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Thread: DAW Books

  1. #1
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    Question DAW Books

    DAW books is part of Penguin, which P&A recommends. However, I noticed that the prices of the books they sell from their site are very low compared to their size (page count).

    Comments?

  2. #2
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    What sort of comments could we make, unless someone here works in marketing at DAW? DAW is one of the most reputable publishers in the business, AFAIK.

  3. #3
    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister Medievalist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwyn
    DAW books is part of Penguin, which P&A recommends. However, I noticed that the prices of the books they sell from their site are very low compared to their size (page count).

    Comments?
    DAW is an extremely reputable, highly thought of, and venerable publisher of SF and Fantasy. My favorite SF/Fantasy publisher is Tor, but Daw is nothing to sneeze at.

    C. J. Cherryh, and many other BNA publish with Daw.
    Last edited by Medievalist; 03-30-2006 at 09:34 AM. Reason: It's upper case

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  4. #4
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwyn
    DAW books is part of Penguin, which P&A recommends. However, I noticed that the prices of the books they sell from their site are very low compared to their size (page count).

    Comments?
    I'm not sure what the concern is: their books are priced too low? Compared to what? $6.99 - $8.99 is the standard range for mass market paperbacks.
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  5. #5
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    The prices DAW charges on their websites are the same as they charge at Amazon. $7.99 for a mass market paperback, $15.00 for a trade paperback ... nothing unusual about those prices.

    What specifically did you want to know?

    Why would this be a Beware or Background Check?

  6. #6
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    Forgive my ignorance, please. What's the difference between a mass market paperback and a trade paperback?

    The reason for the BW or BC is that I don't know the business well enough to tell if a company sells thier product for such a low price that the author won't get enough to buy an ice cream cone. Or, if a particular company sells junk books at lowball prices.

    Sign me Rookie.

  7. #7
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Their prices seem very average to me--what are you comparing them with?
    Emily Veinglory

  8. #8
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Very, very briefly:

    Mass market paperbacks are designed to be sold outside of the bookstore market. They're meant for the wire spinners in grocery stores and bus stations.

    They piggyback on the Independent Distributor system. Those are the distributors that handle newspapers and magazines. Newspapers aren't returned; the flag or masthead is torn off and returned for credit. In the same way, mass market paperbacks have their covers stripped and returned for credit rather than being returned.

    Typically, mass market paperbacks are lower priced, printed on cheaper paper, and are a smaller trim size (often 4" x 6" or "rack size").

    Royalty rates may be lower too, but the IDs sell a ton and a half of 'em, so it all works out.

    Trade paperbacks are distributed to the "trade," that is, the bookstore trade. They are typically printed on better quality paper, have a 6" x 9" trim size, and are whole-copy returnable. Cover prices are higher, royalty rates are higher, but they sell fewer copies.

    Mass market paperbacks can also be sold in bookstore; they're strippable there, too.

    Some trade paperbacks are "rack-size trade paper," that is, 4" x 6" trim size, but whole-copy returnable, and not distributed by the IDs.

    Trade cloth are your hardcover books. Similar trim size to trade paper, but have still better quality paper and board covers. Whole-copy returnable, sold in bookstores. Prices typically range up to $28.00.

    Some books are mass market originals. Many of your genre books are. Another pattern is for a book to be released in trade cloth, then re-released a year later in mass market.

  9. #9
    practical experience, FTW
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    Thank you - very informative, as always.

  10. #10
    Hagiographically Advantaged AW Moderator HapiSofi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwyn
    Forgive my ignorance, please. What's the difference between a mass market paperback and a trade paperback?

    The reason for the BW or BC is that I don't know the business well enough to tell if a company sells thier product for such a low price that the author won't get enough to buy an ice cream cone. Or, if a particular company sells junk books at lowball prices.

    Sign me Rookie.
    Rookie? I wouldn't say that. In baseball, a rookie's a hard-working newbie.

    It would have taken five minutes of research (tops!) for you to find out that DAW is quite respectable, has been around for decades, and has published some very well-known authors. If you didn't want to take the five minutes, you could have found out that much by typing daw books into Wikipedia.

    (BTW, it's Tor not TOR, but DAW not Daw: Donald A. Wollheim. See also: the Futurians.)

    Furthermore, if you couldn't tell from looking that DAW isn't selling "junk books," you haven't been reading the genre. If you won't do research, and you don't know the literature, I don't see how you expect to make it as a fantasy or SF writer.

    As for trade paper vs. mass market: Trade paperbacks are sold through the bookstore distribution network, and are whole-copy returnable. Mass-market paperbacks are sold through the same distribution network that handles magazines. Remaining copies are stripped for credit. This distinction has nothing to do with trim size.
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  11. #11
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HapiSofi
    This distinction has nothing to do with trim size.
    Nevertheless it is true that mass market paperbacks typically have a smaller trim size, while trade paperbacks typically have a larger trim size.

