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Thread: LitFire Publishing

  1. #26
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    LitFire's Facebook is singularly unhelpful:

    https://www.facebook.com/litfirepublishing

    It tells us that the company was founded in 2008 and joined Facebook on 21st July this year, but doesn't mention a single LitFire book! I was amused by the link to "Free Regional Book Fair Exhibit":

    Available ONLY for the First 100 Authors - Offer Ends This Sunday 8/31/2014

    Your Book at a Regional Book Exhibit for Free when You Sign Up for Any Publishing Package

    Why Should You Exhibit Your Book?

    If you have a physical book, trade shows and book fairs are a very lucrative source of sales.

    There are over 117,000 public, school, and college libraries in the U.S., and collectively, libraries are estimated to be a $5 billion market.
    https://litfirepublishing.com/book-p...-free-exhibit/
    Note the AuthorHouse-type hard sell! Not to mention the fact that if your physical book is POD most libraries won't want it even as a gift.

    For some inexplicable reason this page is headed by a stock photo showing a row of books printed in a Scandinavian language.

    LitFire's Facebook has a grand total of 35 likes, so they're hardly setting the world on fire (see what I did there?).

    I'm also completely baffled by the fact that of the eight books mentioned on LitFire's website not one of them, at least according to Amazon, bears their imprint.
    Last edited by aliceshortcake; 11-06-2014 at 01:00 AM.

  2. #27
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheArchives View Post
    Do you think there is a connection between Author Solutions and LitFire?
    My hunch is that LitFire is an inevitable consequence of Author Solutions: former AS employee(s) starting their own AS-style company.

    - Victoria

  3. #28
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by victoriastrauss View Post
    Another name to associate with this company: Mark Advent. I just saw an email from him (or "him," since I'll bet this is another alias) and its odd blend of fractured English (the same kind of fractured English in Tori Mesh's email, and also in Author Solutions solicitation emails I've seen) and reasonably well-written passages intrigued me. So I did a little websearching...and discovered that big chunks are plagiarized from two different sources.

    - Victoria
    This is how I've found plagiarism in the past. If the writing suddenly gets really good, then put the first sentence into Google and you'll probably find the source on the first hit.

    It's easy to identify if two documents are by the same person for non-English speakers and bad writers. They tend to make the same mistakes over and over because they think they are doing it right.

    But great detective work Ms Marple Strauss!

    As for the address, could there be a Mailboxes Etc. or UPS Store in the Atlanta strip mall? And even more, is that necessarily bad?
    Last edited by Chris P; 11-06-2014 at 04:01 AM.
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  4. #29
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin TheArchives's Avatar
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    The fish stinks from the head down... So, general alert about LitFire?

  5. #30
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by victoriastrauss View Post
    My hunch is that LitFire is an inevitable consequence of Author Solutions: former AS employee(s) starting their own AS-style company.

    - Victoria
    Vanity presses are the hydrae of the literary world - you start off with one and they bud off at an alarming rate. We've seen this over and over again with Publish America.

  6. #31
    On a small world west of wonder LindaJeanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aliceshortcake View Post
    Vanity presses are the hydrae of the literary world - you start off with one and they bud off at an alarming rate. We've seen this over and over again with Publish America.
    Usually it's a writer who was scammed by Publish America, who realized they were scammed, and decides to start their own publishing house that doesn't scam authors. But they learned everything they know about publishing from Publish America, so they try to recreate Publish America minus the charging-the-author-for-everything bit, which is doomed to failure.

    I guess former employees striking out on their own is just as inevitable (minus the motive to eliminate the charging-the-authors part.)
    "A story told, that can't be real / yet somehow must reflect the truth we feel..." -- Black Sabbath / Ronnie James Dio

  7. #32
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LindaJeanne View Post
    Usually it's a writer who was scammed by Publish America, who realized they were scammed, and decides to start their own publishing house that doesn't scam authors.
    That's what I meant, really.

    As for the "hundreds" of book LitFire has supposedly published, it looks as if they're counting stuff released by the vanity presses owned by Author Solutions (such as Trafford and Abbott). Clicking on the Look Inside feature for Chad'tu, published by LitFire on 31st October 2014, takes you to the Kindle edition published by Abbott Press in 2012.
    Last edited by aliceshortcake; 11-06-2014 at 09:07 PM.

  8. #33
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aliceshortcake View Post
    I'm also completely baffled by the fact that of the eight books mentioned on LitFire's website not one of them, at least according to Amazon, bears their imprint.
    I'm no longer baffled. Six of them were published in Atlanta (home of AuthorHouse and Portia Peterson) and bear what I assume are the authors' own imprints.

  9. #34
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin TheArchives's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aliceshortcake View Post
    I'm no longer baffled. Six of them were published in Atlanta (home of AuthorHouse and Portia Peterson) and bear what I assume are the authors' own imprints.
    I must be dense, I don't understand.

