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Thread: Tell-Tale Publishing / Wise Words Publishing

  1. #1
    Card-carrying Geek kathleea's Avatar
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    Tell-Tale Publishing / Wise Words Publishing

    Anyone know about this publisher? I submitted a request about them in one of the stickies and then realized I should put it here. Oops. Anyway, they have a contest on their website for fantasy/sci fi/horror. Any experience with them?
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  2. #2
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Kathleea, can you provide a link to their website?

  3. #3
    http://www.tell-talepublishing.com

    Doesn't appear that they've launched yet. No information on the website pertaining to publishing experience or how they plan to actually move books.

    I would say that they give no real reason to consider them as a legitimate publisher.

  4. #4
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    I reckon it's this one: http://www.tell-talepublishing.com/

    Pretty pictures on website. Music on website -- not offensive music, per se, but any music on a website drives me mad. Lists staff names and photos but no info on them otherwise. A quick google search shows their romance editor published a couple of paranormal romances with ImaJinn (POD press) and their YA editor did ImaJinn's cover art; the CEO/horror editor and the romance editor are both members of the same RWA chapter. Other than that I can't find much info on the staff.

    Tell-tale does not appear to have yet released any books. Four imprints (romance, fantasy, horror/mystery, and YA). Open for submissions; states that agented submissions are preferred. No info as to whether this is an epress/POD press/small press/advance paying press. Given the lack of industry experience by the staff, the listed response time of 6 weeks, and an upper word count of <110,000, I'm betting on POD.

  5. #5
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    Just to say that the folks behind Tell-Take have also got another company - Wise Words Publishing, which is aimed at non-fiction writers and who I found after they started following me on Twitter.

    Website is here:

    http://www.wisewordspublishing.com/

    Beware the music.

    MM
    Last edited by Momento Mori; 03-11-2011 at 08:15 PM. Reason: Me no type good

  6. #6
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Seems like they plan to be a fantasy epublisher, maybe.
    Emily Veinglory

  7. #7
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Tell-Tale Publishing Group

    Good afternoon. I have read and found your remarks very helpful and informative. Thank you for your candid impressions.

    As the CEO for Tell-Tale Publishing Group, LLC, I am also very much aware of the seriousness of your questions and comments. I hope we have solved the problem of trying to create a website that is by nature designed to attract readers, but by necessity must also--especially in the beginning--be useful to writers. It was updated this morning and is an ongoing process, of course.

    As to our legitimacy, several of us have been involved in the publishing industry for a quarter of a century. They say it's who you know...and we not only know many key players, such as a personal friend who has worked for a distributor for decades and a group of friends who started a very successful publishing company a decade ago. I myself worked as an International Communication magazine editor. We bring a very diverse set of skills and networking connections to the table. Obviously, we negotiate contracts with individual authors and do not post such information on our web site. Yes, we do pay advances, and yes we do award free books to authors and all the other industry standard procedures. We will be publishing in e-book, trade book and hard cover formats.

    As one of you noted, we do have a sister company that publishes nonfiction works.

    We have extended our contest to our open submission date, seeing an obvious problem with credibility or lack of communication. Unfortunately, we do not handle Science Fiction or High Fantasy at this time. We handle Horror, Steampunk, Urban Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal and Young Adult--see website for details on individual imprints.

    Response time is much faster than weeks at the moment, but this is industry standard as we know we will get inundated with submissions come April 1st. Currently we are working with highly published authors of our acquaintance on works we ourselves solicited, but once open submissions begin we will quickly fill our client lists, so please do not hesitate to submit contest entries. What have you got to lose?

    If you have further questions, PLEASE feel free to ask "us" as we should know the best answers and we are more than willing to help you out. We have added a contact for especially for writers' questions on the Writer's page. I hope this has been helpful...

    Elizabeth

  8. #8
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EFortin View Post
    so please do not hesitate to submit contest entries. What have you got to lose?
    Potentially, everything.

    Your contest rules state:
    By e-mailing your entry, you are submitting an entry for consideration in this contest and thereby agreeing to the terms written here as well as any terms
    possibly added in the comments section of the blog post.
    So I send in my submission, you add into the comments that anyone submitting to the contest has to pay a ten thousand dollar fee, and hey presto, I legally owe you ten grand. Or you add in a notice that anyone submitting a manuscript is signing copyright over to you****. Or that winners are required to accept the contract offered by you without any negotiation.

    No thanks.

