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Thread: AEC Stellar Publishing

  1. #1
    A wanderer in the sea of publishing Michael Drakich's Avatar
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    AEC Stellar Publishing

    What's the dope on these people? Does anyone know? Their website says jack diddly on what they actually do or charge - http://aecstellar.com/Home_Page.html

  2. #2
    Ne tequcesiverius extra Shrouded's Avatar
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    This about sums them up:
    AEC Stellar Publishing was formed to give authors another, better, option. We wanted to give unknown writers with good books a serious chance. We wanted to have a quick, simple, flexible, and high acceptance submission process. We wanted to give authors the majority of their revenue. We wanted to minimize the cost to authors to only what they would pay during a self-publishing process, and to put our own skin in the game so that we’re motivated to make sure the book succeeds. And we wanted to only retain rights to the book while it’s selling.

  3. #3
    A wanderer in the sea of publishing Michael Drakich's Avatar
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    Hey Shrouded,

    What you quote says nothing. At least, nothing that you can quantify. It's all vagarities. Terms like - a better option, a serious chance, a high acceptance submission process, a majority of their revenue, minimize costs - none of these can definitively tell me what they do and how much they charge. I find such language as misleading. That's why I started this thread - to get straight answers, not more ambiguity.

  4. #4
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Drakich View Post
    I find such language as misleading. That's why I started this thread - to get straight answers, not more ambiguity.
    I think you've missed the point of Shrouded's reply - the quote he used is so full of red flags there's really no point in investigating this publisher further. The words "high acceptance" alone suggest that they'll publish almost anything.

    I also find this very odd:

    Read an AEC Stellar book recently? CLICK HERE, and we'll draft up a professional review based on your inputs...

    Thanks for reading a book from one of our AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc. authors. This survey was created to help you gather your thoughts on the book you just read, in particular so that they yield a professional-level review for the author. As you probably know, authors live and die by the reviews they receive.
    Please read each question carefully, and answer honestly and openly. Based on your comments, we will develop and respond with a draft review for you to provide online.
    https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1gcc...jhcng/viewform
    Last edited by aliceshortcake; 05-27-2013 at 11:59 AM.
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  5. #5
    A wanderer in the sea of publishing Michael Drakich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aliceshortcake View Post
    I think you've missed the point of Shrouded's reply - the quote he used is so full of red flags there's really no point in investigating this publisher further. The words "high acceptance" alone suggest that they'll publish almost anything.:
    My apologies, I guess I missed the tongue-in-cheek aspect of his answer. I concur with your analysis and have no intention of making a submission to them. My interest lies in providing another writer with some answers who is considering them and asked me for an opinion.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Drakich View Post
    My apologies, I guess I missed the tongue-in-cheek aspect of his answer. I concur with your analysis and have no intention of making a submission to them. My interest lies in providing another writer with some answers who is considering them and asked me for an opinion.
    If the content of the site makes you not want to submit, then wouldn't that be your reply to a fellow writer? High acceptance rate means getting a yes has little value. And "what does this publisher charge?" should never be a question a writer asks.
    "An honest answer is like a warm hug." - Proverbs 24:26 (The Message)

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  7. #7
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    (Bolding mine):

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Drakich View Post
    What you quote says nothing. At least, nothing that you can quantify. It's all vagarities. Terms like - a better option, a serious chance, a high acceptance submission process, a majority of their revenue, minimize costs - none of these can definitively tell me what they do and how much they charge. I find such language as misleading.
    ...and that's what you tell your friend. They're vague and misleading on their website; they use catchphrases instead of giving real information. Is that someone you want to deal with?

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  8. #8
    A wanderer in the sea of publishing Michael Drakich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katrina S. Forest View Post
    If the content of the site makes you not want to submit, then wouldn't that be your reply to a fellow writer? High acceptance rate means getting a yes has little value. And "what does this publisher charge?" should never be a question a writer asks.
    To date, that is what I have relayed to this other author, but as these people are portraying themselves as something outside the box, I think what they charge is appropriate. It was my hope that someone who has had actual dealings with these people might provide some enlightenment.

  9. #9
    I grow my own catnip JulieB's Avatar
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    According to their Facebook page they started at the first of the year and appear to only have released one book. You might tell your friend to check back with them in a year and see how they're doing.

