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Thread: YoungRebel Publications

  1. #1
    Fantastic Fantasy! xcomplex's Avatar
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    Talking YoungRebel Publications

    Has anyone heard of them? They look fairly new, in fact I know they are. I got a MS request from them and they asked for exclusivity for a month though I already have 5 other MS requests...Couldn't find any threads on them. http://www.youngrebelpublications.com/
    Last edited by CaoPaux; 09-06-2010 at 06:35 PM. Reason: fixed link
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  2. #2
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Fixed link. At the very least, I'd wait until they had some published work up, so I could judge their level of design and editing. I'd also wait a year to ascertain their ability to market and sell their books.
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  3. #3
    phoenix blazing Parametric's Avatar
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    I'm seeing a number of red flags.

    • RED FLAG #1: They're a startup. A huge proportion of startup companies go straight under. They have no track record and no proven ability to publish anything.
    • RED FLAG #2: The homepage ("Have you written a short story or novel ...") is targeted at writers, not readers. Publishers who aren't focused on selling books to readers don't stay afloat.
    • RED FLAG #3: The publisher seems to have launched and the website is live even though they won't have any books to sell until October. Quite apart from the logic of a publisher with no books to sell, I find it bizarre that they've set a firm publication date in the near future. If they've already acquired books and are sufficiently far through the process that they're only a month and a half from publication, why launch the publisher early? Or do they really plan to acquire novels now, in September, for publication in October?
    • RED FLAG #4: The staff have minimum to no publishing experience. One works in IT. The other writes fiction (apparently unpublished) and teaches writing workshops. That's all very well as a credential for teaching writing, but not so great for launching a publisher.
    • I'm also a little unsure about a submission deadline of September 30th for short stories for an anthology to be published October 25th, but maybe anthologies (unlike novels) can be edited, line edited, proofread, etc in less than four weeks.

    No track record, no industry experience, nothing to attract readers = nothing to offer writers.

  4. #4
    What? I have a title? Julie Worth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcomplex View Post
    Has anyone heard of them? They look fairly new, in fact I know they are. I got a MS request from them and they asked for exclusivity for a month...
    Never give anyone exclusivity until you're desperate. Especially a publisher with no track record to speak of. In fact, why would you even consider a publisher with no background in publishing, no apparent marketing, no sales, and nothing but a plain Jane website?

  5. #5
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    I'll echo what everyone else has said and add this breakdown of the website:

    Young Rebel Website:
    Jacqueline (Senior Editor) runs creative writing workshops for children and adults and writes young adult fiction. Paul (Art and Technical Director) has fourteen years experience in computer aided design and IT management
    Neither of these people has apparently got previous experience in either commercial publishing or retail and the way it's presented makes me wonder if this is yet another self-publishing venture that decides to draw in other authors as well.

    Young Rebel Website:
    YoungRebel Publications is a royalty paying, full service e-publishing company, offering exciting and innovative fiction to the young adult market.


    What does "full service" mean? It's usually the type of phrasing that I see used by vanity publishers seeking to sell you a bundle of "services" that any commercial publisher should be providing free of charge (if not actually paying you in advance).

    If they're targeting YA books, then how are they getting their products out there? What marketing and distribution have they got in place (e.g. are books going to be listed on Amazon, Waterstones, B&N etc etc)? Are they going for schools or libraries? If so, what initiatives are they using?

    Young Rebel Website:
    We passionately believe e-books are the future.
    And? Ebooks may well be the future - but if this company isn't placed to sell them so that it and its authors are making money, it's a pretty pointless enterprise.

    Young Rebel Website:
    providing quality, reasonably priced books that reflect the real lives and interests of our readers


    That's a pretty empty statement and it's not clear how it's going to help them sell books.

    Young Rebel Website:
    supporting and nurturing talented writers of all ages, empowering them to tell their story their way


    This is a personal red flag of mine. Publishers that talk about their authors telling their story in their own way, are usually the ones that offer little to no proper editing (and as a hint - copy editing is not all that an editor should be doing). I'm a bit squicky about the "all ages" thing as well. While I don't doubt that there are plenty of talented authors out there below the age of 18, they are also the age group that tends to fall more easily for hyperbole and be taken advantage of.

    Young Rebel Website:
    ensuring authors are paid fairly for their work. Authors receive 45% net on royalties earned for e-book sales through YoungRebel Publications or our distribution partners.


    Fair payment means getting paid in advance - not taking a chance on the publisher actually being able to make sales.

    I'd want to know what their definition of "net" is (and I'd like to know that royalties will be bigger on books sold through the Young Rebels site given that their costs should be lower).

    Young Rebel Website:
    What will YoungRebel Publications offer you? At no cost to the author we:
    • provide editorial support
    • pay 45% net on royalties earned on e-book sales from this site or from our distribution partners
    • assign an ISBN for your book
    • produce exclusive cover art for stories of more than 10,000 words.
    These are all things that a publisher should be doing without having to use it as part of their sales pitch.

