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Thread: [Retailer] Books Etc.

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    [Retailer] Books Etc.

    Terrible - the same Legend Press / New Generation Publishing team who kept me and all their authors waiting over 2 months for paid book orders in November 2009 and emailed all their authors email addresses to all their other authors in August 2009 have now messed up a relaunch of the bankrupt Borders site Book Etc after just two days this week. Borders was formerly a household name in the UK. The Books Etc website has gone offline and their holding page says 'Any purchases made since we launched the site on Monday 22nd February will be honoured'

    Legend Press were put in charge of the site by some outfit called Capital who bought bankrupt Books Etc in a firesale for £62,000 (how can companies do this for relative peanuts and give it to organisations like Legend Press that are already letting their existing businesses down!).

    Books Etc Launch from Bookseller piece 22ND FEB

    Books Etc Goes Into Repair After Two Days Disastrous Relaunch 24TH FEB

    Books etc had its big relaunch this week on Monday and didn't manage two days before it was taken down for 'repairs'. I wished I'd seen the posts about Legend Press New Generation Publishing and YWO on here which is why I joined to thank you and mention in the Legend Press sections so others may 'beware'.

    Users of Books Etc complained about slow search results from the Legend Press revamp site and problems registering on the site. Now the whole thing has been "taken offline while various problems are addressed." Legend Press New Generation publishing seems to have about two staff, one a school leaver it seems, and they can't even manage a couple of hundred authors - see here for all the Legend Press New Generation Publishing complaints building up last few months from their authors. I am still fuming after my experience publishing with New Generation Publishing in July 2009. Legend Press took months to publish, took money up front for orders and didn't deliver for months along with hundreds of others of their authors who complained, see link above, and now this. Books Etc - out of the administration frying pan and into the Legend Press fire!

    This Tom Chalmers character who runs Legend Press has a lot to answer for. He sounds like he is always launching the greatest big thing on bookseller sites - YWO publishing collaboration, New Generation Publishing, Books Etc relaunch and then as usual it turns out to be under thought out, underprepared and poorly managed by him and his collaborators, with his words and promises meaning nothing. That's three disastrous own goals in a row for Legend Press - shouldn't it be three strikes and you are out?! I wonder if Capital knew about their history.

    For once I am inspired to do something as Absolute Write does, is it permissable for users to put the objective reasons why Legend Press are the wrong outfit and then mail this to Capital. Legend Press must be under some kind of temporary contract to start and this will give this Capital organisation food for thought about exactly who they are putting themselves and their Books Etc poor customers in the hands of. Please can someone blog about this as these companies are launching one folly after another with no-one knowing or looking into their histories and getting away with it.
    Last edited by Lucyboggled; 02-27-2010 at 10:21 PM.

  2. #2
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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  3. #3
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    I had to join the site to reply to this post - sadly in what should be an important place for feedback, it demonstrates the negative side of free anon with inaccurate information and I assume a different motivation. As far as I am aware, Legend Press has four imprints, of which I would like to see more of PaperBooks and hope some strong brand work is occurring. Legend Press's list, however, has from scratch been one of the revelations in publishing with international authors apparently wanting to work with only them in the UK, and Legend Business has already attracted high-profile and high-level partnership.

    I haven't been an author of New Generation Publishing and have seen posts on order delays mentioned in November so improvement is needed there. However, Legend Press' team additionally run the largest project supporting independent bookshops and publishers, a successful scheme to increase reading for students, and a conference which is the best and probably only place for a frank and needed discussion of the future of publishing. And now they have been involved in the only part of the collapsed and much love Borders business to be saved. Of course it's a huge challenge, and it's certainly not the most glamourous start, but it is one I and many, many, many others are glad they and Capital have taken on - good luck.

    Within publishing Legend Press are considered one of the most exciting and important things they have right now and if ever the book industry needed new blood it is now!

  4. #4
    Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. kaitie's Avatar
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    Which one of these two posts looks more like someone with an agenda?

    Anyway, Booksmiles, I'm assuming you're directly related with the company considering you know so much about it and aren't one of the authors, and that you've felt the need to come here and speak on it's behalf. And honestly, if not for that last line (that just sounds so much like nonspecific cheap advertising to me it made me cringe) I'd have given more benefit of the doubt.

    Anyway, supporting bookshops is a good and I'm always for getting students to read, but I'm not sure I understand how they support other publishers. I also don't see how doing a couple of good things outweighs concerns posed by an author about book delays and some pretty big potential issues on the publishing end. If I'm looking for a publisher, I'm looking for one who will be able to publish my book well. That's the most important aspect to me, and frankly reading that there are lots of delays and what not isn't something that makes me very confident.

