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Thread: Peepal Tree Press

  1. #1
    On a wing and a prayer aruna's Avatar
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    Peepal Tree Press

    This is a small, British based publisher of novels, poetry and non-fiction of quality by Caribbean writers of African and Indian descent. Literary stuff. I've read quite a few of their books and a friend of mine publishes with them. I always thought, well, if nothing else works, I can always go there. It would mean doing a lot of promotion but as I already have a readership I thought I could do it.
    www.peepaltreepress.com. I wanted to know what kind of advances they pay. She told me that they don't pay advances at all. Just sayin'.
    Last edited by aruna; 07-08-2007 at 03:51 PM.
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  2. #2
    annoyed and annoying roach's Avatar
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    At the very least there should be guidelines that outline the publisher's policy of non-payment. I wonder when authors find out about this? After the contract is sent?
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  3. #3
    Niala
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    Hi Aruna,

    Actually, a friend of mine also publishes with Peepal Tree - despite their not paying advances. She is Alecia MacKenzie, the talented Jamaican writer who won the regional best book Commonwealth Prize some years ago. Her agent is Gillon Aitken, Naipaul's agent. She and Aitken parted company after she decided to publish with Peepal Tree. But what she told me is that no other publisher would take on a collection of short stories, so she decided she would just accept publication.

    So my impression is that Peepal Tree actually serves a purpose, getting some books out there that wouldn't make it into the highly commercial major publishers' lists.

    Niala Maharaj
    www.nialamaharaj.com

  4. #4
    Holding out for a Superhero... Sheryl Nantus's Avatar
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    problem here is that *some* money must be coming in from the sales of these books and I'd wager more than enough to cover the publishing costs. It's just immoral to not pass on some of that profit to the author, to my eyes.

    wonder if anyone's ever asked to see the books?

  5. #5
    Got the hang of it, here Absolute Sage jchines's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aruna
    She said once only she questioned him and asked for money and he sent her £200.
    I'm curious, did your friend sign any sort of contract? The fact that she had to ask in order to get paid would be a huge "RUN AWAY" flag for me.

    The website doesn't scream SCAM, though. I don't see the usual emphasis on getting authors to submit and part with their money. They actually focus on displaying and selling their books.

    I wonder if there should be a category called Scams of Ignorance, as opposed to Scams of Intent.
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  6. #6
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Looks to be a straight 4theluv/arthouse venture. That is, they publish what they believe should be published and hope people will buy it.

    http://peepaltreepress.com/peepal.asp?page=aboutus

    But Peepal Tree has never been discouraged for too long. Backdam People began what was a serious but quite expensive hobby, bringing out one or two books a year, until a friendly printer sold me an old Rotaprint offset press (it did depend on an elastic band) and with the help of my then teenage son, we began printing (that statement conceals many painful hours of trial and much error) Peepal Tree books in our garage. When the Arts Council gave me a grant, we bought an ear-splitting old folding machine and were really in business. A year or two later we were encouraged to put in a bid to the Arts Council for development funding. (They were evidently impressed by the fact that we actually delivered the books we promised.) I wrote the first business plan of my life (of astonishing naivety I see now, though no one in the Arts Council recognized this).

    On the basis of being awarded development funding, I began to try to turn the hobby into a business, and took the risk of turning my FE lecturer’s job into a halftime post.
    The business plan was to subsidize the overheads and printing costs of the books by running a parallel printing business, looking for jobs from other small publishers. What happened thereafter is too long and involved and sometimes painful story to tell. But the conclusion is that in time this did indeed become the reality and is how Peepal Tree survives.
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  7. #7
    figuring it all out RobCurtis's Avatar
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    Sorry, but the very least you expect from any publishing house, not matter how small, is an account of books sold and royalties earned. I'm sure he is a nice fellar an' all, but no royalty statements = dishonest behaviour, in my book (available from those nice people at PublishAmerica).

