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Thread: Gray Gecko Press

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Charlie Brooks's Avatar
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    Gray Gecko Press

    Any word on this publisher? I'm curious to find out more if I can.

    http://www.greygeckopress.com/

  2. #2
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    How did you run across them, Charlie?

    They look to be a self-publisher trying to expand, but I can't see that any of the staff have any experience in commercial publishing. Some red flags:

    In May 2011, he <the owner, Jason Aydelotte> finally finished his first novel, The Dying of the Light: End, and was faced with a choice: to seek traditional publishing or to use the new medium of self-publishing to circumvent all the rigmarole and nastiness that came with the old way of doing things.
    If traditional publishing is so nasty, why is he expanding his self-publishing venture into a commercial press?

    If your book has been submitted through Grey Gecko Press for standard publication (see our Submissions page) and accepted for publication, no fee is charged to you, the author.
    So, they're selectively accepting manuscripts for commercial publication.

    But if your book isn't accepted, they'll edit it -- for a fee:
    If your manuscript is not accepted for publication, you may still have it edited by our in-house editing staff. Because very few people can afford to spend $1,200 to $3,000 or more to have their books edited, but we believe that you should get a fair shake in the emerging self-publishing marketplace, we will edit your book for a drastically reduced fee, plus a small portion of your royalties.
    And, more confusingly, they're also publishing books they don't select for publication -- for a fee:
    There’s a lot more to publishing than just writing the book, such as all the back-end hassle and annoyance, all the rigamarole that the author has to go through with formatting the book and tracking sales and promoting and… well, you get the idea. What if you could avoid all that? Let someone else handle it for you? Would that be worth a small fee? If your answer’s yes, then you should publish with Grey Gecko Press. For a small fee, you can let someone else handle all the minutiae.

    While all fees are negotiable, GGP typically charges authors a fee of 15 – 20% of net revenue for longer works, depending on length, with a flat fee for short stories. Note: This is in addition to any fees charged for editing services and promotional plans chosen by the author, if any.
    And either they have no clue what an advance is, or they are being deliberately misleading:
    Do you pay advances?

    Yes and no. We don’t provide large sums of money up-front to our authors, then allow them to “earn out” that advance through royalties. We do pay for some up-front costs for our authors, though, such as listing fees, certain printing costs, etc – we call these ‘Direct Expenses’. 50% of these Direct Expenses are charged to the author’s account with GGP, and paid back over time through royalties. In a sense, this is a sort of advance. Again, as Grey Gecko Press becomes larger and more profitable, this 50% charge will be reduced or go away entirely.
    So, the owner is publishing his own works, and he'll publish other books if they're good enough, or he'll publish other books if they're not good enough but the author pays for editing and publishing fees. Waaaay too many conflicts of interest there, and no indication that they know how to get books in front of readers.

  3. #3
    Posting on AW instead of writing
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    Well. Looking around their website, I believe their hearts are in the right place; they want to do good things. However, there's also this (from the "Who We Are" page) background for their Executive Director:

    In May 2011, he finally finished his first novel, The Dying of the Light: End, and was faced with a choice: to seek traditional publishing or to use the new medium of self-publishing to circumvent all the rigmarole and nastiness that came with the old way of doing things. That wasn’t a choice at all, and thus Grey Gecko Press was formed.
    So this is a very young outfit with its roots in self-publishing.

    The "Innovation Is Our Business" section of the "Why We Rock" page (http://www.greygeckopress.com/about-us/why-we-rock/) lists features that are available from quite a number of small ebook outfits discussed on this board, which suggests that they might not realize how many competitors they have in the field, some of whom have been providing these "innovations" since before the ink dried on the novel that gave Grey Gecko its purpose.

    Like I said, I believe they mean well. But they're a young, small publisher in a crowded field, and it sounds as though all of their experience with the publishing industry is from the outside looking in. The standard AW caution of "give them two years and see if they're still around" definitely applies.

    EDIT: in the time it took me to finish typing, Unimportant covered everything in much more detail. Carry on!

