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Thread: Dark Regions Press

  1. #1
    writer/teacher JL_Benet's Avatar
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    Dark Regions Press

    http://www.darkregions.com/

    It looks like they got a good line-up of writers.

    This is from their Submit page:
    Dark Regions Press is by invitation only. Please do not e-mail us regarding submissions with either fiction, poetry or artwork. Thank you.

  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW Weirdmage's Avatar
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    This was posted on a friends Facebook page today, it's about Dark Regions Press. I got his permission to repost it here. The only alteration done is the removal of book titles in the last paragraph.


    THE FOLLOWING IS A LONG RANT THAT MAY BE OF INTEREST TO SOME WRITERS My faith in one small press publisher in the US has been utterly eroded by a series of emails forwarded by a friend of mine-one of their authors who has patiently waited more than 18 months without sign of a royalty statement let alone actual you know cash for the books they are selling, and then accuses her of 'threatening them' because she's looking at going to the professional Grievance body of their organisation to try and get back what she's owed while they continue with 'grand plans'. I had a book come out with them, looked really nice, that was a few years ago... and likewise I've had no royalty statements so have no way of telling if they've sold *one* copy. I have other friends in with this guy, one I know is owed a lot of money... we're all very nice and patient and not saying boo to a fucking goose, meanwhile his tales of woe continue on facebook with something akin to a persecution complex. Did I mention excuses?

    JAN 28: please give us until late February/early March to send payment on these royalties. Sales have been slow this month and production costs are high. We will have significantly more cash-on-hand next month and will be able to easily make the owed payments.

    APRIL 6: The primary reason for the delay in your royalty statements is that my father XXXXXXX has to go through piles of paperwork for past vendor orders and other non-website collector orders to get all of the numbers together, and as my dad is currently dealing with an inheritance and potential retirement, he's sparse on time himself. We are working on it though, and I want to assure you that what I care most about is taking care of our authors, artists, editors and designers.

    MAY 24: Alright folks, we know you've been waiting a while. Here's the deal: I have asked repeatedly for the sales numbers from vendor orders in the past, but since I can't get them, we will only be able to work with the numbers we have. We are going to start working on each authors royalty amounts, sale amounts and payments this month based on the numbers that we can access (website, Amazon, Smashwords, sales through vendors since I've been running DRP). Since we don't have to wait for other numbers to arrive, this task will be completed after World Horror Convention (but potentially before).

    There is also a lot going on with the company at the moment as it is plagued with both internal and external problems. As the days go on I will decide how to move forward with it, but know this: I will see to it that each author and each book is handled with respect, transparency and professionalism. I want each and every author to receive the payments they are due, and that their titles are handled the right way moving forward.

    JUNE 30: We will be assembling all of the numbers we have access to for all sales and other relevant information pertaining to each authors' titles. After that, we will be sending royalty payments and sales reports to all authors by the end of July.

    My personal commitment: to have all author royalties paid and be in good standing with all of our authors/artists/staff by the end of July so XXX is poised for a successful 2nd half of 2013.

    With staff insurgence and a lot of other problems, much of the responsibilities in the company have fallen into my lap, and it became overwhelming. However, upon moving to xxxxxxxxx we are hiring a (desperately needed) office assistant, which will help a lot with handling these kind of matters much more promptly.

    -------

    It's comedy gold, in one email he'll say 'I'm just one man' and then in another will blame staff insurgence... Now, on May 24th I sent a reversion letter for TWO of my projects to this 'threatened' publisher - very polite business-like stuff. I even wrote it following the legal template so all he had to do was sign it and return it to save him time, because frankly I'm fed up with the excuses and one of my books was contracted in 2006 and hasn't seen the light of day. May 24th - that's FIFTY NINE days ago. In that time he's ignored every mail about reversion and kept instead promising 'you'll get every penny owed' - bearing in mind he's now claiming he can't access vendor sales info pre what the last 12 months no one is going to get every cent, but that's by-the-by and for me it was never about the money but there are things going on I do not like. When a writer has no recourse but to turn to the HWA Grievance Committee in hopes of getting her money there's something very fucking wrong in the state of Denmark frankly.

