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Thread: Alinar Publishing LLP

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW para's Avatar
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    Alinar Publishing LLP

    Couldn't see a thread for this one: http://www.alinarpublishing.com/
    They were mentioned over in the romance section, anyone know anything about them?


  2. #2
    the world is at my command jennontheisland's Avatar
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    Author co-op according to the FAQ page.
    You are more than welcome to take anything I say personally, whether it was intended that way or not.

    Eat This.

  3. #3
    Bah Humbug K. Taylor's Avatar
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    They take new authors by invitation only, and all stories must be edited by a professional. A self-publishing co-op, basically, but there are some good stories, and most if not all have been working on their craft a long time. I've known a few of the authors for several years.

    Get to know them through the Lounge thinks. http://www.alinarpublishing.com/thelounge.php

  4. #4
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    We ask all our authors to sign a simple non-exclusive contract. This means that the author will at all times own the copyright to their work and can withdraw it at any time, or sell it elsewhere. The contract is necessary to protect both parties. Alinar Publishing needs to know that the author holds all copyrights to their work and to the cover artwork. And also that they exonerate Alinar Publishing from any disputes that may arise from any copyright disputes. The author needs to know that we will pass on their royalties in full and deduct only previously agreed external fees, which will then be passed on to the third party provider.
    This is classic misinformation, isn't it? Unless specifically drawn out in a contract, an author never loses their copyright. Though I would hope self-pubbed authors would realize also that while you can try and shop your book around, the likelihood of finding someone to buy it is very slim since by this point it is considered published.

    I'm sure these guys have great intentions, and they indicate this is a non-profit venture, but I'm genuinely curious to know if listing your self-pubbed book on this site helps with sales.
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  5. #5
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    From the FAQ:
    How does the co-operative work?

    Each author oversees the production of their own books, from editing through to cover art. Alinar Publishing make the book available for sale and promote it both on the website and through advertising opportunities. Individual authors also work hard to promote their books and Alinar Publishing to the reading public. By working together we believe everyone benefits.
    Royalties

    All Royalties earned by our authors are passed on to them in full. Any external expenses such as Paypal Processing fees and the Fictionwise set up fee are paid by the individual author.
    So...the author does everything but upload the book? And pays for that?
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  6. #6
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    So basically, these writers started this venture and have no money to help promote the authors they're agreeing to list. Which means unless you find it in a random search or the author tells people about the site, no one knows it exists. So listing your book on this site benefits you how?
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  7. #7
    Hagiographically Advantaged AW Moderator HapiSofi's Avatar
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    I'd give them more latitude. It looks to me like their underlying model is derived from some of the more selective parts of the online fanfic scene, rather than conventional publishing, hapless self-publishing, or the standard set of scams. If I'm right, it would help explain this bit of wording:
    The contract is necessary to protect both parties. Alinar Publishing needs to know that the author holds all copyrights to their work and to the cover artwork. And also that they exonerate Alinar Publishing from any disputes that may arise from any copyright disputes.
    They'd be more sensitive than most to the need to nail down their indemnity clause before publishing.
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  8. #8
    What happened? ChristineR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M.R.J. Le Blanc View Post
    So basically, these writers started this venture and have no money to help promote the authors they're agreeing to list. Which means unless you find it in a random search or the author tells people about the site, no one knows it exists. So listing your book on this site benefits you how?
    You don't have to set up your own site and paypal processing.

    Since the site is invitation only, you're associated with competent authors instead of a bunch of random people.

    More books than on your own sites means more traffic, and potentially more sales.

  9. #9
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristineR View Post
    You don't have to set up your own site and paypal processing.

    Since the site is invitation only, you're associated with competent authors instead of a bunch of random people.

    More books than on your own sites means more traffic, and potentially more sales.
    True, but my point still stands. If no one knows about this site unless they get told by the author or find it in a random search, how exactly does this benefit your book? I mean, many of these guys are self-pubbed, and we know self-published books seldom see a lot of sales and as you said it could potentially lead to more sales. Potentially, but not guaranteed. All I'm wondering is if this site really makes a difference in sales, and if that's the intent how do the owners work to get the name of their site out there to bring in readers. Because if they're not promoting their site, then they're relying on self-pubbed authors to do it for them, and I just can't see that working all well.
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  10. #10
    Bah Humbug K. Taylor's Avatar
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    They have to promote like everyone else does with e-publishing. And the owners are authors, too, not just owners. They started the site because they were frustrated with other e-pubs taking more of a chunk of their profits than they felt comfortable with.

