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Thread: A Better Be Write Publisher Inc. / A-Argus Better Book Publishers

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    A Better Be Write Publisher Inc. / A-Argus Better Book Publishers

    Anything? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

    P&E has no recommendation either way on this publisher in New Jersey. A glance at their web site shows some books with ISBNs, but it doesn't seem like they have a lot of authors in the stable. They requested by non-fic proposal so I'm looking for anyone who's had contact with them in the past. Thanks...

  2. #2
    Preditors & Editors Requiescat In Pace DaveKuzminski's Avatar
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    Is that still on there?
    When it comes to PA, the royalty check and the reality check arrive in the same envelope.

    Remember to be kind to writers who step in PA. They really don't know how bad it smells.

    The difference between PA and WLA? None. Both have the stench of dead and dying books emanating from their doorways.


  3. #3
    Shakespearean Fool DreamWeaver's Avatar
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    In their website FAQ, they recommend Harris Literary Agency, which has several discussions on AW as a fee-charging agency with no sales. I'd take that as a danger sign.

    Dreamweaver
    Why doesn't George R. R. Martin use Twitter? He already killed off all 140 characters.

  4. #4
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    And, equally ominous, from their FAQ page:

    Q:
    Can I get an editor to help edit my book for grammar and structure?

    A:
    We offer two of the finest editing services available:

    1. Copy editing: typos, punctuation, spelling.

    2. General editing: check for dialogue problems, redundancy, sentence structure, etc.

    3.
    Critiques suggestions for improvement, pointing out strengths as well as weaknesses, overall. May also include plot problems or inconsistent character actions.

    1: Trisha Moore
    Moore Literary Services

    Phone: 832-671-5006
    Fax: 281-304-4501
    www.mooreliterary.com
    Email: trisha@mooreliterary.com

    2. Rick Mohr
    http://www.newcamphorror.i8.com
    Email: nez1297@aol.com
    Hmmm.

    Trisha Moore's website appears to be out of commission, but here's Rick Mohr's bio, without comment except to note that there doesn't seem to be an abundance of commercial publishing experience here:

    Rick Mohr is quite the multifaceted individual. He is the winner of the 2003 Booksandauthors.net award for literary excellence, an author of numerous short stories, a media reviewer for Midwest Book Review and Dream Forge. COM (as well as his reviews archived here at New Camp Horror -accessed from the welcome page), Freelance Editor, owner/moderator of The Horror Writers Network , a Yahoo Group, co-owner and Editor of New Camp Horror , and a plethora of upcoming projects, as well as a lover of film, comic books, and the written word as long as he can remember.
    - Victoria

  5. #5
    Empirical Storm Trooper MadScientistMatt's Avatar
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    Yes, that is really ominous when whoever writes a publisher's website can't count.

  6. #6
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Two of the finest editing services available. No, three. Three of the finest editing services available. No, four...

    Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.

    - Victoria

  7. #7
    13th Triskaidekaphobe Richard's Avatar
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    That name turned up the other day - An Author's Dream or something of a similarly blatantly dodgy name, and a claim that manuscripts under 'consideration' at BBW would be given special attention.

  8. #8
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Followup to the publisher

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveKuzminski
    Is that still on there?
    I just had a 15 minute phone conversation with the publisher. She did NOT attempt to refer me to any editors or literary agents. She did propose an interesting change, taking my non-fic from a single book to a series of smaller "plane" books with illustrations. I thought that idea had some merit.

    She's definitely a small publisher. Her initial runs are in the 200 range to test the waters, then she goes up to a thousand at a time from there.

    I requested a sample copy of her contract for review and will keep everyone updated on what happens from here on out.

    Addendum:
    In reviewing the contract, I see two areas of concern. 1. She holds rights in perpetuity, although there is a later termination clause that doesn't seem too onerous. 2. She reserves future work right of first refusal.

    Those are both contract killers, but as I have not yet advanced to contract negotiation, I have no idea whether they are strikable. I will definitely argue for these points to be removed or altered.
    Last edited by Jenken; 06-28-2005 at 06:47 PM. Reason: Contract info

  9. #9
    On a wing and a prayer aruna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenken

    Addendum:
    In reviewing the contract, I see two areas of concern. 1. She holds rights in perpetuity, although there is a later termination clause that doesn't seem too onerous. 2. She reserves future work right of first refusal.

