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Thread: Cactus Moon Publications

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Cactus Moon Publications

    I've been offered a contract for my fantasy by Cactus Moon Publishing in Tempe, AZ. I've seen more than a few red flags in their contract and on their website, and can't find anything much about them. Anyone know anything about this publisher?

  2. #2
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    Do you mean Cactus Moon Publications?

    If so, I've never seen a publisher's website with so many imprints and so little information - not even what genres are represented in each imprint. Their Mission Statement is full of high flown language about collaboration (including the obligatory description of themselves as a "new model of publishing company"), but nothing concrete about how they do business. They say they are not vanity, are "independent of traditional publishing companies" and are a "hybrid-publisher," whatever that means.

    ETA: Had a look at a couple of their books. The covers range from decent to fairly awful, the writing from shaky to pretty good. One book had a misspelling and a punctuation error on the first page.

    Since you have a contract in hand, would you mind sharing details, e.g. Do they offer an advance? Are their royalties computed on cover price, on net (and is the term "net" defined?), or by some other method? Is the author expected to "kick in" for publishing expenses?
    Last edited by mrsmig; 04-09-2016 at 05:58 PM.
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  3. #3
    Mired in the miry mire. leifwright's Avatar
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    Their web site doesn't fit into my browser screen. I have to actually enlarge my browser to accommodate the whole thing. Not a good sign, but a good publisher could have a bad site, I guess.

    On this page (http://cactusmoonpublications.com/mission.html), they say things like "Cactus Moon ... (and its imprints are) considered hybrid-publishers." Hyphenation is their own.

    My understanding of hybrid publishing is that the author must foot at least part of the bill to publish the book. If you're wanting to avoid vanity publishing, avoid hybrid as well.

    Under the "Collaboration" bullet, they say they "collaborate" with a "variety of contractors," which is another way of indicating they probably don't have in-house editors and other professionals.

    Under "Polish," the site says this: "Our choices are made on factors beyond the story and writing ability.". Red flag. And then the kicker that, in my mind at least, flags them as a vanity press for sure: "any author that is willing to work hard, accept feedback and boldly share their product is a welcome addition to our company".

    The cover of the one book I was able to see on the web site looked like it was composed by a child using Photoshop.

    I'd avoid them.

  4. #4
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Have you or any of your friends ever bought and read any of their books?

    What attracted you to them in the first place?

  5. #5
    Cat hair collector PVish's Avatar
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    Oh, dear. On this page for "VIP readers, "Cactus Moon rewards those who sign up with these, uh, perks:
    • Special pre-order prices on all of our upcoming books. Our print titles will never be sold retail by CMP at your price.
    • Free VIP ONLY gifts when you participate in a Facebook launch or signing event.
    • Direct Q & A with all of our authors.
    • Free e-book with referral of 5 friends to the VIP program and free print book with 15 referrals.
    That just sounds strange.

  6. #6
    Now with more stubble VeryBigBeard's Avatar
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    Yeah, some of the links under that Collaborator's List raise more questions than they answer.

    ETA: Found this under the Mission Statement, too:
    Unity - Our business model supports unity in all operations. This is a strict code for CM and its affiliates. The world of publishing has experienced its share of controversy. Who is better? Independent or traditional publishing? Is self-publishing to be shunned? CM does not involve itself in today’s business of mistrust and ideological loyalties. We expect the same from our collaborators. Our sole mission is to give authors with a voice and story, the readers to listen.
    That reads suspiciously like a "thou shalt not criticize thy publisher ever" routine.
    Last edited by VeryBigBeard; 04-09-2016 at 03:47 AM.

  7. #7
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    The business is apparently run out of a house in Tempe. Given the hideous layout of the landing page, I'm not terribly inclined to trust the editors' CVs about magazine design skills. The nearly-NDA language VBB quoted above makes me even more hesitant about this press.

    But you never know, give 'em a couple of years to see what happens.

    (I looked a bit deeper. I'm firmly enacting Filigree's Rule on this one. No further comment.)
    Last edited by Filigree; 04-09-2016 at 09:37 AM. Reason: more info

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  8. #8
    Not as sweet as you think Aggy B.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leifwright View Post
    On this page (http://cactusmoonpublications.com/mission.html), they say things like "Cactus Moon ... (and its imprints are) considered hybrid-publishers." Hyphenation is their own.

    My understanding of hybrid publishing is that the author must foot at least part of the bill to publish the book. If you're wanting to avoid vanity publishing, avoid hybrid as well.
    Hmm. My understanding of hybrid publishing is that it applies to authors who both self-publish and trade publish*. It shouldn't apply to a publisher at all.

    *It can also mean authors who represent some of their work themselves, and have an agent to rep the rest - usually distinguished by genre, but also size of work being shopped around.
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  9. #9
    Mired in the miry mire. leifwright's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aggy B. View Post
    Hmm. My understanding of hybrid publishing is that it applies to authors who both self-publish and trade publish*. It shouldn't apply to a publisher at all.

    *It can also mean authors who represent some of their work themselves, and have an agent to rep the rest - usually distinguished by genre, but also size of work being shopped around.
    According to this HuffPo article, hybrid publishing is where "the author paid for some or all of their production and print costs in exchange for higher royalty rates."

    The "hybrid" author is one who has been traditionally published but also self-publishes.

  10. #10
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    You say "hybrid," I say "vanity."

    A vanity press is one where the author pays for some or all of their production and print costs.

    (Note: This does not mean self-publishing. In self-publishing the author pays nothing, the publisher pays everything. That the author and the publisher are the same person is interesting but unimportant.)

  11. #11
    Mired in the miry mire. leifwright's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald View Post
    You say "hybrid," I say "vanity."
    I wholeheartedly agree.

    However, the publisher in question is representing itself as a "hybrid" publisher, so I think the definition is important.

  12. #12
    Not as sweet as you think Aggy B.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leifwright View Post
    I wholeheartedly agree.

    However, the publisher in question is representing itself as a "hybrid" publisher, so I think the definition is important.
    Perhaps. The problem is that someone is representing hybrid publishing (which was used to refer to authors who do trade AND self-publishing) as being something else - namely vanity publishing. Thus, my previous post. Regardless of what some writes on the HuffPo blog, hybrid is a term applied to authors, not publishers.
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    OF LIPS AND TONGUE
    "Don't pick it up if you have important things to do today."
    "...the story itself is a masterpiece of horror, paranoia, love, and introduces a startling heroine that people should flock to."
    "If you like dark, unsettling, gorgeous Southern Gothic books with a taste of Southern Fried X-Files, this novella might be your cuppa."
    OF SHADE AND SOUL: Available now!


    A.G. Carpenter
    @Aggy_C

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