  8. #8
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    That presumes there was promise of royalties. If so, then yes, definitely.
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    Censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates in the end the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion. -- Henry Steele Commager
    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

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  9. #9
    On a wing and a prayer aruna's Avatar
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    I just dug this up from the depths, as I am considering trying this publisher for my latest venture - instead of Lulu. I think the reason my friend did not earn royalties is that she has not earned any! I've got to know her better and found her to be very unreliable (and a bit crazy) in several instances.
    Whereas I now know that Peepal Press, though small, does have several highly acclaimed authors, one of who just won a major UK prize. There was a write-up about them in some UK papers, saying how they were moving up.
    The thing is, if they do accept the book, I can have the contract vetted by my agent and have her make sure I get royalties. So that wouldn't be a problem.
    So wish me luck! I have to prove to them that there is a readership for Sons of Gods.
    Here's an article about the Peepal Tree Press.
    Last edited by aruna; 02-25-2007 at 05:08 PM.
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  10. #10
    What? I have a title? Julie Worth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aruna View Post
    I just dug this up from the depths, as I am considering trying this publisher for my latest venture - instead of Lulu.
    I'd consider Diggory Press as well.

  11. #11
    On a wing and a prayer aruna's Avatar
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    Well, I'd like to avoid the self-publishing route of possible, because of distribution and marketing issues. But thanks - if peepal rejects I'll check out all self-publishig options.
    OUT NOW!
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    Amazon UK:

    Amazon US:

    Sons of Gods -- the Mahabharata

    Website
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    Do you know what you are? You are a manuscript of a divine letter. You are a mirror reflecting a noble face. This universe is not outside of you. Look inside yourself; everything that you want, you are already that ...
    ~ Rumi

  12. #12
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Sharon, Peepal Tree has an excellent reputation as far as I know. When I took my MA, the course leader and resident Professor was E A Markham (a wonderful poet who is better known as Archie--I think I emailed you regarding him once or twice but could be wrong), and he published a novel with them, I think, called Marking Time. Archie is, despite his outward persona of the vague, creative intellectual, sharp as a tack and very knowledgeable about writing and publishing. If PT is good enough for him then I'm sure it's worth considering.

    Incidentally, have you discussed this project with your agent? If not then I would. She can only say no if she's not interested. But it does sound like a huge project to me, with great potential, that much larger publishers than PT would be interested in.

  13. #13
    On a wing and a prayer aruna's Avatar
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    Hi Old Hack.
    Funnily enough, the idea is growig on me by the day, and I'm doing just that! At first, I thought I;d just go the Self-publishing route and see what happens. Then I thought of peepal Tree.
    And yesterday I made the decision to talk to my agent about it first. I would eventually have told her, of course; if the self-published edition (under a new pen-name) sold a thousand copies, or if peepal Tree took me on. For some reason I'm a bit scared - it seems such an audatious thing to do, to take on such a classic and put my own stamp on it. But yes, I need to tell my agent. Maybe she'll like it, and see prospects for it. I know she's fascinated with India.
    OUT NOW!
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    Amazon US:

    Sons of Gods -- the Mahabharata

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    Do you know what you are? You are a manuscript of a divine letter. You are a mirror reflecting a noble face. This universe is not outside of you. Look inside yourself; everything that you want, you are already that ...
    ~ Rumi

  14. #14
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Talking

    Aruna, your assignment for today is to suggest this to your agent! It seems like a large idea to me, with huge potential, which she'll be thrilled to have in her hands. And in my humble opinion I don't think you're being outrageous in thinking you're able to write this--actually, I think you, with your particular sensitivities and talent and cultural awareness are perfect for the work. For goodness' sake.

  15. #15
    On a wing and a prayer aruna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hack View Post
    Aruna, your assignment for today is to suggest this to your agent!
    Your wish is my command!
    Last edited by aruna; 02-26-2007 at 07:01 PM.
    OUT NOW!
    The Lost Daughter of India
    Amazon UK:

    Amazon US:

    Sons of Gods -- the Mahabharata

    Website
    Facebook


    Do you know what you are? You are a manuscript of a divine letter. You are a mirror reflecting a noble face. This universe is not outside of you. Look inside yourself; everything that you want, you are already that ...
    ~ Rumi

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