  10. #35
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    Well, a common way of disguising the origin of a self/vanity published book is for the author to make up what sounds like the name of a commercial press to stick on the spine. For example:

    The Stylish Minimalist Wardrobe by Vanessa Johnson is published by 'Organized Living Press' of Atlanta, but on the LitFire website she says:

    You turned my vision into reality. I can't thank you enough for an outstanding job on my books' cover design and editing. And I have never felt left out of the creative control from start to finish. I'm planning to publish another book I'm currently writing, and I will most definitely choose LitFire as my publisher.
    https://litfirepublishing.com/
    Smoothies for Golfers by Lars Anderson, 'Nordic Standard Publishing' of Atlanta:

    I was contacted by LitFire and I'm glad they did. After our first conversation, I felt compelled to learn more their services and and eventually realized going with LitFire was the best choice. It has been a pleasant experience. I will definitely go to you again if I decide to publish another book.
    Multi-Level Marketing by Carl Donovan, 'Business Process Publishing' of Atlanta:

    I was confident that my book was already the best it could possibly be when I submitted my manuscript, but LitFire was able to turn it into an even more brilliant literary piece.
    And so on.
    Last edited by aliceshortcake; 11-07-2014 at 01:53 AM.

  11. #36
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin TheArchives's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aliceshortcake View Post
    Well, a common way of disguising the origin of a self/vanity published book is for the author to make up what sounds like the name of a commercial press to stick on the spine. For example:

    The Stylish Minimalist Wardrobe by Vanessa Johnson is published by 'Organized Living Press' of Atlanta, but on the LitFire website she says:



    Smoothies for Golfers by Lars Anderson, 'Nordic Standard Publishing' of Atlanta:



    Multi-Level Marketing by Carl Donovan, 'Business Process Publishing' of Atlanta:



    And so on.
    Ah. Gotcha. The biggest thing I see is that LitFire posts these books on the same page as the one offering their "publishing" services, giving the impression that they published the books when all they might have done was be involved in a marketing/promo capacity. It's very vague and misleading if you ask me. A legit company would be upfront about what they did-be proud-versus blowing smoke. Basically it seems as if LitFire is (at the moment) flailing around, trying to pump up any involvement in a book, without really touting any accomplishments they have had in publishing a book. Which seems to be nil. *Sigh* So, just another boiler room situation, hard selling their "pr services" which, in the long term (without any real connects in pub or advertising) mean doodly-squat. what, they send out a press release and create a FB page etc--for $2000+ plus? Naw...
    Last edited by TheArchives; 11-07-2014 at 04:16 AM.

  12. #37
    Cat hair collector PVish's Avatar
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    The website seems a bit out-dated:
    Available ONLY for the First 100 Authors - Offer Ends This Sunday 8/31/2014
    Your Book at a Regional Book Exhibit for Free when You Sign Up for Any Publishing Package

    If you want opportunities to sell your book and reach readers, the perfect place to start is book exhibits, where you can directly sell books, network with other authors, and interact with book lovers.

    LitFire offers this limited-time promotion. Only the first 100 authors will get the chance to earn a free spot in the regional book exhibit.
    And where are these regional book exhibits? A Google of "book exhibits" yielded this: http://www.authorhouse.com/Servicest...rvice=CAST-460 Wonder if there's any connection. . . .

    But you gotta love this at the bottom of that page:
    Publish with us now to officially become a published author. Fill out the sign up form now!
    Because you certainly don't want to be an unofficially published author, do you?
    Last edited by PVish; 11-07-2014 at 07:22 AM.

  13. #38
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    I couldn't find much about the Combined Book Exhibit, but three years ago Ann Crispin wrote this about vanity-pubbed POD books at Book Expo America:

    I go to BEA most years, and I've seen the authors you mention, in the POD portion of the enormous hall, and it's very sad.

    If you walk by the booths and pause, some of the smarter authors will practically pounce on you in the hopes that you're a publishing industry pro, a real literary agent or an editor who works for a commercial publishing house. They want to give you their book, in the hope of salvaging something out of what they are realizing is a debacle. Those big foreign deals and subsidiary rights deals they were promised aren't materializing.

    Here they've spent money paying a literary agent upfront, and then their "literary agent," (and they don't make the connection because of the liberal use of aliases) finds them a "publisher," and they have to pay again.

    Then they paid AGAIN to come to the book fair. And they realize they're not signing in the "official" autograph area with authors whose names they recognize. Nope. They're stuck in their publisher's booth, with their stack of books, their brochures, and their bookmarks. (All of which they paid for.)

    It's no wonder some of them start to get a desperate look in their eyes.
    http://accrispin.blogspot.co.uk/2011...r-bewares.html
    The price of AuthorHouse's Book Exhibit Regional Show package is a cool $1,299. I wonder how many LitFire authors paid a similar sum because they weren't quick enough off the draw to be included in the lucky first hundred?

    As for LitFire's author pages, if this one is anything to go by most people could do a better job themselves:

    http://www.richardwardbooks.com/

    It isn't linked to LitFire's website and I came across it by chance via a Google search.