    Most, if not all, are selling concurrently on Fictionwise or Amazon. And the authors promote themselves everywhere they frequent on the internet. They know they're not getting rich, but they're happy with what they've achieved so far, too.

    If you're curious, contact one of the authors through the site. There's a button to contact on each of the bio pages.

  11. #11
    Hagiographically Advantaged AW Moderator HapiSofi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristineR View Post
    You don't have to set up your own site and paypal processing.
    Got it. Authors do front-end content and promotion. The Alinar site handles the pesky commercial transactions for them. It's a bit like those operations that handle advertising sales for bloggers.
    Since the site is invitation only, you're associated with competent authors instead of a bunch of random people.
    One of the things I like about the upper reaches of the fanfic continuum is their grasp of the principle that readers don't want to wade knee-deep in muck when they're looking for something to read.
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  12. #12
    practical experience, FTW MickRooney's Avatar
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    Very much a Co-op self-publishing entity. I've seen more and more of these kinds of author associations crop up and while visibility and distribution of their work will always be the key to sales and success, I wouldn't knock it.

    This is a writers workshop meets self-publishing. Strength in numbers to go beyond the stigma of DIY.

    While a site like authonomy is also based on the principle of social networking and is unlikely for 99.9% of its authors to result in any form of publication, certainly, it brings writers together with a view to honing their craft and potentially improving any future published work.

    It may not be perfect, but it seems a step in the right direction. Every college in every state should have one.

    At least students could be taught how real publishing works.

  13. #13
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K. Taylor View Post
    They have to promote like everyone else does with e-publishing. And the owners are authors, too, not just owners. They started the site because they were frustrated with other e-pubs taking more of a chunk of their profits than they felt comfortable with.

    Most, if not all, are selling concurrently on Fictionwise or Amazon. And the authors promote themselves everywhere they frequent on the internet. They know they're not getting rich, but they're happy with what they've achieved so far, too.

    If you're curious, contact one of the authors through the site. There's a button to contact on each of the bio pages.
    Well that's what I wanted to know, basically. If it's a worthwhile thing by all means it should be promoted

    Although I don't see the hassle of paypal; I set one up for myself and I love it . I don't remember it being all that hard (of course I'm a computer geek, so , and unless you're operating as a huge business you really don't need anything above the most basic account. I definitely recommend getting one
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  14. #14
    What happened? ChristineR's Avatar
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    Well, you have to set up a website, make it secure, put in software to accept the sales and dispense the e-books, deal with issues like people whose computer crashes and they want to download it a second time, possibly from a completely different machine. I personally know almost nothing about this sort of thing, and while I'm sure I could find out not everyone can do it, and it would make sense for a lot of people not to waste time they could be spending writing.

    I would never go for this sort of site if I could get my books commercially published, even on an e-book site like Ellora's Cave, but not everybody can get commercially published, and I guess not everybody wants to try.

  15. #15
    "Bear trumps Elephants!" colealpaugh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M.R.J. Le Blanc View Post
    Well that's what I wanted to know, basically. If it's a worthwhile thing by all means it should be promoted

    Although I don't see the hassle of paypal; I set one up for myself and I love it . I don't remember it being all that hard (of course I'm a computer geek, so , and unless you're operating as a huge business you really don't need anything above the most basic account. I definitely recommend getting one
    Just an observer here, but...

    Maybe they'd pick-up some traffic if their meta words included novels, authors, or writing. My 237 yr. old grandmother has three PayPal accounts and two web sites. If it's all about the traffic, then they need some tweaks.

    I wish them all the best, of course.
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  16. #16
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Hi everyone,

    I'm Maria, co founder of Alinar Publishing. I'm more than happy to field any questions you might have about our venture. Might help if I gave a brief summary of who we are and what we do.

    I'm a former founding partner of Linden Bay Romance. I was chief Publishing Editor there for just under a year. Felicity, my business partner has a background in webstore design. My husband is an intellectual property lawyer. Between us we have business, legal and web design skills. Felicity and I are both also authors. (I write as Candy Nicks and Alexandra Marell, she as Felicity Heaton. )

    The most important part of what we do is that we're a group of authors working for mutual benefit using a democratically agreed set of principles. We're not open to public submssions and I may possibly need to make this clearer in our Faq. I work the business side for free and Felicity designs maintains and upgrades the website. We try to run it as much as a co op as possible, but there are some things that only the site admin can do, such as business banking. One of our principles is that if all the authors promote themselves and the site, we all benefit.

