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Thread: Rogue Phoenix Press

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW Round John Virgin's Avatar
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    Rogue Phoenix Press

    Has anyone dealt with a start-up online publisher called Rogue Phoenix Press? They publish e-books and POD paperbacks in several genres, mostly romance, mystery, and historical fiction. An AW member recently posted in Goals and Accomplishments that she had signed a contract with them, had received some editorial changes to attend to, and was very happy with them. (BTW, that is the only AW thread I can find that mentions Rogue Phoenix, and they are not listed at the P&E web site. Too new, I guess.)

    I went to the RP web site, http://roguephoenixpress.com/index.html, found they are accepting submissions, and sent a query letter, synopsis, and my novel's first three chapters by e-mail. Their submissions page indicates that they try to reply within two months.

    Four days later, I got a response asking for the full manuscript, which I sent, and just one week after that they offered me a two-year contract for first electronic rights. (After my initial query, I did some more research and found that their printing contact, PawprintsPOD, charges a hefty start-up fee, and that Rogue Phoenix's print contract requires you to buy 20 copies. So I amended my submission to say that I was interested only in the e-publishing option.)

    My concern is this: Isn't eleven days from query to contract offer a bit brief? I have trouble believing that anyone read my 400-page manuscript in a week! I've had a few agents say some nice things about it, but none has yet considered it too riveting to put down!

    So--whussup with this outfit? Any insights or ideas? Should I entrust my baby to them, e-wise, for two years?

    Oh, let me add that it looks like RP's main author so far is one of its co-owners, a romance writer named Christine Young. She has a blog: http://christineyoung-romancewriter.blogspot.com/. (For God's sake don't go to christineyoung.com. That's a porn site!)

  2. #2
    Yes, that's pretty fast.

    My question would be: why did you choose to submit to them? Had you exhausted every other publisher? Going with a startup e-publisher is a huge gamble. And this one seems like the many, many author-turned-electronic-publisher ventures that usually don't last very long.

  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW Round John Virgin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Havlen View Post
    My question would be: why did you choose to submit to them? Had you exhausted every other publisher? Going with a startup e-publisher is a huge gamble. And this one seems like the many, many author-turned-electronic-publisher ventures that usually don't last very long.
    I've been trying for several years to interest an agent--and continue to do so, though not with quite the invincible feeling I used to have. About a year ago I did a private (i.e., no ISBN, no distribution) hardback version on Lulu, so I could have some copies to give to my friends and relatives. Finally I reached the point where I felt that letting an e-publisher do an electronic version might get a few more people to read it.

  4. #4
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    If you want to epublish romance you have a lot of better options (Samhain, Loose Id, Amber Quill, Liquid Silver Books etc).
    Emily Veinglory

  5. #5
    Not-so-new PortableHal's Avatar
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    I don't know that a speedy response is cause to worry. (Last Saturday, I queried a respected agent that -- somehow -- responded in 18 minutes for a full. Blew my mind.) The "you have to buy 20 copies" thing IS cause for worry even if you manage to avoid the clause. It indicates that the publisher is more interested in your money than your manuscript.

    There is a definite joy to have a publisher, though, especially when no one else wants to admire your baby. If you're tempted to make the jump primarily for this reason, you might want to rethink your choice.

  6. #6
    Chalice the Hatchet Knight Karen Duvall's Avatar
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    I know Christine, though not well. She's a member of my RWA chapter in Salem, Oregon. She started this publishing venture with her son. It's brand new, so they're eager for submissions, which is probably why it didn't take her long to get back to you and offer a contract.

    Are they legit? Absolutely. Are they any good? I don't know. They just opened their doors, so to speak. Another member of my RWA chapter just got published with them. As for requiring the author to buy 20 copies of their own printed book, I don't like that. It smacks of vanity publishing.

