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Thread: Little Bird Publishing House

  1. #1
    #Soon TNK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Little Bird Publishing House

    These guys just followed me on twitter. I was curious about them, so I took a look at their site. Several things bothered me, so I checked for a thread here. I didn't find one, so I decided to post this.

    Forgive me if I somehow missed an existing thread.

    Here's their website:

    According to their site they launched in 2010 and I think they're based in London. The only name I can find on the site, besides the few authors, is a Katie Rackham. She apparently looks at submissions and provides an editing service to indie authors through the company.

    Though Google tells me the company was started by a Katie M. John, who is also one of their authors.

  2. #2
    Learning to read more, post less JustSarah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    I was recently followed by them as well. One thing that stuck out is, they say they are in no position to pay the author. Also they ask for 25% on sales.

    There are other ways to scam authors besides fees, though I wont say they are right away.

    Also, why would a publisher contact you? Normally I think of you send the query, they see if they are interested. If so, they look at first five pages. Then it goes from there. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    Someone in the industry may know more than I.
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  3. #3
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Oop North
    From Katie John's LinkedIn profile:

    I am a U.K No.1 bestselling author of the Young Adult series, 'The Knight Trilogy' and a stand alone novel called 'Beautiful Freaks'. I am currently working on a seven book series. Represented by Little Bird Publishing House.

    I have been part of the independent publishing community for the last four years and provide support, mentoring and workshops for authors who wish to publish independently.

    I am a founder member of Little Bird Publishing House, a London based ethical independent publishing company specialising in anthologies and the publication of Young Adult Literature.
    I'm always a bit dubious about people who describe themselves as 'number one bestselling authors' when they really mean 'Amazon sub-category bestselling authors'.

    From the LBPH website:

    We believe that authors who write great stories should receive the majority of the profits from their work. We also believe that writers should be writing and not having to compromise their time with worries about high end publishing.
    What do they mean by 'worries about high end publishing'?

    We invest time and skills into your book without you having to spend a single penny (or cent). This kind of investment means that we hold a personal interest and financial stake in your book. Basically your success is our success. We don't make money unless you do. We call that partnership.
    But...isn't that what commercial publishers do?

  4. #4
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    New York

    A Respectable Publisher

    So, this author/publisher, a (very) small-press, follows someone on Twitter, and y'all tear them apart with no actual experience with them? Digging through a personal LinkedIn profile? Was anyone randomly solicited, or just 'followed'?

    The website is quite up-front and honest:
    "We are a NO FEES publisher. We take on 3-5 authors a year, and although we are not yet in a position to pay advances, we will critical-edit work, create cover art, provide an ISBN, create a website and publish in both digital and print form for NO FEES. We work with the author, acting as their marketing buddy on a shared profit basis for a 3 year term. Your success is our success."

    I submitted a short story to them for an anthology, and had a wonderful experience. There was excellent communication, and I was paid for my story. I was not asked for any fees for editing or otherwise.

    We all need to give small presses the benefit of a doubt before publicly criticizing. Its hard enough in today's industry.
    Last edited by fright4kids; 07-09-2014 at 12:39 AM.

  5. #5
    Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. kaitie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Or the Master. Whatever.
    Being critical is how we prevent authors from getting screwed. They can be screwed by someone who is well intentioned but under-capitalized or inexperienced just as well as by a scam, for what it's worth.

    Every publisher is given the same treatment when they get here. This one might turn out to be fine, but every publisher is looked at for things like experience, quality of product, distribution, and conflicts of interest.

    This one has a pretty serious conflict of interest as it provides services to authors for a fee. If there was a statement that none of their published authors were allowed to use those services and vice versa, it might be something that could be less of a conflict, but as it stands, it's a pretty serious issue.

    There is also the fact that, as far as I can tell, there is nothing about the experience of the people running the place, which usually indicates that there isn't any. People with actual industry experience don't hide it.

    Honestly, it looks to me like a well-meaning startup by authors, but that certainly doesn't make it a good idea for writers. I'd like to know who is involved, what their experience is, and how many books they sell. Not to mention what their distribution is (looks like online only).

    None of those questions are unfair. They're necessary to make a good decision. Honestly, from my first glance, I'm not sure it's better than self-publishing. 35% of their cut from Amazon isn't a ton of money when publishing it yourself on Amazon would net you quite a bit more. Now, if you disagree and think they're worth taking a chance, go for it.

    However, I take it you have some kind of vested interest with this press.


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