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Thread: [YADS] Pubslush (formerly PUBSLUSH Press)

  1. #1
    Grumpy writer and editor Absolute Sage Gillhoughly's Avatar
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    [YADS] Pubslush (formerly PUBSLUSH Press)

    From their FAQ page: http://www.pubslush.com/faq/category/1#q23

    Just as it’s done in the publishing world, we ask authors to submit the best ten pages and a summary of their manuscript. Slushers then read and support submissions by pledging their financial support. When a book reaches 2000 supporters, we publish it!
    Moses on a moped, this is NOT how it's done in the publishing industry.

    Red bolding is mine, indicative of a damn good reason for writers and readers alike to run like hell from this bunch.

    How is PUBSLUSH different from traditional publishing?

    The major difference is that instead of having one person decide what books should be published, we use the power of social media to let Slushers choose.
    So instead of an experienced editor kicking a manuscript upstairs to the suits for approval, recommending it for publication based on reading the WHOLE book, not just 10 pages (and it's 50 pages + an outline, you PubSlush Press morons) the writer has placed her book in the hands of total amateurs.

    Instead of being a business decision that results in the author making money in professional publishing with books in stores, it's a popularity contest.

    Hypothetically, a kid in school with 2000 or so students can post a piece of crap on your site, and if they ALL say they love it--backing that "love" up by paying YOU money--and you'll "accept" it for publication.

    Spiffing. Just spiffing.

    What’s the deal with editors from other publishers?
    While your book is on our site, editors from major publishing houses will be able to view promising submissions. If they are interested in publishing your book, we will present their proposal to you and act as your agent to facilitate the contract.
    Do these editors know that? Please share their names and who they work for.

    Are you aware that no editor in her right mind will be keen to touch a previously published work that's been up on the Internet for months on end? Apparently not.


    Where will my book be sold?
    Once your book is selected for publication, we’ll work with you to generate buyer interest and market your book accordingly. Through distribution relationships with major booksellers, your book will be made widely available.
    Online, probably from the PubSlush website.

    I predict that at some point in this farce the writer will have to pay money to PubSlush. That's what "we'll work with you" usually means on vanity sites.

    When do I make money?

    You’ll receive a $5000 advance upon reaching 2000 supporters and then royalties based on sales.
    You expect 2000 people to send in 2.50 each ( it could be more and I'm sure Paypal will be involved somewhere) to read 10 pages by an unpubbed author when there are .99 novels on Kindle by established pros. Brains.

    If a book does not meet its 2000 minimum, what happens to that money?

    There seems to be a 4-month time limit on this. If the writer doesn't make 2000 votes at the end of 120 days, what happens? Does one pay to extend that? What happens (again!) to the money people sent to vote for that author?


    Can I submit my book if I already have an agent?
    You should discuss this with your agent directly. While your book is on the site, PUBSLUSH must be guaranteed exclusive representation.
    No agent in her right mind will go near this place!

    Any author who already has an agent should be smart enough to avoid this pit.


    Amazingly, several writers have signed up.

    Not so amazingly:

    One writer has 154 "Likes" from FB and 6 people actually paid to support her. Ahh, the loyalty of friends! (Unless the author slipped in and paid for it herself.)

    The rest: zip money for votes and some token, as in cost-free, "likes."


    There's so much wrong with this site my head is in danger of exploding. I'll go away now. You guys have at it.

    Last edited by Gillhoughly; 09-20-2011 at 05:56 AM.

  2. #2
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    YADS

  3. #3
    Grumpy writer and editor Absolute Sage Gillhoughly's Avatar
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    Yes, it is a real company. It's too bloody idiotic not to be real. You can't make this stuff up.

    Sadly, a bunch of writers fell for the sales pitch.

    YADS indeed, wholly worthless to any writer.

  4. #4
    And a bunch more people like their FB page. Ugh.

    http://www.facebook.com/PUBSLUSH

  5. #5
    Stealing your twiglets. Anninyn's Avatar
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    This showed up on my twitter feed. I wanted to pop over to the article in question and point out that this is not how it works, but I was worried I wouldn't be able to point out WHY, out of sheer frustration.

