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Thread: Assent Publishing / Ardent Books

  1. #1
    Trying to figure it out. Ravenheart's Avatar
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    Question Assent Publishing / Ardent Books

    Does anyone know anything about the following company? I had never heard of them. They appear to be a small press. But the website doesn't list clients that I can see. Only a few that I had to work hard to find. All it shows are tabs with different imprints and submission guidelines. An editor came to a local conference I attended. But before I submit I was trying to find other sources for information regarding them.

    http://www.assentpublishing.com/Default.aspx
    Ravenheart

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  2. #2
    Grr. Argh. Thedrellum's Avatar
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    The front page seems littered with myths and misconceptions about publishing, and also seems aimed at writers. Based on that I would be wary about submitting.

  3. #3
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    For what it's worth, here is an interview with Les Denton, the publisher.

    There's an emphasis on having a 'platform' in place even before publication. Also this: "Assent Publishing supports their authors by offering them a full curriculum--for free--that teaches the skills and strategies needed for sales success."

    Strong indicators that authors will be doing their own marketing.

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  4. #4
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    The front page is very poorly-written. The text is clunky and disjointed. Which doesn't bode well for the editing that they might do.

  5. #5
    Trying to figure it out. Ravenheart's Avatar
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    Thanks. I had similar concerns when I read their marketing blurb. It made me think that they're one of the small presses where it's not any better than what I could do myself by self-publishing. It's okay... I got a request for a full manuscript from an agent in New York at a well known literary agency while I was at conference as well. So I'll submit to her but not the small press.
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  6. #6
    Sockpuppet
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    I spoke with someone yesterday who knows the owner, and they informed me this is a vanity e-book-only press, and that the owner has no previous publishing experience.
    Last edited by Beagles Rule; 06-07-2013 at 04:41 PM.

  7. #7
    practical experience, FTW TheHungryFreelancer's Avatar
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    Has anyone worked with this publisher since this thread was last updated? One of my friends was recently offered a contract with them as a result of a contest they ran, but they want first rights of refusal for her next work and she's really not comfortable with that. (The contract said first rights of refusal for subsequent works, but the editor changed it for her.) They also do not offer an advance of any kind.

  8. #8
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    If it was a vanity press five months ago, it's going to still be a vanity press today. I'd advise your friend to look elsewhere.

  9. #9
    starting over Marian Perera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheHungryFreelancer View Post
    One of my friends was recently offered a contract with them as a result of a contest they ran, but they want first rights of refusal for her next work and she's really not comfortable with that.
    What does she like about them as a publisher, other than the fact that they offered her a contract? Has she read their books, for instance?
    Ghost : Christmas Past. With beta!
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  10. #10
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    I think Beagles Rules' friend was mistaken. I've been offered a contract with them and can confirm that it's not a vanity publisher - Assent pay all the costs of publishing and distribution, as well as paying an artist for artwork. In fact, I emailed a couple of their existing authors, who confirmed that the publisher does take all the costs. Also, they publish in paperback as well as e-book. If you go to Amazon and search for "Assent publishing" you'll find a handful of their paperbacks for sale.

    The difference to mainstream publishers is Assent's approach to marketing, as Filligree suggests above. They have a marketing training course that they put all their authors through without charge (and according to the ones I emailed, it's a good course) - the authors are then expected to do all the marketing themselves (and bear any marketing costs).

    So there's no reason not to go to them.

    http://www.iancoatesthrillers.co.uk

  11. #11
    Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. kaitie's Avatar
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    There are plenty of reasons not to go with a publisher aside from "they charge." Lack of experience by the owners, poor editing, bad cover art, and yes, lack of marketing, would all be valid reasons to go somewhere else. Any of those would be a deal breaker for me, period. Marketing is something a publisher does. It's okay to expect some promotion from the author (but even then, I'd expect some help), but marketing isn't what this publisher seems to think it is. The fact that they do print copies and don't understand this would be reason enough to say no, IMO.

    It's better to be unpublished than published badly.


  12. #12
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greatthrillers View Post
    I think Beagles Rules' friend was mistaken. I've been offered a contract with them and can confirm that it's not a vanity publisher - Assent pay all the costs of publishing and distribution, as well as paying an artist for artwork. In fact, I emailed a couple of their existing authors, who confirmed that the publisher does take all the costs. Also, they publish in paperback as well as e-book. If you go to Amazon and search for "Assent publishing" you'll find a handful of their paperbacks for sale.
    PublishAmerica's books are for sale on Amazon. They're still a vanity publisher.