    Why did we do it? Apart from wanting to increase our sales and earnings? I personally believe that this model is one which will be adopted by more authors as epublishing and POD technology takes off. It does not work if an authors thinks it's a short cut to a fortune. It does work if an author is prepared to produce a book that can stand in the market-place alongside all the other published books, and not look out of place. I pay a professional editor to edit my work and I'm buying most of my recent cover art from Dan Skinner, who I do believe designed a cover for a Harly, recently. His cover was on one of my books that took a overall number one bestseller slot on Fictionwise (but more of that in a mo.) Self publishing and co ops aren't right for every author. You do need a unique set of skills in place prior to starting a venture like this. But, if you know the business, have the contacts in place, are web savvy, know about marketing, want to keep more of what you earn and are prepared to work very hard for that, then it might be for you.

    Our customers get a virtual bookshelf where their books are permanently stored, so no fiddly download links or losing your purchase in a hard drive crash. Customers can read their books from any computer by logging into their accounts and each bookshelf comes pre-loaded with over twenty free reads and novels donated by our authors. I take a great pride in our customer service and am always on hand for queries.

    Bottom line, though - does it work, have people found us and are we selling books?

    Here are some stats, you can then judge for yourselves.

    We have two yahoo reader forums, a regular forum and an adult-rated forum for discussion of our adult-rated books. Member numbers today are - 7,619 and on the adult forum - 8,950. Pretty good going for a publisher that's only two and a half years old. I can't think of many other publishers with those figures. I'd say we have visibility.

    All our previously e-published authors, myself included, have increased sales and earning since joining the site. I pass on everything the authors earn, less only Fictionwise formatting fee, paypal and banking fees. The authors earn their money by taking on the production side of their books, but it's a good deal for them, and they know it, LOL. Because book production is complicated, and because we wanted a quality bottom-line, we only considered authors with previous publishing experience.

    We've a high number of repeat customers to the webstore.

    The great Mrs Giggles mentioned in one of her posts that we had one of the better webstores out there. And she's not easy to please...

    So, how do we fare in the big wide world when sitting beside regularly published books?

    My fantasy romance, The Moon Child's Wish was a number one overall best seller on Fictionwise. The third book in the series was recently number one on the most highly rated chart. The Moon Child Cover also took a second place in the cover art section of the Preditors and Editors poll a couple of years back.

    An Alinar Publishing book took the christmas overall number one slot two years ago on Fictonwise.

    We regularly appear in the top ten books in the romance, erotica and books under a dollar lists on Fictionwise. We once had five books at once in the bestsellers under a dollar list. Just checking for today on Fictionwise - In romance all formats we have a book at number 13 and 14. Our latest release (last week) is at number 61 in that list. Of the top hundred multiformat romance books, nine are Alinar publishing books.

    Regarding search engine priorities, that's something we're constantly aware of. It's not my department, but today a search of Romance ebooks on google produced the following result - ARe, Alinar Publishing, Linden Bay Romance, Liquid Silver books.

    I did see this quote recently at Dear Author -

    "The first epublisher to show up in that same google search is Alinar Publishing followed by Liquid Silver. I browsed through the first ten pages of search results. Elloraís Cave didnít show up."

    We recently launched a new web design, but I'm not sure if doing so affects search rankings. Felicity is our expert on that score.


    I'll stop talking now. I hope this has given you a flavour of who we are and what we do. We're not some cult out to trap authors with sedative-laced choclolates. Just a group of authors who have banded together to sell our work direct to the public. Although two of the authors administer some aspects of the site, it's a democratic place and future direction is down to what the authors as a whole want. I do understand author concerns with epublishing sites and their concerns about sales and visibility, etc. You're right to ask questions and need to know if your book will be safe. Keep on doing that.

    We're really aimed at marketing to our customers, not other authors so I'll make that clearer in our faq page. Any other questions about us, please do feel free to ask. You can always contact me on the alinarpublishing contact mail. If you want to see first-hand how it all works, then hop over to the website and sign up. We have long excerpts (I give away four to nine chapters of my for sale books so customers can make up their minds without fear of buying something they might not like) and free reads on our yahoo forums. Have a good day, everyone.

