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Thread: Horrific Tales Publishing / Gemstone Romance (Graeme Reynolds)

  1. #1
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    Horrific Tales Publishing / Gemstone Romance (Graeme Reynolds)

    The good news is that I'm not finding Horrific Tales Publishing on Hi Piers, or P&E, or here.

    The bad news is... same. I'm told (via email) that the parent company is "increasingly successful" -- yet I have not heard of Horrific Tales Publishing.

    Anyone else?


    HTP is not the same as Horrified Press, which is already listed on AW.
    Horrific Tales Publishing: http://horrifictales.co.uk/

    Its new romance imprint Gemstone Romance: ​https://gemstoneromance.com/


    Things of interest: Publisher Graeme Reynolds keeps up his own blog, but the HP blog/main site hasn't been updated since Nov. 2014. He's a self-published author.

    In December 2014, the Guardian's book blog did an article about Reynolds' Kindle book as well (it's a funny post) but I should note that as editors go, Mr. Reynolds doesn't pay attention on his blog.

    Not everyone does, mind, but it's something I look for in a small press: Do they punctuate and/or spell-check their posts? What about the rest of the website? What does that tell me about how they'll treat a book, or a freelancer?


    I suspect this is a newish startup without publishing/editing experience. Certainly showing all the signs: an author starts up the press, publishes some other authors...

    The author of this HTP book, per the reviewer, seems to have the same problems that Mr. Reynolds' book on Amazon had. Inability to write an ending.

    Not sure about his editing, but this reviewer was distracted by typos.

    Will update when I know more.
    ASZ*---
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  2. #2
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    Hi - I just came across this thread so thought it only right that I respond personally.

    I started Horrific Tales Publishing in 2011 with the intention of, as you quite rightly say, self publishing my first novel, High Moor. My intention was to avoid the many criticisms aimed at the self published writer at the time (and today) by employing professional cover artists, editors and proof readers. All of the royalties from that book and it's sequel were put back into the business and I was able to apply the business model that I developed to publishing other novels. To date, Horrific Tales has ten novels published, with contracts currently in place for another six for next year. We pay advances against royalties, 40% net payments to authors on a monthly basis and we actively promote our books. To date we have had four novels (High Moor, High Moor 2, Whisper and Angel Manor) make the preliminary ballot of the Bram Stoker Awards, with Bottled Abyss by Benjamin Kane Ethridge getting a nomination in 2012. In a few short years we have sold well in excess of 20,000 books and most of our titles have excellent reviews overall. My own debut novel has an average review rating of 4.6 over 208 reviews on Amazon.

    We go through a 7 stage editorial process, and our editors include Simon Marshall Jones who runs Spectral Press - a well regarded small press who'd work has won several British Fantasy Society Awards for best small press. We publish not only ebooks, but paperbacks, hardbacks and audiobooks and use award winning cover artists such as Ben Baldwin. Our aim is, and always will be, to put out the best work we can. The reason there are no advisories against us is that I have always done my best by our authors and always made sure that they are paid on time.

    Gemstone Romance is a separate entity, which I am funding and am applying the Horrific Tales business model to, but is being run by Charlotte Courtney. I am simply providing financial, technical and business support to the venture. It will use a different editorial team - we are currently going through a shortlist of editors and proof readers to make sure that we get the right people on board. However the focus on quality will remain the same.

    That said - publishing is a learning process. Great British Horror Volume 1, for example, is a charity box set where every penny is donated to Centrepoint, a UK based homeless charity, and is made up for books by a number of small press and self published authors. High Moor and Whisper, from Horrific Tales, I can vouch for the editing on. The other titles are as they were originally published and yes, some contain spelling mistakes. However, it's not my place to correct their work - I simply provided the publishing mechanism and ebook formatting for the title, and send the royalties to the charity every month.

    In our other books, yes, occasionally typo's have crept in despite our best efforts. When we discover them, we fix them and put out a new edition.

    As for my blog posts - well, I never said I was an editor. I have some talent for the structural work, but this is why I pay professionals to do my editing. I do the ebook and paperback formatting, plus the promotional work, but I find it much better to pay individuals with a proven track record to do the other things for me.

    Feel free to ask me any questions. I feel its better to be completely up front about things.
    Last edited by GraemeR; 07-31-2015 at 01:57 AM.

  3. #3
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    Also, a word of advice to Anne, who wrote this post. Probably not the best move to make when trying to get business from a publisher. Consider yourself off the shortlist for Gemstone Romance. Best of luck in whatever you do next.

    Graeme
    Last edited by GraemeR; 07-31-2015 at 03:55 AM.

  4. #4
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    ???

    I can appreciate publishers who can explain their business model. I especially appreciate publishers who publicly alert me to their possible foibles and idiosyncrasies. Saves me time.

    I mean this well, and hope for your continued success...but publishing should not be a learning process. I tend to automatically disregard any publisher who uses that phrase.
    Last edited by Filigree; 07-31-2015 at 04:26 AM.

