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Thread: Uprising Media Group

  1. #1
    carpe libri Amarie's Avatar
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    Uprising Media Group

    This group posted in Freelance Writing-Paying Markets, but since they are new and state they are accepting queries for novel-length fiction, I thought a thread here would be appropriate to follow how it goes with their business. I'd like to hear more about the publishing experience of the people who started the group. Here's the other thread:

    http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=165414

    Anyone checked them out yet?
    Last edited by Amarie; 12-18-2009 at 07:18 PM.

  2. #2
    Absolutely Fazed
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    Fixed.

    http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/...d.php?t=165414

    (You have two http:// in it).

  3. #3
    carpe libri Amarie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeadlyAccurate View Post
    Fixed.

    http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/...d.php?t=165414

    (You have two http:// in it).
    Thanks for spotting that. I fixed it in the original post too.

  4. #4
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Second discussion thread on Uprising, including Flounce (TM), here: http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/...d.php?t=165794

  5. #5
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    My big concern with Uprising is that their marketing strategy is based on viral marketing, which is all well and good if (a) there was proven evidence that it would work (there isn't - there is little evidence to suggest that those books that have succeeded on the basis of word-of-mouth did so following an organised internet marketing campaign) and (b) there is existing distribution in to book stores. I'm not clear if Uprising has the latter.

    MM

  6. #6
    I write novels
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    Quote Originally Posted by Momento Mori View Post
    My big concern with Uprising is that their marketing strategy is based on viral marketing, which is all well and good if (a) there was proven evidence that it would work (there isn't - there is little evidence to suggest that those books that have succeeded on the basis of word-of-mouth did so following an organised internet marketing campaign) and (b) there is existing distribution in to book stores. I'm not clear if Uprising has the latter.
    They're also quite shy about saying who they are. They have experience in marketing, but do they have other publishing experience? Do they have experience with editing, production, etc.? (Or maybe I missed that part.)

  7. #7
    Writer is as Writer does Terie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eqb View Post
    They're also quite shy about saying who they are. They have experience in marketing, but do they have other publishing experience? Do they have experience with editing, production, etc.? (Or maybe I missed that part.)
    Accordiing to their original post:

    Quote Originally Posted by uprising View Post
    We're a startup publisher founded by veteran software engineers, television producers and online marketing experts focused on developing new fiction and select non-fiction, primarily for digital distribution.
    So that looks to me like the answer to EQB's question is 'no.'
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  8. #8
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    It's got a website here.

    Points to note are that it's releasing its first set of titles in Spring 2010, although the About page states that "Uprising is currently acquiring titles for its debut list". That strikes me as being a ridiculously quick turnaround and nowhere near enough time to establish the kind of marketing campaign that would lead to a successful launch.

    The website also states: "Our focus is on electronic distribution and we therefore emphasize genres and themes that appeal to a technically savvy reader" suggesting that it is not aiming at putting books in stores. Given how tough market conditions are for existing and established physical and ebook publishers, I don't think they're doing themselves any favours.

    MM

  9. #9
    Likes picnic with roast beef. Eirin's Avatar
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    Presenting face-to-face meeting as a common criteria for having your manuscript accepted is problematic, especially as it isn't true. It speaks of either lack of knowledge or misrepresentation.

    Asserting that viral marketing and video-interviews etc. are new things that no other publisher has ever though of or utilized is even more problematic. It shows lack of knowledge and lack of familiarity with the market.

    Losing one's temper and insulting writers on an open board for writers is unlikely to come across as professional.

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  10. #10
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    It's becoming clear to us that we're not going to gain any ground with the AW community until we're a little further along. A lot of the criticisms of our business plans, chalking it up to book trailers and Facebook, inferring that we have no idea other publishers are doing things like that, are misinterpretations, gross oversimplifications and conjecture.

    We don't take money from writers. If we need more than that to pass the AW background check, you'll just have to wait and see if we actually do what we say we're going to do. The most likely outcome is failure; that is true, but if we continue to talk about our plans or divulge our entire business plan, this will just keep going round and round.

    We know from reading the Bingo threads that you've heard all the usual complaints before, so we'll skip all that. Instead I think we'll just raise the white flag and officially flounce for now. We might come back when we have something concrete to report.

  11. #11
    Likes picnic with roast beef. Eirin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uprising View Post
    ...

    We don't take money from writers. If we need more than that to pass the AW background check

    ...
    You certainly do. Knowledge about, and experience in, the publishing industry goes over really well. That's why we'd like to see something about your staff and their credentials.

    Being dragooned by a deceptive pay-to-play publisher is only one way for writers to get screwed. Wasting first rights on a publisher that's not going anywhere is another.

