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Thread: [ePub] Diversion Books (Scott Waxman)

  1. #1
    On a coffee fueled writing spree! CScottMorris's Avatar
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    [ePub] Diversion Books (Scott Waxman)

    Not Diversion Press, they have their own thread, Im talking about Diversion Books.
    Found them through a PW article. Apparently founded by Scott Waxman of Waxman Literary Agency.
    He says he set this up as an experiment, as a way for his agency to publish books they cant, or wont, sell to the Bis Six.
    His staff appear to have some experience in publishing.
    Right now they have twelve books available.
    What I like, is they explain pretty openly what they offer. I have not seen a single start-up ebook outfit that explains their marketing plan at all. Maybe thats because they dont have one, and Diversion, with their experience does. I dont know.
    Does anyone have any experience with this press? Or with any of the staff? Or has anybody heard anything about them?
    My rather amateurish blog about Fantasy Lit, Steampunk, and the struggles of an aspiring author: CScottMorrisBooks.com Yeah, we don't have enough 'aspiring writer' blogs already, I have to add to that?

  2. #2
    Shakespearean Fool DreamWeaver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CScottMorris View Post
    Apparently founded by Scott Waxman of Waxman Literary Agency.
    He says he set this up as an experiment, as a way for his agency to publish books they cant, or wont [or choose not to, see post #7 below], sell to the Bis Six.
    Bolding mine.

    Great name, Diverson Books, because how can you know your book wouldn't have sold to a big six commercial publisher, if your agency diverts it to their own publishing company? At the very least, this gives the appearance of a conflict of interest, and at the worst it's a horrendous conflict of interest.
    Last edited by DreamWeaver; 09-30-2010 at 12:06 AM.
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  3. #3
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    This seems to be a rather depressing trend.
    Emily Veinglory

  4. #4
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    The obvious issue is the potential for a conflict of interest. I don't doubt the experience of his personnel, I don't doubt the intentions, but it would be interesting to know whether clients whose books don't get sold are being pressured to use Diversion Press instead.

    Also, the covers for the ebooks on the site don't impress at all - there's a distinct whiff of clip art for some of them.

    In terms of marketing - I'm not seeing what concrete support they're going to give. In fact, the fact that they mention provision of a "Diversion Books' Author Marketing kit" suggests to me that this is yet another outfit where the authors will do a huge amount of legwork. Indeed, the fact that the submissions page requires you to provide details of:

    - unique monthly visits and page views to your webpage;

    - the number of visits to your Facebook page and the number of Facebook friends;

    - number of Twitter followers;

    - number of unique monthly visitors and page views of your blog;

    - whether you have a newsletter and if so the number of subscribers.

    Authors who are already doing this may well be better off really going it alone.

    MM

  5. #5
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    veinglory:
    This seems to be a rather depressing trend.
    There is a difference though between agents setting up epublishers to deal with clients' work that has already been published in print by commercial publishers and which therefore gives them the ability to make more money from an existing reader market and agents setting up epublishers for authors who have little to no existing platform, where the risk is that the returns don't cover the outlay.

    If Waxman was going down the Wylie route and using Diversion Press for epublishing rights of existing clients' titles, I'd be less concerned.

    MM

  6. #6
    She of Many Names Irysangel's Avatar
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    From my experience with my agent (who is a Waxman agent), it's a completely separate arm of the agency. She has never suggested it to me at all, and when I asked about it, she gave me an overview, sent me a copy of the contract if I had any questions, and then totally let it drop. She has never pursued it with me or suggested that I approach it rather than sub my stuff to NY. (I currently have a few books out on sub)

    If I were to tell her I wanted to pursue this, my book would be handed off to the Diversion Books team and handled from there.

    Not defending or cheerleading for it either way, just saying that the Waxman agents are not automatically shoving their authors toward an ebook arm just to make money.
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  7. #7
    On a coffee fueled writing spree! CScottMorris's Avatar
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    That word 'wont', was mine, it came from the article in PW. 'chooses not to' were his words, here is the article.
    That part bothered me. Is this something he set up so he can just dump any book that gets submitted, hoping to take a percentage of even dismal sales?
    But then, they do offer copy-editing, cover art, and marketing packages. How can they put forth those resources, if they dont believe a project can make money?
    Waxman seems legit, I skimmed their thread here, and did not see any complaints. Maybe a more thorough reading is called for.
    And my first thought was about conflict of interest.
    But then, these are some experienced people, not just some entrepreneurs jumping on the ebook bandwagon. They might be worth watching.
    My rather amateurish blog about Fantasy Lit, Steampunk, and the struggles of an aspiring author: CScottMorrisBooks.com Yeah, we don't have enough 'aspiring writer' blogs already, I have to add to that?