  4. #4
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Their hearts may be in the right place, but their finances aren't. They're trying to raise money from donors to give them a year's worth of operating capital, and so far they're about 2% of the way there.

  5. #5
    Posting on AW instead of writing
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    Yikes. Clearly I should have poked around a little more -- that's not the kind of budget I'd want to gamble on.

  6. #6
    A Gentleman of a refined age... thothguard51's Avatar
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    Since Grey Gecko also offers paid fees for editing, publishing, art work and marketing, I see no incentive for them to publish from the slush pile.

    So far, it sounds like most of their books come from staff members.

    I am also not a fan of paying royalty off of net minus expenses.

    I will pass...but I am sure they will get a few other beginners who have not done their searches...
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  7. #7
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    First, I'd like to make it clear that I harbor no ill will for anyone regarding their comments above, as I value honest and open communication above all. I believe that constructive criticism helps both companies and artists grow, and I thank you all for your time spent in helping us with that.

    Second, I wanted to thank Mr. Brooks for his interest in our company, Grey Gecko Press. I'm always excited to learn that more and more people are hearing of us, and I encourage authors to vet their publishers before entering into any business arrangements.

    If you'll allow, I'd like to respond to the previous posters, and as best as possible, I'll follow point-by-point. So, FYI, this is something of a long post.

    If traditional publishing is so nasty, why is he expanding his self-publishing venture into a commercial press?
    1. It is true that I originally began Grey Gecko Press as a company solely devoted to publishing my own works. As any experienced businessperson will know, this makes sense in view of our current tax code.

    I started expanding into a commercial press because I realized that what I'd learned from my own experiences in self-publishing could be used to help other authors achieve their own goals, as well. I was asked several times by aspiring authors to assist, and I thoroughly enjoyed doing so, and realized that not only did I want to be an author, but a publisher as well. Not for wealth or fame, but to be able to give others a leg-up and makes things a bit easier. I saw how the traditional publishing process worked, and how outdated, outmoded, and overly complicated it is, and knew that I could do it better.

    Is this a pie-in-the-sky answer? Maybe. But it's also true. Grey Gecko is anything but traditional, and we strive to be better than those publishers in every way that we can.


    So, they're selectively accepting manuscripts for commercial publication.
    2. We do selectively accept manuscripts for publication, as many other publishers do. We accept submissions from anyone, with or without publishing credits and with our without agents, and judge each work on its own merits. In fact, we received more than 150 submissions in the last two months. We review these, choosing those that we believe are worthy of publication. By its very nature, the process does leave some manuscripts rejected, but we again break tradition by letting those authors know why we rejected their work, at least on a top-level basis. And we actually send rejection letters, which many know is becoming more and more rare. For those that we accept, I get to do my favorite part of my job, and call the authors with the good news, rather than put it in an email.


    But if your book isn't accepted, they'll edit it -- for a fee:
    3. For several months during our initial switch to commercial publishing, and for many reasons, Grey Gecko Press positioned ourselves as a subsidy publisher. In February of 2012, we moved to full-service publishing and completely away from subsidy publishing. One unfortunate side-effect of that - and more to the point, how busy I am - is that our website did not get updated correctly. I admit to 100% fault on that, and I invite you to review our new and updated "Publishing" page at your convenience.

    We no longer offer individual editing services. Not because it's not something that would be useful to authors, but merely because we don't have the time, as all our editors are currently working on our own books. We reserve the right to revisit this unique option for authors at a later date.


    And, more confusingly, they're also publishing books they don't select for publication -- for a fee:
    4. Again, this quotation was taken from our page that had not been updated. We do not currently publish books outside of those we select for publication in-house.


    And either they have no clue what an advance is, or they are being deliberately misleading:
    5. And yet another time we fall foul of an outdated page. We do, in fact, know what an advance is, however this was part of our arrangements when we were a subsidy publisher. It no longer applies, and has been extensively revised.

    We don't pay advances at this time, preferring to allow our authors to immediately begin earning royalties. Collected royalties are paid monthly, included with a detailed sales report from the month before as well as historical data from the current year.


