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

  1. #76
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Also Filigree - Thank you for understanding and being kind.

    I am willing to work and get my item out there in my own time, I dont like feeling pressured by bigger agencies to do it their way. I feel I dont have that here. I feel that I can do things at my own pace here and be treated fairly.

  2. #77
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ayanna View Post
    Yes I asked for current information, not repeated stuff or old stuff. Current, like the past year or so. I did research I contacted old and new authors, the old said it was awful but the current ones say that they have been treated very well. They were able to move on to other companies because they werent Newbies anymore. Im sorry Ben if you feel that way. This is not a flame board but a place to get opinions and help so please dont flame me for asking a simple question and hoping for help.
    Ayanna, you've not been "flamed" here by anyone. You've been given good, thoughtful, reasoned advice. It might not be what you wanted to hear, but it's still good, thoughtful, reasoned advice.

    I understand why you'd like to hear a few more recent accounts of working with this publisher, but I don't think it's necessary for you to do so in order to get an idea of how well they might publish you.

    First, the writers you describe as "current" with this publisher might well say that they've been treated very well because they're still in the honeymoon period and their books haven't been published yet.

    It's common for new writers to be happy with their publishers before their books appear; when the books are published, however, and they don't sell, or aren't promoted effectively, or other problems come along, those new writers start to see the reality of the deal that they signed up to and their stories start to match those of the other writers who went before them.

    If you read a few other threads here, you'll see countless examples.

    Second, very few small publishers become more reputable as time goes by. If they start out well then that's how they usually continue; if they start out by waving big red flags around they are very unlikely to change.

    I urge you to read this thread from start to finish, and to consider carefully all the information in it. Do your best to protect your work, and think carefully about whether or not you think this publisher is worthy of it.

  3. #78
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ayanna View Post
    I did research I contacted old and new authors, the old said it was awful but the current ones say that they have been treated very well. They were able to move on to other companies because they werent Newbies anymore.
    But surely they might just as well have been newbies if their only previous publications had been with an obscure vanity/subsidy press? I doubt if any trade publisher, large or small, would regard anything from ABBW as a real publishing credit. You seem to be under the impression (carefully fostered by vanity presses) that new writers don't have a snowball in hell's chance of being accepted by a mainstream publisher. This simply isn't true.

    Were I in your position I'd be asking myself: have I ever bought a book by an unknown author costing twice as much as a bestseller? If the answer is "no", is it reasonable to expect that anyone will pay a ridiculously high price for my book?

    Another thing: does ABBW expect you to fork out money for flyers, posters, bookmarks and the usual (pretty useless) marketing gimmicks beloved of vanity presses? What about book signings - who sets them up? Who pays for the books? This is usually how these outfits get away with claiming that authors don't pay anything to be published - they make a tidy sum by making writers do the hard, expensive work of actually marketing the book.

    Ayanna, no-one here is trying to crush your dream of a literary career. It's just so sad to see new writers throw away their work with publishers whose business plan more or less ensures that they are unlikely to sell more than a hundred copies of their book. Look at the dreadful covers of most of ABBW's publications. If you stumbled across them on Amazon (you are unlikely to stumble across them in a bookstore) don't you think that most readers, instead of reaching for their credit cards, will say to themselves "These don't look like real books...I'll bet they're from a vanity press?"
    Last edited by aliceshortcake; 10-15-2012 at 12:21 AM.

  4. #79
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    aliceshortcake is right about new writers finding deals with big publishers: they do so all the time. Being published by ABBW Publisher Inc is not going to count for much; writing a really good book will get you there regardless of where and how you've been published before.

  5. #80
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ayanna View Post
    I did research I contacted old and new authors, the old said it was awful but the current ones say that they have been treated very well.
    The new authors probably haven't been with them long enough to figure out how awful they are.

    Since you've signed with them, good luck.

    Stop back by in a year or so to tell us whether you still like them.

  6. #81
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    Ayanna, have you signed with them or not? If not, then there's little point in saying anything to you. Unless you can get out of the contract (which I doubt), you're doing your enquiries at too late a stage. If you haven't signed anything, then it sounds like you're not interested in anything anyone here has to tell you. In which case go ahead and come back and tell us how it goes.

    There's a lot of good information on this thread and valid concerns about the company. If you're not willing to listen to them because they'll let you input on your cover, then there's no point in continuing the dialogue.

