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Thread: FriesenPress / Friesens Corporation

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin dragonwind2000's Avatar
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    Cool FriesenPress / Friesens Corporation

    I've checked the forums for these guys, as well as searched the posts. I couldn't find them, so I thought I'd query about the company. There is a fairly bold claim here, listed in the second paragraph (exclusive partnerships with leading publishing houses?). I'm wondering if anyone's had anything to do with them. Other than this newest of claims, they seem like just another self-publishing company.

    Here's the blurb of interest:

    "A Breakthrough in Self-Publishing

    At FriesenPress, we can help you bridge both worlds: if you choose to self-publish, we値l groom your manuscript into a professionally formatted book that will stand up to the quality of traditionally-published titles. Then, we値l make your title available for ordering at over 25,000 booksellers worldwide.

    If your dream is to write to be picked up by a publisher, we offer you the unique opportunity to share the success of your self-published book with traditional publishers. In an industry first, we have entered into exclusive partnerships with leading publishing houses to act as their dedicated talent scout for self-published authors. That means we can dramatically increase your chances of getting noticed!"


    By the way, you must purchase a publishing contract with them to obtain this service; it's not a stand-alone offering. It's referred to as 'monitoring of sales'
    and the claim is that, if you meet some pre-established criteria they and the publishers have agreed on, they'll forward your book for consideration. Hmmm. What are the criteria, 5,000 copies sold, or some equally absurd number?

    Anyway, I was hoping to see if others had seen or had dealings with them.


    Sincerely,

    dragonwind2000

  2. #2
    I write novels
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    URL: http://friesenpress.com/

    A self-publishing outfit that makes the usual inflated claim of bringing your work to the attention of commercial publishers. Alas, that almost never works. If you want to sell to commercial publishers, why bother with these bozos?

  3. #3
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragonwind2000 View Post
    "A Breakthrough in Self-Publishing

    At FriesenPress, we can help you bridge both worlds: if you choose to self-publish, we値l groom your manuscript into a professionally formatted book that will stand up to the quality of traditionally-published titles. Then, we値l make your title available for ordering at over 25,000 booksellers worldwide.
    Ordering does not equal avaliable in bookstore. All that means is if I knew a title I could probably go into a store and order it. It doesn't mean I'd ever find it by accident like I did the last book I bought.

    Quote Originally Posted by dragonwind2000 View Post
    If your dream is to write to be picked up by a publisher, we offer you the unique opportunity to share the success of your self-published book with traditional publishers. In an industry first, we have entered into exclusive partnerships with leading publishing houses to act as their dedicated talent scout for self-published authors. That means we can dramatically increase your chances of getting noticed!"
    First, publishers don't need help finding authors. And I'd be wary of anyone who did. Second, a publisher's not going to give a crap about a self-pubbed book unless it's shown a good sales record which few titles ever do.
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  4. #4
    practical experience, FTW MickRooney's Avatar
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    Publish America recently announced a similar claim that they will bring their author's books to the attention of Random House editors!

    At best, it's a publishing service firing off a copy of a book the author has paid for on the blind through the mail to some unsuspecting editor snowed under with their own pile of commissioned manuscripts; at its worst, it's another empty promise to hook an author into a paid service which does not differenciate itself from the hundreds of other paid services on offer to authors.

  5. #5
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    FriesenPress Website:
    When you self-publish with FriesenPress, you get to share the success of your book with traditional publishers: we have entered into exclusive partnerships with leading publishing houses to act as their talent scout for self-published authors.
    This would carry more credibility if they actually named those "leading publishing houses".

    As everyone else has said, why would a commercial publisher be interested in what these guys can give them?

    FriesenPress Website:
    We have been recognized for our dedication to excellence by the most demanding publishing clients. With 25 million books printed every year, including original editions of the popular Harry Potter series and the classic Oxford Dictionary, you will benefit from the experience of a leader in the book industry.
    I couldn't make head nor tail of what this was intended to mean until I also read this:

    FriesenPress Website:
    FriesenPress is a division of Friesens Corporation, an award-winning North American book printer. We’ve been in the book business since 1923, and over the decades we have developed close relationships with many of North America’s traditional publishers.
    What they seem to be saying is that because (I'm assuming) the printing division has the right to print the Potter books, this will somehow translate into big sales/increased attention from the commercial publishers for the self-published writers.

    If this interpretation is correct, then words fail me.

    I don't know of any commercial publishers who rely on their printers to find books for them.

    FriesenPress Website:
    We feature one of the most generous royalty structures in the self-publishing industry–up to 55% of your book's suggested retail price (SRP):
    While 55% on the cover price is generous in terms of royalties, the comparison they make here is, I would suggest, somewhat misleading. Specifically, they are comparing their royalty structure to that of Amazon and book distributors when neither Amazon nor book distributors are publishers, thereby making those figures meaningless.

