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Thread: Moonshine Cove Publishing LLC / Laughing Lune Publishing

  1. #1
    New kid, be gentle! Carlene's Avatar
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    Moonshine Cove Publishing LLC / Laughing Lune Publishing

    Anyone hear of this publisher. I think it's pretty new.

    www.moonlightcovepublishing.com

    Carlene
    When Harmony Jane Jones loses her cat, her car, her job and her boyfriend, all within the space of a week, she does what any 20-something woman would do. She runs away and joins the circus.

  2. #2
    I grow my own catnip JulieB's Avatar
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    That domain isn't even registered anywhere, and I'm not finding anything in a search. You might double-check your URL...

  3. #3
    New kid, be gentle! Carlene's Avatar
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    DUH....that's what happens when I stagger out of bed too early. Try this:

    www.moonshinecovepublishing.com

    I need a nap.

    Carlene
    When Harmony Jane Jones loses her cat, her car, her job and her boyfriend, all within the space of a week, she does what any 20-something woman would do. She runs away and joins the circus.

  4. #4
    the world is at my command jennontheisland's Avatar
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    Might want to fix the thread title to reflect publisher's actual name.

    They claim to not be a vanity press and offer their contract for review, but there's no indication on the site of who they are or what their experience is.

    There's also this on their submissions page in response to the "how many books will I sell" question:
    No one can answer that, but in all likely hood, not many. That's the reality of the publishing industry today. The number of sales, however, depends greatly on the author, particularly how much time the author is willing to devote to publicizing and marketing her or his book. The more effort the author puts into this, the more copies of the book will be sold. All such marketing efforts will be at the author's own expense.
    They also have a "non-fiction" book debunking global warming which makes me think they're a little bonkers, but YMMV.
    Last edited by jennontheisland; 04-04-2012 at 08:02 PM.
    You are more than welcome to take anything I say personally, whether it was intended that way or not.

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  5. #5
    New kid, be gentle! Carlene's Avatar
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    Yes, I should fix the tread starter but I'm not sure how - can you help?
    Sorry, not a techno-phobe.

    Carlene
    When Harmony Jane Jones loses her cat, her car, her job and her boyfriend, all within the space of a week, she does what any 20-something woman would do. She runs away and joins the circus.

  6. #6
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    It's done via Go Advanced when editing a post. I've taken care of it, tho'.
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  7. #7
    New kid, be gentle! Carlene's Avatar
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    This old lady says thank you!

    Carlene
    When Harmony Jane Jones loses her cat, her car, her job and her boyfriend, all within the space of a week, she does what any 20-something woman would do. She runs away and joins the circus.

  8. #8
    I grow my own catnip JulieB's Avatar
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    It doesn't help that they can't spell Barnes & Noble.

  9. #9
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    Laughing Lune Publishing

    For Gordo, who enquired about Laughing Lune Press on another thread:

    http://www.laughinglune.com/

    LLP specializes in YA fiction but hasn't actually published anything yet. The company's first book, So the Sign Said by Natasha Osteen, will be published later this month - but according to both LLP's own website and Amazon it will appear under the imprint of Moonshine Cove Publishing, which has its own thread here:http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/...d.php?t=241861


    I'm confused - what's going on? According to LLP's 'About' page:

    Natasha is the bite-sized publisher of Laughing Lune Publishing. She's also the author of the YA book, So the Sign Said—a publication of Moonshine Cove Publishing. The publishing process fascinated her so much that she used her mind-bending skills to convince Moonshine Cove to let her start this imprint.
    From the Moonshine Cove website:

    The number of sales, however, depends greatly on the author, particularly how much time the author is willing to devote to publicizing and marketing her or his book. The more effort the author puts into this, the more copies of the book will be sold. All such marketing efforts will be at the author's own expense. Moonshine Cove spends money to publish your book and to make it available nationally and internationally, but does not have funds for marketing. We do make available to our authors suggestions of how to go about this, but we are unable to do it for you. Writing the book is only half the battle, less than half the battle. If you want it to sell, you, the author, must publicize and market your book at your own expense. If you are not willing to do that, Moonshine Cove is not the right publisher for you.
    Laughing Lune is following in the parent company's footsteps:

    What do you look for in a prospective author?


