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Thread: Ravenswood Publishing / GMTA Publishing Group

  1. #1
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    Ravenswood Publishing / GMTA Publishing Group

    GMTA stands for Great Minds Think Aloud.

    GMTA is a small publisher publishing through Amazon, Createspace and Barnes & Noble.

    Benefits for publishing with GMTA are free internet promotion, free day promotion through use of the Kindle Direct Select plan, giveaways, blog tours and various internet social marketing techniques. GMTA has worked hard for authors over the past year and a half helping them get more notice on the web and so far we have had overwhelming success. By offering publishing and publishing services we intend to become more a part of that success...

    Our editors work directly with our authors and cover artists to provide the best service possible...The only fees GMTA charges authors is $35.00 for the publication of print copies, this fee goes toward paying for the ISBN and Expanded Distribution of the published work.
    http://gmtapublishing.com/new-page.html
    Shouldn't the publisher be paying for the ISBN?

    GMTA accepts virtually every genre known to humankind ("We are looking for fiction and works") but draws the line at

    ...poetry, prose, or short stories, erotica, manuscripts written with a lot of derogatory words used in such a manner as to be overly offensive. Romance is acceptable as long as it is tasteful and written in such a fashion.
    I'm flummoxed by the inclusion of 'prose' in this list. I'm also flummoxed by what GMTA does or does not provide in the way of editing. According to the submissions guide:

    We will only accept manuscripts via email, manuscripts must already be formatted correctly for publication. Though we offer free editing it would be best if the manuscript has been edited ahead of time because we are short-staffed, this may change in the future.
    Yet this is almost immediately followed by:

    Since we ask that you do the editing and formatting ahead of time Great Minds Publishing will only take 60% of the sales of the authors work...We do offer editing services through GMTA but for an additional charge.
    GMTA offers a raft of publishing services:

    Great Minds Think Aloud has now extended their services to advertising for publishing companies, author websites, and other literary communities, manuscript editing, author promotions, blog tour scheduling and organization, book cover creation, and book trailers.
    http://gmtapublishing.com/services.html
    Do I smell a conflict of interest here, particularly with regard to editing services? There are four packages priced from $25-$150, but what the customer gets is just copy-editing:

    These prices do not include deep editing or line editing, any editing done on an intensive or extensive scale will cost more and the price is decided between the editor and author and still payable through GMTA Publishing Services.
    The 'author' here is presumably a customer paying for GMTA's publishing services, not someone who intends to actually publish with the company. But what are we to make of this:

    GMTA's PROCESS FOR EDITING:
    (1) <1st Proofread> The manuscript will go through an initial round of proofreading. Proofreaders are volunteers and not paid, they are only looking over the manuscript for the most minor mistakes such as spelling and punctuation.
    (2) <1st Round Editing> The manuscript will be sent to an editor for the first round of edits. The editors are paid in full upon receipt of manuscript for both rounds of edits, price not to exceed $400.00.
    (3) <1st Round Author Changes> The manuscript will be sent to the author for any changes to be accepted or rejected.
    (4) <2nd Round Editing> The manuscript will be sent back to the editor for the final round of editing.
    (5) <2nd Round Author Changes> The manuscript will be sent back to the author for the final changes to be accepted or rejected.
    (6) <Beta Reading> The manuscript will be sent to a Beta Reader, again these are volunteers only allowed to check the flow of the story, and give feedback on how they think it will be received by the intended audience.
    (7) <2nd Proofread> The manuscript is sent to a volunteer proofreader for the final look through to be sure all mistakes are fixed and the book is ready for publication.
    (8) <Sent To Publisher> The manuscript will then be sent to the publisher for full formatting, for both paperback and e-book editions.
    So the GMTA author who opts to be edited can expect to pay up to $400 and buy his or her own ISBN? Lovely.

    Also...'Beta reader'? GMTA is dealing with publishable work, not fanfic.

    Another service provided by GMTA is cover design, or more precisely pre-made covers:

    All Pre-made covers are made using free stock images. These covers can be modified to include the Title and Author's Name. Prices for these covers range from $50.00 to $75.00.
    http://gmtapublishing.com/covers.html
    The covers on offer are the standard '14-year-old-with-Photoshop' affairs, although if your novel is about a pensive young lady holding a violin in front of a lake I suppose C-113 might be right up your alley!
    Last edited by aliceshortcake; 11-12-2012 at 11:00 PM.

