This one is a real oddity.
It appears to be a European-based vanity publisher specializing in poetry:
I'm instantly suspicious when I see contests for children's work in which the winners are featured in an anthology (shades of poetry.com), and sure enough I found this review for The Aquillrelle Children, Book Two, Poetry:Main contest - poetry contest, for either money prizes or publishing prizes to winners, certificates to winners and finalists, publication online and in a contest anthology.
Publishing contest - poetry contest, free entry, we choose 100 poems to be published online and in a contest anthology.
Children contest - poetry and drawings contest, we choose 120 entries to be published online and in a contest anthology.
Magazine - presents chosen poetry, allows anyone (limited in number) to enter a poem/story, essay, etc. Submissions should be sent to the Aquillrelle email: aquillrelle_at_yahoo.com
Like most vanity presses, Aquillrelle regurgitates the usual nonsense about the near-impossibly of a new writer getting into print (my bolding):2.0 out of 5 stars You need to know 8 Feb 2013
By Robin J. Porter - Published on Amazon.com
Hello parents, I know this is from a vanity press so it's going to be bought just to see your child's writing in print. It's a nicely put together book. It looks like "a real book" as my daughter said. The disappointment is that a lot of the writing in this book is not in English. There are many poems from children that I assume are as talented or interesting as my child and I bought the book for her to enjoy reading as well as to own becasue her work is included. I should have spent the money and had her poem and contest winning notification framed.
Aquillrelle's books are published through CreateSpace or Lulu, so what exactly are they charging for? When Aquillrelle's Croatian-born editor Sonja Smolec touted for business on allpoetry.com she was asked this very question, and her replies were more revealing than she probably intended them to be:Our opinion
Being a published author is in no way recognition of greatness, the way that not being published is in no way dismissal of talent. Being published means mostly being in the right place at the right time, having some relevant talent and mostly – having “a champion to carry you”. We are sure there are some great talents out there, waiting to be discovered. Maybe participating in these contests is the tool that will kick you out in the limelight, who knows?
My favourite bits (again, my bolding):
English is clearly not Smolec's first language. I doubt if she'd be able to recognise, let alone rephrase, "sentences that sound awkward or unnatural".Sonja -
Editing involves far more than looking for grammar errors, an editor must constantly stay true to the central ideology of a publication, while keeping it fresh, interesting, and relevant.
The role of an editor is to review and rewrite the work of writers to have it reach the standards and style of a publication.
a year ago, reply
just mercedes - I work as an editor, and I never rewrite the work of writers. You are wrong in making the assumption that all editors work as you do.a year ago, gold member
Sonja - We will not put our name on a book that we consider a "sub standard" production. We do not print from your submitted document. The typos and errors should serve as a shining example of why everybody needs an editor... The same is with book covers...A poor book cover can doom a great book to failure. All of these issues and more are quietly taken care of by a competent book cover designer.
Once a concept is created, it’s not uncommon for a designer to experiment for quite awhile with different font combinations, in different sizes, in different arrangements, using different colors, until he or she is satisfied. And that’s before we show the cover to the client, which is often followed by even more adjustments...
Editors focus on correcting spelling, grammar, usage and punctuation errors. They will change improper language and rephrase sentences that sound awkward or unnatural.
A vanity press wouldn't be a vanity press if it didn't regurgitate the usual misleading statements about "traditional publishing":
I've thought about it. The average vanity-pubbed book is unlikely to be bought by anyone the author doesn't know personally, and 100% of almost nothing is almost nothing.Aquillrelle pay royalties that are much higher than most traditional publishers pay:
- 1st year: author/aquillrelle 60/40%.
- 2nd year and on: author 100%.
Think about it!