    I'm curious about what's discussed in the "only place for a frank and needed discussion." I see lots of frank and needed discussions about publishing on the web, and I assume that this isn't the only conference out there that discusses the future of publishing. What makes this statement stand out for me is the "only place" bit. I'll admit that I'm picky, but coming here and seeing all of the misinformation provided by people claiming to be the future or claiming to have some secret to real publishing, it makes me question statements like these. If you can provide some information on what this sort of thing is about, or why it's considered one of the "most exciting and important things", and perhaps who in publishing is saying that, I'd be willing to listen.

    Y'all have turned me into a publishing cynic. But in a good way. (granted, the fact that I've seen the other thread helps. )
    Last edited by kaitie; 03-02-2010 at 01:59 PM.


  5. #5
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
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    Booksmiles, have you ever heard of the term sockpuppet?

  6. #6
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Sorry, incorrect again - I was a HUGE Borders fan (and openly admit to being one of many to have followed Legend Press (www.legendpress.co.uk) over the years - and as they are unlikely to comment outside of website, usual media etc, I thought I should due to the nature of the post above).

    I made my agenda clear at the start and don't get me wrong I think the internet can be a wonderful forum. I won't comment further as I come in peace, and think I have made my point.

  7. #7
    Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. kaitie's Avatar
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    I guess this person just didn't see the Legend Press thread that had way more questionable things mentioned and might have been more worth trying to answer.

    Anyway, the irony of sock puppets is that it's so darned obvious. Sorta like those reviews on Amazon where the person is just randomly five-starring something without having read the book. Anyhoosits, just for curiosity sake, has there ever been anyone who popped up in here saying stuff like this that turned out not to be a sock puppet?


  8. #8
    The cake is a lie. But still cake. shaldna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaitie View Post

    Anyway, the irony of sock puppets is that it's so darned obvious. Sorta like those reviews on Amazon where the person is just randomly five-starring something without having read the book. ?

    My favourite amazon hobby is spotting die hard fans. You know the ones who slate books by people who have critisised / sued/ ripped off thier favourite authors.

    It makes me smile.
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  9. #9
    Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. kaitie's Avatar
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    I enjoy reading the reviews for a particular series that has gone down the drain which shall remain unnamed (though if you've read enough of my posts you could probably guess which). Cheesy, I know, but entertaining nonetheless.


  10. #10
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Here's what Booksmiles' post just in case it ends up changing:

    Quote Originally Posted by Booksmiles View Post
    I had to join the site to reply to this post - sadly in what should be an important place for feedback, it demonstrates the negative side of free anon with inaccurate information and I assume a different motivation. As far as I am aware, Legend Press has four imprints, of which I would like to see more of PaperBooks and hope some strong brand work is occurring. Legend Press's list, however, has from scratch been one of the revelations in publishing with international authors apparently wanting to work with only them in the UK, and Legend Business has already attracted high-profile and high-level partnership.

    I haven't been an author of New Generation Publishing and have seen posts on order delays mentioned in November so improvement is needed there. However, Legend Press' team additionally run the largest project supporting independent bookshops and publishers, a successful scheme to increase reading for students, and a conference which is the best and probably only place for a frank and needed discussion of the future of publishing. And now they have been involved in the only part of the collapsed and much love Borders business to be saved. Of course it's a huge challenge, and it's certainly not the most glamourous start, but it is one I and many, many, many others are glad they and Capital have taken on - good luck.

    Within publishing Legend Press are considered one of the most exciting and important things they have right now and if ever the book industry needed new blood it is now!
    And here's what someone calling himself Phoenix wrote on The Bookseller's site yesterday afternoon:

    Legend Press are widely regarded as one of the best independent publishers and as a general rule I think we should be supporting them. In addition to their main list, they single-handedly run the largest independent bookshop/publisher, last yearís most successful publishing conference and the publishing industry generally awaits with excitement what they are going to achieve next.
    I smell more than a whiff of sockpuppet here. I wonder if Booksmiles' IP address matches that of any of our other members?

    Moving on, I've read reports that Legend Press accidentally made the email addresses of all its writers public recently, causing a lot of concern about the security of their databases and systems (I'd be grateful if someone with more knowledge of that incident could fill us in on the details). The implications for a similar thing happening with a retail site are huge: think of all the credit card details and matching passwords which must be stored there.

  11. #11
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    Hi, Booksmiles, and welcome to AW.

    Booksmiles:
    I had to join the site to reply to this post - sadly in what should be an important place for feedback, it demonstrates the negative side of free anon with inaccurate information and I assume a different motivation.
    What do you think is inaccurate in any of the previous posts and what correction would you like to see?

    Booksmiles:
    As far as I am aware, Legend Press has four imprints, of which I would like to see more of PaperBooks and hope some strong brand work is occurring.
    I've been on the Legend Press website, and I'm not clear on what you think these "four imprints" are. My reading of the site suggests that Legend Press comprises the following:

    - Legend Press 'main' - which seems to have published most of the company's books.

