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Thread: Fingerpress Ltd.

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Fingerpress Ltd.

    What does everyone think of these guys? They look new:

    http://www.fingerpress.co.uk/

  2. #2
    Geek Unique LeslieB's Avatar
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    I'll let more experienced heads comb through their site, but I was encouraged that, except for a link to their submission guideline page, their site focused on their books and current authors. Their "Who We Are" statement also talked about what they are publishing, rather than the usual 'giving new writers a chance' pap that so many small publishers have.
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  3. #3
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    The "Our Team" heading on the "About Us" page gives four names with no bios, and none of them have a title that suggests editing is among their duties; I'd like to know who does the editing and what their qualifications are. (Also I note they plug their separate editing services on the About Us page, telling us the editors know what makes a book publishable and marketable but still not mentioning names or credentials.)

    As an author I'd also be curious about all of the standard "what's in it for me?" information: what kind of payment they offer, how often, what marketing they do, what distribution they have or are planning on....

    Basically there's nothing that seems like an obvious red flag to me, but a lot of questions I would ask them if I were thinking of submitting there.

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  5. #5
    Bemused Girl nkkingston's Avatar
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    Ugh, I hate the work computer. IE keeps crashing on me. I'm copying this from wordpad, so apologises for any formatting nonsense.

    Okay, so I think this site is the template for theirs, which would be absolutely fine if it wasn't for the fact their About Us shows they've got exactly the same team! Either it's the same people, or they've forgotten to remove that bit (which means we have next to no info about the team).

    The only concrete info is that the founder and all of the editors are authors. If that's their only experience in publishing that's not a good thing. Unfortunately, we don't know, since there's no other info at all!

    They also offer an editing service, which could be a conflict of interest. Overall, I think their statement about keeping it separate is, as long as they're true to it, sufficient to mitigate that. They say the majority of the authors come from in house, which I'd look positively on if I could say for certain they don't overlap with the team - if they do that could, again, create a conflict of interest.

    They publish travel guides, software guides, and 'quirky' genre fiction. The summaries are alright, and the extracts are competently written, but the language in the few I tried still felt a little clunky. Nothing wrong with it, but nothing must-read-on right about it either.

    Their fiction requirements are fairly broad, which I'm not keen on. I doubt they know each different genre's market well enough to efficiently promote their books, though I suppose there's always a "buy a travel guide, get a book to read on holiday" market they could be targeting.

    As it is, I'd suggest buying a few of their books. That'll tell you if (a) they're any good and (b) whether you'd be a good fit. Contact some of their authors to see how they feel about the company. Check your local bookshops to see if the books are available there, and if not, ask yourself how you feel about that. Bookshop placement has a massive impact on print sales - actually being in the bookshop, not just available to order through.

    (If anyone wants to go playing on LinkedIn we might be able to figure out who's actually running the joint, but if we're lucky and the company is sensible, that should appear on the website as soon as someone points out to them it ought to!)

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  6. #6
    Bemused Girl nkkingston's Avatar
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    Actually, I took my own advice about LinkedIn. It looks like this guy, Matt Stephens is the director. He does not appear to have any prior experience in publishing. Until June he was running Fingerpress alongside a day job, but at the moment he doesn't have another job listed. Hopefully this is because Fingerpress is now profitable enough that he doesn't have to, not just because of the economy. He is, however, in software, which explains the software books, and the bit about travel guides with interactive maps is an idea I'm genuinely impressed by.

    They share a name with this company, but I don't think there's a relation between the two, despite the overlap between publishing and printing. They probably should have googled to check their name wasn't already in use first, though.