  10. #10
    On a small world west of wonder LindaJeanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Drakich View Post
    To date, that is what I have relayed to this other author, but as these people are portraying themselves as something outside the box, I think what they charge is appropriate. It was my hope that someone who has had actual dealings with these people might provide some enlightenment.
    Doesn't look particularly "outside the box" to me. Vanity publishers that try to claim they aren't vanity publishers and are building a new paradigm in publishing are a dime a dozen.

    If your friend wants to vanity publish, I think there are better options out there. If your friend does not want to vanity publish, this place shouldn't get a second glance.
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  11. #11
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    AEC is the brainchild of former rocket scientist Raymond Vogel and entrepreneur Christine (Christie) Heisler. Mr Vogel is the author of Matter of Resistance, first published through CreateSpace two years ago but due for reissue by AEC shortly.

    We get a lot of the usual it's-virtually-impossible-for-new-authors-to-be-published rhetoric:

    Before becoming a publisher, we first wanted to figure out how it is that authors get their books into the hands of readers. As it turns out, there are several ways:

    [Y]ou can carefully tailor, send and track the submittal of your manuscript, or query letter, or some piece of your manuscript and possibly a brief or lengthy synopsis to individual publishers with their highly specialized font and spacing requirements in the hopes that you can overcome their <1% acceptance rate. You can stick it out and bear through the rejection process just like the Harry Potter lady did. Then, assuming you get accepted, you can patiently endure the roughly two years of “publishing magic” that happens before your books release – and then throw a massive party once it finally hits Amazon. And with great patience comes great rewards, so prepare for a loss of rights to your book for 10 years and a 10% royalty - after their expenses are recovered, of course. If you’re bold enough to head down this route, then may the odds be ever in your favor.

    [Y]ou can follow the same submission process described above, except directed to the few and proud literary agents. They know people, and most of them probably know publishers. However, with an equally low acceptance rate and an even more specialized set of submission criteria, this can be just as fruitless and time consuming as publishing. In other words, it’s the same as the second route to publishing, only it takes longer and you lose a part of your 10% to the agents.http://aecstellar.com/About_Us_-_This_Way.html
    I'll let the experts deal with this.

    Then comes the bit quoted by Shrouded, followed by:

    Why does this type of service not exist elsewhere? We have no idea, but it works well for us and our authors.
    AEC's only book was released this month - I think it's a bit soon to know whether their type of service works well or not.

    AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc. is a unique publishing alternative that leverages existing self-publishing options and services to give new authors the best possible chance of success.
    I would be very, very surprised if there's anything 'unique' about this.

    We have in-depth knowledge of the complex publishing industry and use only the most innovative and cost effective tools and tactics throughout the process.
    I can see no evidence that either Vogel or Heisler have any previous experience in publishing, let alone in-depth knowledge.

    Our submission process begins with a concept submission. This is primarily done through our Submissions page, though we periodically find other creative ways to receive concepts. A concept is a blurb about your book, and it can take the form of a brief summary or even a one-liner. To be considered, your book has to be complete (at least a first draft).
    'At least a first draft?'

    Each book will be guided through phases such as refining the manuscript and preparing for distribution. Responsibilities are generally divided between you and your Contract Manager. The time required to complete your actions will vary greatly, primarily depending on the state of the manuscript at the time of submission.

    When there are costs required to prepare your book for sale, such as if an edit is needed, these remain your responsibility. In these cases, your Contract Manager will help you find the most cost effective route for those needs, and they will ensure your out-of-pocket expenses are the same or lower than if you had self published.
    'IF an edit is needed'? So AEC doesn't provide editing but can put you in touch with an editor? At this point it would be nice to see some figures. What sort of out-of-pocket expenses would a self-published author incur?

    Your Contract Manager will be responsible for marketing and marketing costs, although they may request your time for some specific activities.

    NOTE: We are not a self-publishing or vanity publishing service. We do not accept funds for services such as editing or artwork. If you're interested in working with us, please begin with our submission process.
    http://aecstellar.com/How_We_Work.html
    Contract Manager Heather Hebert is also a freelance editor:
    http://heatherluciehebert.com/

    I couldn't help noticing that there are several errors on her website:

    Very little comments are included in this type of edit...

