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Thread: Grey Gate Media, LLC (formerly Briona Glen Publishing)

  1. #51
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin dphillips's Avatar
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    Lengthy Discourse

    Many have weighed in on this discussion. Some genuinely seek information, while others just want to argue or split hairs. So please, let's clear the air. I posted because people wanted information. There is still confusion. So we'll try one more round of Whack-A-Mole, as every statement gets pulled like taffy in different directions, and some folks don't seem to parse the discussion well.

    When I put forth my reasons for going with an independent publisher, that got off into traditional (which some feel is the best, or in some cases the only method) vs other methods (independent publishers and self-publishing). We got sidetracked into the discussion of other means, and some folks got confused again.

    I have repeatedly said that writers now have options, and that each writer should research what is available and make a business decision based on proper information. Traditional, big-house NY publishing is one way-- yet there are other, viable options.
    Does everyone get that now? Because more than a few missed that before.

    To those who stridently deny that there are other, viable options, there is an abundance of proof. Thousands of data points of proof, backed up with facts, figures, and sales numbers. It's not "a few"-- priceless1, please note.

    Yes, we all know writers who have done well by the traditional, big-house way. Yes, traditional, big house publishing benefits some people, and is good for those it benefits. People whose livelihood depends on a system are naturally going to support that system, as we've repeatedly seen here. That does not mean there aren't other systems that benefit other people.

    And yes, this new world has changed the landscape drastically in the last two years. I've changed my mind by doing the research and weighing the information.

    For those who feel I donít know much about the publishing business, I've been studying the publishing business for years, communicating with agents, publishers, booksellers, distributors, writers. I've spent hundreds of hours researching different methods of publication, and talked to many people in the business, and attended professional conferences to get more information. Books, articles, websites, blogs, personal experience and contacts from all stages of publishing.
    Oh, yeah, had an agent for 2.5 years, who said I had a professional manuscript, and an acquisitions editor at a big house who agreed.
    Sorry if that's too uninformed for you, Old Hack...

    Priceless1, having a big house with money and the desire to promote you is a wonderful thing-- if you can get it-- but thousands of writers donít have that. Study the many, many examples-- such as writers who were told by multiple NY editors that their book was brilliant and beautiful-- and turned down. Did you read about the pub house that went ballistic on their prize-winning author, because a different book of hers was-- gasp-- non-traditionally published? Or hear from the power agent who told another writer that his terrific book would do better self-published (he did, and it's doing rather well). Most of all, read the working, professional writers-- who've made their living in the traditional publishing field for years-- who now say that the model is broken.

    While priceless1 may not like hearing it, it's being said so often because many thousands of writers have experienced it-- and continue to tell other about their experience. Priceless1, since you make your living using one method, of course you'll defend that to the death, and pooh-pooh other options. No one's telling you that you shouldnít do what puts food on your table, but it's not the best path for everyone, as you've been advocating.

    Old Hack, I also urge writers to learn from people who know what they're talking about. Guess you consider long-time, professional writers like Barry Eisler, Dean Wesley Smith, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Michael Stackpole, and others to be "agenda-driven shock bloggers"? Yeah, what do those naÔve, uninformed dumbasses know, huh?
    Why not put your money where your mouth is-- go and post your comments on their discussions, telling them why they donít know what they're talking about, and why you think they're full of pony poop. If you've got time to post over 5000 comments here, you should be able to knock off a screed or two there.
    This should be fun. Epic smackdown. I'll bring the popcorn.

    Oh, and Old Hack, please don't paraphrase for me-- it gets all twisty when you try. I said Iíd beat an average midlist advance of 5K minus standard agent fee (4250 once again, for those who keep missing it). Modest numbers, but some still couldn't fathom it from an independent.
    And it's not a ceiling, as others seemed to surmise.
    Don't worry about product scarcity, folks-- we'll have enough of my books to go around. Are you people hand-calligraphing your books by monks, or what? J

    JulieB-- in the course of research, there were quite a number of stories of publishers who did little promotion on numbers of books, which indeed floundered. You can find a lot of horror stories.
    And shall we talk about how many publishers have dropped the backlists of midlist writers, killing sales on series and other titles?