  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW MickRooney's Avatar
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    GMTA stands for Great Minds Think Aloud.
    ...and some great minds are better off being silent. It sounds like this publishing service know less than the average newbie author about the process of publishing.

  3. #3
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    You have to admire the bare-faced cheek of charging $75 for what they admit is a free stock image...not to mention

    Since we ask that you do the editing and formatting ahead of time Great Minds Publishing will only take 60% of the sales of the authors work.
    Yep, they're a real bunch of philanthropists!

  4. #4
    Writer is as Writer does Terie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aliceshortcake View Post
    You have to admire the bare-faced cheek of charging $75 for what they admit is a free stock image...not to mention

    Since we ask that you do the editing and formatting ahead of time Great Minds Publishing will only take 60% of the sales of the authors work.
    Yep, they're a real bunch of philanthropists!
    Yeah. Especially considering that, for example, the publisher of my latest e-book did both editing and formatting (even ahead of time....imagine!) and only takes 50% of the sales of my work.
    Changing Gears (available now) -- Winning the race doesn’t equal winning at life.

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  5. #5
    Formerly Phantom of Krankor. Torgo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bryon View Post
    Wow! This site is a godsend, I have been contacted by a Kitty Bullard from GMTA Publishing. I haven't or won't sign anything with these people. I felt they were asking too much percentage of the sales. Then they ask for the authors to pay for ISBN?

    Definitely, writers should be warned about GMTA!
    Worth pointing out the wording on the site (and possibly the terms) is quite different now to that quoted above.

  6. #6
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    They also have a new address: http://www.gmtapublishing.com/index.html

  7. #7
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Publishing contract advice please

    Hi,

    In August I wrote my Novel and have since had it proof read and copy edited, but not edited in detail. I am a new author, never have written a book before and really threw myself in at the deep end. I wrote this novel mainly for fun and not for profit so I wasn't really looking to get anywhere with it in the Publishing department.

    I submitted my manuscript to a few Publishers and have recently had 2 acceptance emails. One of these was yesterday from Ravenswood press/GMTA Publishing LLC. The royalties look standard to me at 50/50 and on doing a google to see their prior reputation could not find too much out apart from that they used to charge some fees, which now they do not.

    The contract looks good in comparison to some examples I found online BUT (here it is) they do not edit for the author. Is this standard? What do people think on this, and has anyone had experience with this company? They seem like the sort of small publisher I could work with, and I am prepared to put a little money in for a detailed edit if it is realistic I will make this back.

    Can anyone give a newbie some facts and advice please?

    Thank you thank you!!!

    Eva

  8. #8
    USA Today Bestselling Author Jamiekswriter's Avatar
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    Hi Eva,

    It's not standard for a publisher not to edit their author. In fact it's a big warning flag.

    I'd check before signing with them what type of marketing they're doing, where their books are sold, etc.

    You can read about them here: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=258467

    In fact a mod might want to teleport your question over to the Bewares & Background thread.

  9. #9
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    GMTA/RAVENSWOOD Publishing

    Hi

    Has anyone got anything good or bad to say about GMTA publishing LLC / Ravenswood Publishing, run by Kitty Bullard?

    I did see a 2013 post about them charging for an Isbn, but this is no longer the case. They still do not provide editing.

    Thanks
    Eva

  10. #10
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    They don't edit, their covers range from bad to okay, their marketing appears to be nil and their distribution is nothing that can't be accomplished by the average self-publisher. Ask yourself: what do they do to earn their 50% of your sales?

    You might want to choose a couple of their titles (paying special attention to the ones in your genre) and look them up on Amazon. See how many reviews they've got and what their ranking is. If you see only a couple of reviews (and especially if they're five-star raves), that's suspect. A title that's ranked somewhere in the millions indicates a title with poor sales.
    Last edited by mrsmig; 10-23-2014 at 09:36 PM.
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  11. #11
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Thanks for the tips! This Publisher isn't looking too good

  12. #12
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by evahart View Post
    Thanks for the tips! This Publisher isn't looking too good
    Don't lose heart. There are a lot of good publishers out there - you just have to do your research.