    Young Rebel Website:
    We ask all our authors to promote their books alongside our own promotional and marketing activity. There are many ways to do this at relatively little or no cost and we provide marketing advice to all our contracted authors.
    I'd want to know what their promotional and marketing activity is. Personally, I'd view with scepticism the value of marketing advice given by two people with no previous marketing history.

    Young Rebel Website:
    We buy e-publishing rights only and our authors are free to pursue the publication of their work in other formats. For a sample contract please e-mail:
    submissions@youngrebelpublications.com
    These are both good signs.

    Young Rebel Website: (BOLDING MINE)
    Send us a query letter that includes:
    • a BRIEF synopsis of your story. This should be 2-3 paragraphs long and does not have to give away the ending
    • your legal name and pen name if applicable
    • the completion status of your work
    • a word count rounded to the nearest thousand
    • the genre/s of your story
    • a brief author bio.
    No serious publisher should be looking at work that hasn't been completed.

    Young Rebel Website:
    • We will send an acknowledgement e-mail within 5 working days of receipt of your query.
    • Please allow 4-6 weeks for us to respond fully.
    • If we are interested in your work, we will request a complete manuscript before a contract is offered.
    • Contracts will be exchanged electronically by e-mail.
    These are guidelines only and are subject to change without notice. Please note submission timelines may extend by two weeks during holiday/peak submission times.
    I'm a well known mistruster of publishers that offer time frames - even in situations like this where there are caveats on their application.

    I'd be interested to know if this is an English entity (I'm assuming it is, given that payment default is £) because of the possible implication of electronic exchange of contracts. Most companies I work with (and have worked with) still prefer good old fashioned signed hard copies because that way there's no argument about whether they are legally binding.

    MM

  6. #6
    practical experience, FTW SarahMacManus's Avatar
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    Yes, YoungRebel is English (mailing address is readily available on the website) and they are a start up.

    Got a request for a full from them, which I'm cool with, but not happy with an exclusive on an unknown.

    Still not sure what I'm going to do...
    “Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” ~ Anton Chekhov

    coming March 14th from Young Rebel Publications

  7. #7
    Shakespearean Fool DreamWeaver's Avatar
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    Just tell them you'll be glad to send them the full, but you can't give them an exclusive. Ball in their court.
    Why doesn't George R. R. Martin use Twitter? He already killed off all 140 characters.

  8. #8
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Hi. My name is Jacqueline Young and I’m editor at YoungRebel Publications.
    I thought I might be able to clear up some of the questions you’ve raised here. Thank you for this opportunity to introduce you to our company.
    Although we are open for submissions, we do not launch with titles till 25th October. We anticipated some author trepidation over signing with a start-up company, and felt that putting out the live site rather than a holding page would allow authors to better view and understand what we were all about.
    The wording on the site is broadly in line with lots of other e-publishing companies trading today. A quick search of e-publishing sites will verify this. Electronic exchange of contracts is also a standard practice in e-publishing.

    With manuscripts over the preferred 70,000 word limit (set in the submission guidelines), we ask for a one month exclusivity. We feel this is not an unreasonable request considering the time and effort involved in reading and evaluating longer manuscripts. Authors are of course free to request exception and we are happy to provide it.

    To answer your queries about the credentials of the company directors, Paul Young does indeed work in IT and Computer aided design. As YoungRebel is an e-publishing company this experience is entirely appropriate for the role of art director (producing book covers and banners) and technical director (formatting scripts and managing the website). I am an Oxford graduate and teacher in the UK state education system, with 17 years of experience nurturing and developing the creative talent of my students. The idea behind YoungRebel Publications grew as a natural extension of my work as a teacher. As a start-up, our previous commercial publishing experience is limited. We are open about this. Every business has to start somewhere.

    We originally included details of my teaching experience on the website, and then removed it after polling a sample of teenage readers. On balance, they felt emphasising the word ‘teacher’ would put them off buying. What can I say? Who can blame them?

    Oh, and we go through three rounds of edits.

    We entirely understand author concerns about start-up companies. We would like to encourage any writers who are thinking of submitting to submit a short to our anthology and try us out. If anyone has any more questions, feel free to ask via the ‘contact us’ page on the YoungRebel website. J
    Last edited by Young; 09-16-2010 at 11:24 PM.

  9. #9
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Young View Post
    Every business has to start somewhere.
    I hate this excuse. Yes every publisher has to start somewhere - but on the backs of authors. E-publishing is still publishing, and it still requires very specific skill sets.
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  10. #10
    Brian Boru brianm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Young View Post
    Every business has to start somewhere.
    When you became a teacher did you just walk into a classroom and wing it or did you get some formal education before becoming a teacher?

    Would you think it okay for anyone who wants to be a teacher to just walk into a classroom and start teaching with no formal education and experience? Surely, someone who truly wants to teach should be given a chance and they have to start somewhere.