I'm not sure what "service" Smolec is referring to here, but if it's the basic one of producing a readable, saleable book a smaller publisher won't expect writers to pay for it. A vanity publisher will.Some traditional contracts that I have seen have clauses stating that the author will not be paid royalties at all until a certain number of copies have been sold, to enable the publishing house to recover its costs. Thus, if the author is to receive no royalties for, say, the first 1000 copies, and the royalties per copy are $1, then even though there is no up-front payment, that author would in fact end up paying a “lost opportunity” fee of $1,000. This is a good example of how some traditional publishers get “creative” when writing their contracts. Traditional publishers pay royalties of approximately 4 to 8%.
It can take you years to get published in the traditional way, and maybe you will never get published at all. You don't have to wait years for your book to be released. You can publish it when it's ready. More and more authors are turning to POD-publishing for the three IFC main reasons: Impatience, Freedom, and Control.
Another reason is that for an author just starting out, a smaller publisher tends to be more “hands on” and respond quicker to an author’s needs and questions. Of course, authors have to pay for this service. Aquillrelle’s fee is "one month-one coffee a day" and we mostly publish a book within 30 days.
The final decision is always up to you.
All this input from editors and cover designers yet Aquillrelle can publish a book within 30 days? And the company doesn't only publish poetry:
Just about everything under the sun, then. Oh, and I nearly forgot:Genres we accept:
Collections of poetry, Collections of short stories, fiction, Non-Fiction, Mystery, Science fiction, Autobiographical and biographical, Fantasy, Humor, Horror, Women's fiction, Suspense, Thrillers, Romance, Children's, Young reader, Teen Fiction, Educational...
Yes, because if they didn't reject some manuscript (sic) they'd have to admit to being a vanity press.Please expect some manuscript to be rejected.
So, we've established that Aquillrelle
a) has at least some quality control (although a real publisher would reject at least 95% of submissions)
b) provides editing
c) employs competent cover designers.
Let's have a look at a couple of Aquillrelle's recent releases in the fantasy genre. They're by Cheryl Pillsbury, a lady who needs no introduction on AW, with cover designs by Sonya Smolec. Are you ready?
You weren't ready, were you? Holy disembodied heads, Batman! The chap at the top looks a bit like Jeff Bridges as the Dude. A Google Images search for the bearded gent on the left turned up a number of sources including the Watch Enthusiast Club, where he's named as Jorge Roberts, and Artemis Publishers Ltd, who claim that he's their author Thomas Hardy-Williams. I think it's safe to assume that it's a stock image. But isn't the man on the right Taylor Kitsch? And the other bearded bloke at the bottom is actor Stuart Townsend. From the Dedication:
Queen of the Damns. Queen of the Damns.Stuart Townsend is the inspiration for Mathius; his soft manner, with his seductive body moves, with his voice inspired this story. His role of Lestat from Queen of the Damns, my favourite movie from Ann Rice, a woman and author I greatly admire, showed him in the vampire role which he was brilliant in and in which he should do more.
All very flattering, but did either Townsend or Kitsch give permission for their images to be used on a book cover? And although no editor is credited I can't help noticing that when they did the layout neither Sonja Smolec or Yossi Faybish noticed the multiple errors in that one paragraph alone.
The cover image looks to have been Photoshopped beyond recognition but it doesn't resemble Taylor Kitsch, which given Pillsbury's Dedication is a little surprising:
Again, there is no mention of editing but Smolec and Faybish did the layout. Awkward sentences have been allowed to run riot:This book was inspired by Mr Taylor Kitsch from his role in 'The Covenant' and playing 'Gambit'. His manner and displayed honor to us gave me the story to write surrounding his look and the way he moves.
I can see no evidence of any editing or professional-standard design here. Aquillrelle is simply dumping text in a file, slapping a laughably bad cover on it (don't miss the one for Jestic Desire, which I didn't trust myself to reproduce here) and charging writers for what they could do better themselves.It was the year 1515, in the outskirts of lower east side of London two teen boys, Lanz seventeen and Arthyn was sixteen; one loved by all and the other hated and feared. Feared because all he did was torment people creating horrific situations with dead animals and with his evil chanting degrading the Gods by using words not known to them.