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Thread: Martin Sisters Publishing

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW para's Avatar
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    Martin Sisters Publishing

    This publisher was mentioned on one of my yahoo groups. Don't see a thread for them.
    http://www.martinsisterspublishing.com/
    http://martinsisterspublishing.blogspot.com/ (I keep getting a mypctech's message popping up about bandwidth exceeded - not exactly a ringing endorsement)
    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001587927205

    Looks like a start up, I could be wrong though. Couldn't find anything other than the claim of 50 years experience in editing, publishing and book design.


  2. #2
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    The website is attractive, but this appears to be a startup that hasn't yet actually published anything. Plus, there's nothing to suggest the publishers have any prior experience. All the usual cautions apply.

    They ask for a marketing plan, which suggests that most of the marketing will fall to the author.

    They also might want to re-think the name of their Barefoot Books imprint--there's already a publisher by that name.

    - Victoria

  3. #3
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    Martin Sisters Website:
    (One of the biggest misconceptions about the world of book publishing is that authors get to write while publishers sell their books. While MSP will work very hard to market your book, the true success of any book comes from the author’s willingness to put themselves and their work into the marketplace. This can include media contacts you may already have, a fan base you have already collected, book events you plan to attend, signings at bookstores, etc.)
    The marketing plan is very important!
    Yes, the marketing plan is very important, which is why any author should ask Martin Sisters Publishing exactly what they plan to do to sell it. Will they have distribution in place so that books are stocked in stores? Do they have review contacts they can send ARCs to (in fact, will they even do ARCs or free review copies)?

    Marketing does not just fall to the author. The publisher should be as invested in the success of the book.

    Martin Sisters Website:
    Martin Sisters Publishing’s editors bring over 50 years of experience in editing, publishing and book design to the MSP company.
    There is absolutely nothing on the website to support that claim. I would want to know who they have worked for in getting that 50 years experience.

    Martin Sisters Website:
    The sisters want their readers to feel as much a part of the Martin Sisters family as the original family members who created the publishing company.
    I'm mentioning this because it's a personal turn-off. As an author, if you're looking to make money from your book then you want a publisher who is dedicated to operating as a business that will make money from it (and money that will in turn flow to you). As an author I'm not interested in joining a family. I want someone who will sell my books (and not just to me, my friends and my family). While I obviously want to have a good relationship with a publisher, I'm not looking for surrogate sisters or whatever and that kind of cosy relationship can get in the way of an author's professional interests.

    Martin Sisters Website:
    We are two real sisters who are self-made women that started from meager beginnings.
    After years of hard work and sacrifice we have arrived at a place where we are fulfilled emotionally and professionally and realize it is time to do what we love. Our company is personal to us and can be seen in every element from our logo to our many publishing imprints. There is a story behind everything.
    The two maples leaves on our logo represent each of us. Fall is our favorite season and the maple tree is indigenous to the beautiful mountains we see every day. We are both entering the fall of our lives, a place we hope to stay for a very long time.
    The turning of the maple leaf amidst the kaleidoscope of the mighty oaks and gentle cedars bring vibrant colors for nature’s canvas. We now are ready to bring our unique splash of color to the publishing industry .
    Welcome. We hope you visit us often.
    Melissa and Denise
    This is their "About Us" page and it tells you absolutely nothing about the founders, their experience or what they're going to bring to an author's book that the author can't do for themselves. There are also grammatical mistakes, which make me question their self-proclaimed editing skills.

    Martin Sisters Website:
    Martin Sisters Publishing is accepting queries for all genres of fiction (including science fiction and fantasy); and non-fiction (including self-help), these submissions may include Christian fiction and inspirational.
    For a start-up it's better to focus on one genre or category of non-fiction so that you can target the marketing and promotional efforts and build up a reputation to enable you to go into other genres. The fact that they're pretty much open to everything, suggests to me that they're going to lack that focus.