    So, the owner is publishing his own works, and he'll publish other books if they're good enough, or he'll publish other books if they're not good enough but the author pays for editing and publishing fees. Waaaay too many conflicts of interest there, and no indication that they know how to get books in front of readers.
    6. I do publish the few things I've written through my company, that's true. To date, that's 1 book and 6 short stories. My work is not above rejection, however, and goes through the exact same process as anyone else's. If my writing was poor, it would be rejected by my Editor-in-Chief, until it either got better or I got tired of being rejected. I also sign the same contracts with the company that my authors do, making the exact same percentages they do.

    We do also publish other books, as well, provided they meet our standards for quality. Note: our standards, not my standards. Every manuscript accepted for publication has been thoroughly reviewed by multiple staff members. It's not just what I happen to like.

    As to getting our books in front of readers, our books are available worldwide in print (trade paperback and hardcover) and ebook (Kindle and ePub) formats. You can find them on Amazon, BarnesandNoble, Kobo, and on our own site, as well. Our books are available in print and ebook format everywhere that has an internet connection. You can even request your local bookshop to order them through Ingram Book Company.


    On to LaylahHunter's remarks:

    So this is a very young outfit with its roots in self-publishing.

    The "Innovation Is Our Business" section of the "Why We Rock" page (http://www.greygeckopress.com/about-us/why-we-rock/) lists features that are available from quite a number of small ebook outfits discussed on this board, which suggests that they might not realize how many competitors they have in the field, some of whom have been providing these "innovations" since before the ink dried on the novel that gave Grey Gecko its purpose.

    Like I said, I believe they mean well. But they're a young, small publisher in a crowded field, and it sounds as though all of their experience with the publishing industry is from the outside looking in. The standard AW caution of "give them two years and see if they're still around" definitely applies.
    Sure, we're a young outfit. I'll admit that. Still, everyone has to start somewhere. And with our 8th book just being released this month, and with 2 more before the end of the year, I think we're doing pretty well for an upstart.

    I realize we have a lot of competitors in the field, too. There are well over 100,000 small presses in the US alone. Many focus on very specific niches, either by genre, or locals, or what have you. Some don't. We agree that there's a lot of competition, but that doesn't take away from us: it's not a zero-sum game. We use the term innovation to mean doing things differently than traditional publishers, not necessarily different from anyone else. Innovation doesn't necessarily mean exclusive.

    As to our experience, we believe that being authors ourselves gives us a unique perspective on the industry, one that allows us to put authors first, as is our company motto. We have one of the best - if not the best, I leave that to others to judge for themselves - contracts in the industry, giving authors more rights and input than anyone. Our authors are made a part of the entire process, including choosing their own cover artist and art, to name one thing. We also have limits on our terms (most contracts are 5 years), we allow authors to buy out their contract based on their current sales, and a whole host of other things.


    Again, Unimportant:

    Their hearts may be in the right place, but their finances aren't. They're trying to raise money from donors to give them a year's worth of operating capital, and so far they're about 2% of the way there.
    We did run an IndieGogo campaign in an attempt to raise capital, true. We're a small business; capital is our lifeblood. I don't know of any small business that wouldn't like more capital. To be fair, we did give away some great perks with that campaign, even though we didn't reach our goal, which was admittedly set just a wee bit high.

    Every new business raises capital; we're hardly alone in that. Does it mean that we can't continue as a company? Hardly. The company is in sound financial shape, and is still publishing books. In fact, we're going to the Texas Book Festival at the end of the month, and we'll be surrounded by 40,000 book-buyers. We've got six books in our production queue right now, and we're always adding more.

    Will we keep looking for additional ways to raise even more capital? Of course we will. The more capital we have, the more books we can publish. That's only logical.


    Lastly, Thothguard51:

    Since Grey Gecko also offers paid fees for editing, publishing, art work and marketing, I see no incentive for them to publish from the slush pile.

    So far, it sounds like most of their books come from staff members.

    I am also not a fan of paying royalty off of net minus expenses.

