Has anyone heard anything about Oftomes Publishing? They're a micro-publisher with about three books out so far.
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Has anyone heard anything about Oftomes Publishing? They're a micro-publisher with about three books out so far.
Without knowing anything else, the site looks good (geared towards readers, not authors) and their cover art is beautiful.
magical realist Künstlerroman: 14,000 words
I think standard cautions for new houses should apply. It's also micro-publishing so... make sure your project fits with that. Always aim high to start.
That said, if one is going to start a micro-publisher having a captive audience from a pre-existing YouTube channel doesn't hurt. It won't alleviate all or even any of the inevitable new publisher challenges but it may buy some time and reputation with a core group of readers.
I'm a bit perturbed by the big Why publish with us? section, in part because there are grammar errors but also because they're talking about how they'll do editing, talking about open-mindedness with changes, etc. For me, that stuff should be implied in any professionally-focused submissions page. Are they targeting authors who don't know this stuff? Do they not know this stuff?
Still they're clear about what they want and up front about stuff, which is better than trying to play the we're-not-vanity-(but-we-are) game. This isn't a vanity pub. It may not be a good publisher, though. Give it some time.
Got a favorite from them today for Pit2Pub. I'd be interested in hearing any stories from people who've actually worked with them.
I've read a few of their titles! I liked both of them. But one thing I will say is that they seem to have a really heavy focus on taking already moderately successful self-published authors and then rebranding them. When I did some research on them, it seemed like they had an excellent publicity vehicle -- lots of followers, lots of promotion and blog exposure -- but the website doesn't talk a lot about the editing process or what goes on behind the scenes of the books other than cover design?
I found a blog that interviewed the founder of Oftomes Publishing and they asked him about the process and this is what he said:
"So to start off with a submission, the author sends us a synopsis and the first five chapters of their novel. If we enjoy it, it will be sent off to be read by the editor we work*with.
If the novel is accepted and signed with our company the following will happen. It will be read by myself again once more and sent off to the editor for rounds of edits, length depending on how many rounds it needs to go through.
Immediately, marketing will plan the FMSP, which stands for Five Month Standard Plan. This plan is exclusive to Oftomes and is a detailed plan of what is going to happen with said novel starting five months before release.
It will then be sent to our digital artist and cover designer for visuals and covers. Once edited it will go through interior design as well to prepare for review copies.
That is in brief what happens but there are also lots of secrets and magic we cannot share... You just have to keep an eye out!"
His response was somewhat vague, but he did answer it in a way. So I'm assuming that they have an editor that helps out with that process. Here is the interview: https://www.writersedit.com/booktubi...es-publishing/
Thank you for this thread. I'm researching them myself right now. I'm torn, because he's new to the publishing world. Do I want someone who may be savvy with social media & actually BE my audience, BUT learning the publishing ropes on my time (and my dime)? Or do I want to go with some old codger whose been around & knows how it all works, but may not be not be cutting edge w technology. I dunno. Plus Benjamin is SUPER incredulous that he's a publisher on his YouTube page, which sort of scares me too, because it comes off as naive instead of confident. Am I the only one who feels this way?
Last edited by kkosach; 11-17-2016 at 07:39 AM.
I read somewhere on their submission page that the manuscript submitted needs to be edited professionally prior to submission.
Is editing supposed to be part of the publisher's responsibility? If not, then how much contributions from them can we expect? Especially since publishers take a hefty chunk of the author's earning.
Just scooted to their Submissions page. If this is the quality of editing on their web copy, I'm not sure I would trust them to do an edit anyway:
I mean, that's the litany. We've got agreement, we've got syntax, we've got typos. The author pages also have grammar errors, as well as inconsistent style that is making my eyes twitch.Oftomes Publishing has a large scope for what we are looking for. As long as your novel is Young Adult, we are happy with accepting submissions in fantasy, dystopia, paranormal, contempoary and much more.
Oftomes askes that you submit if your novel is between 50,000 to 120,000 words and has been edited through professionally.
Oftomes also enjoys a good revamp. So if you are a self published author already or looking for a new and fresh company, we are open to look at previously published work.
Alcasgra, you've already nailed the reason why hiring a professional editor doesn't make sense--it means the publisher isn't investing in the book, the author is. Note that Oftomes does not pay an advance. The publisher then has no incentive to sell the book. You are basically paying to give them 50% of royalties.
