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Thread: For Beginners Publishing, LLC

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    For Beginners Publishing, LLC

    For Beginners is currently looking for talented writers to further develop our series of "how to" or "beginner" style books. Due to the nature of these books, we seek someone who has knowledge of a certain topic or a special skill that they are able to teach others through writing. If you have the knowledge base and are an avid researcher, then you might just be the person we are looking for.

    If you are interested, please visit our recruiting website at www.forbeginnerspublishing.com or send your information (with resume, any writing samples, your requested writing topic, etc) to contact(at)forbeginnerspublishing(dot)com.

    NOTE: Please allow 7-10 business days for a response

  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW Abderian's Avatar
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    I think you should also mention that you charge $180 to publish a book (provided it meets your quality standards). The writer can have this fee refunded if she manages to supply 5 purchases and reviews, but how you verify the writer has supplied these isn't made clear.

  3. #3
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by forbeginners View Post
    For Beginners is currently looking for talented writers to further develop our series of "how to" or "beginner" style books. Due to the nature of these books, we seek someone who has knowledge of a certain topic or a special skill that they are able to teach others through writing. If you have the knowledge base and are an avid researcher, then you might just be the person we are looking for.

    If you are interested, please visit our recruiting website at www.forbeginnerspublishing.com or send your information (with resume, any writing samples, your requested writing topic, etc) to contact(at)forbeginnerspublishing(dot)com.

    NOTE: Please allow 7-10 business days for a response
    Ummm...there's this, quoted directly from the website:

    Q. How much does it cost me?
    A. The process of publishing a book is not cheap, just a single ISBN alone costs $125. Add in the time and energy of the team that edits, formats, designs the cover, gets it published and then markets and advertises on your behalf, and there is literally thousands of dollars invested. To make sure writers are serious about their opportunity, we charge $180 per writer, per book to become published.


    Q. When do I have to pay?
    A. You don’t have to pay until the book is actually printed and available on the market, and then you have 60 days. Of course, if you rather keep your money, we have an easy option to waive the entire $180 fee!


    Q. So, how do I keep my $180?
    Since success requires a team effort of the publisher and the author, we want to help encourage the writer to stay involved. Once the book is published, their role isn’t over! Getting a book started so it make sales takes a serious amount of effort, and there is no better way than at the grass-roots level. So, if the writer can provide 5 reviews on Amazon (must be “amazon verified purchase” reviews), we will waive the $180. Get family, friends, colleauges, independent reviewers, etc to buy a book and you get to keep $36/review. Generally, friends and family will want to buy a book anyway, so now you’ve got a reason to encourage them, plus, you’ll get a royalty on all those sales anyway!


    Sorry, but this gives the whole enterprise a specious feel.
    Last edited by mrsmig; 05-13-2014 at 01:57 AM.
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  4. #4
    Your Pixie Queen Kerosene's Avatar
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    So, let me get this straight: You make the writer pay you $180 dollars for you to publish the book, they get 10% of the profit, then you force them to get others to buy the book and review it to release the held-captive monies back to them. You will only publish on Amazon--stated several times for internet only distributors. You make some reference that you'll be printing, but I'm guessing that you're having Amazon do it for you (this is where you say you're putting the 90% of the profit into). Even if the contract is signed, you can just not publish the book--which means the $180 your forced the writer to fork over can't be rescued. On top of this, you never talk about your editing, cover design, or marketing plan--I'm willing to bet you're going to make the author pay for this out of their pocket since you can't even afford the ISBN fee, and you'll probably refer them to an "independent" editing/designer who will just be you or your associates on a different email (which is common among scams). And on top of all of this, you're asking for exclusive rights for life.

    If anyone is more knowledgeable on this subject, please correct me if I'm wrong. But this sounds horrible to me.

    I will never sign with a publisher who's not fully willing to back my novel and put an investment in hope that they will be repaid. Golden rule: Money flows to the author.
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  5. #5
    Benefactor Member alexshvartsman's Avatar
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    Could a moderator please review this thread and determine whether it even belongs in this sub-forum? I'm guessing vanity publisher offers shouldn't be listed here.