    MM

  7. #82
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    I am interested in what others have to say here. I have had a few bad experiences with larger companies. They wouldnt look at my work, gave me the run around or just told me to sign over all rights. This was 10 years ago, one of those was Penguin Books which has a GOOD rep from what you say. I have tried to find some "good publishers" from this site and I dont see much other than Dont go here Dont do this one, this is bad. So please if you feel so sure you can help then do so, send me a PM of where I can find this "helpful" info or even a few publishers that will take the time to ACTUALLY help me. And on a side note, I am under my own contract, not theirs.

  8. #83
    Seen 'em come, seen 'em go Gravity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ayanna View Post
    And on a side note, I am under my own contract, not theirs.
    Clarification, please.
    Cameron Bane

    PITFALL, WildBlue Press

    www.cameronbanebooks.com



  9. #84
    Seen 'em come, seen 'em go Gravity's Avatar
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    ETA: a commercial publisher's job isn't to help you. It's to move units; the more, the better, at the best possible price. Entering into a publishing contract is a business venture for both parties. Period.
    Cameron Bane

    PITFALL, WildBlue Press

    www.cameronbanebooks.com



  10. #85
    Preditors & Editors Requiescat In Pace DaveKuzminski's Avatar
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    Just keep in mind that no one purchases a publisher with a bad rep with the intention of making it good. After all, a publisher with a bad rep probably doesn't have a distribution channel as well and good editors are probably just as missing. In fact, it's easier, safer, and less expensive to set up a new company with a good rep rather than purchase someone's sorry excuse for a publisher just to battle uphill all the way to goodness. Keep it in mind that printers and others are going to remember being stiffed for their fees by the former owners so why should they trust the new one?
    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.


  11. #86
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ayanna View Post
    And on a side note, I am under my own contract, not theirs.
    What in the world does this mean?

    They wouldnt look at my work, gave me the run around or just told me to sign over all rights.
    Which of these three categories did Penguin fall into?

    The major publishers generally have very short threads here. Not too many people need to ask if Random House is legitimate. We don't have a thread for Bantam/Doubleday/Dell. Or for St. Martin's. Or a ton of other imprints of Big Six* houses.

    Publishers, incidentally, aren't in the business of "helping" authors. They're in the business of selling books to readers.

    ------------------------


    * Bertelsmann, von Holtzbrinck, News Corp, Viacom, Time/Warner, and Hachette. One or more others from Houghton Mifflin, Pearson, Harlequin, John Wiley, and Bloomsbury may be on the list depending on who you talk to and who's counting what.

  12. #87
    Quote Originally Posted by Ayanna View Post
    I am interested in what others have to say here. I have had a few bad experiences with larger companies. They wouldnt look at my work, gave me the run around or just told me to sign over all rights. This was 10 years ago, one of those was Penguin Books which has a GOOD rep from what you say. I have tried to find some "good publishers" from this site and I dont see much other than Dont go here Dont do this one, this is bad. So please if you feel so sure you can help then do so, send me a PM of where I can find this "helpful" info or even a few publishers that will take the time to ACTUALLY help me. And on a side note, I am under my own contract, not theirs.
    Okay, I am confused. Asking you to sign over all your rights implies someone offered you a contract. Is that what happened?

    Penguin is a huge publisher that generally only looks at agented submissions. If they're the ones who "wouldn't even look" at your work, that makes total sense. It doesn't make them disreputable, it just means that if you want to be considered, you need to seek an agent first.

    As for "giving you the runaround," I'm not sure what that means. Do you mean you tried to call a publisher directly or was this through e-mail?

    AW isn't so much a place to help you find a publisher as it is a place to check the reputation of a publisher you're already considering. If you just randomly browse threads, you'll be here forever. (I apologize if my last comment implied that's what you should do. I meant to say if you look at the thread for a company you know is legit, you'll see positive comments reflecting that.)