    Ivory tower types that are unwilling to promote their books aren’t a good fit. In order for a book to turn a profit, it has to sell many more copies than 250 copies. And while we do this for fun, we don’t do this to lose money. (Even the big boys expect their authors to market their own books). So, Laughing Lune works with authors who are serious about promoting their books—alongside Laughing Lune. That means a professional website, a blog, Facebook, Twitter, you name it. Beyond that, a sense of humor is a must!
    Yes, you'll probably need a sense of humour when you realize that the only people who'll buy your book are the ones you know personally. The confusion between marketing and promotion is also instructive. Also from the FAQ page:

    Are you a self-publishing company or a vanity press?


    No, we are not. We’re picky. We’re market savy. And we will never ever ever ask an author to pay us for taking a book to market.
    Of course you won't. The only person 'taking a book to market' is the author.

    We are a traditional independent publisher. We will never ask an author to pay a dime to publish his or her work. But as a result, we only to take a few select titles each year.
    Very sensible!

    We take an offbeat approach to young adult fiction. We hope to attract writers big and small to our quirky family. Some might call us a funny, feel-good indie press. Others might call us a mommy jeans-wearing nerd squad with an immature hobby. (May those people inadvertently roller skate down stairs.)
    Natasha and editor Nicola are lawyers - they are hobbyists. What about Chief Editor Marna?

    Marna is many things, including: Grand Poobah Editor, Harvard Grad (English Lit – scary!!), a new mom of a precocious, yet adorable, little boy, an old mom of two sweet, rowdy dogs, and an amateur contemporary art collector. In the midst of wrangling her brood, she enjoys reading, editing, and helping people with their writing. A former non-profit director, Marna has a passion for community service work, especially that involving children. . . . So go ahead and add "better than us" to the above list.
    Yes, but does she have professional editing experience?

    The bio for reader Tonya (aka Mouse) is similarly unhelpful:

    Mouse is the first stop at Laughing Lune and there's a reason for it—she loves good writing and can smell it from a mile away. Get past Mouse and you've got a shot! (And watch your typos because she was her district's sixth grade spelling bee champion.) Mouse has two sons, one daughter-in-law, and a grand-dog named Bailey.
    I'm sure the people at Laughing Lune Press are full of good intentions, but good intentions don't sell books.

  10. #10
    Hi, yes they are reasonably new. I was offered a contract and declined. I am not going to say anything negative as I did not have a bad experience. I just thought that if I am going to do all the work to promote my book, I might as well reap the rewards. I did not like the contract, it was not author friendly and too vague.

  11. #11
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Laughing Lune and Moonshine Cove

    Ladies and gentlemen–I was forwarded this thread and I’d like to put in my 2 cents. (Full disclosure, my name is Natasha Osteen and I manage Laughing Lune. I’m also an author and Moonshine Cove published my first book.)

    1. As to Moonshine Cove, I had four offers from independent publishers (non-vanity presses) for my book but chose to go with Moonshine Cove Publishing because I really clicked with Gene (the owner) and because he promised me much more artistic control over the end product – he made good on that promise too. The ONLY thing I paid Moonshine Cove for was additional copies of the ARCs (I wanted to send out 50). Moonshine Cove is NOT a vanity press.

    2. I enjoyed the publishing process and working with Moonshine so much that I (along with a few of my close friends) decided to open our own independent publishing house, Laughinglune.com. Moonshine Cove graciously offered to help us manage the publishing process if we got stuck and needed Moonshine's experience and expertise. Moonshine Cove was also nice enough to let me list my book on the Laughing Lune website (more places it is the better) but if you click on it, there is no mistake that it is a Moonshine Cove book.

    3. Are we hobbyists? Well, do you mean are most of us lawyers that work other jobs which give us the financial flexibility to invest in books we believe in? If so, then yes.