    You want alarm bells?

    Over the last few months said publisher has donated over 1,000 stock books to libraries in the US - wonderful gesture, right? only of course he can claim these as charitable donations and get tax relief on them whereas the writers whose work he's donated won't see a bean because they're listed as non-sales. But don't worry, he's launching a huge kickstarter that's taking up loads of his time... you know the time he should have used to clear business issues that led to this complete fuck up of a situation. I'm a really patient guy, as evidenced by the fact I've watched [redacted book title 1] exist nowhere but as a name on their website for 6 years only to slip away silently, cancelled without me ever being told it's been cancelled because the guy didn't have the professional courtesy to do it. Do I expect to ever see the mythical money for [redacted book title 2]'s limited and lettered edition? No I don't. But when I see him playing the martyr on facebook it seriously pisses me off. Everyone has been really patient with this company through various transitions and the vast array of excuses... but frankly I think the authors in the HWA should take them to the GC if they haven't had their money in the next 10 days, given that was his personal commitment mark 3... or is that 4? All I can tell you is from the day the hardcover of [redacted book title 2] came out until now I've never had a single sales statement, so that's a good couple of years. What I have had to do was intervene on behalf of not one but two friends who bought copies that were never dispatched, who contacted this publisher multiple times and only got their books when I finally got shitty. And I see people say things like 'oh I really want to publish with these people' well, be careful what you wish for, I reckon.

  3. #3
    The force is strong in this one. williemeikle's Avatar
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    I'm with Dark Regions too - seven books.

    I won't say more at this moment - I'm being patient for a wee bit longer and waiting to see if they make good on their promised date of the end of July.



  4. #4
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    Mama mia. I've been known to whine about my publisher's editing, or product placement, but never this. Royalty statements and timely payments, I guess I took all that for granted. Now I'm counting my lucky stars.

  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW
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    Does anyone have any updates about DRP, please? They've just opened to public submissions, so I was wondering if the problems had been cleared up or not...

  6. #6
    Seen 'em come, seen 'em go Gravity's Avatar
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    For God's sake, given the above, why would you even want to? If you're looking to query houses, start from the top and work down.
    Cameron Bane

    PITFALL now out through WildBlue Press, August 2015

    www.cameronbanebooks.com



  7. #7
    practical experience, FTW
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    I have a weird, difficult to place novella that looked like it might have fitted in there. And hope springs eternal, so I thought I'd check.
    Last edited by OJCade; 03-22-2014 at 02:40 AM.

  8. #8
    The force is strong in this one. williemeikle's Avatar
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    The fact that two of their most recent books are by Ramsey Campbell and Clive Barker should tell you something.

    Chris has the business back on an even keel and is attracting some of the biggest names in horror.



  9. #9
    Just another face in a red jumpsuit shelleyo's Avatar
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    It's good to see them back on track. Unfortunately (for some like me, others won't mind), if you submit and are accepted (and don't have a recognizable name, I'm guessing), you have to take part in a crowdfunding campaign for your book, because that's how it's funded.

    It's a method that's obviously good for their business, but I was disappointed to read that as someone who doesn't care for crowdfunding at all.
    "Now, come on, as you guys get older you'll realize people don't mean to be obnoxious, it's just that they're all screwed up inside." -- Joel, MST3K, Gamera

  10. #10
    Just the facts, please
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    From the site:

    We have been working diligently behind the scenes to improve our distribution model that is built to last the ever-changing publishing and book industry. We've also been quietly building a new, stronger network of book reviewers.