    This mostly translates into stylistic improvements that take into consideration: clarity of pros, authenticity of syntax or dialogue...
    If there's one thing I can't stand it's obscure pros!
    Last edited by aliceshortcake; 05-27-2013 at 11:22 PM.
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  12. #12
    Disapproving plot bun disapproves. FluffBunny's Avatar
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    Your Contract Manager will be responsible for marketing and marketing costs, although they may request your time for some specific activities.
    (bolding added) That's really quite kind of your Contract Manager, taking responsibility for the cost(s) of marketing. To quote somebody or other, "words have meanings."

    You can stick it out and bear through the rejection process just like the Harry Potter lady did.
    Did anyone else find this patronizing? Is typing "J.K. Rowling" really so terribly difficult? Unless he's referring to Phyllida Spore and any difficulties she may have had with publishing One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi.

    Shorter version: they offer weasel words and want money from authors. I'd pass.
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  13. #13
    Back in the black, & staying there! Marian Perera's Avatar
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    [Y]ou can carefully tailor, send and track the submittal of your manuscript, or query letter, or some piece of your manuscript and possibly a brief or lengthy synopsis to individual publishers with their highly specialized font and spacing requirements
    Times New Roman, double-spaced, is "highly specialized font and spacing requirements"?

    News flash, AEC Stellar. Being able to select a certain font and to double-space one's manuscript is not rocket science.

    in the hopes that you can overcome their <1% acceptance rate.
    If you can produce a clean manuscript that tells a good story, you're already in the top of the pile. Besides, if you don't make the final cut at one publisher, who's to say you won't at another?

    You can stick it out and bear through the rejection process just like the Harry Potter lady did.
    Makes you wonder why the Harry Potter lady didn't go to AEC Stellar Publishing, doesn't it.

    Oh well. I'm sure she's crying all the way to the bank.

    Then, assuming you get accepted, you can patiently endure the roughly two years of “publishing magic” that happens before your books release
    "Publishing magic". That's when the Publishing Fairy waves her magic wand and makes covers, editing, layout, copyediting and ARCs appear in a puff of pixie dust.

    Maybe that's what inspired the Harry Potter lady.

    And if I receive a nice enough advance, I can patiently endure the interest collecting on that while I patiently endure writing my next book.

    – and then throw a massive party once it finally hits Amazon. And with great patience comes great rewards, so prepare for a loss of rights to your book for 10 years
    Eye-rollingly conspicuous scare tactics. Even PublishAmerica's notoriously bad contracts only took rights for 7 years.

    and a 10% royalty - after their expenses are recovered, of course.
    Only if your contract pays net royalties, and doesn't define "net".

    Quote Originally Posted by FluffBunny View Post
    Did anyone else find this patronizing? Is typing "J.K. Rowling" really so terribly difficult?
    Must be popularizing a new way of referring to authors, by their best-known literary creation.

    So Thomas Harris would be "the Hannibal Lecter gentleman", Stephen King would be "the IT guy" and so on.


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  14. #14

    Speak of the devil

    Hello All,

    As one of the founders, I thought I might weigh in here, if that's all right. I may get pummeled for even trying, but such is life.

    Our website is intentionally non-specific, not to hide how we work from authors (I answer a lot of questions by email regarding specifics), but to avoid giving away our entire business model to the world. We're a business, after all. We'd have nothing to offer if it was all offered for free through aecstellar.com. :-)

    Except in unique circumstances articulated transparently in contracts and driven by the authors, we do not accept funds from authors. So the question of "how much" is difficult to answer. We state clearly on the website that we are not a vanity publisher.

    We do not accept everyone, but we avoid rejecting on the basis of "needs editing" or "not already famous." This has left us at an acceptance rate currently hovering just below 30%. I'd like it to stay there, but I do expect that to decrease over time.

    Although we're growing about as fast as we can handle, we ARE a small, new company. We still have teeth to cut and pudding to prove. Of course, I'm also personally confident in our approaches, or I wouldn't be doing it. But if new isn't your thing, there are other publishers with more experience and lower submission rates. I'm a fan of writer success, no matter how it's achieved. I mean that sincerely.

