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Thread: Evolved Publishing (Lane Diamond)

  1. #1
    (w)ride like the wind onuilmar's Avatar
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    Evolved Publishing (Lane Diamond)

    Hi:

    Does anyone have any experience with Evolved Publishing and/or Lane Diamond? Headed up by Lane Diamond, Evolved Publishing is a new house that started up in August 2011.

    I got a nibble from them. Let's face it, a nice rejection that said please fix a few things and maybe we will reconsider.

    I intend to follow their advice, but was still hoping to see if there were any rumblings on the grapevine.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    writer/teacher JL_Benet's Avatar
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    In the simplest terms, we're an authors' cooperative. We've brought together a group of like-minded authors, editors and artists, who recognize that there is power in numbers. We are first-and-foremost an author-centric organization. It's all about the work: novel, memoir, short story, biography, expose, etc. The work is the engine that drives the publishing train.
    Adding links:
    http://www.evolvedpub.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Evolv...31681676864562
    http://www.duotrope.com/market_6078.aspx

  3. #3
    (w)ride like the wind onuilmar's Avatar
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    Yes, I am aware that Evolved Publishing is a coop.

    Actually, I have all sorts of warm fuzzy feeling about the place, but thought that I should check out my first impression. Those first impressions are not always right.

  4. #4
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    http://www.evolvedpub.com/
    If that's the company you're talking about, I'd give them wide berth.

    From their About Us page:
    The publishing industry is evolving, and we authors must evolve with it.
    The old brick-and-mortar publishing industry is, if not in its death throes, at least severely wounded. Many literary agents aren't even looking at first-time print authors. Publishers are cutting back on expenditures, offering little or no marketing support to new authors, limiting print runs, and decreasing royalties and advances.
    This is the same tired, hackneyed explanation do-nothing publishers drag out in order to justify their own existence. This may sound harsh, but what they're saying is simply untrue.

    It's true bookstores are having a hard time staying afloat, but they are not experiencing "death throes." They say this because they can't get their own books stocked in bookstores because they have no distribution.

    The big publishers are learning to work smart for the first time ever. You can't toss huge advances around without a care as to whether those books will not only sell through, but make some good money.

    Small publishers have had to works smart for a long time because they don't have the kind of money the big guys do. However, good publishers, small or large, DO market, promote because they are in the business to sell books. To do otherwise would be counterproductive to their business plan.

    Literary agents certainly DO sign debut authors all the time. I see the results of this at writer's conferences and in my own queries from agents.

    They say they're an authors' cooperative, and I'm not exactly sure what this means because they don't go into great detail. Is this a pay to play venture?

    Authors achieve however much they're willing to work for, assuming they do so in a dedicated, professional, intelligent manner. Incur little up-front expense, little time from completed manuscript to published eBook, and little time from published eBook to royalties received.
    I've seen self pubbed authors work their fingers to the bone and yield very small sales simply because they didn't have the networking or publishing savvy to sell books...or ebooks. So I have to say that hard work won't cut it. It takes knowing how to sell books and how to promote effectively.

    They don't give any solid reasons as to why they are a logical choice for publishing one's book. Being part of an author group doesn't guarantee sales.

    We must seize every opportunity to market our books.To coordinate this, we've established a coherent, consistent plan that utilizes many avenues of approach. We'll incorporate this plan for not only our own work, but for the work of our fellow team members.
    This is curious because author promotion is no different from mainstream publishing, except authors have the entire force of their publisher behind them driving sales. Who does Evolved have driving their sales? What is their "consistent plan that utilizes many avenues of approach"?

    Lastly, the site is geared toward writers, not buyers. Their time-worn excuses regarding publishing are off-putting, and I'd give them time to see how well they are able to sell books.

  5. #5
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    I think the Geico cavemen would be severely offended by Evolved's website.

    Based on the wording of the website, it sounds to me as if authors must pay for editing and cover art.

    Here's Lane Diamond's bio. I don't see much in the way of either publishing or self-publishing experience.

    - Victoria
    Last edited by victoriastrauss; 12-18-2011 at 11:59 PM.

  6. #6
    (w)ride like the wind onuilmar's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info!

    Now if I could really get some good advice on my writing, too!

    Thanks again!

