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Thread: Belfire Press

  1. #1
    writer/teacher JL_Benet's Avatar
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    Belfire Press

    Belfire Press is the brainchild of veteran small-press editors Jodi Lee and Louise Bohmer, joined by Jordan Martindale, Bob Freeman, Tracy DeVore, Zoe Whitten and Rich Ristow, who heads up our poetry imprint, Needfire.
    http://www.belfirepress.com/
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Belfir...s/332962877480


    Any other details, comments or concerns?
    Last edited by JL_Benet; 01-31-2012 at 08:26 AM. Reason: Clarify quote

  2. #2
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Selling ad space in the backs of their books is a little iffy.
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  3. #3
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    Gosh, I'm trying to think of where I've heard those names before. Wasn't Jodi and Louise associated with LBF at one time? I think that's where they came from. I'll have to check. Very competent and nice gals, BTW.

    Tri

  4. #4
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    I don't know anything about them as people, but the website is a bit of a mess.
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  6. #6
    writer/teacher JL_Benet's Avatar
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    Yes, they are closed for submissions, but I'm willing to wait on a market if I think it's worth it. I have in the past for other markets. I'd rather be published well than jump on a lesser possibility just because it would get my book out quicker.

    Some insight into what the editor is looking for:
    https://nonhorrorreadersurvey.wordpr...with-jodi-lee/

  7. #7
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    I'm a little confused. Their About Us page talks about orders through CreateSpace and Amazon. Then I found this on their Shop page:
    As of November 1st, 2010, Belfire Press has changed the way orders are processed through the website. We hope that most customers will buy via our Amazon storefront, or via Createspace (links below). Those who can not, or who wish to partake of our occasional sales, can proceed through to the individual title pages (click title/author) to use our shopping cart and other payment options.
    So are they strictly a POD outfit? If so, what makes them a good choice? How do they market and promote their books?

    I agree that offering ad space at the back of books has a bit of an ick factor.

  8. #8
    writer/teacher JL_Benet's Avatar
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    While their print books are predominately POD, that's pretty standard for the non-collectable Horror small-presses. They apparently do put out short-runs of some titles. The print version of The Life and Death of a Sex Doll was just released this month in a limited print run of 100 copies (with unlimited eBook sales).
    http://belfirepress.com/main/our-titles/sex-doll/
    http://shocklinesforum.yuku.com/repl...opt-a-sex-doll

    We utilize Print-on-Demand technology as well as multiple format ebooks. Limited edition hardcovers are pre-order only, and in small runs via off-set printing.
    http://www.myprgenie.com/company-profile/belfire-press

    They print and send out ARCs, review copies and eBook review copies.
    http://louise-bohmer.livejournal.com/204012.html

    Their marketing guy has moved on to another job, but you can get an idea of the marketing based on the Job Openings posting for the position:
    http://belfirepress.com/main/about/job-openings/
    Their old PR guy did full press packs and submitted news to various press release aggregates which I've seen around the web. I assume this practice will continue with whomever takes over the reins of this position.

    I know from what I've seen that they post announcements on the various message boards, Facebook, Twitter, etc. I've also seen the notices in the internal Horror Writers Assoc. newsletter and on the books for Stoker consideration section of the internal message board. I have also seen the editors at the major Horror conventions (like World Horror Con), which is how I got my initial contact with one of the editors.

    Their royalty rate is on the high end of other comparable presses. While it's based on net, I've seen that in most comparable presses. Belfire defines net very clearly from what I've seen to be the monies Belfire receives from the bookseller. I'm fine with that.
    Last edited by JL_Benet; 07-14-2011 at 08:38 AM.