    Anyone with a computer and internet access can be a publisher. Christine's background is that she's a published author. Is that enough? I honestly don't know, but I wouldn't take such a chance with my own work.
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  7. #7
    practical experience, FTW c2ckim's Avatar
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    I have two contracts with Rogue and I have to say I'm very impressed with them. They are on top of things and do a great job. Paw Prints do charge a fee but it's explained in their contract and its upfront. They don't try to hide anything.
    Paw Prints sends you a test copy of your book and are willing to change any errors. I have nothing but good things to say about this company. The first of my books, titled The Darkness Within is coming out in a month and it looks great. They are working on my second novel already and I can't wait to see what they come up with for a cover.
    www.roguephoenixpress.com 3/25/09 The Darkness Within July 25, 2009
    Meghan's Legacy- Sept.1, 2009; Shadow Chaser- Jan 2010- Witness- Feb 1, 2010 ;Legacy of Murder- April 2010; Secrets and Lies, July 2010; The Prophet out in Oct- Bucks County Publishing; The Unknown Son- Rogue Phoenix Press- out in Oct.
    Avalon Books- No One To Hear You Scream coming out Dec 2010
    Web page: www.kjdahlen.com

  8. #8
    Sockpuppet
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    Isn't the requirement to buy twenty copies makes this place a vanity press? I mean, what's the incentive to market their books if every author is buying twenty copies? Am I missing something?

  9. #9
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Paw Prints do charge a fee but it's explained in their contract and its upfront.
    I don't care what the explanation is. If they charge a fee they're a vanity press.

  10. #10
    practical experience, FTW c2ckim's Avatar
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    and because I paid a small set up fee the publisher is a vanity press? We're talking less than 100.00. I thought with a vanity press you would have to pay thousands not < than 100.
    plus I would have bought more than the 20 books requiered anyway. I don't live in a big city and I like to have books on hand for signings and such.
    www.roguephoenixpress.com 3/25/09 The Darkness Within July 25, 2009
    Meghan's Legacy- Sept.1, 2009; Shadow Chaser- Jan 2010- Witness- Feb 1, 2010 ;Legacy of Murder- April 2010; Secrets and Lies, July 2010; The Prophet out in Oct- Bucks County Publishing; The Unknown Son- Rogue Phoenix Press- out in Oct.
    Avalon Books- No One To Hear You Scream coming out Dec 2010
    Web page: www.kjdahlen.com

  11. #11
    Sockpuppet
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    Quote Originally Posted by c2ckim View Post
    and because I paid a small set up fee the publisher is a vanity press? We're talking less than 100.00. I thought with a vanity press you would have to pay thousands not < than 100.
    plus I would have bought more than the 20 books requiered anyway. I don't live in a big city and I like to have books on hand for signings and such.
    Not all vanity presses charge thousands. The requirement to buy books is a way to vanity presses to avoid charging up front fees -- they make the money back in sales to their authors (ala PublishAmeirca though I am not saying this place is like tPublishAmerica at all).

    I also note, they have no outlet via fictionwise, which is a major outlet for epublishers.

  12. #12
    practical experience, FTW c2ckim's Avatar
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    The books will be on sale on the web site, on Kindle and on Amazon. It may not be in stores yet but its a good start. For an author starting out isn't exposure important? and who knows it may lead to a bigger publisher down the line and isn't that what we all want?
    www.roguephoenixpress.com 3/25/09 The Darkness Within July 25, 2009
    Meghan's Legacy- Sept.1, 2009; Shadow Chaser- Jan 2010- Witness- Feb 1, 2010 ;Legacy of Murder- April 2010; Secrets and Lies, July 2010; The Prophet out in Oct- Bucks County Publishing; The Unknown Son- Rogue Phoenix Press- out in Oct.
    Avalon Books- No One To Hear You Scream coming out Dec 2010
    Web page: www.kjdahlen.com

  13. #13
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    IMHO if the manuscript is suitable and a larger publisher is what the author wants, that is where they should submit. Also any fee is counted as vanity. Many presses have tried to argue a set up fee for Pawprints doesn't count, most (e.g. WCP) eventually did away with it.
    Emily Veinglory

  14. #14
    phoenix blazing Parametric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
    IMHO if the manuscript is suitable and a larger publisher is what the author wants, that is where they should submit.
    Yeah, and before using up your first publication rights on a vanity press is the best time to query larger publishers.

