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Thread: aois21 publishing, LLC

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    aois21 publishing, LLC

    Hi, my name is Keith F. Shovlin and I released Polk's Soliloquy in 2010 and Life's Penance in 2012. After writing two books and becoming friends with other self-published authors, I've decided to launch my own publishing company, aois21 publishing, and am now running our first Kickstarter. I have already signed four other authors and have a staff of editors, graphic designers, and marketers. We're using social media to promote our author's work and making it available on every market out there. Additionally, we are launching an annual magazine that will showcase short form work by our staff and authors, including poetry, short stories, photography and excerpts from long-form writings. Check us out at aois21.com, or help support our Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...l-new-releases

    We are also always in need of editors, so if you're interested in part-time, as needed work, message us at review@aois21.com.

    If you're looking for a publisher and are willing to work with a start up specializing in eBooks, then message us at pub@aois21.com.

  2. #2
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    You're selling services to writers, which is a direct conflict of interests if you're also offering publication.

    You're offering editing for just $50 which implies to me that you're either not paying your editors appropriately, or you're using editors which aren't of a very high calibre (with all due respect to them).

    The front page of your website is a mess. You need to have it totally redesigned if you want to look professional.

    Your cover designs are amateurish.


    The writing on your site is clunky, and if you're publishers, why are you saying this?

    We Are

    What we are, first and foremost, is a marketing company.
    I skimmed through your "creatives" page and didn't spot anyone with any significant experience in trade publishing, but I did find this little gem:

    Our company Founder, Executive Officer and Chief Creative, Keith is originally from Beaver, PA, just north of Pittsburgh, he currently lives in Alexandria, VA, with his wife and family. He moved to the DC area in 2002 to finish his Bachelor's at American University. After writing for various newspapers from high school through college, he endeavored to explore the imaginary and try his hand at writing fiction. His first novel, Polk's Soliloquy, was as much a labor of love and a grand experiment for me. He has numerous writing projects of various length he is looking forward to complete. He likes to write as a release and most of his more personal stuff stays that way, while others become part of the stories he writes.
    My bold.

    Oh dear.

    Under your "submissions" page I found this:

    At present we are only considering submissions from previously self-published authors looking to expand their distribution network through ePublishing or need help with marketing and promotion. All submissions are private and will only be shared within company staff prior to acceptance of submission. If accepted, authors will be asked to sign a letter of agreement based on the appropriate level of promotion and distribution necessary. This agreement will include a confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement. We hope to be able to develop new titles in the near future.
    • We do not "buy" books. We sign agreements to distribute and promote them with authors. Since we are new in the publishing field, we are unable to give authors advances or purchase manuscripts at this time.
    If you don't buy (or even "buy") books (and I think you mean you don't license publishing rights) then you're not a publisher. At best you're offering distribution services: but the only thing you're offering to writers which they cannot do for themselves is a position on your sales page. And my guess is that no one is going to sell many books from your website: the majority of sales are going to come from Amazon.

    I'm going to pass on this one.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by aois21 View Post
    Additionally, we are launching an annual magazine that will showcase short form work by our staff and authors, including poetry, short stories, photography and excerpts from long-form writings.
    Red flag for me, to some degree. More a feel, rather than something spelled out.

    A publisher should be about authors, not staff. And while a magazine makes sense from a marketing standpoint, I suppose, it seems as if authors should get their showcase from books the publisher prints; not small-time, feel-good exposure.

    (My 2 cents.)
    Last edited by Ken; 04-13-2014 at 05:11 PM.

  4. #4
    Proud Literary Sadist justbishop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hack View Post
    The front page of your website is a mess. You need to have it totally redesigned if you want to look professional.
    SO MUCH THIS.

    If you are aiming to be a commercial entity, PLEASE for the love, pay the $9/year for a domain name and $5/mo for hosting, and ditch the free host website builder crap.

    And OH knows her stuff in regard to everything else she said. This isn't looking like a good idea from any angle.
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  5. #5
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    (Just a note that this was originally posted in New Members before being moved/copied here and to Non-Paying Markets.)
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  6. #6
    practical experience, FTW cornflake's Avatar
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    Why launch a "publishing company" before you even have the website through basic editing? The titles page is a mess - there are errors in the descriptions, one title is listed twice, etc.

    I don't understand what this service is -

    Basic Promotion and Distribution - We convert your manuscript to eBook, use your existing cover design, and distribute to all available eBook markets, including the aois21 market, powered by PayPal. Full eBook conversion, an ISBN for eBook, and setup costs are included at no charge. We will provide low-level social media promotion, based on your desires, and you will be included in all aois21 promotions. Cost: 10% of each sale. Best for Self-Published authors looking to expand their reach!
    The writer has an ms. and cover and you put it up on Amazon, etc., for 10% of each sale? It just smacks of taking such advantage of someone who might be confused enough not to realize that this is akin to saying you'll come over and move the sorted, bagged trash someone has put outside two feet closer to the curb, for a price.

