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Thread: Loucks-Christenson Publishing / Snowy Creek Romance

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin starlight's Avatar
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    Loucks-Christenson Publishing / Snowy Creek Romance

    I have not been able to find a thread for Loucks-Christenson Publishing--also called Snowy Creek Romance. Does anyone know anything about their legitimacy?

    Thanks

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    practical experience, FTW
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    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Do you have a current website? Not a good sign that .net site hasn't been updated in years. An old blog does mention work on a new site, but I'm not finding one.

    ETA: Ah, looks like the current sites are http://www.snowycreekromance.net/ and http://www.snowycreekromance.com/.
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  4. #4
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin starlight's Avatar
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    Yeah, that's the one. She seems to only have two authors besides herself. She just sent me an email wanting to look at my manuscript, but I'm hesitant. After wasting my first manuscript on PublishAmerica, I am only interested in publishers that are going to get my book into brick and mortar bookstores.

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    Quote Originally Posted by starlight View Post
    Yeah, that's the one. She seems to only have two authors besides herself. She just sent me an email wanting to look at my manuscript, but I'm hesitant. After wasting my first manuscript on PublishAmerica, I am only interested in publishers that are going to get my book into brick and mortar bookstores.
    bolding mine

    I suspect you missed your mark if that's what you're looking for. Getting distribution into stores on a national and international level requires distribution. Distribution companies--those worth working with, anyway--don't typically work with publishing houses with so few authors/titles.

    What kind of book have you written?

    ETA: I'm not saying they aren't entirely legit, just that it's doubtful that they have in store sales on anything other than a local level.
    Last edited by Sydewinder; 08-12-2010 at 11:54 PM.

  6. #6
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    They don't sound like a scam, but they don't sound particularly experienced either. Covers look very much like POD. Owned by Lisa Loucks Christenson, author and photographer who doesn't appear to have any industry experience outside that. Her site is here: http://www.lisalouckschristenson.net/
    Follow me on my Blog
    I'm also on Facebook
    I have a Dragon Cave

  7. #7
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin starlight's Avatar
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    I just checked on some websites for major bookstores like Borders. Neither Lisa nor the main author she publishes for came up when I did a search. At least with Publish America my book does actually does show up when you do a search. Of course it's on back order and priced as high as the sky, but that's a discussion for a different thread.

    It sounds like Lisa may be trying to expand her enterprise, and I suppose an author could get lucky, but I don't really see it happening. Too bad.

  8. #8
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowycreekromance View Post
    Thanks for inquiring about Snowy Creek Romance. One of our editors brought these posts to my attention (she's also a RWA member), and thought maybe I should do some clarifying.


    The fact that she's an RWA member is completely irrelevant.


    Here is our latest updates on AuthorAdvance.com:
    http://www.authoradvance.com/publish...-creek-romance
    http://www.authoradvance.com/publish...son-publishing

    Here are our imprints:
    Lisa's Walk The Talk Show™ Internationally-syndicated show
    Bow Wow Detectives™ Young readers pet detective series
    Snowy Creek Romance™ Romance
    Cross Creek Romance™ Christian Romance only
    Black Opossum Books™ Children's Books
    Thank you for that information. I have to ask, though, how are you able to publish so many different genres? Do you have experience in all of those genres? Most small publishers specialize; the contacts, knowledge base, marketing, etc. for, say, romance novels and children's books are so different.

    How is an "internationally-syndicated show" a publishing imprint, and is it a television show, radio show, podcast, what? In what countries is it syndicated?

    Id "Bow Wow Detectives" a publishing imprint, or the name of a series you publish? Are any of those books already published? Is your "Bow Wow Detectives" the same series as this Japanese series which has apparently been published in several other countries?

    http://www.uklitag.com/site/project_...138&cur_page=0




    We own and operate our own call center and distribution center, and have been serving clients nationwide for the past 25 years! With this knowledge, we have connections in the media, with brick and mortar stores, wholesalers, and other distributors. We also own and operate our own brick and mortar stores in two states. We are also set up with Lightening Books, Amazon, BN, Bookbaby, and our own personal mailing list from our 25 years in business.
    Call center? For what? Publishers don't need or use call centers. What "clients" have you been serving; I'm not aware of any of my publishers having "clients" they need to "serve." Are you distributing your books yourself? Who is your distributer, if not, and if not, what exactly do you distribute?

    I'm confused as to how your company can have been in business for twenty-five years but you only list "publishing experience" going back ten years or so. If your publishing company has been in business for twenty-five years that would be twenty-five years of experience.

    Unless the company you speak of, the call center & distribution, isn't a publishing house at all, but is in fact some other kind of business? In which case your statement above seems deliberately deceptive, and is essentially irrelevant to publishing.


