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Thread: Dancing with Bear Publishing

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    We're moving on... RaineeRose's Avatar
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    Dancing with Bear Publishing

    I've never submitted any of my writing to publishers, so I don't know much about the process. However, a friend of mine was just offered a contract with Dancing with Bear Publishing, and I was wondering if anyone here knows anything about this company. Thank you for your help.
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    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    They look quite new, focussed on YA/adult Christian romance. Most of the books they've published appear to have been written by the owner/staff. They're publishing via CreateSpace, which as far as I know means pretty much zero distribution.

    What is your friend's expectation of sales/earnings? Has s/he tried other, more established Christian publishers?

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    We're moving on... RaineeRose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unimportant View Post
    They look quite new, focussed on YA/adult Christian romance. Most of the books they've published appear to have been written by the owner/staff. They're publishing via CreateSpace, which as far as I know means pretty much zero distribution.

    What is your friend's expectation of sales/earnings? Has s/he tried other, more established Christian publishers?

    I'm not sure what her expectations are. I do know that she's been trying to find an agent or publisher for several months. I don't know much about CreateSpace, but I think my friend is anticipating wide distribution. Perhaps she needs to think about this a little longer before accepting the offer.
    "Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. " ~William Wordsworth

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    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    I'd guess your friend might sell a few hundred copies at most with this outfit. I looked at one of their recent books on Amazon, and it had a ranking of 3 million plus.

    Is your friend's book a Christian romance?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Unimportant View Post
    I'd guess your friend might sell a few hundred copies at most with this outfit. I looked at one of their recent books on Amazon, and it had a ranking of 3 million plus.

    Is your friend's book a Christian romance?

    No, it's YA.
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    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    YA doesn't have to be full of sex and violence to sell to the larger presses. Your friend may want to review the list of agents/publishers she's tried to date, and widen the net a bit -- or, perhaps, revise her ms consistent with any advice she's received in personalised rejections. (If she's queried widely and not received anything but form rejections, that too may be telling her something....)

  7. #7
    We're moving on... RaineeRose's Avatar
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    Thanks for your help. I know that she's done a lot of querying and that some have asked her to make changes to the structure, which she tried to do but said didn't work for her story. I've read her book and feel like she's written something good. I just want her to have the most exposure possible, but if she's happy, then I will be, too.

    Thanks again!
    "Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. " ~William Wordsworth

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    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    There's no reason your friend can't ask a lot of very frank questions of Bear. Current sales figures for their other books, venues the books have sold through, etc. And to take a look at their contract; while they boast it's fairer than most and pays authors more, it's always good to go through it clause by clause.

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    You're 100% wrong, Unimportant. The books published by DWB are NOT all authored by staff writers. I'm NOT on staff and I've had a book published by them.

    DWB is a small, but traditional publisher who does pay royalties. They are VERY easy to work with, and authors don't get "lost in the shuffle" as they would with a larger publisher.

    I don't know what book you looked at Amazon (surely wasn't mine) but I didn't see a book ranked 3 million plus.

    DWB outsources their printing (like many other small pubs) because it's more cost effective.

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    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misspositive View Post
    I don't know what book you looked at Amazon (surely wasn't mine) but I didn't see a book ranked 3 million plus.
    I see three print books from them on Amazon, one unrated (no sales yet) and 62 pages long, one at about 2 million and one at about 5 million.
    Last edited by veinglory; 12-23-2011 at 04:27 AM.
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    Ships full of vampires are hell. AW Moderator amergina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unimportant View Post
    Most of the books they've published appear to have been written by the owner/staff.
    Bolding is mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by misspositive View Post
    You're 100% wrong, Unimportant. The books published by DWB are NOT all authored by staff writers. I'm NOT on staff and I've had a book published by them.
    Unimportant said "most appear to be written by the owner/staff"

    Misspositive, you say that "NOT all are authored by staff"

    These statements are not mutually exclusive, therefore Unimportant is not 100% wrong.
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    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    At the time I posted that in November, there were few books listed and most were by the publisher/owner.

