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Thread: Anchor Group Publishing

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Anchor Group Publishing

    Hi all,

    I just wanted to know if anyone has heard of or dealt with Anchor Group Publishing. I ran a search and have only found positive things (no red lights as of yet). I do think they are a fairly new company.

    Does anyone have any insight? It would be much appreciated!

    Thanks
    ema05

  2. #2
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    I've asked a mod to shift this to the Background Checks subforum, where you'll probably get more answers.

    Can you provide a URL for Anchor?

  3. #3
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Thank you so much! Their website is www.anchorgrouppublishing.com

  4. #4
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Anchor Group Publishing

    Hi all,

    I just wanted to know if anyone has heard of or dealt with Anchor Group Publishing. I ran a search and have only found positive things (no red lights as of yet). I do think they are a fairly new company, however.

    Does anyone have any insight? It would be much appreciated! Their site is www.anchorgrouppublishing.com

    Thanks
    ema05

  5. #5
    Shakespearean Fool DreamWeaver's Avatar
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    I clicked on Our Books and started reading the blurb for the first book. There were several grammar errors. This does not instill confidence in either their editing or their attention to detail. I'd put this publisher in the "wait and watch two years" category. They may improve; they may not.
    Why doesn't George R. R. Martin use Twitter? He already killed off all 140 characters.

  6. #6
    Tell it like it Is Susan Littlefield's Avatar
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    Preditors and Editors does not list them. However, at the front page is an ad for thier editing services, which probably charges fees. For this reason alone, I would run the other way.
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  7. #7
    Coffee Coffee Work Coffee AW Moderator amergina's Avatar
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    Poking about on Amazon, it looks like several of the books were published before Anchor Group published them... and the formatting on the "Look Inside" previews is all over the place. The editing is eh, as well.

    And yes, the editing company on the front page is a flag. Even more so since the editing is eh.
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  8. #8
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    The owner is also one of the authors, though this isn't clearly noted on the website. The cover art on the books doesn't impress me; the books appear to be available only via Amazon, where the sales rankings are quite unimpressive; the first book I looked at had a typo on page 2.

    I'm not seeing anything they could do for an author that the author couldn't do for himself.

  9. #9
    Skimming galaxies Lidiya's Avatar
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    On the 'Our Books' section, the summaries are riddled with typos and cliches. The covers are also really amateurish (the fonts used are straight from the most well known ones on Microsoft Word, and the cover art is from Google Images with the saturation removed, probably using something within the likes of Picnik).
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  10. #10
    They fail test one - their website is aimed at authors, not readers.

    They fail test two - there is no way to buy books from the website.

    They fail test three - there is no information about who is behind the publisher or their experience.

    They accept all genres of fiction apart from erotica, they also publish non-fiction. This is not a good sign for a small publisher because it means they don't have a defined market. Without a defined market, it's more difficult to find your customer.

    I thought the "Cap'n Rourke" specified on the home page as the owner may be one of their authors, Stacey Rourke, but according to her website:

    The work paid off when I received an email from a publisher offering me a contract on The Conduit.
    I'd like to see clarification on whether this is a coincidence (sharing the same surname as her publisher's owner) or whether she is the owner and isn't being straight. If she is, I don't see any publishing experience.

    EDITED later to say: Stacey Rourke has since updated her author bio on her website so it now reads:

    The work paid off when I received an email from Outer Banks Publishing offering me a contract on The Conduit.
    My confusion arose because The Conduit is now published by Anchor. We don't, at present, have a thread on Outer Banks Publishing but they don't fill me with confidence.

    [/edit]

    The covers are ... not good. The larger versions show some desperately poor photoshop skills.

    I've had a *quick* look inside three of their authors books - all share a wordiness in writing I personally feel the editing should have taken care of.

    Usual rules apply - give them two years.
    Last edited by Theo81; 10-19-2012 at 11:27 PM.

  11. #11
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    Duplicate threads merged into B&BC. As you were.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lidiya View Post
    On the 'Our Books' section, the summaries are riddled with typos and cliches. The covers are also really amateurish (the fonts used are straight from the most well known ones on Microsoft Word, and the cover art is from Google Images with the saturation removed, probably using something within the likes of Picnik).
    This. Also not only are the summaries riddled with typos and clichés, they're extremely poorly executed. They don't inspire much confidence, to be honest.
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  13. #13
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theo81 View Post
    I'd like to see clarification on whether this is a coincidence (sharing the same surname as her publisher's owner) or whether she is the owner and isn't being straight.
    The press's website domain owner is Stacey Rourke.