    I don't think anyone here is against start-ups per se. Start-ups with no pertinent experience, however ... consensus is that that's a bad bet.
    Last edited by Eirin; 12-21-2009 at 10:39 PM. Reason: Nitpicking

    I'm a writer. No, really. I type and everything.

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  12. #12
    Lost in School Work icerose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uprising View Post
    It's becoming clear to us that we're not going to gain any ground with the AW community until we're a little further along. A lot of the criticisms of our business plans, chalking it up to book trailers and Facebook, inferring that we have no idea other publishers are doing things like that, are misinterpretations, gross oversimplifications and conjecture.

    We don't take money from writers. If we need more than that to pass the AW background check, you'll just have to wait and see if we actually do what we say we're going to do. The most likely outcome is failure; that is true, but if we continue to talk about our plans or divulge our entire business plan, this will just keep going round and round.

    We know from reading the Bingo threads that you've heard all the usual complaints before, so we'll skip all that. Instead I think we'll just raise the white flag and officially flounce for now. We might come back when we have something concrete to report.
    I wish you would stick around and answer a few basic questions.

    1. Are you aiming for bookstore distribution (like physical book stores) or online distribution only?

    2. E-book or Paperback or both?

    3. POD or print runs? (Obviously doesn't apply to E-book)

    4. What other marketing plans do you have outside a viral internet campaign and author interviews posted on youtube? (Catalogs, book signings, end cap placement those kinds of things)

    5. Has anyone on your staff ever worked in the publishing industry itself and if so, what capacity?

    6. Do you have an experienced editor? As in industry experience?

    These are all questions I would ask any prospective publisher that I was interested in submitting to.

    Thanks.
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  13. #13
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    I can see where a certain "in" with a type of media could give a small press an edge. The best example I can think of would be Ravenous Romance doing their special sale on the Home Shopping Channel. That worked for them because it was a good match: the TV show is watched largely by women (I think?) and romance is read largely by women, so the audience was matched to the market.

    If Uprising has an unusual method like that up their sleeve, it could be very successful, and I don't blame them for wanting to keep it under wraps until they let loose. However, they've said they accept fiction submissions in nearly every genre, I can't think of anything that would let them target such a wide variety of readers in a unique fashion. Then again, I can't think of a single small press that has succeeded without having limited themselves to a single, well-defined genre. It's quite possible that I lack imagination on both counts. However, in the absence of any concrete evidence of sales or distribution or industry experience on the part of the owners/editors, I fear that Uprising's own prediction may be accurate:

    The most likely outcome is failure; that is true
    and that would be very sad.

  14. #14
    Writer Beware's Faithful Igor Richard White's Avatar
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    And therein lies the rub, (How's that for Shakespearian?)

    We don't want Uprising to fail. We don't want them to fail because it's really not fun to watch something come crashing down around the creator's ears. It's also not fun to watch the authors who, time and again, get caught in a start-up that wasn't really ready to take that first step out of the nest and wind up losing their book in the carnage.

    What we want is for all new publishers to be certain they're ready to go.

    1) Have a business plan that doesn't rely on the writer to be their unpaid sales force.
    2) Have partners who have publishing experience, people who can guide them over the shoals of a start-up publishing business. . . a business like damn few others in the world.
    3) Have sufficient funding to sustain them until they get their feet under them.
    4) Have a contract that is, if not author-friendly, at least author-neutral.
    5) Have realistic goals (start small, focus on their strenghts, add new lines after they get established, not take on too many authors)
    6) Have distribution all ready lined up BEFORE opening the doors to submissions
    7) Have a realistic timeline to allow for ARCs to go out to readers/reviewers/etc. well before the book is ready to sell
    8) Have an understanding what is a distributor and what is a wholesaler (see #2 - this is where experience comes in)
    9) Have a web site that is attractive to readers and not just there to lure in new authors

    We WANT new publishers to succeed.

    However, you* can't be like Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland and just get some friends together and put on a play, because it's not just your money you're messing with. It's the hopes and dreams of authors who're counting on you to be a professional and treat your authors like professionals, not just living ATMs.

    *you = a vast majory of the publishing start-up's I've seen the four years I've been hanging out at AW and through my work at Writer Beware.

    From what I've seen, the guys at Darkstar seem to have the right idea (start small, start slow and get it right up front). I'm keeping my fingers crossed for them and I'd like to keep my fingers crossed for Uprising also. It all depends on whether or not they're willing to look at their plan honestly, because in my opinion, they're in over their heads right now.

  15. #15
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    On another thread, Uprising says,

    Quote Originally Posted by uprising View Post
    We have no grooming regulations or maximum beard length. We sure like George R. R. Martin's beard, we can tell you that.
    Folks, do you know George R. R. Martin? Does George R. R. Martin vouch for you?

