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Thread: Ace/Roc Science Fiction and Fantasy

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Witanowski's Avatar
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    Ace/Roc Science Fiction and Fantasy

    Anyone had any experiences with this branch of Penguin, positive or otherwise?

  2. #2
    Two years old now. Lyra Jean's Avatar
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    I have no experience with them but I see their books in bookstores all the time. I frequent all the boxes. Books-A-Million, Barnes&Noble, Borders
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  3. #3
    'Twas but a dream of thee El Jefe MacAllister's Avatar
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    They're absolutely, positively a legit commercial publisher.

  4. #4
    One Hit Wonder? Kasey Mackenzie's Avatar
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    My debut urban fantasy will be published by either Ace or Roc (the final decision on which imprint it will be under hasn't been made yet) early next year. So far, my experience has been a positive one. I really like my editor, Jessica Wade, and have heard great things about her from some of her other authors. Ace/Roc was definitely one of my absolute dream houses to work with and they publish some of my favorite books, both in urban fantasy, fantasy, and SF. I'm still early on in the process, so that's really all I can say so far. =)
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  5. #5
    Got the hang of it, here Absolute Sage jchines's Avatar
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    I've got several friends with Ace. They're one of the top SF/F novel publishers, up there with Baen, Tor, DAW, and a few others.
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  6. #6
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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  7. #7
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin nconner's Avatar
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    They're great. They plucked my urban fantasy novel from the slush pile last summer and offered me a two-book deal. The first book in the series, Darktown, will be published in January 2010. The second (still untitled) will follow a year later.

    I'm also a tech author, and the editorial process has been downright genteel compared to what I'm used to in tech publishing.

    Ace/Roc authors in urban fantasy include Jim Butcher, Charlaine Harris, Rachel Caine, Patricia Briggs, Karen Chance, Simon R. Green, Ilona Andrews--a lot of my favorite authors in the genre. As Kasey said, they were one of my dream publishers, too, and I'm very happy with them so far.

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  8. #8
    Grumpy writer and editor Absolute Sage Gillhoughly's Avatar
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    Go to bookstore.

    Go to S.F. section.

    Count how many titles have this logo and note the names of the writers.

    Google is your friend.


    They're also one of my publishers.

  9. #9
    Writing Anarchist DeleyanLee's Avatar
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    I have a couple of friends who were published by ROC, back before the imprints were merged. They both had negative experiences with their editor (who is now gone), didn't get much money and the regular list of gripes that many authors have with their publisher.

    After ROC was merged with Ace, they both got new editors (not the same one this time) and one adores hers and the other got seriously screwed with sudden massive changes on a book that had been accepted by the previous editor. When the other friend came up for contract renewal, she was offered a pittance despite having earned out on her basket accounting contract (it amounted to less than they offered for her first book) and winning the John Campbell. She's now with another publisher and getting hard covers and triple the advance ROC/Ace offered.

    This information is a year or so old, so I don't know if all editors involved are still there or not.

    My understanding is that they're like any publisher--it depends on how well you and your editor get along and what you hope for/expect out of the business relationship. Some people adore them and other people can't wait to get out of their contract.

    But it's harder to get anymore legit than an imprint of Peguin/Putnum.
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  10. #10
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Witanowski's Avatar
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    Just To Clarify

    I'm fully aware of who Ace/Roc is, and I'm not questioning their reliability at all. Just wanted to hear some other author's past experiences out of sheer curiosity.

  11. #11
    Grumpy writer and editor Absolute Sage Gillhoughly's Avatar
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    I've been with them for 20 years, and while my editor and I often disagree, I'm able to hold my own, though sometimes compromise is necessary.

    Seeing your post in the B&BC thread is what's thrown people, as they're assuming you've never heard of Ace.

    The clarification was helpful.

    The fact is that there are always going to be writers who are happy/unhappy with their publishers/editors/agents/advances. It's the nature of the industry.

    Reading books from the 808 section of the library might give you a better picture of the publishing process. Many writers will relate their experiences in various How-To books on how they have dealt with editors & publishers.

    Times are tight, and mid-listers like myself have to work twice as hard for less money just to stay in print. I wasn't at all happy with the advance they offered for my last book, but took it regardless. I need the money, my backlist with them, and the distribution. In the end, all I can do is hope that it sells well.

    The next time I pitch a series might be with a different house. We'll see what my agent can scare up.

  12. #12
    I grow my own catnip JulieB's Avatar
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    My experience was absolutely wonderful.

  13. #13
    Lost in the Fog rugcat's Avatar
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    I'm an Ace author.

    My experience with them has been very positive -- any caveats i might have are totally minor compared to things I've heard from fellow authors about problems with other houses. Good editors, good design, totally professional staff.