    Writer's Market is a helpful reference book. I would recommend starting there. A listing in Writer's Market doesn't guarantee a good match for your work, but it does eliminate many of the newbie/inexperienced presses that seem to pop up and disappear overnight here.
    Last edited by Katrina S. Forest; 10-16-2012 at 09:59 AM. Reason: include some more helpful info
    "An honest answer is like a warm hug." - Proverbs 24:26 (The Message)

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  13. #88
    Geek Unique LeslieB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ayanna View Post
    I am interested in what others have to say here. I have had a few bad experiences with larger companies. They wouldnt look at my work, gave me the run around or just told me to sign over all rights. This was 10 years ago, one of those was Penguin Books which has a GOOD rep from what you say. I have tried to find some "good publishers" from this site and I dont see much other than Dont go here Dont do this one, this is bad. So please if you feel so sure you can help then do so, send me a PM of where I can find this "helpful" info or even a few publishers that will take the time to ACTUALLY help me. And on a side note, I am under my own contract, not theirs.
    I think people here would like to help you, but you aren't giving us much to go on. I mean, compared to this one, pretty much anything is a 'larger company'. That can include a big six imprint like Penguin, but it could also include PublishAmerica or one of the long-established vanities. You also haven't said what reaction you got from what publisher. Would you mind providing more information so we have some context?
    Not doing anything with my life is surprisingly time consuming.

  14. #89
    The King and Queen of Cheese BenPanced's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ayanna View Post
    I am interested in what others have to say here. I have had a few bad experiences with larger companies. They wouldnt look at my work, gave me the run around or just told me to sign over all rights. This was 10 years ago, one of those was Penguin Books which has a GOOD rep from what you say. I have tried to find some "good publishers" from this site and I dont see much other than Dont go here Dont do this one, this is bad. So please if you feel so sure you can help then do so, send me a PM of where I can find this "helpful" info or even a few publishers that will take the time to ACTUALLY help me. And on a side note, I am under my own contract, not theirs.
    Considering the boom in new, smaller publishers popping up seemingly overnight, yeah, there's bound to be more warnings against signing up with one. Many people in BR&BC have had experience in the publishing business in one way or another; some are authors, some are editors, some are publishers themselves. We're honestly not here to cut/put down/slam a publisher to make us feel better about ourselves. We are trying to help you, our fellow writer, learn more about the business, how it works, and what you to look for when you're shopping around your manuscript.
    I still poop rainbows.

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  15. #90
    On a small world west of wonder LindaJeanne's Avatar
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    Ayanna, did you have a contract with Penguin?
    "A story told, that can't be real / yet somehow must reflect the truth we feel..." -- Black Sabbath / Ronnie James Dio

  16. #91
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    Ayanna, in an earlier post you wrote:

    also I get a good compensation, wont say how much but it is well worth it
    What did you mean by 'compensation'? I find it hard to believe that ABBW pays an advance. Were you referring to royalties? Because it's worth remembering that even if ABBW is offering an unusually high rate you won't earn much if you don't sell many books. Unless your book is a non-fiction work with an existing niche market, the high cover price and lack of bookstore placement will more or less guarantee that the only people who buy copies will be people you know personally.

    Incidentally, the internet isn't the best place to search for the right publisher for you. As Uncle Jim has said on many, many occasions: visit your local bookstore, look for books similar in style to your own and make a note of the publisher.
    Last edited by aliceshortcake; 10-16-2012 at 02:55 PM.

  17. #92
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    Ayanna:
    They wouldnt look at my work, gave me the run around or just told me to sign over all rights. This was 10 years ago, one of those was Penguin Books which has a GOOD rep from what you say.
    So was Penguin the one that wouldn't look at your work, the one that gave you the run around or the one that told you to sign over all rights?

    You keep dropping their name into your posts and then fail to clarify what exactly they did to you.

    Ayanna:
    I have tried to find some "good publishers" from this site and I dont see much other than Dont go here Dont do this one, this is bad. So please if you feel so sure you can help then do so, send me a PM of where I can find this "helpful" info or even a few publishers that will take the time to ACTUALLY help me.
    Well it would help if you could share what you're looking for from a publisher. Do you want an advance up front, distribution in bookstores, the chance of maybe seeing a review of your book in the national press? If that's the case then your best bet is to actually look for a decent agent first.

    Would you be prepared to take a risk on electronic publishing on a royalty-only basis? They will take direct submissions but you need to research more closely how they market and promote, what their distribution avenues are, how they calculate royalties etc.

    It would also help to know what genre you write in.

    The fact is, you need to educate yourself a bit more about the industry before you can start asking the questions that we can ask for you. We're not mindreaders. The fact that you'd jump into bed so easily with a vanity publisher shows that you need to research more and it's frankly unreasonably to sit there and ask us to tell you who you should be submitting to.