    In re face-to-face meetings prior to contract, in another thread, Uprising says:

    Quote Originally Posted by uprising View Post
    Perhaps if we concede the point that not every publisher does this -- the apparent definition of 'not that unusual' on this forum -- much of this discussion will dissipate.
    If by "not every" you mean "damn few," then I can agree with this.

    In the same post, they say:

    Quote Originally Posted by uprising View Post
    What we think will be a trend -- and is already a trend -- is an emphasis on viral marketing and social networking to launch new writers. Whether sit downs and videos are part of that is a function of how such a strategy is implemented.
    Gentlemen, would you be good enough to tell me the title of the last novel you bought and read? And, would you be good enough to tell me the title of the last novel you bought because of "viral marketing"?

    Uprising says, in a thread that isn't this one,

    Quote Originally Posted by uprising View Post
    Remember the root of all this was a question about who we are. Our response was essentially "by the time it matters, you'll have met us."
    No, you won't. Because before I even consider submitting work to you, you'll have to convince me that you are able to recognize a publishable manuscript, that you are able to edit that manuscript to commercial standards, and that you can market that manuscript effectively to readers. The face-to-face meeting you describe is after submission but prior to acceptance. But serious writers won't submit their works to you.

    I'm certain you get queries. I get queries myself, and I'm not a publisher, have never been a publisher, and have never claimed to be a publisher.

    I earnestly beseech you to go to the index of publishers here, and read the back threads, particularly those printed in grey -- the publishers that have gone out of business.

    Uprising says, elsewhere,

    Quote Originally Posted by uprising View Post
    Let's take membership in the SFWA as an example. You haven't sold a legitimate book unless the publisher is on a predefined list. That's a pretty clear cut example of the game being rigged against startups. Many reviewing publications have a similar list of "legitimate" publishers.
    SFWA's requirements are well known, and joining the list is an easy bar for any publisher to leap over, provided they are capable of selling books to the public.

    Publishers risk little compared to authors. The publisher can always say, "Well, that didn't work," and walk away. The author is left with a permanently crippled or dead book, representing perhaps years of work. Please remember this.

  16. #16
    Lost in School Work icerose's Avatar
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    I can't even think of a book I've even heard of through viral marketing. The last viral item I heard of was Snakes on a Plane and even that viral campaign didn't turn into as many dollar signs as they hoped.
    "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."
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  17. #17
    Hagiographically Advantaged AW Moderator HapiSofi's Avatar
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    As a rule of thumb, if some proposed bookselling mechanism isn't how you (and/or your friends and relations) discover and buy books, and if it isn't how the person proposing its use discovers and buys books, it's not going to work.
    Winner of the Best Drycleaner on the Block Award.

  18. #18
    Five by Five katiemac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by icerose View Post
    I can't even think of a book I've even heard of through viral marketing. The last viral item I heard of was Snakes on a Plane and even that viral campaign didn't turn into as many dollar signs as they hoped.
    I've heard of one, via a freaking great book trailer. It landed pretty high on the entertainment Internet circuits I frequent because the trailer had documentary-style interviews with the likes of Joss Whedon, Damon Lindelof and A.J. Jacobs. The trailer rated extremely high on nerd alert and conspiracy theories.

    That being said, had I not seen the book trailer, I still would have seen the book. Because it was in stores. Face out on end displays at Target, sitting front and center at B&N.

    And the awesome book trailer didn't stop me from returning the book when three chapters in I couldn't make myself keep reading.

  19. #19
    Likes picnic with roast beef. Eirin's Avatar
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    Every time I hear/read the words "viral marketing" I can't help thinking of some virulent virus - that someone's about to target me with. It's a very unpleasant association that might account for my dislike of the concept

    And yet, "viral marketing" so often boils down to spam, either by mail or on message boards. While my spam-filter takes care of the email-spam, on message board it's disruptive, annoying, and insulting to contributing members.

    What the "viral marketing/SEO is the future" crowd tend to forget is that people aren't, in general, online in order to be sold stuff. Just like in real life, we'll put up with a certain amount of ads, but wanting to sell someone something isn't a good basis for community-building, and most people who spend time online do so in a social context.

    Communities are tempting targets for viral marketeers because of the built-in audience and visibility, but spamming (and astroturfing) is easily recognizable, and most communities will resent the intrusion.

    That saying about how there's no such thing as bad PR? It isn't true. It really, really isn't true.

    I'm a writer. No, really. I type and everything.

    Tolkien wrote Lord of the Rings. I've no idea who that Tolkein guy is.

  20. #20
    Lost in School Work icerose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eirin View Post
    That saying about how there's no such thing as bad PR? It isn't true. It really, really isn't true.
    See crazy author thread for a good example of this.

    http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/...d.php?t=165576
    "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."
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  21. #21
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    In case y'all missed it, Uprising flounced right out of business.

    Now taking bets as to where, when, and as what they'll reappear.
    ICAO
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