    4. We just opened our doors so some of this seems premature, but let me be clear on a few things. Does Laughing Lune expect the author to pay a single penny of publishing costs? No. And with editing, typesetting, illustrations, etc, that is not cheap. Will Laughing Lune help with advertising? Absolutely. Our business plan is to promote via social media sites, our website, press releases, sending out ARC, etc but we still expect the author to do a lot of work. What does that mean? It means we’d like the author to have his or her own webpage, social media pages, etc. We’d like the author to get out and promote his or her “baby” as much as possible. That’s the best way to make the book a success. Period.

    5. Despite building what we thing is a great site and doing internet marketing, we haven't gotten the number and quality of submissions for which we hoped. That's okay, we know it will take some time. But, we are opening our submissions to adult fiction that fits with our themes (fun, heartwarming, quirky, PG-13). We just need to update our website. So bring it on!

    6. Finally, we want the process to be fun. Aliceshortcake has a hilarious username and I’m sure if I met her/him in person, we’d get along famously. However, I believe in open communication and knowing the facts before one advises authors to disregard a publisher entirely. We invite questions/comments and even calls any time someone wants additional information. We have nothing to hide. And it’s ultimately true that we’re just a bunch of avid readers and writers that want to do something fun. If we can help publish a good book in the process, all the better!

  12. #12
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    I think 'disregard' is the default setting rather than specific advice. We look for traits that lift a publisher above being 'disregardable'.
    Emily Veinglory

  13. #13
    Naked Futon Guy allenparker's Avatar
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    Laughinglune, thank you for coming here and allowing us to delve more into your business.

    This is a beware thread where people actively look for indications that a publisher might not be the best fit for them. In general, the process looks at track records of the company, the principals, and the markets they wish to reach. Just as attorneys study their craft for many years before taking the bar exam, the publisher has the same responsibility to be vetted before being recommended to the general public. This is how that is done.

    We question. We look at the contract, the successful marketing plans, if they have distribution outside of Lightning Source, Amazon, and their own site, and can they get books into stores on a regular basis.

    Several new publishers have learned much from the discussions here. People are willing to help. One of the areas the group here has been helpful is in helping the publisher to develop an author friendly contract that is balanced and supportive of both sides.

    This is all said to encourage dialog and to help the fledgling publisher get a good start. just having good manuscripts and some cover art won't do it.

    Please, don your thickest skin and stay with us. And welcome.
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  14. #14
    Proud Literary Sadist justbishop's Avatar
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    Google Chrome gave me a malware warning when I tried to visit http://www.laughinglune.com/

    :/
    WIP#1: 52,313/50,000

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  15. #15
    Mired in the miry mire. leifwright's Avatar
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    Beware Moonshine Cove publisher

    My second book (first novel), Minister of Justice, was published by Moonshine Cove Publishing.

    Let me back up.

    My first book (true crime book Deadly Vows) was published by New Horizon Press, one of the bigger true crime publishers. That book came about the traditional way, with my agent, Sharlene Martin, making the deal with New Horizon, etc. But that book was an anomaly, because I'm not a true crime kind of person - I just happened to have been involved in that crime. I had ghost-written tons of books before that, and after being published under my own name, I decided I wanted a novel under my own name, too, because that's really where my interests lay.

    Sharlene, however, is a nonfiction-only agent, so though she loved the novel, she couldn't help me with getting it published, because she has no fiction contacts. Getting an agent is a pain in the ass, and even though Sharlene, who is a great agent, more than earned her commission on Deadly Vows, I decided I would try to see if it was possible for me to start at the bottom without an agent for my fiction books. I realized the downsides: smaller publishers, smaller marketing opportunities, more scams, but I also realized that Sharlene made more money on my book than I did, at least initially.

    So I shopped around, and I considered myself pretty savvy (a mistake I now regret) at avoiding vanity publishers and self-publishers. Reading somewhere about where other authors had gotten publishing contracts without an agent, Moonshine Cove Publishing came up among a list of other publishers. Long story short, I perused their Web site, and they seemed like the real deal - if a little wonky on Web design.

