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Thread: [Publisher] Big Bend Productions / Marfa House

  1. #51
    Herder of Hamsters AW Admin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marketeer View Post
    It is my understanding that everyone has gotten paid. Since it is a traditional publishing house they take all the risk and the independent contractors mostly get paid from the royalties that come from book sales. What seems to happen is that some people want to be paid right away and not wait even though the company is taking all the risk.
    The correct phrase would be trade publisher, not traditional. "Traditional" in the context of publishing is meaningless. What traditions? From what era?

    They are not a trade publisher. A trade publisher pays advances, pays designers, production people, editors, copy editors and proofers, and has distribution to physical bookstores.

    And you need to come clean about your connection to Big Bend Productions; your current behavior is neither ethical or appropriate.

  2. #52
    Born at sea Clairels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marketeer View Post
    What seems to happen is that some people want to be paid right away and not wait even though the company is taking all the risk.
    That's called an advance. Wanting one does not make you a greedy monster. It makes you smart.
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  3. #53
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin C Alberts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AW Admin View Post
    They are not a trade publisher. A trade publisher pays advances, pays designers, production people, editors, copy editors and proofers, and has distribution to physical bookstores.
    Indeed. The use of 'traditional' is a red flag in itself. The fact that they seem to pay artists and editors on royalty is a terrible sign. This is never the way to keep quality contractors, and it also belies marketeer's assertion that the publisher takes all the risk. It is pretty risky for an editor or cover artist to do hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of work when they have no control over the end result (sales) and no guarantee that they will ever be compensated in full, if at all.

    This publisher doesn't have distribution. They don't even have proper wholesaling. They have 16 titles listed on Ingram, all of which have short discounts to bookstores and are nonreturnable. This means that, at best, a store may special order a copy at a customer's request, but this is basically a favor to the customer because the store will make almost nothing from the sale. Many bookstores won't even order it at all with the terms provided.

    I also noticed that there are 2 titles listed by the same author with almost identical dimensions, and wildly different retail prices. One is $7.45 and the other is $13.50 (the former being 4 pages longer than the latter - go figure). I don't even know what to make of that.
    Last edited by C Alberts; 05-06-2017 at 07:44 PM.

  4. #54
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    Marketeer, I look at the Big Bend/Marfa website and all I see is a bunch of amateurs happily engaged in a role-playing game.

    Allison Bruning/Espinosa loves to refer to herself as a "best-selling" author "known" for her historical fiction. How many books has she actually sold? How many people have heard of her outside her immediate circle of friends and co-workers?

    She calls herself a screenwriter, but has she sold any of her screenplays? In July 2013 Bruning wrote on her blog:

    Field of Grace:
    A post WWI Drama you don't want to miss

    This isn't your typical post from me but I have some wonderful news to share with all of you. My full length feature screenplay is being considered for production by Junto Box Films. I just need all of your help. Can you please go to this site, register, follow my project and give it a 5 star review? The five star review is very important. I need 80 star reviews of 3 or better stars. As I write this I only have 19. Please help my dream come true.


    http://www.juntoboxfilms.com/projects/field-of-grace#.Ue2YChaWeZP
    http://allisonbruning.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/field-of-grace-dream-come-true.html


    There has been no activity on Juntobox's Facebook and Twitter since 2014 and Field of Grace was never made.

    Just how meaningless the term "best-selling" can be nowadays is demonstrated by Marfa's "Author of the Week":

    The author of the week is chosen from the Race to the Stars competition. The author chosen either has the highest bestselling ranking out of all Marfa House print, ebook and audiobook bestselling rankings or has won the Race to the Stars contest in more than one category.
    Amazon rankings for his three short stories:

    The second story has 22 pages and is also available as a 29 minute Audiobook priced at $4.15. Amazon ranking:

    I just hope he's happy with whatever he paid for the conversion.

    Marfa VP Chasity Tarantino writes on the Mountain Trail Writers blog:

    People take for granted the simple act of word of mouth. When it is indeed one of the strongest marketing tools, people talk. Just yesterday I was having a conversation with my mom's nurse. She seen me working and we got to talking, before I knew it I was giving her a list of my books. You never know who could become a potential client or reader. Talking about what you do should always be at the top of your game.
    http://blog.mountaintrailwriters.com...president.html
    Ignoring for a moment the writer's atrocious grammar and misuse of the term "top of your game", what does she mean by "a list of my books"? She has five titles on Amazon (not counting an anthology), all published by Marfa and all badly edited. They're short stories with a combined page count of 115 pages - hardly "books"!

    More advice from Chasity:

    Blogs, such as this one are your best friend. Request reviews, sign up for guest posts, do interviews, and one of the most important and effective marketing solutions, blog hops. Blog hops get you exposure to anywhere from a few to hundreds of bloggers. This is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to get exposure.
    Yes, it's cheap and easy. But it's promotion, not real marketing.


