Maybe not a good blanket recommendation, but I do know of a dozen mainstream novels that started out as fanfic. So it's not like it doesn't happen.
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The recent criticism is a bit worrisome, but I've been experimenting with as many e-pubs as I can get access to, and DSP is still my favourite. Well, I've really enjoyed working with Samhain, but I haven't got any sales numbers from them yet (nothing released until May), so I'm holding off on declaring my undying love for them, just yet.
But of the e-pubs I've worked with (DSP, Loose Id, Liquid Silver, Ellora's Cave, and Samhain), Samhain is the only house that's offered me significant content editing, so singling DSP out as deficient in that regard seems odd. Their line editing seems to be about the same as other houses, as well.
Their attitude is where they shine, for me. (Well, and their sales. My books with them sell dramatically better than my books elsewhere, to date - no numbers from Samhain or LSB yet). But from the start, DSP has been really supportive, friendly but professional, organized, efficient, and completely on top of promotions and finding new markets. I really have no complaints.
Well, yes, I'd love it if they played a more active role in improving my content and making me a better writer, but I don't really expect that, given that I haven't gotten it from most of the other e-pubs I've dealt with, either.
My latest release came out from DSP in the middle of this kerfuffle, and I was worried that sales would be affected, but it's doing just fine. It's my first novella with them, so I can't really compare to previous sales numbers, but I'm pleased with what I'm seeing. I think there's a small, vocal minority, many of them other writers, who jumped on this bandwagon with their daggers out (yes, a mixed metaphor, but an interesting one, right?). But the readers as a whole don't seem too concerned, based on the numbers I'm seeing so far.
I don't see this mentioned here, but as far as the plagiarism/copyright infringement, Dreamspinner released an official statement a few days ago; you have to go to their home page and click the link near the top of the page to read it.
p.s. my editing at Loose Id is extremely thorough, often involving significant added scenes and continuity/characterization issues and multiple copy-editing passes. Perhaps it varies by editor?
IMHO if minimal editing is an issue, it is an issue. Even if the norm is unimpressive.
So, yeah, I add my experience to the body of evidence, but not with any claim that it's definitive or even typical. But it was definitely what I experienced.
I just got an e-mail from DSP letting me know that they've finished production on the audiobook version of one of my novels, and I thought it was worth mentioning here.
In my experience, DSP is REALLY good at getting books into new markets. They don't do it for every book, but for the ones that sell well in the initial print and e-book formats they do audiobooks, translate the books into several different languages, etc. You need to sign a longer-term contract (five years, I think, but I'd have to check to be sure) in order for them to put the money into producing the new formats, but that seems fair to me.
So, this month I have my first book coming out in Spanish, AND my first audiobook, both through DSP. I have no idea what the sales will be like in either format, but I'm looking forward to finding out. And to seeing what DSP comes up with next!
Can anyone tell me what the submission wait is like at dreamspinner? Their website says 6-8 weeks, and it also stipulates no simultaneous submissions.
Two months, while not a long time to wait in general DOES seem a long time to require exclusivity. Is the wait generally that long?
I've only subbed to them for an Advent Calendar collection so far, and got a response 17 days after the submissions call closed. I'd love to hear from people who have sent them novels!
Everyone thinks e-publishing should be 'instant' and it isn't and shouldn't be. A publisher needs time to properly evaluate a submission, decide it it meshes with their needs/style and go from there. Keep in mind that often a story goes through more than one set of hands before a contract is issued and this takes time.
Also understand that the more popular and reputable a publisher is the longer that wait is going to be since they'll be inundated with submissions from authors hoping to be contracted with them.
Good luck with your submission. I hear nothing but good things about Dreamspinner.
In my experience they've been significantly faster than that, but I think they've gotten pretty busy in the last couple years - I've noticed that the wait between acceptance and publication is longer than it used to be, for sure, and I think the same might be true for the submission stage.
Some of you already know I edit for a NYC publishing house.
As far as I can see, there's nothing wrong with Dreamspinner's approach and philosophy. It doesn't matter how a story gets started. What matters is what's on the page when it's published. Julianne Bentley is giving out solidly practical advice -- for example, how hard it is to get rid of all the little cues that say "Star Trek universe," or disguise Supernatural fanfic. The biggest point she misses is that you also need to keep an eye on which franchises are quick to prosecute, or take an unreasonable view of what they do and don't own. (Two words: Puevfgbcure Gbyxvra. And don't quote any lyrics from commercial recordings.)
If Dreamspinner is publishing slash, it's of course going to be rooted in fanfiction. That's the first place slash got published, and the venue where most of it has appeared. Before fanfic, slash was the only completely unserved kink in the entire published spectrum.
Re editing: Beta readers can make intrusive editors. They're coming out of a different editorial tradition, one that's willing to work with more marginal writers because they want there to be more of whatever kind of fanfic it is that floats their boat.
Let me repeat that: Beta readers and former beta readers will put a lot more work into writing that's worse to start. My advice, if you don't like what they've done, is to say "Thank you, but no," and neatly write STET next to the changes.
Re Dreamspinner's covers: They're still very girly. Books with those packages are likelier to sell to women who like slash than to men who like other men.
Winner of the Best Drycleaner on the Block Award.
Dreamspinner is likely in my top three choices for this manuscript, however, their exclusivity requirement puts back submission to my other top two choices by two months, or to dreamspinner by 4-6 months. The others do not require exclusivity bu have very long wait times, which mean....if i submit to thm, dreamspinner is not an option until next summer.
Forgive my sh*tty ipad typing.