  14. #14
    Tell it like it Is Susan Littlefield's Avatar
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    I say run the other way. Period.
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  15. #15
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Thank you so much to everyone that responded! It's always nice to get others' views, especially when your own judgment is being clouded by the prospect of your work being published!
    Much appreciation for all the insight and warnings!!

  16. #16
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    Hello!
    I make all of the covers for Anchor Group. I can say that Anchor Group is a professional, all around great publisher for any author. They're very friendly and it's a generally good atmosphere, when talking to any of the authors or to the owner. I would definitely suggest them to anyone!

  17. #17
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KatieC View Post
    I can say that Anchor Group is a professional, all around great publisher for any author. They're very friendly and it's a generally good atmosphere, when talking to any of the authors or to the owner. I would definitely suggest them to anyone!
    Thanks for that, KatieC!

    However, many of us really don't care at all if a publisher is friendly or has a good atmosphere. We are looking for a professional with whom we might enter into a business relationship. Our side of the business relationship is to have a terrific manuscript. The publisher's side is to have experienced editors and staff who can produce a well-edited, appealing, high-quality book from our manuscript, arrange for it to be distributed to book-selling venues and marketed to readers, and sell the book in sufficient quantities to fulfill our expectations.

  18. #18
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    When I started my path of writing I was advised to join this forum for great advise,support and guidance. What I found was a bunch of people delivering bad critic to anyone they could find whether it was a publisher,author or writer they got trashed by others. And well hello months later it's still going on.

    As an Anchor Group author let me help you with some facts:
    1. They don't charge authors any fees.
    2. We advertise Melissa Ringsted on our pages, well because we as AG thinks she is fabulous.
    3. Having your work professionally edited before submitting is advisable, but you can use any editor you want. We of course prefer Melissa.
    4. We submit our ideas for the cover, a rough draft is created and send back for your input,changes and approval. It's up to you how the cover turns out. My bat girl cover was stunning .
    5. Our books are available on Amazon, Barns and Noble, smashwords etc.
    6. Stacey Rourke is a fellow author but also the CEO, and yes captain of an amazing team of authors.
    7. Yes Melissa is VP, and she does an awesome job.

    When you become an AG author you are not only publishing your books, you become part of the entire team of AG authors. This is the best part of AG, we stand and work together.

    I love being a AG author and part of the team.

    Now I know you have a lot of bad things to add on, so I will leave you to it.

  19. #19
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    Karen, I've just read the sample of your novel on Amazon. I'm afraid I can't agree with what you wrote in the Acknowledgments:

    And finally to Melissa M Ringsted, who went beyond the role of editing, thank you doesn't even cover it.


    The extract is full of errors any competent editor should have noticed. If you're happy with the service you've received, fair enough; but don't expect anyone outside the AG fold to turn a blind eye to shoddy editing just because the authors themselves don't seem to mind. Personally I wouldn't want to do business with a publisher whose editor doesn't even understand the correct use of commas.

    There's an article about AG here:

    http://indieartistmagazine.com/archives/1044

    Stacey Rourke just so happens to be the owner and CEO of Anchor Group Publishing..
    Recently i asked her some questions.. The result pure awesomeness.. but you can be the judge
    for yourself..
    How was Anchor Group started?
    That is a very long story. The abbreviated version is that I had been toying with the idea of
    launching a publishing house for a while.
    So...no previous experience.

    Here's an interview with editor Melissa M Ringsted:

    http://cathybrockman.com/interview-w...sa-m-ringsted/

    I started There for You Book Editing and Review because I am an avid reader, have been as far back as I can remember...I look for/correct: sentence structure, spelling, grammar, punctuation and the overall “flow” of the book, making it a smooth read.
    Again, no previous professional experience other than editing self-published books. I chose an AG book edited by Ringsted at random on Amazon and found the following mistakes in the first four pages:

    Passed that were the lights of the town.

    Struck by the sight of the brilliant bright orange and yellow flames that bellowed from the windows...

    As it was, I couldn't breath.

    I swung around to face the person behind me as I was pulled from, what looked like a herd of stampeding elephants, into the safety of the few trees that separated the law from the house just below.
    These are just spelling mistakes - I'll refrain from pointing out the multiple examples of clumsy syntax. This isn't editing of professional quality, and I sincerely hope that no AG authors paid extra for it.
    Last edited by aliceshortcake; 10-20-2012 at 05:28 PM.
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  20. #20
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Hello, I want to add my two cents. I'm one of the Anchor Group authors. Since Karen beat me here, it's obvious that we've heard about this thread and are stopping in. I'm taking it all as constructive criticism. Pinguicha said the book blurbs are cliched and riddled with typos. Each author wrote their own. I, for one, will be looking mine over and polishing it up.



