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Thread: Merpoint Publishing

  1. #1
    Where have you been all my life? romi41's Avatar
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    Question Merpoint Publishing

    Hey all,

    Anyone heard of Merpoint Publishing?

    I just saw them or someone who I assumed is affiliated with them post a message on a different writing forum I'm a member of, under the heading "Publisher seeking submissions" with this message:

    "Check out Merpoint Publishing, LLC at http://www.merpoint.com - new electronic publishing company seeking submissions in multiple genres.

    Wishing you all a healthy, creative, and very prosperous 2010!
    Jen Pitzer"


    I personally know nothing about them, but thought I would throw it into the mix. Their website states they are brand new with no authors yet, and that they pay royalties (when the book makes money) but don't charge any fees. They also offer editing services though. Hmm...

    Anyway, it's out there!
    Last edited by romi41; 01-11-2010 at 06:36 AM.
    Romi

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  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW
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    there is no information there about who runs it or what their credentials are

  3. #3
    Where have you been all my life? romi41's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushdoctor View Post
    there is no information there about who runs it or what their credentials are
    Yeah, it just seemed "too easy" with no background, which is why I questioned that someone would pop into a writing forum to encourage writers to submit. I personally wouldn't, but I don't have the knowledge to mark it as "red flag", so I wanted to put it out there for others who have more experience to judge!

    Hope you're having a good Monday, btw (if there is such a thing )
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  4. #4
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Between the "press release" and their Twitter page we can glean it's run by Jennifer & David Pitzer. The names are too common for a quick Google to find support for claims of relevant experience, but the fact it's not detailed on their site is enough to steer clear, IMO.
    Last edited by CaoPaux; 01-11-2010 at 11:06 PM. Reason: missed not one but *two* apostrophes. Gah!
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  5. #5
    Where have you been all my life? romi41's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaoPaux View Post
    Between the "press release" and their Twitter page we can glean it's run by Jennifer & David Pitzer. The names are too common for a quick Google to find support for claims of relevant experience, but the fact it's not detailed on their site is enough to steer clear, IMO.
    Well, I tried my best to raise caution at the forum from which this "call for submissions" originated, but people seem caught up in the excitement of it all, and the possible opportunity it represents. Even after I plainly pointed out that to advertise a "Twitter presence" as a quote "Value-added service" when you have only 5 followers is...mis-representative, to say the least. And that doesn't take into account that Twitter presence is a stretch to be considered a value-added service anyway.

    Oh well...people can believe what they want I guess.

    And after the publisher posted over there to defend themselves, I suggested they post the same message here and I attached a link, since you know...a lot of people come here to check up on possible prospects, and it's a much bigger audience to speak to.

    I guess they didn't find their way over here
    Romi

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  6. #6
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Heh. They found the Promo forum okay: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=168111
    ICAO
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  7. #7
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Hey, I am one of those followers--that's value-added right there!
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  8. #8
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Greetings!

    As you saw, we did post an introduction in the "Announcements, Events, and Self-Promotion". We figured that was the best place to introduce Merpoint Publishing, rather than in this string where it might be construed as a defensive gesture (which clearly it was by Romi on the other board).

    Here is what I posted on the other board regarding Romi's concerns:

    Thanks for checking out our website! I guess I'm not sure where all the skepticism came from, but I would like to address your concerns.

    We are a new publishing company and like all others we must start somewhere. The company was founded by Jennifer & David Pitzer in late 2009. Jennifer (myself) has a degree in business administration and has extensive experience as a writer, editor, and publisher. David is a business and information technology professional and avid reader. We are working with a number of illustrators, artists, proofreaders, and editors to help us manage the flow of submissions and will provide additional information about our team on the website in the near future.

    We are a non-subsidy publisher, not a vanity publisher. There is very little risk for authors to give us a try, if books we publish don't sell we don't make a dime either.

    Thanks for your time and consideration.

    I appreciate Romi's due diligence and invite any and all questions.

    Jennifer Pitzer
    Merpoint Publishing
    http:///www.merpoint.com

  9. #9
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Jennifer, could you let us know who are the editors and artists you are working with, and what your experience as an editor and publisher is? Listing the titles of published works you've edited, publishing houses you've worked at in specificed capacities, etc on your website as well would probably be very helpful to authors browsing your site.

    (If you are a household name like Tom Doherty or Jim Baen and I've embarrassed myself by failing to recognise it, I apologise.)

    Adding:

    I'm going to copy a more experienced AW member's questions from the Kasma thread -- a start-up publisher who has since gone out of business without publishing any of the books he contracted:

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard White View Post

    What's your experience in publishing?
    Have you ever run a company before in any capacity?
    What's your business plan?
    Have you secured sufficient funding to get this business off the ground?
    What's your plan for getting books into bookstores?
    Who's your distributuor?
    Who're your editors?
    How much experiece do they have editing novels or non-fiction?
    How many authors do you expect to publish a year?
    Who's handling publicity for your company?
    Who're your sales reps? How many do you have?
    Who're the artists you have lined up to do covers?
    Can people see a copy of the contract to compare it against other standard publishing contracts?

    The biggest worry most of the people here have is not for the publisher, who if they fail are out time and money, but for the authors whose books get tied up, may lose first print rights, may lose the rights to the book completely if the contract isn't clear should the publisher go under, etc.
    Last edited by Unimportant; 01-13-2010 at 12:20 AM. Reason: adding RW's questions

  10. #10
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    One point that I find troubling is that the webpage is clearly addressed to writers, not to readers.