    I hope anyone who considers it googles PUBSLUSH and sees this thread so they know exactly what they're getting into.

  6. #6
    Grumpy writer and editor Absolute Sage Gillhoughly's Avatar
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    PA's "Likes" are artificially inflated by writers asking their friends to "like" PA so the writers can win a cash prize. Prior to that they had about 100 "likes" from a core group of Kool-ade swillers.

    In this case "liking" the PubSlush page gets you a chance to win a Kindle.

    I'll point out that 800 "likes" is nowhere near the 2000 votes that literally have to be paid in so a writer can get "published" by these PubSlush clowns.

    To those writers who are smart enough to Google them and come here, this display site is a waste of your time and your friends' money.

    No editor in professional publishing will see your work. They are familiar with display sites and avoid them. They are quite busy enough with manuscripts sent through proper channels.

    Once it's up, your book is considered "published" and thus useless to a real commercial publisher.

    The publishing info on their FAQ page is either misleading or flat out wrong.

    If this nonsense actually worked, then everyone in publishing would be doing books like this.

    Don't think that this is a way to get your book "out there" or get it "noticed."

    It is not. You get your book into the the hands of a real editor who works for a real publisher who pays you real money. You'll find such books in a bookstore, not on this amateur hour website.

    You get your book published by writing a danged good book. Sorry, there's no magic bullet, no trick, no secret handshake to breaking in. You just have to sit down and write well.

    http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2007/0...ing-ropes.html

  7. #7
    Shakespearean Fool DreamWeaver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillhoughly View Post
    Yes, it is a real company. It's too bloody idiotic not to be real. You can't make this stuff up.

    Sadly, a bunch of writers fell for the sales pitch.

    YADS indeed, wholly worthless to any writer.
    When I read the name of the company, I was certain it was a joke.

    Well, it probably *is* a joke, but not in that way. In a more hurtful way, for the authors.
    Why doesn't George R. R. Martin use Twitter? He already killed off all 140 characters.

  8. #8
    Grumpy writer and editor Absolute Sage Gillhoughly's Avatar
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    A pro author has their attention on the FB "Wall."

    http://www.facebook.com/PUBSLUSH?sk=wall


  9. #9
    The King and Queen of Cheese BenPanced's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillhoughly View Post
    A pro author has their attention on the FB "Wall."

    http://www.facebook.com/PUBSLUSH?sk=wall



    Oooo! She's asking the hard questions!
    I still poop rainbows.




    I won't steal any of your ideas. I have enough of my own I'm not using.


  10. #10
    Banned
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    And just when I thought publishing couldn't get any weirder...

  11. #11
    Reinventing Myself Scribhneoir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillhoughly View Post
    A pro author has their attention on the FB "Wall."

    http://www.facebook.com/PUBSLUSH?sk=wall


    I guess they didn't like all that attention. Those comments seem to have gone *poof*

  12. #12
    figuring it all out ShyWriter's Avatar
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    When I saw the title of thread, I thought "at least this vanity publisher is being honest with thier name".

    I visited the site and found it odd that they said they would publish after the book had 2000 supporters, but http://www.pubslush.com/uploaded_files/files/pdf/publication-agreement.pdf says 2500.

    Paragraph 5 of the aforementioned documents states :
    "Initial publication bonus. Publisher shall pay to Author an initial publication bonus of five thousand United States Dollars ($5,000), immediately upon notification that the Work has been selected for publication, pursuant to the terms of Paragraph 3. This bonus shall not be an advance, and shall not be used as a credit against the royalties payable to Author pursuant to Paragraph 7 of this Agreement. "

    -- but the site clearly says the $5000 is an advance?

    This also looks a but iffy:
    "Royalty rates are subject to modification by Publisher for administrative and financial reasons, at Publisher’s sole discretion, and royalty rates shall not be confirmed with respect to a particular Work until such date as Author is notified that its Work has been selected for publication. "

    Also the bottom of the document states:
    "By making a Submission, Author agrees to the terms of this Agreement as set forth herein."