    I'm a long time lurker here and things I picked up from this website helped me steer clear of the various bad publishers. I realize that by posting I am opening myself and Anchor Group up to more criticism, but here goes nothing.


    I also just want to add, that I'm going out of town this evening and won't be back until Sunday. If someone replies to me and I do not respond, I'm not trying to hide or avoid you. I will be checking back.



    First, I'm not going to "defend" Anchor Group or anything like that. I'm just going to give you what I know and my experience with them. Many of your comments are good things and I hope that in the long run they serve to help Anchor Group.



    Going down the thread:



    As Amergina pointed out: Poking about on Amazon, it looks like several of the books were published before Anchor Group published them

    After doing lots of research on publishers, I decided to go the indie route. I self-published on Smashwords and Amazon on August 5, 2011. I did the social media thing and worked on my own for quite some time. Melissa, in addition to being an editor, reviews books as well. I found her in the indie circles on Facebook and asked if she would review my book. This was last November or so, I believe. Melissa read it and loved it. A couple of months later Anchor Group was started and Melissa became their editor. She came up with the idea for an anthology and told me that if I submitted a short story, she'd put in a good word for me. I did and Stacey loved it.



    As a side note, in my experience, Stacey has been nothing but honest. She is (as someone speculated) both the owner of Anchor Group and one of the authors. If this wasn't expressed on the website, I don’t think it was meant to mislead anyone. Again, this is just my own personal experience with her, but she has always been very upfront about the fact that those are her books.


    Back on track, Stacey enjoyed my short story and told me that if I was ever looking for a publisher, she'd love to have me. I know that that probably sounds a bit sketchy. Who gets approached by a publisher, right? But, the indie movement and the surge of ebooks is changing the face of publishing. I debated for a while, researched Anchor Group, couldn’t find anything bad, and decided to go for it.


    I learned the dangers of paying a publisher/agent back when Lulu.com was born. A publisher is there to market you. Your book sales are their success. You shouldn't have to pay them. I started the publishing process with AG and was ready to back out the moment any sort of up-front cost was mentioned. It never happened.


    I'm sorry, this is getting quite a bit longer than I had planned.


    Anyway, I transferred the rights on Smashwords and Amazon to Anchor Group Publishing in May 2012. I can't speak for other authors, but that's why the publication dates of Semester Aboard predates when Anchor Group picked it up.


    I'll also pause here to mention to Unimportant, that the books are available on more than just Amazon. They're also on Smashwords and everywhere that they distribute: iTunes, Kobo, B&N, etc. Mine is listed in Ingrams and Barnes & Noble has started stocking them in paperback.


    I also want to address his next comment, I'm not seeing anything they could do for an author that the author couldn't do for himself.

    I'll be honest, Anchor Group is still a small company. Maybe the Wait Two Years adage is a good one. I think your comments on the website are evidence to the fact that Stacey is still learning as well. The Amazon sales ranks are low, but they're higher than I was getting on my own. I think Anchor Group has helped me come a lot further than I could have as an indie. I didn't even know how to go about getting listed in Ingrams, or even what it was. Stacey goes to conventions with our books and does advertising that I couldn't do on my own. Sure, she has limited resources too, but I think she's doing great things. It was pointed out by aliceshortcake that Stacey has no prior experience as a publisher. This is true. But, she's trying. She's learning and, the part that is important to me, she's not taking advantage of her authors or charging them for things. I knew that I was getting in on Anchor Group on the ground floor and I knew there were going to be bumps and learning curves along the way. It was my choice to throw in my hat with a new publisher and I'll accept that risk.



    Again, I think that ebooks and indie authors are changing the way the publishing world works. Maybe that's a bad thing, maybe not. I have no delusions about becoming the next J.K. Rowling. I don't think Stacey is aspiring to be one of the Big Six either. That might not be what some of the authors here are looking for. I, personally, am happy with my experience with Anchor Group.



    If this "However, many of us really don't care at all if a publisher is friendly or has a good atmosphere. We are looking for a professional with whom we might enter into a business relationship," holds true for you, then yeah, maybe you are better off with a bigger publishing house. As I said, I started off indie. I got a taste of that freedom and Anchor Group allows me that freedom, with the added bonus of more visibility and support. I do care about the atmosphere. Maybe, in the end, that will bite me. For now though, I'm enjoying working with Anchor Group and have yet to feel as though they are taking advantage of me. It's a baby publishing company and instead of waiting to see where they go, I'm going to jump in and see where it takes me.