    Martin Sisters Website:
    The Sisters are not accepting submissions for poetry, torrid or any books containing extreme violence.
    I mention this because while it's good that they're not accepting poetry (for which there is no market), they are actively soliciting the following:

    Martin Sisters Website:
    Haven’t we all fancied ourselves poets at one point or another only to go back to that “priceless” journal of ours to find it was some really horrible prose? I know my sister Dee wrote some really bad poetry when she was in the fifth or sixth grade — something about puppies in the snow. Cute but not Walt Whitman material. And, I too have to confess I did my part as well to embarrass myself and the poetry gods by penning a bad lyric or ten! For girls this affliction usually starts in elementary school with that first crush and continues through high school, while boys begin prosing at puberty and finish almost before they start. Here’s hoping you kept some of that really bad poetry. We at MSP would like to include it in our next book so dig it out of that old box in the top of your mother’s closet or recreate it from those almost-forgotten memories gathering cobwebs in your head as I write this post. Send submissions to submissions@martinsisterspublishing.com Please put the words Bad Poetry in the subject line. There is no word limit in this category.
    If good poety is a hard sell then how on earth is a publisher going to sell a book comprising bad poetry? From these guidelines, I don't see anyone wanting it other than the author or their friends and family and that's not a good customer base for an author.

    Ditto this comment for another collection they want to put together of bad country and western songs:

    Martin Sisters Website:
    Yes, it’s a lot like the book of really bad poetry but the difference is that you repeatedly sang your heart out (when, if you’re like me you couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket). You most likely tortured your family, friends and neighbors as you held them captive while you belted out that tune that was going to earn you a cool million someday. Then, you finished with that dreaded question, “What did you think?” Well, if you’re still longing to get that bad boy published we’re definitely interested. We may not be able to produce a studio recording with Brad Paisley at the mic and we can’t take it to the top 40 but we can certainly publish it in our book. Send submissions to submissions@martinsisterspublishing.com Please put the words Bad Country Music Songs in the subject line. There is no word limit in this category.
    All in all, while I don't doubt the company's intentions, there's nothing here that makes me think they're currently placed to give authors a good deal.

    MM

  4. #4
    Pedaling Pescado Bicyclefish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Momento Mori View Post
    ... while it's good that they're not accepting poetry (for which there is no market), they are actively soliciting the following: [...]

    If good poety is a hard sell then how on earth is a publisher going to sell a book comprising bad poetry? From these guidelines, I don't see anyone wanting it other than the author or their friends and family and that's not a good customer base for an author.

    Ditto this comment for another collection they want to put together of bad country and western songs [...]
    I personally might be interested in reading the bad writings of established authors for laughs and as an "everyone's written something bad, so don't give up, and keep improving your skills" thing but not from unknowns. I can find plenty of that online for free.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by victoriastrauss View Post
    They ask for a marketing plan, which suggests that most of the marketing will fall to the author.
    Vic, may I just clarify something? Asking for a marketing plan, in and of itself, isn't a questionable practice. For example, our sales guys want a promo plan because the buyers ask what the author is doing to promote the book. I need that info fairly early on once a contract is signed because it feeds out to so many places within our and our distributor's walls. We hold meetings on how best to exploit that promo plan, adding to it as new ideas hit the round table. The author's plan is often the foundation upon which we build our overall promo/marketing plan for the book.

    Additionally, I may be on the fence about a book, but if I see that the author has a strong platform, that may sway me to ask for pages. Mind you, I do mostly memoir/nonfiction, so this is pretty standard stuff, but I do want to see the author's promo plans even with fiction. It helps me determine the author's reach.

    This isn't a commentary on Martin Sister's request for a promo plan because I don't know anything about them.
    Last edited by priceless1; 04-02-2011 at 04:02 AM.

  6. #6
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Point taken, Lynn--marketing plans for nonfiction/memoir are standard, at large publishers as well as small ones. However, for novels, they aren't standard, and if a fiction publisher asks for a marketing plan, it is a bit of a red flag--not necessarily an indication of a questionable publisher, but definitely of one with limited marketing ability.

    Should have made the distinction clearer--sorry!

    - VIctoria

  7. #7
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Sventh's Avatar
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    Just curious about a publisher

    If this has been asked before could you point me to the right direction. I don't have time to go through a 118 pages.


