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Thread: Martell Publishing, Inc. (Ed Johnson)

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW
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    Has Anyone Heard of Martell Publishing?

    I just got a call from a man representing, or perhaps he was an editor with, Martell Publishing. He told me they just bought out some other publishing company, I didn't catch the name, and were going through all the old companies unanswered queries. He told me I had evidently queried that old company some 5 years ago and he wanted to know if my book is still available, which it is, but has undergone some serious editing and rewriting since then.

    Has anyone heard of Martell? Are they ligit? I looked on Preditors and Editors but they aren't listed.

    Thanks for any info.
    Paul
    Please visit my web site at http://valona.blogspot.com/

  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW Chacounne's Avatar
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    Hi Paul,

    It's likely you would get more response to your question if you put it on the Bewares and Background Checks forum.

    Just my two cents,
    Chac
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  3. #3
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    It's there too, now. Thank you for the suggestion.
    Please visit my web site at http://valona.blogspot.com/

  4. #4
    What? I have a title? Julie Worth's Avatar
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    I would assume that they are either a scam or a vanity outfit.

  5. #5
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Let’s see, we’ve got a Martell Publishing, Inc, in San Diego. http://www.martellpublishing.com/ and a “Martell Publishing” running ads in a Las Vegas directory. Both are vanity/subsidy: Avoid.

    There’s a Martell Publishing Co. in MN, but I don’t find any other info on them to judge their operation. I take that back: They’re listed with the EPA, so I’ll surmise they have actual offset presses, at the very least.
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  6. #6
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    Thanks. I tried to search for them using Yahoo! search, but couldn't find anything. I appreciate the link. And, since they are subsidy publishers, I'll certainly pass on them.
    Please visit my web site at http://valona.blogspot.com/

  7. #7
    RinTinTin
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    Martell Publishing

    I was contacted by an Ed Johnson from Martell yesterday wanting to see our children's books. Is there anymore information on the company? Are they legit?
    thank you:
    Daphne Hereford

  8. #8
    I heart Malamutes! :-) JerseyGirl1962's Avatar
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    Daphne,

    According to CaoPaux's post, both places that come up with that name are vanity/subsidy. That's all you need to know to run far, far away with your hand firmly on your wallet.

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  9. #9
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    If you didn't submit anything to them, why are they contacting you?

    When evaluating any publisher:

    Have you personally ever read any of their books?

    Have any of your friends ever read any of their books?

    Have you ever seen any of their books in any bookstore?

  10. #10
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Footnote: The OP was in fact asking about Martell Publishing, Inc. of San Diego (formerly known as Le Gesse Stevens Publishing).

    Vanity. Avoid.
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  11. #11
    'Twas but a dream of thee El Jefe MacAllister's Avatar
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    Martel Publishing?

    Hey, gang -- I've gotten an email from a San Diego reporter looking for information about a local press called Martel Publishing, wanting to know if we'd heard anything. A search of the board didn't turn anything up readily -- so I thought I'd just ask.

    I did find this: http://www.speculations.com/?t=87430
    Last edited by MacAllister; 07-02-2007 at 04:49 PM.

  12. #12
    Crypto-fascist Soccer Mom's Avatar
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    I googled them and found an address in San Diego.

    A little more work turned up this site. Not sure if it's them or not. They do have a San Diego address, but it's Martell with two "L"s.

    ETA: reading their website, it looks like they are just self-publishing, but pretty upfront about that.
    Last edited by Soccer Mom; 07-02-2007 at 05:33 PM.
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  13. #13
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Mac, I merged your post with the existing thread on Martell (with two "L's") Publishing.

    - Victoria

  14. #14
    lynn
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    I worked for Martell . . . it is a complete sham . . . screwed over many authors and left 2 employees unpaid, including myself.