    I will pass...but I am sure they will get a few other beginners who have not done their searches...
    Again, we are no longer a subsidy publisher. All of our current works (except my own) have been received through submissions or through direct calls for stories (our short story anthology A Fancy Dinner Party). So yes, we do "publish from the slush pile."

    Two of our books and six of our short stories are from staff members. The remainder are from submissions.

    We pay based on a net revenue split, not net revenue minus expenses. Here's an example:

    John is currently receiving 50% of net revenue for his book "The Best Book Ever." For the current month, Grey Gecko Press has received $10.00 for sales of his book from Amazon.com. John receives $5.
    Pretty simple, really. And that number goes up (for John) the more his book sells, up to as much as 80% of net revenue.



    I would encourage anyone who has any questions about Grey Gecko Press to email me directly, and I will be happy to answer them. Or, feel free to post here, and I will do my best to keep up with the questions.

    As I said above, I firmly believe in honest and open communication, and I'm willing to answer any questions that I can. Please note: Due to privacy concerns, I cannot give sales data about other author's books without their consent (though I'm happy to give out mine).

    I would also encourage you to take a good hard look at the quality of our books, send emails to our authors, and visit our Facebook page and ask questions. Anyone associated with Grey Gecko will be happy to provide you just about any info you're looking for.

    I thank you for your time, and for allowing me to respond to the points raised in the thread.

    Sincerely,


    Jason Aydelotte
    Executive Director
    Grey Gecko Press

  8. #8
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Thanks for stopping by to clarify, Jason, and for updating your webpage.

  9. #9
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unimportant View Post
    Thanks for stopping by to clarify, Jason, and for updating your webpage.
    No problemo. I'm very busy, so things sometimes slip by - though not usually for 7 or 8 months - and I'm always glad when someone points out a mistake so I can fix it. I can't fix what I don't know is broken, right?

  10. #10
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Charlie Brooks's Avatar
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    I figured I'd buzz by here to update my experience with this publisher.

    My initial reluctance regarding Grey Gecko was twofold. First, some of the (outdated) items on their website made me nervous. Second, they had offered to publish my book, and I'm always reluctant to trust any club that would have me as a member.

    Thanks to this thread and clarifications offered by Jason, I decided to give the company a chance. My book, Greystone Valley, is now on sale, and the entire process has been very helpful. Grey Gecko hooked me up with a very talented cover artist, provided useful and timely edits for the book, and put together an e-book, paperback, and hardcover that all look great. They have also worked to set up an audiobook narrated by a professional actress who has done a great job.

    The company has also been good about promoting the book, bringing it to conventions, entering into applicable contests and awards, and being diligent about collecting reviews. Through the entire process, communication has been excellent.

    I still have a lot of promotion to do for Greystone Valley, but so far I definitely have to rate Grey Gecko as an excellent publisher in terms of professionalism, communication, and most importantly the quality of the book itself.

  11. #11
    Proud Literary Sadist justbishop's Avatar
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    When you say they "hooked you up with" a cover artist, does this mean that you had to shoulder that expense, or was it on GGP's dime?

    ETA: I have a few observations after taking a peek at the site...

    1. They are using Wordpress (self hosted?) uncredited.
    2. The "Contribute" button overlaps the menu (IE8).
    3. I'm still not clear why a professional company is asking for donations (unless it's for a charity drive of some sort). If a business is in need of capital, shouldn't they not be operating yet? And if they're operating already, shouldn't they be staying afloat from their profits? Or is GGP a non-profit?
    4. The bottom navigation links are kind of a mess.
    5. I'm worried by the Slush Pile Reader's program. So if I submit, my MS could end up in the hands of some random ameteur with no real affiliation with the publishing house? Not comfy with that.
    6. The "Books" link in the main navigation throws a "Not Found".
    7. GGP still seems to be offering ebook conversion service for a fee.
    Last edited by justbishop; 06-25-2013 at 12:50 AM.
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  12. #12
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Charlie Brooks's Avatar
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    To clarify, I have been charged no fees at any point during the publishing process. The cover artist was on Grey Gecko's dime, as have been the copyright and publication fees associated with the paperback, hardcover, eBook, and audiobook. I've also received my royalties so far in a timely manner.

