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Thread: Magpie Eclectic Press

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Magpie Eclectic Press

    Hey, does anyone know anything about or have experience with scifi novella publishing through Magpie Eclectic? They seem like a sweet little indie publisher, but I can't find anything about them on Pred&Ed.

  2. #2
    a demon for tea EMaree's Avatar
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    Can't spot any red flags other than their lack of experience -- it's hard to know how they're going to do until they have some titles under their belt.

    They're a Christian speculative fiction small press (highlighting Christian because it's not immediately obvious from the name). They pay royalties. Owner Nichole White is new to the publishing world, but has experience in editing and has a reasonably detailed bio on the 'About Us' page.

    This section on the Submission Guidelines ('Write For Us') page caught my eye, so I'm bolding up for the reference of anyone thinking of submitting:
    Also, please be aware that we anticipate having some readers of a slightly younger age. For that reason we ask that content be kept at a pg-13 rating and down. This accounts for language and sensuality, as well as blood, gore, and violence.
    EDIT: Red flag found. Their author requirements page, linked at the bottom of 'Write For Us', includes this line:
    4) It is a good idea to be prepared for the possibility of being asked to help edit and proof other books that will be published through Magpie Eclectic Press. As we have stressed before, teamwork means a lot to us here, and as a small press, some of our resources are slightly limited. We will do all we possibly can to bring our titles to the top of the list, but we will need our authors' help to do so. Participation in such activities as editing and proofing is not required, but is strongly encouraged, as it will help pull us together as a publishing "family", and hopefully it will be an opportunity for our authors to build more experience in those areas of the publishing world. There may also be opportunities for reimbursement of time spent, but that would be discussed at a later time.
    This is not good. This is really not how a business should operate. You are a writer. You write for them. You don't edit for them on the side as favor to the "family".

    This also implies that books produced by this house may be getting edited by your peers rather than a designated editor. That's a bad thing for a lot of reasons -- it assumes authors have the skills to edit the work of others, which isn't guaranteed, and it underestimates the importance of editing as its own skill.

    ALSO:
    5) At this moment we are offering royalties of 40% of the net profit after printer costs and service provider (or book-seller) cuts from places like Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and physical bookstores. If the book sells from our website rather than a service provider, the royalties are 40% of the net profit after only the printer costs. This generally means more profit for the author if the book doesn't go through a service provider. This percent of royalties is more than what many, many other publishers are offering, and much more than what is generally offered through one of the big 6 publishing houses. We will also offer you a token advance with your contract that sits somewhere around $10 to $20 dollars against your royalties. You will start getting paid after we hit the breakeven point for production cost.
    Royalties of net are not standard. I know a few small pubs do net royalties but they way they emphasize how much better this is than "many, many other publishers" makes me uneasy.
    I do appreciate that they describe exactly what's deducted off net ("only the printer costs") but I'd make sure this is spelled out in their contract.

    Alssssoooooo:

    After our ARC limit is exhausted, you may of course buy physical copies of your book through our website at an author's discount of 40% off the net profit of the retail price after the printer's cost
    That's... not a thing, is it? To me that doesn't seem to make sense. Can someone with more royalty knowledge advise if that can even be done?
    Last edited by EMaree; 12-16-2013 at 03:41 PM.
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  3. #3
    Formerly Phantom of Krankor. Torgo's Avatar
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    So:

    1) Editing. The press's principal is 24 years old and lists no publishing experience beyond editing for a local literary mag and freelance editing. So I very much doubt she edits to a professional level, and authors may be asked to pitch in and edit other authors' books. You're vanishingly unlikely to be getting any proper editing, then.

    2) Marketing. "There may, however, be an instance when we might approach our authors to see if they would like to split costs with us on certain marketing endeavors (events that are outside of the production of the book and aimed at the marketing of the product itself.) ... Please understand that as a small press, it is our job to make our books available through as many channels as possible and most of the marketing will be done online. Because of this, you will also need to promote your own book on your own time as much as you possibly can, for truly your efforts in publicizing and advancing your book will be the deciding factor of whether you stand or fall." So it looks like all the marketing is going to be online blah on blogs and things, and you have to do it largely yourself, and may even be asked to pay.

    3) Pay. Ten bucks against a royalty paid on profits after the (presumably expensive) POD print costs... and royalties only paid once the publisher starts making money?

    I mean, I just don't quite understand what's supposed to be the attraction here compared to just doing it through Createspace or something. What is this press going to be doing to add value? I can't see anything remotely attractive about giving 60% of profits away to a firm that isn't going to edit properly, isn't going to market effectively, and wants to pay a derisory advance.

  4. #4
    a demon for tea EMaree's Avatar
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    I'm not comfortable with the fact that the only link to all these important points seem almost hidden as the very bottom of the lengthy "Write for Us".

    The submissions guidelines link at the bottom of the author requirements page is defunct.

    I'm assuming they haven't quite finished their website construction. Hopefully when the submission guidelines go live they'll also work on tidying up the "Write for Us" page and more clearly linking it to the author requirements (just putting Author Reqs as a link in the top nav bar would be useful).
    Last edited by EMaree; 12-16-2013 at 05:35 PM.
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  5. #5
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    So I'm still watching this press, because I started my own business myself when I was 22, so I feel sympathetic for people who are starting off brand new like this. It sucks being young and being told that because you're young you're probably not good at what you do. And you may not be. Or you may be. Who knows. It's a unique place.

    So I'm kind of happy to see not only is her press still alive two years later--an achievement in and of itself--they've got books in B&N now. https://www.facebook.com/MagpieEclecticPress When she started out, I kind of agreed with the idea that well, she's not offering much that self-pubbing via Createspace can't offer, but now B&N, that's a bit harder for a self-pubber to get into. Nice! I might check out their anthology for short stories, when it comes out, to see what kind of quality they've got in their authors' writing.

    ALSO the new covers for her recent titles are WAY nicer than some small fantasy presses I've seen.

    So yeah, red flags have been noted, and I don't have anything I want to submit to them at this point, but I think that in the future this little press might do some great things. Who knows--it's tough out there.
    Last edited by petrepan; 06-02-2015 at 07:03 PM.

  6. #6
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