  15. #15
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    No one's going to buy a book they know nothing about. Listing it on a site doesn't mean people suddenly know about it - it has to be marketed and advertised. If listing it on a few sites is the extend they're capable of, you are going to see very small sales. Paying to publish is paying to publish, whether it's $50 or $500. The only money you should ever be spending is the costs required to mail out queries, partials and fulls. Authors seldom have to provide their own books for signings, and tend to be given free copies for friends and family anyway. Being upfront about fees just means they're being upfront about the fact that you have to pay. Is being a published author enough experience? No it isn't, otherwise there wouldn't be such a high mortality rate amongst publishers started up by authors.
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  16. #16
    Hapless Virago IceCreamEmpress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by c2ckim View Post
    The books will be on sale on the web site, on Kindle and on Amazon. It may not be in stores yet but its a good start. For an author starting out isn't exposure important? and who knows it may lead to a bigger publisher down the line and isn't that what we all want?
    I don't want to be rude, but it seems to me like you're repeating a mistake. I remember how vociferously you defended Cacoethes, and sadly, everyone who was offering advice about them was right.

    A publisher that makes you pay for setup and buy a set number of books is a vanity press. They may be a better, more ethical vanity press than many others, but they're a vanity press, not a small press. Small presses don't charge their authors upfront or require authors to buy books.

    The best-case scenario here is that you're going to get 20 copies of a well-produced book at about the same cost to you as self-publishing them. You're still going to have to do all the promotion and marketing and basically hand-sell them all.
    Last edited by IceCreamEmpress; 06-30-2009 at 02:13 AM.


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  17. #17
    practical experience, FTW rejectME's Avatar
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    The impression I get from RP is that they are mainly an ebook publisher and then there is the print aspect, which they obviously are requesting book purchases, which would be vanity, but let's got back to what Round John Virgin first mentioned about how they offered him a 2-year contract to epublish. Now if he were to only take that option, would they not be considered a legitimate small press epublisher? Do they offer and advance? Are book available on Kindle? Is there any marketing outside of their own website? How are royalties paid?

    I've actually heard some pretty good things about RP. No, the 20 books for POD was not one of them, but some satisfied folks regarding their epub niche. I'd like to know more.
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  18. #18
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    'Satisfaction' is subjective, sales numbers are objective. Above average sales for the genre and format are an asset for any publisher.
    Emily Veinglory

  19. #19
    practical experience, FTW rejectME's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
    'Satisfaction' is subjective, sales numbers are objective. Above average sales for the genre and format are an asset for any publisher.
    Does that mean that they have good or bad sales for their genre?
    Please check out and "Like" my Facebook author page for info on current publications, WIP, and non-fiction work. If you have a page, I'd be happy to return the favor!

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  20. #20
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    I have no idea. I do know I have had authors (at other presses) say they were very satisfied who, upon being questioned, had sold less than 20 copies.
    Emily Veinglory

  21. #21
    practical experience, FTW rejectME's Avatar
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    So I have a question about an epub like this. If you avoid the print version and do the electronic for two years, what are the options after that, if any? I assume that first rights are used up, correct?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by rejectME; 08-13-2009 at 01:29 AM.
    Please check out and "Like" my Facebook author page for info on current publications, WIP, and non-fiction work. If you have a page, I'd be happy to return the favor!

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  22. #22
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    You have used first electronic rights and have to explain where and why, hardly an asset. I think if you hope to resell and reprint it makes more sense to work down the list rather than up it? That said a number of romance epublishers will consider reprints.
    Emily Veinglory

  23. #23
    practical experience, FTW
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    any more thoughts on this press. they still do e publishing and charge $70 for POD. Does anyone know how good their sales are?

  24. #24
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    These guys now have the full ms of a quirky zombie novel I wrote. Anyone here publish an ebook with them? Are you happy with the results?

  25. #25
    practical experience, FTW kelliewallace's Avatar
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    I have a HF novel coming out in August. I didn't pay for the $70 POD but if I sell over 100 copies of the ebook I get print copies.
    http://kelliewallacebooks.com
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