    Ace is notorious for being on the low end of advances, but if you have confidence in your ability to earn out, that's not so much of an issue. And on the upside, they also have the reputation of giving their authors a chance to find their audience, which is even more important. They're not going to dump you just because your first book doesn't quite perform up to expectations, the way some others might.

    As a mid lister, I don't get a lot of publicity help from them, but they certainly have done at least some. And they're really good at getting your books into stores, including chains, which is the most vital thing, imo.

    Their marketing strategy tends toward mmpb originals. If you hit it big, they'll go with hardcover later on. I think it's a good strategy, and in today's book climate it's looking better than ever -- as opposed to Tor, for instance, who tends toward hardcover first, then a mmpb later.

    Finally, while other houses are suffering through shakeups during the economic downturn, Penguin, and Ace/Roc in particular are pretty solid. Their books are selling, and editors aren't losing their jobs.
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  14. #14
    Two years old now. Lyra Jean's Avatar
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    What's mmpb? I figure the pb is paperback but what's the mm? Thanks.
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  15. #15
    Absolutely Fazed
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    Mass market paperback. The smaller paperbacks that tend to dominate the genre shelves.

  16. #16
    Two years old now. Lyra Jean's Avatar
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    ah okay the ones that are all $6.99 $7.99 or $8.99
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  17. #17
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Please Disregard
    Last edited by GroundSquirrel; 03-20-2014 at 11:12 AM.

  18. #18
    practical experience, FTW Debeucci's Avatar
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    Ace/Roc is an imprint of of the big six. I highly doubt they read unagented submissions. Usually a publisher will list if they are having an open sub.

  19. #19
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Debeucci View Post
    Ace/Roc is an imprint of of the big six. I highly doubt they read unagented submissions. Usually a publisher will list if they are having an open sub.
    Thanks for the quick response. They actually do accept submissions from writers without agents. For some reason I'm having trouble getting on to their site right now. However, I just looked at Daw (another Penguin Publisher) and they have the name of the editor who accepts submissions. I'm guessing that Ace/Roc has their editor on the same page and I just missed seeing him. I'm going to give it another look when I can.
    Last edited by GroundSquirrel; 03-20-2014 at 11:17 AM.

  20. #20
    Not as sweet as you think Aggy B.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GroundSquirrel View Post
    Thanks for the quick response. They actually do accept submissions from writers without agents. For some reason I'm having trouble getting on to their site right now. However, I just looked at Daw (another Penguin Publisher) and they have the name of the editor who accepts submissions. I'm guessing that Ace/Roc has their editor on the same page and I just missed seeing him. I'm going to give it another look when I can.
    Please note that DAW does not look at any material if it's under consideration anywhere else. So, you can sub to Ace/Roc or DAW, but not both at the same time.
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  21. #21
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Updating link to Random Penguin's SF/F section: http://www.penguin.com/read/category/scifi-fantasy/
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  22. #22
    Keeper of the pace. popgun62's Avatar
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    My agent sent my manuscript to Jessica Wade at Ace. I'm wondering if anyone has any info on wait times. It's been almost two weeks. The book is an occult crime thriller (think Alex Cross meets Supernatural) which I guess could be considered urban fantasy.
    Author of high-octane sci-fi, fantasy and horror!

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  23. #23
    practical experience, FTW aleighrose's Avatar
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    When I submitted, it took them five months to respond. So I wouldn't get concerned just yet if you've only been waiting for two weeks.
    ~ Leigh

  24. #24
    Keeper of the pace. popgun62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aleighrose View Post
    When I submitted, it took them five months to respond. So I wouldn't get concerned just yet if you've only been waiting for two weeks.
    Wow. Was that an agent submission?
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  25. #25
    Not as sweet as you think Aggy B.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by popgun62 View Post
    My agent sent my manuscript to Jessica Wade at Ace. I'm wondering if anyone has any info on wait times. It's been almost two weeks. The book is an occult crime thriller (think Alex Cross meets Supernatural) which I guess could be considered urban fantasy.
    Quote Originally Posted by popgun62 View Post
    Wow. Was that an agent submission?
    I've been told things are a little crazy over there right now because of the merge. (There's a possibility that Roc might be cut and/or absorbed elsewhere.) So, normal response times might be longer than usual. (Although I'm uncertain what sort of response times are normal there.)
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    OF LIPS AND TONGUE
    "Don't pick it up if you have important things to do today."
    "...the story itself is a masterpiece of horror, paranoia, love, and introduces a startling heroine that people should flock to."
    "If you like dark, unsettling, gorgeous Southern Gothic books with a taste of Southern Fried X-Files, this novella might be your cuppa."
    OF SHADE AND SOUL: Available now!


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