    I'd also be interested to know exactly what LitFire means here:

    Book Review
    When you purchase LitFire's Book Review Service, we will submit your manuscript to the biggest, most respected book reviewers in the business. This means that you are going to receive professionally written feedback that is based on objective evaluation from knowledgeable reviewers who actually read your book.
    https://litfirepublishing.com/services/marketing/
    Who are these reviewers? Names, please, LitFire!
    Last edited by aliceshortcake; 11-07-2014 at 02:35 PM.

  14. #39
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin TheArchives's Avatar
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    Question

    Guys,
    I have emailed our concerns to Ms Peterson and invited her to come on these boards and address the issues raised. Now, I am not too confident that she will accept as she seems to want to pass our concerns and issues off as "writers hating and having issues," and has made the statement that it is not her (or, presumaby LF's) responsibility to "prove anything." I pointed out that that was bad business and so on... Maybe she will accept and try to address things--but the offer was made nonetheless.

  15. #40
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    God forbid they should provide proof that the services they offer are worth what they're charging...

    I've also asked them to provide the names of "the biggest, most respected book reviewers in the business" who are supposedly going to review manuscripts (not actual books?) by LitFire authors.

  16. #41
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin TheArchives's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aliceshortcake View Post


    God forbid they should provide proof that the services they offer are worth what they're charging...

    I've also asked them to provide the names of "the biggest, most respected book reviewers in the business" who are supposedly going to review manuscripts (not actual books?) by LitFire authors.
    My understanding is that are ARE no "LitFire authors" i.e. books published by LF, simply indie authors who have signed on for LF's marketing scheme.

  17. #42
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    Vanessa Johnson seems to think of herself as a LitFire author:

    I'm planning to publish another book I'm currently writing, and I will most definitely choose LitFire as my publisher.
    And the authors who use LitFire's services (I don't think there's anything truly "indie" about this sort of publishing) still deserve to know exactly which leading reviewers will be evaluating their books.

  18. #43
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin TheArchives's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aliceshortcake View Post
    And the authors who use LitFire's services (I don't think there's anything truly "indie" about this sort of publishing) still deserve to know exactly which leading reviewers will be evaluating their books.
    Agree 100%. These companies do themselves no favors by being vague - in fact, it only makes them look at worst, shady.

  19. #44
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    My LitFire blog post is live.

    http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2014/1...ublishing.html

    - Victoria

  20. #45
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin TheArchives's Avatar
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    Spot on. Good sleuthing.

  21. #46
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    That was a great read, Victoria! The tortured English of Jill Bennett's blog posts reads exactly like the emails sent by 'Tori Mesh' and 'Mark Advent'.

    Google Plus has yielded some more info about the LitFire principals. Portia Peterson's page (https://plus.google.com/100490578378341814828/about) links her to Chrystianne Christobal, who works in 'Fulfillment/Production':

    https://plus.google.com/+ChrystianneCristobal/about

    I thought Dominique Cristobal was LitFire's Fullfillment Officer?

    Portia's also linked to Tori m, who appears to be a cartoon character:

    https://plus.google.com/108511137383916053805/posts

    Hello, Ms Mesh!

    Most of the people linked to Portia, Chrystianne and Tori live in the Philippines, which won't come as a surprise to anyone familiar with AuthorHouse's outsourcing.

    There's also something a bit odd about about Portia's lack of interest in social media. I can't find her on Facebook and her Twitter account is almost dead. She joined in May 2011 ("I am a hard working person who lives up to my principles in life and I live writing and I love the outdoors. I love reading books that sparks my interest") but only has 18 Tweets - which are protected - 3 Following and 1 Favourites.
    Last edited by aliceshortcake; 11-08-2014 at 01:16 AM.

  22. #47
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin TheArchives's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aliceshortcake View Post
    There's also something a bit odd about about Portia's lack of interest in social media. I can't find her on Facebook and her Twitter account is almost dead. She joined in May 2011 ("I am a hard working person who lives up to my principles in life and I live writing and I love the outdoors. I love reading books that sparks my interest") but only has 18 Tweets - which are protected - 3 Following and 1 Favourites.
    Exactly! For such "go-getters" they lack basic social media skills.

  23. #48
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Found another one by clicking on Tori's G+ friends: KC Normanns, LitFire "Senior Marketing Executive", formerly of Xlibris.

    - Victoria

  24. #49
    Perpetually in transit Helix's Avatar
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    Oh dear. KC Normanns' summary on LinkedIn:
    With years experienced in Marketing and Publishing Books of Authors from different Publishing companies, I can say “Real marketing begins at the moment you conceive the central idea for the intended book and includes a clear sense of who the book is for, how it serves its audience, and how it fits with the competition.”
    You could say that, or you could read it in David Cole's Complete Guide to Book Marketing:

    Real marketing begins at the moment you conceive the central idea for the intended book and includes a clear sense of who the book is for, how it serves its audience, and how it fits with the competition. That's why I titled the introduction to this book "Marketing is Everything." Perhaps I'm guilty of hyperbole, but I think it is important to emphasize that marketing really does touch everything you do---from the book you choose to write and publish, to your choice of packaging, to the title you give it, to the price you charge.


  25. #50
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Ouch.

    This M/M space opera
    Blog: Blue Night
    Art and jewelry online at Etsy.

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