    Those are both contract killers, but as I have not yet advanced to contract negotiation, I have no idea whether they are strikable. I will definitely argue for these points to be removed or altered.
    The first one, rights in perpetuity, is an absolute strike. I wouldn't even dream of that.

    The second one, first option on your next book, is just about standard. I can't imagine you;d be able to strike that, but who knows. I've had that on all my contracts.

  10. #10
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by aruna
    The first one, rights in perpetuity, is an absolute strike. I wouldn't even dream of that.
    Here is how it is exactly worded: "The license herein granted shall be for the term of the United States copyright, and during any renewal or extension thereof." Then there's a sentence referring to another clause for termination and contract rights reversion.

    If I understand it correctly, US copyright is the life of the author plus 70-some years, correct? Might as well be eternity.
    How is it normally phrased? By print runs? Time length? I want to be able to propose alternate wording instead of just asking her to change it.
    Last edited by Jenken; 06-28-2005 at 08:02 PM. Reason: clarify

  11. #11
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenken
    Here is how it is exactly worded: "The license herein granted shall be for the term of the United States copyright, and during any renewal or extension thereof." Then there's a sentence referring to another clause for termination and contract rights reversion.
    This is standard publishing contract language. With a commercial publisher, it's no big deal, because it's also accompanied by reversion clause that describes (preferably in considerable detail) how and when works will go out of print, and what the author must then do to get their rights back.

    In and of themselves, therefore, "life of copyright" grants aren't an automatic signal to avoid. However, smaller and hobbyist publishers often use the standard "life of coypright" language but fail to pair it with an adequate reversion clause. In fact, the kind of reversion language that you might find in a commercial publishing contract, where the expectation is that thousands of books will be sold, isn't appropriate for a publisher like this. For instance, a commercial reversion clause might ensure that a book goes out of print if it sells less than 300 copies during two consecutive royalty periods. A book published by a company like this may not sell 300 copies in its lifetime.

    With smaller publishers, therefore, it's often a better idea to grant rights for a specific length of time--say, one to three years, with the possibility of renewal if both parties agree.

    - Victoria

  12. #12
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    Talking

    I did infact pull an email query rejection from a M. Stapperfenne from this company. Turnaround was two days.

    Tri

  13. #13
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    http://www.abetterbewrite.com/ (mute button at bottom of page)

    Their FAQs are now sans reference to specific agent/editor(s).
    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
    practical experience, FTW frandavea's Avatar
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    I recently submitted a partial to them. Got an email two weeks later, stating they now have two publishing 'options,' one of course being an investment from the author to the tune of almost $900.

    And, of course, they welcomed me to resubmit. Thanx but no thanx.
    D.M. Anderson
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  15. #15
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Yup. I just got an email from a writer who was offered the same deal.

    So, it's an amateur publisher...and now it's a vanity publisher.

    - Victoria

  16. #16
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    A-Argus Better Book Publishers

    I got an offer from A-Argus Better Boook Publishers, a classic publishing house and they asked for a fine from me. They're still a standard house, because I asked about marketing and such, and they really make an effort with marketing and everything. Originally, the offer was to be an investment, of mine, of around 1400 dollars, but they made an offer to me of around 600. I told them I wouldn't pay the fee, and I am in the works of negotiating with them, but now I'm having second thoughts. They shouldn't have asked for a fee in the first place, and even if I end up not having to pay it, it makes me wonder. I'm almost sure if you asked all their published authors they'd tell you they didn't pay a fee, so I'm confused. Anyone got any advice or warnings? Or dealings with them previously?
    Waid Harbison
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  17. #17
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    Money flows toward the author. I don't know what a "classic" publishing house is, but publishers don't ask for money from you. They give you money.
    Blog: Organized Chaos | Pinterest | Facebook | Website | Twitter

    "Holy f*ck!" --Yummy Men & Kick Ass Chicks, on CHANGELING.

    The public doesn't trust them. The government wants to control them. Being a superhero has never been this hard, especially for Tempest.--Coming April 22, 2013 from Pocket Star.

