The AW Amazon Store
Buy Books by AWers!

 

Welcome to the AbsoluteWrite Water Cooler! Please read The Newbie Guide To Absolute Write

Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: [YADS] iAuthor / Polybius Books / iGnis

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin anneboleyn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    18

    [YADS] iAuthor / Polybius Books / iGnis

    Hi, I've just discovered this company -

    http://www.polybiusbooks.com/index.html

    Does anyone know anything about them? They currently only have 1 title published, but they are a new company. I am reluctant to proceed with submitting anything though in case they could be dodgy. I don't think they are, but can someone please check them out and tell me what you think?

    Cheers!

  2. #2
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Oop North
    Posts
    1,524
    Things that would make me uneasy:

    a) the website has no info about who's behind the company, although a bit of Googling reveals that their managing director is none other than Polybius' sole author, Adam Kolczynski (http://uk.linkedin.com/in/kolczynskipolybius)

    b) Mr Kolczynski studied Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry at St Peter's College, Oxford (2004-2005) and Modern History at St Benet's Hall, Oxford (2005-2006) - but his publishing experience seems to consist of being the founder/director of iAuthor:

    iAuthor's mission is simple yet revolutionary: to give authors across the globe a platform to showcase their work. iAuthor is free, interactive and independent. Wherever you live, whatever you've written, follow us on Facebook and Twitter today.
    iAuthor was founded in November 2011. Far from being 'revolutionary' it sounds like Yet Another Display Site

    c) Polybius accepts several different genres and non-fiction

    d) it has a self-publishing arm, Ignis, which charges an all-inclusive price of 795 for a paperback (http://www.scribd.com/doc/77350385/Untitled). The complete e-book package starts at 675, a straight conversion starts at 165.

    You approach Ignis with the assurance that we offer the most cost-effective self-publishing service of its type.
    I'll let the experts comment on that claim.
    Last edited by aliceshortcake; 01-16-2012 at 02:21 AM.
    "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)

  3. #3
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Aotearoa
    Posts
    5,186
    They've got one book out, which seems to be available only via Amazon. They have a self publishing arm. They have no info about their staff, experience in the industry, etc; the website is registered to the website designer. I'd be very surprised if the owner of Polybius/Ignis is someone other than Adam Kolyczynski. I'm guessing they only want submissions from local authors, as they say that prior to offering a contract they will "arrange to meet" with the author.

    What are your expectations for your eventual publisher?

  4. #4
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Oop North
    Posts
    1,524
    According to Polybius' 'News and Events' page:

    AUTUMN 2010
    Adam Kolczynski's novel, The Oxford Virus, was published on 13th October. Prior to publication, the book was shortlisted for the UKA OPENING PAGES COMPETITION.
    I've never heard of this competition:

    UKA also runs an internationally renowned annual Opening Pages Competition which gives in-depth feedback from up to ten reviewers, with full professional assessment and advice, and publication by UKA Press, UKAuthors' publishing arm, offered to the winner.

    http://www.ukauthors.com/
    Not exactly a high-profile literary contest, then. More to the point, the UKA site includes a short list of books nominated for the 2010 competition and The Oxford Virus isn't one of them.

    JANUARY 2011
    The Oxford Virus is now available at Waterstone's, Foyles and The Book Depository.
    In other words you can order the book at Waterstone's, Foyles and The Book Depository...

    Going back to Ignis, I'm baffled by the following claim:

    Ignis offers a range of warehousing and order fulfilment solutions.

    We can arrange for your printed books to be delivered to our state-of-the-art warehouse for short, medium or long-term storage. Prices include palletisation in a secure, professionally-staffed, climate-controlled facility, and regular deliveries to Amazon.co.uk. All our couriers use trackable identification systems – we never lose sight of your book!
    So Polybius' lack of bookstore placement suggests that it's POD but Ignis uses offset printing? I'm confused.

    And this raises some huge red flags:

    This isn’t to say that you’ll be left to steer alone. We offer guidance at every milestone – free advice, earnestly given. Where appropriate, Ignis can provide promotional materials for your book launch: banners, posters, leaflets, bookmarks. For authors whose books lend themselves well to a robust marketing and PR campaign, we can point you in the direction of three leading agencies. For bespoke author websites, we can refer you to our long-standing industry partners.
    Last edited by aliceshortcake; 01-16-2012 at 07:43 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)

  5. #5
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin anneboleyn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    18
    Woah, you guys have flagged up some things that I simply missed - I'm pretty new to all this (never been published or had an agent) Thank you very much, I am steering well clear of this one!