    LillyPu-- sorry you got confused. I champion options, and I was blending them at certain points, in opposition to the One-Way method proponents.

    And I wasn't trying to imply that Briona Glen didn't do editing, nor that they expect perfect self-editing from all their authors. I was saying that as a professional, my manuscript was quite clean before it went to them. Read my book, and if you think it's sloppy, let me know, because that's 99.98% of how it was submitted. Many people submit sloppy manuscripts, expecting others to do the work for them. I don't prefer that method.

    Sure, some professional editors are good at editing. And most writers need at least one really good editor, however that happens. "Some" critique groups and editing workshops aren't good, yet some are. Again, check the results-- and then make a decision. But I've seen a lot of "professionally edited" material that was crap-- published books from NY houses, including books on the best-seller list. Stuff that wouldnít have got past any of the critiquers I use.

    I also stated before that Briona Glen uses professionals that are not listed on their website, and that the website is outdated.

    LillyPu-- what I'm happy about is that I now have two quality series novels out-- in many distribution channels, finding more readers every day, while I write more books. I can now publish more good books, and find more readers. To me, that is preferable to the unpublished limbo, waiting to win a lottery of sorts, hoping that the NY gods of traditional publishing will swoop down and propel you to fame and glory.

    And yes, books sell in many more places than AmazonÖ

    LillyPu-- don't know about the Facebook thing, but my guess is that they were contacted by folks who'd seen a book advertised there. As I said, new to me.
    Be sure to come back and let folks here know what publishing option you decide to go with, and share your experience. That will add information for others. Best of luck!

    Swvaughn-- if you're burning both ends, I think they have a cream for thatÖ
    Glad you're happy with your publisher. Didnít say you shouldnít be, go with whatever option you prefer. Donít promote if you donít want to. I was sharing my experience, responding to people who wanted information. I sure didnít say it was for everyone.
    Any publisher only publishes a fraction of what's available, so they're not feasible for "most authors." They can only publish so many, leaving many thousands of others without the benefit of their expertise.

    Yeah, that myth about Konrath only being successful now because traditional publishing made him famousÖ it's been debunked, at painstaking length, in a number of places. Sorry we got into the aside, but people keep bringing up other issues than Briona Glen.

    Okay, let's summarize, so we can stop beating a few of these dead horses. Pay attention, there will be a quizÖ

    • People posting here arenít bad people, we just have differences of opinion.
    • In today's world, there are different publishing options.
    • No publishing option is right for everyone.
    • Each person is free to choose the publishing option they want.
    • A person can be quite happy with their choice, despite the fact that others think they could do better with another option.
    • There are different measures of success.
    • People do not have to do what you or I think they must do. As Yoda would say, "Is no MUST-- is only do, or do not."
    • Having a professionally published book out that is selling while you build a larger readership is better than an unpublished manuscript with no sales or readership.
    • Whatever your opinion of others backgrounds, methods, or beliefs, this is not an ideological battle of good vs evil.
    • Things that help writers are good, even if you think it wonít help you personally.
    • Briona Glen Publishing has helped some writers to professionally publish quality books. That does not mean you are supposed to publish with them if you donít want to. They are building, and growing. They are not perfect.
    There-- now we can all get back to writing! Good luck, all!

  2. #52
    I grow my own catnip JulieB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dphillips View Post
    JulieB-- in the course of research, there were quite a number of stories of publishers who did little promotion on numbers of books, which indeed floundered. You can find a lot of horror stories.
    And I will say again, a publisher (from the smallest epub outfit to a small press to the big six) is supposed to be in business to make money. They may be passionate about good writing, but they can't publish that good writing if they don't make money at it. While most midlist authors don't get the book tour and other promotional stuff, I can tell you for a fact that I had distribution to bookstores, the book listed in catalogs, cover flats, sometimes ARCs. (I mentioned that before.) This is what EVERY writer gets from a commercial publisher. My publisher also took out ads in program books at some conventions where I made an appearance.

    And I got an advance. Every single time. Sometimes I got royalties, too. And I'm not a big name writer.