    I believe someone commented on my "lack" of industry experience so here is a little more about me:

    I've been an RWA (Romance Writer's of America) for over 10 years; I was agented but canceled my contract; I am a past winner in the 72nd Annual Writer's Digest Annual Writing Competition, I've won several other small writing contests; I'm a frequent lecturer on my wildlife documentaries which have been featured on television, local and regional news stations, newspapers, exhibited at The National Eagle Center, and sell my books through my speaking engagements or at my stores; I'm the host of Lisa's Walk the Talk Show, we are going into our sixth year next month and did you know that one of our shows is our romance show featuring published romance authors?


    Again, all completely irrelevent. In other words, you are an aspiring writer still unpublished after over ten years; you've won a few writing contests either from a magazine which is totally unimportant in the industry, and a few other contests so unimpressive you don't even want to name them; and the rest of the experience you list has really nothing to do with running a publishing house. Hand-selling books at speaking engagements or from the trunk of your car is a completely different animal from arranging distribution nationwide, keeping roaylty statements, editing and acquiring books, designing them, arranging marketing and promotion, printing, etc. etc.


    Some other guests you may have heard of: Charlie Daniels, Porter Wagoner, Carlie Wilson, Tim Wilson, Gene Watson, Marty Raybon, Veggie Tales, Kathy Ireland, Arron Tippin, Aaron Neville, Jean Craighead George, Joanna Wayne, B.J. Daniels, Beverly Swerling, Dr. Toy's Stevanne Auerbach, and hundreds more. You can see that site at www.LisaLC.tv
    Sorry, what does this have to do with running a publishing house? Especially since most of the names you've listed are not in fact published authors, but musicians, politicians, models, etc. Which again, seems to me to be deliberately deceptive.

    You mention you have a show which features published romance authors then rattle off a list of names; to someone who doesn't have the time to research and doesn't recognize a few of those names, it seems as if you're trying to claim that all those people are published romance authors who have appeared on your show.

    Even if they were, it wouldn't give you any sort of knowledge or experience to run a publishing house.



    Next, I think someone was worried we hadn't updated our website in years.

    Here is our record for our www.snowycreekromance.net:
    Domain Name: SNOWYCREEKROMANCE.NET
    Created on: 04-Jul-10
    Expires on: 04-Jul-11
    Last Updated on: 04-Jul-10

    This should show you that we purchased the domain just a little over a month ago, not years ago.

    Here is our www.SnowyCreekRomance.com:
    Domain Name: SNOWYCREEKROMANCE.COM
    Created on: 16-Jan-10
    Expires on: 16-Jan-11
    Last Updated on: 04-Aug-10
    Now I'm really confused, I'm sorry. I thought you said you'd been in business for twenty-five years? But you only bought a domain name for that business last month? Can you explain that, if you don't mind?


    I think this should debunk the rumors we haven't updated our website in "years". It hasn't
    even been a year. I believe it's only been a week since our last updates.

    We debuted Snowy Creek Romances' first author, Bernadette Marie, on April 30, 2010, and her second book in her trilogy was released July 23, 2010. Perhaps you met her at the Literacy for Life Autographing Party during RWA's 30th Annual Conference? She was signing both of her new books, Matchmakers and Encore Performance.


    They weren't "rumors." CaoPaux linked to the actual blog, for example. That's not a rumor. It's a fact.

    And again, so one of your authors signed at the RWA signing. So what? I signed at the Ballantine signing there. I don't expect people to be impressed by that. It's a publisher's job to get their authors & their author's books into events like that, and being able to participate in the signing at RWA is not an indicator of publisher quality or ability, only that you're not a vanity press.



    You'll find her reviews on Amazon, and can find both of those on Amazon.com, and Amazon.UK, our websites, at our stores, and her books are available to bookstores currently under our distribution.
    So you're distributing your books youself? Do you have a separate department for that? You say the books are available "at [your] stores," and previously you said you own two bookstores. So the books are available at two books nationwide? How about other brick-and-mortar stores?

    And I assume the fact that the book is on both Amazon US and UK means you take world rights? What other rights do you ask for, if you don't mind sharing? That's very helpful information for writers to have.

    Also, anyone can leave or get reviews on Amazon. Have any actual publications--legitimate ones--reviewed any of your books?



    We have numerous books from our new authors coming out over the next few months. When we feel the time is right, we'll update those titles on our websites.
    When you feel the time is right? Huh? Why would you not want to get those titles and author names out there immediately? Why in the world would you not update your website to include books which will be out in just a few months? You need to start getting word out well before the book's release date; that's how you get reviews and what reviews are for, it's how you create buzz, it's how you make people aware of your books. The idea that you would deliberately withhold information about upcoming releases for some specious reason like "the time isn't right yet" is worrisome indeed.

    Heck, my books were listed on Amazon within a couple of months of the contracts being signed; the fourth in my series will be out sometime next year, has no title or release date yet, the ink is still wet on the contracts, but it's already listed on several reader/industry websites. That's what is supposed to happen.


