced hands is a dubious move.

    And FWIW, your comments were spot-on, and you shouldn't have been made to feel as though you'd done something wrong for giving them.
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  4. #4
    practical experience, FTW para's Avatar
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    the lack of staff/owner info on the website was deliberate for privacy and security reasons.

    If you are running a legitimate business you should have no problem with providing CEO & other staff contact details for your customers to contact you. The only businesses that have no information about that kind of thing is usually the type of business that is only there to rip people off.

    http://www.newvictoria.com/
    They don't have any details about the editor that you submit to either.

    I think you were right to raise those concerns. It's all well and good to support a community but there is no reason to blindly support them.
    Last edited by para; 11-23-2008 at 04:48 PM.


  5. #5
    I write novels
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    What everyone else said.

    I view that kind of behavior (answering reasonable concerns with accusations of being mean-spirited) to be a double-sized red flag. It's a blatant attempt to use emotional blackmail to silence criticism.

  6. #6
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beth Bernobich View Post
    What everyone else said.

    I view that kind of behavior (answering reasonable concerns with accusations of being mean-spirited) to be a double-sized red flag. It's a blatant attempt to use emotional blackmail to silence criticism.
    I totally agree. Perhaps the new owner will be able to make things work--but at this point, it makes sense to take a "wait and see" approach.

    - Victoria

  7. #7
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    I can understand why some staff might not want their names listed on a publicly-viewable website: it's an American press, it's a lesbian press, and (for reasons I haven't yet figured out) a seemingly very high proportion of lesbian fiction press owners/staff are schoolteachers. Y'all know what happens to American schoolteachers when the school finds out they're gay....

    Anyhow -- thanks so much for all the advice and info. Very helpful indeed.

  8. #8
    Hapless Virago IceCreamEmpress's Avatar
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    Even if the staff doesn't want their names on the website, they should at least discuss the matter with interested authors, rather than getting all defensive. Why should you send them your personal identifying information and intellectual property without knowing who they are? Surely the same concerns about safety and security apply to you as to them, and they should have some acknowledgment of that.

    Y'all know what happens to American schoolteachers when the school finds out they're gay....
    Nothing, in my experience (of course, I live in Massachusetts)

  9. #9
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    I fully understand the issue with professions and be associated with gay fiction. But I feel there is a difference between an author using a pen name and actually owning and running a lesbian press. I just don't see that you can do that anonymously.
    Emily Veinglory

  10. #10
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Em, I think a fair number of lesbian fiction editors use a pseudonym. As do authors. (To be fair, nearly every editor in that genre is also an author.)

  11. #11
    The King and Queen of Cheese BenPanced's Avatar
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    Using a pen name is completely different than remaining anonymous. With a pseudonym, you actually have something to go by. At least you'd know who to send email or queries to, as opposed to "submissions" or "acquisitions editor". Granted, many agents or publishers tell you to send materials to "submissions" but you can at least find the names of staff members on their website.
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  12. #12
    Hapless Virago IceCreamEmpress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unimportant View Post
    Em, I think a fair number of lesbian fiction editors use a pseudonym. As do authors. (To be fair, nearly every editor in that genre is also an author.)
    veinglory is an author of gay erotic romance, among other things; I've had a number of personal essays about all aspects of my sex life, including my bisexuality, published under my full legal name. So, yeah, we get it.

    I'm sure veinglory understands from experience, just as I do, why some people choose to adopt pseudonyms when working in the GLBTQI literary world--if I had a dollar for everybody who's sent me an email telling me I was going to Hell...

    However, editors stonewalling authors about their experience and qualifications is just not appropriate, even when those folks have made the choice not to share their identities with the public at large.

  13. #13
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Agreed, I.C.E.

    I can understand that the owner of a GLBT press might not want their name on the publisher's website if they're not "out" in their daily life. But not listing the staff seemed odd. I can't imagine any professional editor wanting to hide even a part-time or freelance association with a publisher just because it's GLBT, and I've found that nearly all editors for lesfic presses are themselves lesfic authors with established names (or pseudonyms) so listing them on the website shouldn't be an issue.

    So.... on the original discussion group, I've invited the NV spokesperson to elaborate to authors there what the new staff's creds are, and I've also invited NV to do a Q&A interview on a publicly-viewable lesbian fiction discussion forum. Hopefully they'll come to the party and this can all get cleared up.

  14. #14
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    it must be nice to sit on your ass and criticize.

  15. #15
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    For their sake, I do hope you aren't the afore-invited spokesperson for NV....
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  16. #16
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Could you explain what you mean, whocares?

  17. #17
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Near as I can tell, recent activity has been releasing old books as ebooks. Latest new book (May '11) is listed as unavailable on both Amazon and B&N.
    ICAO
    ---------

    Censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates in the end the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion. -- Henry Steele Commager
    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:

  18. #18
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    After a lull, resumed reprints last year. Only new book is by owner.
    ICAO
    ---------

    Censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates in the end the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion. -- Henry Steele Commager
    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:

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