    Adding: If you do want people to submit to this contest, you might want to consider actually mentioning the contest on the website. Many people won't bother reading a website's personal blog, and that seems to be the only place there is any mention of this contest.

    ****In case anyone is going to say "Oh, NO publisher would ever be crazy or unethical enough to take all the rights for every submission they get, whether the submission wins the contest or not!", I give you Exhibit A: First One Publishing's contest.
    Last edited by Unimportant; 03-19-2011 at 02:23 AM. Reason: adding example

  9. #9
    Hapless Virago IceCreamEmpress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EFortin View Post
    What have you got to lose?
    The opportunity to publish the book with another press that has better distribution and a larger market share.

    The opportunity to enter contests that have clearly defined terms and agreements binding both parties, not contests that can be redefined at any time by one side.

    I've also been doing this for a quarter century, if we're getting into a length-measuring contest here.


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  10. #10
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    I've also been doing this for a quarter century, if we're getting into a length-measuring contest here.[/QUOTE]

    Your tone was angry and personal. I simply tried to offer information that answered the questions I saw here. Why am I trying to length measure with you when I have never heard of you?

    The sarcastic hyperboles were nonsensical. I am sorry you feel the need to put someone else's work down to build yours up. We are not saying we have nothing to learn, or that we will ever stop learning. If nothing else, a Ph.D. just taught me how much I have yet to learn. We are sincere, honest and hard working. We never feel the need to belittle or throw stones. I pray we never do.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by EFortin View Post
    As to our legitimacy, several of us have been involved in the publishing industry for a quarter of a century. They say it's who you know...and we not only know many key players, such as a personal friend who has worked for a distributor for decades and a group of friends who started a very successful publishing company a decade ago. I myself worked as an International Communication magazine editor.
    Elizabeth
    - What key players do you know?
    - What distribution company? There are good ones and lousy ones, so it makes a big difference.
    - What successful publishing company didyour friends started a decade ago?

    Without details, none of this really means much of anything.
    Last edited by literary_lola; 03-19-2011 at 07:53 PM.

  12. #12
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EFortin View Post
    I've also been doing this for a quarter century, if we're getting into a length-measuring contest here.
    Your tone was angry and personal. I simply tried to offer information that answered the questions I saw here. Why am I trying to length measure with you when I have never heard of you?

    The sarcastic hyperboles were nonsensical. I am sorry you feel the need to put someone else's work down to build yours up. We are not saying we have nothing to learn, or that we will ever stop learning. If nothing else, a Ph.D. just taught me how much I have yet to learn. We are sincere, honest and hard working. We never feel the need to belittle or throw stones. I pray we never do.
    Attempting to reconcile your assertions with your offerings is hardly angry or personal. You present nonsensical contest terms, then end with "What have you got to lose?" -- the answer to which is obvious to anyone with the experience you claim ....
    Last edited by CaoPaux; 03-19-2011 at 08:23 PM. Reason: verbs are good
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  13. #13
    Hapless Virago IceCreamEmpress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EFortin View Post
    Your tone was angry and personal.
    No, that was "mockery".

    I simply tried to offer information that answered the questions I saw here. Why am I trying to length measure with you when I have never heard of you?
    I was poking fun at your assertion that you and your cohorts must know what you're doing as publishers because you claim twenty-five years of experience in other roles connected with the publishing industry.

    I am sorry you feel the need to put someone else's work down to build yours up.
    No, what I was doing was puncturing your passive-aggressive self-puffery using the pointed needle of snark. But thanks for returning that with some mealy-mouthed condescension, because you only confirm my opinion of your professionalism.

    Seriously, you are not representing your business well here. People pointed to what are--putting the kindest interpretation possible on them--significant errors in the way you have constructed the rules and information for your contests, and you respond with "What have you got to lose?" Publishers who are so blithely cavalier about writers' intellectual property rights are publishers to be avoided.

    The right answer is "Thanks for bringing those concerns to our attention. Obviously we don't intend to engage in a rights grab; we'll correct that language ASAP, because it's important that the contest rules be clear and aboveboard."
    Last edited by IceCreamEmpress; 03-20-2011 at 04:50 AM.