    I've spent over 25 years working in various aspects of publishing; as a journalist, ad designer, copywriter, ad sales, phone sales, printing, advertising, photographer, cover designer, signs, brochures; I've spent many years selling my stock photography to a very long list of clients.
    None of this is relevant to being a publisher or owning a publishing company. None of this has anything to do with editing, creating, and/or distributing books to stores or the reading public. Stock photography is not books. Ad sales is not producing books. Neither is phone sales. Copywriting is not publishing. Being a journalist is not being a publisher. Advertising is not publishing. None of this has any bearing on your qualifications to publish books; you have none that I can determine so far.



    Since this will likely be challenged, here's a short list:

    KTTC
    Ron Schara's Minnesota Bound
    Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
    Ducks Unlimited
    The National Eagle Center
    KAAL
    Rochester Visitor
    Kona Coast Coffee & Ice Cream
    Plainview News
    Post-Bulletin (story on Lisa/photo See Page 3D, June 13, 2006)
    Post-Bulletin (story on Lisa's Winter Bugs! exhibit. December 8, 2006
    AGPIX
    Burzoff
    Esquire
    Self Magazine
    Hearst
    Anchor Marketing
    D & D Commodities
    Power3201
    Woman's World
    Diversion
    Perspectives
    Hazmat
    Bubba Gump Seafood Co.
    A Lot of Fun & Games (gameboard)
    Allured Publishing
    Skin, Inc.
    Holt, Rinehart and Winston
    NAHEE
    Kind News
    HSUS
    Rourke
    Rigby Education
    Kirchoff/Wohlberg
    Travel World International
    Trips & Journeys
    Writer's Digest
    PDN
    Disney
    Harcourt
    Grolier
    Writer's Weekly
    Pearson Education
    Prentice-Hall
    Nursery Retailer
    Magazine
    Function-Thru-Form
    IBM
    HyVee
    The Creative Company
    Heinemann/Raintree
    Heinemann Library
    Lynn Stone Images
    Career World
    Nursery Retailer Magazine
    ACHRNews
    Valutec Card Solution
    North America Bancard
    Author House
    Times Plain Dealer
    Marshall Cavendish Publishers
    Lynn Stone Images
    Boardwalk Auto
    Idea Initiative
    National Enquirer
    Leroy Independent

    I learned a lot working with and for the above publications, and started my own publishing company.
    You learned a lot from Author House? What exactly did you do for them, or for any of these clients? It sounded like you simply sold them stock photography. Did you work for them in their offices? Are IBM, Lynn Stone Images, Boardwalk Auto, Valutec Card Solutions, or North America Bancard publishers? How about the Bubba Gump Seafood Company? What books do those companies produce, which you worked on?

    Also you've listed a few of those companies twice.


    It is a common practice to open your doors to submissions and I do look for authors I want to publish. I believe in giving breaks. God knows I've had mine.
    Of course publishers need submissions; who said differently? Of course it's a common practice. Do you think we wouldn't be aware of that?

    And to whom are you "giving breaks?" A publisher's job is not to "give [writers] breaks" or "make writers' dreams come true." A publisher's job is to assume the risk of publishing a book and to then sell that book to the general public. Dreams and breaks are incidental.


    I believe this may even be a great time to mention to you that we are now accepting submissions for our Cross Creek Romance™ imprint. The website is being developed and will be available this winter.

    If you have further discussions about who we are, why we only have two authors listed (I believe in building our house slowly), or things you need to address, why not email me?

    Lisa

    Lisa Loucks Christenson
    Any time is just fine to announce you're accepting submissions, yes. And thanks very much for contributing to this thread. I hope you can answer some of my questions and clear up some of the confusion for us. This is a tough business and we writers have to be careful and protect ourselves; some of us try to help and protect others as well. But it's not personal and never is. It's just about finding the best possible publisher for a book, and making sure the author in question gets paid for their work and has the career they want.
    http://www.staciakane.com

    FIVE DOWN, a Downside anthology, available now!
    Four previously published short stories and one brand new novella, together in one volume.

    Click here for more details.


    WRONG WAYS DOWN available now!


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    "Our books are available now if you'd like to order a copy"
    Where from? The website doesn't work - you can't order from it.

    Amazon reports that it doesn't sell any physical books from 'Snowy creek Romance' - only Kindle e-books.

    How can people buy physical books from this publisher?

    Here are our imprints:
    Bow Wow Detectives™ Young readers pet detective series
    Black Opossum Books™ Children's Books
    It's great that you have been working for 25 years. In that time - has either of these imprints actually created physical books that customers can put on their bookshelves?
    (BTW - Buying the English Language Rights to Akira Sugiyama's series seems like a great business decision. But have they made it to the bookshelves yet?)

