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Thread: [Publisher] Acute By Design

  1. #1
    Boldly going nowhere in particular. Jess Haines's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Tampa, FL

    [Publisher] Acute By Design

    Stumbled upon a newbie publisher calling for writers and illustrators on Craigslist.

    Publishing Company Seeking Talented Writers and Illustrators

    Greetings Writers and Illustrators
    AcuteByDesign, a small multicultural children's publishing company, is offering an exciting pathway towards publication for select writers and illustrators. We believe that many writers and illustrators have wonderful stories to share but lack the support and resources to have these works published. Please share this letter with other writers and illustrators who may fit those qualifications.
    If selected our dedicated team of publishers, editors and illustrators will work with you towards publishing your master piece of all genres for children, young readers and education related books.
    If you are interested in submitting a query letter please visit our website and click the "Submission Button" and complete the form. You may also reply by sending us an email explaining your dream project. If your work is accepted you will receive a publisher's contract including terms for royalties.
    We look forward to hearing from you.

    Best wishes,
    Tarah Jay
    Creative Editor

    All of these resources can be retrieved at our website in the "Submission" section
    And all submissions are accepted in the submission section. We look forward to hearing from you.
    Jess Haines
    The Official Antichrist of Pie / Twitter / Facebook

    "It doesn't get much better for pure urban fantasy than Jess Haines." --All Things Urban Fantasy

    Latest Title: Smoke and Mirrors

  2. #2
    a demon for tea EMaree's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    What a strange name choice for a publisher. Doesn't roll off the tongue, and the maths connections seem odd for a children's publishing company.

    Red flags in the submission guidelines Authors they pub are expected to work as unpaid helpers. Bold my own:

    AcuteByDesign, (AbyD), is a tiny publishing ensemble hidden in a garage in the valleys of Fairfield County, Connecticut. AbyD is dedicated to providing new, emerging and under-represented writers, illustrators, editors, social media marketers and publisher wanna-be’s the opportunity to actually be!

    “Each one help one!” is one of our mottos.

    If you want to publish with AbyD, you must become a working member of the “ensemble” consisting of project managers, editors, reviewers, social media and marketing folks.

    You will work on the production of your book but also support the production, review and marketing of other books produced by other members of the ensemble – and those artists will suppot you too – that’s the AByD way!
    So you've got authors being expected to act as untrained editors, which seems likely to backfire. Their call out to "publisher wanna-be"s is also really strange and questionable -- strictly at a guess, maybe they think their brand new company would be a great training experience for people who want to get into publishing? (Spoiler: it won't be. The most beneficial internship for anyone interested in the industry is with a large, experienced publisher).

    There's also the implication that there's going to be a lot of you-scratch-my-back behaviour: authors reviewing authors, authors retweeting each other, liking each others FB posts. I know social media boosting is an acceptable part of being in a small pub group, but they've made is strictly mandatory and forced.

    Despite having some really lovely aims regarding inclusivity, I can't see this one going well. Starting a publishing company really needs initial outlay for good editors, skilled illustrators and cover artists, and a dozen other roles I couldn't even name. It's an investment. Looking for ways around these costs never ends well.

    EDIT: Looked into their current authors, which was a task and a half. Only one of the books on their unclickable front page slideshow has an author (Michael Sharp), and none of the four books on their upcoming books page list authors or artists. Their 'Our Authors' page is empty. Michael Sharp is possibly this writer, but I can't be sure.

    Alarmingly, the Acute by Design page is practically throwing money at schools: $25 to $500 grants for schools, with decision made on a lightning-fast two week turnaround. $50 gift certificates for parents and teachers "to purchase books from our site or Amazon.Com" (if it's a $50 Amazon voucher, that's quite a spend!).

    The school idea is great, and very noble. The gift card idea is... less great, and seems unsustainable. Either way, I'm wondering why these funds aren't used to hire editors and marketing staff to save on authors working as part of their "ensemble".
    Last edited by EMaree; 12-29-2014 at 11:00 PM.
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  3. #3
    Cat hair collector PVish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    slightly off center
    Strange that the upcoming releases have neither authors nor covers. And a character is named MeeCheli in two very different books (in the grade 1 & 2 book, she blows bubbles and helps a friend; in the "tale best enjoyed by readers in grades 4-6,' she's the first African-American princess on a slave ship bound for Jamestown harbor). I'm assuming the same author wrote those two books.

    ETA: The covers (without authors) appear at the top on their bookstore page, which features several other books by other publishers.
    Last edited by PVish; 12-29-2014 at 08:27 PM. Reason: added info

  4. #4
    Born long ago, in a different era T Robinson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Southern USA
    Craigslist? That might just be a sign.............Not sure of what, as it has purposes. I agree with all. Sounds like a commune to me.

  5. #5
    Grr. Argh. Thedrellum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Houston, Texas
    Their prices are all over the place.

    One chidren's book (Anklet for a Princess) is set at the fly-off-the-shelves price of $36.23. A "related product" titled Saint Louis Armstrong Beach retails for $5.99.

    I'm not sure what to make of this, except that if they are setting their own prices, I think they are doing it wrong.


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