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Thread: WriterPrint / KindlePress / Marric Digital Ltd.

  1. #1
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    WriterPrint / KindlePress / Marric Digital Ltd.

    I found this new e-publisher, WriterPrint New Authors Publisher, via Duotrope. The red flags on the website are endless, and their logo of "We want your manuscript, not your money" sounds sadly familiar to anyone who's read the PublishAmerica threads.

    The "overview page" for WriterPrint is exactly the same as for KindlePress, with both being divisions of Marric Digital Ltd (which I can't find a website for?). The owners, Richard John and Guy Tibbert, do not appear to have any experience in the publishing industry. I can't find any evidence that they are ex-PublishAmerica authors -- certainly that was the first assumption that popped into my mind.

    It struck me that the use of the name "KindlePress" could be construed as trademark infringement, given the wide popularity and name recognition of Amazon's Kindle reader, but I could well be wrong.

  2. #2
    Shakespearean Fool DreamWeaver's Avatar
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    Amazon has registered Kindle as a trademark, and they're known for being pretty dogged (read: litigious) in defense of their trademarks...so I'd think KindlePress is sailing pretty close to the wind.
    Why doesn't George R. R. Martin use Twitter? He already killed off all 140 characters.

  3. #3
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    Oh dear...I think someone will probably be getting a slapped wrist from Kindle this Christmas!

    According to the website (http://www.writerprint.com/index.htm)

    The main driving forces behind WriterPrint are Richard Jahn and Guy Tibbert - two people based in Northamptonshire who became painfully aware how time-consuming and problematic digital publishing can be for the uninitiated.

    After managing to get their own material published and finding effective ways to stimulate sales with decent search engine optimization feeding through to the sales outlets, it seemed like a simple win-win style business could be established helping other authors get into print - WITHOUT having to go down the Vanity Press route - or indeed face endless rejection letters.
    I could find nothing on Amazon by either Richard Jahn or Guy Tibbert, but there is a 4-star review by Dr Guy M. Tibbert of Gay Sex Stories - Horny UK Scally Lads. It begins with the words "Armed with a kindle and nothing of interest to read on it yet, I stumbled over this and decided to see what it was like..." You know what's coming next, don't you? Surprise, surprise - WP/KP also publishes a line of gay erotica including the aforementioned Scally Lads. As Mark Tibbert he is the author of How to Make Biodiesel at Home (http://www.mark.lineisp.co.uk/biodiesel.htm).

    Also of note:

    We will always be interested in a well prepared manuscript - but once we have the next batch of 50-100 authors, it may take a little longer to take you from manuscript to royalty cheque while we work through and publish the "early birds" first.


    The next batch of 50-100 authors? How many do they already have?

    And I love this bit:

    It is a sad but unavoidable truth, that when we tried to be as approachable as possible to help new authors become published without being intimidated by some of the conventional formalities and customs of the industry, the effort backfired. Suddenly we had new authors wanting to dictate terms to us, tell us how we were going to promote them - and expecting us to finish proof-reading their work - as they had other things to be doing. Bless.
    Last edited by aliceshortcake; 12-08-2011 at 09:03 PM.
    "There is only one thing worse than being obliged to sit cross-legged on the grass, and that is being obliged to sit cross-legged on the grass near an ant colony"
    Oscar Wilde (citation needed)

  4. #4
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    Marric Digital Ltd was only incorporated in March this year and, according to the documents on Companies House, has a share capital of £2. That is not uncommon for English companies, but you should bear in mind that this is the sum total of the founder's liability in the event that the company goes under. Because it only incorporated this year no accounts are available on line to point to its solvency. Again, not uncommon with new companies but bear in mind that most publishers close within the first year due to insolvency. Registered office seems to be a residential address in Northampton. Again, nothing wrong with that but worth bearing in mind as it means the company hasn't invested in professional premises.

    WriterPrint.com Website:
    We have advertised in The Stage as well as other publications which target actors, writers and other creative groups of people.
    So they're basically advertising for writers. I'd be more reassured if they were advertising in media for readers of books that they've actually published.

    WriterPrint.com Website:
    With our understanding of search engines and different sales outlets in many countries, we can also drive willing buyers towards the books we publish - resulting in vastly better sales figures than are usually achieved.
    Without statistics to back this up, this is mere puff. However, it's worth asking what their sales figures have been for the books they have published as this will give you an idea of what to expect.

    WriterPrint.com Website:
    As we now have more people editing, formatting and compiling for us, we are ready to take on more authors now - hence advertising in national writers magazines.
    Again, I'd be more comfortable if they were advertising to readers for the books they'd already published.