    I'll see you in two years.

  21. #21
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    Elizabeth, thanks for your reply.

    I think your comments on the website are evidence to the fact that Stacey is still learning as well....It was pointed out by aliceshortcake that Stacey has no prior experience as a publisher. This is true. But, she's trying. She's learning and, the part that is important to me, she's not taking advantage of her authors or charging them.
    That's the problem in a nutshell. The time for a publisher to learn the ropes is BEFORE they set up in business, not after. To some extent Stacey is taking advantage of her authors by using their books as part of the learning process.

    Pinguicha said the book blurbs are cliched and riddled with typos. Each author wrote their own. I, for one, will be looking mine over and polishing it up.
    Unless an author is also a copywriter he or she shouldn't be expected to write blurbs. It's a specialized skill and most novelists don't possess it.

    Again, I think that ebooks and indie authors are changing the way the publishing world works.
    Only a handful of genuinely 'indie' writers have achieved much success. The vast majority of self-published books, as well as those put out by amateur publishers like AG, are doomed to languish unread on Amazon because few people other than the author's friends and family know they exist.

    Mine is listed in Ingrams and Barnes & Noble has started stocking them in paperback.
    Unless I'm very much mistaken (and no doubt someone will correct me if I am!) all books with an ISBN are automatically listed on Ingrams. Getting your book on the shelves at Barnes and Noble is a real achievement - unless you mean that your local branch has agreed to take a few copies on consignment. If you're going to be stocked at B&N nationwide, congratulations!

    I can't help noticing that you haven't addressed the problem of poor editing. I've read extracts from every AG book with a 'look inside' feature and the quality of Melissa Ringsted's editing varies wildly from the adequate to the awful (I get the impression that authors with good grammar/spelling skills don't have much to worry about, but less competent writers end up with glaring mistakes spell-check should have picked up). This is a serious problem for all AG authors, because many people whose first experience of AG is a poorly-edited book will not buy another. Here she is advertising her $11.11 per hour services:

    My goal is to provide quality, affordable editing services. I currently do at-home full time editing for Anchor Group, a publishing house, as well as do independent editing for indie and self-published authors. I have edited a long list of books, many of which can be found on Amazon.

    I started out as editing on the high-school newspaper and worked my way through English courses and on to transcription classes. I major love for reading and a healthy dose of OCD allows me to find many small errors and enjoy what I am doing.

    https://www.odesk.com/o/profiles/use...71f0363b8e2f3/
    Last edited by aliceshortcake; 10-17-2012 at 10:34 PM. Reason: Muphry's Law strikes again!
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  22. #22
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Happy to come in and share my thoughts.

    That's the problem in a nutshell. The time for a publisher to learn the ropes is BEFORE they set up in business, not after. To some extent Stacey is taking advantage of her authors by using their books as part of the learning process.
    I do see your point with this. Although, I think there is also only so much one can learn before you go for it. We can't gain experience or learn from our mistakes if we don't put down the (pardon the pun) book and act on what we've learned. While I can see your point of view with your last sentence, she is also upfront about it. She's not claiming to have experience or misdirecting her authors. I knew AG was a new company and was willing to submit my book to the learning process.

    Back to the Wait Two Years concept. If nobody is willing to submit their books to a newer, inexperienced company, then won't that company still be sitting at zero titles and no experience two years later? You've got to start somewhere, in my opinion. Regardless of her experience, her intentions are good. And, to me anyway, that counts as something. She wants to learn (in fact, she's already implementing some of the changes you've mentioned) and wants to be a good publisher. I think that's much better than the people who charge their authors to publish, lie, and come in here ranting and whining about how you guys are just trying to make them look bad.

    Unless an author is also a copywriter he or she shouldn't be expected to write blurbs. It's a specialized skill and most novelists don't possess it.
    Good to know! I'm sure that will be looked into. As I said, I'm actually glad that this thread was started.

    Only a handful of genuinely 'indie' writers have achieved much success. The vast majority of self-published books, as well as those put out by amateur publishers like AG, are doomed to languish unread on Amazon because few people other than the author's friends and family know they exist.
    Oh, I agree with part of that wholeheartedly. The vast majority of self published books are doomed. And I'll be brutal, some deservedly so. I tried to review a self-pubbed book once and the name of their main character was different in a chapter smack in the middle of their book.