  6. #6
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Hi Everyone,

    I understand that the $180 can be off putting, but given the amount of inquiries we get this is our method to screen out writers that are not so serious about their work. These $180 can be completely waived if you have 5 reviews within the first 60 days that your book goes on sale. We have no way of tracking whether these reviews come from family members- so, it doesn't matter who writes the reviews. Obviously, it would be easier to get them within the allotted time by asking friends and family to help out.

    We don't print novels- we are working on how-to books that teach others how to do something (e.g. cooking or photography).

  7. #7
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    I'll leave it to the room mods to move this, if indeed they think it needs moving.

    Quote Originally Posted by forbeginners View Post
    Hi Everyone,

    I understand that the $180 can be off putting, but given the amount of inquiries we get this is our method to screen out writers that are not so serious about their work. These $180 can be completely waived if you have 5 reviews within the first 60 days that your book goes on sale. We have no way of tracking whether these reviews come from family members- so, it doesn't matter who writes the reviews. Obviously, it would be easier to get them within the allotted time by asking friends and family to help out.

    We don't print novels- we are working on how-to books that teach others how to do something (e.g. cooking or photography).
    $180 doesn't filter out the people who are not serious about their writing: it filters out the people who either can't afford to pay $180, or who are too sensible to pay a vanity press with peculiar requirements to publish them.

    I would definitely pass on this publisher.

  8. #8
    Barricade AW Moderator regdog's Avatar
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    Pay to publish is not for Paying Markets. I'm porting to Bewares and Backgrounds.
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  9. #9
    starting over Marian Perera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by forbeginners View Post
    I understand that the $180 can be off putting, but given the amount of inquiries we get this is our method to screen out writers that are not so serious about their work.
    Funny, I would have thought the quality of the manuscript shows whether or not a writer is serious about their work.

    These $180 can be completely waived if you have 5 reviews within the first 60 days that your book goes on sale. We have no way of tracking whether these reviews come from family members- so, it doesn't matter who writes the reviews.
    So technically a writer could create five dummy accounts with Amazon, write five reviews and get their money back.
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  10. #10
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by forbeginners View Post
    Hi Everyone,

    I understand that the $180 can be off putting, but given the amount of inquiries we get this is our method to screen out writers that are not so serious about their work. These $180 can be completely waived if you have 5 reviews within the first 60 days that your book goes on sale. We have no way of tracking whether these reviews come from family members- so, it doesn't matter who writes the reviews. Obviously, it would be easier to get them within the allotted time by asking friends and family to help out.

    We don't print novels- we are working on how-to books that teach others how to do something (e.g. cooking or photography).
    forbeginners, you might not be aware that book reviews written by an author's family and friends (or by any other entity with a vested interest in the book's success - such as staff from For Beginners, for example) may be deleted by Amazon.

    You might not have a way of tracking who writes those reviews, but Amazon apparently does. I think it's wrong of you to expect your authors to violate Amazon's rules to get their $180 back. Not only that, what would you do if family/friends wrote reviews that were then deleted by Amazon? Refuse to refund the $180?
    Last edited by mrsmig; 05-13-2014 at 08:02 PM.
    KINGLET: Now available from Fiery Seas Publishing: Amazon Barnes & Noble iBooks Kobo
    FISKUR: Now available from Fiery Seas Publishing: Amazon Barnes & Noble iBooks Kobo
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  11. #11
    Evil, undead Chihuahua SuperModerator Haggis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by forbeginners View Post
    Hi Everyone,

    I understand that the $180 can be off putting, but given the amount of inquiries we get this is our method to screen out writers that are not so serious about their work.
    Quote Originally Posted by Queen of Swords View Post
    Funny, I would have thought the quality of the manuscript shows whether or not a writer is serious about their work.
    What QoS said.
    Quote Originally Posted by Curlz View Post
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  12. #12
    figuring it all out
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    I agree a screening method like this is going to have the opposite effect from what you intend. Surely presenting yourself as a vanity press is going to screen out any 'serious' professional writers and attract only those so desperate to be published that they're prepared to pay?