    Yes, I'm also an author and have signed the same contract as our other authors. I've seen other publishing contracts, including ones offered to me, and, frankly, I was floored by the boldness with which they try to own you - like, forever. As you can guess, that was one of the factors that led to the start of this business. Our contracts are as author-centric as our business can handle. This may prove to be less profitable than we'd like in the end, but it's the kind of company we wanted to be.

    The "How We Got This Way" page is an opinion piece, nothing more. One intended only to express frustration over the publishing industry as it exists. A lot of folks disagree (some of you, it seems) and many more have agreed with it (perhaps more than they should have), but I'm convinced it's more than rhethoric. Very unfortunately.

    Anyway, I sincerely appreciate the thoughtful discussion on this forum. I also hope my presence doesn't dissuade you from expressing honest opinions and impressions - they're the only ones that help us grow.

    Best of luck to you all,
    Ray

  15. #15
    A wanderer in the sea of publishing Michael Drakich's Avatar
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    Hello Ray,

    I appreciate you taking the time to respond to this thread. Although you really don't divulge any details it did take some chutzpah to write in.

    Understand, as authors we want to have some idea as to what is being offered by a publisher before beginning the query process. That's why this thread is in the Bewares, Recommendations and Background Check segment of the Absolute Writer Water Cooler. We come here to investigate publishers such as AEC Stellar Publishing to educate ourselves as to its merits. It is the hope that client authors would provide some insight but none have come forward.

    Let me put things to you differently. Instead of this being a discussion board, pretend I was a lone author querying you. Would you not want to divulge to me, one on one, the answers I seek?

    You should look to this as an oppportunity to sell your company to a large audience. Holding back only makes everyone leery. Right now, if you have read through the thread, you will note that the posts have not exactly been favourable. Be bold. Clear the air. This thread will not simply disappear and its comments with it.

    The decision is in your hands.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Drakich View Post
    I appreciate you taking the time to respond to this thread. Although you really don't divulge any details it did take some chutzpah to write in.

    Understand, as authors we want to have some idea as to what is being offered by a publisher before beginning the query process. That's why this thread is in the Bewares, Recommendations and Background Check segment of the Absolute Writer Water Cooler. We come here to investigate publishers such as AEC Stellar Publishing to educate ourselves as to its merits. It is the hope that client authors would provide some insight but none have come forward.

    Let me put things to you differently. Instead of this being a discussion board, pretend I was a lone author querying you. Would you not want to divulge to me, one on one, the answers I seek?

    You should look to this as an oppportunity to sell your company to a large audience. Holding back only makes everyone leery. Right now, if you have read through the thread, you will note that the posts have not exactly been favourable. Be bold. Clear the air. This thread will not simply disappear and its comments with it.

    The decision is in your hands.
    We are well met, my friend.

    I understand the purpose of the forum and certainly appreciate the need.

    My post was an attempt to answer some questions, but perhaps I can be more specific. Ask a question, and I shall do my best. If it's something I consider company proprietary, I'll say what I can.

    I do have to warn, though, that my goal is not to advertise my business, nor to sell authors on our model. I intend to do that the hard way - through sales.

  17. #17
    Capeless, wingless, & yet I fly. SuperModerator Williebee's Avatar
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    Mr. Vogel, welcome and commendation on your willingness to answer questions.

    While you are doing that, please consider the following analogy. You are in a city populated by thousands of owners of a wide variety of spacecraft -- speeders, rockets, barges, floating palaces and barely drifting shacks.

    But before even the shack owners give you the keys to their craft, it is more than reasonable for them to want details. Something more than a business card, some proof that you can drive.
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  18. #18
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond_Vogel View Post
    Hello All,

    As one of the founders, I thought I might weigh in here, if that's all right. I may get pummeled for even trying, but such is life.
    Hello, Mr Vogel, and welcome to AW.

    We insist on good standards of respect and courtesy here, and won't put up with "pummeling". If you see any posts that you find rude or objectionable, click on the Report Post button--it's the little red triangle with the exclamation-mark inside it, down in the bottom left of each post. That'll bring the post to the moderators' attention, and make sure it's dealt with appropriately.