    WriterPrint.com Website:
    We are a new business - and learning all the time - but we get people published, we charge no fees and we pay royalties on time. That makes us unique - and gives you a new option to consider.
    It isn't unique. There are plenty of other publishers out there doing exactly the same thing. Some even pay authors for their work upfront in addition to royalties.

    I'd also point out that I wouldn't be comfortable sending a manuscript to a company that's still learning what it's doing. My book isn't their experiment.

    WriterPrint.com Website:
    At the moment WriterPrint is a small business and although it is growing quickly, we are not able to handle the sort of work involved in working with well established authors who demand high profile publicity and merchandising.
    I don't know why they've included merchandising in that as it's not something I'd expect a publisher to do. I would expect a publisher who's prepared to place adverts in publications for authors to also have a budget for adverts in trade press (at the very least) or publications aimed at readers. If they're not prepared to do that, then I'd wonder who they're aiming themselves at.

    WriterPrint.com Website:
    We also cannot help authors who do not proof-read their manuscript properly.
    So basically WriterPrint is nothing more than a conversion site (or electronic printer). That's fine, but it's not publishing as most people understand it. Why would you want to pay a royalty on sales to someone who's only doing the bare minimum?

    WriterPrint.com Website:
    We mentioned this on the main page - but it is SO important, it needs to be said again.

    "In the last three months of 2010, Amazon announced that in the United States,
    their e-book sales had surpassed sales of paperback books for the first time".

    No-one expects that trend to reverse. The future is digital - and that is what we are offering you.


    Yes, Amazon did see ebook sales surpass printed book. But then Amazon does push its Kindle device and all forms of ebook because it's a retailer first and a publisher second.

    WriterPrint.com Website:
    Our logic is that with electronic printing and good promotion, there is enough money for the author and publisher to have a good share of the rewards. As such, we don't "do" small print or try to tie our authors down.
    Given that they're not proof-reading or doing any editing, the only value they can possibly bring is in promotion. You therefore need to know what actual promotion they're doing because this should be more than listing your book on Amazon and a few other websites. This is where it becomes key to know what sales figures they're getting already and what marketing efforts they currently do towards readers and the buying public.

    WriterPrint.com Website:
    WriterPrint.comis a wholly owned subsidiary of Marric Digital Limited.
    Finickity legal point but WriterPrinter.com is a domain name belonging to Marric Digital Limited. It is not a subsidiary (whether wholly owned or otherwise). Subsidiaries are companies and there is no company name registered for WriterPrint.com.

    WriterPrint.com Website: (BOLDING MINE)
    Vanity Press - This is a rather cynical term perhaps but is used to describe when an author chooses (often through lack of alternatives) to pay for their book to be printed themselves. Of course the usual idea of publishing is to be PAID when your work goes into print - rather than have to write the book AND then pay for it too. Sometimes people are successful in selling their own work - especially if it is an informative book based on a specific location - for example "Walks and Sights in Exampleville" - having already agreed a sales deal with the local tea shops, community centre and so on. You may be less fortunate in selling your latest novel locally however. Vanity Press has its place - and there are a few successful authors who CHOOSE this method so that they keep total control of their work (and all the profit). The downside however, is that they are then totally responsible for all of the sales and marketing that goes with it.
    Good to see the acknowledgement of Yog's Law here. However, there are plenty of publishers out there that aren't straight vanity and which will allow you to self-publish without signing your rights away. FWIW, I haven't heard of any successful authors who've paid to have their works published, although I do know of genuine self-published successes such as Amanda Hocking.

    WriterPrint.com Website:
    Do serious people use electronic publishing? Yes indeed, Stephen King managed to sell 400,000 copies on day one (almost crashing the online system of Barnes & Nobel - and even Amazon struggled to keep their online ordering system running). So yes, serious writers and serious seller are both increasingly viewing electronic publishing as an effective way to make money.
    Were those 400k copies for a self-published book by Stephen King or one of his commercially published books? If the latter, then we are not comparing like for like here.

    WriterPrint.com Website:
    Remember too, that a typical deal with us does NOT compromise your copyright for print medium - you retain it - we simply sell your book for you under licence for as long as we have agreed to do so.
    That's disingenuous. Unless you're doing a work for hire, you never lose copyright in your book. What you do lose however is first publishing rights, which is where the value is. Even only releasing electronically will cost you the first publishing rights so if the book doesn't do well, then the chances of it getting picked up by a commercial publisher are virtually non-existent.