    Lisa's Walk The Talk Show™ Internationally-syndicated show
    Sounds interesting. I did a check of how I could listen the show here. Your bio mentions that it is run in the following stations in Australia:

    Gippsland 104.7: This is a hobby-run community radio station. Your show is not listed in the program guide for this station.

    ZFM.com.auThis is listed as 'New Castle'<sic>. Your show is not listed in the program guide for this station.

    Bassendeantownradio.net.auThis site doesn't exist - I suspect you mean: bassendeantownradio.net
    Again - it is not listed in the program guide.

    I'm guessing that 'Internationally Syndicated' means 'provided for free to hobby-run community radio stations in other countries' ?

    Mac
    Last edited by Mac H.; 08-14-2010 at 02:19 PM.

  10. #10
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    snowycreekromance:
    We own and operate our own call center and distribution center, and have been serving clients nationwide for the past 25 years!
    Given that your listings on http://www.authoradvance.com indicate that Loucks-Christenson Publishing has only been operating since 2005 and Snowy Creek Publishing since 2009, what's that call center and distribution center been doing between 1985 and 2005? Has it been involved with the publishing industry?

    snowycreekromance:
    I've been an RWA (Romance Writer's of America) for over 10 years
    In what capacity?

    snowycreekromance:
    I was agented but canceled my contract
    Who was your agent?

    snowycreekromance:
    sell my books through my speaking engagements or at my stores
    A quick search of your name on Amazon.com establishes that you've got books published by:

    - Waiting Room To Heaven (a publisher that I can find nothing about on Google, suggesting it's a self-published or vanity published book);

    - Loucks-Christenson Publishing (i.e. self-published); and

    - Snowy Creek Romance (i.e. self-published).

    So I'm not surprised that you have to sell them through engagements that you've organised or through the bookstores that you own.

    How are other authors published with your companies going to manage? Will they expected to do the same thing?

    snowycreekromance:
    I'm the host of Lisa's Walk the Talk Show, we are going into our sixth year next month and did you know that one of our shows is our romance show featuring published romance authors?
    I think the more appropriate question is do I care that you're having a romance show featuring published romance authors?

    And the answer is no - I don't care.

    The reason is that this seems to be effectively radio self-publishing on stations that are amateur at best (not that I'm knocking amateur radio, but as a means for promoting authors - it's not great for getting the word out there).

    snowycreekromance:
    Some other guests you may have heard of: Charlie Daniels, Porter Wagoner, Carlie Wilson, Tim Wilson, Gene Watson, Marty Raybon, Veggie Tales, Kathy Ireland, Arron Tippin, Aaron Neville, Jean Craighead George, Joanna Wayne, B.J. Daniels, Beverly Swerling, Dr. Toy's Stevanne Auerbach, and hundreds more.
    I have absolutely no idea who any of these people are or even why I should care about them.

    snowycreekromance:
    I think this should debunk the rumors we haven't updated our website in "years". It hasn't even been a year. I believe it's only been a week since our last updates.
    Actually all you've done is raise more questions.

    snowycreekromance:
    We debuted Snowy Creek Romances' first author, Bernadette Marie, on April 30, 2010, and her second book in her trilogy was released July 23, 2010. Perhaps you met her at the Literacy for Life Autographing Party during RWA's 30th Annual Conference? She was signing both of her new books, Matchmakers and Encore Performance.
    As Stacia said, plenty of authors were at that event so it's not particularly impressive.

    snowycreekromance:
    We work with our authors to decide what image they want portrayed on their covers. We've actually received many compliments on our covers, so I think this is just a matter of opinion, and we all have our own.
    So you don't actually employ or hire specific cover designers to work on covers for you?

    snowycreekromance:
    I've spent over 25 years working in various aspects of publishing; as a journalist, ad designer, copywriter, ad sales, phone sales, printing, advertising, photographer, cover designer, signs, brochures; I've spent many years selling my stock photography to a very long list of clients
    So at the same time as you were owning and operating your own call center and distribution center, you were also working as a designer, copyeditor, journalist etc.

    That kind of suggests that your call center and distribution center wasn't paying the bills because you had to supplement your income. Alternatively, you haven't actually been operating your own call center and distribution center.

    Or maybe you've got a third explanation that would explain the discrepancy?

    snowycreekromance:
    I learned a lot working with and for the above publications, and started my own publishing company.
    Exactly which publishers have you worked with, when and in what capacity?

    snowycreekromance:
    It is a common practice to open your doors to submissions and I do look for authors I want to publish. I believe in giving breaks. God knows I've had mine.
    I'd beg to differ that you had a break - at least in publishing. Afterally, by your own admission you were with an agent for 10 years and I can't find any book titles for you before you started self-publishing.

    snowycreekromance:
    I believe this may even be a great time to mention to you that we are now accepting submissions for our Cross Creek Romance™ imprint. The website is being developed and will be available this winter.
    Why are you starting a new imprint when you don't have much of a track record for Snowy Creek yet?

    snowycreekromance:
    I believe our distributorship is well-planned and our books are available now if you'd like to order a copy. No waiting for a POD copy!
    So you're saying that you're not a POD operation? Does this mean that you're doing print runs? If so, how many books do you publish per run?

    snowycreekromance:
    In fairness, we just opened our imprint (read post below). I don't think we are doing too bad. In fact, our first royalty check just arrived from Amazon, and the numbers aren't too bad. Doesn't feel lucky at all, but planned. We're sorry you had to pass on even submitting your manuscript to us. It may have worked out.
    So at the moment, your only source of income for the 2 books you've published on Snowy Creek is sales through Amazon?

