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Thread: FireGoat Publishing / FireGoat Books

  1. #1
    figuring it all out emily's Avatar
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    FireGoat Publishing / FireGoat Books

    Anyone heard anything about FireGoat? They appear to be a small Portland-based press, but they also seem to be so new that I can't find anything written about them anywhere.

    I sent them a query and Gaia requested the full manuscript two weeks later. Haven't heard back on that (it's only been a week), but I'm wondering if querying such an unknown publisher was a good idea at all.

    Any thoughts?

    Here's their website:
    http://firegoatpublishing.net

    Thanks!
    Last edited by emily; 04-28-2014 at 07:25 AM.

  2. #2
    I got it covered Undercover's Avatar
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    umm, you've been waiting a week only? That's a spit's time in the publishing world. I've been waiting 9 months on one. Some are sooner some are later....way way later. I'd give this place some time. They don't even have any books up yet. Wouldn't you be worried about what the cover will look like? I mean, what if it's shitty? Granted, their covers might be premo. Again, I would wait and see what they produce first.

    Unless there's a parent company you can refer to, that is.
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  3. #3
    Just another face in a red jumpsuit shelleyo's Avatar
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    They're too new to judge. They haven't published anything yet, with nothing to look at from a coming soon list. It's kind of like Shrödinger's publisher, pregnant with the possibility of both failure and success.

    They seem to be a small group of book lovers. They refer to themselves as both dedicated and passionate bibliophiles. I'd rather see a small group of experienced and successful writers, editors, publishers, marketers, etc. than just people who love books. Enthusiasm is lovely, don't get me wrong. But it's no indication of whether or not they can do business. Only time will tell that tale. I'm never overcome with optimism when love of books seems to be the only thing stressed on a new publisher's site--it's an incredibly common thing they stress when there are no other qualifications or experience. Just something I've noticed time and again.

    If they have experience in the industry, they'd say so. And if they don't, how can they benefit your book? And are you willing to risk a bad experience by submitting this early on? I wouldn't be, but I'm incredibly risk averse. Those are some of the questions you should ask yourself before submitting.

    Bookmark it and check back later. Give them time to make bad choices or good before you commit the care of your hard work to them (IMO).
    Last edited by shelleyo; 04-08-2014 at 03:23 PM.
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  4. #4
    Back in the black, & staying there! Marian Perera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emily View Post
    I sent them a query and Gaia Tsarjova requested the full manuscript two weeks later. Haven't heard back on that (it's only been a week), but I'm wondering if querying such an unknown publisher was a good idea at all.
    Speaking for myself, I would never query a publisher which hadn't been in business at least two years. The failure rate is just too high, even for publishers which start out strong. Just do a search in this forum for Kunati or Quartet... their threads are shorter than Musa's.

    As for FireGoat, I'm not impressed. Their reasons for why writers should choose them? First, they care about your work. That's very nice, but it's like saying "We make your dreams come true". Easy to claim, but meaningless in and of itself.

    The second reason is,

    Because we’re a small team of dedicated bibliophiles, you’ll receive a level of personal care and attention that larger companies simply can’t match. Instead of working with four, five, six people or more over the course of publishing your book, you’ll work closely with one or two of our editors to get your book polished and ready for the market.
    I'm published by a larger company and I haven't worked with four, five, six, seven, eight or nine people. I've worked closely with my editor (and, to a less close extent, with the final line editor). Then again, I don't need "personal care and attention". I need people who know what they're doing when it comes to editing, cover art, distribution and marketing.

    It's easy to say "we're dedicated, we publish quality fiction, we care about your book". Where's the evidence to back this up? Where are the books they've published or the bios of the editors to show where they've worked before? Where's the cover artist's website?

    Publishers this new and inexperienced are, at best, a "wait and see" for me.
    Last edited by Marian Perera; 04-08-2014 at 04:37 PM.


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  5. #5
    a demon for tea EMaree's Avatar
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    Their Why Choose Us? post mentions they have a cover artist. They'er not listed on the About Us page, though, which is a crying shame -- an artist's portfolio would help establish what to expect from future covers.

    Quote Originally Posted by shelleyo View Post
    Bookmark it and check back later. Give them time to make bad choices or good before you commit the care of your hard work to them (IMO).
    This is solid advice, as is the rest of Shelleyo's post.
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  6. #6
    figuring it all out emily's Avatar
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    Thank you for your responses. The concerns you've all expressed are the same as mine and I know I pulled the trigger way too fast in querying them without doing my research.

    Any advice on what I should do now? This is the only publisher I've submitted to and I want to go back to looking for an agent. Do I need to tell FireGoat I withdraw my novel from consideration? There has been no offer. Furthermore, should I tell agents that I've submitted to this one publisher? I know agents like to know these things, but they are so small, I would think no agent would be pitching to them anyway. Or would they be enticed by knowing a publisher, however small, was interested?