    As someone upthread noted, a $50 editing service (that doesn't even mention what kind of editing) is terrifying.
    Last edited by cornflake; 04-13-2014 at 08:18 PM.

  7. #7
    Just the facts, please
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    With respect, the vibe your company projects is that of a group of college pals and coworkers who want to publish each others' stuff and give everyone a fancy title to look good on a resume. What publishing experience do you have?

    Agree on the editing. The site is a mess. Doesn't make me want to entrust you with my work.
    Last edited by JournoWriter; 04-13-2014 at 08:04 PM.

  8. #8
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Thank you all for your feedback. As we move towards officially launching later this year, we will iron out many of the details you identified.

  9. #9
    Just the facts, please
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    You are already publishing books, are you not? What constitutes an official launch?

  10. #10
    empty-nester! shadowwalker's Avatar
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    Can't help but think these details should have been ironed out before you started announcing the thing.
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  11. #11
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aois21 View Post
    Thank you all for your feedback. As we move towards officially launching later this year, we will iron out many of the details you identified.
    You can't iron out the fact that you don't have any appropriately experienced people on board. You can't iron out the fact that your business is under-capitalised. You can't iron out the fact that you are already publishing books.

    By all means work together with your friends to publish each other's books. But please don't publish anyone else's. There's too much at stake for the writers you sign up.

  12. #12
    Geek Unique LeslieB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hack View Post
    You can't iron out the fact that you don't have any appropriately experienced people on board. You can't iron out the fact that your business is under-capitalised. You can't iron out the fact that you are already publishing books.

    By all means work together with your friends to publish each other's books. But please don't publish anyone else's. There's too much at stake for the writers you sign up.
    I have to second this. The index is full of companies started by a group of self-publishers that went splat and took other writers' dreams with them.

    I'm not trying to be mean, but self-publishing experience is not the same as experience in the trade publishing industry. Places like this are the equivalent of saying, "I've fixed my toilet, and Joe has stopped a leak under his sink. Let's start a plumbing company! We have no professional grade tools, and no idea how a plumbing company is run, but what could go wrong?"

    What can, and has many times, go wrong is that writers are left with their books in legal limbo when their publisher folds up their website and stops answering the phone. Even if the publisher does things the proper way, first publishing rights are gone. So please, use this time with your friends to learn. Figure out how the industry really works, then come back in a couple of years and ask strangers to trust you with their book.
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  13. #13
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    This can be an amazing adventure, if you take the time to learn how other publishers did it right - or wrong. If it's just your work and your friends' at risk, you have far less to worry about than if you start taking open submissions.

    New writers often don't know the questions to ask, so it will be up to you to define what risks/rewards your company offers. If you open up submissions, be prepared to have more of them than you know what to do with. And be prepared to say 'No.' A lot.

    Back in the nineties a friend and I started a private 'zine mostly as a joke, and to publish our own short fiction. The mailing addy got leaked through one fan site, and in less than two months we had several dozen submissions. We could have said 'yes' to a few, but did the responsible thing and explained to everyone we were not an open market. We had no business publishing anyone else's stuff.
    Last edited by Filigree; 04-15-2014 at 04:43 PM.

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  14. #14
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    It has been a busy few months as we officially launched in May, completed our Kickstarter, filed our paperwork with the state, and held our launch party on Memorial Day weekend.
    Our busy summer of promotion is coming to a close and we are now working to release our first literary magazine, the aois21 annual. We are accepting submissions through the end of August, and will release the first issue in late September.
    We are taking a break from book submissions until the annual is complete, but will reopen our book submission period in October.
    Check out http://submissions.aois21.com for our submissions policies and to submit for the first aois21 annual!
    Last edited by aois21; 08-26-2014 at 05:42 AM. Reason: Clarity

  15. #15
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    Can you be more specific about payment? "A share of the royalties" is pretty vague.
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  16. #16
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    The share of royalties cannot be specified until we are certain of the number of submissions. It will be an equal percentage among non-aois21 authors, no matter the submission.

  17. #17
    practical experience, FTW cornflake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aois21 View Post
    It's been a busy few months as we officially launched in May, completing our Kickstarter, filing our paperwork with the state, and holding our launch party on Memorial day weekend.
    Our busy summer of promotion is coming to a close and we are now working to release our first literary magazine, the aois21 annual. We are accepting submissions through the end of August, and are planning to release the first issue in late September.
    We are taking a break from book submissions until the annual is complete, but will reopen our book submission period in October.
    Check out http://submissions.aois21.com for our submissions policies and to submit for the first aois21 annual!
    Honest to god, you couldn't even edit that page before you came here and posted it?

    Also, you can't discuss what percentage of royalties until you know how many ... submissions there will be? What?

    Also also, those are your corporate partners?!
    Last edited by cornflake; 08-25-2014 at 12:20 AM.

  18. #18
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Updating URL: https://aois21.squarespace.com/

    In 12/15, added "self-publishing" imprint, ePress21.
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  19. #19
    phoenix blazing Parametric's Avatar
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    Anyone notice anything about this image which appears on the home page under the heading "self publishers"?

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