    In fact, the discount that FriesenPress is willing to make to its books (10%) is quite possibly too low to make it attractive for bookstores to want to stock their books.

    FriesenPress Website:
    At FriesenPress, we can help you bridge both worlds: if you choose to self-publish, we’ll groom your manuscript into a professionally formatted book that will stand up to the quality of traditionally-published titles. Then, we’ll make your book available for ordering at over 25,000 booksellers worldwide.
    In other words, books won't be sold in stores, only made available to order that. It therefore makes it difficult to see how authors can build up the sales necessary to make money from their titles.

    FriesenPress Website:
    Here's how we'll help you reach your publishing goals:
    First, we'll bring your book to market by helping you choose the publishing package that best fits your needs;
    Next, we'll help you generate demand for your title by identifying the marketing services that best fit your book genre and personal style;
    Then, we'll supply our publishing partners with tools to monitor your book sales;
    When your sales levels meet the criteria set by our publishing partners, we'll submit your book on your behalf to be considered for publication;
    If they decide to offer you a publishing deal, we'll notify you immediately. If you decide to accept their offer, we'll then introduce you to your new publisher and wish you the best of success in your new career as a published author!
    There is nothing here that an author can't do themselves.

    The details of the packages on offer show that they're all expensive - going from $579 to $1387 and what you get for your money won't do a lot to help sell books that aren't available in stores.

    I wasn't able to download a copy of their publishing contract, but it seems that they're taking an all-rights grab from the authors and some of the "benefits" that they peddle (e.g. the hoary old chestnut of authors keeping their copyright) is somewhat misleading.

    All in all, it's a straight out vanity press that should be avoided.

    MM

  6. #6
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    FriesenPress / Friesen Corporation

    Comments, please, about Friesen Press.

    No, I am not thinking about submitting to them, but I've been told of someone who is thinking about it and I thought a lively discussion here might help him make his mind up.

    Here are the publishing packages Friesen Press offers. You can have the "niche market starter" package for $579; the "mass market essentials" for $879; or the "mass market bestseller" package for a stonking $1,387.

    They offer a print media promotion package for $399 with an option to pay a further 」199 for a further 100 contact names; a radio and TV promotion package for the same price; a book promotion plan for $499; and a review of your book, for you to quote from as you please, for a further $499.

    This is not publishing as I know it, and not a publisher I'd even consider.

    I very much doubt that anyone who uses these services will ever see their money back, or will end up with many people outside their immediate circle of family and friends buying and reading a copy of their book. It won't "get their name out there", nor will it lead to greater recognition of their writing.

    I welcome your thoughts.

  7. #7
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    When you self-publish with FriesenPress, you get to share the success of your book with traditional publishers: we have entered into exclusive partnerships with leading publishing houses to act as their talent scout for self-published authors. That means we can dramatically increase your chances of getting noticed.
    FriesenPress is a division of Friesens Corporation, an award-winning North American book printer. We have been recognized for our dedication to excellence by the most demanding publishing clients. With 25 million books printed every year, including original editions of the popular Harry Potter series and the classic Oxford Dictionary, you will benefit from the experience of a leader in the book industry.
    Here's how we'll help you reach your publishing goals:

    1. First, we'll bring your book to market by helping you choose the publishing package that best fits your needs;
    2. Next, we'll help you generate demand for your title by identifying the marketing services that best fit your book genre and personal style;
    3. Then, we'll supply our publishing partners with tools to monitor your book sales;
    4. When your sales levels meet the criteria set by our publishing partners, we'll submit your book on your behalf to be considered for publication;
    5. If they decide to offer you a publishing deal, we'll notify you immediately. If you decide to accept their offer, we'll then introduce you to your new publisher and wish you the best of success in your new career as a published author!
    Uh huh. Yeah. Right. The best that can be said is that they'll be acting as a packager for reprints.
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  8. #8
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    It's vanity. Money comes out of author's pocket. No distribution, no marketing, no discernible editing, no demand. What's to love? Nothing.

  9. #9
    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister Medievalist's Avatar
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    Assuming one wants to self-publish, why on Earth would anyone choose Friesen versus LuLu?

    Most of their "marketing" services are available for free. Others are low cost. They don't refer to typesetting, just layout and design (which are clearly template-based) and -- speaking as a non-fic author--their high-end package charges extra if you have more than 20 footnotes.

    No. Absolutely no.

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  10. #10
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    What gets me is the "We've entered exclusive contracts with top publishers to be their talent scouts for self-published books." That's what their draw is, and that's why people would pay to publish with them.

