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Thread: Solstice Publishing (formerly Hearts On Fire Books)

  1. #26
    starting over Marian Perera's Avatar
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    Their "About Us" page has the name of one person. No indication whether there are other staff or what publishing experience this one person has. The blog has one entry, made on June 20.

    Welcome to Fairytales and Dreams. We look forward to reading your comments.

    Welcome to Fairytales and Dreams. You will find new releases and coming soon information on our blog. Well post exciting news from your favorite author here as well.

    Comments are off
    Sleeping Beauty m/m retelling : 29,043 words.

  2. #27
    Formerly Phantom of Krankor. Torgo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monkey View Post
    Fairy Tales and Dreams, http://www.fairytalesanddreams.com/default.aspx , just posted in the "paying markets" forum.

    No word yet on if there is editing, how rigorous their standards are, if they pay for copyright, what their marketing is, or just about anything else.

    They pay "40% royalty on e-books".

    Their FAQ page reads thusly:


    And that's it.

    Can anyone give more info on this company?
    Just from a look through the website, nothing suggests these guys can do anything well enough to justify their 60% cut.

  3. #28
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    I wonder if their book, "A Louse of a Mouse" is about a blood sucking insect that kills mice?

    And not to be too critical, but those covers (including 'A Louse of a Mouse') look like they were drawn by a group of blind monkeys.

  4. #29
    Formerly Phantom of Krankor. Torgo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sydewinder View Post
    And not to be too critical, but those covers (including 'A Louse of a Mouse') look like they were drawn by a group of blind monkeys.
    It's very much par for the course for slush - I'm assuming the authors are supplying their own illustrations.

  5. #30
    Is me. Monkey's Avatar
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    I also noticed some issues with the site--bad grammar is rampant, for instance.

    Some of our AW authors signed there, and it looks as if their books went up very quickly, and at least one of them got a nice cover (there are some awful covers on the site, as well). I hope that one of them will come along soon and give an insider's view of the company.

    I'm also curious to know if anyone here was rejected by Fairy Tales and Dreams.

  6. #31
    practical experience, FTW Finchlark's Avatar
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    So far my experience with Fairy Tales and Dreams has been a positive one. Their contract was open for discussion and negotiation, all questions were answered promptly, and I wish all the other authors success with their work on the site.

    I don't think it is really necessary to be quite so scathing about other people's work.

  7. #32
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    Christie Browers is identified as the "Editor in Chief" on FT&D's website (http://www.fairytalesanddreams.com/aboutus.aspx) but there's nothing to indicate her experience or qualifications and a quick Google search indicates that her only experience is with Solstice (which itself was a start-up self-publishing venture). You can check out the thread on Solstice here (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/show...=153219&page=2) for details about it, but according to its own website states that their bestselling author sold 700 copies (from http://solsticepublishing.com/index.php), with others selling 300. Can anyone here with epublishing contracts comment on whether those are reasonable figures or not? I ask only because if they're not great for the sector and an ex-employee is now starting out on her own, then it goes to credibility.

    FT&D Website:
    Please expect a 20 day turnaround on your submission.
    That's ridiculously quick, especially if they're as inundated with submissions as they claim to be.

    FT&D Website:
    Royalty is 40% on ebooks.
    The site doesn't say if that's on cover price or net (and if net, how net is calculated).

    Given that they're only charging $0.79 for some books (http://www.fairytalesanddreams.com/d...?categoryid=13), I'd question how much an author could realistically hope to make from their 40% royalty.

    FT&D Website:
    The term of the contract will be for 1 year.
    Well, at least it's short. But then it doesn't say whether that 1 year runs from the date of publication or the date on which a manuscript is accepted (the latter is preferable because it incentivises the publisher to get the book released). Equally though, a 1 year contract is probably not going to be enough to allow an author to build up much steam for their work.

    There's no information on what FT&D does to assist in marketing and promotion, but my guess is that a lot of it falls to the authors. That's something to bear in mind because you'll probably have to spend out money that you otherwise wouldn't get back in royalties.

    Finchlark:
    So far my experience with Fairy Tales and Dreams has been a positive one. Their contract was open for discussion and negotiation, all questions were answered promptly, and I wish all the other authors success with their work on the site.
    What made you sign with them? How much support are you getting with marketing and promotion of the book? Are you able to share anything about the contract terms that they're offering?

    MM

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Momento Mori View Post
    Christie Browers is identified as the "Editor in Chief" on FT&D's website (http://www.fairytalesanddreams.com/aboutus.aspx) but there's nothing to indicate her experience or qualifications and a quick Google search indicates that her only experience is with Solstice (which itself was a start-up self-publishing venture).
    Not sure I follow you here. Isn't every business a "start-up" venture at some point? And isn't it usual for a writer to open a publishing house, in much the same way as an electrician starts an electrical company, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Momento Mori View Post
    I ask only because if they're not great for the sector and an ex-employee is now starting out on her own, then it goes to credibility.
    As far as I can see, Christie Bowers who is CEO at Fairytales and Dreams is not an ex Solstice employee, she is the CEO of Solstice Publishing.