    Ok I've sent a query letter to Martin sisters publishing in march and I got a response 3 days ago. They want to look at the first three chapters of my manuscript, plus they want me to make a Book Marketing plan which is fine.

    I am wondering if they are legit or not.

    I can't really find anything saying that they are a scam. I've already checked the Predators and editors site and it says nothing about them.

    I found them on the writersdigest site and all. They don't have much information about their publishing and what not. If I send them my stuff they wont receive it by email because there submissions are closed until sept 30.

    If any of you have info on this publisher it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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  8. #8
    Coffee Coffee Work Coffee AW Moderator amergina's Avatar
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    I'm sure a moderator will come around and move this, but the Martin Sisters thread is here: <snipped>

    Also, for handy-dandy reference, there's an index thread where you can search for publisher and agent threads here (it's stickied to the top of this forum):

    http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=792
    Last edited by CaoPaux; 09-10-2011 at 07:22 AM. Reason: threads merged, thanks!
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  9. #9
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sventh View Post
    If this has been asked before could you point me to the right direction. I don't have time to go through a 118 pages.

    But the rest of us do?



    For future reference, you can either check the Index thread Amergina's pointed out, or from the main forum page click "Search This Forum" in the blue bar above the forum, on the right. Enter "Martin" or "Sisters" (or "Martin Sisters," of course) and hit enter, and the system will search for you.
    Last edited by Stacia Kane; 09-10-2011 at 06:33 AM.
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  10. #10
    I grow my own catnip JulieB's Avatar
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    Also, if you click on amergina's link and then click on the Publishers and Online Markets link, you can use the search function in your browser (ctrl-f for most browsers on Windows systems) to easily determine if a given publisher has a thread.

  11. #11
    Have Harp Will Travel JSSchley's Avatar
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    An author I follow on blogger was their first author.

    For some reason I feel odd about putting her blog up here, so I edited. PM me if you want it.

    Her experience seems to have been pretty good so far, but they've had some typical problems of new startup publishers (e-distribution channels not fully in place at first, etc.) She does all her own promo, it seems. So, something to think about. Personally, I'd be concerned simply about their newness. I think waiting a year, even two, with a new pub is a good idea.

    (And not to pile on, but do search. You'll get a lot more out of these boards if you do. The "search" function is one reason my post count is so low--I usually find eight posts with whatever question I was thinking of asking/topic I was thinking of starting and then just end up reading.)
    Last edited by JSSchley; 09-11-2011 at 09:31 AM.

  12. #12
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    I queried them back in October and last night I got a request for a full and a marketing plan. I see that many small publishers do that. There's one that has already agreed to publish my novel and is also asking for a marketing plan.

  13. #13
    Murder isn't so bad...
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    It's nice that the site is so well-designed and reader friendly.

  14. #14
    practical experience, FTW
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    I'm wondering if anyone who submitted to them has been rejected?

    It looks like they're operating more as a print broker (although they don't acknowledge that) than a publisher as their books all seem to be done by Smashwords. They do offer "royalties," but it's a fraction of what a writer would get if they published to Smashwords directly.

  15. #15
    Disapproving plot bun disapproves. FluffBunny's Avatar
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    I am not an editor, amateur or otherwise. I'm still working my way through The Chicago Manual of Style; as absolutely fascinating as it is, it's slow going. That being said, this quote from their "Reasons Why Manuscripts Get Rejected" page struck me as a little odd:

    • The word “as” is a flag that says “new writer” to the reader. Either eliminate or change every “as” you find in your manuscript.
    Oh, dear. I used it twice in "as absolutely fascinating as it is..." I suppose I could rephrase it as (ouch!), I mean, thusly: "it's fascinating reading, but..." If you're writing about a garage sale, for example, and something is marked, "As Is", do you change it to, "Thus, So"? What the heck? *tries to figure out an alternative title to As You Like It. My Two Sons? Sibling Rivalry? I Married a Pseudo-shepardess?*
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  16. #16
    A faithful friend & a good library AphraB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FluffBunny View Post
    If you're writing about a garage sale, for example, and something is marked, "As Is", do you change it to, "Thus, So"? What the heck? *tries to figure out an alternative title to As You Like It. My Two Sons? Sibling Rivalry? I Married a Pseudo-shepardess?*
    (insert icon here to represent snorty and uncouth laugh)