    Having dealt with bad publishers in the past, I make sure to run away fast when a publisher asks me to pay fees that they should be covering. I can't speak to the accuracy of their website or what models they might have used when they were starting up, but I can state that in my experience so far this small press is on the up and up.
    GREYSTONE VALLEY - Now on sale! Enter the world between worlds.

  13. #13
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Thanks, Charlie! It's always nice to hear we're doing things the right way.

    Justbishop, thanks for taking the time to look over our site. I'd like to respond to your concerns.

    Quote Originally Posted by justbishop View Post
    When you say they "hooked you up with" a cover artist, does this mean that you had to shoulder that expense, or was it on GGP's dime?

    ETA: I have a few observations after taking a peek at the site...

    1. They are using Wordpress (self hosted?) uncredited.
    2. The "Contribute" button overlaps the menu (IE8).
    3. I'm still not clear why a professional company is asking for donations (unless it's for a charity drive of some sort). If a business is in need of capital, shouldn't they not be operating yet? And if they're operating already, shouldn't they be staying afloat from their profits? Or is GGP a non-profit?
    4. The bottom navigation links are kind of a mess.
    5. I'm worried by the Slush Pile Reader's program. So if I submit, my MS could end up in the hands of some random ameteur with no real affiliation with the publishing house? Not comfy with that.
    6. The "Books" link in the main navigation throws a "Not Found".
    7. GGP still seems to be offering ebook conversion service for a fee.
    As Charlie has already mentioned, he's paid nothing to be published. We are no longer a subsidy publisher, but rather a full-service publishing house. We have a large number of artists that we work with, in all different styles, and we normally let the author choose from all of them as to which they feel best represents their work. In Charlie's case, however, we had an artist we'd been wanting to work with for quite some time, but it wasn't until Greystone Valley came along that we had the right match. I showed her work to Charlie, and he agreed that she was perfect for the job, and I think from the results, you'll agree. She did some amazing work for us. If anyone's interested, her name is Jessica Grundy.

    Now, on to your notes!

    1. I was not aware that using a Wordpress theme required credit to Wordpress itself. The designer of the theme (Politico by The Molitor) is credited on each page of the site.
    2. As to the overlapping, there's not much we can do, especially for IE - it's so different and behind in so many ways that keeping up with it "breaks" the page for newer browsers, so...
    3. To be clear, we're not asking for donations, per se. We're asking for capital, and in return, providing rewards (in the form of ebooks and print books). Think of it more like an extended Kickstarter campaign. With regard to raising capital, every business - new or not - requires continual infusions of capital to grow. Our normal operating costs are covered, but to provide expanded services - in particular, additional promotional opportunities - for our clients (the authors), we require cash infusions, too. Raising capital=money to expand, not operating costs (at least usually).
    4. Yeah, I agreed, so I've cleaned them up considerably. What can I say? I don't usually look much at the bottom of a web page!
    5. Our Slushpile Reader Program is one of the most popular programs we offer. It allows everyday readers - meaning the ones who actually buy books - to read the manuscripts and get a feel for them, though we do vet the readers first for experience and knowledge. It's not just anyone that can join. If a manuscript gets enough positive feedback from these readers, then it moves to our editing staff, who look it over more thoroughly. Given that most publishing houses don't even have slushpiles anymore, we feel this is a strong incentive to publish with GGP. That said, any submitter can opt-out if they so choose - they just need to let us know.
    6. Thanks for that; I've already taken care of it on both the main nav bar and the bottom one.
    7. We do offer ebook conversion services for a fee, yes - outside of and completely separate from our publishing services. We also offer print layout services. In neither case is the book credited to us (except for design). Again, we never charge authors a fee to publish their works.


    I hope I've addressed all of your concerns, and I'm sorry it's taken me so long - for some reason, I wasn't getting notifications from AW about new posts - guessing they got spam-filtered.