  7. #7
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin safireblade's Avatar
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    thoughts from a newbie

    Just wanted to pop in and say that while I have not published with Evolved, I have reviewed a few of their books, and spoken with a couple of the authors who do publish with them. I have worked with Lane Diamond as an editor in my quest to improve my writing.

    Here are my thoughts for you to consider. The authors seem very pleased. This is not a Pay-to-Play company. If you don't sell they make nothing unless you elected to pay the editor or cover artist up front, which to my knowledge, they do not recommend.

    One of the authors I have spoken with sells no less than 6-10 books daily - maybe more - I wasn't being too nosy when it came up in conversation. We were just chatting casually.

    They insist on material they put out being edited properly from what I see.

    They seem to be trying to change the bad reputation of indie by helping authors produce more quality work. I can respect that.

    They don't claim to compete with Traditional publishing from what I have read. Mostly they appear to be straight up honest authors & editors trying to publish and market the best possible product. They do offer marketing and in fact have a Marketing Director. Since I do not work for them I can't give you details on this.

    Now, I am no one special. I'm not an editor or a publisher as I see some here are but I am a college educated business women interested in writing. Naturally, I am looking at all the options.

    I get a good honest feel from these people. They are very straight forward and don't play games. I've read a few of the books published by them and all of those I have read are good works.

    I didn't find myself mentally correcting the grammar, offended by wording, or rereading sentences to try to sort the meaning from the mush.

    Before drawing a bunch of conclusions, I'd urge you to talk with the people there. Share your concerns and see how they answer. They may not be a fit for you but obviously they are a good fit for some.

    If you aren't interested in anything short of Traditional publishing then I can see they may not be your cup of tea. I like the people there. I haven't even finished a novel so I'm obviously a newer writer.

    I do, however, do my "homework" when I meet someone with a claim like this. I'm mostly suggesting you give them a fair "trial" as it were. I really like the people I met from there and the books were better than many indie novels I've read.

    2.5 cents from a newbie
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  8. #8
    practical experience, FTW eternalised's Avatar
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    Some of those artists make GORGEOUS covers.

    I'm still a bit confused about what exactly their goal is. Do they want to help a person self-publish? Do they get paid if the book doesn't sell? Do they want money up front?
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  9. #9
    Lane Diamond LaneDiamond's Avatar
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    Well, it's no simple thing to get some people to drop their dogmatic adherence to "the way it's always been done." Occasionally, a seismic shift in the marketplace requires a fresh new take on one's business model. Yet is anything more difficult than that?

    First, we're a publisher. That's the simplest answer about what kind of organization we are. Yet we're one that operates under a bold new model, because we think "the way it's always been done" in the industry has not always been in the author's best interest. Like it or not, the market is changing, and we've modeled our business to give independent-minded authors a better chance not only to succeed in that market, but to enjoy the fruits of their labors to a greater extent than has traditionally been the case.

    The notion that a publisher - any publisher - might break "the rules" is seen as heresy by the old guard, I know. Frankly, we don't care what the old guard thinks. We care what the new generation of talented authors think.

    There are no costs of membership. Indeed, there is no "membership." We tend to refer to our authors, editors, and artists as team members because we function in an enthusiastic, cooperative, information-sharing, team environment. That's a matter of organizational management style. Thus, we're a publisher, but we operate in many ways like an authors' cooperative because we seek to make the experience a positive, creative, supportive one for all our teammates. It keeps morale high, and everyone focused on the task at hand.

    As to paying for editing or cover art or any other service a publisher provides, who here thinks authors don't pay for those services with traditional publishers? Go ahead, raise your hand; embarrass yourself. Of course, authors pay for those services... every time the publisher keeps 55-75% of royalites paid by retailers.

    Authors pay for those services one way or another. There ain't no free lunches, as they say. The only questions are how those authors pay, and how much. We provide authors a number of customized options for that, and we let the author decide. In the end, an author needn't invest money - not a single penny - to publish with us. We'll earn as they earn. We'll succeed as they succeed.

    We're in this together, and we want all of our authors to succeed wildly, because only then will we succeed.

    The bottom line, if you will, is that authors keep double (or more) the royalties per book sold with us than they would keep with "traditional" publishers -- at least 76% of royalites paid by retailers, depending on precisely which services they require from us. They also surrender fewer rights to their work, and for shorter – far shorter – periods of time.

