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Thread: Creative Talents Unleashed / CTU Publishing Group

  1. #1
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    Creative Talents Unleashed / CTU Publishing Group

    "Together let's Unleash our Creative Talents and share them with the world" - Raja Williams

    Creative Talents Unleashed is an independent publishing group that offers writers an opportunity to share their writing talents with the world...We are a community of poets promising to treat each other with honesty, respect, and creative encouragement. We will handle your poetry manuscript with the respect and care it deserves and together we will create a beautiful representation of your words for the literary world to read. http://www.ctupublishinggroup.com/home.html
    An independent publishing group specializing in poetry, the least lucrative type of literature? No prizes for guessing that it's a pay-to-play, although I couldn't find a price list on the website.

    Not only do we co-create with our Authors and help them publish their books, but we also help them spread their message around the world via our own marketing platforms. We firmly believe in assisting you in publishing a great book at the lowest out of pocket expense and welcoming you into this amazing publishing family.
    But what if you can't afford the lowest 'out of pocket expense'? Don't panic! Help is at hand in the form of the Starving Artist Fund set up the company's CEO, poet Raja Williams:

    In 2013 Ms. Raja Williams realized that there was a gap, a void if you will, within the publishing industry. A writer either had to come up with hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars to release a book or take on the journey of self-publishing alone. There was no middle ground, no one there to assist, either financially or lead the way in self-publishing. Most writers do not have the finances to pay a publisher, and some don’t know where to start when it comes to self-publishing, nor are they prepared to be in business for themselves.

    Raja was inspired to start a fund to assist writers in becoming published authors at either a discounted rate or a full publishing scholarship. To begin this fund Raja paid for the publishing of our first anthology Love, a Four Letter Word. Comprised of poets from all around the world. The sales generated from the purchases of the book were placed into a fund that enabled us to fund future publishing’s.
    Call me cynical, but this sounds suspiciously like the claim made by some thinly-disguised vanity presses - "we bear half the cost of publishing and promoting your book!"

    And there's the old chestnut about writers having to pay to be published. Given that all of CTU's books to date have been published through CreateSpace, wouldn't it make more sense for poets to cut out the middle man and do the same, thereby saving themselves some expense (and the need for help from the Starving Artist Fund?)

    At least CTU doesn't hide the fact that most of the burden of actually selling books will fall on the authors:

    As we all know, in order for a dream to become reality a set of actions on the part of the visionary/writer/poet must take place. What are you willing to do to achieve your dream, to see a vision become reality? What sacrifices are you ready to make? Creative Talents Unleashed puts in countless hours and resources (financial and otherwise) daily to keep our vision of establishing a platform for your voice to be heard.

    We are counting on you to do your part by supporting the dream we all share, purchasing the very anthologies you request to be a part of is one way. Forging a bond of solidarity with your fellow writers and poets and those that give birth to platforms’ that promote writing is another. In a time where it has become increasingly difficult to publish promote and tell our stories, it is a must that we support each other.

    We strive to be a publishing family that supports the family members within. You can count on this family to be your cheer leader, purchase your books when feasible, and help promote your work and all forms of creative endeavors.
    Is there an award for Most Irritating Use of the Word 'Family' on a Vanity Publisher's Website?

    Raja Williams' bio is...interesting:

    Raja Williams, also known as Raja’s Insight fiercely arrived on the writer’s scene in 2012 after being awakened by a world renounced poet and song writer whom encouraged her to write daily. After nearly twenty years of pent up words only floating in her head she began to allow them to spill out onto empty pages and find way to readers that needed encouraging words.

    Raja entered one of her poems into a poetry contest and won a full publishing contract and released her first book “The Journey Along The Way” in January of 2013 with Inner Child Press. Through the publishing process and connecting with so many amazing writers and poets she founded her company “Creative Talents Unleashed.”

    http://www.ctupublishinggroup.com/raja-williams-.html
    Inner Child Press is another vanity press aimed at poets with up to $4000 to throw away on packages that include interviews on vanity radio.

    By the way, CTU doesn't offer editing. After reading their website I'm inclined to think it's probably a blessing in disguise...
    Last edited by aliceshortcake; 10-09-2015 at 03:39 AM.

  2. #2
    Born at sea Clairels's Avatar
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    "A world renounced poet and songwriter?"

    I'm not sure that's the type of person one should be taking career advice from.

  3. #3
    E Conchis Omnia Helix's Avatar
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    As you read on, you can see why they might have been "renounced".
    She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.

  4. #4
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    The image conjured up by this phrase is so delightful it's almost a disappointment when you realize it should be 'world-renowned'.

    Seriously, this is a classic example of what happens when someone published by a vanity press decides that they want to publish other writers. They have no idea what real publishing is.
    Last edited by aliceshortcake; 10-09-2015 at 03:37 AM.

  5. #5
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    The Dunning-Kruger Effect in action.

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

    Blog: Blue Night(blog back up, mwhahaha!)
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  6. #6
    practical experience, FTW mccardey's Avatar
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    I've been renounced. It's not a happy thing...

  7. #7
    Leaving on the 2:19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mccardey View Post
    I've been renounced. It's not a happy thing...
    One time I was re-announced, and it was OK. But it would have been better if the MC had had a properly working microphone in the first place.

  8. #8
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    To be fair, Raja Williams isn't completely lacking in publishing experience. According to her LinkedIn profile, for six months in 2013 she was the Creative Director of Invite Stories: Call For Writers:

    http://www.globalforumpublishing.com...r-writers.html

    From what I can gather, writers were being called to provide royalty-free content for anthologies they'd no doubt be expected to buy. I hope the editing was better than that of the book featured on the above page, the back cover of which is painful to read.

  9. #9
    Grr. Argh. Thedrellum's Avatar
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    Egad. Eegah. Growl.

    You know, there are some poetry presses that are author-driven--and quite successful--but they are co-ops. Alice James Books is a good example of this.

    However, they also don't require that the author put money into the publication process. And they're great at marketing the authors they publish. And, in all ways, they are better than this whatever-it-is.

    Although they aren't renounced. There's that.

  10. #10
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    CTU's first anthology Love a Four Letter Word was published last June and has an Amazon ranking of 2,274,950. I find it hard to believe that sales generated enough profit to pay for a single 'publishing scholarship'. The poets provided their own thumbnail biographies, and since quite a few of them obviously speak English as a second language the lack of editing is painfully obvious.

  11. #11
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    I emailed Raja Williams to ask about CTU's fees. Her reply:

    We don't have a standard price for publishing as we are a company that is for the writer.
    This means, you will only pay the required fees for a book publishing. We encourage writers to submit their manuscript
    for evaluation, and then we are able to evaluate what your needs are. Hint, no writer has paid more than $350 for publishing.
    Make of that what you will.

  12. #12
    practical experience, FTW noveler7's Avatar
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    Few things frustrate me more than vanity presses masquerading as something they're not...

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