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Thread: Merge Publishing

  1. #1
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    Merge Publishing

    Didn't see this one in the Index. It was brought to my attention by a fellow AWer:

    http://mergepublishing.com/

    Looks to me like the usual authors-who-start-their-own-company model, with lots of buzzwords and ballyhoo but no real experience in the publishing business.

    POD and digital.
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  2. #2
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    Well, at least they list their publishing team, which is not so horrid as far as talent and general background information. The list lacks specifics. It seems like the team is paid on commission--a lack of expenditure from the owners, to pay upfront to their team members.

    They look brand new. I can't get a handle on their specialization of a certain or a few genres. I might have missed it.

    tri
    Last edited by triceretops; 05-05-2015 at 05:04 AM.

  3. #3
    figuring it all out SerenaAkeroyd's Avatar
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    They don't seem to have many books out?

  4. #4
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SerenaAkeroyd View Post
    They don't seem to have many books out?
    Nope. They're real sparse in that aspect. They're just babies learning how to walk.

  5. #5
    The King and Queen of Cheese BenPanced's Avatar
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by BenPanced View Post
    Yep.

  7. #7
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    '...must be willing to poor their heart and soul...'

    Is that a pun? It better be a pun. Otherwise: Fail. Fail, Fail, FAIL. I stopped there. I'm not wasting any more time on them, nor will I spare pity and support for their authors.

    When your web copy is your first point of contact, it has to be reasonably solid. Never mind the probable fallacies getting ready to be unleashed in the next sentences. Word-choice errors are a hallmark of small presses not ready to do business.

    Merge is over a year old. They should know better.
    Last edited by Filigree; 05-05-2015 at 06:34 AM.

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  8. #8
    Born at sea Clairels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Filigree View Post
    '...must be willing to poor their heart and soul...'
    Not to mention "the literal hurdle to overcome with publication."


  9. #9
    practical experience, FTW Dhewco's Avatar
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    I agree that the first contact copy needs to be perfect. I also think that if they're trying a pun...well, that doesn't work either. A business such as a publisher shouldn't do that. It's unprofessional.

    However, I'm not opposed to new publishers. I think I've said it before on BR&BC: If everyone waited until a new publisher has real accomplishments and a track record, who are they supposed to start with?

    Oh, they wouldn't be my first option, either. I don't think we need to fault authors who give them a try. Once you've tried agent after agent, publisher after publisher, it's not much of a stretch to go with the new guys.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Dhewco View Post
    However, I'm not opposed to new publishers. I think I've said it before on BR&BC: If everyone waited until a new publisher has real accomplishments and a track record, who are they supposed to start with?
    As I've said in other threads, there's no shortage of writers willing to be guinea pigs.

  11. #11
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    I agree. They would be my last ditch effort if I was really aching to use a publisher.

    tri

  12. #12
    Persisting AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
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    If there's a literal hurdle, that lets me out.

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  13. #13
    Behind the door of a small house.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dhewco View Post
    I agree that the first contact copy needs to be perfect. I also think that if they're trying a pun...well, that doesn't work either. A business such as a publisher shouldn't do that. It's unprofessional.

    However, I'm not opposed to new publishers. I think I've said it before on BR&BC: If everyone waited until a new publisher has real accomplishments and a track record, who are they supposed to start with?
    I don't think the issue is so much waiting for "real accomplishments" as much as it is "actual experience to run a ship." New publishers pop up frequently with veteran leadership. They're "new" and they're also very unlike people who decide, for whatever reason, without experience, that they'd like to be a publisher, too.

  14. #14
    Back in the black, & staying there! Marian Perera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dhewco View Post
    However, I'm not opposed to new publishers. I think I've said it before on BR&BC: If everyone waited until a new publisher has real accomplishments and a track record, who are they supposed to start with?
    I've said this before too: when people need surgery, would it be better to go to an experienced professional or to a medical student who needs the practice? And if people don't go to medical students, who are the students going to operate on?

    If someone gets an internship or a job with an established publisher, builds up experience that way, and then starts their own press, it would be much less of a risk to me than if they wake up one morning and think it would be cool to be a publisher. Even if they have nothing but good intentions... too often, they have nothing but good intentions.


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  15. #15
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    What they never seem to have is capital - hence, the all-too-frequent model where the writer shoulders most of the marketing burden, and the distribution is via the same channels available to self-publishers.
    Last edited by mrsmig; 05-05-2015 at 06:48 PM.
    KINGLET: Coming from FIERY SEAS PUBLISHING in August 2017



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    And the occasional Tweet.