    Please feel free to ask any additional questions you may have.

  14. #14
    Proud Literary Sadist justbishop's Avatar
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    Thanks for the response, and no worries on the delay. just a few notes on your notes to my notes (did the universe just collapse into itself?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey Gecko Press View Post

    Now, on to your notes!


    I was not aware that using a Wordpress theme required credit to Wordpress itself. The designer of the theme (Politico by The Molitor) is credited on each page of the site.
    It isn't a requirement, but should you ever need to post in the wordpress.org forums, you'll be hard pressed to find anyone willing to give you a hand without some small nod to the time spent by the many good people who worked to code the actual Wordpress script. I guess I don't understand why one wouldn't want to credit them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey Gecko Press View Post
    As to the overlapping, there's not much we can do, especially for IE - it's so different and behind in so many ways that keeping up with it "breaks" the page for newer browsers, so...
    IE is still very much in use by a chunk of the world's population. Any designer worth their salt is going to test in it for compatibility, and come up with fixes to ensure your site displays properly there, as well as in the other popular browsers (Firefox, Chrome, even possibly Opera).

    This is defintiely something you should bug your designer about.



    Quote Originally Posted by Grey Gecko Press View Post
    To be clear, we're not asking for donations, per se. We're asking for capital, and in return, providing rewards (in the form of ebooks and print books). Think of it more like an extended Kickstarter campaign. With regard to raising capital, every business - new or not - requires continual infusions of capital to grow. Our normal operating costs are covered, but to provide expanded services - in particular, additional promotional opportunities - for our clients (the authors), we require cash infusions, too. Raising capital=money to expand, not operating costs (at least usually).
    Shouldn't that expansion capital be coming from profits, though? I'm no MBA or anything, but it seems to me that expanding before you have a base sustainable influx of money (i.e. profit and that which you can fairly safely project based on a previous time period's records of such), you might end up over your head and having to go asking for "donations" again.

    Someone please correct me if I'm mistaken, I'm working a 12 hour shift at the moment and my head is a bit fuzzy.



    Quote Originally Posted by Grey Gecko Press View Post
    Our Slushpile Reader Program is one of the most popular programs we offer. It allows everyday readers - meaning the ones who actually buy books - to read the manuscripts and get a feel for them, though we do vet the readers first for experience and knowledge. It's not just anyone that can join. If a manuscript gets enough positive feedback from these readers, then it moves to our editing staff, who look it over more thoroughly. Given that most publishing houses don't even have slushpiles anymore, we feel this is a strong incentive to publish with GGP. That said, any submitter can opt-out if they so choose - they just need to let us know.
    Ah, that's good to know! I'm sure there are writers on both sides of the fence, but that being a requirement would defintiely put me off submitting to you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey Gecko Press View Post
    We do offer ebook conversion services for a fee, yes - outside of and completely separate from our publishing services. We also offer print layout services. In neither case is the book credited to us (except for design). Again, we never charge authors a fee to publish their works.
    From what I've learned here, it's not generally kosher for a publisher to offer any on-the-side, pay-to-play services. It could make seasoned writers view GGP as less than professional, just sayin'.
    WIP#1: 52,313/50,000

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  15. #15
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by justbishop View Post
    It isn't a requirement, but should you ever need to post in the wordpress.org forums, you'll be hard pressed to find anyone willing to give you a hand without some small nod to the time spent by the many good people who worked to code the actual Wordpress script. I guess I don't understand why one wouldn't want to credit them.
    That's a good point. I think the only reason it's not up there now (or wasn't until I changed it) was because it wasn't originally part of the theme's design.


    Quote Originally Posted by justbishop View Post
    IE is still very much in use by a chunk of the world's population. Any designer worth their salt is going to test in it for compatibility, and come up with fixes to ensure your site displays properly there, as well as in the other popular browsers (Firefox, Chrome, even possibly Opera).

    This is defintiely something you should bug your designer about.
    I would, but it cost us enough to get the theme customized the way we have it now, and there's no room in the budget for going back. When/if I have time, I'll take a look at it, but it's more likely that I'd just do away with the button altogether.