    Our website is intentionally non-specific, not to hide how we work from authors (I answer a lot of questions by email regarding specifics), but to avoid giving away our entire business model to the world. We're a business, after all. We'd have nothing to offer if it was all offered for free through aecstellar.com. :-)
    It's important that writers who are considering submitting to you know what your business model is before they submit: otherwise they might well be wasting their time and yours. And it isn't an issue which requires secrecy: you'll lose nothing by letting the whole world know how you operate. It's not like you have a secret recipe for publishing, which has to be protected: the writers you publish are the ones who provide that special ingredient.

    Except in unique circumstances articulated transparently in contracts and driven by the authors, we do not accept funds from authors. So the question of "how much" is difficult to answer. We state clearly on the website that we are not a vanity publisher.
    I'm pretty sure that PublishAmerica says on its website that it's not a vanity publisher too. That doesn't mean that it isn't.

    Those two sentences I've bolded contradict each other. The first one says that you do accept funds from authors (albeit only in special circumstances); the second one says you're not a vanity publisher.

    If you take money from your authors to fund the publishing of their books then you are a vanity publisher, no matter how infrequently you do so.

    We do not accept everyone, but we avoid rejecting on the basis of "needs editing" or "not already famous." This has left us at an acceptance rate currently hovering just below 30%. I'd like it to stay there, but I do expect that to decrease over time.
    Blimey O'Reilley.

    When I ran my own slush-pile I accepted less than 1% of submissions.

    I've seen a lot of slush, and unless your slush-pile consists solely of submissions from good agents, there's no way that 30% of it is good enough to earn its keep when published commercially.

    If the majority of the books you publish can't turn you, the publisher, a profit then you're going to have to fund your publishing endeavours by other means. In other words, you depend on the money you take from your authors under those "unique circumstances articulated transparently in contracts and driven by the authors".

    Although we're growing about as fast as we can handle, we ARE a small, new company. We still have teeth to cut and pudding to prove. Of course, I'm also personally confident in our approaches, or I wouldn't be doing it. But if new isn't your thing, there are other publishers with more experience and lower submission rates. I'm a fan of writer success, no matter how it's achieved. I mean that sincerely.
    It's not that "new isn't [my] thing", it's that I prefer publishers which can help make my books the best that they can be, and which can publish them well and sell them in good quantity, so that I can continue to earn my living writing them.

    Yes, I'm also an author and have signed the same contract as our other authors. I've seen other publishing contracts, including ones offered to me, and, frankly, I was floored by the boldness with which they try to own you - like, forever.
    There are always going to be dodgy publishing contracts, but then there are always going to be dodgy publishers. Good publishers offer reasonable reversion clauses and don't expect to "own" writers or their books in perpetuity; and their contracts are negotiable. I wonder which publishers you've worked with.

    As you can guess, that was one of the factors that led to the start of this business.
    Being unhappy with a contract you've been offered is not a good reason to start a publishing house.

    Having several years' experience in publishing, understanding the business, having a lot of funding behind you, and wanting to bring wonderful books to the reading public is a far better one.

    Our contracts are as author-centric as our business can handle. This may prove to be less profitable than we'd like in the end, but it's the kind of company we wanted to be.
    Good contracts benefit both the author and the publisher.

    The "How We Got This Way" page is an opinion piece, nothing more. One intended only to express frustration over the publishing industry as it exists. A lot of folks disagree (some of you, it seems) and many more have agreed with it (perhaps more than they should have), but I'm convinced it's more than rhethoric. Very unfortunately.
    There's much in that opinion-piece that I disagree with. It doesn't match the experience I've gained from my years working in trade publishing. Not only is it misleading, bitter and factually incorrect, it's disrespectful towards publishers, agents, writers, and self-publishers.

    Anyway, I sincerely appreciate the thoughtful discussion on this forum. I also hope my presence doesn't dissuade you from expressing honest opinions and impressions - they're the only ones that help us grow.

    Best of luck to you all,
    Ray
    Your presence here won't put any of us off speaking honestly about your publishing company. I can promise you that.

  19. #19
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond_Vogel View Post
    We do not accept everyone, but we avoid rejecting on the basis of "needs editing" or "not already famous."
    Ray, statements like this are used over and over again by vanity presses. How many best-selling and mid-list authors were already famous when their first book was published? Why do publishers employ editors if they turn down submissions that need editing?