    As of today (22 December, 5:02 pm NZ time), a search on Amazon for books by DWBP, ranked by bestselling, pulls up as the first/top selling book "Blood on the Feather", which was released in Sept 2011, and which at this precise moment has a sales rank of 2,000,281.

    Whether DWBP is a good choice is up to the individual author. What's right for one person is dead wrong for another.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Unimportant View Post
    . . . a ranking of 3 million plus.. . .
    Meaning one copy sold, sometime in past several months or longer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
    I see three print books from them on Amazon, one unrated (no sales yet) and 62 pages long, one at about 2 million and one at about 5 million.
    They have their own children's line now: dwbchildrensline.com

    It looks as if they use Createspace for their printing, which someone mentioned earlier.

    Click on the titles, type the names in the Amazon search box, and you'll find them there.

    If it's true there's a total of 5 million books, the children's books seem to be doing very well and rank 1,000,000 or a little over.

    Granted, I'm a newbie to the profession, but I can't understand the snobbery towards the smaller presses.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by annatangent View Post
    They have their own children's line now: dwbchildrensline.com

    It looks as if they use Createspace for their printing, which someone mentioned earlier.

    Click on the titles, type the names in the Amazon search box, and you'll find them there.

    If it's true there's a total of 5 million books, the children's books seem to be doing very well and rank 1,000,000 or a little over.

    Granted, I'm a newbie to the profession, but I can't understand the snobbery towards the smaller presses.
    Well, you aren't doing the publisher any favors. The ranking you cited is lousy.

    Stick around. You'll learn lots here, including the fact that this subforum is here to educate writers on publishers. You'll quickly learn the comments made on this thread have nothing to do with Bear being a small press.

    Welcome! (Meant sincerely. No snark)
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    Thank you for the welcome, and I mean that with warmth as well. )

    Just curious, what's the title and ranking of your book on Amazon, so I'll know what to aim for when my book is there (hopefully).

  17. #17
    annatangent, we don't have anything against small presses. But we do want authors to have realistic expectations when they sign with one.

    From what I can tell, here's what an author gives up and gets in return at Dancing with Bear:

    For 50% of the profits on your books, they'll do some editing (I'm unclear on the editing experience of the staff so this may or may not be useful), give you free cover art, and click the buttons on CreateSpace for you.

    For some writers, that may be all they want and that's fine. But at least they're going into it knowledgable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by annatangent View Post

    Just curious, what's the title and ranking of your book on Amazon, so I'll know what to aim for when my book is there (hopefully).
    Why do you need the ranking of Escritora's book? Your assumption seems to be that Escritora would only be informing you that the ranking you mention is a poor one if her book was ranked higher. That's not at all the case, and her publishing status has nothing at all to do with Amazon's ranking system. She didn't say "That ranking isn't great because mine is better." She said "That ranking isn't great," and she said it because it's the truth.

    Amazon ranks indicate how many books are selling better or worse than a particular book. Several people have done estimates of rankings and what actual numbers sold they mean (the general consensus is that a ranking of a million means maybe a couple of copies sold in the last three months or so) but since the rankings are based on several factors it's really impossible to say with absolute certainty that a ranking of, say, 15,000 equals 10 books sold that week, or whatever.

    A better way to see for yourself just how poor a 1,000,000 ranking is would be to look at the rankings of other children's books (I'd suggest that's a better ranking to "aim for," as well, as opposed to Escritora's). As of this moment, the Children's Bestsellers seem to be ranked overall (as opposed to their rankings in their category) between 100 and 200--even #100 on the Children's Bestseller list is ranked around 200 overall, not just in children's books but all books on Amazon. Yes, those are bestsellers, but it shows you just how far behind the million-ranked books are.