    The difference to mainstream publishers is Assent's approach to marketing, as Filligree suggests above. They have a marketing training course that they put all their authors through without charge (and according to the ones I emailed, it's a good course) - the authors are then expected to do all the marketing themselves (and bear any marketing costs).
    Hold on. Earlier you wrote,

    Assent pay all the costs of publishing
    Marketing is one of the costs involved in publishing. So Assent doesn't pay all the costs of publishing; it does expect writers to pay something towards their publication; consequently it is a vanity press.

    So there's no reason not to go to them.
    There are all sorts of reasons not to publish with Assent. For a start, it's a vanity press. Its website is aimed squarely at writers, not at readers, which is a big indication that writers are its main market. Its "about us" page is full of empty rhetoric about publishing and gives away very little about Assent; and with my admittedly brief search I've found no evidence that it has distribution or any sales staff--apart from those people who sell its services to writers.

    If you want to showcase your website here you're better off adding it to a signature, otherwise you come across as spammy.

    I note from your website that you've been shortlisted for some good awards. If they're the awards I think they are, please don't publish with Assent. You can do so much better for yourself, your book and your potential readers.

  13. #13
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    What Old Hack said. If you have those awards in your CV, you can find a publisher that may do better by you.

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  14. #14
    practical experience, FTW TheHungryFreelancer's Avatar
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    Its website is aimed squarely at writers,
    I definitely think that this is a huge warning sign.

  15. #15
    practical experience, FTW Treehouseman's Avatar
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    Assent Publishing / Farther Books / Stellar Sci Fi COntest

    A member of a writer's group linked to this site (out of interest):

    Stellar Sci Fi Contest:

    http://fartherbooks.wordpress.com/20...ci-fi-contest/

    This is the parent website: http://www.assentpublishing.com/FartherSubmissions.aspx

    I'm a little concerned by the a) forceful requirement of authors to market their books attached to b) a dollar figure. For example the winner of the prize gets $1000 of free publicity (A "Promotional Announcement Blitz") and $1000 of free coaching from their marketing guy in lieu of actual payment.

    I don't see any actual books published by them, it seems mostly a marketing gimmick, to be honest.

  16. #16
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    I've heard from authors who were charged big bucks for the so-called training program. I'm not at home so I can't check my records for the exact amount, bot it was in the four-figure range.

    - Victoria

  17. #17
    Steven Poore chopper's Avatar
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    my writers' group has been messaged by Les Denton advertising the Stellar Scifi thing. I've directed them to this thread.
    your statutory rights are not affected. much.

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  18. #18
    Published author and editor ArdentBooks's Avatar
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    Ardent Books is seeking erotic novel submissions

    If this is in the wrong place, forgive me! It's been a long while since I've visited these forums.

    Seductive sizzle in Tantalizing tales


    Ardent Books, a royalty paying house, is proud to publish the finest in quality erotica novels. We're actively accepting submissions from aspiring and established authors in a wide range of erotica and erotic subgenres. Stories must have a clearly recognizable hook from the start, appeal to our wide female audience and capture the male mind as well.


    Accepted Erotica Subgenres include:

    Contemporary
    Paranormal
    Science Fiction
    Fantasy
    Steampunk
    Cyberpunk
    Historical
    Romance
    Ménage
    BDSM

    If you write in an erotic subgenre not listed, feel free to query!

    ABOUT MÉNAGE AND ROMANCE:
    We won't shy away from tales of Lifestyle love or poly themes but we do have some additional guidelines. For BDSM, no hardcore BDSM acts may be portrayed, the Lifestyle itself contains plenty of mental aspects along with physical things and we'd like to see that reflected in your stories. This does not mean put the whips away; it just means no brutality or kink for kink sake. We're less concerned with the number of partners and more concerned with story dynamics, plot, and great characterization. If your triad has a fourth, fine as long as it makes sense and adheres to our guidelines.

    Of course, don't forget the sizzling sensuality. Capture the passion between the characters for all levels of the novel, not just the sex.

    We accept completed manuscripts of 50,000 words up to 120,000 words.