    I submitted queries for that novel to several of the publishers on the list, just seeing what would happen. I eventually got offers from a lot of the publishers I submitted it to, but Moonshine Cove was first, and after a couple of conversations with the publisher, Gene Robinson, I signed with them, so the other offers that came in later had to be rejected.

    During the editing process, I noticed a thing or two with their editing that concerned me. Specifically, they appeared to have been reading trade magazines and seizing upon a few editing ideas and running with them. When I wrote that novel, I had a bad habit of using the word "had," like "she had walked that road before, and it had been a disaster" (not an actual line from the book, but you get the idea). They seized upon that and went through the book, pretty much deleting every instance of the word "had," even when it changed the text in ways that made it difficult to read. That's just one example, but the point is I started to get concerned.

    Then, when it came time to design the cover, they literally asked me to send them a cover. Seriously.

    I do a little painting, so I worked up a couple of ideas, hated them, and eventually ended up sending them a Photoshop composition using several of the elements from my manuscript represented by stock photos. They loved the cover, but then they said, "Where did these stock images come from? We don't really have the budget to pay a lot for them." One of the images was a Getty image, which they rejected as too expensive, so I went to Dreamstime and bought the image that ended up on the cover, making sure the contract covered books as well. I mention that to say this: That's not the kind of thing a publisher should be expecting an author to do!

    I've been a graphic designer before, so I may have been uniquely qualified to help out in that instance, but the fact is, that's their job, as is naming the book. Almost no traditionally published books end up using the title the author gave the work when it was being created. But "Minister of Justice" made it from my mind to the cover of the book - a cover I designed.

    Later, the publisher suggested I get "quotes" and "blurbs" from other authors, using a PDF of the formatted manuscript for them to read. Even though New Horizon had handled all that stuff for my first book, I figured "what the hell, Moonshine Cove is a small publisher, I don't mind." The problem was, I don't really know any authors (I hadn't signed up here yet).

    So I went through Moonshine Cove's list of authors, figuring they had also had to get authors to give them blurbs for their books and they'd be understanding. I found a few and emailed them. One of them suggested he'd buy my book if I bought his, which I thought was weird, but I'm a sucker for a struggling author, so I bought his book. I won't say his name here, because I'm not trying to be mean, but his book was unreadable. It was absolutely horrible; poorly written, poorly edited - and the plot, such as it was, was absolutely incomprehensible. It felt like it had been written by a sixth-grader. And my immediate thought was, "holy shit, this publisher will publish anything." Nothing takes you down a few notches like reading horrible drivel published by the same people who are publishing your stuff.

    When the book was finally published in May of 2015, that was the extent of my contact with Moonshine Cove, other than going through them to buy copies of my books to sell to my fan base, because I got a discount using them. I got NO advance or author's copies, and no review copies were provided. When I asked about it, Gene said, "we don't get free copies, either." Not the point, but OK.

    So I went to a few bookstores around the area that had stocked my last book to look and see if it had been stocked. I wasn't surprised that it hadn't been, because Moonshine Cove had done literally no marketing for my book. So at the first Barnes and Noble I visited, I asked the books manager if they could get a couple of copies. She was very accommodating and said they'd love to - my first book had sold well there. Then she looked it up in her system and said, "Oh."

    "What?" I asked.

    "This is a print-on-demand book," she replied. "We can't get it."

    Can't. That's what she said. Barnes and Noble, only the largest bookseller south of Amazon, could not get my book to sell. I had no idea Moonshine Cove was doing print-on-demand. I mean, what the hell did I need them for? I can do print-on-demand all by myself. For all the marketing help they provided (zero) and all the effort they spent trying to get the book into bookstores (zero) and all the editing expertise they offered (I could have gotten more help from Microsoft Word's grammar editor) and the design work they did on the cover (zero), they were a complete waste of my time - except for the fact that whenever a copy of the book is sold, they get the bulk of the money from it.

    I know this is long, so I'll recap:

    Moonshine Cove:

    * Amateurish editing
    * No graphic design help
    * Print On Demand
    * No marketing
    * No placement in bookstores
    * The author is largely left on his or her own to do everything.