These are the sorts of mistakes small, new publishers make when the principals don't have publishing industry experience. Eager is great, and the captive audience from the YouTube thing is intriguing, but that's not a replacement for actual knowledge. If Benjaminoftomes the booktuber had brought his audience and selection to a partnership with someone who had real publishing industry experience, this would be a much more convincing venture.
To respond to kkosach: I wouldn't judge too much based on a publisher's social media savvy. It's not necessarily the most important thing in selling books. The publisher should have a publicist who in turn understands when and how it is helpful for authors to be involved on social media. It's helpful but not essential. People don't buy books from Twitter.
From the same page, there's this red flag:
It may be unintentional, but this exact language appears way too often when the publisher expects authors to cross-promote each other. This doesn't work, is disingenuous to readers, and is, again, not the done thing. You're an author with a desirable product. Being part of a family isn't an important or even desirable part of the business transaction. Selling books is.You will be a part of a family of supportive authors and a highly responsive team. Oftomes Publishing is run by Benjamin Alderson; alternatively known as Benjaminoftomes who is a well known UK booktuber.
This post seems to nail it on the head. OfTomes liked my pitch during one of the Twitter pitch parties, so I researched the company and grabbed up a bunch of his ebooks when he put them on sale for 99 cents, and they vary wildly in quality. Have followed Ben OfTomes off and on, and have talked about OfTomes with a friend who works in publishing and knows the industry better than I, and here are several reasons I've concluded to STAY AWAY.
1) There's clearly not a professional editor involved. There are grammar errors all over the website, on many of Ben's social media posts, on the back covers of his books, and littering several of the books themselves.
2) He's been pumping out "rereleased" self-published books left and right, which tells me either A) his quality new submissions have dried up or B) all he cares about is the short term pops from new releases (and "rereleases"), since the Amazon and Goodreads stats for his mature titles are horrendous.
3) His Manuscript Wishlist posts and submission page reflects a complete ignorance of the current YA market. He seems trapped 5-10 years in the past, asking for every cliche and worn out YA trope, from dystopian to witches to boarding schools, and now he's set to republish a vampire trilogy called "The Blood Series" or some similar cringe inducing name. Not all of his current books reflect this, and there are a couple of really good ones in there, but the vast majority have little chance of standing out in the current market.
4) The only marketing appears to be some Twitter and Instagram posts and the rare shout out on Ben's YouTube channel. He gets maybe 2-3k views a video, most likely from an ideal target audience of YA readers, yet Ben doesn't mention his own books very often curiously. Strange for a social media based publisher to fail to use his most popular tool, video blogging, to market his own books effectively.
5) As I said, it seems likely Ben doesn't actually have an editor, and he doesn't seem to be partnered with anyone with industry experience from what I can tell, so we're dealing with someone without any real experience here.
In conclusion, I would advise extreme caution before submitting to OfTomes. The idea behind a social media based publisher is intriguing at first glance, and for the sake of all writers I would love for Ben to be "the real deal", and would love if I were wrong about all of my speculation, since it's always great to have more options, but this looks like a dead end. Even if we were dealing with one of the top top youtube and social media book blogger personalities with 20-30 times Ben's audience, I would still advise caution unless they had partnered with someone with publishing experience, hired an editor, and focused on maybe 5 or 6 unique, quality releases a year instead of spamming out repackaged self-published books from dated genres. Hopefully someone who's worked on the inside speaks out and gives more insight, but even if not, we can infer a lot by examining the titles, the website and social media posts, and everything mentioned in this thread.
Last edited by Doctor Write; 11-23-2016 at 11:31 AM.
As several others have pointed out, he's asking for professionally edited manuscripts and not offering any advances. When a "publisher" asks an author to hire their own editor and is unwilling to invest any money in acquisitions, the vanity publishing/potential scam alarms go off.
Last edited by Doctor Write; 02-01-2017 at 12:59 PM.
This is my first post on these forums... hello! :P
OfTomes has actually requested my full MS after enjoying my opening chapters... I've sent it to Ben, and am awaiting a response. It's an MS from 2014, which didn't get much luck in the agent mill... but it's has some success on Wattpad, and extremely positive feedback. I'm sort of thinking it might be worth considering OfTomes, despite some of the pitfalls people have mentioned... at least I will be doing something with the book, and I don't really feel I have the skills or self-discipline to self-publish and do it well.
Wondering what you guys think?