    Some books will not do as well as expected. But if ALL midlist books performed like that, publishers would be out of business real fast. The midlist is their bread and butter. The big, splashy releases may move a lot of copies, but midlist series books tend to sell consistently over time.

    Quote Originally Posted by dphillips View Post
    And shall we talk about how many publishers have dropped the backlists of midlist writers, killing sales on series and other titles?
    Actually, I have a friend who has been working hard to get her backlist RETURNED from the publisher. They returned some titles, she reissued them as ebooks, and they're doing well. It wouldn't surprise me to hear that those sales drove some sales of her backlist still with the publisher.

    The lovely thing about getting the rights back to those midlist books is that the author can reissue them and keep ALL of the profits for themselves. Even before the current ebook revolution, I knew midlist authors who worked with small publishers (some still do) to get their backlist titles back into print. There's money there, or they wouldn't do it.

    You seem to be painting the industry with a very broad brush.

  3. #53
    crazy mean SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dphillips View Post
    For those who feel I donít know much about the publishing business, I've been studying the publishing business for years, communicating with agents, publishers, booksellers, distributors, writers. I've spent hundreds of hours researching different methods of publication, and talked to many people in the business, and attended professional conferences to get more information. Books, articles, websites, blogs, personal experience and contacts from all stages of publishing.
    Oh, yeah, had an agent for 2.5 years, who said I had a professional manuscript, and an acquisitions editor at a big house who agreed.
    Sorry if that's too uninformed for you, Old Hack...
    You've done a lot of hard work and that's great, Mr Philips. But from where I'm standing you've not actually learned much about the realities of trade publishing.

    Old Hack, I also urge writers to learn from people who know what they're talking about. Guess you consider long-time, professional writers like Barry Eisler, Dean Wesley Smith, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Michael Stackpole, and others to be "agenda-driven shock bloggers"? Yeah, what do those naÔve, uninformed dumbasses know, huh?
    You're the one who called them dumbasses, not me. That's not what I meant at all.
    Why not put your money where your mouth is-- go and post your comments on their discussions, telling them why they donít know what they're talking about, and why you think they're full of pony poop.
    I have. Several times. I know how to comment on blogs. What's your point?

    Yeah, that myth about Konrath only being successful now because traditional publishing made him famousÖ it's been debunked, at painstaking length, in a number of places.


    It's been discussed here too, by an editor who knows what she's talking about.


    Mr Philips: I get that you're pleased with Briona Glenn and all they've done for you. But that doesn't mean that other people's opinions or concerns are nonsense, or that anyone who criticises them are automatically wrong.

    I hope your books do really well and that you continue to be as happy with BG as you are right now. I'd be grateful if you'd come back in six months or so and let us know how things are going.

  4. #54
    Writer Beware's Faithful Igor Richard White's Avatar
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    Anyone thinking that Stackpole isn't benefiting from his huge fandom in SF to do his own stuff now is seriously deluding themselves.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by dphillips View Post
    Priceless1, ... read the working, professional writers-- who've made their living in the traditional publishing field for years-- who now say that the model is broken.
    You're not doing your own research. You're simply taking the opinions of others, for whom DIY has been successful, and assuming them as your own because it happens to fit your particular mind set, which is fine. I've never said that DIY wasn't a good idea - I have said authors need to do their research in order to understand what is most appropriate for them.

    You site a few cases where publishing decisions are wonky and conclude that publishing is broken? This shows me how little you understand commercial publishing. Hundreds of thousands of books are published each year from commercial publishers, who manage to do well enough.

    While priceless1 may not like hearing it, it's being said so often because many thousands of writers have experienced it
    Hardly a compelling argument. Have you considered who those "thousands" are? At no time have there been so many writers. With the advent of digital printing and e-publishing, anyone with an idea and a computer can call themselves an author, with little regard for talent. It's litlte wonder there is large populace who complains they can't get published. Well, maybe they shouldn't be - who knows?

    And sorry, but the JA Konraths of the world can thank their commercial publishers for creating their readership and establishing their platform.

