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Thread: Publishing Syndicate

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW twnkltoz's Avatar
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    Publishing Syndicate

    Does anyone know anything about Publishing Syndicate (http://www.publishingsyndicate.com)? They have an interesting "hybrid" publishing option (I'm not planning on doing it, just wondering what people think). They are also doing a new series of anthologies called "Not Your Mother's Book on..."

    They apparently have some relationship to the Chicken Soup books, but I'm not clear on what that is. The owners seem to have a ton of experience in the industry.
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  2. #2
    Ne tequcesiverius extra Shrouded's Avatar
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    Looks like a vanity press IMHO.

  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW twnkltoz's Avatar
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    Yes. It's a hybrid between vanity and traditional publishing.
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  4. #4
    Crazy Young Cat Lady roseangel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twnkltoz View Post
    Yes. It's a hybrid between vanity and traditional publishing.
    I don't think there is such a thing. . .
    But I'm sure an expert can pop in to take a closer look.
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  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW twnkltoz's Avatar
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    Well, if you read their "Option 1" guidelines, they (supposedly) do not take all manuscripts--there has to be some quality to start with. They do charge a fee up front to cover all the formatting, editing, etc., but they refund it if you sell 2,500 copies.

    The anthologies work differently and are royalty-only with discounted author copies.

    I'm just wondering if anyone has any experience with this company or other thoughts.
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  6. #6
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twnkltoz View Post
    They do charge a fee up front to cover all the formatting, editing, etc., but they refund it if you sell 2,500 copies.
    How many of their authors sell 2,500 copies? Few or none, I'll bet. And even PublishAmerica turns down some manuscripts.

  7. #7
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    If the author pays for anything, it's a vanity press. They can call it "hybrid" or "subsidy" or "collaborative," or whatever other terms they come up with, but it's still a vanity press.

    That doesn't mean it's a scam or automatically a terrible idea, just that a rose by any other name is still a vanity press.
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  8. #8
    The cake is a lie. But still cake. shaldna's Avatar
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    The website isn't inspiring confidence, nor is the fact that the contact address is a PO Box. The covers they have on the site look awful too.

    I'm also wary about the lack of information about who they are - there is no 'about' section, no names - bar 'ken' in the email address. But who is Ken? What is his experience?
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  9. #9
    starting over Marian Perera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twnkltoz View Post
    Well, if you read their "Option 1" guidelines, they (supposedly) do not take all manuscripts--there has to be some quality to start with.
    Even PublishAmerica doesn't take all manuscripts. No vanity press does - though some of them claim that this shows they're not a vanity press.

    I also checked out their other services.

    Publishing Syndicate can provide ghost- or co-written book services to nearly anyone for most projects, but expect to pay a minimum of $50,000.
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  10. #10
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    It's a vanity press.

    In other words, avoid it.

    Their website, http://www.publishingsyndicate.com/p...e/ps_home.html has the "I'm a scammer" layout--the one you can recognize from across the room.

  11. #11
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    It's vanity. It is not unusual for a vanity to have some selection criteria and to make some payback for runaway successes.
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  12. #12
    Don't listen to the naysayers... what's good for the syndicate is good for you!

    (Sorry, couldn't resist. But seriously, stay away. Stay far, far away. This publisher will now be referred to as Tate Jr.)

  13. #13
    Write On! Writesforlaughs's Avatar
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    It's interesting that the Erma Bombeck Writer's Workshop newsletter of Jan. 4th has a link for the "Not Your Mother's Book" anthology story calls.
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  14. #14
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Newsletter content is not necessarily vetted, especially if they offer paid spots.
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  15. #15
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
    It's vanity. It is not unusual for a vanity to have some selection criteria and to make some payback for runaway successes.
    Exactly. One of the ways that vanity publishers attempt to dodge the vanity label is to say something like "we're not a vanity publisher because vanity publishers will publish anyone and we're selective." But many vanity publishers have at least some selection criteria, if only to avoid overloading their systems.

    If you have to pay something or buy something as a condition of publication, you are not dealing with a publisher, but with something else.

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  16. #16
    practical experience, FTW LawrenceElliott's Avatar
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    I know this thread is old, but I didn't want to move on without leaving my two-cents about Dahlynn McKowen and Publishing Syndicate.

    Dahlynn and I worked on Chicken Soup for the Soul in Menopause. She's listed as one of the authors and you can plainly see her name on the cover, along with Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen

    She's a veteran of the publishing business and is well-respected in the industry. I think it would be so much better to do some research on people before labeling them as "scammers", even if you're only doing it on a forum. We all work very hard to make a name for ourselves. Tarnishing that name shouldn't be done without careful thought. How would you feel if that were done to you?