    I think the odds are overwhelmingly for that being a bunch of hoo-ha. Notice that they don't say which "leading publishing houses?" If they really had such an arrangement with, say, Random House, why wouldn't they come right out and say "Random House?" "Leading publishing houses" in what genre, what part of the world? They could be "leading" in the niche market of dog stories sold in doctors' waiting rooms.

    No NY houses want or need "talent scouts" to look at self-published books for them. They're already overwhelmed with submissions from legitimate literary agents, who really DO act as "talent scouts" for publishers, and who get the vast majority of their clients from queries sent to them.

    Seriously, do you really think an editor at a major publisher, or anyone at a major publisher, sits around looking at their crowded list of books they're publishing and thinking, "If only we had a way to publish the stuff that either was never submitted to us or that we rejected. That would make life perfect."

    Publishers have plenty of books. If NY publication is your goal, and you believe self-publishing is the way to go because a "talent scout" will see your book, you're making the process unnecessarily complex and expensive. Query literary agents. If your book is publishable, to the point where a "talent scout" (paid by YOU, remember) wants to show it to publishers...a literary agent will see that, and guess what? They'll take you on as a client and submit your work for free. They don't get paid unless you do.

    Self-publishing is NOT a great easy way to make an end-run around the "gatekeepers" and get attention from NY. It's a great easy way to lose your first rights and end up with an empty wallet and a bunch of unsold books.
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  11. #11
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Thanks, girls. Pretty much the reaction I was expecting. I agree with all you've said.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacia Kane View Post
    No NY houses want or need "talent scouts" to look at self-published books for them. They're already overwhelmed with submissions from legitimate literary agents, who really DO act as "talent scouts" for publishers, and who get the vast majority of their clients from queries sent to them.
    Bingo. Why would any editor want to look at a book that has already been published? Editors love agents who have a great reputation and know how to pick winners. Friesen has zero credibility, so would any editor clear their desk read anything they sent?

  13. #13
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacia Kane View Post
    What gets me is the "We've entered exclusive contracts with top publishers to be their talent scouts for self-published books." That's what their draw is, and that's why people would pay to publish with them.

    I think the odds are overwhelmingly for that being a bunch of hoo-ha. Notice that they don't say which "leading publishing houses?" If they really had such an arrangement with, say, Random House, why wouldn't they come right out and say "Random House?" "Leading publishing houses" in what genre, what part of the world? They could be "leading" in the niche market of dog stories sold in doctors' waiting rooms.
    My bet is that it's the "top publisher" with 40,000 happy (dammit!) authors.

  14. #14
    practical experience, FTW MickRooney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacia Kane View Post
    What gets me is the "We've entered exclusive contracts with top publishers to be their talent scouts for self-published books." That's what their draw is, and that's why people would pay to publish with them.
    I think Stacia has pin-pointed why this outfit are one step down from the raggle-taggle vanity houses we see. They are in the 'we publish dreams' and 'we're actually in bed with the top publishing houses because we're their talent scouts'.

    This is PublishAmerica turf...

  15. #15
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    I thought that too, Mick and Stacia. The person who is considering signing with Friesen Press is being pressured into signing by their sales agents, who have offered him a time-limited "special offer" which includes a promotional pack or two, I think (and we all know how ineffective those promotional packs are going to be). I've strongly advised him to reconsider, and have sent him a link to this thread.

  16. #16
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    I actually work at FriesenPress and after reading the comments in this forum I couldn't help but notice a number of inaccuracies contained in some of the postings. I’ll address them below:

    eqb: With all due respect, we are not bozos, we are all hard-working folks here, many of us writers, dedicated to helping other writers navigate the sometimes confusing waters of self-publishing with the least amount of confusion. I do recognize that there are a many scam-artists out there who give everyone a bad name, but we are certainly not one of them.

    M.R.J. Le Blanc: You are correct that while our books are available for ordering by booksellers, that doesn't mean that they will automatically end up on the shelves. Our on-demand printing model lends itself more to immediate availability in online bookstores, where shelf space is unlimited. What goes or doesn’t go on the shelf of a bookstore is strictly up to the owners based on what they believe will sell - this is not a decision we can make.

    MickRooney: We’ve been building relationships with publishers for decades (our parent company, Friesens, has been in business since 1907). We refer our titles through our own connections, usually at the executive level, not to overworked editors who didn’t solicit the work.

    Momento Mori: We don’t take an all-rights grab from the authors. On the contrary, our authors retain 100% control over book content, design and copyright for the duration of our contract, which is non-exclusive and as such can be terminated at any time.

    priceless1: You claim that we have no distribution, no marketing, and no discernible editing. On the contrary, we distribute our titles through the Ingram Book Company and Amazon, we offer full marketing support to our authors (many of marketing specialists come from mainstream media), and our talented editors have many years of experience in the industry. Now, these are not free services, but they are very affordable.

