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Thread: Martin Brown Publishers, LLC

  1. #1
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Martin Brown Publishers, LLC

    As recently mentioned in the Wylie-Merrick thread, agents Robert Brown and Sharene Martin are ramping up their publishing venture. http://www.mbpubs.com/. Imprints are Ampichellis Ebooks and Black Dove Books.

    One can get a feel for their business plan at http://ampichellis.blogspot.com/.
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    I'm a little confused. The main site says they've been in business since 2004, but there is no actual page for Black Dove books. Nor are there any titles for BD. #WTF?

    From their ebook website About Us page:
    Ampichellis Ebooks is a traditional publishing house
    I would think that agents who have been in the business for a number of years would avoid using unfortunate terminology. It's like saying "fiction novel."
    Last edited by priceless1; 12-06-2010 at 11:36 PM.

  3. #3
    She of Many Names Irysangel's Avatar
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    Is it Ampichellis or Ampechellis? They spell it both ways on their blog.
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  4. #4
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    I'm very confused!

    My impressions on Ampichellis:
    - I like the logo. Very cool. Logo plus font makes me expect fun, light-hearted books.
    - I can't figure out why they keep capitalising "Reader".
    - As a reader, I like that the Nook and Kindle e-book versions of their mystery title cost only $3.99.
    - They've only got two books out. I put them in the "wait and see" category.
    - They accept submissions in all genres and all lengths from short stories to novels. I put them in the "wait and see, but don't hold out much hope" category.
    - Nowhere on the Ampichellis site is there any info about who owns the company or is on staff. I put them in the "wait and see, but any hope is fading fast" category.
    - The opening line of the blurb for their YA novel makes no sense to me: Five-three high school senior Sean Duffy considers women and pool his main recreations, pool a close second. I don't think I'm writing in the right language for this press. I put them in the "wait and see, but any hope is fading fast, and anyhow I don't think we're right for each other" category.
    - Why is the Black Dove page just a web hosting advert?

  5. #5
    Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. kaitie's Avatar
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    I've seen lots of agents use the phrase "traditional publishing" on websites and blogs. Unfortunately, it looks like the term is becoming more mainstream.


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    Quote Originally Posted by kaitie View Post
    I've seen lots of agents use the phrase "traditional publishing" on websites and blogs. Unfortunately, it looks like the term is becoming more mainstream.
    How achingly sad

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    Banned for Spamming profen4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaitie View Post
    I've seen lots of agents use the phrase "traditional publishing" on websites and blogs. Unfortunately, it looks like the term is becoming more mainstream.
    I agree. I've seen it on blogs of some of the most well known and well respected agencies out there. I don't think the origins matter too much, but I do think the definition needs to be very clear.
    Last edited by CaoPaux; 06-10-2015 at 06:55 PM. Reason: link wierdness

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    Personally, I prefer "mainstream."

  9. #9
    practical experience, FTW
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    Anyone with some experience with them?

  10. #10
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Blog is now at http://www.ampebooks.blogspot.com/

    Site hasn't been updated, but first books are up on Amazon to give you an idea of editing, etc.
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  11. #11
    Hapless Virago IceCreamEmpress's Avatar
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    That blog is odd. Why is a publisher so cheerleadery about self-publishing? I've never seen another publisher be so OH YOU DON'T NEED A PUBLISHER on their company blog before.


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    Imagine how confusing that attitude is when they attend writer's conferences...

  13. #13
    figuring it all out kdesanges's Avatar
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    Any updates on this publisher? Thanks!!

  14. #14
    New kid, be gentle!
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    This publisher recently updated their Web site. It shows their mission, what they've published, what they are looking for, and their submissions guidelines. Read their guidelines carefully as they are very picky. I know because they are my publisher. Their Web address is: http://www.mbpubs.com. They also have a blog at: http://www.ampebooks.blogspot.com. Loads of valuable information here for those who are new to publishing. Much of it was carried forward from when they were agents.
    Last edited by bobbyray; 07-22-2012 at 01:32 AM. Reason: misspelling

  15. #15
    Hagiographically Advantaged AW Moderator HapiSofi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaoPaux View Post
    As recently mentioned in the Wylie-Merrick thread, agents Robert Brown and Sharene Martin are ramping up their publishing venture. http://www.mbpubs.com/. Imprints are Ampichellis Ebooks and Black Dove Books.

    One can get a feel for their business plan at http://ampichellis.blogspot.com/.
    Agents are acting as publishers?
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    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    They closed the agency when they set up Ampechellis eBooks. But I got some reports at the time from agency clients who were offered publication through Ampechellis. It does appear that they're publishing some of their former clients' books, though these all look to be previously published books that went out of print.

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    figuring it all out kdesanges's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for the feedback!!