    Quote Originally Posted by Momento Mori View Post
    That's ridiculously quick, especially if they're as inundated with submissions as they claim to be.
    How long would you expect it to take with an 8 page ebook?

    Quote Originally Posted by Momento Mori View Post
    Given that they're only charging $0.79 for some books (http://www.fairytalesanddreams.com/d...?categoryid=13), I'd question how much an author could realistically hope to make from their 40% royalty.
    How much can one "realistically" expect to charge for a tiny book, a few pages long, designed for children? And how much can an author "realistically" expect to earn on royalties from a sale like that?

    Quote Originally Posted by Momento Mori View Post
    There's no information on what FT&D does to assist in marketing and promotion, but my guess is that a lot of it falls to the authors. That's something to bear in mind because you'll probably have to spend out money that you otherwise wouldn't get back in royalties.
    What kind of "marketing and promotion" do you have in mind for these little stories?

    Quote Originally Posted by Momento Mori View Post
    What made you sign with them? How much support are you getting with marketing and promotion of the book? Are you able to share anything about the contract terms that they're offering?
    There again you say "book" when, in fact, they are merely a few pages long. So what "contract terms" and "marketing and promotion" would you like to see?

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monkey View Post
    I also noticed some issues with the site--bad grammar is rampant, for instance.

    Some of our AW authors signed there, and it looks as if their books went up very quickly, and at least one of them got a nice cover (there are some awful covers on the site, as well). I hope that one of them will come along soon and give an insider's view of the company.
    It seems to me that the site is just being constructed, which could account for some of the glitches. My kids didn't notice that, however, and they loved the stories, and the covers, which were delivered promptly. :-)When it comes to illustrations it's all so subjective anyway. I've seen covers for some of the major houses that just made me cringe. Others loved them.

  10. #35
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Re: As far as I can see, Christie Bowers who is CEO at Fairytales and Dreams is not an ex Solstice employee, she is the CEO of Solstice Publishing.

    As far as all public information specifies, Heart on Fire/Solstice is wholly owned by Melissa Miller, Christie Bowers is a separate person who is a former and current employee of Solstice.
    Emily Veinglory

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torgo View Post
    Just from a look through the website, nothing suggests these guys can do anything well enough to justify their 60% cut.
    If you feel that way then don't submit to them. Have you tried Random House?

  12. #37
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by showme View Post
    It seems to me that the site is just being constructed, which could account for some of the glitches.
    The site may be new but the errors in the blurbs of some of those books are, in humble opinion, inexcusable and need to be fixed. To err is human, to correct, editorial....
    Emily Veinglory

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
    Re: As far as I can see, Christie Bowers who is CEO at Fairytales and Dreams is not an ex Solstice employee, she is the CEO of Solstice Publishing.

    As far as all public information specifies, Heart on Fire/Solstice is wholly owned by Melissa Miller, Christie Bowers is a separate person who is a former and current employee of Solstice.
    I did some checking and you're right. Christie Bowers is not the CEO at Solstice, she is the President.

  14. #39
    starting over Marian Perera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by showme View Post
    And isn't it usual for a writer to open a publishing house, in much the same way as an electrician starts an electrical company, etc.
    Writing and publishing are very different skills. It's best for publishers to have experience in publishing, rather than experience in writing.
    Sleeping Beauty m/m retelling : 29,043 words.

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
    The site may be new but the errors in the blurbs of some of those books are, in humble opinion, inexcusable and need to be fixed. To err is human, to correct, editorial....
    Agreed. And I'm sure they will be once the site is properly launched. There's such a dearth of good story sites for children, I hope this one is a success.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Queen of Swords View Post
    Writing and publishing are very different skills. It's best for publishers to have experience in publishing, rather than experience in writing.
    Experience in both would be ideal. But then it's an imperfect world. It would be interesting to know how many publishing houses have been started by writers, as opposed to those with no writing aspirations whatever, and how successful they were.

  17. #42
    starting over Marian Perera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by showme View Post
    Experience in both would be ideal. But then it's an imperfect world.
    I'm not sure what "it's an imperfect world" has to do with the advisability of a writer starting a business in which he or she has little or no experience.

    It would be interesting to know how many publishing houses have been started by writers, as opposed to those with no writing aspirations whatever, and how successful they were.
    There's a list of publishers in B&BC with the now-defunct ones highlighted.
    Sleeping Beauty m/m retelling : 29,043 words.

  18. #43
    Is me. Monkey's Avatar
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    Finchlark:

    Thanks for chiming in. Good publisher-author relationships are important. Still curious about marketing, standards, ect.

    Showme:

    Not sure I follow you here. Isn't every business a "start-up" venture at some point? And isn't it usual for a writer to open a publishing house, in much the same way as an electrician starts an electrical company, etc.
    Everything's a start-up at some point...but those who are working at a start-up don't usually break off and start their own start-up.