  11. #11
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Questions

    Based on the incredible response, feedback, and many questions on this forum and others, we are preparing an FAQs page on our website.

    Thank you for questions and keep them coming!

    Merpoint Publishing
    http://www.merpoint.com

  12. #12
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Website

    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald View Post
    One point that I find troubling is that the webpage is clearly addressed to writers, not to readers.
    Hi James,

    Thanks for you post. You are correct, the website is primarily directed towards authors at this time. The site will evolve over time as we begin publishing and promoting our books to address the reader market. Unlike many existing e-book publishers, we will provide links to online book retailers for all published titles, but will not be selling directly from our site.

    Merpoint Publishing
    http://www.merpoint.com

  13. #13
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    You may wish to consider defining in your submission guidelines what "obscene material" means. Rape glorification? French kissing? Two male penguins raising a chick?

  14. #14
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unimportant View Post
    You may wish to consider defining in your submission guidelines what "obscene material" means. Rape glorification? French kissing? Two male penguins raising a chick?
    Good point! We will add some clarification on the site as well. (Love your examples... none of them would really be unacceptable to us, except maybe the first one, but even that would depend on the context really.)

    Thanks!

    Merpoint Publishing
    http://www.merpoint.com

  15. #15
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Updated website

    We have updated our website, adding a detailed Q&A section and clarifying a number of topics.

    Check it out and please feel free to share your thoughts!

    Merpoint Publishing
    http://www.merpoint.com

  16. #16
    No drama KMTolan's Avatar
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    The site advertises "Value Added Services" to include "professional editing".

    This is enough to for me to stay well clear of them.

    Merpoint, if I might venture some advice as a writer? Ditch the "added services". This only makes you look like a wolf in sheep's clothing. P&E labels such things as a "conflict of interest" and this certainly qualifies.

    Kerry
    Last edited by KMTolan; 01-19-2010 at 03:51 AM.

  17. #17
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    Agreed. Even if your intent is innocent, you're guilty by association. Because there are many who do use it as a way to fund a venture they're no good at, and it's a huge warning flag. Also, ditch the multiple genres too. There's a reason why successful publishers only focus on one, maybe two genres. Marketing romance is not the same as marketing fantasy. And it would be also helpful if there was some indication as to what publishing houses you worked for. Yes, we're a skeptical lot, but with good reason There have been many, many scammers who have used the same vague claim and have even made up publisher or agency names in order to give themselves legitimacy. So please don't take the scrutiny to heart, we always like seeing a new GOOD publisher crop up. We just don't like seeing people getting screwed over.
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  18. #18
    Researching History's Mysteries HistorySleuth's Avatar
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    It never amazes me, no matter how many of these types of threads I read, that the folks here at AW have to tell these "publishers" what should be posted at the own websites. That is so telling in itself I need look no further. If they have no clue how to represent themselves, why in the world would an author believe they can do anything for them.
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  19. #19
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    The latest version of the Merpoint website says that they pay 40% on net, which is "substantially higher than ANY other publisher in print or e-book format". When I last checked, Ellora's Cave paid 37.5%, L-book paid 40%, Logical Silver paid 40%, Logical Lust paid 50%, Lyrical paid 40%, Mundania paid 50%, Phaze paid 50%, Samhain paid 40%, Wild Child paid 40%.....

    This is in the FAQ:
    What's your plan for getting books into bookstores?

    A: Merpoint is an electronic publishing company. Although we offer print-on-demand and audio books through partnership agreements, we do not do book signings as this is not our primary form of book publishing.
    What the heck do book signings have to do with print distribution?

    This is also in the FAQ:
    Q: How many authors do you expect to publish a year?

    A: It really depends on the volume of submissions we receive. Through the use of freelance and contract workers, we have the ability to easily scale the amount of work we can handle up or down. We anticipate publishing 100 - 200 new titles this year and would like to put 700 - 1000 existing titles into the e-book format to publish before end of 2010.
    A thousand titles this year.... ::faints::

  20. #20
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    Author mill. E-pubs are getting like this, with some having done it from conception. You've got to find a good one. I went with a B-lister. I was hoping (to try one book) with Sanhaim or Elloras. It takes a long, long time to develope market share and a large following.

    Tri

  21. #21
    So many ideas, never enough time. michael_b's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unimportant View Post
    A thousand titles this year.... ::faints::
    Of course they are making the assumption they'll get those titles. I doubt they'll see even a fraction of that number.
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  22. #22
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    Glad I wasn't the only one who was disturbed about that author question on the FAQs
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  23. #23
    So many ideas, never enough time. michael_b's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by triceretops View Post
    Author mill. E-pubs are getting like this, with some having done it from conception. You've got to find a good one. I went with a B-lister. I was hoping (to try one book) with Sanhaim or Elloras. It takes a long, long time to develope market share and a large following.

    Tri
    Ain't it the truth. It's sad to see publishers more interested in cranking out an endless string of new author's books rather than focusing on the development of their existing authors.
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  24. #24
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    I don't consider author mills publishers, TBH. Unless they walk like a publisher, talk like a publisher, and act like a publisher...they're no publisher.
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  25. #25
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merpoint View Post
    Hi James,

    Thanks for you post. You are correct, the website is primarily directed towards authors at this time. The site will evolve over time as we begin publishing and promoting our books to address the reader market. Unlike many existing e-book publishers, we will provide links to online book retailers for all published titles, but will not be selling directly from our site.

    Merpoint Publishing
    http://www.merpoint.com
    I have to say that makes sense to me as a writer!

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