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    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceCreamEmpress View Post
    The right answer is "Thanks for bringing those concerns to our attention. Obviously we don't intend to engage in a rights grab; we'll correct that language ASAP, because it's important that the contest rules be clear and aboveboard."
    ICE, IMO that would be the right answer if this were a new, wet-behind-the-ears, no-experience-but-leaped-in-the-deep-end-anyhow publisher. It wouldn't be suprising to have a newbie write guidelines that didn't really reflect the publisher's intentions. But when it is someone who has extensive industry background and connections, and multiple decades' worth of relevent job experience, surely the right -- and only-- answer would be "Thanks for bringing those concerns to our attention, but your efforts were unnecessary. Obviously, since we are knowledgable and experienced experts in this industry, we worded it that way because it means precisely what is says, and we intend to implement it in precisely that fashion. If submitting authors don't understand the implications of what our guidelines say, then that's their fault for not doing their homework. If you are uncomfortable with our requirements then, obviously, don't submit to us."

  15. #15
    Hapless Virago IceCreamEmpress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unimportant View Post
    "Obviously, since we are knowledgable and experienced experts in this industry, we worded it that way because it means precisely what is says, and we intend to implement it in precisely that fashion."
    My faith in human nature encourages me to assume that people are more likely to make mistakes than they are likely to purposefully write predatory contracts.


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  16. #16
    Today is your last day. FOTSGreg's Avatar
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    ICE, you would be amazed. There's even a business term for such contracts and it's not angel or investor.

    I couldn't quite remember yesterday, but Uncle Jim jogged loose a synapse or two.

    In my experience the term has most often been called "factoring". A factor contract is one of the most predatory contracts I've ever had the unfortunate experience of reading or nearly being involved in. In short, a "factor" buys up a company's accounts receivable before they're due and at a discount in return for a short-term loan to said company. If the loan is not repaid in full within a specified period of time the factor effectively takes control of said company.

    Ie, you sell your ARs for say 80% of what they're worth in exchange for a short-term (usually 30 days) loan of that amount. Let's say one of your clients decides to withhold payment for 45 days.

    You are screwed. The factoring agency now legally controls your business since you cannot possibly pay the full amount of the loan within the specified contract period of 30 days.

    I've redlined factor contracts trying to show company principles why getting in bed with a factor is a bad business decision that they will only end up regretting (yeah, I used to know a lot about this stuff).

    It's a lot like a payday loan at a check cashing store.

    There are predatory contracts and contract writers out there. Have an attorney go over any contract you are thinking of signing well before you sign it.
    Last edited by FOTSGreg; 03-22-2011 at 03:09 AM.

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  17. #17
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    Hi, EFortin, and welcome to AW.

    EFortin:
    As to our legitimacy, several of us have been involved in the publishing industry for a quarter of a century.
    I've been through your website and couldn't see any detail to support that beyond the fact that you and Laurie cite experience as professional editors (without supporting details for you've worked for). Could you let me know what precisely you and your colleagues' involvement has consisted of? It's not so much a matter of establishing legitimacy as relevant experience.

    EFortin:
    They say it's who you know...and we not only know many key players, such as a personal friend who has worked for a distributor for decades and a group of friends who started a very successful publishing company a decade ago.
    Are these friends formally working for or consulting with your company? What type of help are they actually giving? Which companies do they work for? How reliant will you be on your friends in the short term?

    EFortin:
    Yes, we do pay advances, and yes we do award free books to authors and all the other industry standard procedures. We will be publishing in e-book, trade book and hard cover formats.
    That's good to know.

    What kind of distribution do you have in place? Are you looking to put books in stores nationally or are you going to focus on particular regions in the US first and then branch out?

    Also, could you let me know whether you will be looking to take US rights only or worldwide rights?

    I note that Tell-Tales is split between 4 imprints although there seems to be an overlap between some of them (e.g. Dahlia and Stargazer both feature steam punk and urban fantasy). Given that you're going into some competitive markets (e.g. urban fantasy, young adult and romance) how do you plan to separate yourself from your competition?

    The reason I ask is because many new publishers find it better to start in one particular market so they can focus their marketing efforts and then slowly build into other markets. My concern is that given your staff seems pretty small, you won't have the personnel to effectively market in all of the markets that you're covering - particularly if those same staff members are also involved in your sister company, Wise Words as the non-fiction market is even more fickle than the fiction market.

    EFortin:
    As one of you noted, we do have a sister company that publishes nonfiction works.
    That was me.

    I note that again, you're running a couple of imprints here - one on motivational/inspirational works and the other on academic texts. To me that seems like a very broad church and to repeat, I'd be concerned as to how you're going to manage that business in conjunction with Tell-Tales because you're going for different audiences there, which means there won't be a massive opportunity to cross-market and I do worry that you'll find yourself spread too thinly.