    Isn't it usual for the publisher to send out copies of the book to potential reviewers (and indeed to the author)? Expecting the author's family and friends to buy and review the book seems an odd and unprofessional approach.

  13. #13
    Holding out for a Superhero... Sheryl Nantus's Avatar
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    Wow.

    No. Not on a dare.

    This is about as bad as it gets.

    Watch PublishAmerica steal this idea...

  14. #14
    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister Medievalist's Avatar
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    "Writer’s royalties are extremely unfairly tilted in favor of the publisher." and then "10% royalty for LIFE! No tricky schedules or games. 10% for life, period."

    • The lowest royalty I've ever had was 15% of cover. I generally have an escalator clause which means the more I sell, the more the royalty increases. I know "big name" writers in my field who regularly get 20% print royalties because of escalator clauses and selling upwards of 50K copies in a single language.
    • 10% royalty, 180.00 up front, no distribution (N.B. no trade distribution means sales of print books are going to be online-retail only).
    • How to books typically have complicated formatting; images, charts (often in color) call-outs, procedures etc. That not only means you need a high-quality experienced designer and compositor, you need a solid typesetter. An index is also common.
    • Producing a printed book with all those qualities via POD is going to have a very high cover price—which tends to hurt sales.

      I urge you to reconsider your plan.

    • Look at the market you're trying to compete against: You've got Addison-Wesley's For Dummies series and the various similar series from publishers targeting the same niche.
    • Look at how TakeControl Books functions—and they primarily sell ebooks.

      They split the royalties with their authors after the retailer's cut (For instanc, on a 10.00 book, if the retailer charges 2.00, the author gets half the remaining 8.00) and don't charge their authors a dime.

    • Keep in mind that the success of a series like this requires not only top-level writing, but top-level design. Each of those series are firmly branded; each have a very specific stylesheet governing writing and a specific formatting guide. Layout is exceedingly important in this kind of book.
    Last edited by Medievalist; 05-13-2014 at 09:04 PM.

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  15. #15
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    It's so bad it's brilliant.

    As for begging reviews, that's a dangerous game to get into, especially for how-to books that may have a limited audience to begin with. 5 reviews within 60 days may not sound like much, until you realize the vast majority of readers won't bother to review. Are these Amazon-only reviews? What about Goodreads, Smashwords, or review blogs? Will these books be promoted through major online, print, media, and retail markets? Early media exposure can boost reviews, but that's usually more of the publisher's responsibility.

    As with many vanity/subsidy publishers, the stipulations for 'money back guarantees' tend to be unachievable for most of their authors. This isn't quite as horrible as the standard 'author purchase' requirements, or 'sell 5000 copies during the contract time and we'll refund all of your subsidy fees' bait & switch that we usually see from pay-to-play publishers. But it's not the way established how-to publishers do business.

    I predict this publisher may snag some elderly and/or inexperienced craft how-to writers who can't break into the major craft, home improvement, and DIY publishers - or haven't figured out how to monetize a YouTube channel.

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  16. #16
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by forbeginners View Post
    Hi Everyone,

    I understand that the $180 can be off putting, but given the amount of inquiries we get this is our method to screen out writers that are not so serious about their work.
    Do you know how you can tell I am serious about my work? I don't use a fee-charging (a.k.a. vanity) publisher. I am in this business as a content provider, not a customer. And my reviews are written by customers, people I do not know, who bought my book.
    Last edited by veinglory; 05-13-2014 at 08:52 PM.
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  17. #17
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gravity View Post
    Even though this thing falls into the "oh, HELL no" category, I have to give at least a semi-prop to the owners for being upfront about who their target market is.
    I can't say that I see this clarity. They want the "how to" market. But any publisher is pretty clear on their genre. What actual market is going to buy books from them about "how to [anything]" when this is a saturated niche already?
    Emily Veinglory

  18. #18
    Seen 'em come, seen 'em go Gravity's Avatar
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    Yeah, you're right. It's just the model itself that's off-putting (to me at least).
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  19. #19
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    Huh. Site not coming up today, but on my visit a few weeks ago, I noted they'd dropped the payment requirement. In any case, the first batch of books is up on Amazon.
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