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Thread: Michelkin Publishing

  1. #1
    The King and Queen of Cheese BenPanced's Avatar
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    Michelkin Publishing

    Link here.

    A new publisher (site just launched on May 28), they also offer editing and ghostwriting services. Nothing about what experience the two gentlemen who founded the business have in publishing; only thing noted on the site are their positions within the company. Their other company, Michelkin Designs (same logo and similar motto), offers design services, including graphic design, hand-crafted calendar stickers and planners, and book covers. Right now, the only book that's scheduled to be released is from one of the owner/operators. The digital books will be available through the usual suspects but hard copy will be available for order "through several distribution channels" but if you want to see one of their books in your local bookstore, have the manager contact Ingram or NACSCORP.

    Most troubling (my emphasis):
    While compensation for each project is spelled out in each author’s contract offer, we typically offer a royalty rate of 50% of the book’s final sale profit for both print and digital books. That means you, the author, and we, the publisher, split the profit 50/50. This model is much more generous than most mainstream publishers are offering. And, for projects we feel strongly about, we do occasionally offer enhanced compensation offers as well as sales bonuses.
    Oh, that sounds wrong on so many levels, depending on what they mean by "profit".
    I still poop rainbows.




    I won't steal any of your ideas. I have enough of my own I'm not using.


  2. #2
    Now with more stubble VeryBigBeard's Avatar
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    Number of signs there that this might be a design shop that's set up to self-publish the owner's book(s). Once you've got one vertical, why not add another?

    Except, of course, that's why the publishing experience is so vital. Treating book publishing as an off-shoot, or entering in by reinventing or re-designing the wheel ends in tears all too often.

    Standard wait applies: two years, at least. With this sort of set-up and those terms, I'll be sceptical even then.

    (And, for a design house, I'm spending way too long on loading pages on that site. And holy hell the colour choices. Yellow on white. White on white. White on a variety of colours. The entirety of the Contact Us form. Even the design business looks more like an Etsy offshoot than an actual studio. The graphic design section boasts about stock images....)

    The book cover services seem to misunderstand that authors typically don't submit a book cover to a publisher. It is, however, primarily aimed at people self-publishing. I'm terrible at judging cover quality, so I won't comment there but they have some samples posted here. (Addendum: as I pasted that link in, I realize they don't have permalinks or page titles on the site, which is a Web Design Problem.)

    Minimal digging reveals the two partners are a teacher and a student services specialist. Both have day jobs in addition to Michelkin. I'm sure they're exceptional at what they do, but publishing ain't what they do.


    The more I look at this the more troubling this gets. The editing services are a conflict of interest issue--publishing isn't just something you offer as a freelancer--but what really strikes me there is that they mention they'll edit academic papers. That's a Very Bad Idea.
    Last edited by VeryBigBeard; 06-09-2016 at 03:49 AM.

  3. #3
    The King and Queen of Cheese BenPanced's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VeryBigBeard View Post
    Minimal digging reveals the two partners are a teacher and a student services specialist. Both have day jobs in addition to Michelkin. I'm sure they're exceptional at what they do, but publishing ain't what they do.
    And they switch being President of the design and publishing arms. No real complaint on that but just saying.
    I still poop rainbows.




    I won't steal any of your ideas. I have enough of my own I'm not using.


  4. #4
    Grr. Argh. Thedrellum's Avatar
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    I dub those sample covers awful.

    Also, yeah, that academic papers thing.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by VeryBigBeard View Post
    but what really strikes me there is that they mention they'll edit academic papers. That's a Very Bad Idea.
    If it's not too off-topic, could you explain why for those of us that don't know much about academic papers? (Like me )
    Twitter: @tiakall

  6. #6
    Looking for thylacines on CYP Helix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VeryBigBeard View Post
    The book cover services seem to misunderstand that authors typically don't submit a book cover to a publisher. It is, however, primarily aimed at people self-publishing. I'm terrible at judging cover quality, so I won't comment there but they have some samples posted here.
    About their covers, they say

    Do you need a cover that’s eye-catching and original?
    Those covers certainly are eye-catching. Possibly not in they way they intended.
    In the Deep North of the Great South Land

  7. #7
    Now with more stubble VeryBigBeard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiakall View Post
    If it's not too off-topic, could you explain why for those of us that don't know much about academic papers? (Like me )
    A student who hires an editor to work on an academic paper is a.) missing the point, b.) wasting his or her money, and c.) risking penalty.

    It may depend slightly on the university and/or professor, but there's a reason why people can't post their homework papers for crit in SYW. If someone else is helping to write the thing, it's academically dishonest.

    There can be a bit of a fine line with these things between tutoring and the kind of substantive feedback that's going to mean a student isn't being honest about his or her own ideas anymore. Michelkin's founders both have teaching experience. They probably just want to help students learn. Unfortunately, with academic papers, there can be rules, especially when outside services are involved.

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