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraemeR View Post
    Also, a word of advice to Anne, who wrote this post. Probably not the best move to make when trying to get business from a publisher. Consider yourself off the shortlist for Gemstone Romance. Best of luck in whatever you do next.

    Graeme
    Graeme, Anne wasn't writing this post to win favor with you. She was alerting her fellow authors about what she'd seen and what she thought in regards to Horrific Tales. I appreciated reading her thoughts.

    Although it was nice of you to come here and respond to the original post, your second set of comments was inappropriate. I doubt Anne ever intended to submit a manuscript to Horrific Tales. I know I certainly won't.

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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Filigree View Post
    ???

    I can appreciate publishers who can explain their business model. I especially appreciate publishers who publicly alert me to their possible foibles and idiosyncrasies. Saves me time.

    I mean this well, and hope for your continued success...but publishing should not be a learning process. I tend to automatically disregard any publisher who uses that phrase.
    Thank you, Filigree. Far classier a response than I can currently make.

    {It's been a very long day, with major household disruptions, although a new copyediting project is currently in hand.}
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    I appreciate your post, @azshea. Seems like a fine move to me.

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    FYI:
    I came here first, instead of replying to his email... because Graeme emailed me about "my" thread here.

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinD View Post
    Graeme, Anne wasn't writing this post to win favor with you. She was alerting her fellow authors about what she'd seen and what she thought in regards to Horrific Tales. I appreciated reading her thoughts.
    MartinD: Thank you!

    I tried to be as thorough as I could. Felt that the more info we all knew, the better. Which tends to be the norm on Absolute Write, after all...

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinD View Post
    Although it was nice of you to come here and respond to the original post, your second set of comments was inappropriate. I doubt Anne ever intended to submit a manuscript to Horrific Tales. I know I certainly won't.
    I'm a freelance editor and Gemstone approached me about copyediting for them.

    (After an author friend introduced me in email to Gemstone's editor. I copyedited three works by that author: short fiction, a novel, and a novella. The publishers were Electric Velocipede, Angry Robot Books, and Tor.com, respectively.)

    I agree -- from Graeme's comments on AW, he's told me a lot about him and his business approach... and he's done the same for anyone seeking to work with him, freelancer or author.

    Via email, Graeme also mentioned that I was "probably not the best fit" for them because of writing this AW post. Hrmmm.
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    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin ExitTheKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraemeR View Post
    Also, a word of advice to Anne, who wrote this post. Probably not the best move to make when trying to get business from a publisher. Consider yourself off the shortlist for Gemstone Romance. Best of luck in whatever you do next.

    Graeme
    While his initial post was a nice attempt at explaining the company, this, for me, sums up working with the Graeme Reynolds.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExitTheKing View Post
    While his initial post was a nice attempt at explaining the company, this, for me, sums up working with the Graeme Reynolds.
    Yep. It's perfectly normal to be curious about someone when you're considering entering into a business relationship. In fact, it's encouraged. When you go to a job interview what's one of the standard pieces of advice? Learn what you can about the company. Usually this is couched in the same terms as personalizing a query letter, i.e. you want to show that you're interested in that specific company. It's not the inquirer's fault if that search turns up some red flags.

    The funny thing is that here there wasn't anything particularly bad. Lack of a presence just means a company's probably fairly new. However, a publisher who blacklists someone because she dared ask about the company's reputation? THAT'S a red flag to me.
    "One of the hardest things to do, I think, is learn to trust your own creativity." - Ambrosia

  11. #11
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    It's one of my twenty-some-odd big flags for Filigree's Rule, by which I decide to let certain authors and certain publishers waste each other's time and energy...and not mine. I won't be commenting on this publisher again, on AW or offsite.

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  12. #12
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    I apologise for my second set of comments. They were written in a moment of rashness after a long day and I would ask people to disregard them.

    I was merely irate to find that this editor had posted in a public forum comments from emails that were sent in professional confidence. We approached this editor on the recommendation of a friend (as she describes) to work with us as a copy editor. She replied to our first informal email with some questions. Due to my own workload and my commissioning editor hurting her hand, we were unable to respond in a timely manner. We informed her of this and asked her to be patient with us.

    Then I find that, in the meantime, she has been researching us (which is acceptable) and posting excerpts from our private correspondence on the internet (which is not acceptable), without waiting for us to respond to her comments. If this editor had simply waited another week or so, I believe we would have been able to answer many of her concerns in a private manner without needing to enter into any discussion on this forum.

    As I explained in my first post, we are a legitimate new press and Horrific Tales novels have been both included in the Bram Stoker Award ballots and, in one case, nominated for the same. We have a rigorous editing process and publish in many different mediums. We would be pleased to hear from anyone who wished to submit to us and I hope the contents this thread will not put off anyone from doing so.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraemeR View Post
    I was merely irate to find that this editor had posted in a public forum comments from emails that were sent in professional confidence.
    I'm not sure what you mean.

    This?

    I'm told (via email) that the parent company is "increasingly successful"

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