  16. #16
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    And probably the same general sales ranges of most self publishers without genre or industry experience.

    Look, ten years ago I could see giving up after the endless query shuffle, and accepting an unproven small press just so I could be 'published'. Now we have easy and cheap self-publishing. We have ample evidence that for most writers, the struggle only begins with being published. My question to ANY small press is: how are you earning your cut of sales? Great editors, designers, cover artists? Effective marketing that does more than I can by myself? If few or none of those apply, why on earth would I let you anywhere near my book?

    M/M/M contemporary erotic romance novella out now from NineStar Press!

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  17. #17
    Persisting AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
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    [Thunderous applause.] Keep a copy of that post, Filigree. You may need it again and again, as such a business model is pretty common.

    Maryn, uncommon
    Get to work. Success isn't built on the power of your dreams.


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  18. #18
    The King and Queen of Cheese BenPanced's Avatar
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    And per the usual open invitation, if anybody out there has been published with Merge or works/has worked for them, we'd love to hear your experience, good, bad, and indifferent.
    I still poop rainbows.




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  19. #19
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrsmig View Post
    What they never seem to have is capital - hence, the all-too-frequent model where the writer shoulders most of the marketing burden, and the distribution is via the same channels available to self-publishers.

    Quoted for truth
    .

  20. #20
    storm central stormie's Avatar
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    On their blog they say that books published with small publishers (like theirs) will stay in publication for a longer time than with the bigger publishers.

    Most of the time this isn't true.

    And with just a cursory glance at their website, there were a few places in need of editing.

  21. #21
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Now that the Big Five have discovered the longevity of digital blacklists, yeah, sure they're going to sign longer contracts.

    M/M/M contemporary erotic romance novella out now from NineStar Press!

    Blog: Blue Night(blog back up, mwhahaha!)
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  22. #22
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stormie View Post
    On their blog they say that books published with small publishers (like theirs) will stay in publication for a longer time than with the bigger publishers.

    Most of the time this isn't true.

    And with just a cursory glance at their website, there were a few places in need of editing.
    Correct. Most big pubs are very proud of their back-list titles and keep them around for a very long time. Store shelf life? That's a different story, which could be six to 10 weeks before they are pulled for remainders, charged back as returns or pulped. Unless it's a breakout or bestseller, meaning they end up as front list and lead titles. Heh, those books get higher marketing budgets--endcaps (spelling?), lots of foreign rights sales, additional printings and movie talks.

    tri--wishing there was a tiny movie deal in his future.
    Last edited by triceretops; 05-06-2015 at 12:13 AM.

  23. #23
    practical experience, FTW Dhewco's Avatar
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    A small reason for going with an unproven publisher is the feeling you can get from someone other than your mom/wife/son/best friend saying I think this is good enough. (You know, what the PA thread calls "Author: The Role-playing Game"...or something similar). With self-publishing, you don't really get that small tick in self-worth.

    Again, I've no plans to go with an unproven publisher. I'm just playing devil's advocate here. (Also, I dream of winning the lottery, hiring top notch editors, artists, and other professionals and starting my own publisher...lol)

    David

  24. #24
    Born at sea Clairels's Avatar
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    The only two books out so far are written by two of the owners of the press. The blurbs could use with some serious editing. From "A Taste for Death:" "Many parts of his past start unveiling itself as he investigates."

    Then again, according to one of their blog posts, they're now hiring editors and proofreaders. And they get paid in royalties!

    Of course, this post is right above the post advertising their Kickstarter campaign.

    I don't think I'll be applying.

  25. #25
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    I'll try to frame this differently. Say I paint a picture and show it to my cousin, who hasn't an artistic side beyond drink-mixing. She says it's wonderful. Her friends all say it's wonderful. I believe her.

    I submit the same picture to a gallery owner with decades of experience. If she's kind she'll give me a measured critique of where I succeeded or failed. If she's busy and I'm really clueless, I'll get a rejection letter. Or no reply at all. But if she likes it and wants it in her catalog, I now have a critic/partner whose opinion matters.

    New writers often don't understand that *who* you publish with and *how* are usually much more important than merely getting published.

    M/M/M contemporary erotic romance novella out now from NineStar Press!

    Blog: Blue Night(blog back up, mwhahaha!)
    My art and jewelry online at SaatchiArt.
    My collected Filigree's Rule posts for would-be writers (learn from my mistakes!)

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