    EFortin:
    Currently we are working with highly published authors of our acquaintance on works we ourselves solicited
    Can you say who these authors are? I note that you have a testimonial from Thomas Sullivan on both web pages. Will he be one of your first authors?

    I think that the idea of published established 'name' authors with new authors is sensible.

    Can you share how many publishing slots will you have for each imprint per year and how you plan to divide these (e.g. will they be 50% new authors and 50% established authors or some other ratio?)

    EFortin:
    please do not hesitate to submit contest entries. What have you got to lose?
    Speaking personally, the reason why I get concerned at seeing new publishers run contests is because if that publisher has no track record (which Tell Tales doesn't, notwithstanding your personal connections) then there's a risk of the author losing their book. Therefore the prize has to be something more concrete than just the "chance" of publication. I would want to know exactly what it is that I'm getting into because otherwise there's a concern that my book becomes a guinea pig for the publisher to try out their ideas on and that's no good for me - especially if I've spent a long time working on it.

    In addition to these general concerns, there are additional points within your contest rules that would make me pause:

    Tell-Tales Competition:
    One (1) paragraph providing the title, full word count and very brief description of the work and the first two (2) consecutive chapters of your completed, book-length work of Steampunk, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal or Horror adult fiction.
    Is the competition going to be run in stages? I ask because there is no way that any publisher could seriously consider offering a publishing contract on the strength of 2 chapters. What would make sense is if there is a sifting process - start with the opening and synopsis and then use a second stage to review manuscripts.

    I note that the deadline for entries is 31st March but there's no information on your blog as to when winners will be notified. There should be in order to provide entrants with certainty. If you're going to require that people have a completed manuscript as a condition to entry, then you need to make it clear how those are going to be evaluated.

    Tell-Tales Competition:
    Contest Eligibility
    1. Mention and link to this contest blog twice through your social networks (blog,
    Twitter, Facebook, etc.).
    2. Or, mention this contest and link this blog to your blogroll (http://www.tell-
    talepublishing.com/writing-blog.html).
    3. Provide links so we can verify eligibility. If you do not meet this criteria, your
    entry will be disqualified.
    Forgive me for saying this, but you essentially want your entrants to promote your company for you. This should never be a condition to entry - if you're serious about wanting good manuscripts to consider, then surely the focus should be on the manuscript.

    In addition, asking people to promote you once is bad enough, asking them to do it twice leads me to suspect that all you're interested in with this competition is getting your name out there. That's simply not on and it will make people question your motibvation.

    Tell-Tales Competition:
    6. By e-mailing your entry, you are submitting an entry for consideration in this
    contest and thereby agreeing to the terms written here as well as any terms
    possibly added in the comments section of the blog post.
    Given that you don't have any terms or conditions set out in your blog post, I don't see how you could possibly seek to rely on this and certainly as a lawyer, I would never recommend that anyone signs up to a competition where you're agreeing to abide by rules that the organisers may decide to impose in the future.

    Ideally your competition should specify that unless you're the winner, then all rights in an entrant's work will revert after X date and that if you are the winner then the prize will be subject to contract. The only way you can expect people to agree to give you rights to their works is if you post a copy of the contract you'll require them to sign (and even then, good luck with enforcing that).

    Tell-Tales Competition:
    The top 3 winners in each category will receive a critique of the entry by a published author or editor.
    You need to specify who these authors or editors are, just as you need to specify who the judges are. I presume that this will be you and your staff members but if so then that should be made clear. Credentials are very important in establishing whether it is worth while submitting - particularly in this case where a critique is advertised as one of the prizes.

    Personally, if I got a critique from a "published author" who turned out to only be self-published, then I wouldn't be impressed.

    Tell-Tales Competition:
    The top winner in each category will be considered for publication by Tell-Tale Publishing Group, LLC.
    "Considered for publication" is not a prize because it's conditional. What would carry weight is, to put it bluntly, cash - i.e. offer a cash prize that's the equivalent of your standard advance. That way if you decide not to proceed then the author is still getting something worthwhile in submitting their manuscript.

    Tell-Tales Competition:
    We are not saying we have nothing to learn, or that we will ever stop learning.
    I think that a big concern is that your learning curve is going to be achieved through using someone else's manuscript.

