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Thread: [Publisher] The Last Line

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    [Publisher] The Last Line

    Hi! I was wondering if any of you have heard about a(n "independant") publisher called The Last Line? The Scifi society at my local university are starting the process of publishing an anthology with them (I don't know who approached who!), so I just thought I'd check to see if anyone had heard of them and if they were reputable.

    I've tried to look them up, but I've not had much experience of this so I'm not 100% sure what I'm looking for. I've checked bookbrain.co.uk, but nowhere seems to STOCK their books - they're all "available to order" - I'm not sure if that's a good sign (mainstream booksellers have ACCESS to their stuff!) or indicative of something else (mainsteam booksellers don't HAVE their stuff!)

    The only real results about them I can find on Google are their website (http://thelastline.yolasite.com/ - it has more typos than I'd expect, and it looks a bit... Geocities. Also I'm concerned that they're on a free host, but that might be me being a snob!), and their facebook group. I've tried to look on here to see if anyone's mentioned them before, but no luck.

    I'm sorry for being so long-winded, and doubly so if this comes across as suspicious or unkind! I would just like more information on them so I can be happy for the ScifiSoc.

  2. #2
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    they're all "available to order" - I'm not sure if that's a good sign (mainstream booksellers have ACCESS to their stuff!) or indicative of something else (mainsteam booksellers don't HAVE their stuff!)
    That means their books have ISBNs. That's rock-bottom minimal.

    Mainstream booksellers will get a copy if someone walks over to the special order desk and waves a credit card. Other than that ... you won't see 'em.

    Publishers pay authors. Up front. In advance. Is this publisher paying your science fiction society?

  3. #3
    "School? Mum, no!" Fallen's Avatar
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    It looks like they progressed from a writing group, to publishers. The usual questions would be: what publishing experience do they have (eg in marketing, editing, cover design etc). Usually this is written on a Meet the Staff page with new publishers (eg: *name* has been an editor for x amount of years with...) . Also, how long have they been "publishing" as The Last Line. Two years (from the experts here) is usally a good sign that they are more likely to survive as a publishing company. But the only date I can find are on their About Us with their writing group (2009) but that's not saying they've been publishing that long.

    From their discussion over ISBN numbers etc here:

    http://thelastline.yolasite.com/about-us.php

    They're new at this. Something to take into consideration!

    Matt Adams is mentioned (his name is tied to Tales from the Asylum) and it Looks like he has a number of titles:

    http://www.goodreads.com/author/list/129695.M_Adams

    I'm curious to know how they get their authors (invitation only etc) as I can't see anything about submissions, contracts, royalties etc. Usually that information is available on a publishing site. Take a look at how this speculative fiction company handles telling authors how they can/cannot submit to them:

    http://www.immersionpress.com/?page_id=5

    I see nothing like this with The Last Line.

    Some AWers with far better experience (*edit*, like James D up there ^ ) will no doubt be able to help more. This one is just a little strange for me in that I can't see how they approach authors or even if they intend to.

    But on a design note: the background to the website bothered me a touch: I had difficulty reading the words (potential readers may well feel the same).

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