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  7. #7
    Author Fredrik Nath's Avatar
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    Hi all, I'm a Fingerpress author so am totally biased...
    I've found Matt Stephens to be a great guy to work with. They are POD and e-publishers, started up three years ago and had to close to submissions within three months because they were inundated. They open up now and then still but you have to be quick.
    No money up front - they're a small family run publisher - maybe I'm a small family-run author, I don't know! I get good royalties. They've sold 30,000 copies of my book 'The Cyclist' though, so if you doubt them well, all I can say is it's been good for me.
    Matt is refreshingly honest and he and his wife are nice people in the totally charmless world of editors, agents and publishers.
    I don't know anything about the other publishers you mentioned. :-)
    I forgot to mention - I've done a lot of my own promotion but Fingerpress do their share too - getting reviews, getting press releases and sending out advance copies.
    If you're not aiming for the sky maybe they would be a good bet. I'm happy with them and have no vested interest apart from that they publish my books.
    Last edited by Fredrik Nath; 04-06-2014 at 10:30 AM. Reason: additional info

  8. #8
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrik Nath View Post
    They've sold 30,000 copies of my book 'The Cyclist' though, so if you doubt them well, all I can say is it's been good for me.
    That's a good number. Are they all paid-for sales, or have some of them been free downloads?

    Matt is refreshingly honest and he and his wife are nice people in the totally charmless world of editors, agents and publishers.
    It's not very nice to be told that my friends and I are all "totally charmless". You might like to re-read AW's Newbie Guide and reconsider your stance on this point.

    Moving on, I've looked at a few of Fingerpress's books on Amazon and am not at all impressed. All of the books I sampled were clumsily written and while the copy was clean enough I can't help feeling that a better editor would have earned their keep. The covers are a bit dire, too, and the sales copy I read was flat and dull.

    Still, if they're selling 30k copies of their books when authors with other publishers are reporting sales in the teens, they must be doing something right.

  9. #9
    Author Fredrik Nath's Avatar
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hack View Post
    That's a good number. Are they all paid-for sales, or have some of them been free downloads?



    It's not very nice to be told that my friends and I are all "totally charmless". You might like to re-read AW's Newbie Guide and reconsider your stance on this point.

    Moving on, I've looked at a few of Fingerpress's books on Amazon and am not at all impressed. All of the books I sampled were clumsily written and while the copy was clean enough I can't help feeling that a better editor would have earned their keep. The covers are a bit dire, too, and the sales copy I read was flat and dull.

    Still, if they're selling 30k copies of their books when authors with other publishers are reporting sales in the teens, they must be doing something right.
    No offence intended.
    I spent a long time trying to get a second agent - maybe I can't write as you suggest. My first agent was a nice guy but unsuccessful.
    But you know, story is everything; editing is secondary to that.
    As far as 'charmless' is concerned, well, we all have our own experience of that world and as it isn't my day job I have another world with which to compare. I'm just expressing an opinion based upon my own experience.
    As I said, didn't mean to offend any sensitive agents or publishers.
    Most of my sales are Kindle none of them free.
    Last edited by Fredrik Nath; 04-15-2014 at 10:29 AM. Reason: more info

  10. #10
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrik Nath View Post
    No offence intended.
    I spent a long time trying to get a second agent - maybe I can't write as you suggest. My first agent was a nice guy but unsuccessful.
    Who was that agent, Fredrik? I'm interested.

    But you know, story is everything; editing is secondary to that.
    The writing is the important thing, and editing does come after.

    However, my point was that in the books I looked at, the writing wasn't good enough and neither was the editing. Perhaps I should have been clearer.

    As far as 'charmless' is concerned, well, we all have our own experience of that world and as it isn't my day job I have another world with which to compare. I'm just expressing an opinion based upon my own experience.
    As I said, didn't mean to offend any sensitive agents or publishers.
    That implies you did mean to offend the insensitive ones.

    Words matter. You're a writer: use them with precision.

    Most of my sales are Kindle none of them free.
    Thank you for the clarification.

    The Fingerpress site is down, by the way. You might like to let your publishers know.

  11. #11
    Author Fredrik Nath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hack View Post
    Who was that agent, Fredrik? I'm interested.



    The writing is the important thing, and editing does come after.

    However, my point was that in the books I looked at, the writing wasn't good enough and neither was the editing. Perhaps I should have been clearer.



