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Thread: [Publishing Svcs] Southern Lion Books

  1. #1
    a demon for tea EMaree's Avatar
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    [Publishing Svcs] Southern Lion Books

    Hello B,R&BC crowd,

    One of our members just mentioned these guys in another thread, and that they charge a fee for publication.

    http://www.southernlionbooks.com/

    To me this looks like a vanity pub trying to hide under the "author services" moniker (they also call it "custom publishing").

    I can't even find their titles "Summer is…" by Mollie Lesnikowski or "Big Jake and the Bonfire" by Charles McClain on Amazon(or anywhere else on google) so distribution seems to be nil.
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  2. #2
    I got it covered Undercover's Avatar
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    They mention examples of what you'd have to pay, if I'm doing my math right in my head, that's robbing the family estate, dear God, how can people pay that much? Oh oh, and of course you can pay in installments? WTF? Okay, let me toil away at a book and have to pay monthly for God only knows how long to have it published. You'd be lucky if you can make one of those payments with your royalty statement...how much more asinine can it get?
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  3. #3
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    Huge red flag:

    We request that only finished manuscripts be submitted for consideration. Sometimes, however, we find that professional editing is needed. If this case, we can refer authors to professional editors (who are also published) for editing services.
    http://www.southernlionbooks.com/ava...-services.html
    "There is only one thing worse than being obliged to sit cross-legged on the grass, and that is being obliged to sit cross-legged on the grass near an ant colony"
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  4. #4
    Formerly Phantom of Krankor. Torgo's Avatar
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    Oh god let's just dip in and see what they say about me and my colleagues:

    Mainstream publishers will typically carry your title in their quarterly catalogue;
    Oh yeah: and also typically they have great big sales and marketing teams selling your books to retailers and the general public. It's not like we put it in a catalogue and just forget about it.

    but, as the author, you are still expected to market—and to publicize—your own book . . .
    You don't have to. You will certainly get extensive publicity support with a decent publisher and not be expected to do that; and you may well get a marketing budget and a marketing team for paid-for promotion. It's always great when authors help out, but not all do.

    and at your own travel expense!
    If I send an author to an event - or actually, if our publicity dept does, because that's the sort of thing they routinely organize - I pay their travel expenses. This is probably less problematic in the relatively tiny UK, where you don't have to fly everywhere.

    Furthermore, unless a title is a real gem, it may not remain on chain bookshelves for very long, so you are back to using your own selling ingenuity to move your book.
    And, what, they've invented a way to keep their books on chain store bookshelves? Glue?

    Also, aside from a few complimentary copies (usually ten), you must pay the same price (usually the 40% discount) as other booksellers to obtain your own books for resale. Yes, academic and traditional presses profit from sales of books to their own authors.
    Makes it sound like we're PublishAmerica or something. It's not a remotely significant part of our business model; it's the sort of thing where an author is doing a thing they've organized themselves at a local school and want a few copies to sell.

    In reality, industrious authors could make more money by buying copes of their own books at discount and re-selling rather than waiting around for the small royalty check to arrive.
    Hahaha. Yeah, suuure.

  5. #5
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    In reality, industrious authors could make more money by buying copes of their own books at discount and re-selling rather than waiting around for the small royalty check to arrive.
    "Copes"? It's probably a good thing that these jokers don't provide editing!
    "There is only one thing worse than being obliged to sit cross-legged on the grass, and that is being obliged to sit cross-legged on the grass near an ant colony"
    Oscar Wilde (citation needed)

  6. #6
    I got it covered Undercover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aliceshortcake View Post
    "Copes"? It's probably a good thing that these jokers don't provide editing!
    I think they sub consciously meant if you can "cope" with getting F*ked over, then yeah.
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  7. #7
    On a small world west of wonder LindaJeanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torgo View Post
    Makes it sound like we're PublishAmerica or something. It's not a remotely significant part of our business model; it's the sort of thing where an author is doing a thing they've organized themselves at a local school and want a few copies to sell.

