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Thread: Peppertree Press

  1. #1
    Onlyifyouwanttowillyoufin daway-Enya inkkognito's Avatar
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    Peppertree Press

    Here is their URL: http://www.peppertreepublishing.com/

    I desperately need information on this publisher for someone in my writers' group. A few things are sending up red flags for me:

    1) She said they told her she gets to choose the illustrator (it's a children's picture book). I do non-fiction, but I thought that for kids' books the publisher chose. But if you're paying, i.e. vanity, it would make sense that you get to choose. Made me think is might be vanity.

    2) In looking at their site, they say in their description of the process that the writer gets to say yay or nay to the edits. I haven't got that far with my own book yet, but I thought the publisher pretty much had that say. But again, if you're paying then YOU would.

    3) Their website is centered around recruiting writers rather than selling books.

    4) They offer other professional services, like editing.

    Am I just being paranoid or is this a vanity press? I can't find any direct reference on their site to the author paying, nor does google or a search here at AW turn up anything.

    I tried to convince my friend that if she really wants to self publish rather than seek a commercial publisher, Lulu is much better than vanity. She says with Lulu she'd have to pay an illustrator and with Peppertree she wouldn't, which I don't necessarily think is correct (yes, yes, I've already tried to convince her to try to sell the book to a publisher, but she has specific reasons for just wanting to take a quick route).

    Help and facts much appreciated since I have a gut hunch here and can't find anything to back it up!

  2. #2
    Onlyifyouwanttowillyoufin daway-Enya inkkognito's Avatar
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    Oh, and:

    5) Their business email is a Yahoo address.

  3. #3
    I grow my own catnip JulieB's Avatar
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    They appear to be a self-publishing group. See here and here.

  4. #4
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Definitely not commercial publishing, and unfortunately a bit shady about it. I have a deep instinctive mistrust for any publishing company that tells writers they can be "the next best-seller!"

    And, I don't see any price list on the site, as in honest self/vanity publishing.

    If your friend honestly thinks they're going to give her a better illustrator than she could get by herself--for free--and is determined to quickly self-publish, I guess, based on just the website, she could do worse. For all the obfuscation they do seem to provide a product and the book prices they list are reasonable (with one or two exceptions which I can't help but wonder about).

    But she could certainly do better as well. Their covers don't lead me to believe they have great artists at their disposal. I'd send her to...oh, what is that art website? Anyone? The name has just disappeared from my head. Anyway, lots of artists on there, most willing to work for reasonable prices.

    JMO, after a quick look through their site.
    http://www.staciakane.com

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  5. #5
    Onlyifyouwanttowillyoufin daway-Enya inkkognito's Avatar
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    Thanks! I think the post with the cost to one of the authors will give me what I need. I think my friend believed that it wasn't going to cost her anything up front. For the benefit of those who might come to this thread later, here is what one person posted on another site about the costs:

    $2800 for editing, ISBN/barcode, copyright, Library of Congress title set-up, one full book proof, placement on publisher's website, three ads in publisher's literary magazine, launched on major bookseller websites, assistance with local book signings, and a custom cover and layout.

    It looks like that did not include illustrations. I have no clue if that's cheap or expensive.

    I think my friend got the impression that they were a regular publisher because they appeared at a writers' conference. I will pass along the cost info. to give her a heads-up.

  6. #6
    I grow my own catnip JulieB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DecemberQuinn View Post
    I'd send her to...oh, what is that art website? Anyone? The name has just disappeared from my head. Anyway, lots of artists on there, most willing to work for reasonable prices.
    DeviantArt?

  7. #7
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JulieB View Post
    DeviantArt?
    YES! Thank you!

    I kept thinking of Sequential Tart, which is a site for female comic book fans/artists & writers. And I knew that wasn't right.
    http://www.staciakane.com

    FIVE DOWN, a Downside anthology, available now!
    Four previously published short stories and one brand new novella, together in one volume.

    Click here for more details.


    WRONG WAYS DOWN available now!


