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Thread: Thurston Howl Publications

  1. #1
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Thurston Howl Publications

    Anyone have any experience with this company? (If a thread exists, mods please move.)

    link here: http://www.thurstonhowlpublications.com/

    Newish small press in the Nashville area, been around since 2014, with some genre authors and artists I've actually heard of. I'm asking for a friend, who might have an offer from them soon. They look...interesting.

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  2. #2
    Thick Skin Pre-Installed Zombie Fraggle's Avatar
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    Pros:

    • Clever name. (For you young whippersnappers out there, Thurston Howell was the uppity billionaire castaway on Gilligan's Island).
    • Website is simple, easy to read and navigate.
    • Covers are genre-appropriate and nicely done.


    Cons:

    • Splash page text is geared toward authors, not readers.
    • No principals named on the About Us page. First names only (with one clearly a handle) are listed on the Submissions page, without even vague credentials.
    • Thirteen books published by the same three authors with only two single-title exceptions.
    • Only four of the thirteen titles are available in ebook format on Amazon.
    • The most recent four publications are trade paperback only . . .
    • . . . which I would bet were printed via CreateSpace, since earlier titles are clearly marked as published by CreateSpace. Ten bucks for an ISBN buys you the ability to put your author/publisher name in the publisher field.
    • The interiors of the last four trade paperbacks, as viewed on Amazon's "Look Inside" feature, are inconsistent and demonstrate a lack of knowledge on how to format a book for print. Widows. Orphans. Rivers. Proper names split between lines (e.g., "Bob" appearing at the end of a line and "Smith" appearing as the first word of the next line, or "Mr. Smith" with the same problem). Kerning issues out the wazoo. Hyphenation problems (i.e., a hyphenated company name like Hyper-Awesome, where Hyper- appears at the end of a line and Awesome is the first word of the next line, which inaccurately means the company name should be HyperAwesome). My guess is they were produced using MS Word with hyphenation turned off (which would create both the kerning problem and the split of a hyphenated name or compound word) and then converted to a PDF for uploading to CreateSpace.
    • Anthology submission page is outdated.


    That's all the time I have to dig, but the lack of ebooks alone would be enough for me to take a pass. If you're gonna do print books only, they'd better be damn pretty print books.

  3. #3
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    What I was wondering, alas.

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  4. #4
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Bumping again on behalf of the same friend. Any other recent experiences with Thurston Howl? Secondhand info suggests they are reluctant to release ebook formats, don't like to send Advance Review Copies, and have a hit-or-miss marketing strategy. I'm hoping they'll do okay by my friend.

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  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW pschmehl's Avatar
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    If they don't do ebooks, can't your friend publish on Smashbooks? Surely they didn't lock up the ebook rights?
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  6. #6
    Rewriting My Destiny Cyia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pschmehl View Post
    If they don't do ebooks, can't your friend publish on Smashbooks? Surely they didn't lock up the ebook rights?
    You'd be surprised. Major publishers locked up e-book rights BEFORE ebooks were even a mainstream thing back in the 80's and 90's under a clause that read something like: "and all unspecified formats".

  7. #7
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    I think in Thurston's case they have e-book rights, they just seem to be really laggard/reluctant to use them. Which is sad, because ebook sales help drive reviews, which help drive new sales of all formats.

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  8. #8
    ....... Harlequin's Avatar
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    Three of their editors list furry fiction as a speciality. How interesting, not everyday you see that!
    "Though one evil spirit may drive a woman out of Eden, all the devils in hell cannot drive Heaven out of a woman."

    -- George MacDonald

  9. #9
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    I've seen some of the cover art, quite nice. They're apparently ramping up their ebook offerings, and are up to 2016 titles. I'm spoiled from romance and SFF, where formats are usually released around the same time.

    My friend seems mollified by his recent convos with them, so we'll see how it goes. I've read his mms: it kicks butt. Imagine Atomic Blonde and Bourne Identity, with a female werecat mercenary. Yeah, it's bloody and tasty.

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  10. #10
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Another update: I've seen preliminary sketches of the cover art...and not great. (Can't share details yet). If I were a Furry author seeking a publisher, I'd ask some much tougher questions about their marketing ideas first, and pin the answers down in revised contracts.

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  11. #11
    Grumpy writer and editor Absolute Sage Gillhoughly's Avatar
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    Nopety McNope. Tell your friend to run like hell the other way.

    Terrible covers, few reviews, the ones there have a flavor of friends and enablers, sales rankings in the sub-sub-sub basement, 4-7 million books sell better than most of their titles. Several titles are listed in multiple genres on the website so it looks like they have more books than they do. Have I mentioned terrible covers? Worth a second and third mention.

    RUN AWAY.

  12. #12
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Yeah. I kinda hope he does. But it's not my book, or my genre, so I can't wade in too far. What I know of Furry, I picked up reading Elf Sternberg in the nineties. My friend has a future 'in' with a much better publisher when they open to queries in a year or so (a self-pub outlet doing things the slow and careful way.)

    This M/M space opera
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