    Medievalist: Lulu’s marketing services are not available for free or are low cost. They list three marketing packages on their web site and they are pretty expensive (check out http://www.lulu.com/services/marketing, ranging from $2,900 to $9,475. In comparison, our most expensive package costs $1,387.
    Last edited by blanco; 02-10-2011 at 10:37 PM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by blanco View Post
    priceless1: You claim that we have no distribution, no marketing, and no discernible editing. On the contrary, we distribute our titles through the Ingram Book Company and Amazon, we offer full marketing support to our authors (many of marketing specialists come from mainstream media), and our talented editors have many years of experience in the industry. Now, these are not free services, but they are very affordable.
    Um. Ingram Book Company is a centralized warehouse distributor who fulfills orders to bookstores. But they have to know the title exists in order to issue a P.O. You don't have sales teams who push books to corporate genre buyers and to their individual retail outlets. So no, you do not have distribution. Your books are simply available for order. Thar be a huge difference.

    Likewise, Amazon is not a distributor - they are an online retail store where titles are available for sale. That is not distribution.

    I'd love to hear what you offer your authors in the way of marketing because this is vital to helping a title become known.

    My problem with vanity publishing is that there is no impetus to ensure a title's quality. Acceptance is based on the size of one's wallet and nothing more. You assume zero risk because you got your money up front. If a book tanks, it's no skin off your nose. It's the author who takes it in the shorts. It's always the author.

    Perhaps if you knew a bit more about mainstream publishing, you'd better understand the differences.

  18. #18
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    blanco:
    Momento Mori: We don’t take an all-rights grab from the authors. On the contrary, our authors retain 100% control over book content, design and copyright for the duration of our contract, which is non-exclusive and as such can be terminated at any time.
    Clause 2 takes a non-exclusive licence to "publish, store, transmit, print, distribute and sell the Work in print as well as electronic (eBook) formats." There is no apparent limit on territory, which means that it's open to Friesen to claim world-wide rights (maybe that's not the intention, but that's what the drafting leaves open). This is what I mean when I say that it's an all rights grab.

    The fact that the licence is non-exclusive means little in practical terms - if an author gives you the publishing right then they lose first publishing rights, regardless of whether they subsequently terminate.

    Thank you for stopping by.

    MM

  19. #19
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Curlew's Avatar
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    FriesenPress

    It seems, to this gentle reader, at least that their claims are carefully crafted to give a confusing impression. I'm especially puzzled by the mention of publishing the 'original' Harry Potter series. If one doesn't read carefully it seems to imply that they published HP whereas, to the best of my knowledge, the Canadian print belongs to a well-established west coast company, Raincoast Books. My suspicion: they at least originally intended to become the successor to Trafford (a very early POD company in Victoria, BC, Canada) and their web marketing is misleading, at best. Not the best bet for anyone willing to do their own work or equally working hard to market to/through an agent. (Incidentally, they use some of the same info for their hiring ads on Craigslist.)
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  20. #20
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin kymalie's Avatar
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    Smile FriesenPress, Inc.

    A wonderful hello to everyone today. Is there any information or has anyone ever had dealings with FriesenPress?

    Please give me a shout out

  21. #21
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Link: http://friesenpress.com/

    Starts at $527, makes dodgy claims. Sounds like a vanity press to me.
    Emily Veinglory

  22. #22
    Sophipygian AW Moderator Alessandra Kelley's Avatar
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    Welcome and good luck.

  23. #23
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin kymalie's Avatar
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    oh so I see, thanks

  24. #24
    Dodgy indeed. We have the classic 'non-exclusive' contact and the author retains all right. But for a little bit extra, they will provide the author with a list of 100 contact names of your local newspaper and/or radio station. *Note they will not submit your book at these places-that part is up to you.

    Yeah, I can do that too. It's called google.

    They also have 'sales tracking'. Again, I have that feature too. It's called a royalty statement.

    I also love how they submit 'free editing'...as long as you pay for the $600 package deal or whatever. Pass.

    BTW, Kymalie, welcome to the board! It's great that you ask first rather than jumping head-first into it. Nevertheless I'm sure some people can recommend some great self-publishing sites if you're into that.

    Cheers,
    Natasha

  25. #25
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    I had a case of deja flog on reading the website and on checking, there is already a thread for this company here: <snipped>

    No doubt a Mod will merge this in.

    MM
    Last edited by CaoPaux; 06-08-2011 at 07:20 PM. Reason: threads merged, thanks!

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