  9. #9
    writer/teacher JL_Benet's Avatar
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    It looks like Tracy DeVore has stepped into the Senior Editor position. She was an assistant editor at Belfire and had worked for Lachesis Publishing and the Indiana Horror Writers. She also does/did freelance editing:
    http://www.tracydevore.com/editing/

  10. #10
    writer/teacher JL_Benet's Avatar
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    Sara Larson is the new Public Relations/Marketing Manager for Belfire Press.
    For more details on this, and other staff changes, check here:
    http://belfirepress.com/main/new-staff-welcome-sara/

  11. #11
    writer/teacher JL_Benet's Avatar
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    Belfire Press is still open to unsolicited submissions, until Sept. 30th. More details may be found here:
    http://belfirepress.com/main/about/submissions/

  12. #12
    writer/teacher JL_Benet's Avatar
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    More insight into the slush pile submissions process at Belfire:
    http://belfirepress.com/main/happy-editor/

    Belfire Bits with Jodi Lee:
    http://nonhorrorreadersurvey.wordpre...with-jodi-lee/
    Last edited by JL_Benet; 12-20-2011 at 11:08 AM. Reason: add link

  13. #13
    practical experience, FTW Matthew Warner's Avatar
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    Belfire Press financial troubles; changing royalty structure

    Just received this as a mass email and thought I'd share:

    Good afternoon everyone, and happy New Year...

    2011 was not a kind year financially for a great many people. As ever, there are promises that 2012 will bring a break to the economic recession, but those promises really have begun to ring hollow after the same were made for 2011 and 2010, etc. etc. Starting a business as fragile as publishing in the midst of a recession was at best crazy, and at worst foolhardy. No one has ever called me completely sane, though, and at the time we had a solid business plan that held through for our first year and most of our second.


    For the past four months, past and present investors in Belfire Press have been looking for ways to continue on as we've been doing. Unfortunately - all of us are currently unemployed in the non-literary world, and have been since September. This leaves Belfire in a rather tight spot as it is down to those investors to cover certain costs pertaining to each title's release. As per our business plan, investors put forth the funding to cover all start-up costs for each title, including the ARCs, promotional materials (and then reimbursement for promotional materials), reimbursement for privately attained cover art, distribution fees, proof & review copies and shipping.


    And then the economy struck us several blows, in different ways. Low sales, postal strikes, postal theft, bank and transfer fees, changes to withholding & payment thresholds, and freelancers that disappeared or chose to back out at the last minute - it all helped to chip away at what we had in reserve.


    After several sometimes heated debates amongst ourselves, and then discussion with the staff, this is the only - unanimously agreed upon - way we can move forward without shutting down production entirely, releasing all future titles, until one or all of us returns to work and is able to begin putting that money into the company again.


    Titles previously released and those up to the end of February 2012 will have changes to their royalty statements beginning with Q1 2012. Amazon now has a threshold at which they will make a payment to us, which I believe is $100 based on past payments. Smashwords pays out earlier, however they often don't have all payments in from their distribution partners in time to sync with our statement periods. Therefore, we have chosen to report and pay on ebook royalties twice yearly; end of Q4 statement will show sales and payment for Q1&2; Q2 the following year will show sales and payment for Q3&4 of the year previous.


    All titles scheduled for March 2012 and forward will be re-contracted. A separate email with the new terms will be sent out to which each author must reply; we do hope that every author will consider staying on, but will understand if you choose not to, and will wish you all the best.


    We hope these measures are temporary, and that we can make recompense via royalty & author discount hikes in future.


    Please note that once I send the new terms & staff email out, I'll be away from the desk again until late Wednesday, so won't be available to reply to questions right away.


    Take care,
    --
    Jodi Lee
    Belfire Press - http://www.belfirepress.com
    The New Bedlam Project - http://www.newbedlam.com

  14. #14
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    It's too bad...but this is why it's always a good idea for authors to wait a year or two when considering a new publisher. That's about how long it takes for the money to run out.

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    Shawshank, perhaps it would be helpful if you analyzed what intent you have for your book. Do you want to see your books widely distributed to libraries, national accounts, and indie stores, or are you looking for a press who can put a book in your hands because you plan on selling them at the back of the room at events?

    Trade publishers have distribution and sales and marketing teams whose sole job is to get their titles into the marketplace. POD presses are no less legit, but they don't begin to have the market reach, and sales rely more on the author.

    What is it about this press that attracted you? It's wise to know research anyone you query. Know why and who you're querying so you have the confidence to accept should any of them offer you a contract.