    Is this all normal contract stuff?

  13. #13
    practical experience, FTW
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    For the record, the author was P.N. Elrod.

    Her blog can be found here. She even links to our forum.

  14. #14
    Seen 'em come, seen 'em go Gravity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scribhneoir View Post
    I guess they didn't like all that attention. Those comments seem to have gone *poof*
    I'm not surprised. What other "traditional publisher" with thousands of orgasmically-happy "authors" does that put you in mind of?
    Cameron Bane

    PITFALL now out through WildBlue Press, August 2015

    www.cameronbanebooks.com



  15. #15
    Grumpy writer and editor Absolute Sage Gillhoughly's Avatar
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    LOL--PubSlush deleted the whole string.

    The author reposted them and more to Writer Beware's FB page.

  16. #16
    Grumpy writer and editor Absolute Sage Gillhoughly's Avatar
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    Paragraph 5 of the aforementioned documents states :
    "Initial publication bonus. Publisher shall pay to Author an initial publication bonus of five thousand United States Dollars ($5,000), immediately upon notification that the Work has been selected for publication, pursuant to the terms of Paragraph 3. This bonus shall not be an advance, and shall not be used as a credit against the royalties payable to Author pursuant to Paragraph 7 of this Agreement. "

    -- but the site clearly says the $5000 is an advance?
    That's vague--just WHO is the "publisher?" PubSlush or the place they expect to sell the book to?

    Which ain't gonna happen.

    This sounds like a pyramid scheme in the making with PubSlush getting all the cash from those votes.

  17. #17
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Just posted at Writer Beware about PUBSLUSH.

    I don't think it's a scam or a pyramid scheme, but there are some important unanswered questions, along with some serious contract concerns.

    Just to clarify--there are no "votes." Supporters pledge anywhere from $25 (which basically is pre-purchasing the book, both a printed copy and a digital edition) to $500 (pre-purchase, plus a range of perks such as a dedication and a copy of the original manuscript). If a book gets 2,000 supporters (or possibly 2,500--as DelicatePrincess points out, there's a discrepancy between PUBSLUSH's FAQ and its Publication Agreement), it's slated for publication. Supporters must provide credit card information, but PUBSLUSH says it doesn't charge the credit card unless a book is going to be published. So it appears that there's no messy issue of refunding supporters, and PUBSLUSH realizes no actual cash unless a book crosses the 2,000 (or 2,500) supporter threshold.

    The big problems lie in the publication agreement, which not only differs from the FAQ in several respects, but contains some bad clauses and needs clarification in several areas.

  18. #18
    Grumpy writer and editor Absolute Sage Gillhoughly's Avatar
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    I stand corrected on details like "votes" but OMG the rest should have any sane writer running for the hills.

    PUBSLUSH realizes no actual cash unless a book crosses the 2,000 (or 2,500) supporter threshold.
    I'm sure we all know how unlikely THAT is.

    The not charging for it until the book makes its 2000/2500 quota keeps it from being a pyramid, but there's still plenty of room for financial abuse with a minimum of 50,000.00 to play with.

    I sure as hell wouldn't let this bunch near my credit card number.

    If the people running it had ANY experience in commercial publication--as in having worked for a real publisher for a few days--they'd know this is too daft to work.

  19. #19
    the world is at my command jennontheisland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anninyn View Post
    This showed up on my twitter feed. I wanted to pop over to the article in question and point out that this is not how it works, but I was worried I wouldn't be able to point out WHY, out of sheer frustration.

    I hope anyone who considers it googles PUBSLUSH and sees this thread so they know exactly what they're getting into.
    You could always just post a link to this thread, rather than a full response.
    You are more than welcome to take anything I say personally, whether it was intended that way or not.

    Eat This.

  20. #20
    Formerly Phantom of Krankor. Torgo's Avatar
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    I'm actually quite interested in this whole area. The idea at the back of this is the Rational Street Performer Protocol - that is, a method of getting people to pay for a product up front in order to cover the risk of producing it.