    Here are a couple of charts you can look at to see more. Here's a succinct summary, too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by annatangent View Post

    Just curious, what's the title and ranking of your book on Amazon, so I'll know what to aim for when my book is there (hopefully).
    In my case, it's books. Ditto everything Stacia said.
    Quote Originally Posted by Orchestra View Post
    But seriously, never ask permission to write something. Don't be a wimp.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by annatangent View Post
    Granted, I'm a newbie to the profession, but I can't understand the snobbery towards the smaller presses.
    How is it "snobbery" to elaborate on what volume of sales correspond with what Amazon ranking?

    An Amazon ranking of 1,000,000 usually means sales of fewer than 10 copies via Amazon in the last three months. An Amazon ranking of 3,000,000 usually means sales of fewer than 3 copies via Amazon in the last three months. Now, sure, Amazon isn't the only game in town, but if that's the keystone of a publisher's marketing efforts, the results speak for themselves.


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    Quote Originally Posted by annatangent View Post
    Granted, I'm a newbie to the profession, but I can't understand the snobbery towards the smaller presses.
    Given that you're new to the industry, it's helpful to ask questions rather than make assumptions. There is no snobbery toward small presses. However, there are always a lot more questions regarding new small presses because they don't have a track record, so the natural questions are about their financial solvency, editing, marketing, promotion, and distribution. This is what smart authors do when looking at publishers.

    The fact that this publisher uses CreateSpace means they have zero distribution - meaning their books won't be in the stores or libraries.

    We don't know about their marketing and promotion, but if they're using CreateSpace for their printing services, I'd wager they don't have a lot of money to put into this end of the business. Without marketing a book, it's very hard for anyone to know a book exists.

    Since they're new, we can't verify their editing talents.

    In short, there are a lot of unanswered questions regarding this publisher. As such, one has to ask what makes this publisher a wise choice, considering there are many other publishers who do have a track record. It's not snobbery that makes us ask these questions, but rather, we want authors to have all the information in order to make wise decisions that will favorably impact their writing careers.
    Last edited by priceless1; 12-31-2011 at 10:25 PM.

  22. #22
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    I generally only perk up with ranks under 50,000 (about a sale per week) if the press is predominantly aiming at the print market.
    Emily Veinglory

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    Quote Originally Posted by annatangent View Post
    Granted, I'm a newbie to the profession, but I can't understand the snobbery towards the smaller presses.
    While there may be individuals who are snobbish toward small presses, I doubt you'll find many on Absolute Write. Quite a few of us have published with small presses and are very happy about it.

    The small press as an institution is great. But not every individual small press is great.

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    Quote Originally Posted by priceless1 View Post
    The fact that this publisher uses CreateSpace means they have zero distribution - meaning their books won't be in the stores or libraries.
    I don't know that this is necessarily true now (although it would have been last year). Createspace has added Expanded Distribution, so the books are now easier to get into libraries and other stores. This still isn't distribution in the sense of having a sales force pushing the books, but it does allow bookstores and libraries to order the books through their normal channels.
    The plan the publishers have to buy in to to get the Expanded Distribution also gives them better profits and, if memory serves, allows for returns.
    On the Amazon side of sales (where most small presses who utilize POD sell their books), there are now policies in place that favor Createspace books over those printed by Lightning Source (the other top POD printer). One important change was to list these titles (most of them) as "ships in 3-4 weeks" as opposed to "in stock" or "ships in 1-2 days." This isn't from personal experience, but those I've talked to who have books through Lightning Source have seen a huge drop-off in sales with the new policy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JL_Benet View Post
    . . . On the Amazon side of sales (where most small presses who utilize POD sell their books), there are now policies in place that favor Createspace books over those printed by Lightning Source (the other top POD printer). One important change was to list these titles (most of them) as "ships in 3-4 weeks" as opposed to "in stock" or "ships in 1-2 days." . . . .
    I am a victim of that scam. Not that I'm going to sell more than a handful of books through that channel anyway, but still, their self-serving policy is irksome. I have to keep reminding myself to refer folks to bn.com (or just sell direct), not to Amazon.

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