  6. #6
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Oop North
    Posts
    1,524
    Ignis seems to be doing nothing for their authors that they couldn't do for themselves, probably for less money. One of their titles has its own website:

    www.dottiedidit.com

    This 17 page paperback (selling for 4.99) is available from Amazon, to order through Waterstone's or directly from the author. I hope he thinks his 675 (minimum) was well spent.
    "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)

  7. #7
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Here and there
    Posts
    3,301
    Polybius Books:
    We see our independence as our greatest strength. Vitally, it gives us the flexibility to publish what we like, in the volume we see fit, free from the constraints of a parent company.
    I don't see what the relationship is between having a parent company and being independent. A parent company is just a type of company structure that relates to share ownership.

    Polybius Books:
    A Polybius title will exist because it deserves recognition outside the mainstream.
    When a new publisher makes statements like this and the only book they have published is that of the owner, then it suggests that the owner couldn't get their book published through the mainstream. I don't have anything against self-publishing (it's a perfectly good choice if you go in knowing of the risks) but one person's self-publishing experience doesn't qualify them to offer publishing services to other people.

    Polybius Books:
    As the digital age reshapes the literary landscape, and a culture of instant gratification takes hold, gifted writers are often overlooked.
    Bullshit and sadly, the kind of bullshit that usually comes from people who couldn't get a commercial publisher and decided to go down the self-publishing route.

    Electronic publishing makes it easier for anyone to release their book but it is (as it has always been) the market that determines whether the book is a success.

    Polybius Books:
    our quest to find and nurture these, we publish a diverse range of titles:
    • Literary fiction: traditional and edgy
    • Quality genre fiction: crime, mystery, thriller and historical
    • General non-fiction
    They'd be better off focusing on 1 or 2 particular genres (e.g. literary and crime) than in including non fiction as well as it will enable them to target their marketing more effectively and build a reputation.

    Polybius Books:
    If your manuscript is accepted, it will be treated to the highest standards of editorial scrutiny, with close collaboration between author and editor on content, design, distribution and marketing.
    This suggests that the company is a one-stop shop with one person editing, designing, distributing and marketing. As aliceshortcake has said, there's nothing to indicate that Adam Kolczynski has any experience of this, which means he's on a learning curve and you're a guinea pig.

    Polybius Books:
    We’ll do our utmost to secure a cross-section of review articles.
    Publishers can and should send out review copies for books ahead of release in order to get attention for their product, but they can't "secure" reviews.

    Polybius Books:
    We’ll handle subsidiary rights, as well as foreign sales and translation rights.
    Erm, no. They shouldn't be taking subsidiary rights or translation rights. What this basically means is that they're taking all rights when they've got no track record of being able to sell them.

    Polybius Books:
    Remember – we have a financial and personal stake in your writing, so your success is inextricably linked to ours.
    Unless they're paying authors an advance for books (and I see nothing to suggest that they are), then Polybius is in complete control of how much it has at stake and I would suggest that this isn't a huge amount given the lack of experience in the field and the fact that they're using POD and don't seem to have in-store distribution in place.

    Polybius Books:
    The royalty rate depends on whether your book is hardcover, trade or mass market, and can vary from 9% to 13% of net. We pay royalties on a six monthly basis.
    I'd want to know how they define net. Royalties on physical books should be paid on cover and for a start up, I'd want a higher royalty rate than what they're offering (ideally around 40 - 50%) - bearing in mind that you only get royalties with sales, so a high royalty rate is meaningless if they can't sell copies of your book.

    Polybius Books:
    An aspiring Polybius author should be promotable.
    No, the book should be promotable.

    Polybius Books:
    Launched in April 2011, Ignis is the self-publishing imprint of Polybius Books.
    There's a potential conflict of interest in running a self-publishing arm with a royalty only paying arm because of the potential temptation to nod people towards self-publishing in order to get the fees. I'd be inclined to ask questions given that the only book put out on the royalty-only basis belongs to the author, whereas they've put out (or are putting out) 5 books through the paid-for self-publishing arm. Does this mean that the self-published books help fund the royalty-only arm?