    Hahaha. Yeah, suuure.
    I've noticed there seems to be a pattern in a lot of these presses:
    1. Author gets f'ed by Publish America
    2. ...yet author still believes PA are a "traditional publishing house" and so assumes the entire publishing market works like PA.
    3. Author decides they can do better and starts their own publisher.
    4. Publisher goes under in six months, because author has no experience beyond, perhaps, some self-publishing, and has no idea how the publishing industry actually works.
    5. Rinse, repeat.
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  8. #8
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torgo View Post
    Makes it sound like we're PublishAmerica or something. It's not a remotely significant part of our business model; it's the sort of thing where an author is doing a thing they've organized themselves at a local school and want a few copies to sell.
    Yeah, if I want more copies beyond my author's freebies (which is generally closer to "a case" than "ten"), I get 'em at wholesale. The money for that ... I don't write a check. The payment is deducted from my next royalty check.

    Selling books individually at flea markets and Christmas bazaars is a lousy use of my time.

  9. #9
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    More gems from the Southern Lion website:

    Most large publishers are not interested in providing personal attention to new authors or projects that are small in scope. There is limited interest in books that are intended for smaller audience; in particular: fiction, poetry, family histories, regional studies, and personal journals.
    There's a limited interest in fiction?!

    Now for the Good News! New authors don’t need a mainstream press to have success. Many authors choose to handle the publishing of their own books as, for example, William Young, who self-published his New York Times bestseller, The Shack. Other famous authors such as John Grisham, Gertrude Stein, Zane Grey, Mark Twain, and Virginia Wolf started their careers by funding their first publications.
    How many times have we read this drivel? The Shack became the subject of a huge legal mess (http://stevelaube.com/the-shack-gets-sued/). John Grisham did not self-publish. Gertrude Stein was already commercially published when her wealthy friend Mabel Dodge paid for the publication of...Portrait of Mabel Dodge at Villa Curonia. Zane Gray self-published a volume of poetry which sank without trace, Mark Twain dabbled in self-publication when he was already world-famous and lost money over it, and Virginia Woolf was self-published in the sense that she and her husband Leonard founded the highly-regarded Hogarth Press.
    Last edited by aliceshortcake; 12-11-2013 at 04:48 PM.
    "There is only one thing worse than being obliged to sit cross-legged on the grass, and that is being obliged to sit cross-legged on the grass near an ant colony"
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  10. #10
    Back in the black, & staying there! Marian Perera's Avatar
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    Torgo, you left out the best part!

    The mainstream publisher has the right to change the name of your book, rework your text, and retain the copyright. Your book becomes their property as long as they want to keep it in print and—for all your hard work—pennies on the dollar in royalties are paid for the privilege of letting someone else have your manuscript.
    Talk about scare tactics. The sad part is that a lot of people really are inexperienced and uninformed enough to believe all this.

    And the comparison they do between the profit you'll make from an actual publisher and the profit you'll make from a "custom publisher" assumes you can personally sell 1000 copies of your book (and that there are no hidden costs beside a $4000 fee for production).


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  11. #11
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    We assist those who want to avoid the confusion, hassle, and extravagant expense that is oftentimes found in the publishing industry.
    They seem to be implying that it's the author who bears the cost of this 'extravagant expense', not the commercial publisher.

    Our editors, designers, and printers believe in personal service, quality workmanship, and customer satisfaction.
    Which editors? Elsewhere on the site potential customers are informed that Southern Lion refers customers to professional editors if their ms isn't sufficiently polished.

    To be fair, many of SL's books are of local interest so it's unlikely that they'll sell large quantities on Amazon. However, they do publish two novels by Ken Zahn which don't appear to be aimed at a local market. I couldn't find the most recent one, The Parlor (2011), on Amazon, but The Grove (2008) has an Amazon ranking of 4,404,491.

    As for selling 1000 copies, that's approximately ten times as many as the average self/vanity-pubbed book sells. It sounds like a bit of a stretch even if the author has a niche market in the form of a local history society.
    "There is only one thing worse than being obliged to sit cross-legged on the grass, and that is being obliged to sit cross-legged on the grass near an ant colony"
    Oscar Wilde (citation needed)

  12. #12
    Formerly Phantom of Krankor. Torgo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Queen of Swords View Post
    Torgo, you left out the best part!
    The worst thing is I dipped in more or less at random. I could fisk all day! Yes, that's classically sleazy scaremongering, isn't it? Ugh.

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