    I'm also puzzled by the fact that if you'd like to reduce your 30% acceptance rate you must realize that it's too high. In the meantime, if a reader happens to come across a less than stellar book from AEC they probably won't risk buying another.
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  20. #20

    Submissions & Vanity

    First, I'll attempt to provide some insight into the submissions rate I shared. Part of the reason it's currently so high is probably our size and still-moderate rate of submissions. Another part is, *knock on wood*, good fortune. Some of the submissions I've read have been simply outstanding.

    Regarding the comments and concerns on vanity presses: our profits do come exclusively from sales, and so (as you all implied) by necessity we can only take books we think we can sell.
    I think of a vanity press as one you can pay to publish and market your book. You pay for everything you get, but you also get to keep all the profits. Is there another, better definition I should consider?
    Regarding "other" costs, we haven't had any yet, but we need to retain the ability to be a pass-through mechanism for authors that desire to incur some unique costs on their behalf. However, we don't profit from these or any costs an author incurs. I absolutely agree with you - profit from an author, of any kind, would define us as (even if only partly) a vanity publisher.

  21. #21
    Shiny new cover! AW Moderator Calla Lily's Avatar
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    Mr. Vogel, if AEC Stellar takes any money at all from any author you sign, then AEC Stellar is a vanity press. That is the definition. It's that simple. It has nothing to do with profit from an author. It has everything to do with an author giving you money. Any money.

    As Old Hack said, the way a publisher makes money is by publishing books people want to read. Period.

    If you are bitter about the state of trade publishing, then you could SP your own books--which you have, and I hope they sell well for you. But your website is filled with phrases that flag it as vanity and exploitative and without proper distribution. Posts # 11, 13, and 18 above expand on these aspects well. My only recommendation to someone, if asked whether to submit to it, would be: Run.

  22. #22

    Thanks!

    Thanks again for all of your time.
    I'll answer any further questions by email directly.

    For those still unconvinced of our trustworthiness as a business, I will not deter you from seeking your own routes, and I still wish you well. For those that do, I sincerely hope we get a chance to work and succeed together.

    Irregardless of these conversations, I absolutely love working with writers and, as long as I have the means to, will continue driving AEC Stellar Publishing to being the kind of business that writers can't help but respect and desire to be a part of.

    Best regards,
    Ray

  23. #23
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond_Vogel View Post
    First, I'll attempt to provide some insight into the submissions rate I shared. Part of the reason it's currently so high is probably our size and still-moderate rate of submissions. Another part is, *knock on wood*, good fortune. Some of the submissions I've read have been simply outstanding.
    The size of AEC SP and the low rate of submissions that are made to you are very unlikely to influence the average quality of submissions you receive. But I'm glad you've received some outstanding ones: those are the ones that all publishers look for.

    Regarding the comments and concerns on vanity presses: our profits do come exclusively from sales, and so (as you all implied) by necessity we can only take books we think we can sell.
    You get your profits from selling the books you publish. You ask authors to contribute to the cost of publishing their own books. You are a vanity press.

    I think of a vanity press as one you can pay to publish and market your book. You pay for everything you get, but you also get to keep all the profits. Is there another, better definition I should consider?
    You can define vanity publishing however you want to, but your definition doesn't match the definition which is widely accepted. So yes, there is a far better definition which you should consider: the one favoured by Jonathon Clifford, who is the person who came up with the term "vanity publishing":

    What is Vanity Publishing? What is a Vanity Publisher?


    A vanity publisher is:

    • "any company which charges a client to publish a book; or offers to include short stories, poems or other literary or artistic material in an anthology and then invites those included in it to buy a copy of that anthology."

      • (British Advertising Standards Authority Advice Note, Vanity Publishing, July 1997)

    However, many such companies prefer to use other terms, which you may find misleading, such as:
    • Joint venture publishing
    • Co-Operative publishing
    • Subsidy publishing
    • Shared responsibility publishing
    • (incorrectly) self-publishing

    Regarding "other" costs, we haven't had any yet, but we need to retain the ability to be a pass-through mechanism for authors that desire to incur some unique costs on their behalf.
    Why? All the good publishing houses I've worked for manage to stay in business without expecting authors to contribute to the cost of publishing; I don't see why you're any different. Unless, of course, you're a vanity publisher. Which you are.