    Starting in 2014 our books will begin to reach a much wider audience, with distribution through Ingram, CoreSource, EBSCO, Amazon and Overdrive. We will also be sending out review copies of our titles to many more reviewers further in advance and encouraging customers with incentives to place their reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and elsewhere.

    This is our dedication to our authors: their books will be read by far more people than ever before with DRP, and will be reviewed by the likes of Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and more.
    So the publisher crowdfunds to underwrite the costs of production. It's unclear whether they have full distribution. What, exactly, does an author get that, say, self-pubbing doesn't provide?

  11. #11
    The force is strong in this one. williemeikle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JournoWriter View Post
    From the site:



    So the publisher crowdfunds to underwrite the costs of production. It's unclear whether they have full distribution. What, exactly, does an author get that, say, self-pubbing doesn't provide?

    Many years of experience of publishing and selling deluxe hardcover signed editions to a dedicated collectors market with a publisher that has won many genre awards for a starter.

    That, an enthusiastic fan base and collectors market, truly gorgeous books as an end product, a bragging bookshelf that looks like this...



    , name recognition in the horror genre, and a publisher I've been mostly happy to be with for several years now and will continue to submit to.

    Your mileage may vary of course.



  12. #12
    Just the facts, please
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    All right, maybe I didn't phrase that properly. I get that it's an experienced company with a fan base. But if every book is crowdfunded, what is the publisher's investment beyond time? The publisher is making money off every sale, but doesn't appear to be putting any money in. Authors are putting their work and careers on the line; what skin does the publisher have in the game?

  13. #13
    practical experience, FTW benluby's Avatar
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    Why in the hell would someone wait years for their money? I'm sorry. Never dealt with them, and, based on the above, a company with a history of excuses and failure to honor business commitments (read: Pay their writers.) I wouldn't send them anything to look at.

  14. #14
    The force is strong in this one. williemeikle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benluby View Post
    Why in the hell would someone wait years for their money? I'm sorry. Never dealt with them, and, based on the above, a company with a history of excuses and failure to honor business commitments (read: Pay their writers.) I wouldn't send them anything to look at.
    I've been with them for 5 years now. I've had to wait a couple of months on royalties in the past, but never years.

    And they have paid - unlike several other presses I've had dealings with. Dark Regions are at the better end of the scale when it comes to the genre small press.

    What's good enough for Ramsey Campbell and Clive Barker et al. is good enough for me.



  15. #15
    Just another face in a red jumpsuit shelleyo's Avatar
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    Journowriter, Dark Regions is a respected imprint in the horror and dark fantasy genres. If you write those genres, I think also science fiction, you could do a heck of a lot worse than to be published by them. And yeah, if they're now putting out books by Clive Barker and Ramsey Campbell, they're publishing serious heavweights.

    My only quibble is the crowdfunding for new acceptances, and that's only a personal one because I'd rather bang my face against a wall than make a video asking for money. Other people love crowdfunding. To each his own.

    William, you're an established and succesful horror author. Do you have to do crowdfunding for your books through Dark Regions? I'm guessing you don't, and it's just new and newer authors.
    "Now, come on, as you guys get older you'll realize people don't mean to be obnoxious, it's just that they're all screwed up inside." -- Joel, MST3K, Gamera

  16. #16
    The force is strong in this one. williemeikle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shelleyo View Post
    Journowriter, Dark Regions is a respected imprint in the horror and dark fantasy genres. If you write those genres, I think also science fiction, you could do a heck of a lot worse than to be published by them. And yeah, if they're now putting out books by Clive Barker and Ramsey Campbell, they're publishing serious heavweights.

    My only quibble is the crowdfunding for new acceptances, and that's only a personal one because I'd rather bang my face against a wall than make a video asking for money. Other people love crowdfunding. To each his own.

    William, you're an established and succesful horror author. Do you have to do crowdfunding for your books through Dark Regions? I'm guessing you don't, and it's just new and newer authors.
    The crowdfunding thing is fairly new - so far they've done the new Barker, the Pugmire and Thomas collaboration, and are currently doing the World War Cthulhu anthology. I've got a new book coming in July from them that's not being crowdfunded, but I don't know what the future holds...