    Quote Originally Posted by justbishop View Post
    Shouldn't that expansion capital be coming from profits, though? I'm no MBA or anything, but it seems to me that expanding before you have a base sustainable influx of money (i.e. profit and that which you can fairly safely project based on a previous time period's records of such), you might end up over your head and having to go asking for "donations" again.

    Someone please correct me if I'm mistaken, I'm working a 12 hour shift at the moment and my head is a bit fuzzy.
    In an ideal world, every business would be able to expand using capital from its profits. Unfortunately, in the real world, most businesses require outside capital investment in order to expand. This is why shows like Shark Tank exist. You can make incremental improvements in a business, and expand in small ways, if the business is doing very well and generating a modest profit. If you're just getting by and not generating gobs of profits - but are still profitable - then you need to look at expanding to generate additional sales, and that typically comes from outside sources.

    It's not about expanding without a stable foundation; it's about having that stability AND expanding - which usually costs more than a business can afford, but is vital to the success of that business. It's a catch-22, certainly, but one that is the norm, rather than the exception.

    Quote Originally Posted by justbishop View Post
    From what I've learned here, it's not generally kosher for a publisher to offer any on-the-side, pay-to-play services. It could make seasoned writers view GGP as less than professional, just sayin'.
    Businesses generate profits in different ways. What one business does (or doesn't do) may be right for them, but not for another business.

    For us, ebook conversion and print layouts, which I'd like to again stress are completely and wholly separate from our publishing services, are another revenue stream that helps us build equity and increase the strength of that foundation I mentioned earlier. We're not publishing their books, we're just providing design services. Whether their book ever gets published is up to them. Once it's delivered, we have no more ties to the book, other than a small "Design by Grey Gecko Press" on the copyright page - and not always that. The books aren't listed for sale on our site, we don't advertise or promote them in any way, and the client is free to do with them as they please.

    It may not be 'the standard' (whatever that is), but that's hardly the only thing different that we're doing. And not to annoy or anger anyone, but if that's what makes a writer not want to work with us, well... perhaps it wasn't meant to be. We're doing great things, and publishing great books. Not everyone will want to be a part of that, and that's fine. I wish them the best of luck.

    Let me know if you've got any more notes on my notes on your notes on my notes... *ow, headache*

  16. #16
    Proud Literary Sadist justbishop's Avatar
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    First and foremost, I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say thank you for your continued participation here. Not every small publisher takes the questioning that's done in these threads well, but you're handing it as a professional, and I know it's appreciated by us all.

    Most of what you had to say had me nodding with a "fair enough," and I will say that you even had me checking my own site for the WP credit. I recently installed and modified a new theme, myself, and just now noticed that my own credit link to WP wasn't present, but due to our convo, I've fixed it, so thank you

    The only two things I would personally have issues with at this point, were I looking to submit, would be the side business stuff and the donations.

    At the very least, I'd really suggest splitting the extra services off into their own business entity with their own name and website so that it's less likely to be seen as a conflict of interests (which it may still be seen as, when anyone connects the people behind the two businesses, but at least there'd be SOME level of seperation).

    As for the donation issue, as a writer, I'd be scared to sign rights to my manuscript away to you for whatever period of time, only to find that you're unable to generate the capital to either effectively publish and market my book, or worse, even keep the doors open. You'll see lots of us telling small publishers to take a look at all of the greyed out names in the sticky post at the top of this forum. Those are all publishers that--good intentions or no--did something "new and different" and were surprised when it failed to turn out as they had envisioned. A lot of the time, those publishers take their authors' rights down with them, and then the writers are left unable to do anything with their own manuscripts. I hope you can see why we as writers are extremely skeptical of houses deviating from the norm when it comes to start-up capital.
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  17. #17
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    You're welcome. One of our primary tenets at GGP is full and honest communication, so I'm glad to be demonstrating that here. I think it also helps that we're open to all kinds of new ideas, and even make that another focus of our company - what I call "The Culture of Why?"