    What are your distributors doing? Are poor sales because you don't have an in-store presence at stores like Barnes & Noble?

    What are sales like in the 2 book stores that you own?

    snowycreekromance:
    We actually have many authors we have publishing contracts with. We will list them when we are ready to announce their books on our sites and to the world.
    For someone who "believe[s] in building our house slowly", why have you rushed to sign up a glut of authors? How many authors have you signed up? What sort of interval are you looking at between acceptance and release date?

    snowycreekromance:
    Brick and mortar stores are our specialty.
    Really? Do you mean the 2 that you own? Because it doesn't seem that you've got any presence in chain stores.

    MM

  11. #11
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    Snowy Creek Website:
    Snowy Creek Romance ™ accepts agented or unagented manuscripts.
    Unless Snowy Creek is paying advances (and there's absolutely nothing to suggest that they are), no reputable agent is going to want to submit a client's work to them.

    Snowy Creek Website:
    If you are already a Snowy Creek Romance™ author or you have previously published a novel of at least 50,000 words, you may send your pitch to see if it is something we’d like to wait for, also include the time frame it will take to complete it.
    No definition of what they mean by "previously published". While I know this happens with big commercial publishers, it only occurs if the author has a really good sales history.

    Snowy Creek Website:
    Please allow a week for an initial response to let you know we received your manuscript. If you have not heard back within a week please resend your letter and email package.
    That's a ridiculously tight turn around time, which suggests they're amateurs. And why should an author go to the trouble of re-submitting after such a short period of time?

    Snowy Creek Website:
    We try to make all decisions within 4-6 weeks of submission. If you haven’t received an answer after six weeks, email us. All decisions are final.
    Another ridiculously tight time frame.

    Snowy Creek Website:
    We are currently accepting submissions in the following genres: Steampunk
    Thrillers
    Mystery
    Romantic Suspense
    Historicals
    Paranormal, Fantasy, Time Travel
    Futuristic/Sci-Fi
    Chic Lit/Romantic Comedy
    Young Adult
    Contemporary
    Westerns
    Traditional Regency
    Don't see your genre?
    That's too wide, which is not a good sign. Small publishers do better focusing on one particular genre and growing their contacts and reputation within that.

    Snowy Creek Website:
    What rights does Snowy Creek Romance acquire?
    A. Snowy Creek Romance buys out all electronic and print rights with rights reversions upon certain conditions as explained
    in our contracts.
    I can understand buying worldwide electronic rights, but given that this company is US based, I don't understand why they need world-wide print rights.

    The fact that right reversion is subject to conditions makes me uneasy. I'd want to know what those conditions are (and specificially, whether they include payment of a fee or having to wait for set periods of time).

    Snowy Creek Website:
    How does Snowy Creek Romance help its authors market their books?
    A. Every author has unique gifts to promote. We will help you with publicizing your titles through print, radio,
    internet, and direct mail.
    Direct mail? I hope that doesn't mean postal spam.

    MM

  12. #12
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowycreekromance View Post

    Here are our imprints:
    Lisa's Walk The Talk Show™ Internationally-syndicated show
    Bow Wow Detectives™ Young readers pet detective series
    Snowy Creek Romance™ Romance
    Cross Creek Romance™ Christian Romance only
    Black Opossum Books™ Children's Books

    Incidentally, there are no trademarks registered or applied for in the United States for any of these names Lisa is claiming are trademarked.

    Claiming they are trademarked may be a violation of state or local laws.
    http://www.staciakane.com

    FIVE DOWN, a Downside anthology, available now!
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    Click here for more details.


    WRONG WAYS DOWN available now!


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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacia Kane View Post
    Claiming they are trademarked may be a violation of state or local laws.
    No - it's fine.

    The little 'TM' just means that the person considers it a mark of their business.

    It is different from claiming that it has been successfully registered as a trade mark.

    For example - around here McDonalds uses the little 'TM' after the word 'Fries' - because they consider it a mark of their business.

    They were laughed at last time they tried to register it as a trademark - because it simply isn't unique or non-descriptive enough. However, they can still consider it as part of their branding if they like.