    By the way, I'm once again working with her on her Not Your Mother's Book series. I also know others working at or with Publishing Syndicate on this series. They seem happy because it's another place to allow our words to be read by readers.

    And thus endeth my two-cents.

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  17. #17
    Just visiting Samsonet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaldna View Post
    I'm also wary about the lack of information about who they are - there is no 'about' section, no names - bar 'ken' in the email address. But who is Ken? What is his experience?
    I think I'm missing something here.
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  18. #18
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    No one called her, or the press, a scam. I did criticize the layout of their webpage, which has subsequently been changed.

    1. We charge $997 to publish and market your book, 100% of which is potentially reimbursable to you.
    The press is a vanity. Whether going with a vanity press is a good decision I'll leave up to you. Know this: If Dahlynn McKowen has a publishable book I'm sure she can find a real publisher that will take it.

    For others: I'd recommend backing slowly out of the room.

  19. #19
    Totes Legit Author Becca C.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaldna View Post
    The website isn't inspiring confidence, nor is the fact that the contact address is a PO Box. The covers they have on the site look awful too.
    Is a PO Box necessarily a bad thing? In the place I live, we don't have door-to-door mail delivery and everyone has to have a PO Box, excepting only the biggest businesses. If there was a small publishing outfit here, they'd probably have to have a PO Box too, and only courier mail would come to their business premises.
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  20. #20
    banned as an incurable tosspot
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becca C. View Post
    Is a PO Box necessarily a bad thing? In the place I live, we don't have door-to-door mail delivery and everyone has to have a PO Box, excepting only the biggest businesses. If there was a small publishing outfit here, they'd probably have to have a PO Box too, and only courier mail would come to their business premises.
    A lot of fly-by-night businesses and outright fraudulent operations use PO Boxes. A few states in the USA even went to far as to write legislation prohibiting then from calling the PO Box a "suite." For this reason.

    It's not necessarily a bad thing. But it doesn't bode well.

  21. #21
    some goon from the internet Alice Xavier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robjvargas View Post
    A lot of fly-by-night businesses and outright fraudulent operations use PO Boxes. A few states in the USA even went to far as to write legislation prohibiting then from calling the PO Box a "suite." For this reason.

    It's not necessarily a bad thing. But it doesn't bode well.
    In this case it's entirely possible that they don't have an actual office and the owner doesn't want to use his home address as the company's address. That would just mean that they're so small/scrappy they don't even have/can't afford an office, not necessarily that anything shady is going on.

    And yeah, there are also towns that don't do door-to-door delivery, so everyone has a PO box. Additionally, I have a PO box for my mailing list because I'm required by law (CANSPAM) to put a physical mailing address on my newsletters and I don't want it to be my home address. That's not being shady, that's just protecting my privacy.

  22. #22
    starting over Marian Perera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LawrenceElliott View Post
    We all work very hard to make a name for ourselves. Tarnishing that name shouldn't be done without careful thought. How would you feel if that were done to you?
    If I set up a press and charged writers a fee for any part of the publication process, I would expect the same things said about me as have been said about Publishing Syndicate in this forum.

    How would I feel about that? I don't know, how should I feel about being accurately labelled as a vanity press?
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  23. #23
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    If you're still there, LawrenceElliott - how many Publishing Syndicate authors have earned back their initial investment by selling 2,500 copies of their book?

  24. #24
    banned as an incurable tosspot
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alice Xavier View Post
    In this case it's entirely possible that they don't have an actual office and the owner doesn't want to use his home address as the company's address. That would just mean that they're so small/scrappy they don't even have/can't afford an office, not necessarily that anything shady is going on.

    And yeah, there are also towns that don't do door-to-door delivery, so everyone has a PO box. Additionally, I have a PO box for my mailing list because I'm required by law (CANSPAM) to put a physical mailing address on my newsletters and I don't want it to be my home address. That's not being shady, that's just protecting my privacy.
    You should not, however, be surprised if potential clients judge you by lack of a physical office. Even a home office entails some kind of investment in the "presence" of a company. A PO Box, not so much.

    It's the prospective's money, after all. If they choose to judge a PO Box address, that's their prerogative.

  25. #25
    Just the facts, please
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    I don't judge a PO box. For all I know, the "suite" in NYC I ship stuff off to may be the metropolitan equivalent.

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