    Polybius Books:
    Ignis is the only company to offer ALL of the following – and deliver every time.
    • Editorial excellence
    • Bespoke cover design. No templates – ever.
    • Access to world-class printers
    • True bookstore quality
    • Self-published author keeps 100% royalties and 100% copyright
    • A global sales platform
    • Our publishing and PR contacts
    • Our social media savvy
    • Peerless dedication and ultra-swift response
    • A free Kindle 3G + Wi-fi if you self-publish with Ignis before Easter Sunday 2012
    • Kudos. Most self-publishers take on everything that comes their way. Ignis is different. We stake our reputations on being selective.
    • No VAT. We charge what we quote.
    • We accept payments in all major currencies.
    What a load of bollocks.

    - Editorial excellence They don't seem to have any qualified or experienced editors on staff, so I'd have to question this.

    - Bespoke cover design. No templates – ever. Other self-publishers will allow people to either upload their own covers or have cover designs ready to hand. There's nothing new or innovative about this.

    - Access to world-class printers. This is mealy-mouthed nonsense. For starters, what is a "world class printer"? Surely it's someone who publishes books that stay together. That's a basic and not an advertising point. Besides, having access to a world-class printer isn't the same as using a world class printer and I notice they don't promise that in their spiel.

    - True bookstore quality. More mealy mouthed bullshit. Bookstore quality is immaterial if they can't physically get your books into stores. Given that they can't seem to do this for their royalty-only arm, what are the chances of them doing it for self-published authors?

    - Self-published author keeps 100% royalties and 100% copyright. Authors should always keep 100% of the copyright. What they lose is the first publishing rights, which in this case they would have to give to Ignis. As for keeping 100% of the royalties, that's great but it's dependent on sales and bearing in mind you'll have spent money up front, you'll have to factor in the number of sales you need to make just to break even on that initial "investment".

    - A global sales platform. More mealy mouthed gobshite. I suspect this means that they can list you on databases accessible worldwide. Woopie do. It rarely translates into sales if the publisher isn't doing anything to distribute or make sales.

    - Our social media savvy. Excuse me while I fall about laughing. A Linked-In profile is not social media savvy.

    - Peerless dedication and ultra-swift response. And? This is easy to say, not so easy to quantify and ultimately meaningless unless it achieves book sales.

    - A free Kindle 3G + Wi-fi if you self-publish with Ignis before Easter Sunday 2012. Or, you could just buy yourself a Kindle and not go to the expenditure of paying to publish.

    - Kudos. Most self-publishers take on everything that comes their way. Ignis is different. We stake our reputations on being selective. Oh please. Where's the kudos in paying to publish with a start-up that only has 6 books released and whose only publishing experience is through publishing the owner's own book?

    - No VAT. We charge what we quote. I'll be sure to pass that on to Her Majesty's Customs and Excise. I believe I'm right in saying that this is a VAtable service, which means that VAT is charged. Under the VAT Act 1994, prices are deemed to be inclusive of VAT unless expressed otherwise. Therefore, the fact that iIgnis don't split out the VAT section doesn't mean that they're not charging you VAT. If they say different, then definitely have a chat with your friendly Customs officer because I'm sure they'd be fascinated to hear about it.

    - We accept payments in all major currencies. Yeah. This is such a unique selling point ...

    Polybius Books:
    We're open to all genres, including specialist non-fiction. Novels, screenplays, corporate literature and poetry anthologies are welcome, as are collections of short-stories.
    Yeah, remember Ignis's claim to be selective? That doesn't seem to ring true given that they'll accept anything and everything (including poetry, which is notoriously difficult to sell).

    In other news Polybius Limited is a duly incorporated company but its share capital is only 1 and it seems to be running out of a residential address. This means that if it goes under and owes you money, it would be open to question whether they've got enough to pay you and they don't seem to have any significant company assets.

    anneboleyn:
    I'm pretty new to all this (never been published or had an agent) Thank you very much, I am steering well clear of this one!
    The thing with start-ups is that so many go bust in the first 2 years of trading and when they do they usually take your rights with it.

    The best advice I can give you is to do a lot of research on publishing and how it works before you submit anywhere. The Writers and Artists Yearbook is a great place to start as it will take you through the different options and the process.