  16. #16
    Writer is as Writer does Terie's Avatar
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    Also, why would you want to sign with a company that is currently going through financial difficulties and restructuring itself? I wouldn't think this is a good time to be signing with this press. I'd be looking elsewhere and wait a few more years to see if this press can sort itself out or not.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawshank View Post
    Perhaps like many writers, I am growing disillusioned with trying to get published by the big houses.
    It depends on what you mean by "big houses." If you mean the Big Six, you'd need an agent. Aside from that, there are many excellent smaller trade presses who have excellent distribution, and accept unagented queries.

    But first and foremost, you need to do your research to make sure that you're only querying editors of solid presses.

  18. #18
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    Shawshank, a lot of us who have exhausted all means of the larger house publishing, even via agents, have resorted to small press publication. I have, several times and it can be a nightmare. As stated above, most POD small presses do not have the capital for serious distribution and bookstore placement. So you'll have to decide, ultimately, what your expectations are. Promotion and marketing WILL be on your shoulders.

    Bellfire, looks to be in finacial trouble. This is not a good sign at all. Lack of communication, late or no royalties, low sales and very high Amazon ranks are also indications of a stagnant press. These are warning signs, certainly not representative of all small press outfits, but signs nevertheless.

    I would urge you to continue submitting to other presses that have a known quantity of titles that are selling reasonably well, have been in the business for at least three years or more, and manage to sell an adequate number of titles through various, if not all, internet vendors.

    Tri

  19. #19
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    Shawshank, if you've grown disillusioned querying, imagine how disillusioned you'll be signing with this press who is having financial difficulty, and most likely won't come out of it. Top that with knowledgeable folks here advising you to steer clear, and you going against their advice? How will that make you feel on down the road? Wouldn't it be better to pass on Belfire (for now), avert a possible crisis and all the agony that will come with it, and remain free to submit your novel to other, more reputable presses whose walls aren't crumbling?

    I know how hard it is to send and send and send, and wait and wait and wait...and get rejections. But I'd rather do that than get myself in a huge mess.

  20. #20
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Shawshank's Avatar
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    Thanks

    Thank you all so much for your advice. I guess it's back to the old query and submission game.

  21. #21
    writer/teacher JL_Benet's Avatar
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    I do understand that the financial situation is unsettling. On the other hand, if you take a look at the owner's (Jodi Lee's) blog and Facebook updates, you'll see that she is focusing that vast majority of her time now that she's funemployed on Belfire Press.

  22. #22
    Researching History's Mysteries HistorySleuth's Avatar
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    I'm guessing, JL, that you work for the company by your original post, "who heads up our poetry imprint." Do you mean now that the owner is unemployed she is focusing on Belfire Press? I still contend if you plan on running a publishing company that should be your focus right from the beginning with enough capital to do it.

    This would still be a wait-a-couple-years-to-see-if-they-pull-out-of-it situation from an author's point of view.
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  23. #23
    writer/teacher JL_Benet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HistorySleuth View Post
    I'm guessing, JL, that you work for the company by your original post, "who heads up our poetry imprint." Do you mean now that the owner is unemployed she is focusing on Belfire Press? I still contend if you plan on running a publishing company that should be your focus right from the beginning with enough capital to do it.

    This would still be a wait-a-couple-years-to-see-if-they-pull-out-of-it situation from an author's point of view.
    Actually, no. I just copied that statement from their Facebook page. I do have a book that will be coming out with Belfire, but I didn't even have that when I first posted about them. I do understand the skepticism and I understand wanting to wait to see if they will come out of it.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by HistorySleuth View Post
    I'm guessing, JL, that you work for the company by your original post, "who heads up our poetry imprint." Do you mean now that the owner is unemployed she is focusing on Belfire Press? I still contend if you plan on running a publishing company that should be your focus right from the beginning with enough capital to do it.

    This would still be a wait-a-couple-years-to-see-if-they-pull-out-of-it situation from an author's point of view.
    I caught that as well...besides the "spam" bumps
    *opinions are my own*

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  25. #25
    writer/teacher JL_Benet's Avatar
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    Caught what? The assertion was false, as I've already stated. You are free to look on the Belfire staff page if you don't believe me.

    I don't know if you understand what the term SPAM means. If you look back at my posts, none are SPAM. They are all information or links to information that would help someone make an informed decision about this publisher.
    Last edited by JL_Benet; 01-31-2012 at 08:27 AM.

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