    However, we don't profit from these or any costs an author incurs. I absolutely agree with you - profit from an author, of any kind, would define us as (even if only partly) a vanity publisher.
    Profit isn't the defining factor. Accepting money from authors, whether at the front-end by charging them for publication or publishing services, or at the back-end by getting them to buy their books from you: that's what makes you a vanity publisher.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond_Vogel View Post
    Thanks again for all of your time.
    I'll answer any further questions by email directly.
    You'll find it quicker and easier to answer our questions here (how would you cope if even ten per cent of AW's 50,000-plus members emailed you?), and it'll be more helpful in the long-term, as this discussion will remain here for years, so anyone who looks for information about your publisher will be able to see how you present yourself.

    For those still unconvinced of our trustworthiness as a business, I will not deter you from seeking your own routes, and I still wish you well. For those that do, I sincerely hope we get a chance to work and succeed together.
    Mr Vogel, what we're concerned with here is whether or not your publishing house is a good bet for writers. And as you're a vanity publisher and either don't realise it or won't admit it, you don't seem to have any experience or knowledge of trade publishing, and you've made all sorts of mistaken assumptions about publishing on your website, then in my opinion you're probably not a good bet.

    This is not a personal attack: it's your business I'm unhappy about, not you. I'm not concerned about your trustworthiness. Not one bit. I bet your intentions are good, and you really think that your new publishing house is offering writers something interesting and different.

    The problem is that you're one of many people I've seen over the years dive into publishing ventures like this. I know, through bitter experience, how most of these plans play out.

    Irregardless ...
    Ack!

    ... of these conversations, I absolutely love working with writers and, as long as I have the means to, will continue driving AEC Stellar Publishing to being the kind of business that writers can't help but respect and desire to be a part of.

    Best regards,
    Ray
    I hope you achieve your goal. You'll have to stop charging writers money for anything, though, in order to do it.

    I wish you the best of luck.

  24. #24
    A Gentleman of a refined age... thothguard51's Avatar
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    Not to say that you have not received outstanding submissions, but are they truly outstanding enough for a trade publisher to take on? Since I see no evidence that you have ever worked in the publishing business prior to your own publishing attempt, I have serious doubts about the quality of those submissions. I suspect that you are reading as a reader, and not as an editor.

    Publishing a book before its ready not only harms the publisher for the long haul, but the writer as well. Without a house standard, the publisher risk a bad name. The writer will survive because they can improve and go on to self publish if they want, but the publisher lives and dies by the quality of the books they publish.
    Knowledge is learned while wisdom is earned.

    Currently working on...

    From, The Tales of Netherron,
    Book 1, A Game of Pawns
    Book 2, Pawn takes Queen,
    Book 3, Pawn's Gambit,

    In the pipeline,
    Children of Netherron, follow up trilogy
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    Nick Anthony

  25. #25
    Back in the black, & staying there! Marian Perera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond_Vogel View Post
    The "How We Got This Way" page is an opinion piece, nothing more. One intended only to express frustration over the publishing industry as it exists. A lot of folks disagree (some of you, it seems) and many more have agreed with it (perhaps more than they should have), but I'm convinced it's more than rhethoric. Very unfortunately.
    I find verifiable facts convincing. Much more convincing than rhetoric - or, for that matter, opinions that aren't backed up.

    So if you have noticed that publishers have "highly specialized font.... requirements", you could, for instance, provide a link to their submission guidelines, where they ask for fonts that the average writer's Microsoft Word doesn't have.

    If you have dealt with publishers who take all rights for "like, forever", you could back this up with the relevant clause from such a contract.

    But all you have is a vague description of how difficult and unrewarding it is to be published - a description which seems intended to discourage and scare writers too inexperienced to know better - then I don't find your opinion convincing at all.

    I think of a vanity press as one you can pay to publish and market your book. You pay for everything you get, but you also get to keep all the profits. Is there another, better definition I should consider?
    By that definition, even PublishAmerica wouldn't be a vanity press, because its writers get hardly any money, let alone "all the profits".


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