    It's the author's work, not the publisher's. We don't demand absolute rights to his work (again, it's not ours) until he dies, and his children die, and perhaps his grandchildren die. Is there an author alive who thinks that's an attractive proposition, surrendering rights unto death plus 70 years? Never mind whether it's fair, or ethical, or even moral. (I submit that it's none of the above.)

    Our authors regain full rights to their work in just 5 years, or they may extend with us at an even higher royalty rate after the initial 5-year contract ends. The author decides, not us. The author sweats, and bleeds, and loses sleep, and decides what's best for her career. She controls her destiny to the greatest extent practical, and we as publisher facilitate, helping her in every way we can, every step of that journey. We put the power of the team behind her.

    The specific details are many, and we'll have that conversation if and when we're interested in publishing an author's work, because to do so beforehand would be impractical – terribly inefficient. Every author is unique, deserving of individual consideration. Frankly, we're only accepting new authors at the rate of about 1 per 20 submissions, at the moment, and to have those detailed conversations with the "other 19" would grind our business to a halt.

    By the way, that's a high acceptance rate (1 out of 20), historically speaking, but that's been primarily because many submissions have come by way of carefully considered referrals. As more and more cold submissions come in, our acceptance rate seems to be slipping. No surprise, I suppose. Our standards for quality are high... and uncompromising.

    Evolved Publishing was created by authors, with authors in mind, looking first and foremost after the interests of the authors. Why? Simple: authors and their work are the engine that drives this train. The authors aren't here to support us; we're here support the authors. As authors, we demand that respect from our publisher. When we chose to be that publisher, we adhered to those firm principles.

    We try hard not to throw stones at other publishing options, to keep it positive and above-board. Whatever option an author chooses, we hope they achieve the success of their long dreams. We believe we offer a viable and attractive option for a good number of authors who distrust or dislike the traditional model, but who don't want to go down the self-publishing road.

    We offer a middle ground, a bold new alternative. Why does this scare so many? Never mind. Rhetorical question. Change is just plain scary sometimes. Other times, it represents a threat. We get it, and we think authors get it, too. The old guard is not interested in change. Again, we don't care. We care about the authors.

  10. #10
    practical experience, FTW eternalised's Avatar
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    Hey Lane. Thanks for coming here to help clear things up about Evolved Publishing. This is the Bewares forum - here we ask publishers rough and nosy questions, but all to warn authors. This board prettty much serves as a checkboard for authors: if they want to submit somewhere, they go here, see the general comments on the publisher, and then decide whether they'll submit there or not.

    I have to say that your publishing model still isn't one hundred percent clear to me, but it sounds new and exciting. I have some questions though. You're a publisher. Do you have marketing? Marketing plans? Publicists? Distribution (to brick and mortar stores, not online?)

    I see editors and artists mentioned on your website, but nothing about marketing, hence the question.
    Visit my website.



  11. #11
    Formerly Phantom of Krankor. Torgo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDiamond View Post
    We offer a middle ground, a bold new alternative. Why does this scare so many? Never mind. Rhetorical question. Change is just plain scary sometimes. Other times, it represents a threat. We get it, and we think authors get it, too. The old guard is not interested in change. Again, we don't care. We care about the authors.
    The 'old guard' is a rhetorical straw man, I think. Nobody is trying to suppress your company. There's nothing particularly scary or hard to understand about your business model, either - you are a co-op for the efficient purchasing of publishing services. That's fine.

    What worries me a bit is the clear fallacy in your post as regarding copyright/publishing rights:

    It's the author's work, not the publisher's. We don't demand absolute rights to his work (again, it's not ours) until he dies, and his children die, and perhaps his grandchildren die. Is there an author alive who thinks that's an attractive proposition, surrendering rights unto death plus 70 years? Never mind whether it's fair, or ethical, or even moral. (I submit that it's none of the above.)
    That's not how publishing works. Life + 70 is term of copyright, and that always stays with the author. The rights sold to a publisher are publishing rights, and are subject to reversion clauses etc.

    If you're getting that wrong - which is Publishing 101 - red flags start to pop up in my mind.