    As an aside - US law has a really cool feature for trademarks and patents that Australia doesn't have. In the US anyone can start a court case on behalf of the USPTO and prosecute someone else over someone falsely claiming a patent or a trademark registration. You pay all costs and if you win - you get half of the fine. (And the USPTO gets the other half)

    You don't have to be personally affected by the conduct - which is a big difference from most trademark law. There is currently a lawsuit in place using this method over 'Guitar Hero', because 'Guitar Hero' claims that their product is covered by a list of patents - most of which have absolutely nothing to do with the product !

    (The lawsuits are usually started by a competitor - but avoids the need of PROVING that you are directly affected. After all - if I'm not in the market competing with you it is very difficult for me to demonstrate that the reason I'm not in the market is because you falsely claimed that you have the USPTO on your side!)

    It's a pretty cool system - but only applies in pretty limited circumstances.

    Sorry - I'll stop geeking out over IP rules now.

    Mac
    Last edited by Mac H.; 08-15-2010 at 11:13 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Momento Mori View Post
    So I'm not surprised that you have to sell them through engagements that you've organised or through the bookstores that you own.
    I suspect that she has been a bit misleading.

    She hasn't actually claimed that she owns bookstores - simply that she sells her books through her stores.

    She claims here that she has two stores in different states - in her bio she describes it as 'We also have a brick and mortar store featuring our books, art, and gourmet foods.'

    The two stores (that she isn't actually claiming are bookstores) are:

    * White Wolf Creek Gallery and Gifts - Stockholm, WI
    * Loucks-Christenson Publishing - Rochester, MN

    The Gallery in Stockholm looks like a nice little place. But a tiny gallery in a town of 100 people isn't what authors mean when they talk about getting their novel in 'bricks and mortar' stores . So it seems rather deceptive to use it as an answer to the 'bricks and mortar' question.

    Mac
    Last edited by Mac H.; 08-15-2010 at 12:19 PM.

  15. #15
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mac H. View Post
    No - it's fine.

    The little 'TM' just means that the person considers it a mark of their business.

    It is different from claiming that it has been successfully registered as a trade mark.

    Mac
    I was just quoting the USPTO website, which does say that while it's not a violation of federal law, it may violate state or local laws:

    http://www.uspto.gov/faq/trademarks.jsp#Basic007



    The Gallery in Stockholm looks like a nice little place. But a tiny gallery in a town of 100 people isn't what authors mean when they talk about getting their novel in 'bricks and mortar' stores . So it seems rather deceptive to use it as an answer to the 'bricks and mortar' question.
    Frankly, I think just about every claim that's been made by this company, especially here, is deceptive. Seems to me that if it's not a blatant lie it's at least deliberately misleading.

    Why would anyone want to give their books to a company that either doesn't know how to tell the truth, or knows so little about publishing that they actually believe their own claims?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacia Kane View Post
    I was just quoting the USPTO website, which does say that while it's not a violation of federal law, it may violate state or local laws:

    http://www.uspto.gov/faq/trademarks.jsp#Basic007
    I see. That's just a generic "we don't have a problem with it, but don't blame us if someone else has bizarre rules " clause.

    After all - they don't have control of what the inane state & local laws are.

    For example, Massachusetts actually makes it a crime to play a single verse of 'The Star Spangled Banner' in public - it has to be played in full or not at all. And yes - they actually made it a 'Crime against Government' ! (Ref: http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/264-9.htm )

    This makes every cinema that shows a film or documentary that contains part of the national anthem a criminal organisation - the law specifically includes any 'rendering' of the music in a 'motion picture hall'.

    It's such a catch-all phrase - anything 'MAY' violate state or local laws.
    I always found it odd that there is no government service that tells you what is legal. You can't ring a help line and say "I'm thinking of doing this. Is it legal?"

    You just have to pay a fortune for someone to tell you (and that person will take no responsibility if they are wrong) or just do it - and wait to get arrested if it turns out to be illegal.

    Mac
    Last edited by Mac H.; 08-16-2010 at 06:43 AM.

  17. #17
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mac H. View Post
    I see. That's just a generic "we don't have a problem with it, but don't blame us if someone else has bizarre rules " clause.

    After all - they don't have control of what the inane state & local laws are.

    Mac

    I'm aware of that, thank you. I do understand what "may violate state or local laws" means. Whether or not you or I or anyone else may think those laws are inane, the fact remains that they may be there, that's all. And the fact remains that this company is claiming trademarks they do not own, which fits the pattern of false claims we've seen here.

    Can we please stay on topic, rather than discussing silly laws in other states?
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    Whew. That was intense. Not the most effective way to communicate, but whatever floats your boat. May I ask meek and mild-like the name of your distribution company that's been in business for 25 years?