  12. #12
    Writting broad batgirl's Avatar
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    Elwyn, if you don't mind the opinion of another newbie (relatively speaking!) I wonder if your confusion is because you're thinking of each individual paperback as valuable in itself? I believe that a mass-market paperback (and to some extent a trade paperback) are quite cheap to produce, if you're just looking at the pulp-paper and glued-binding side of things.
    The cost comes in the promotion, the catalogue and the marketing that a big publisher can put into the equation. So Daw, like Tor, Ace and other publishers (who aren't publishing me, sigh) promotes their books, and part of that promotion is making the books available at a price that doesn't make the buyers blink and reconsider.
    Vanity and scam publishers like PublishAmerica price their books above market standards because they aren't expecting to sell to the casual bookstore browser. They're selling to the authors and to the author's friends-and-relations. They expect to sell maybe a hundred copies, and so those copies need to be expensive.
    Whereas a mass-market paperback depends more on volume. In Jim Macdonald's thread, he discusses how it can be worth while to give away copies of your book, so that readers are encouraged to buy another one, and the next one after that (hey, the first one's free ....).
    I don't understand economics very well, so I'm probably not as clear as I should be, but on the whole, I believe that a low cost for an individual book is a good sign, whereas a higher cost for an individual book is the sign of a scammer or a publisher who hasn't done the necessary homework.
    As an author, your payment will come mostly from the advance. You may never earn any royalties (and in any case, they would be tiny-tiny per individual book) but still do well enough for the publisher to want your next book. It's not like selling one-of-a-kind craft items.
    Anyway, I hope some of that was relevant! I spent the morning doing invoicing, and much of my gray matter has run out my ears in protest.
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  13. #13
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by batgirl
    Vanity and scam publishers like PublishAmerica price their books above market standards because they aren't expecting to sell to the casual bookstore browser. They're selling to the authors and to the author's friends-and-relations. They expect to sell maybe a hundred copies, and so those copies need to be expensive.
    And they feed the author rationalizations for their high prices, like: "don't you believe your work is worth it?" and "readers don't care what a good book costs" and "it's because we don't take returns, and we don't take returns because we believe in you!"

    Gaah.
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  14. #14
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    DAW Books

    Anyone want to share their experiences with submitting here?

    http://us.penguingroup.com/static/pa...bmissions.html

    Any reason not to submit while the agent-search saga continues? It's an open market, a free (plus cost of postage) ticket to a real live rejection on a full!

    Has anyone here been published with them? Do they do a good job of promoting this line of books? Are the contracts up to snuff?

    Thanks for your insights in advance.

  15. #15
    Wahoowa Tburger's Avatar
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    I'll let someone with more experience comment but two things jumped out at me:

    1. This is probably a place to which an agent would want to sub your book. If you do it, and they reject, then if/when you get an agent, you may have mucked up the submission for them.

    2. Query letter vs. cover letter. Interesting. I assume they don't want a standard query letter, but something shorter and akin to what one sends with a short story?
    Last edited by Tburger; 06-01-2009 at 03:09 AM.
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  16. #16
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RainbowDragon View Post
    Anyone want to share their experiences with submitting here?

    http://us.penguingroup.com/static/pa...bmissions.html

    Any reason not to submit while the agent-search saga continues? It's an open market, a free (plus cost of postage) ticket to a real live rejection on a full!

    Has anyone here been published with them? Do they do a good job of promoting this line of books? Are the contracts up to snuff?

    Thanks for your insights in advance.
    DAW are a major publisher. You'll find their books in bricks and mortar bookstores across the country and reviewed in influential mags. Their contracts are standard for the industry.
    You could wait a really long time for a reply if you submit unagented

  17. #17
    Perpetuous Revisasaurus
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    Could a rejection here mess things up with subbing to other imprints of Penguin, then? Didn't think of that. . .

  18. #18
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
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    No.
    Roc and Ace have a separate editorial team from DAW.

  19. #19
    It's cold out there dlparker's Avatar
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    DAW Science Fiction

    I apologize if this publisher has been posted but I could not find them in the index.

    I submitted to them and received an initial prompt courteous reply (they seem to prefer old-fashioned letters to emails, perhaps because it keeps authors from bombarding them) telling me it had passed on to a second reading. That was mid-May I believe.

    I'm still waiting for a final word, and wonder if other authors had experience with how long their waits generally are, as well as overall experiences with this publisher, including advances (approximates).

    I know they are one of the major science fiction publishers.

    Thanks.

    Danielle

  20. #20
    Rewriting My Destiny Cyia's Avatar
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    That's Penguin, so yeah - they're legit.

  21. #21
    Bird In Flight Wonderlander's Avatar
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    Anecdotally, I seem to remember being told there was a huge wait at Daw, normally to the tune of a year. But I'm quite sure someone here has more information than me.

  22. #22
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    Because DAW is one of the few big houses who accept unagented submissions, the wait period is pretty long. A year or more is not uncommon.
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  23. #23
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
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    You'll have time to write another novel before you can expect a reply.

  24. #24
    Of course you'll be working on your next novel (or whatever) while waiting! In any case, DAW is worth waiting for.
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  25. #25
    It's cold out there dlparker's Avatar
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    A year! I'm about ready to faint. I was thinking 2-3 months at most and getting antsy now that it's rolling into the 4th month. And they do ask for exclusive!

    A year wait: and it could be a "no". Ouch, ouch. I don't know if I have that degree of patience. Imagine waiting until next summer, and getting... a "you almost made it, but sorry"!

    Thanks for the tips, folks. I can't say you've cheered me up... but I guess I'll quit hanging around the mailbox and take some serious thought as to how long I can really endure waiting... before I submit elsewhere too.

    Danielle

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