    - Legend Business - which does seem to be an imprint belong to Legend Press but which has yet to launch and is currently soliciting submissions.

    - Kingston University Press - which does not actually seem to be an actual imprint but rather a partnership type agreement under which Legend will help to drum up sales.

    - Shashoua Foundation - which is another type of partnership similar to that with Kingston University Press and not, in fact, an imprint belonging to Legend Press.

    What do you mean by saying that you would like to see more "PaperBooks"? Most of Legend Press's books seem to be in paperback format.

    Booksmiles:
    Legend Press's list, however, has from scratch been one of the revelations in publishing with international authors apparently wanting to work with only them in the UK, and Legend Business has already attracted high-profile and high-level partnership.
    I'm not sure what leads you to think this. While I am in no way disparaging Legend Press (which does seem committed to getting its books in stores, promoting them and paying advances), I have certainly never heard of Kingston University Press or the Shashoua Foundation before reading about them on the Legend Press website.

    As for international authors wanting to work with them, the only reference I can see to this on the Legend Press website is the following:

    Legend Press:
    Trade success for Legend Press titles include: Salt and Honey by Candi Miller (featured in the World Book Day Top 10 books in 2008), Lord Lucan: My Story by William Coles (featured in 6 nationals in one week), and the acquisition of world rights for best-selling Swiss author ZoŽ Jenny’s latest novel, whose debut The Pollen Room was sold into 27 languages.
    Perhaps you know of other international authors who have been acquired by Legend Press. If so, could you share them?

    Booksmiles:
    I haven't been an author of New Generation Publishing and have seen posts on order delays mentioned in November so improvement is needed there.
    If you haven't published through New Generation Publishing (which, incidentally, is not mentioned on the Legend Press website), what is your connection (if any) with Legend Press?

    Booksmiles:
    However, Legend Press' team additionally run the largest project supporting independent bookshops and publishers, a successful scheme to increase reading for students, and a conference which is the best and probably only place for a frank and needed discussion of the future of publishing.
    Again, while all this is laudable, perhaps if Legend had focused a little less on the ancillary activities and more on its core business, there would not have been the problems claimed with New Generation Press failing to meet orders.

    Booksmiles:
    Of course it's a huge challenge, and it's certainly not the most glamourous start, but it is one I and many, many, many others are glad they and Capital have taken on - good luck.
    Why are you glad? What possible difference does it make to you?

    Booksmiles:
    Within publishing Legend Press are considered one of the most exciting and important things they have right now and if ever the book industry needed new blood it is now!
    Where have you heard that? What independent, verifiable source has made this statement?

    Booksmiles:
    I won't comment further as I come in peace, and think I have made my point.
    Yes, you've certainly done that. I for one take from your comments that semi-literate sockpuppets with little to no clue about how publishing works feel the need to defend a company solely on the basis that they once shopped at Borders.

    Thanks.

    MM

  12. #12
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    He's referring to PaperBooks Ltd., which Legend acquired a couple years ago. Other divisions are http://www.exclusivelyindependent.com/ and http://www.indiebooks.net/.
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  13. #13
    Sockpuppet Hunter MartyKay's Avatar
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    Finally get a real, live sockpuppet and they flounce out before I read the post?

    Dang!
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  14. #14
    Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. kaitie's Avatar
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    Don't worry, we get lots over here. Sometimes they even stick around to argue.


  15. #15
    Shakespearean Fool DreamWeaver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaitie View Post
    Don't worry, we get lots over here. Sometimes they even stick around to argue.
    Don't lose hope--they unflounce a lot, too. Some flounce & then come back for one-last-word so many times it's like watching a bouncy ball.
    Why doesn't George R. R. Martin use Twitter? He already killed off all 140 characters.

  16. #16
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    CaoPaux:
    He's referring to PaperBooks Ltd., which Legend acquired a couple years ago. Other divisions are http://www.exclusivelyindependent.com/ and http://www.indiebooks.net/.
    Ah well in that case, Booksmiles's comment is doubly confusing. Why on earth would s/he want to see more from the vanity company? And while we're at it, it's very strange (in the sense of it not being strange at all) that a commercial publisher would want to own a vanity company in the first place.

    MM

  17. #17
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Angry

    I see Legend Press of ywo and New Generation Publishing infamy are still failing with their Books Etc website relaunch. They relaunched the Books Etc site in February, took money for orders, the Books Etc site then went down just two days later and has been closed for the weeks since then. Reported in the Bookseller magazine. All that is up is a holding page on the site. The Books Etc site was bought cheaply after Borders a big UK bookstore went bankrupt. First the Legend Press problems managing with you writeon, then New Generation Publishing problems, now the Books Etc site failure. Still, maybe thanks to threads like this word will start to get around that they have serial problems with managing projects competently.

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