  19. #19
    Oh, the humanity. Giant Baby's Avatar
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    Oh, now that's not fair. I lost many minutes of my life wading through that, and I never even got to ask you where the portal to the super-secret magical Amazon you frequent is located. I've only ever been to the work-a-day Muggle Amazon, and the ratings you mentioned are nothing like what we've got here.

    Le sigh.
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    This message has been deleted by snowycreekromance. Reason: I believe there are better places for this discussion, like in court
    Oh stop. Court? Don't be ridiculous. If you can't stand scrutiny, I posit that you're not ready for prime time publishing. If you're going to issue contracts for publishing author's books - which they have worked long and hard on - then you can't be above having your feet held to the fire to answer very direct questions. Would you rather have authors simply trust you without foundation? Many, many authors have done that very thing with many other publishers, and you know what they're called? Victims. Put on your big girl pants and grow up.

  21. #21
    The King and Queen of Cheese BenPanced's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowycreekromance View Post
    These kind of comments are valuable to you as a writer?
    The way questions aren't getting answered?

    Volumes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowycreekromance View Post
    These kind of comments are valuable to you as a writer?

    Do you mean the comments of those of us who are familiar with how real publishing works, and what a writer should look for and expect from a real publishing company? And how we point out that you have no experience in this industry and signing with you is, as far as we're concerned, about as useful as printing out a single copy of your own book and hiding it under the bed?

    I certainly hope they find our comments valuable, since we're trying to keep them from essentially doing just that with their books.

    All publishers are not created equal. If you actually knew anything at all about this industry you would know that. If you actually had any standing in this industry you would explain it. You have neither knowledge nor standing, so you're going to have a hissy instead. *shrug*
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  23. #23
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowycreekromance View Post
    No. I actually expect them to use the phone and we discuss our contracts through our attorneys, not in a public-bashing forum such as this.
    Snowycreek, a lot of us ask about a publisher's contract because it saves a lot of time and trouble both for us and the publisher. I'm sure you don't want to be deluged with manuscripts and then find out later, in contract negotiations, that all of the authors aren't willing to sign over world print rights (or whatever). And most publishers find it easier to answer the standard questions once on AW rather than responding to individual emails or phone calls again and again and again.

    We're not here to bash; we're here to establish what any given publisher is about, so that individual authors can make an informed choice about whether or not a given publisher is a good choice for them. No publisher is right for *every* author, just as no author is right for *every* publisher. The questions asked here are the same ones that AW members ask about every publisher -- which distributors do you work with, what size print runs do you do, what's the average number of copies sold per title, how long have you been in business, what's your background, what size advance do you pay, what awards have your books won, etc. It's nothing personal. Authors are business people too, and this is part of the business.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Unimportant View Post
    .

    We're not here to bash; we're here to establish what any given publisher is about, so that individual authors can make an informed choice about whether or not a given publisher is a good choice for them. No publisher is right for *every* author, just as no author is right for *every* publisher. The questions asked here are the same ones that AW members ask about every publisher -- which distributors do you work with, what size print runs do you do, what's the average number of copies sold per title, how long have you been in business, what's your background, what size advance do you pay, what awards have your books won, etc. It's nothing personal. Authors are business people too, and this is part of the business.
    bolding mine. These are the questions I'm interested in.

    I'd like to add that oft times discussions with publishers can become aggressive, and even edge very close to attack. But it's worth remembering that there are a lot of authors who have been burned by inexperienced publishers and are passionate about shining a light on those that seem to be dangerous. My advice to you is this: play to your strengths. Keep your cool. If you don't have "publishing" experience, discuss what you're bringing to the table to help your authors succeed. If you're comfortable discussing sales, and I hope you are, telling us that your top title has sold x# of copies, or that your average sales are X# per title, would go a long way to establishing credibility.

    If you've purchased the English rights to the Bow Wow Detective series, that's something that shows business savvy. If you're building your list with authors you seek out and contract because of established sales, followings etc, that's shows that you're moving to establish a respectable list and further builds credibility. Most publishers will tell you that relying on slush piles to find list-worthy manuscripts is not too effective, especially when starting out. But if you're working with agents, that's a different story. If you don't have a distributor but have used in-house sales teams to get your books stocked, even if it's just locally, tell us.

    I sincerely wish you and your authors success, we all do. I do hope you'll stick around.

  25. #25
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    snowycreekromance:
    I believe there are better places for this discussion, like in court
    Good luck with that.

    snowycreekromance:
    I actually expect them to use the phone and we discuss our contracts through our attorneys, not in a public-bashing forum such as this.
    It's not bashing to raise potential issues about a publisher.

    It's also not bashing to ask questions that you are either unwilling or unable to answer.

    When you go and speak to your attorneys, be sure to point out to them that this thread asked questions after you of your own volition came here to post information about your company/companies.

    All of the questions asked/questions raised is in relation to information that you have chosen to make publicly available.

    snowycreekromance:
    At least I'm woman enough to use my real name, where most of the people here are hiding behind aliases so they can spread their rumors, lies, and slander and publish libelous comments thinking they won't get caught.
    Firstly, it's libel, not slander.