    It's horrible.

  16. #16
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    One of Moonshine Cove's books is Attorney's Alibi. Take a look at the cover of the Kindle version:

    http://www.amazon.com/Attorneys-Alib...rney%27s+Alibi

    They got it right on the paperback version but unfortunately that wasn't the one they used on the MC website.

    Incredible.
    Last edited by aliceshortcake; 02-03-2016 at 11:54 PM.

  17. #17
    Mired in the miry mire. leifwright's Avatar
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    "Attorney's Albi." That's hilarious.

  18. #18
    phoenix blazing Parametric's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear of your experiences, Leif. I winced when you said you'd gone to bookstores to see if your book had been stocked on shelves. There are about a hundred different reasons why you will never walk into a bookstore and find books from a publisher of this type on the shelves - returnability, distribution, production quality, lack of trade reviews, and price point being just a few of those reasons. Unfortunately, this is a familiar story.

  19. #19
    Mired in the miry mire. leifwright's Avatar
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    No, I totally get that. The only reason I was looking for my book in those particular bookstores is they had stocked my first book and it had sold quite well there. I totally get the idea that bookstores don't just randomly stock books that are published.

  20. #20
    Do Not Walk on the Grass Emily Winslow's Avatar
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    Leif, this is a small derail from Moonshine Cove, but I'm not sure what you meant by this:

    "but I also realized that Sharlene made more money on my book than I did, at least initially."

    Agents make 15% of what their clients make. How is it possible that she made more money off your book than you did?


    "[Winslow is] brilliant at portraying the ragged fragments of these lives. What emerges isn't a single killer with motive and means, but a tangle of stories crossing and colliding, stray intersections of incidents and accidents, misunderstandings and misreadings, all thanks to the myopia of individual perspectives and the self-centeredness of individual desires.”
    -Washington Post

  21. #21
    Mired in the miry mire. leifwright's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emily Winslow View Post
    Leif, this is a small derail from Moonshine Cove, but I'm not sure what you meant by this:

    "but I also realized that Sharlene made more money on my book than I did, at least initially."

    Agents make 15% of what their clients make. How is it possible that she made more money off your book than you did?
    Because she had a minimum fee. Once that minimum fee is reached, then the agent makes 15%.

    So for me, until I earned out my advance, she made more than I did. The reality is, most authors never earn out their advances. Thankfully, I did, but until that point, Sharlene made more money than I did on the book. And I don't begrudge her that - she did all the groundwork to get it sold to a publisher that put some marketing muscle behind it.

    If my second experiment in agentless publishing doesn't go well, I'm going to go back the agent route.

  22. #22
    Do Not Walk on the Grass Emily Winslow's Avatar
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    I have never heard of a minimum fee for agents. (I have been agented for years.) If anyone else has knowledge of such a minimum fee being a standard, reasonable practice I will be very interested to hear it. It doesn't sound right to me.


    "[Winslow is] brilliant at portraying the ragged fragments of these lives. What emerges isn't a single killer with motive and means, but a tangle of stories crossing and colliding, stray intersections of incidents and accidents, misunderstandings and misreadings, all thanks to the myopia of individual perspectives and the self-centeredness of individual desires.”
    -Washington Post

  23. #23
    Undistractable (on deadline) mccardey's Avatar
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    I've not heard of it.

  24. #24
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    I have...usually from very dodgy agents and publishers.

    Blog: Blue Night
    Art and jewelry online at iCraft

  25. #25
    Do Not Walk on the Grass Emily Winslow's Avatar
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    The thread on that agency is instructive:

    http://absolutewrite.com/forums/show...arlene-Martin)


    "[Winslow is] brilliant at portraying the ragged fragments of these lives. What emerges isn't a single killer with motive and means, but a tangle of stories crossing and colliding, stray intersections of incidents and accidents, misunderstandings and misreadings, all thanks to the myopia of individual perspectives and the self-centeredness of individual desires.”
    -Washington Post

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