    Yes, I'm being sarcastic because I don't understand why someone with no publishing experience feels they can just open a publishing company and wing it.

    You may be an excellent teacher but this doesn't qualify you to run a publishing company. Yes, everyone deserves a chance and everyone has to start somewhere.

    But you don't start by opening a publishing company, you start by educating yourself on how the business of publishing operates by working for an established publishing company.

    This forum is littered with failed start-ups and a great many of them failed because the people running them hadn't the experience, the knowledge, the contacts, and the capital to run them successfully.

    I'll echo the advice of others in this thread to wait a couple of years to see if you are still in business and to see if you can sell books.

    ~brianm~
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  11. #11
    What? I have a title? Julie Worth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianm View Post
    Every business has to start somewhere.
    If there were a sticky for publisher start-ups with a list of things not to say, this would be right at the top.

  12. #12
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    Hi, Jacqueline, and welcome to AW.

    Young:
    Although we are open for submissions, we do not launch with titles till 25th October. We anticipated some author trepidation over signing with a start-up company, and felt that putting out the live site rather than a holding page would allow authors to better view and understand what we were all about.
    The issue for authors with a start-up is not whether it's going with a live site, but the exposure that the live site is getting. I understand that at the moment, you're not launching titles until 25th October but can you confirm whether you have already signed up any manuscripts ready for that launch and if so, how many? Is so, are you using the interim time to promote those titles that you have already signed up? What kind of promotion are you doing? Is the plan to sell ebooks from your site direct or will they also be available from other sites (e.g. Amazon UK and Waterstones)?

    I'm asking this because I see that your company was only incorporated in July, so the period of time between launch of the company and launch of titles is actually quite short and my concern is that it isn't enough time to do adequate pre-launch marketing.

    The difficulties that ebook publishers face is getting word about their books out there. There's a lot of competition in the market place and unless you really know the market and the avenues to pursue most effectively to drum up buyers, start-ups usually find themselves struggling to make enough sales to keep themselves afloat.

    Young:
    Electronic exchange of contracts is also a standard practice in e-publishing.
    My concern isn't whether it's standard, it's about questions as to the effectiveness of it for enforcement purposes. A physical, signed contract is one that anyone is going to find it difficult to argue about.

    Young:
    With manuscripts over the preferred 70,000 word limit (set in the submission guidelines), we ask for a one month exclusivity. We feel this is not an unreasonable request considering the time and effort involved in reading and evaluating longer manuscripts. Authors are of course free to request exception and we are happy to provide it.
    It's not uncommon for publishers to request exclusivity or at least, that they not receive simultaneous submissions but I'd have more sympathy if you were offering an advance because at least then the author might be in line for receiving an up-front payment.

    However, the risk of losing a manuscript is one that commercial publishers just have to accept and given that you're only paying royalties and only taking epublishing rights, I'd personally say that it isn't up to authors to have to ask to relax this requirement.

    Young:
    Paul Young does indeed work in IT and Computer aided design. As YoungRebel is an e-publishing company this experience is entirely appropriate for the role of art director (producing book covers and banners) and technical director (formatting scripts and managing the website). I am an Oxford graduate and teacher in the UK state education system, with 17 years of experience nurturing and developing the creative talent of my students.
    As others have said, this doesn't equate to publishing experience. I'd also ask a more fundamental question as to whether either of you have experience of running a business full stop.

    Publishing has a high failure rate and the problem for authors is that when a start-up goes bust, they take that author's first publishing rights with it. Now in this case, they're "only" losing epublishing rights, but that can still cause them issues further down the road if they want to sell the manuscript on and don't have the appropriate release.

    Young:
    We originally included details of my teaching experience on the website, and then removed it after polling a sample of teenage readers. On balance, they felt emphasising the word ‘teacher’ would put them off buying. What can I say? Who can blame them?
    May I ask how you're planning to attract teenage buyers to your site?

    Young:
    Oh, and we go through three rounds of edits.
    Is that a fixed round of edits or a maximum figure or a rough guideline? I ask because most publishers do as many editing rounds as it takes to get a book together that they think they can sell.

    Young:#
    We would like to encourage any writers who are thinking of submitting to submit a short to our anthology and try us out.
    With all due respect, I'd advise any writer with a short story for teenagers to check out www.duotrope.com for potential YA markets first because there are a number of magazines and ezines out there that will give you an up front payment for a story, rather than a share of royalties on a sale.

    MM

  13. #13
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Has books up now (including her own), with excerpts to show what "three rounds of edits" will get you.
    ICAO
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    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

  14. #14
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Nothing published after '11, company dissolved Nov '12.
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    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

  15. #15
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    RIP. another one. the Unforgiven is stacking them like cord word.

  16. #16
    I saw the name of this thread and thought it was pretty funny. Young rebel!

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