  12. #12
    Lane Diamond LaneDiamond's Avatar
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    Response to "Eternalised":

    We have a Marketing Director, Kimberly Kinrade, who works with authors to help establish their online presence - websites, social media, etc.

    We also recently added an Advertising & Promotion Coordinator, Emlyn Chand, who will be working with Kimberly on coordinated opportunites for us to build our brand as a publisher, and to build the brands of each author we publish. We'll do that through coordinated, multi-book launch events every 2 months starting in June. We'll also do it through miscellaneous promotional events, blog & interview tours, contests, etc. Finally, we'll do some light advertising to focus on getting our name into the consumer public consciousness.

    As a new entry into this field of publishing, we're just getting that ball rolling, and we're excited about what it will mean for us moving forward.

    As to distribution, we began small, focused primarily on eBooks. We then moved into POD softcovers through Create Space. We're in the process now of building out a program with Lightning Source for POD hardcovers, which we'll be launching in July. So Print-on-Demand is our choice for print books. Frankly, given those technologies, we expect to see many traditional publishers moving in that direction, at some point, at least for their lesser-known authors. The economics of the business are becoming quite brutal.

    We anticipate remaining with the POD process for the long term, as it is our belief (we know some disagree, but this is OUR opinion) that print books are on their way to becoming a niche item, and that, for most authors, the days of pre-printing thousands of copies will not be economically feasible. As I like to say, "The Star Trek-ification of our world is well underway."

    Once we have our Lightning Source program in place, we will actively pursue greater distribution opportunities for our print books. However, as I mentioned above, we think the future is primarily electronic. Print books are necessary to round out a professional catalog, and a certain percentage of consumers will demand them, but we think our authors will enjoy their greatest earnings through the sale of eBooks.

    I hope that clarifies.

  13. #13
    Lane Diamond LaneDiamond's Avatar
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    Response to "Torgo":

    Yes, we know it's the copyright term, and we know the author maintains copyright, and we know the publisher merely purchases publication rights to that work for a pre-specified, contracted period of time.

    We also know what most publishers attempt to do in this regard.

    Come on. Really.

    If you can find a better rights negotiation than ours, I say, "Run with it!"

  14. #14
    practical experience, FTW eternalised's Avatar
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    Thank you, Lane. That definitely answers most of my questions.

    I wouldn't be that sure on the demise of the print book though. People still love the feel of a book in their hands. Especially with picture books (which I see you're publishing as well), reading them on a Kindle or Nook just isn't the same as when in a real print copy. I hope LSI and CS can make quality prints for the artwork of those books.

    Print books can help sell a lot of copies. People often see a book online, but wait until they can go to an actual brick & mortar store to provide it. The problem is that, if no distribution is in place, peope won't find the book in their local B&N store. If you're serious about expanding to print books (both soft and hardcover), you may want to look into that.

    Edit: Another question. I read your submissions guidelines, and I'm now a bit confused, since you publish picture books and chapter books, but there are no guidelines for that. What word count do you accept for these?
    Visit my website.



  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDiamond View Post
    We also know what most publishers attempt to do in this regard.

    Come on. Really.
    I'm afraid I'm not getting your reference.

    What do "most publishers" attempt to do?
    "An honest answer is like a warm hug." - Proverbs 24:26 (The Message)

    My short story collection, "The Poisoned City", is now available!

  16. #16
    Lane Diamond LaneDiamond's Avatar
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    Eternalised,

    Resonable people can disagree about the future of the book business.

    Look, Borders is gone, Barnes and Noble is drastically reducing shelf space, and may be gone, at least as we've known them, in the not-too-distant future. The whole world is moving online to do their purchasing, whether it be for music, or clothing, or electronics, or tools... or books.

    I don't think that's a trend that will stop. I think it will only grow. If that proves to be the case, the argument of having books in brick-and-mortar stores will become moot. There won't be any more birck-and-mortar bookstores.

    I realize this sounds farfetched to some, but the economic indicators are already pointing in that direction. And no matter how many times I insist that emperor is wearing clothes, the darn guy remains naked.

  17. #17
    Lane Diamond LaneDiamond's Avatar
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    Response to "Katrina S. Forest" (and all other interested parties):

    Okay, so I've been trying to keep things positive. Not always easy. Nonetheless, I don't want to go down the road of throwing stones at traditional publishers. Truly, that is not my intent. I simply wish to place Evolved Publishing in the arena as a viable alternative for emerging authors.

