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Thread: SparkPoint Studio / SparkPress / She Writes Press

  1. #1
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    SparkPoint Studio / SparkPress / She Writes Press

    http://www.shewrites.com/profiles/bl...nd-createspace

    Obviously when all is said and done you will want to know how this all breaks down along financial lines. SWP’s package is $3900. Because this doesn’t include publicity, we are recommending that our authors either purchase our marketing-publicity booster at $1000, or hire a publicist for a campaign, which generally ranges from about $3000-$5000 for the publicists we recommend on our site.


    Lot of comments here:
    http://www.thepassivevoice.com/10/20...pace/#comments


    PG asks the question, “Is She Writes Press a vanity publisher?”

    One clue would be the first question in the She Writes Press FAQ’s: “Why should I consider SWP over other popular self-publishing options like LSI, CreateSpace, or the Author Solutions options, like iUniverse or Balboa (Hay House’s self-publishing division)?”

    Another clue would be that an author pays at least $3900 up front plus “SWP takes a distribution, management, and warehousing fee of 30% of net sales on all print books sold and 20% on all e-books sold.”

  2. #2
    A Gentleman of a refined age... thothguard51's Avatar
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    And those who provide services to self publishers are the ones making all the money, even if only for a little while...
    Knowledge is learned while wisdom is earned.

    Currently working on...

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by thothguard51 View Post
    And those who provide services to self publishers are the ones making all the money, even if only for a little while...
    This isn't self-publishing. It's vanity publishing through and through.

    The author pays $3900 (+$1000 if you want to add the publicity package) to this publisher She Writes Press in order to publish. The publisher then release the book and will take a 30% cut on print book and 20% cut on ebook.


    With self-publishing, you are the publisher and you get 100% of the proceeds. You can hire out editing and cover design. Some don't. But most successful self-publishers do.

    There is a world of difference between self-publishing and vanity publishing.

    There are thousands of successful self-publishers out there. Are there many successful vanity publishing authors?

  4. #4
    A Gentleman of a refined age... thothguard51's Avatar
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    Define successful?
    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
    Guardians of Netherron, prequel trilogy

    http://nickanthony51.wordpress.com (on hiatus)

    Nick Anthony

  5. #5
    starting over Marian Perera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thothguard51 View Post
    Define successful?
    No kidding. Some people printed by vanity presses claim definitions like, "Success is the six books purchased by my son for his friends."
    Ghost : Christmas Past. With beta!
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  6. #6
    A Gentleman of a refined age... thothguard51's Avatar
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    Its not just the writers who go with Vanity Presses...

    Self published authors will often time define success as the 5 or 6 books they sell a month, if that, as success. Or the give away that boosted to the top ten on Amazon for 31 minutes on a certain day, as success.

    Those may be personal success stories, but do they truly define success in the market place?

    I don't know...
    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
    Guardians of Netherron, prequel trilogy

    http://nickanthony51.wordpress.com (on hiatus)

    Nick Anthony

  7. #7
    New Fish with very thick scales Emma Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thothguard51 View Post
    Define successful?
    I'm on the average to low end of sales, I suppose, and I sold almost 400 copies of my first ebook in 8 weeks. Last month I sold about 200 (out of 2 'priced' ebooks--so that's a little more than 6 books per month--some sell thousands and a few sell millions over time). But I don't really understand what 'defining success' has to do with spreading the word about a predatory publisher?

    Now that that nonsense is out of the way, thank you writingnewbie for creating this thread. SWP is worse than Publish America IMO.
    Last edited by Emma Clark; 10-11-2013 at 08:07 AM.



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  8. #8
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    The sad thing is that 20 authors have already signed up (and maybe more soon to come). The books are up on Amazon but they are doing very poorly.

    $3900 package x 20 books = $78,000 to She Writes Press. More if people purchased the extra $1000 publicity package.

    Each book that is sold, She Writes Press take 20-30% cut. FOREVER.