    With regard to the side-business, and at the risk of flailing away at a deceased equine, if that small part of our business causes issues, then it's probably best that the writer seek another publisher. The only reason we're doing it now - and it's by no means a permanent part of our business - is to generate additional funds to promote our books, which is something I would think a writer who needs that very promotion would appreciate. That said, I think we'll have to agree to disagree on this point, with no hard feelings.

    Now that I know your core concerns about the contributions side of things, I am happy to be able to address them. Though I can't for legal reasons post the entirety of our standard contract here, I can tell you that it's one of the best things about working with Grey Gecko.

    It was designed with the input of more than ten authors to be what I believe is the most author-centric contract in the business. Aside from paying great royalties, it allows for authors to "buy out" their contract at any time after the first six months. It also allows for the dissolution of the company (should that hopefully never come to pass) by "auto-reverting" author's rights back to them. Our contract length averages anywhere from 5 to 15 years, not 70 or "the life of the author" as with most traditional publishers.

    Those are just a few of the great things about our standard contract that make it the best in the business. I'll leave it to Charlie to corroborate what I'm telling you with his own comments, but I'll just say this: our motto is "Authors First" for a reason. Our company was built by authors, and we treat them, to my mind, better than anyone else, from contracts to communication to quality of their finished book, to involving them in each and every step of the process.

    When's the last time an author got to choose their own cover artist from a publishing house? That's just one example, but it's a good one.

    We're doing awesome things, and we'll continue to do so. Thanks for letting me prattle on about how much we rock.
    Last edited by Grey Gecko Press; 09-29-2013 at 02:56 AM.

  18. #18
    Hmmm... I think I disagree. Captcha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Brooks View Post
    I figured I'd buzz by here to update my experience with this publisher.

    My initial reluctance regarding Grey Gecko was twofold. First, some of the (outdated) items on their website made me nervous. Second, they had offered to publish my book, and I'm always reluctant to trust any club that would have me as a member.

    Thanks to this thread and clarifications offered by Jason, I decided to give the company a chance. My book, Greystone Valley, is now on sale, and the entire process has been very helpful. Grey Gecko hooked me up with a very talented cover artist, provided useful and timely edits for the book, and put together an e-book, paperback, and hardcover that all look great. They have also worked to set up an audiobook narrated by a professional actress who has done a great job.

    The company has also been good about promoting the book, bringing it to conventions, entering into applicable contests and awards, and being diligent about collecting reviews. Through the entire process, communication has been excellent.

    I still have a lot of promotion to do for Greystone Valley, but so far I definitely have to rate Grey Gecko as an excellent publisher in terms of professionalism, communication, and most importantly the quality of the book itself.
    Charlie, you've only ever posted on the thread for this publisher, so I'm not sure if you're still around, but if you are...

    Are you pleased with your sales with this house? Was the distribution what you expected? What kind of promo did they do, and were you pleased with it?

  19. #19
    Puzur
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    This thread is more than a year old. Any more recent news?

  20. #20
    To dance and write is divine. TheDancingWriter's Avatar
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    It's 2015, and they're still in business. A friend subbed to them and got rejected, but their catalog of books appears extremely small for a house having been around this long.

    When Stars Die (AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc., being re-released soon.)
    I Am the Bell Jar (2013: A Stellar Collection)

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  21. #21
    Puzur
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    Just received a publication offer from Jason yesterday. Am very excited to becoming a member of the Grey Gecko family of authors. The process was long, but they vet people folks.

  22. #22
    Crack that WIP! Preacher'sWife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    Just received a publication offer from Jason yesterday. Am very excited to becoming a member of the Grey Gecko family of authors. The process was long, but they vet people folks.

    Congratulations, Stan!
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  23. #23
    Puzur
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    Hey, long time no hear from you. How's it going?

  24. #24
    Crack that WIP! Preacher'sWife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    Hey, long time no hear from you. How's it going?
    To avoid derailing, I'll PM.
    I haz blog--The Cinderella Diaries

    I makes like a birdie here!--Tweet-Tweet!

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