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    New kid, be gentle!
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    Yes, there are many agents anymore who preform this dual role. Many also are publishing their client's backlists. However, I see nothing wrong with a publisher who was once an agent asking ex-clients if they would like them to publish their work? Do you see something wrong with this?

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    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Bobbyray--every situation is different, and there are nearly always caveats and exceptions...but the bottom line is that these writers signed on with the agents in the understanding that the agents would market their work to trade publishers--not offer to publish it themselves with their own small press.

    There are plenty of potential conflicts of interest that arise when agencies co-habit with publishers. In this case, Wylie-Merrick did at least avoid those by shutting down the agency when it ramped up the publisher.

    - Victoria

  20. #20
    Formerly Phantom of Krankor. Torgo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaitie View Post
    I've seen lots of agents use the phrase "traditional publishing" on websites and blogs. Unfortunately, it looks like the term is becoming more mainstream.
    Hey, it was used repeatedly by our Head of Strategy in an internal presentation the other day, so I guess it's entirely mainstream.

  21. #21
    Formerly Phantom of Krankor. Torgo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbyray View Post
    Yes, there are many agents anymore who preform this dual role. Many also are publishing their client's backlists. However, I see nothing wrong with a publisher who was once an agent asking ex-clients if they would like them to publish their work? Do you see something wrong with this?
    A couple of reasons:

    a) Just because you're successful as an agent doesn't mean you know what you're doing as a publisher. Catherine Cookson's backlist is now published in Kindle by her estate working with her agent Sonia Land - have a look here at the covers they're using. They're absolutely eye-meltingly hideous.

    b) More importantly, as an agent your job is to get the best deal you can for your authors. It is in a publisher's interest, quite frankly, to pay as little as they can for a book. If the agent is also the publisher, they're negotiating with.. themselves? How does that work?

  22. #22
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Weellll...

    I'll be the voice of (slight) dissent and say that a FORMER agent asking FORMER agency clients if they would like their OOP books republished by the former agent's small publisher isn't, IMO, a problem in and of itself. I mean, why not reach out to them and see if they're interested? You had a working relationship before. I don't see it as any different at its base than, say, an editor for one house starting a new one and asking the authors s/he edited if they'd like to come publish something through their new house. And there's no problem with that.

    The usual caveats apply, and I can't say I'm convinced publishing with this house is a good idea. I'm not. This isn't an endorsement. Just that in all fairness I don't see anything untoward about just asking former clients if they have any interest--at least not in this situation where the agency was closed and the agent/client relationship severed. If the agent is no longer representing the author and thus has no responsibility or obligation to submit said author's books to other publishers, it just doesn't seem to me like much more than "Hey, we know each other, and I'm starting this thing up, want to be involved?"

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  23. #23
    Formerly Phantom of Krankor. Torgo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacia Kane View Post
    I'll be the voice of (slight) dissent and say that a FORMER agent asking FORMER agency clients if they would like their OOP books republished by the former agent's small publisher isn't, IMO, a problem in and of itself. I mean, why not reach out to them and see if they're interested? You had a working relationship before.
    That sounds fine by me, so long as the agent is clear that they are not acting simultaneously in both roles. If the former agent is now wearing a publisher hat, I'd advise the author to engage their current agent to negotiate the deal.

    I don't see it as any different at its base than, say, an editor for one house starting a new one and asking the authors s/he edited if they'd like to come publish something through their new house. And there's no problem with that.
    It's not quite the same thing, though, because the editor is still standing on the same side of the business relationship.

  24. #24
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torgo View Post
    It's not quite the same thing, though, because the editor is still standing on the same side of the business relationship.

    Fair enough.

    But I still don't think that as long as the prior business relationship was fully and completely severed and the agent in question is no longer acting as an agent, it's not unethical or otherwise questionable to contact old clients and see if there's any interest. Assuming, of course, that said authors are given a full explanation of the possible risks and benefits, and are invited to discuss the situation with their current agents if applicable (and have those agents negotiate etc. on their behalf).
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  25. #25
    New kid, be gentle!
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    Thank you for clearing some of this up for me. I would also like to add that many times authors are given NO credit for being knowledgeable adults. When anyone publishes a literary property, there is, or should be, a publishing contract involved. It is assumed, also, that authors have the ability to read and reason. Most authors are endowed with this ability or they probably wouldn't be authors. So let's give us some credit. Many who post here seem to assume that authors are stupid and, if you think about it, that's kind of insulting. Wouldn't you all agree?

    Also, many of us, myself included, tried to find an agent and when that failed, tried to find a publisher. I was a first-time author and not many these days want to take a chance on first-timers. This includes NYC agents and MOST NYC publishers. I know this for a fact as I tried for years to be published. I finally made it and with a very good publisher. My only regret is that I didn't find them years ago--would have saved lots time and money. Again, thanks for your input.

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