    As for the fate of the AG books, well, I hope we prove you wrong.

    Unless I'm very much mistaken (and no doubt someone will correct me if I am!) all books with an ISBN are automatically listed on Ingrams. Getting your book on the shelves at Barnes and Noble is a real achievement - unless you mean that your local branch has agreed to take a few copies on consignment. If you're going to be stocked at B&N nationwide, congratulations!
    I've heard different things on Ingrams, if that is true, that's handy to know as well. As for the B&N stocking, nationwide is what we're shooting for. I can't speak to the progress on that, maybe that's my mistake, but I believe that Stacey knows what she's doing on that front and I'm letting her do her thing. I do know that some bookstores have started ordering our books on their own. I'll see where it goes!

    I've read extracts from every AG book with a 'look inside' feature and the quality of Melissa Ringsted's editing varies wildly from the adequate to the awful (I get the impression that authors with good grammar/spelling skills don't have much to worry about, but less competent writers end up with glaring mistakes spell-check should have picked up).
    Well, I can't speak for the other authors on this. I'll be honest with you, I've only read a couple of other AG books and skimmed through others. If you really are seeing that many errors, maybe we need to take another look at things. I personally had a great experience with Melissa. As I think I said earlier, I didn't pay her anything, the editing was part of the AG contract. She found errors and cleaned mine up and, unless you didn't look inside mine, this is the first time since then I've been told it has typos. I will certainly take another look.

  23. #23
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    For nationwide stocking you will need a distributor, deep discount and unlimited returns for a start. I assume that is being offered?
    Emily Veinglory

  24. #24
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    Elizabeth's 378-page book More Than Magic: Semester Abroad is priced at $14.99, which is less than some ludicrously expensive POD books but considerably more than the average paperback. I'm very surprised that Barnes and Noble have agreed to stock it, but three cheers for AG if this is the case!

    The editing of More Than Magic is much, much better than that of some other AG books. The following examples are NOT intended to mock authors but merely to demonstrate the quality of editing AG felt was acceptable before publishing the books:

    He placed them in an earthly realm, and called it Exsilium. In this realm they would carry their deceit, and earn their place with him. He took their beauty and replaced them with elements of his earth. Half will be of animal and element, and will resemble punishment. The other in a humanoid form, and will resemble mercy. He called them his fallen.

    “Girls, this is Kasadya Levourne and she will be joining us. Please show her around and introduce her to the others, her Custos will introduce himself later. Kas get settle in, and best of luck,” he finished, walking out of the room.
    “Hi there, so glad we have another State’s girl,” Nanini said, and starting to jump on the spot again; like she needed to get to the bathroom or something.
    “Yeah, the Europe girls can really bug the hell out of you,” Lada commented, smiling at me.

    We walked in silence onto the brick street, passing many buildings and houses until we came to a street full of little shops. It looked a lot like the ally in Harry Potter. Reading signs from food to weapons, each shop provided something else.
    The Dark Guides fed on souls of many humans, but it was the souls of the Affinity’s that they longed for. Affinity’s were twin souls that God himself had made so perfect and pristine.

    They were never friends nor were they enemy’s, but it was surprising to see Lillith here supporting her.

    Gunther’s voice spread among the angels who stood in silence. “Her actions were illegal of a guide. Not only did she show herself to her assigned soul, but she killed two humans as well.” Gasp’s filled the room.
    They spoke with slang's and strange pronunciations.
    There, down at the bottom of the hill, five hundred feet into the cornfield was a circle of pressed corn stocks. In the middle, a large red Mack truck complete with flashing lights, sat.

    As he stepped around too look me in the eyes...

    "Zander? Is that your first name or last?" I questioned, suddenly feeling the fear creeping up inside as we moved threw the stocks.
    Remember that these examples (and I could have chosen many others) were taken from brief extracts on Amazon - goodness knows what the rest of the books are like. Even if AG manages to break the POD/no distribution/no deep discount barrier, individual bookshop managers will take one look at the editorial quality of these particular books and refuse to stock them.
    Last edited by aliceshortcake; 10-19-2012 at 08:37 PM.
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  25. #25
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Susan Littlefield View Post
    However, at the front page is an ad for their editing services, which probably charges fees.
    The ad has now vanished.

    Having looked at AG's book trailers, some of which feature the same clumsy wording, cliches, misspellings and eccentric punctuation that mar their books, I'm inclined to wonder if AG obtained permission to use the images contained therein.
    Last edited by aliceshortcake; 10-19-2012 at 02:34 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)

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