    WriterPrint.com Website: (BOLDING MINE)
    The only time we would negotiate a different agreement would be if you wished us to spend time and money in helping you to promote your work above and beyond our usual level.
    Uh-huh. No information on what the "usual level" is, so why would you want to (presumably) pay for enhanced services (which, incidentally, would belie their claim not to be a vanity publisher).

    WriterPrint.com Website:
    When the book starts to sell, depending on the effort we have put in for you and what we have agreed, we will pay you typically between 15% and 70% of all net revenue that we receive. 15% would be unusually low and would represent a book where we are unsure if we will sell enough copies to make back our investment of time and resources. 70% would be from an established, proven author who has prepared everything for us and the quality is such, that the book will sell in extremely high volume. For most people, this would typically vary between 25% and 37% of net sales. Net sales being how much we are paid after the online seller (Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Kindle etc) have taken their various card fees, commissions and so on.
    25% to 37% net is pretty awful. There are other electronic publishers out there who will let you keep more and who will do things like proof-reading, editing etc.

    WriterPrint.com Website: (BOLDING MINE)Can I make a lot of money? Ok, here is once again where we are a bit different, instead of telling you what you want to hear, we will give you a somewhat more honest answer. It depends. To give you a slightly more helpful answer - if you are an unknown author with a highly esoteric work which has a very limited market, then don't plan to spend the money just yet. If on the other hand you can produce a short story every few months with a fairly good mass-market appeal, then you can make a decent "secondary income" without too much trouble. In any event, unless you are very lucky or have written a truly stunning manuscript, the chances are you will be one of the many who find it is a profitable "side-venture". This compares favourably with the printed version where most authors who publish with Vanity press only ever make a loss.
    I was with them right up until the last sentence. If you pay to be published then the chances are you won't make that money back. Given though that WriterPrint claims not to be a vanity press, the comparison should be whether you will make sales that justify giving your book to them as opposed to either going it alone (in which case you'd keep everything) or going with another econversion publisher.

    WriterPrint.com Website:
    Lastly, it does depend hugely on the type of material you produce. Our very first guide was a book on making Bio-Diesel, it attracts under 10 sales a month. Disappointing perhaps but sales are gradually increasing and this is the poorest performing book we currently have. Our adult books are nearly all averaging between 2 and 4 sales per DAY. If a book has a cover price of £2.50 and you are receiving 25%, then this can be around £1.50 per day per title. One author now has (at time of writing) seven titles (each containing three or four mini stories around 5000 - 10,000 words) to his name and is generating just under £300 per month. If you do not wish to write adult material, we are still VERY interested in talking with you - but if you are happy to write this material - it is the best performing subject we have found so far.
    It would be useful if someone like ResearchGuy or one of the selfpubbed authors could comment on this to say whether those figures are representative. It's good that they are putting some figures up, but it's difficult to guage how common these sales figures are and also much depends on how much you're pricing the work for. A novel at £2.50 may well sell better than a short story published for the same amount.

    MM

  5. #5
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Suckered

    I wish I had read this thread before I got involved with Writerprint!
    I saw aliceshortcake and Momento Mori’s contributions only after submitting and having a story accepted by Writerprint, and therefore learned the hard way of Writerprint’s limitations. I cannot substantiate Writerprint’s claims to put out about 6 titles a week. nor does the unimpressive list of titles on their web site

    Writerprint’s business plan seems to be based on minimum effort on their part. I saw no evidence of the growing staff they claim. Looks to me like a two man show.
    As far as I can make out. my piece was accepted before anyone at Writerprint had read it. At no stage did Writerprint suggest editorial changes and they missed a few typos. The published version was badly formatted—WP admitted as much.

    Writerprint made no effort to educate me, a confessed EBooks novice, on the special requirements of the medium. It did not mention promoting of the piece until I raised the matter, and then impatiently told me that they had the matter covered. They would not say what their methods are, pleading that they are proprietary. Surely they should have urged me to get into the act myself and suggested how I could assist promote the book?

    In the event the sales of the book were very miniscule. I would say that they were limited to the friends and colleagues to whom I had proudly announced the book.

    So what was the end of the story? Faced with my complaints, Writerprint abrogated the contract one-sidedly, withdrew the book from the Kindle list, and slowly, slowly, restored the rights to me.

    Moral 1. alicesgortcake and Momento Mori were right on the ball.
    Moral 2. If it looks to good to be true, it is.

  6. #6
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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