    That implies you did mean to offend the insensitive ones.

    Words matter. You're a writer: use them with precision.



    Thank you for the clarification.

    The Fingerpress site is down, by the way. You might like to let your publishers know.
    They're revamping their site - won't be down long.
    I don't have time to read as much as I would like but on a comparative basis some books published by say - HC are dire reads. You are right in some senses one can spot an amateur writer in the first few pages, but to condemn a publisher because you've read a few pages seems unduly narrow to me.
    I don't think the agent I referred to would like his name bandied around but I'm happy to give you his name as a PM.
    BTW the word 'charmless' means simply that. It is not an insult - just an observation. I agree not all agents/publishers are charmless but the publishing world is bedecked with such people.
    We won't agree on this, so further posts seem superfluous.
    Last edited by Fredrik Nath; 04-15-2014 at 12:02 PM. Reason: more info

  12. #12
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrik Nath View Post
    They're revamping their site - won't be down long.
    Thanks for letting us know.

    I don't have time to read as much as I would like but on a comparative basis some books published by say - HC are dire reads.
    They might be "dire reads" in your opinion, but they might also be good examples of a genre which you just don't like.

    The Fingerpress books I sampled, however, were in several genres and did exhibit the clunky writing I mentioned earlier.

    And while you might be disappointed by the quality of books published by HarperCollins, they're not under discussion in this thread. So let's not lead everyone off-topic, ok?

    You are right in some senses one can spot an amateur writer in the first few pages, but to condemn a publisher because you've read a few pages seems unduly narrow to me.
    Agents don't have to read full manuscripts to know they're not going to want to represent the writers responsible for them.

    Editors and publishers don't have to read full manuscripts to know they're not going to offer to publish them.

    And readers don't read entire books before they buy them.

    So no, judging a publisher by reading a few pages of several of the books they've published does not seem "unduly narrow" to me.

    But then I have spent a few decades working in publishing, and I have been responsible for more than one slush pile in my time. Including some at HarperCollins, as it happens.

    I don't think the agent I referred to would like his name bandied around but I'm happy to give you his name as a PM.
    That would be good. Thank you.

    BTW the word 'charmless' means simply that. It is not an insult - just an observation. I agree not all agents/publishers are charmless but the publishing world is bedecked with such people.
    We won't agree on this, so further posts seem superfluous.
    You are determined to dig yourself deeper into this hole, aren't you?

  13. #13
    Formerly Phantom of Krankor. Torgo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrik Nath View Post
    BTW the word 'charmless' means simply that. It is not an insult - just an observation. I agree not all agents/publishers are charmless but the publishing world is bedecked with such people.
    We won't agree on this, so further posts seem superfluous.
    Speaking of charmless...

  14. #14
    Writer is as Writer does Terie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrik Nath View Post
    BTW the word 'charmless' means simply that. It is not an insult - just an observation. I agree not all agents/publishers are charmless but the publishing world is bedecked with such people.
    I've met a whole heck of a lot of publishing folks, both online and in real life, and as a group they're just like any other group of folks. The fact that you seem to think that the publishing industry has a higher-than-average number of 'charmless people' says a lot more about you than them, I fear.

    My own experience, if anything, is the opposite. I've found far fewer 'charmless people', as a percentage, in my interactions in the publishing industry than in the one I work for in my day job.
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  15. #15
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    Yeah, I do think the publishing industry has more charming or sensitive people in it than most of my other contacts and associations. It's a creative endeavor and I think we pause a bit longer before making disparaging comments or declarations. IMO, of course.

    tri

  16. #16
    On a small world west of wonder LindaJeanne's Avatar
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    You've had negative experiences with people involved in the publishing industry.

    These negative experiences were not repeated at Fingerpress.

    Lets leave it at that, shall we, and not generalize thousands of people based on your experiences with two or three?
    "A story told, that can't be real / yet somehow must reflect the truth we feel..." -- Black Sabbath / Ronnie James Dio

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