    As you're researching, think hard about what you want from a publisher. Do you want your book available in bookstores, or is availability via online merchants sufficient for you? Is ebook only enough, or do you want a physical book? Are sales important to you, or do you just want to have it published? If you just want it published, do you want it published well - free of typos, grammar and punctuation errors, with proper editing and a good cover?

    Good luck to you.

    P.S. I just looked at one of their most recently published books. It opens with "Douglas Harley, a shoulder length ruby headed twenty-nine year old" and goes downhill from there. My mouth is still agape.
    Last edited by mrsmig; 10-23-2014 at 11:29 PM.
    KINGLET: Now available from Fiery Seas Publishing: Amazon Barnes & Noble iBooks Kobo
    FISKUR: Now available from Fiery Seas Publishing: Amazon Barnes & Noble iBooks Kobo
    STONEKING: Releasing February 20, 2018 from Fiery Seas Publishing






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    And the occasional Tweet.





  13. #13
    practical experience, FTW Lauram6123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrsmig View Post
    P.S. I just looked at one of their most recently published books. It opens with "Douglas Harley, a shoulder length ruby headed twenty-nine year old" and goes downhill from there. My mouth is still agape.
    Yikes!

  14. #14
    Seen 'em come, seen 'em go Gravity's Avatar
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    "Ruby Headed." Sounds like one of the lesser Marvel heroes.
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  15. #15
    permaflounced
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    ...and his eyes glowed with an adamantine harshness...

  16. #16
    Seen 'em come, seen 'em go Gravity's Avatar
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    ... as he shot his cranial laser deep into the enemy stronghold ...
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  17. #17
    Red fish, blue fish... J.S.F.'s Avatar
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    No, I think this is one time when torching a book would be most acceptable.

    With apologies to Wolverine, of course.


  18. #18
    Resist. Love. Go outside. Marlys's Avatar
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    I took a look at that book and feel really, really bad for the author.
    I'm a twit, too: @PearsonMarlys

  19. #19
    Shakespearean Fool DreamWeaver's Avatar
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    Well, it's always possible the author is completely happy with that book. Different writers have different goals, and maybe that author is simply happy to have something "out there." Many of us wouldn't be happy with that level of production--we want our books edited & polished to near-perfection (ok, we want them to be perfect ), to give them the best chance to sell and give the most enjoyment to our readers. But there are writers who don't have that outlook. Their goals are more personal.
    Why doesn't George R. R. Martin use Twitter? He already killed off all 140 characters.

  20. #20
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    A lovely perspective Dreamweaver, thank you.

  21. #21
    I agree everyone has different goals and that's fine. I just get irked with companies that take advantage of authors who only want their book "out there." Even people who aren't not very computer savvy can put their book through Lulu or CreateSpace or whatever else they choose. There's no need for a third party to get involved.
    Last edited by Katrina S. Forest; 10-25-2014 at 05:20 PM.
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  22. #22
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    The author may indeed be quite happy to have a book-shaped object with his name on the cover, but who wants to be published by an outfit willing to unleash unedited slush upon the world? Although to be fair, quite a few of the GMTA books I looked at suffered from sub-par editing (by the authors) but the one quoted above is in a league of its own! One poor soul actually thanks someone for their help with punctuation and grammar, yet the book is riddled with punctuation errors.
    Last edited by aliceshortcake; 10-25-2014 at 03:15 PM.

  23. #23
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    Believe me, I didn't go cherry-picking through their releases just to find that rather singular book. I picked one of their most recent releases at random because I figured it would be most indicative of the books GMTA is currently producing.

    It all boils down to the original question: what services does GMTA perform to earn their 50% of the take?
    Last edited by mrsmig; 10-25-2014 at 06:38 PM.
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    FISKUR: Now available from Fiery Seas Publishing: Amazon Barnes & Noble iBooks Kobo
    STONEKING: Releasing February 20, 2018 from Fiery Seas Publishing






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    And the occasional Tweet.





  24. #24
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    I suppose, like many vanity/subsidy/author mill-type presses, it gives writers an illusion of being published they wouldn't get from Lulu or Createspace.

  25. #25
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    I would like to say, that to be fair to GMTA publishing, I did ask a lot of questions along the lines that this forum has posed, and I got a very honest answer. They hold nothing back.

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