    Authors can, and should, do their own research about what rights they must surrender -- err, I mean sell -- in order to get their work published.

    If traditional publishing is a model that works for you, Dear Author, then I'll say, "Great! And good luck." And I'll mean it.

    If, on the other hand, you're as unhappy with the old business model as I was, as an aspiring author, then you'll want to examine all the alternatives.

    We are but one alternative, and we're darned excited about it. We might not be your cup of tea. Then again, we just might.

  18. #18
    Formerly Phantom of Krankor. Torgo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDiamond View Post
    Response to "Torgo":

    Yes, we know it's the copyright term, and we know the author maintains copyright, and we know the publisher merely purchases publication rights to that work for a pre-specified, contracted period of time.

    We also know what most publishers attempt to do in this regard.

    Come on. Really.

    If you can find a better rights negotiation than ours, I say, "Run with it!"
    If you know that, why did you clearly confuse the two earlier? Was it just carelessness?

    I can think of reasons to call shenanigans on certain clauses in standard trade publishing contracts, because I have seen more than a few, and I understand how certain logistical changes in trade publishing have altered the conditions which obtained at the time of agreement. But I am not convinced you really have a clear grasp of them, yet, partly because of your rhetoric - you talk in terms of 'absolute' rights or the 'surrender' of them, for instance.

    If you have specific grievances with trade publishing contracts, please tell me what they are? We can compare notes.

    Trade publishers serve two purposes. First, the efficient buying of publishing services like editing, design, marketing, etc. As an author collective, that is your business case, too. By banding together, a lot of things become cheaper. But the other half of a trade publisher is the management of risk. We pay authors up-front and cover all their costs. In return, we make a profit margin of - after costs and retailer discounts are taken into account - about the same as the author royalty.

    If a book fails, the publisher takes the hit, not the author. If a book does really well, both publisher and author does well out of it. We have big lists so that the effect of a flop or a bestseller evens out across a big list. We aren't greedy and we don't make huge profits.

    Your business model isn't wildly different - it just doesn't take on as much risk. Your partners are still paying their way to some extent. Please understand: there's nothing wrong with that so long as everyone knows what they are getting in to. I don't hate or fear your model.

    The things I would want to make sure of, though, for my own peace of mind, would be twofold. First, do you fully understand *my* business model, as a trade publisher? Do you know what goes in to efficiently producing a book to the same standards we do? So much of what you say speaks of an attitude towards us that we are obsolete, avaricious, tyrannical bastards. I worry about that, because although it's what a lot of people want to hear, it's not true.

    Second, when you conflate things like copyright and publishing rights, even casually, I worry that the legal agreements you make between yourselves, for your mutual protection and convenience, won't be fully thought through, either in drafting or review; and in publishing that's a recipe for heartache.

    These are just idle thoughts, really, not a personal attack, so please don't be offended by any of these questions or concerns.

  19. #19
    Lane Diamond LaneDiamond's Avatar
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    Response to "Torgo":

    I'm not at all offended, Torgo. Nor did I intend to offend. And yes, I understand the differences in the models. We have clear, unambiguous contracts. And we know what we don't offer that a traditional publisher does offer. Conversely, we know what we do offer that a traditional publisher does not.

    Different authors have different needs. Those with an immediate, I-must-have-the-money-up-front-right-now need would do well to pursue a model like yours, as we can not satisfy their needs. Those with a longer-term view, who are more interested in maximizing their rate of royalty for the long haul, and not as concerned about an immediate payoff, might do better to pursue a model like ours.

    We don't view ourselves as solely a competitor of traditional publishing; we also view oursleves as a competitor of the self-publishing option. As I said, we offer a new model - a middle ground.

    This is the reason I didn't want to devolve into mud-slinging, and I get the sense you feel the same. I'm not here to denigrate your business model, which I know works for some. I'm merely here to offer an alternative, because I also know your model doesn't work for everyone. And yes, we could say the exact same thing about our business model.

    The traditional publishing model has some redeeming qualities, and all publishers are not created equal. However, and let's just be honest here, plenty of horror stories abound about authors who've been abused and cheated. Your company may not be one of those perpetrators, but they're out there.