  17. #17
    Back in the black, & staying there! Marian Perera's Avatar
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    As the Crow Flies, Jeffrey Archer

    As Lie the Dead, Kelly Meding

    As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner

    As the Lady Wishes, December Quinn


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  18. #18
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FluffBunny View Post

    Oh, dear. I used it twice in "as absolutely fascinating as it is..." I suppose I could rephrase it as (ouch!), I mean, thusly: "it's fascinating reading, but..." If you're writing about a garage sale, for example, and something is marked, "As Is", do you change it to, "Thus, So"? What the heck? *tries to figure out an alternative title to As You Like It. My Two Sons? Sibling Rivalry? I Married a Pseudo-shepardess?*

    Forgive me, but that is utter poppycock. An entire book without the word "as?" WTH is wrong with "as?" It's a perfectly good word, and a perfectly necessary word, which fulfills a specific purpose.

    I won't even go into how difficult similes are without "as," or that often "like" in a ms (as in, "It was like someone had given her ridiculous advice with no basis in reality") is changed to "as though" or "as if" (as in, "It was as though someone had given her ridiculous advice with no basis in reality") by copyeditors, who presumably know what they're doing.

    Or how I couldn't have written "as in" in the above examples without "as."

    What did "as" ever do to them?

    And even if they meant it specifically in relation to titles...as QoS pointed out, it's silly. I honestly cannot conceive of an entire ms without one "as."

    Quote Originally Posted by Queen of Swords View Post
    As the Crow Flies, Jeffrey Archer

    As Lie the Dead, Kelly Meding

    As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner

    As the Lady Wishes, December Quinn and Anna J. Evans
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  19. #19
    Back in the black, & staying there! Marian Perera's Avatar
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    Oops, should have looked that up. Thanks for the correction! I feel like a horse's as.

    Well, no, I don't. I just wanted to make that joke.


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  20. #20
    Disapproving plot bun disapproves. FluffBunny's Avatar
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    Remember, too, that you can't spell "asinine" without "as". ("Likinine" or "thusinine" just don't have the same cachet.) *goes off to mourn the "as"s (ases?) in her writing*
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  21. #21
    On a small world west of wonder LindaJeanne's Avatar
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    The word “as” is a flag that says “new writer” to the reader. Either eliminate or change every “as” you find in your manuscript.
    Bolding mine. Further down on the same page:

    Other than the rare exception as last noted, if you use anything ending in “ing,” please double check to make sure it is not overwriting. Overwriting kills any chance that your book will be a “page-turner.” You should either rewrite the “ing” phrase as a new sentence or delete the entire phrase.
    (bolding, again, mine)

    And on the front page:
    The sisters want their readers to feel as much a part of the Martin Sisters family as the original family members who created the company.
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  22. #22
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacia Kane View Post
    Forgive me, but that is utter poppycock. An entire book without the word "as?" WTH is wrong with "as?" It's a perfectly good word, and a perfectly necessary word, which fulfills a specific purpose.
    It's also perfectly cromulent.
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  23. #23
    Seen 'em come, seen 'em go Gravity's Avatar
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    No "as" in a work? My God, what a silly thing to say.

    And ladies? Dean and Quinn would like their last names back. Thank you.

    As you were.
    John Robinson (formerly Cameron Bane ... RIP)

  24. #24
    Disapproving plot bun disapproves. FluffBunny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gravity View Post
    No "as" in a work? My God, what a silly thing to say.

    And ladies? Dean and Quinn would like their last names back. Thank you.

    As you were.
    Not to mention, Johnny Leonard Roosevelt Martin, aka "Pepper" Martin (the ballplayer, not the actor).
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  25. #25
    On a small world west of wonder LindaJeanne's Avatar
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    Guys, I know no harm is meant, but discussing questionable things about their business model or on the site is one thing; giving them a hard time about their family name is something else. (It didn't seem severe enough to report, but it just doesn't rub me the right way).

    Cheers,

    LindaJeanne
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