    Some really good comments here (I don't want to post the comments for it might be against AW rules)

    http://www.thepassivevoice.com/10/20...comment-134812

    http://www.thepassivevoice.com/10/20...comment-134831

    http://www.thepassivevoice.com/10/20...comment-134833


    And She Writes Warns about Vanity Press
    http://www.shewrites.com/forum/topic...ource=activity
    She Writes: Vanity presses and so-called publishers

    Have you had experience with a vanity press? Want to share that experience? I have met authors who have had nightmare experiences with this sort of publisher. They prey on would-be authors who desperately want to get their book before the public...and fall into the traps.
    If any publisher asks you for a "fee" to take your book to publication, be very wary and careful. Bonafide publishers never ask for money to publish your book.
    Last edited by writingnewbie; 10-11-2013 at 10:51 AM.

  9. #9
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Okay, wow. It appears she has diehard fans and followers, too. I wish 'em well. The article on vanity pubs was a hoot - some people are just irony-blind, I guess.

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  10. #10
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    They're distributed through Ingram Publisher Services, which gives them a leg up on most self-publishing services/vanity publishers. However, beyond that, what you get for your nearly $4,000 doesn't look much different from what's offered by many (cheaper) self-publishing companies. Their basic marketing is a joke; if you want more, you have to pay extra. Ditto for editing (their package provides only proofreading). Good distribution is all very well, but it isn't enough to overcome the disadvantages of an indifferently edited, minimally marketed book.

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  11. #11
    Hagiographically Advantaged AW Moderator HapiSofi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by writingnewbie View Post
    There is a world of difference between self-publishing and vanity publishing.
    There are significant differences. One wishes there were more.
    There are thousands of successful self-publishers out there.
    Statements like that are meaningless, and will remain so until we have better mechanisms for reporting sales.
    Are there many successful vanity publishing authors?
    If "getting their vanity catered to" equals success, there are many of them. If you're asking whether they make money, the answer is that so few of them do that you might as well say "none."
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  12. #12
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    Adding link to home page: http://shewritespress.com/
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  13. #13
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    Exclamation She Writes Press - Beware!

    I wanted to let all writers know about The Racket aka She Writes Press. I sent in my ms for review ($25) and was greenlit for Tier 1 - only 2-3% get greenlit I was told. How excit...hold on. I had a phone call with Brooke Warner and with a straight well voice she tells me they charge $4900 (up from $3900? I ask. Yes, she says) for which she will design a cover, proofread and layout my book for POD or a print run. And they set the book up for digital sales. I already did - taught myself YouTube - and correct, she won't use my files. Can I use my own designer? No. Then she highly recommends I shell out another $3-15k for a publicist. And they're backlogged so we're looking at a 2017 release (backlog? who are these zombies drinking the kool aid?). And a couple success stories include sales of #3-5k books - who give a flying. Anyway yes they are a vanity press and for whatever reason people are flocking to them. Oh and if you're Tier 2 or 3 you get to pay hourly rates to have your book whipped into shape and then you get the honor of paying another $4900 etc. Disgusting. Brooke came from Seal Press which is a reputable mid-tier press so why she's become a snake oil saleswoman is a mystery. Good luck y'all.

  14. #14
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Seal Press is indeed reputable... it's surprising and sad that anyone with previous work experience there would move into vanity publishing.

  15. #15
    Becoming a laptop-human hybrid Fuchsia Groan's Avatar
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    I'm surprised and dismayed to be reading all this. Ditto by what I read on the press' website, where a $4900 package is described as the sole option.

    In the past few months, I've received two SheWrites ARCs for review in our newspaper (local authors). Usually I check out publishers carefully, but in this case, both the covers and design looked professional, so I assumed SW was a reputable small press.

    The book I read (this one) was actually pretty decent. Women's fic isn't my thing, but I thought it was a solid enough example of the genre, plus I didn't notice any grammar errors or stylistic infelicities (which is unusual for me).

    The other book I sent to a freelance reviewer, who liked it. That one has a positive review from Booklist, and the author's nonfiction has been published in well-known magazines.

    So, in short, SW's business model confuses me. If these two books are representative (which of course they may not be), then they really are "curating" their list, as they claim to do. Their 2013 catalog has 23 titles, and their 2014 catalog has just 16.