    And allow me to be frank again: I believe a 17.6% author royalty on eBooks, for example, is highway robbery. You may disagree, or perhaps you pay more. The industry has a poor track record in this arena.

    So there are trade-offs. Authors must identify their primary needs and desires, and then choose the model that satisifes them.

  20. #20
    Formerly Phantom of Krankor. Torgo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDiamond View Post
    Response to "Torgo":

    I'm not at all offended, Torgo. Nor did I intend to offend. And yes, I understand the differences in the models. We have clear, unambiguous contracts. And we know what we don't offer that a traditional publisher does offer. Conversely, we know what we do offer that a traditional publisher does not.

    Different authors have different needs. Those with an immediate, I-must-have-the-money-up-front-right-now need would do well to pursue a model like yours, as we can not satisfy their needs. Those with a longer-term view, who are more interested in maximizing their rate of royalty for the long haul, and not as concerned about an immediate payoff, might do better to pursue a model like ours.

    We don't view ourselves as solely a competitor of traditional publishing; we also view oursleves as a competitor of the self-publishing option. As I said, we offer a new model - a middle ground.

    This is the reason I didn't want to devolve into mud-slinging, and I get the sense you feel the same. I'm not here to denigrate your business model, which I know works for some. I'm merely here to offer an alternative, because I also know your model doesn't work for everyone. And yes, we could say the exact same thing about our business model.

    The traditional publishing model has some redeeming qualities, and all publishers are not created equal. However, and let's just be honest here, plenty of horror stories abound about authors who've been abused and cheated. Your company may not be one of those perpetrators, but they're out there.

    And allow me to be frank again: I believe a 17.6% author royalty on eBooks, for example, is highway robbery. You may disagree, or perhaps you pay more. The industry has a poor track record in this arena.

    So there are trade-offs. Authors must identify their primary needs and desires, and then choose the model that satisifes them.
    Thank you for this! The only thing I would take issue with is the idea that 17.6% on ebooks is robbery, highway or otherwise - the economics of ebook publishing at the present time make that an OK royalty. (Not a great royalty, but not robbery.) But yes, it's all a negotiation, and I like the fact that authors have plenty of clear choices to get their work to the public. I am a particular fan of Kickstarter at the moment. Have you considered raising funds in this way, then paying for the costs of publishing the book out of them?

  21. #21
    Lane Diamond LaneDiamond's Avatar
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    Well, Torgo, I think we're going to agree to disagree about that 17.6% royalty. :-)

    We have Kickstarter on our radar, but admittedly haven't had the time to research it fully. The one thing we never want to do is morph into something we're not, and we're not a publisher that's going to do large print runs up-front.

    We also believe that all rewards are earned -- for the author, for the publisher, and for everyone else on a project team. Traditional publishers lose money on an extraordinary percentage of the books they publish. That alone should be an indication that the business model needs repair.

    And let's face it: it's not in the author's best interest for the publisher to lose money, as that will cost the author in the end. Yet the answer is not to take more from the author to counter those losses, but rather to fix the broken model in the first place.

    Again, just our opinion. Would it help to put in another smiley-face here? :-)

    We've carved a fairly unique (at least to this point) niche for ourselves, and we want to do what we do well, and not scatter ourselves so much that we become inefficient or ineffective at what we do.

    Ultimately, we seek to join forces with like-minded authors, editors, and artists who share our vision of the future of book publishing. For those who don't share that vision, we say best of luck on whatever path you choose.

    No hard feelings. Truly.

  22. #22
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    I don't think it is "positive" to assume we are skeptical because we are afraid of rule breakers. Rule-breaking is fine if you can deliver the same or better than rule following small presses. This is rarely true. So instead of arguing about the future of publishing you could outline how you plan to sell books, and specifically how you plan to create, distribute and retail them? If this is a better deal than rule-followers like Random House I would be extremely surprised, but if it is as good as other progressive small presses like Samhain I would be impressed.

    If you note an air of skepticism it may be explained by scanning our publisher list, especially the gray links of presses that folded. Many of them started by declaring tradition approaches dead, failed to sell books, and spiraled to their doom taking a lot of authors' manuscripts with them. After a decade of so of watching this happen over and over, most author advocates start counseling caution with any small press, especially ones that ignore traditional vending options and are less than two years old. Its nothing personal.