  17. #17
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Just peeked at Fictionwise and found two Alinar Publishing books on the most highly rated list. Numbers 8 and 15.

  18. #18
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    I would rather know actual sales numbers of some representative books. I think that is the first statistic to consider rather than indirect measures of the sales of a few top performers.
    Emily Veinglory

  19. #19
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
    I would rather know actual sales numbers of some representative books. I think that is the first statistic to consider rather than indirect measures of the sales of a few top performers.
    I take your point, Emily, although as we're not open for general submissions, it's a little less relevant to publish individual sales figures. I only ever publicly mention our general performance in the market place in response to speculation as happened in this thread. I'm not doing that to sell us to authors, rather to let people know how our particular co op is working and that a few of the assumptions (such as we're not selling books and no one knows about us) aren't correct.

    With respect to individual authors, we're exactly the same as any other epublisher in that we have some books which sell a lot more than others. And we have some authors who write and publish a lot more than others. Add to that the prolific authors also write in the most popular genres, and you get a set of stats that tell individual stories. As long as the authors keep within the bounds of standards, they're allowed to publish what and how much they want to. They're on Alinar to sell their books, not make money for us as a publisher and to go or stay, based on their performance, I leave as their decision, not mine.

  20. #20
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    I understand your perspective, but the omin-presence of variation does not negate there being an average, at least statistically speaking. You naturally emphasise some books that have done very well--but to outsiders of any kind what is more important is performance that could be considered broadly typical. Not necessarily because they/we/I want to join your team, but they want to know what the overall publishing terrain looks like and how different publishing models are performing. I made my comment because yahoogroup membership and high rankings are nice, but seem like indirect measures of commercial success at best. Every small press tries to provide a great experience, but I wonder how well co-ops do at moving product, be it per title or en masse?
    Last edited by veinglory; 07-06-2009 at 11:15 PM.
    Emily Veinglory

  21. #21
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by M.R.J. Le Blanc View Post
    So basically, these writers started this venture and have no money to help promote the authors they're agreeing to list. Which means unless you find it in a random search or the author tells people about the site, no one knows it exists. So listing your book on this site benefits you how?

    Actually, I financed the first two years of site operation out of my own pocket and that included banner ads for the company. Felicity hand-coded the site herself, which took very many hours of her time. I've just finished the end of year accounting and tax returns, just one of the little jobs a publisher has to see to. Felicity has just spent precious time working on site upgrades, including a whole new look and the ability for authors to post individual book discounts.

    I'm certain our authors appreciate all the work we put in on all our behalf.

  22. #22
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
    I understand your perspective, but the omin-presence of variation does not negate there being an average, at least statistically speaking. You naturally emphasis some books that have done very well--but to outsiders of any kind what is more important is performance that could be considered broadly typical. Not necessarily because they/we/I want to join your team, but they want to know what the overall publishing terrain looks like and how different publishing models are performing. I made my comment because yahoogroup membership and high rankings are nice, but seem like indirect measures of commercial success at best. Every small press tries to provide a great experience, but I wonder how well co-ops do at moving product, be it per title or en masse?
    Yes, I get what you're saying there. Ask any questions and I'll try to answer them.

  23. #23
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    I suppose the most diplomatic way of putting it is: if any of your authors also publish with a top 5 press like Loose Id, LSB, Amber Quill--are the sales comparable? Or would the be more similar to middle of the pack third party epublishers? (understanding that sales volume and earnings might be very different things when you cover your own overheads and set your own price).
    Emily Veinglory

  24. #24
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
    I suppose the most diplomatic way of putting it is: if any of your authors also publish with a top 5 press like Loose Id, LSB, Amber Quill--are the sales comparable? Or would the be more similar to middle of the pack third party epublishers? (understanding that sales volume and earnings might be very different things when you cover your own overheads and set your own price).


    I'll ask the authors and send you some stats via email if they don't mind disclosing their sales figures.

  25. #25
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Sure. I run a fully confidential site about sales volumes if that helps. And it isn't often that publishers encourage reporting! I very rarely hear from authors at presses outside the larger 4-5 epublishers. (veinglory at gmail.com -- combined and anonymised stats appear at erecsite.com)
    Emily Veinglory

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