    But that could also be because the enormous fee puts people off submitting. The last thing I want to do is shill for these folks, but I can say the products I've seen were pretty good. Which, again, confuses me, because huge up-front fees are paired in my mind with Contempt for the Author.

    I realize there's a whole theory of "curated self-publishing" or whatnot behind it, and maybe they really are offering decent editorial services. But this would not be my choice as a publishing option, and it makes me feel a bit conflicted about the books. Since they stand on their own merits, we'll still review them.

    Anyone else have recent experiences with them?

    ETA: Their website is strongly oriented toward writers, not prospective readers.
    Last edited by Fuchsia Groan; 02-15-2015 at 10:23 PM.
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  16. #16
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    SparkPress / SparkPoint Studio

    New here and couldn't find when I did a search...wondering if anyone knows about Sparkpress. They're calling themselves a "hybrid publisher." I self pubbed my first book and a year or so ago saw a few of their authors previously self pubbed and then re-released their books with Sparkpress. I'd looked into their site and definitely seemed legit, emailed one of their authors as well who seemed pretty happy but I didn't end up submitting. I'm considering small presses for my next book, so just looked again and now their site says ...

    We charge a $50 submission fee in order to assess whether or not your work is ready for publication. This is part of Sparkpress's vetting process, which we strongly believe will ensure the quality of your project and our ongoing list.

    Definitely raises red flags and I'm just curious what the deal is. They also appear to have merged with (or bought?) Shewrites Press which always seemed like a vanity publisher to me, so maybe they're changing to match She Writes? When I researched them originally, you definitely didn't have to pay anything. Thanks.

  17. #17
    Independent fluffy puppy. Osulagh's Avatar
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    http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=129915

    And there's notable others like that.

    The bottom line:

    There's already a ton of publishers who you can submit for free, who are far more reputable and well known, who know that they are buying your product to make money from--not the other way around. There's no reason not to submit to them, and surely if you run through that "free" list there's probably something wrong with your submission or book.

    There should be no reason for a writer to pay a publisher to read a book--hell, a small publisher should be begging to read work on a regular basis. Work submitted to them is possible books to make money from.

    Paying money doesn't show that the author is ready to publish. The query letter and the writing itself should. If the publisher has to be wooed with money, well, you can already tell how bad that is. Instead it shows the publisher's wishes to either scam or just to make a quick buck. There are no terms and conditions, there is nothing you have to receive back. You're giving them money to read a book they--might, if they aren't a scam--make money off of. You are not guaranteed anything in return. Or, good chance they're a vanity and will tell you about their shitty packages past when they know you have money to throw around.

    Pass, run, get away.

  18. #18
    Grr. Argh. Thedrellum's Avatar
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    [Publisher] She Writes Press

    A friend posted an essay by an author bewailing her hard times with agents, and how it finally felt to have her novel published.

    The publisher is She Writes Press, whose default and only publishing package (Alarum!) costs $4900. Don't worry, though, as you get to keep 60% profit from print and 80% from e-books.

    To add insult to injury, they charge a $25 reading fee.

    In good news, their covers aren't bad.

  19. #19
    Becoming a laptop-human hybrid Fuchsia Groan's Avatar
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    I started a thread for this a while back after I received one of their books for review.

    It was a local author, so I ended up reading the book. It was actually pretty good, something I can imagine seeing sold by the Big Five as women's fiction, and seemed professionally edited. So it's possible that they are selective in acquisitions, as they claim. However, this is just one data point, and I personally am not persuaded by the arguments the company's owner makes for her business model. If the books are all of publishable quality, it seems to me like the authors would be better off self-publishing (assuming trade publishing is off the table). One author explained to me that she was a busy professional who could afford the fee and had no time to self-publish. Fair enough. But there are cheaper options.

    Anyway, they seem to have several authors from my (tiny) state on their roster, so I am curious about them.
    Last edited by Fuchsia Groan; 06-04-2016 at 08:59 AM.
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    "Taut storytelling and believable characters make this a standout mystery" — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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