    My recommendation would almost always be to see if you can get an agent first. The UK is a small market and most of the commercial publishers are closed to public submissions (although some good niche publishers will still take a look). You can check out these Forums for information on particular agents or publishers to get a handle on submission requirements and response times.

    MM

  8. #8
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Oop North
    Posts
    1,524
    Thanks for that excellent point-by-point, MM! Perhaps Mr Kolczynski would like to drop by and respond to our concerns.

    I've just been having a closer look at one of the Ignis titles, Dementia and Mum: Who Really Cares? by Michael Fassio. Mr Kolczynski proudly proclaimed on Google+ that the e-book

    ...
    achieved No.1 Amazon Bestseller status on the 17/12/11 (Ageing Parents category).
    https://plus.google.com/109434693533...ts/Pvni8V89KNj
    It's currently number two on the list (which includes various editions of King Lear and senior joke books) but that's still only a rank of 9,767 in the Kindle Store as a whole - more proof that the word 'bestseller' doesn't always mean very much.

    I'm still flummoxed by this:

    We can arrange for your printed books to be delivered to our state-of-the-art warehouse for short, medium or long-term storage. Prices include palletisation in a secure, professionally-staffed, climate-controlled facility, and regular deliveries to Amazon.co.uk.
    Does Ignis really mean to imply that the company, which is run from a house in Ealing, has its very own state-of-the-art warehouse and and employs a professional staff? Because I'm sure that's what many novice writers will take it to mean.
    Last edited by aliceshortcake; 01-16-2012 at 07:42 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)

  9. #9
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Here and there
    Posts
    3,301
    Amazon rankings mean absolute bubkiss. They can be gamed (and have been), they're broken down so specifically that you can achieve a bestseller in a particular category without selling many books at all and they're transitory. It always makes my alarm bells go whenever I see a publisher promoting its Amazon bestseller status because it shows (a) they don't have a clue how the business operates and (b) it can actually highlight the fact that they're not selling many copies.

    As for anyone from Polybius dropping by, I'm not bothered one way or another if they do. The fact is that this is basically a pay-to-play operation and these are seldom a good deal for authors who actually want to make a few quid from their work.

    MM

  10. #10
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Coastal Desert
    Posts
    13,023
    Hasn't published as either Polybius or Ignis since '12. In Dec '12, launched "global advertising platform" iAuthor: http://www.iauthor.uk.com/
    ICAO
    ---------
    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

  11. #11
    Researching History's Mysteries HistorySleuth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Western New York State
    Posts
    3,788
    I'm seeing an awful lot of Facebook ads, or other writers sharing the ads for iAuthor. I don't quite get it. It's a display site right?

    On their Terms & Conditions page, number 4. User Generated Content says:
    You specifically acknowledge that we have the unconditional and perpetual right to reproduce, publish, distribute, communicate to the public and generally disseminate your uploaded content in any media and by any means, whether now known or subsequently invented. ...
    But further down, 5. Content Ownership, says:
    We do not claim any right of ownership over content (inc. images) that you post on the website. After posting your content on one or more advertising slots, you will continue to retain all your intellectual property ownership rights, and you will continue to have the right to use your content in any way you choose.
    Is that not a contradiction? It says it's free, but there must be some ad payment somewhere. I don't see any benefit to authors as I don't see why readers would use it. Am I missing something? I hate to see authors passing this around if they are going to get sucked into something with hidden fees. There must be some as the terms page also says:

    If you're advertising in one of the book service categories, invoices related to your account must be paid within two weeks of receipt. Failure to do so will result in your account being suspended.
    ...yet I see no plan at the website. Thoughts?
    Blog Twitter @HistorySleuth1
    From the History Press

    A History of Native American Land Rights in Upstate New York
    On Amazon.

  12. #12
    practical experience, FTW SBibb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    1,571
    Has anyone heard of any more news or had any experiences with the iAuthor site? Seems they've updated their terms and conditions from what HistorySleuth said above.

    They contacted me about adding a few of my self-published stories on Twitter (after I followed their feed), so I was curious to see what others thought about them. At the moment, they look like a display site.

    I found this recent interview with them: http://www.indiesunlimited.com/2015/...ition-iauthor/

    Thoughts?
    Current Works:
    The Shadow War - (YA Fantasy Novella) Beta-Readers

    Cover illustration - My Blog - The Multiverse Chronicles - Steampunk Fantasy Blog Series


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Custom Search