    I love my story dearly and I don't want to give it to inexperienced people just for the sake of being published. I'm just not sure how to fix this situation. Thank you all so much for your help.

  7. #7
    Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. kaitie's Avatar
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    I'd probably withdraw the sub, but even if you didn't, it probably isn't going to matter much. Even if they accepted it, you wouldn't have to take the contract.

    I also don't think an agent would care. They're such a new press and so tiny that it's not really going to be on their radar. The main reason agents need to know is so that they don't sub to the same press, and I just can't see that happening. If you actually are in talks to sign with an agent, then you could mention that on a whim you subbed there (and withdrew it, if you did).

    It's not really a serious problem right now. The good thing is just figuring out that it was a bad idea before contracts were signed.


  8. #8
    Just another face in a red jumpsuit shelleyo's Avatar
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    You don't ever need to mention it to an agent. No agent is ever going to submit your book to this publisher. If you find one that does, you don't want that agent.
    "Now, come on, as you guys get older you'll realize people don't mean to be obnoxious, it's just that they're all screwed up inside." -- Joel, MST3K, Gamera

  9. #9
    figuring it all out emily's Avatar
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    Thank you all so much for your input! I'm glad I haven't made an irreversible mistake, but I'll know now to do more research before I query.

  10. #10
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Lots more research, Emily. In addition to AW, you'll find some crossovers with the resource names above by checking out Writer Beware, Preditors & Editors, Piers Anthony's 'Hi Piers' blog, and the publishing blog 'Making Light'. (There are many others, these just come to mind now.)

    Be cautious of publishers and agents you find advertised in writers' magazines. Some are quite legitimate and reputable - others, not so much.

    Google 'Publisher name, complaints' to see if anything shows up in search engines.

    If you want to drill down deeper on a publisher that has already released books, fill in their name on the search bar at www.salesrankexpress.com, and see an estimate of their Amazon sales rank. The higher the number, the lower the sales; anything with 1,000,000+ Amazon rank is probably selling in the single digits per year. If a publisher has too many of these low-selling books, they may not be effective at marketing what they produce.

    Amazon isn't the only market, of course. Sometimes publishers say they're selling like gangbusters through their own website portal. You can get an estimate of how popular their website is by pasting their website address into the search window at Alexa.com, a large internet analytics site. If not that many people are visiting a publishers's site, some of their 'sales' may be coming from their own authors purchasing copies to hand-sell. It's not a bad thing for authors to do their own promotional sales, but beware publishers who want to make you do it all AND take part of your royalties anyway. Especially if they want you to pay upfront fees, too, or levy after-publication purchase requirements.

    Look up their authors on social media and see what they post about their publisher and their writing journey. Writers can be chatty people, and their comments can reveal satisfaction, anger, or confusion if you read carefully.

    Look up their owners and editors on social media, to see how they handle themselves in public.

    Look up a publisher's authors on Amazon and see what else they have published: either before, concurrently, or after their association with the target publisher. If too many authors show signs of falling for notorious vanity publishers and other scams, it's a fair bet they'll do so again - and you may need a closer look at the target publisher's business model.

    Likewise, look to see if an author has too many gushing 5-star reviews on Amazon, B&N, and other vendors - and pay close attention to reviewers' names. Sometimes an author's friends and family post reviews. Their 'agent' might post reviews, sometimes not even under a sockpuppet name. Authors will even post reviews of their own book. In short, a lot of these tags can indicate a book that may not actually merit its glowing praise...or is at least not reaching a market beyond its author's friends and family.

    Find out where the publisher is registered as a physical business, and check city and state court records to see if they've been involved in any legal action. Check their state's Corporation Commission or the equivalent to see if their business filings are in order. Google the names of the publisher's owners/organizers to see if they've had other businesses.

    There are people here on AW who will often do this as a matter of course, while researching a publisher. Knowing how to do it yourself is a good skill.

    When another writer mentored me in 2010, she said, "How long did it take you to write your book? Two months? A year? You should spend at least a month researching publishers, otherwise you're just blindly throwing darts and hoping for a win."
    Last edited by Filigree; 04-08-2014 at 09:35 PM.

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  11. #11
    figuring it all out emily's Avatar
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    Thank you, thank you Filigree! This will really help me with what to look for.

  12. #12
    Back in the black, & staying there! Marian Perera's Avatar
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    My other Rule Of Two is that if I'm planning to submit to a press, I have to read at least two books that they've put out.

    No books? No submission.


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  13. #13
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Oh, yes, and always check out their books on Smashwords or the Amazon Look Inside feature. No sample text, no go. From the samples you can see editing, formatting, and writing quality.

    A lot of vanity presses and inexperienced but well-meaning publishers will take on work that isn't up to commercial standard. If the target publisher does this, think how your work will be edited - and how it will look sharing the same publisher as something that just wasn't ready for Prime Time.

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  14. #14
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Updating URL: http://www.firegoatpublishing.com/

    Went on hiatus April '15. No further activity yet (nor anything published).
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