  15. #15
    PAReporter
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    I'm a newspaper reporter in Pennsylvania, and I wrote a story about a local woman who had a fiction book published by Martell.
    I got to work today and had a message from a San Diego reporter who wanted to ask me some questions about the publishing company.
    No clue what's up, but I'll update after I talk to the reporter.

  16. #16
    Holding out for a Superhero... Sheryl Nantus's Avatar
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    I'd be wary of anyone who called up and offered to publish my book out of the blue...

    *waves to PAReporter*

    which paper was it in? I don't recall my local one having anything on that...

  17. #17
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Yo, PAReporter: If you want stories about publishing scams -- we have enough raw material here in the various threads for a Pulitzer-prize-winning series.
    Last edited by James D. Macdonald; 07-19-2007 at 08:38 PM.

  18. #18
    PAReporter
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    http://online.indianagazette.com/ind...3227&Itemid=52

    For what it's worth: Here's a link to a story I wrote about a local author who had a book published by Martell.

  19. #19
    Hagiographically Advantaged AW Moderator HapiSofi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valona View Post
    I just got a call from a man representing, or perhaps he was an editor with, Martell Publishing. He told me they just bought out some other publishing company, I didn't catch the name, and were going through all the old companies unanswered queries. He told me I had evidently queried that old company some 5 years ago and he wanted to know if my book is still available, which it is, but has undergone some serious editing and rewriting since then.
    I don't find that plausible in the least.

    First, no sane editorial staff saves five-year-old unanswered queries.

    Second, if one publishing firm acquires another, the staff is going to be plenty busy. Answering ancient queries is not going to be on their "things to do" list. Think about it: what are the possible responses? If the writer has moved or changed phone numbers, there's no use trying to get in touch. If the book has sold elsewhere, there's no point in asking about it. If no one has bought it over the last five years, you have to figure it's unpublishable, and there's still no point in asking about it. And if the author has rewritten it, he or she will probably submit it to the new firm.

    Third, getting slush submissions and queries is the easiest thing in the world. Why do detective work on ancient queries to scrape up a few submissions, when a few notices in the right places will bring you a stream of slush to rival the waterflow from a firehose?

    Fourth, even if a publishing house were insane enough to save five-year-old queries, then answer them looking for submissions, they wouldn't do it by assigning a human being to make long-distance phone calls. It's maximally labor-intensive -- the kind of thing editorial staff would only do if they were caught in an endless timewarp that has imprisoned them in their offices for subjective decades, and they've already reorganized the files three times, waxed the ceiling twice, and sorted every rubber band and paper clip in the house by color and size.

    There's only one scenario I can imagine that would account for that phone call: a lot of companies keep logs of slush and/or queries received. A scammer has gotten hold of an someone's old submissions log, and is mining it for leads. That, I find entirely plausible. I personally know editors who've been offered kickbacks in return for the names and addresses of writers their house has rejected.
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  20. #20
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    I just spoke with the San Diego reporter. I'll post a link once her article goes online. Don't want to reveal too many details, but suffice it to say that Martell is indeed a vanity publisher, and it would be a very, very good idea to stay away from it.

    - Victoria

  21. #21
    Brian Boru brianm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAReporter View Post
    I'm a newspaper reporter in Pennsylvania, and I wrote a story about a local woman who had a fiction book published by Martell.
    I got to work today and had a message from a San Diego reporter who wanted to ask me some questions about the publishing company.
    No clue what's up, but I'll update after I talk to the reporter.
    How about a nice big article on Publish America?
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  22. #22
    lynn
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    If the San Diego reporter wants to contact me for current information . . . it would be welcome . . . lynnmkarstens@yahoo.com

  23. #23
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Lynn, I'd be interested to know more, as an addition to my file on Martell. PM me here, or contact me at beware@sfwa.org. All information shared with Writer Beware is held in confidence.

    - Victoria

  24. #24
    lynn
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    Victoria, I responded to your site, please let me know what sort of article this is building into. Lynn

  25. #25
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