    Tell-Tales Competition:
    We are sincere, honest and hard working.
    I don't doubt it. What concerns me is whether you have the experience and capital to do what you intend to do.

    Tell-Tales Competition:
    We never feel the need to belittle or throw stones. I pray we never do.
    That isn't the right response if you want people to stop raising concerns or asking questions about your company.

    Many of the issues and queries raised here are legitimate and are being asked in good faith. You might not like them, but if you're going to engage with people and want to reassure them that you are sincere, honest and hard-working then surely it's better to answer them to the best of your ability than to claim that people here are acting maliciously.

    If you don't want to answer them then that's your right. Be aware though that your flounce and the tone of your posts will act against you.

    We're very protective of writers' interests here and that's why we're so tough. It's not personal - it's because many of us have seen too many publishers come and go over the last few years, each one taking with it writers' hopes and dreams and when you spend months or years on a manuscript, the last thing you want to do is just take a chance on someone - you need to be able to make an informed decision because that's the only way you can protect your interests.

    MM

  18. #18
    figuring it all out Mr. House's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EFortin View Post
    Good afternoon. I have read and found your remarks very helpful and informative. Thank you for your candid impressions.

    As the CEO for Tell-Tale Publishing Group, LLC, I am also very much aware of the seriousness of your questions and comments. I hope we have solved the problem of trying to create a website that is by nature designed to attract readers, but by necessity must also--especially in the beginning--be useful to writers. It was updated this morning and is an ongoing process, of course.

    As to our legitimacy, several of us have been involved in the publishing industry for a quarter of a century. They say it's who you know...and we not only know many key players, such as a personal friend who has worked for a distributor for decades and a group of friends who started a very successful publishing company a decade ago. I myself worked as an International Communication magazine editor. We bring a very diverse set of skills and networking connections to the table. Obviously, we negotiate contracts with individual authors and do not post such information on our web site. Yes, we do pay advances, and yes we do award free books to authors and all the other industry standard procedures. We will be publishing in e-book, trade book and hard cover formats.

    As one of you noted, we do have a sister company that publishes nonfiction works.

    We have extended our contest to our open submission date, seeing an obvious problem with credibility or lack of communication. Unfortunately, we do not handle Science Fiction or High Fantasy at this time. We handle Horror, Steampunk, Urban Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal and Young Adult--see website for details on individual imprints.

    Response time is much faster than weeks at the moment, but this is industry standard as we know we will get inundated with submissions come April 1st. Currently we are working with highly published authors of our acquaintance on works we ourselves solicited, but once open submissions begin we will quickly fill our client lists, so please do not hesitate to submit contest entries. What have you got to lose?

    If you have further questions, PLEASE feel free to ask "us" as we should know the best answers and we are more than willing to help you out. We have added a contact for especially for writers' questions on the Writer's page. I hope this has been helpful...

    Elizabeth
    No offense, but this sounds incredibly vague.

    How have you been involved in publishing for a quarter of a century?

    What is the name of this successfully publishing company your "friends" have started?

    What is your business relationship with these friends? Are these people you go out for drinks with and listen to their occasional suggestions, or do they perform an active role in your business?

    Why won't you post a sample contract on your website? It would be nice to at least have an idea of what we could be getting into.

  19. #19
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EFortin View Post
    Why am I trying to length measure with you when I have never heard of you?
    Belittling

    Quote Originally Posted by EFortin View Post
    I am sorry you feel the need to put someone else's work down to build yours up.
    Throwing stones?

    As a business, even if you think someone is being rude to you, you need to try and stay above it by sticking to specifics and--when/if they are available--achievements.
    Emily Veinglory

  20. #20
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by EFortin View Post
    If nothing else, a Ph.D. just taught me how much I have yet to learn.
    You do know this came across as a poorly disguised "I'm smarter than you so shut up", right? You may want to do a little reviewing of Professionalism in Correspondence 101.
    Why doesn't George R. R. Martin use Twitter? He already killed off all 140 characters.

  22. #22
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    I was thinking of submitting to Wise Word Publishing, but it seems the consensus is not very positive. Is there anyone out there who has actually submitted and if so what was your experience?

  23. #23
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    You don't need to have worked with a publisher to be able to recognise the warning signs, Yoki.

  24. #24
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    A handful of books now available to gauge editing, etc.
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  25. #25
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    Contract was not particularly author-friendly but they were open to negotiation. The jury's still out on this one.

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