    And no, writers shouldn't be starting publishing houses without the appropriate knowledge and experience. Being published doesn't mean you know how to publish. The question is, how much knowledge does this person have about publishing?

    Shouldn't she know that rampant typos and hand-drawn covers can seriously hurt sales?

    I'm not saying that she can't do it, or won't make this work. I'm saying there's reason to question it.

    How long would you expect it to take with an 8 page ebook?
    Not long. But the page didn't say twenty days for eight page books; it said twenty days, period. Many of the books currently on the site are considerably larger than eight pages--we're talking novels, here--and so yes, a blanket "expect it to be about twenty days" is kinda strange.

    What kind of "marketing and promotion" do you have in mind for these little stories?
    Well, at a minimum, there needs to be some form of advertising for the company and some way other than the company website or word of mouth for people to hear about the books.

    Quote Originally Posted by Momento Mori
    Originally Posted by Momento Mori
    What made you sign with them? How much support are you getting with marketing and promotion of the book? Are you able to share anything about the contract terms that they're offering?
    There again you say "book" when, in fact, they are merely a few pages long. So what "contract terms" and "marketing and promotion" would you like to see?
    Again, not all of the books are eight pages long, and I've seen nothing to suggest that the books are treated any differently at all whether they're eight pages or eighty or eight hundred.


    President or not, Christie Bowers needs to hire an editor, because, honestly, there isn't just one or two small grammar mistakes that could have gotten passed over in the shuffle--the site is FULL of them. And some of those covers appear to be hand drawn by children. There's some charm to that, I guess, but the people whose job it is to market hardbacks to Barnes and Nobles don't do it, and I think we all know the reason.

    I'm not trying to smash FT&D, here. But there are pluses and minuses to every company, and it's good to correctly identify those of any company one is considering submitting to.

  19. #44
    Holding out for a Superhero... Sheryl Nantus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Queen of Swords View Post
    I'm not sure what "it's an imperfect world" has to do with the advisability of a writer starting a business in which he or she has little or no experience.



    There's a list of publishers in B&BC with the now-defunct ones highlighted.
    A long list.

    Instead of defending obvious missteps, you might be better off asking if you'd send your hard-earned words and manuscript to a publisher who may not help your career, but in fact hinder it.

  20. #45
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    Why don't you spend some time writing the next best book in the world instead of bashing what some people are trying to do. Do you even realize how many peoples feelings might get hurt by these RUDE comments. Do something constructive with your time instead. If you have a question for me, my email is also listed!

  21. #46
    starting over Marian Perera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fairy Tales n Dreams View Post
    Why don't you spend some time writing the next best book in the world instead of bashing what some people are trying to do. Do you even realize how many peoples feelings might get hurt by these RUDE comments.
    Well, perish the thought that anyone ask questions or point out concerns. That might hurt someone's feelings!

    Do something constructive with your time instead. If you have a question for me, my email is also listed!
    No, I think you've answered any questions people might have had about whether you were professional enough to handle the heat.
    Sleeping Beauty m/m retelling : 29,043 words.

  22. #47
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fairy Tales n Dreams View Post
    Do you even realize how many peoples feelings might get hurt by these RUDE comments.
    I would suggest correcting the errors in your online material identified here, many of which would be picked up by a spellchecker. To point out these errors may be rude, but it is also valid.
    Emily Veinglory

  23. #48
    practical experience, FTW Adobedragon's Avatar
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    And no, writers shouldn't be starting publishing houses without the appropriate knowledge and experience. Being published doesn't mean you know how to publish. The question is, how much knowledge does this person have about publishing?
    When it comes to who is at the helm of a publishing company, I'd prefer someone with good business skills, preferable with experience in publishing, to a published author.

    I have no experience in publishing. But I do own a small business. In my experience, keeping a venture afloat requires business savvy that goes beyond specific market concerns. I.e., you need to know how (or have the sense to hire someone who does) to do all all the daily drudgery of business. Filing and paying for licenses and applicable fees. Paying liabilities (taxes), filling tax forms. Paying vendors, utilities, rent, insurance (on time). Keeping meticulous records, especially financial. Establishing a business plan and budget.

    I know this seems screamingly obvious. But I've seem outwardly successful businesses, businesses that seemed to be making money hand over fist, go down like the Titanic because no one was bothering to attend to the business of ... business. They had no fricking idea where their money was going. Vendors weren't getting paid. They weren't making payroll (and taxes).

    The ability to pen a good story is no substitute for solid business know-how.

    Anyway, I do hope this new pub is successful. But, I think I'd wait a year or two before submitting any work to them.

  24. #49
    Formerly Phantom of Krankor. Torgo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by showme View Post
    If you feel that way then don't submit to them. Have you tried Random House?
    I've worked for Random House.

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sydewinder View Post
    I wonder if their book, "A Louse of a Mouse" is about a blood sucking insect that kills mice?

    And not to be too critical, but those covers (including 'A Louse of a Mouse') look like they were drawn by a group of blind monkeys.
    But do we know that these covers were illustrated by Fairy Tales and Dreams, or were they provided by the authors?

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