  18. #18
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    classic i meant a standard publisher, but your right which is odd about the whole situation
    Waid Harbison
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  19. #19
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    ICAO
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    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

  20. #20
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    Other warning sign: the prices of their books. $19.95 and $22.95 for what I'm assuming is...actually, I don't have a clue. It doesn't say if the books are mass market, trade, or hardcover. And unless they are hardcover (unlikely), they are way overpriced.

    If you click on the button to add to your Cart, you're sent to PayPal. And the cover I'm looking at is uneven photo-shopping.
    Blog: Organized Chaos | Pinterest | Facebook | Website | Twitter

    "Holy f*ck!" --Yummy Men & Kick Ass Chicks, on CHANGELING.

    The public doesn't trust them. The government wants to control them. Being a superhero has never been this hard, especially for Tempest.--Coming April 22, 2013 from Pocket Star.

  21. #21
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    which cover?
    Waid Harbison
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  22. #22
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    "Whispered Dreams." I looked it up on Amazon, which had a larger image available for viewing.
    Blog: Organized Chaos | Pinterest | Facebook | Website | Twitter

    "Holy f*ck!" --Yummy Men & Kick Ass Chicks, on CHANGELING.

    The public doesn't trust them. The government wants to control them. Being a superhero has never been this hard, especially for Tempest.--Coming April 22, 2013 from Pocket Star.

  23. #23
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    they've done some good, they're authors J.D. Tynan and K. Patrick Malone have both won awards in the Hollywood Boook Festisval I think. And they have events and signings for their authors, as well as proffesional reviews
    Waid Harbison
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  24. #24
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    We know that you have many choices of companies from which to choose a publisher for your book, but here at A-Argus we believe that it is necessary to keep communication lines open and to utilize your creative mind with ours in order to put out a book that we can all be proud of. After all, our goals are your goals.

    Well, the first part of their mission statement sucks for me, but this last part is implying that I'm out there choosing my publisher. I'm really choosing who I submit to, and hoping from those subs that a publisher chooses me. The rest of the statement is redundant.

    And I didn't see any mention of funds or investment on their website. Is this somethin they asked of you AFTER they accepted your submission? If so, It's kinda sneaky/scammy.

    Tri

  25. #25
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    I asked them the difference in them and a self-publisher yesterday. Here's his response:

    Mr. Harbison,
    In response to your questions, we offer the following. Yes, we market your book. We send copies to a variety of book reviewers, including your local newspapers and other media, as well as national reviewers, including the New York Times. (Can't promise to get you on the best sellers list, but we do submit). We also enter your book in the Barnes & Noble search for the Next Great Author contest (which is not open to self-publishers) and to the Amazon Booksellers contest for best seller, also not open to self-publishers.Virtually every book store acquires their inventory through distributors. The largest in the world is Ingrams, serving primarily Barnes and Noble, Borders Books, and Walden Books as well as many independent stores. Second largest in the world is Baker and Taylor. Both offer international sales as well as U.S. sales. These distributors do not accept self-publishing efforts. Your book will be listed in their catalogues that are sent to all of the bookstores in the US.Special efforts are made by our sales staff to introdue your book to all of the local booksellers in your area. This includes telephone, email and personal visits to the buyers at the various stores. We also work with those booksellers to generate book signings and other special promotional events. The fact that our organization is a standard publisher gives us additional weight with those stores, and of course, we provide their inventory at our expense.Vanity publishers require you fund the entire cost of publishing a book, which is often in the four to five thousand dollar range, and require that you do ALL of the work. Self-publishing is the road that many take but few are successful. If you are a marketing pro, and if you have the money and the time, you could possibly be one of the successful ones. If that is the route you choose, you do not want to accept our offer.A little more information. The standard rate that professional editors charge us is $2.00 per page. To develop a custom front and rear cover averages over $500.00. Proof copies cost between $30.00 and $50.00 each, including postage and shipping. It is only when the number of copies printed reach 1,000 does the costs become reasonable. When you add in the cost of marketing, you can easily see that the heaviest part of publishing a book falls on our shoulders.Hoping this gives you what you're looking for, we are

    Respectfully,
    William J. Connor, Jr.Managing Director
    Waid Harbison
    Message from Feline Quarter's

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