Why not go back into the query trenches? This is a micropress, and there are many publishers out there that offer more in terms of marketing, support, editing and eventual earnings.
Don't take the first offer you get. Aim higher than that! If Oftomes are interested in your book, other bigger publishers and agents will likely be interested too.
Do you really think so? Could I query the same agents as before with the same book? Hmm, I'm just not sure what to do.
I'm slightly apprehensive at the moment because I have a first refusal offer from an agent on my second book... so I've been working with her for the past year and a half, editing my book in the hope that she will offer me representation. She hasn't actually offered solid representation yet, but I recently gave her the latest version of the book after going through a round of edits, so I'm really hoping that she will offer representation... if not, I'm back to square one with that book.
Thanks so much for your answer, btw.
Don't fall into the trap of "any pub is better than just having it up on Wattpad". When you sign with a publisher, you are giving away very important rights to your property, and they will take a significant percentage of your sales. Make sure they are earning that percentage.
Your stories matter. They are your property, and the rights you give away can have years of impact. Do not just give them away to the first publisher that comes knocking.
Nah, not unless it's changed significantly and has a new title.Could I query the same agents as before with the same book? Hmm, I'm just not sure what to do.
Query new agents. There are hundreds of new agents around in 2017 that weren't around in 2014 -- and many of them will be reputable folks that you just missed on the last time around. Cast a wide net.
Okay, blunt truth time: if the agent hasn't offered representation after a year and a half, you are still on square one.I'm slightly apprehensive at the moment because I have a first refusal offer from an agent on my second book... so I've been working with her for the past year and a half, editing my book in the hope that she will offer me representation. She hasn't actually offered solid representation yet, but I recently gave her the latest version of the book after going through a round of edits, so I'm really hoping that she will offer representation... if not, I'm back to square one with that book.
Also, her expectation of "right of first refusal" on your second book is a joke. If you don't have a representation contract with her, she has zero grounds to expect that from you. I would be very wary of any agent that expects that level of control over you when you haven't signed anything -- you two are not tied by any agreement, you should still be querying up until the moment you've signed that offer of rep. Have you checked her out on the Bewares forum?
A year and a half is an insane amount of time to be hanging on to hopes of representation.* Even if she's super reputable, do not put all your eggs in this basket. Get back in the query trenches -- you do not have to tell her, you owe her nothing at this point.
(*I get it, though. I spent about two years going through editing rounds hanging around waiting to go on sub with an agent -- I'd signed the agreement, but two years later we still hadn't gone on sub. She just wasn't that into my book. It is hard to face the fact that someone you respected and trusted is wasting your time and holding up your career, but it happens.)
You're right. I do see new agents popping up all the time... maybe I should get back to it. Hmm, lots to think about! I think I would rather continuing to query my second novel, though, simply because I love it more, and it's more fresh in my head.
As to the second point, about the agent and first refusal, the reason that it's taken so long is because when I first submitted to her, the novel was very, very raw. I was quite naďve and impatient, and I submitted it virtually without any editing - big mistake. I very much regret that. But she saw some little nugget of potential in it, and in the past year and a half we've completely replotted and rewritten it. It's now a completely different book altogether, and I couldn't have done it without the agent. I know I can still go ahead and query, but she is quite a reputable agent here in the UK, and she's helped me so much that I don't really want to? Hmm. She said she would get back to me at the end of this month, so I'm refreshing my email pretty much every five minutes now.
When they have typos on their site and want you to get your book professionally edited, that's a double whammy of red flags if you ask me.
I have to say... the typos did make me shudder slightly :/
In addition to all of the other red flags pointed out in this thread, I also want to add that they don't seem to have any interest in bookstore distribution. There is nothing on their website about ordering info for bookstores and I can find no evidence that they work with any distributors. I found 17 of their titles listed on Ingram (a wholesaler) and they all had very short discounts (between 5% and 20%). This means that a bookstore is unlikely to give these books shelf space (even if they've heard of the book and think it is great). They are listed as returnable, at least, but with the short discounts a store can still lose money on those returns.
It appears they are only concerned with online sales.
Hmm... I'm being very slowly swayed. Thanks so much for everyone's input. I actually follow some of their authors on Instagram/Twitter, and I have seen one or two of them posting pictures of their books in bookstores that they have found. So I think they do get some distribution in bookstores, or at least very slowly trying to tackle this issue.
But yes, it does very much look like it is online orientated.