    I do know that Chris sees crowdfunding as little different from taking advance orders. Most of the options on their campaigns are to get the books plus some added extras for taking part.



  17. #17
    practical experience, FTW benluby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by williemeikle View Post
    I've been with them for 5 years now. I've had to wait a couple of months on royalties in the past, but never years.

    And they have paid - unlike several other presses I've had dealings with. Dark Regions are at the better end of the scale when it comes to the genre small press.

    What's good enough for Ramsey Campbell and Clive Barker et al. is good enough for me.

    Some of the comments then, were rather unclear. I am still not a fan of the crowd sourcing thing, however.

  18. #18
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    Bumping this. Has Dark Regions gotten better about its accounting with authors?

    I ask because if the authors are getting paid regularly, then I have a better chance of getting paid as a freelance copy editor.

    Quote Originally Posted by shelleyo View Post
    Journowriter, Dark Regions is a respected imprint in the horror and dark fantasy genres. If you write those genres, I think also science fiction, you could do a heck of a lot worse than to be published by them. And yeah, if they're now putting out books by Clive Barker and Ramsey Campbell, they're publishing serious heavweights.
    I agree that they're heavyweights. That DRP have a different M.O. for the heavyweights... makes it very hard to decide about this press, however.

    Quote Originally Posted by shelleyo View Post
    My only quibble is the crowdfunding for new acceptances, and that's only a personal one because I'd rather bang my face against a wall than make a video asking for money. Other people love crowdfunding. To each his own.
    Per the submit page, DRP still uses crowdfunding for newer authors.

    That page also says something about net royalties being profit sharing... ahhh, haven't heard that before. =boggled=

    Author will receive a base payment (or advance) in the amount of $500 and starting rates of 35% NET royalties (profit sharing) for trade paperback editions and 45% NET royalties (profit sharing) for ebook editions which can increase to 40% and 50%, respectively, based on sales thresholds being reached.
    Also...

    If the crowdfunding campaign fails, authors will be paid a flat advance of $500 ($250 pre-pub $250 post-pub) and royalties will start after NET royalties earned surpass $500.
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  19. #19
    AW's resident Velociraptor ShaunHorton's Avatar
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    So, with the crowd-sourcing thing, would it be better to skip if you don't have a real network? God knows I can't get people to show up to a bar on a Friday night for my birthday...
    My weekly blog
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    It's out! Hannah is finally out of my hands and on Amazon!

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    "Well, yeah, but that's kind of the point."

  20. #20
    practical experience, FTW Dhewco's Avatar
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    Shaun, I'm even sadder. I couldn't get my 'friends' to show up for my 40th birthday celebration at Applebees. (to be fair, I had recently lost my job, so I told them I'd need them to pitch in dinner costs). Only one said he'd come, and he backed out a short time after saying he'd be there.

    Anyway, back on topic, I write scifi and what my beta readers insist is YA fantasy. I doubt I would even meet their needs, but I couldn't crowdfund. I'm a major introvert. I don't have a lot of friends and I can't see how crowdfunding would work for someone like me. Maybe I'm not seeing something.

    Is there a link somewhere for what, exactly, is meant by crowdfunding?

    David

  21. #21
    practical experience, FTW Weirdmage's Avatar
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    Seems like Dark Regions is using methods that would throw up all kinds of red flags in a new publisher.
    in my opinion, established, and respected, publishers that use those methods (crowdfunding and profit-sharing) are definite run-aways. I think it's sad that authors like Clive Barker give publishers like this the semblance of respectability by letting them publish their books.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dhewco View Post
    Anyway, back on topic, I write scifi and what my beta readers insist is YA fantasy. I doubt I would even meet their needs, but I couldn't crowdfund. I'm a major introvert. I don't have a lot of friends and I can't see how crowdfunding would work for someone like me. Maybe I'm not seeing something.
    It may depend on the person. I'd say that it's not about your friends, it's about your readers -- current and potential -- and what they want to read.