    Ayanna:
    And on a side note, I am under my own contract, not theirs.
    What does this mean? Did you negotiate their terms or did you literally give them the contract that you were prepared to sign? Because I have never come across a publisher willing to do that and I'd be especially concerned that your contract wouldn't protect your rights properly given that you seem a bit vague on how the industry works and what authors are supposed to do.

    MM

  18. #93
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    A-Argus is a difficult partner

    Quote Originally Posted by Shrouded View Post
    FYI
    I just received an email from William J. Connor Jr. of A-Argus Publishing asking me for the status of my MS. He states there was some change in management and he was sorry for the delay in getting back to me. I found this odd considering I don't remember ever putting out an inquiry to him and my MS has been picked up and published by another publisher. Anyone have any idea of what is going on with this one?
    My experience with them was not very positive.

  19. #94
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    A-Argus is not communicating to its authors. We are going to nowhere. I am looking for way out of contract.

  20. #95
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    Question professional reviews for first time writer

    Hello Friends,
    About a year ago my novel was published by A-Argus Better Books publishers. It is not subsidiary publisher. It is my first published novel and I am learning about the world. I was told that an author is the one who does book promotion. I donít mind. However, who provides professional previews? They are vital. My numerous e-mails were not answered. What should I do?

  21. #96
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    The publisher generally provides marketing, and the author does promotion. Those are two different things. Marketing is getting the book in bookstores, in magazines, etc; promotion is direct author-to-reader interaction.

    Most professional reviewers ask publishers to send review copies well before the book goes to print. That falls under marketing and is not something the author can arrange. Authors can work with reviewers individually post-publication, but it's hard yakka to get major reviewers to look at books from small/micro presses.

  22. #97
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    Unimportant is dead on with this scenario. You can solicit reviews but make sure you coordinate with the publisher so they know who you've contacted. This has to be done well in advance and the reviews should sync with the final release. I've pulled about 16 review requests from most of the major blog reviewers and sites, but my publisher is the one that's going after Kirkus, Library Journal and all the other big-name review orgs.

    Takes a lot of timing and your research has to be dead-on. Also, make sure the publisher is the one furnishing the ARCs, either in e-book or paper format. Don't be loading up on copies unless you feel you have the money and sources to send them to.

    Good luck with grabbing some attention. It's fierce out there.

    tri

  23. #98
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    I see you found the thread about them, but I'm linking it for other people's reference: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=125704

    But anyway, the trouble is the ship has sailed. They should have contacted the professional places to offer review copies before the book was launched. The big reviewers don't want to hear from individual authors, but from the publishers. They also don't want to know a year after the book is out.

    Authors may help with some reviewers, such as book blogs. But you aren't expected to get Publishers Weekly to take a look at a review copy or to provide the review copies from your own pocket. That's the job of your publisher. Reading the thread, it sounds like the publisher isn't good at their job.

    As for what to do, in my opinion, it's not promotional advice that you need. It's to discuss the details of your situation and see what your options are. The B&B thread will be of more use for that.
    * Polenth *

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  24. #99
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steam-engine View Post
    Hello Friends,
    About a year ago my novel was published by A-Argus Better Books publishers. It is not subsidiary publisher. It is my first published novel and I am learning about the world. I was told that an author is the one who does book promotion. I donít mind. However, who provides professional previews? They are vital. My numerous e-mails were not answered. What should I do?
    I am afraid you have been misled.

    The author can do some promotion, but the publisher should do the bulk of the marketing for the book, and this includes sending out review copies and press packs, and ensuring that there's a big marketing push in place for publication.

    Here's a post I've just written about how good publishers get their authors' books in front of their readers.

    Now that your book has been published, it's too late to get the bigger reviewers to even look at it.

    If I were you I'd focus on writing your next book, and getting published more effectively next time.

  25. #100
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Question my options with A-Argus Better Book Publishers

    Thank you for your input.
    Some writers are upset with A -Argus Better Book Publishers. I don’t understand why they spend $2,000-3,000 to publish their book then play games with the authors by not marketing it and ignoring our e-mails to them. In my current situation I could think only of getting out of contract and starting over. It will expire in 5 years from now. Knowing that these guys (the publishers) don’t talk to me, should I simply start looking for next publisher?
    What B&B thread is?
    Thank you, again
    Last edited by steam-engine; 06-16-2014 at 09:40 PM. Reason: more clear thought

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