  8. #8
    Onlyifyouwanttowillyoufin daway-Enya inkkognito's Avatar
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    Well, I got a response from her, and it looks like she's going to rethink this. Whew. But the following scared me:

    "(Writers association who sponsors the conference) don't really place judgement only to provide possible opportunity. As far as I know most small presses do charge a fee and sometimes a hefty fee."

    WTF? First, when a writers' association is sponsoring an educational conference, I think they DO have a responsibility to do some screening or at least to make sure that writers know how things should work so they can make the right judgment. The second sentence in her response shows that that's not the case. Heck, I'm with a small press, and it works the same as with a big one...Yog's Law.

    I did a little Google-fu and found a slew of writers from the association who have "published" with PublishAmerica. Some are leaders of local branches, and at least one bragged on PA's testimonial page about how she recruits other writers for PA. It frustrates the snot out of me to see a group that is supposed to be educating writers but that appears to be doing the opposite in some ways.

  9. #9
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    I'm glad your friend has reconsidered.

    Quote Originally Posted by inkkognito View Post
    $2800 for editing, ISBN/barcode, copyright, Library of Congress title set-up, one full book proof, placement on publisher's website, three ads in publisher's literary magazine, launched on major bookseller websites, assistance with local book signings, and a custom cover and layout.

    It looks like that did not include illustrations. I have no clue if that's cheap or expensive.
    I don't think it matters if it's cheap or expensive compared to other presses which offer the same deal: there's no distribution, which means that the books simply WILL NOT SELL.

    I'll qualify that. Your friend might be able to sell a few copies herself; but sales of self-published books rarely top 75 copies or so, which means she'd have to price her book at $38 per copy plus printing costs to even earn back her investment.

    She'd be far better off, in my opinion, trying for commercial publication first then, if that doesn't work out for her, finding an illustrator to work with and going to a decent POD company which specialises in illustrated works. I know there are some: but I don't know who they are, I'm afraid.

  10. #10
    Hapless Virago IceCreamEmpress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by inkkognito View Post
    "(Writers association who sponsors the conference) don't really place judgement only to provide possible opportunity. As far as I know most small presses do charge a fee and sometimes a hefty fee."
    Please send her to the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators "Publications" page and encourage her to read at least the first three pubs all the way through (they are all quite brief).

  11. #11
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Peppertree Press in Florida..any thoughts?

    Has anyone had any dealings with them? Very curious. I used them and am not very happy..

  12. #12
    Shakespearean Fool DreamWeaver's Avatar
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    http://www.peppertreepublishing.com/

    Well, if this is them, their welcome page talks about what they can do for authors, rather than being aimed at readers. That's never a good sign. Did you have to pay anything?
    Why doesn't George R. R. Martin use Twitter? He already killed off all 140 characters.

  13. #13
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Exclamation

    Quote Originally Posted by DreamWeaver View Post
    http://www.peppertreepublishing.com/

    Well, if this is them, their welcome page talks about what they can do for authors, rather than being aimed at readers. That's never a good sign. Did you have to pay anything?
    Yes, they are a VANITY publisher, but they don't explicitly tell you. They basically do NOTHING for the author. Have been trying to get them to do an ebook for months and they dragged their feet. How can I let other writers know about them. I would NOT recommend them AT ALL!

  14. #14
    Shakespearean Fool DreamWeaver's Avatar
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    It looks like we've been transported to the existing Peppertree thread. Your input is a good start, and you can also send people to AW to find out how real publishing works, which will help some avoid the trap.
    Why doesn't George R. R. Martin use Twitter? He already killed off all 140 characters.

  15. #15
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    I happened to see them prominently displayed at a writer's conference. I was shocked because they let the editor get up and give a big talk. Guess that's a perk when you help sponsor a conference.

    I could immediately see they are a vanity press, yet she kept talking about being mainstream. Many authors paid for one-on-one appts. with them because she puts on a very convincing talk. Many of those same authors had appt. with me, and they asked whether PT was vanity because they never came out and said they charge to publish.

    So it seems they were quite cagey about revealing the fact that they are a vanity press. I was all too happy to explain the differences between our two companies. I have to admit that I was equally satisfied to see her table at the conference was delightfully empty.

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