    Possibly using crowdfunding to order books works for DRP. I don't know, I haven't ever ordered a book that way. But per my example below, that's what has indeed worked for six sf/f/h anthos.

    I've boosted signal for them, that's all. You may want to ask various readers and authors who participated in those.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dhewco View Post
    Is there a link somewhere for what, exactly, is meant by crowdfunding?

    David
    I think DRP having the authors run the crowdfunding is kind of strange. As someone said upthread, why have a publisher then?

    David, for what crowdfunding is, you may want to do a Google search. There are authors like Tobias Buckell who crowdfund to get a book published, just as other hybrid authors (or self-pub'd authors) might.

    I've seen various sf/f anthologies get crowdfunded: Lightspeed's _Something_ Destroy Science Fiction and the others that followed it. Last year it was Women Destroy, this year it's Queers Destroy. 8) NPR named Women Destroy SF as one of their best books of 2014.

    I haven't heard back from DRP on my freelance query. When (if) I do, I'll update y'all here.
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  23. #23
    practical experience, FTW Dhewco's Avatar
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    Well, I can see how an established author could successfully crowdfund, but one who has never published (like me)...I just don't see how that could work. Do crowdfunding require you to provide a free sample? I think it must for a new author. (Who would fund a book on a new author?)

    David


    PS. I have trouble writing short fiction. I keep wanting to add stuff. Ninety percent of the time, I can't stop at a few thousand words. When I do succeed, I feel that there's something missing from the story and I start a wip based on the story anyway. This is a long winded way of saying I won't be submitting to an anthology. (Unless it's of a set of 40k novellas, lol)\

    One more edit: I'm sorry if I've pulled us off topic, I'll stop now.
    Last edited by Dhewco; 04-01-2015 at 03:52 PM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dhewco View Post
    Well, I can see how an established author could successfully crowdfund, but one who has never published (like me)...I just don't see how that could work.
    A new author gets funded by readers who want to read the work. Plain and simple. 8)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dhewco View Post
    Do crowdfunding require you to provide a free sample? I think it must for a new author. (Who would fund a book on a new author?)

    David
    WRT free samples, can't tell you. Doubt they're needed.

    But I suspect you're fretting because this is new and scary. That part I understand. (Hell, I lurked here on AW for YEARS until I felt safe enough to post. Also, I knew I'd be totally addicted.) So be of good cheer, we all know where you're coming from.

    Do you blog?

    Kameron Hurley isn't too comfortable interacting with people. She did a guest blog tour and that gave her a) new readers b) a place where she felt safe and/or useful writing c) a great way to introduce her writing style to readers.

    I know I'm a fan of her writing from that alone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dhewco View Post
    PS. I have trouble writing short fiction. I keep wanting to add stuff. Ninety percent of the time, I can't stop at a few thousand words. When I do succeed, I feel that there's something missing from the story and I start a wip based on the story anyway. This is a long winded way of saying I won't be submitting to an anthology. (Unless it's of a set of 40k novellas, lol)\

    One more edit: I'm sorry if I've pulled us off topic, I'll stop now.
    Oh no, don't be sorry. That's what Bewares [etc.] are for!

    Apologies for taking so long to get back here. I ended up running into a lot of Life that interrupted my online time.

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  25. #25
    Frankensteinian patchwork Jrubas's Avatar
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    Hey, everyone;

    I just got a rejection from DRP’s science fiction line. It reads, in part:

    I've read through the manuscript, and while it's a fun read, I don't think it's the right fit for DRP at this time.


    I was just wondering: Is this DRP’s form rejection, or should I take the editor at face value that he thought my novel was “fun”?

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