    Kickstarter's the most successful implementation of the system so far, and I believe it's now something like the third largest indie 'publisher' of graphic novels in the US. Of course, if you check out the funded book projects on Kickstarter you see an awful lot of dreck - it seems the protocol doesn't necessarily select good books.

    Why it's interesting to me as a publisher is that it allows you to find out whether there's an audience before doing much work. However, I think you can't really leave it as an uncurated, slush-filled YADS and expect it not to get gamed and vanity-pressed to hell.

    I'd like to set up a little list in my company where I could showcase the wacky projects that authors bring to me but we just can't figure out how to sell. Now and then I'm shown something that looks lots of fun but Sales don't feel able to support because it's too off the wall. I'd like to get all those together on a website and see if we can get some pledges in; then if that works, bring the book into the publishing mainstream as usual.

    There was in fact a company launched this year with a fair amount of hoo-ha, Unbound, which basically does this. However they struck me as having made some simple errors (the pledge system is vastly inferior to that of Kickstarter's, and the minimum pledge is way too high; a minimum pledge should operate like a preorder discount.)

  21. #21
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    This might be re-inventing the "published by subscription" model, quite common in the 19th century, and not unheard-of today in the world of fanzines.

    The difference is, in the previous incarnations, the author or editor was a known quantity.

  22. #22
    Formerly Phantom of Krankor. Torgo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald View Post
    This might be re-inventing the "published by subscription" model, quite common in the 19th century, and not unheard-of today in the world of fanzines.

    The difference is, in the previous incarnations, the author or editor was a known quantity.
    It's interesting that the internet is resurrecting some of those old business models, like serial novels. Yes, it needs curating

  23. #23
    phoenix blazing Parametric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torgo View Post
    I'd like to set up a little list in my company where I could showcase the wacky projects that authors bring to me but we just can't figure out how to sell. Now and then I'm shown something that looks lots of fun but Sales don't feel able to support because it's too off the wall. I'd like to get all those together on a website and see if we can get some pledges in; then if that works, bring the book into the publishing mainstream as usual.
    I wouldn't mind pledging £5-£10 to a book with a great premise and maybe an excerpt to read, where the scheme is run by a trade publisher.

  24. #24
    Formerly Phantom of Krankor. Torgo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parametric View Post
    I wouldn't mind pledging £5-£10 to a book with a great premise and maybe an excerpt to read, where the scheme is run by a trade publisher.
    Yes, that's my feeling too.

  25. #25
    Grumpy writer and editor Absolute Sage Gillhoughly's Avatar
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    An established trade size publisher is a known quantity, having a professional editorial staff, proper vetting of books and in-place promotion and marketing. If St. Martin's Press decided to do something like this it might be worth looking into.

    But this looks like a couple of amateurs with no publishing experience hoping to score cash with a weird twist on the old pyramid scheme. What keeps them legal is not charging cash for up front support of a project.

    It is ridiculous to expect 2000 people to appear out of the blue to support any single title, so I'm inclined to think they're well-meaning morons who are going to lose money themselves, or at best, make just enough to get by.

    If they really wanted to make money then they could go into publishing ebooks like Coker did with Smashwords and promote through the social media, not create this complicated "support" scheme that makes Amway look simple.

    They're not answering relevant questions, just continuing with the sales pitch. If this was in a store pitching a mystery product that I only need to pay for once it reaches a quota of votes, I'd be heading for the exit.

    Ten pages? They might be an amazing ten pages of prose--but what about the rest of the book? At least with a regular publisher you know it was read by several editors and has a decent chance of being a satisfying read.

    But ten pages???? Apparently the author can submit an incomplete book and hope for the best.

    Does my book need to be completed?

    Actually, no! However, we would highly recommend it, as your full manuscript MUST be uploaded prior to reaching 500 supporters (25%)
    I wouldn't go near this place. It's insane.
    Last edited by Gillhoughly; 09-21-2011 at 09:46 PM.

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