    What we will under no circumstances publish:

    NO BESTIALITY (shifters in paranormal/sci-fi/fantasy don't count)
    NO PEDOPHILIA
    NO RAPE (Consensual Non Consent had better be very well written and clear.)
    NO NECROPHILIA (Undead doesn't count)
    NO HARDCORE BDSM
    NO UNDERSAGE SEX



    Sending in your manuscript:
    If your manuscript is complete and as polished as you can make it, and you think it’s a good match for Ardent Books, we’d like to hear from you. We accept queries for completed manuscripts only. Please do not submit a work in progress. Due to the large number of submissions we receive, your best opportunity for acceptance is to carefully read and follow all submission guidelines. We use this criteria as evidence of your professionalism and will delete unread any submission that does not follow these guidelines.
    All initial submissions should be electronic. Please do not send us original materials or artwork as we will not return any materials to you.
    It is not necessary to copyright your work prior to submission. You are protected by law as long as it has not been published. Should we accept your book for publication, we will register it with the copyright office at the Library of Congress.
    If you have followed the submission guidelines, you will receive a confirmation email reply within two weeks. It may take up to thirty days to receive a decision in the form of either a request for more information along with the complete manuscript, or a letter stating that we have not found a match with your work at this time.
    Your query email must include:
    1. A standard professional query letter that includes your 25 - 30 word book pitch and the word count of your manuscript
    2. A 250 word synopsis of the work
    3. Your marketing plan - we would like to see that you understand who your target reader is and how you would reach them
    4. The first 50 pages of the work, with your name and the title of the book in the header, and page numbers in the footer; attached as a Word (.doc) document
    Manuscripts should be double spaced, saved in 8-1/2” x 11” format with 1” margins. Use 12 pt. Times New Roman font. The body of your submission email will be considered the cover letter. The above four separate appropriately named Word (.doc, .docx or .rtf) documents are required to be attached to your submission email. Please type your name, the title of your book, and the genre in the subject line of your email. We do not accept submissions from literary agents.
    Your Query Letter should contain the following:

    Name
    Penname
    Address
    Contact Phone Number
    Email

    If you are a match for Ardent, our editors will be giving you the call!

    Send submissions to editor@ardentbooks.com

    The publishing industry has changed drastically over the past decade and because of these changes, authors must now carry the responsibilities of marketing, promotions and publicity for their books. This is a daunting task, and many authors fail, losing their publishing contract or possibly any future contracts. It’s a hard, cold fact … an author’s books must sell and sell well for the publishing machine to keep moving.
    Understanding these challenges, Assent Publishing has taken special efforts to offer success tools for our authors. The Assent Academy was developed specifically for Assent Publishing authors.

  19. #19
    Never Surrender AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
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    I think you're likely to get a fair amount of opposing opinion, especially in regard to your final paragraph. While erotica writers are always happy to have the number of potential markets expand, the author's job is writing, not marketing. The skill sets don't overlap a lot.

    So welcome, thanks for the offer, and brace yourself, okay?

    Maryn, just one more introverted writer

    Edit: Uh-oh, I now see a huge red flag waving merrily in the breeze, and I've only just started looking. The Ardent Books site is copyrighted by Assent Publishing, which owns and operates the Assent Academy. Would this not be a conflict of interest?
    Last edited by Maryn; 02-04-2014 at 03:08 AM.
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  20. #20
    the world is at my command jennontheisland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArdentBooks View Post
    authors must now carry the responsibilities of marketing, promotions and publicity for their books. This is a daunting task, and many authors fail, losing their publishing contract or possibly any future contracts. It’s a hard, cold fact …
    No.

    It is NOT the case that authors must carry the responsibilities of a publisher. Marketing and publicity is the responsibility of the publisher.

    And to threaten authors with having their contract yanked because they don't do your job seems a new low in the whole realm of "authors are responsible for marketing now".
    You are more than welcome to take anything I say personally, whether it was intended that way or not.

    Eat This.

  21. #21
    Roe Draje Maddie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArdentBooks View Post
    NO UNDERSAGE SEX
    I hate to be pedantic, but are you planning on in-house editing that exceeds the proof performed on this ad, masquerading as a post?

  22. #22

  23. #23
    Ships full of vampires are hell. AW Moderator amergina's Avatar
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  24. #24
    Making stuff up...or maybe sleeping Oldbrasscat's Avatar
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    Amergina, they don't want undersage. I'm sure, if you were oversage, or besidesage, you'd be all right.

    *Sorry, I just couldn't resist.*
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  25. #25
    starting over Marian Perera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamiekswriter View Post
    The "About Us" page doesn't work.

    Not a website that would fill me with confidence about this publisher.
    Ghost : Christmas Past. With beta!
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