  8. #8
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Momento Mori View Post
    There is a difference though between agents setting up epublishers to deal with clients' work that has already been published in print by commercial publishers and which therefore gives them the ability to make more money from an existing reader market and agents setting up epublishers for authors who have little to no existing platform, where the risk is that the returns don't cover the outlay.

    If Waxman was going down the Wylie route and using Diversion Press for epublishing rights of existing clients' titles, I'd be less concerned.

    MM
    Although even in this case, an established and expert epublisher might well do a better job IMHO--and an agent should help an author make that determination from an impartial point of view.

    There is more to epublishing than just sticking an ebook on the market. Epublishing is publishing, and there is a choice of publishers. Thus an agent who is a publisher has a conflict, the fact it is 'just epublishing' shouldn't, IMHO, make any different.

    If you look at the timespan the ebook will be available it could easily be a large amount of money that an authors gives up by making the wrong choice based on a lack of expert and impartial advice (like, you know, from their agent).

    An agent/epublisher can make more from 50% of low sales than 15% of higher sales, hence the conflict of interest.
    Last edited by veinglory; 09-29-2010 at 07:46 PM.
    Emily Veinglory

  9. #9
    She of Many Names Irysangel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Momento Mori View Post
    The obvious issue is the potential for a conflict of interest. I don't doubt the experience of his personnel, I don't doubt the intentions, but it would be interesting to know whether clients whose books don't get sold are being pressured to use Diversion Press instead.
    I have a couple of projects that haven't sold despite shopping wide in NYC. No one has suggested that we pub them in-house.

    (Just wanted to add my own experience with this.)
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  10. #10
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    Irysangel:
    Not defending or cheerleading for it either way, just saying that the Waxman agents are not automatically shoving their authors toward an ebook arm just to make money.
    Good to know, thanks.

    CScottMorris:
    they do offer copy-editing, cover art, and marketing packages. How can they put forth those resources, if they dont believe a project can make money?
    It depends on what actual marketing they're doing and it depends on the quality of editing that they're actually going to do and it depends on who they actually want to sell books to (and who they end up selling books to).

    Like I said, I don't doubt the intentions but there are too many unknowns in the mix here and I'd want to see how it's doing in 18 months time - what sort of sales the authors are getting and how much time and effort they're putting into that as against Diversion Press's time, money and effort.

    MM

  11. #11
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    veinglory:
    Although even in this case, an established and expert epublisher might well do a better job IMHO--and an agent should help an author make that determination. There is more to epublishing than just sticking an ebook on the market.
    Agreed. I seem to think that Wylie ended up hooking up with Amazon to get his out there.

    MM

  12. #12
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    I think Wylie ended up getting spanked by Random House, but that was just my take on it.
    Emily Veinglory

  13. #13
    On a coffee fueled writing spree! CScottMorris's Avatar
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    General consensus for most start-ups, is to wait one to two years, and see if they are still around. Still applies in this case.
    My rather amateurish blog about Fantasy Lit, Steampunk, and the struggles of an aspiring author: CScottMorrisBooks.com Yeah, we don't have enough 'aspiring writer' blogs already, I have to add to that?

  14. #14
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    veinglory
    I think Wylie ended up getting spanked by Random House, but that was just my take on it.
    I heard that Wylie got his Random House clients a v. good deal for those ebook rights because Random House couldn't afford to let them go.

    The man's known as the Shark for a reason and his client list is one that any agency would drool over. Random House might have refused to deal with him, but they do so at the risk of losing some of the biggest names in literary fiction.

    Scott Waxman however (and with all due respect) is no Andrew Wylie. I'll be interested to see how this venture goes.

    MM

  15. #15
    practical experience, FTW ChelseaWriter's Avatar
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    *peeks in* Just wondering if anyone's had experience with this publisher -- curious to know how things have progressed since the last post here (in 2010). Thanks in advance for any info....

    Author website

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  16. #16
    practical experience, FTW RobertEvert's Avatar
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    Diversion Books Meeting....

    Quote Originally Posted by ChelseaWriter View Post
    *peeks in* Just wondering if anyone's had experience with this publisher -- curious to know how things have progressed since the last post here (in 2010). Thanks in advance for any info....
    I just had some experience with them.

    I have a manuscript that my agent has been shopping around for six months or so. Some of her other clients had had some success with Diversion Books so she sent them my work.

    They liked it and scheduled a meeting with me, my agent, and some of their marketing people. We talked for a good half hour/45 minutes about how my manuscript could reach a lot of people, yada, yada, yada.