    Secondly, there are people posting here who do so under their own name (including Stacia Kane), so you don't get to pull the righteous 'I use my name' card. Being an evasive, hyperbolic ninny posting under your own name, does not give you any additional rights.

    Thirdly, if you're really that incensed about it, why don't you post here identifying the "lies" and "libellous statements" that you believe to have been posted instead of throwing a temper tantrum like a demented toddler?

    snowycreekromance:
    I don't victimize my authors. I am not responsible for other publishers who have taken advantage of their authors.
    I've never said that you do victimise your authors and nor has anyone else on this thread.

    What I have said is that in my opinion, there are things about your companies that would make me caution an author from querying or signing with your company.

    snowycreekromance:
    quit twisting my answers to create more unfounded lies
    Where has anyone twisted your answers? No one has done that. If you express yourself poorly so that people have misinterpreted what you meant, then you are welcome to clarify.

    snowycreekromance:
    These kind of comments are valuable to you as a writer?
    Actually your comments, your attitude on this thread and your behaviour generally so far is invaluable to me as a writer because they all point towards a certain lack of professionalism on your part and an inability to bear any form of public scrutiny.

    Thank you for that.

    snowycreekromance:
    If I listed the agents, you'd find a problem and say they aren't legit, or have a problem they submit to me.
    You assume a good deal.

    If you're confident that you are dealing with legitimate or unproblematic agents, then there's no reason for you not to identify them.

    snowycreekromance:
    That is priviledged information between the agents, authors, and myself.
    One of my pet peeves is people throwing around legal terminology when they are clearly unfamiliar with what the words actually mean.

    "Privilege" is a term used to describe the confidential nature of the relationship between an attorney and his/her client. It does not apply to a commercial relationship between an agent, author and publisher.

    What you mean is that the information is "confidential" between those parties and in fact, any agent worth their salt is going to want to report the sale of their client's work to a publisher.

    Therefore, the fact that you're trying to claim that such information is confidential, could be used to suggest that agents don't want people to know that they are sending their clients to you.

    And yes, unfortunately that is a bit of a problem, because there's no such thing as a stealth agent.

    snowycreekromance:
    Previously published means you've published previously a 50,000 word manuscript. This shows me you know how to finish a book, not just query with an idea, and quickly tell me you are almost finished writing it. When many times the author hasn't even started the book.
    Okay, so what you're saying is that someone self-published a 50k+ word manuscript on Lulu then you would consider a partial from them?

    snowycreekromance:
    You mistaken, it's not amatuerish to for us to acknowlege that we received an authors email and whether or not the manuscript came through. I call that courtesy so the author doesn't have to wonder whether I recieved a manuscript. This does NOT mean we've read it in a weeks time.
    No commercial publisher does that because it takes time that they don't have.

    snowycreekromance:
    All your opinion. Most authors are thankful we can acknowledge whether or not we want to consider their manuscript in a four to six week time frame, and many publishers work in that same time frame. Go check all their sites out.
    I already know of plenty of start-up and well-meaning but clueless publishers who offer 4 - 6 week turn around times on manuscripts. Very few of them are still in business after 2 years - go check out some of the greyed out links in the index to this forum and you can see for yourself.

    Authors may well be thankful that you're undertaking to respond in so short a time, but your business shouldn't be servicing authors, it should be about servicing readers and the book-buying public.

    snowycreekromance:
    This is your opinon. I don't think it's your business to decide how many genres we can acquire. I feel we are best skilled to make our decisions.
    I don't doubt that you do feel best skilled to make your decisions - afterall, you are the one making those decisions. However if you check out the index to this thread, you will find dozens of now-failed publishers that started off accepting virtually anything and everything and failed with 24 months because they didn't have any expertise or capital to gain the foothold needed in each genre. That's unfortunately a fact rather than opinion. Check out the threads if you don't believe me.

    snowycreekromance:
    This is priveledged information between us, our authors, and our attorneys.
    Again, you mean "confidential" not "privileged".

    And frankly, you're also spouting bullshit. The rights that you as a publishing company want to take shouldn't just be public information, they should be negotiable.

    snowycreekromance:
    It seems almost everything is making you uneasy, so it's probably best to submit elsewhere. We like our authors to feel comfortable with our discussions, and again, our contracts are discussed privately.
    Not everything makes me uneasy - just snotty, brattish behaviour, evasiveness and the general asshattery that you've demonstrated on this thread.

    As to submitting anything to you - rest assured that there's no danger of that happening. My agent (from Rogers, Coleridge and White) is only submitting my manuscript to advance paying commercial publishers who people have heard of and can get my book into stores.

    MM
    Last edited by Momento Mori; 08-17-2010 at 02:44 PM.

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