    If you look beyond the rhetoric I see a very bog standard e/POD without a genre focus that seems to sell only via Amazon (?) and be run by people without a lot of publishing experience. The work looks fresh and nicely presented but also cross-genre and at times self-obsessed (author-focused=not always a good thing YMMV). IMHO, better than most but not a recipe for high sales.
    Last edited by veinglory; 05-31-2012 at 11:44 PM.
    Emily Veinglory

  23. #23
    Lane Diamond LaneDiamond's Avatar
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    Thanks, Veinglory,

    I know it's not personal, and I appreciate your caution. As a relatively new business, we constantly fight this battle. That's as it should be.

    However, it's much too involved to lay out every operational detail of our business, nor is it appropriate to do so. As I said earlier, we have that discussion one-on-one with authors when we get to that point of their submisison process. I spend a solid 60-90 minutes on the horn with them, laying it all out in full detail, and provide them with written materials to review before they make a decision.

    I'm a big fan of full disclosure. It shows in those discussions with authors that I just mentioned. It shows in our contracts. It shows in our continual group discussions with all of our Evolved Publishing team members. However, it must occur in the proper forum, and that's one-on-one with prospects, or as part of the existing EP group.

    We have a website with a lot of details. We're visible on Facebook and Twitter. We're visible at Amazon, Smashwords (just re-rolling after ending KDP Select runs at Amazon). If you're an aspiring or emerging author, and all of that (not to mention this discussion thread) is not enough to convince you to submit, then we're clearly not for you.

    In other words, given that we are a new entity, with only a short-term sales record, and only a slowly growing reputation (though positive), we simply cannot satisfy those who are 100% risk-averse.

    Furthermore, our contracts clearly state that should we go out of business, all rights immediately revert to the author. And remember: we only purchase rights from the author for 5 years.

    It's also important to remember, however, that because of our unique business model, we function on very little overhead, and we only earn as the authors earn. Therefore, not only are we absolutely committed to the author's success, but we suffer no expenses sufficient to drive us out of business. The worst-case scenario would be that we simply don't make a lot of money, which is not to say that's not important. Of course it is.

    Nonetheless, we have no office building in New York. All of our "employees" work on commission, and succeed or fail with the author. We all have skin in the game, and therefore a keen interest in making our authors successful. Indeed, we've specifically structured our business to promote this sense of urgency, cooperative support, and financial equity.

  24. #24
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    What I asked for could be said in one sentence, for example:

    Ebooks via kindle, paperbacks via Createspace or Lightning Source, vended exclusively by Amazon no advance and royalties of 30-50% of net.

    This would be absolutely bog standard conventional ePODas offered for over 15 years at least--except that most also sell from their own site (higher profit) and other etailers (larger market).

    I am seeking to determine whether the above is true, or I am missing something wonderful and unconventional as suggested by your website copy.
    Last edited by veinglory; 05-31-2012 at 11:53 PM.
    Emily Veinglory

  25. #25
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDiamond View Post
    We offer a middle ground, a bold new alternative. Why does this scare so many? Never mind. Rhetorical question. Change is just plain scary sometimes. Other times, it represents a threat.
    Have you considered how silly and hubristic this sounds?

    Many of us have published with small presses. We're aware of the strengths and weaknesses. We're aware of the various models. The "middle ground" has been around for years. No one here is afraid of it, or of any press that represents less than 0.01% of the publishing industry worldwide.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDiamond View Post
    Different authors have different needs. Those with an immediate, I-must-have-the-money-up-front-right-now need would do well to pursue a model like yours, as we can not satisfy their needs. Those with a longer-term view, who are more interested in maximizing their rate of royalty for the long haul, and not as concerned about an immediate payoff, might do better to pursue a model like ours.
    We're asking questions not because we're afraid, but because we know how misleading this kind of hype can be. The comparison between a small cooperative press and a large trade press isn't necessariliy "money right now versus even more money over the long run." More often, it's "a lot of money now and a bit more over the long run versus very little money over the long run." Hence our concerns about marketing, distribution, sales potential, etc.

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