    In the end, they told me that they'd let me know "soon" whether they wanted my project. That was five days ago and, of course, I'm waiting by the phone

    My impression of them was that they were pleasant, without being overly phony or unduly optimistic. They told me what they liked about my story (so they obviously read it thoroughly) and we discussed how I would have to be involved in marketing it, if they were to publish it.

    Overall, I would probably prefer a hard copy publisher willing to give a million dollar advance... but as an environmentalist, I can see where e-books may be the wave of the future. I just don't want my work to get sucked into the undertow.

    Does that help?

  17. #17
    practical experience, FTW ChelseaWriter's Avatar
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    Bergen, that helps a lot, thanks. And congrats on the interest you're getting! I hope it all pans out!

    If you don't mind me asking, what kind of fiction do you write?

    Author website

    The Chilton Crosse Series -- Painting the Moon, Finding the Rainbow, Seeking the Star -- published by Red Adept Publishing, available at all online venues.


  18. #18
    practical experience, FTW RobertEvert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChelseaWriter View Post
    Bergen, that helps a lot, thanks. And congrats on the interest you're getting! I hope it all pans out!

    If you don't mind me asking, what kind of fiction do you write?
    Oh, no problem at all.

    I wrote a fantasy piece. But it's kind of "fantasy lite." Some magic and extraordinary beings, but not much. Personally, I think of it as more of a romance/bromance story.

    When I met with Diversion Books, we talked a good deal about that. I was hoping to show them that my manuscript could have a broader audience than just typical fantasy. But I'm not sure if they agree. Day number six is coming up and still no call Of course...it's Sunday. Come tomorrow, I'll be camped by the phone!!!

    What are you writing?

  19. #19
    practical experience, FTW ChelseaWriter's Avatar
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    Oh, the waiting is so hard -- here's hoping you get a good result tomorrow.

    I write women's fiction. It seems like Diversion leans more toward chick lit, so I don't know if it'll be a good fit. But I decided to query anyway. *shrug*

    Author website

    The Chilton Crosse Series -- Painting the Moon, Finding the Rainbow, Seeking the Star -- published by Red Adept Publishing, available at all online venues.


  20. #20
    practical experience, FTW RobertEvert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChelseaWriter View Post
    Oh, the waiting is so hard -- here's hoping you get a good result tomorrow.

    I write women's fiction. It seems like Diversion leans more toward chick lit, so I don't know if it'll be a good fit. But I decided to query anyway. *shrug*
    They told me that they were interested in really expanding. I can't recall the exact numbers, but they said something like, "We'll publish 50 books this year and will try for 100 next year." I went on Amazon and found that many of their books were selling well.

    Give them a try. What's the worst that can happen?

  21. #21
    practical experience, FTW RobertEvert's Avatar
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    Anybody else working with Diversion Books???
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  22. #22
    practical experience, FTW RobertEvert's Avatar
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    If anybody is interested, I got a contract from Diversion Books. They seem good to work with. So, for now, I recommend them. However, I get the feeling that marketing my book is completely up to me. But I'm guessing that is how it usually works for first time authors.

    If any of you work with Diversion Books, let me know. I'd like to hear your thoughts.
    ***********************
    "In this world, you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant. Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me." -Elwood P. Dowd

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    The first chapter is available here

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  23. #23
    I got it covered Undercover's Avatar
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    Congrats, Rob! How has it been going? Are they helping you with marketing?

    Does anybody else know anything? I know Toothpaste has a book with them. Looks good to me.

    Looks like they offer print books too? What makes a book go into print?

  24. #24
    I got it covered Undercover's Avatar
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    Okay, so I'm freaking out. I sent a sub in August to the "info" email and happened to nudge since it was going on the 3 month mark. Well when I went back to the site, I noticed they now want the submissions directed to specific people, so I contacted Randall Klein. He responded right away, saying he was new (started this past Sept) and told me to requery. Well, he was amazingly responsive...and...

    OMG, I got a full request within the same day! Today. I've had that happen with agents in the past, but never a publisher. That's a first! I'm still in shock.

    Then I was like, thank you (here it is) and have a nice holiday season, preparing myself for the wait and he emailed me back he will get back to me BEFORE the holiday season. I'm still in shock.

    Anyway, I was impressed to say the least.

    I checked out their Amazon rankings and it looks good for most of their books. I love the covers too. I just wish they paid advances. They do have a high royalty rate so that may make up for it.

  25. #25
    Just the facts, please
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    No longer taking unagented submissions.

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