    Priceless1, since you make your living using one method, of course you'll defend that to the death, and pooh-pooh other options.
    It's obvious that you don't read my posts because I have never said one publishing method is better than another. I maintain that commercial publishing is more viable and ensures more success for the author because they have a direct line to the marketplace and a large support system. That doesn't preclude DIY authors from being successful because they're natural promoters.

    But then again, I'm pretty sure you're not in a learning mode about how the industry really works...

  6. #56
    permaflounced
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    Is Briona Glen Publishing now Grey Gate Media LLC? Their website seems to have vanished. Anyone know how they fared over the past year?

  7. #57
    Just the facts, please
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    Apparently, yes, there's been a name change and several staff changes. Though BG's FB page is still active.

    http://m.facebook.com/BrionaGlenPublishing

    Not taking new manuscripts: http://gilbertliteraryagencyauthors....en-publishing/

  8. #58
    Formerly Phantom of Krankor. AW Moderator Torgo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dphillips View Post
    So- how many debut novels were launched by those houses last year, and how many sold more than a few thousand?
    Do you actually want that information? If I actually took the time to dig it out, which is something I can do, including sales figures, and I demonstrated to you incontrovertibly that debut authors are launched all the time and many of them do extremely well, will you acknowledge that you are wrong when you imply otherwise?

  9. #59
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Doubtful. I wouldn't waste the time on it.

  10. #60
    Formerly Phantom of Krankor. AW Moderator Torgo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Filigree View Post
    Doubtful. I wouldn't waste the time on it.
    I may do that at some point anyway, as it is an annoying canard. I love debut authors - they're cheap.

  11. #61
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Yes, and debut authors are actually a more-prized resource to the Big Guys than burnt-out midlisters.

    But the effort you'd put into that research could be more profitably spent on your own advancement. Or more altruistically, by offering some useful information to...drumroll...people who will use it.

    Dphillips may or may not lurk here, but has only posted 8 times and hasn't shown up in a while. I think that counts as a flounce?

    There's a certain group of publishing evangelists who aren't going to process, much less read, any argument countering their chosen worldview. Why did they choose it? Because it makes them feel better about their decisions and their future options. Some of them will have a breakout hit from a brand-new publisher. Most won't. Some of them will take genuine accomplishment from selling only a few copies to family and friends. The rest will spin excuses.

    We have reasoned discussions all over AW on just this subject. Every publishing industry magazine or blog contains examples refuting the canard that debut authors have no chance in the big, cold, uncaring markets. It's the other side of our coin: that sometimes those big markets are cold and mercenary, and sometimes self-publishing or small-press publishing may be the best solution for certain writers.

    Personally, events of the past year have made me adopt Filigree's Rule: some authors deserve some publishers, and vice-versa, and I'm not going to stand in their way.

  12. #62
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    Thanks, JournoWriter. I've seen Briona Glen's FB page. I know of a few writers who have published with them -- even after being shown this thread. Maybe they're happy, I don't know. I've heard rumblings.

    I assume there's a thread here on Gilbert Literary Agency. From scanning their website, they strike me as dubious.

    From their website:
    All authors and publishing firms listed on this page are contracted to the Gilbert Literary Agency.
    Since Grey Gate Media used the agency's website as the staging for announcing their changes (to the world and their authors) then GGM has become one of Gilbert Literary Agency's publishers? None of the publishers listed on the agency's website seem to require an agent to submit. Plus, they sell services.

    Back to Grey Gate Media, I've forgotten what they were called before they became Briona Glen. If history repeats, another name change is on the horizon for 2014.

  13. #63
    Writer Beware's Faithful Igor Richard White's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torgo View Post
    I may do that at some point anyway, as it is an annoying canard. I love debut authors - they're cheap.
    Hmm, puts Torgo on his list of people to harrass . . . I mean, chat with one of these days. *grin*

  14. #64
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    I read this whole thread. Took me forever, so now I feel the need to comment. I went to Mr. Phillips' website and it seems that his third book in his series is being published by a different "publisher". And well...here's the link.

    http://www.rosstrumpublishing.com/

    I think the website is pretty self-explanatory.

  15. #65
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

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