    Another way to market yourself and to get in touch with the people who have already started to support you is to go to events such as conventions. Here you can meet people face to face and engage in a much more direct marketing plan as well as meet the people who have already given you support. You can give a clear vision that you support your fans back as well. This is a very positive feedback marketing plan.
    http://blog.mountaintrailwriters.com...president.html
    You'll need books to sell at conventions. Who pays for them? Something tells me it'll be the author. And I can't find any evidence that Ms Tarantino has any experience in either marketing or publicity, although as Chasity Brewer she reviews books on NewsBlaze:

    http://newsblaze.com/author/chas/

    Being an avid reader with a passion for books does not qualify anyone to give advice to novice authors or be the VP of a publishing company.

    Marfa editor Melissa Meeks appears to have no real professional experience:

    I won spelling bees in High School and edited graduate papers in Jr High. I started freelancing after college as a side job and eventually discovered book blogging as a way to discuss books I read.
    http://blog.mountaintrailwriters.com...s-musings.html
    If the Melissa who edited Tarantino's Wicked Fame, quoted in my previous post, is indeed Melissa Meeks, I wouldn't want her anywhere near my book.

    Why hasn't Allison Espinosa responded to Peter Kayo Zinchetero, the Malawi author who wanted to know what happened to his two novels when Mountain Springs House went under? MSH must have been chronically underfunded to resort to an Indiegogo campaign. The fact that said campaign raised not a single dollar suggests that the company was unknown to anyone other than its founders and unfortunate authors.

    Was Espinosa connected in any way with the "traditional small publishing house" Page Turners Publishing Company, which was incorporated only a week before it published her novel Calico? Because it gives every indication of being a self-publishing front for Toney Dunaway/L.A. Tripp.

    Who are the script consultants, directors and choreographers behind Lost Mine Films? Because you don't provide any names, let alone any information about their previous experience.

    Finally, I couldn't help noticing this:

    In 2007, Allison was named Who's Who Among America's Educators.
    https://www.bigbendpro.com/allison-bruning
    I've never heard of this award and a Google search turned up nothing. However, there is - or was - a "Who's Who Among America's Teachers". From TeacherChat Forums (April 2007):

    There is a publication called WHO'S WHO AMONG AMERICA'S TEACHERS, which is published by the same publisher as WHO'S WHO AMONG AMERICA'S HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS and THE NATIONAL DEAN'S LIST.

    To be included in the teacher's publication, you must be nominated by a high school or college student who is in the top 10% of his or her class.

    There is no cost to be included in this publication, but those teachers have the option to purchase memorabilia from this company, such as coffee mugs.

    What some teachers are telling me is, "This award is a pile of s***t."

    Is that true? Again, there is no cost to purchase anything from this award catalog.


    A reply:

    As far as I know, submitting your name to it will put you in a book and you can say "Hey, I was a Who's Who teacher of the year" and a kid really does have to nominate you and that feels good.

    However, this "foundation" or whatever they call themselves is really a business. They are more interested in selling their books, mugs, pins, etc, and turning a profit. It wouldnt hurt to submit your name, but just don't fall into the trap and buy their stuff.
    http://forums.atozteacherstuff.com/index.php?threads/whos-who-among-americas-teachers-is-not-a-valid-award-true-or-not.45393/
    IF this is the award to which Allison refers it's really nothing to be proud of, particularly as another contributor to the discussion claimed that WWAAT refused to divulge the name of the student who supposedly nominated him/her.

    On a similar note:

    She was also honoured her sophomore year with admission into the All-American Scholars register.
    https://www.bigbendpro.com/allison-bruning
    IF this is the All-American Scholar Award offered by the United States Achievement Academy - I couldn't find an All-American Scholars Register - it's no more impressive than the Who's Who Among American Educators. From a 2006 message board:

    United States Achievement Academy

    I actually worked for the USAA in 1982 for a month, until I was struck with a case of conscience and morality. I challenged the director/founder/owner, George Stevens, about the legitimacy of this organization. As far as I could see, he created a bogus "honorary" award, claiming to have the status of the "who's who". I told him that I felt he was taking advantage of people who couldn't afford it, and was preying upon the parents of students who might never have the chance to be included in a "nationally published directory". And then I quit.

    Anyone can be "nominated" by a teacher/counselor/coach in any category. Thus all students everywhere are qualified for this "honor". The nominees are automatically accepted and can send in their biography for inclusion in the USAA yearbook at no cost. But if you wanted your picture in the book, you had to pay a fee and to purchase the book was about $80 back then.

    And if I remember correctly, none of our local schools were allowed to participate - because of the school board rules, trying to protect the students and parents from this fraud.

    I believe that USAA began giving out scholarships after Dr. Stevens left the organization. So while they still operate the yearbook - they give a tiny bit back. I know a girl who still works there and says that they sell between 1 and 1.5 million books each year.
    http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...d.php?t=322461
    I'm sorry, but the whole thing - the bizarre Race to the Stars competition, the Zazzle-style lists of author swag, the photographs for sale by Castolon Studios, the dubious awards flaunted by the founder - fairly screams "amateur hour"!
    Last edited by aliceshortcake; 07-06-2017 at 03:03 PM. Reason: Added a bit

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by eqb View Post
    Hi, Marketeer, and welcome to Absolutewrite. Could you tell us if you have a connection to Marfa House or its parent company?
    Hah. Exactly. It's fairly obvious that this is more than likely someone from the company trying to make themselves look better.

    Listen. These are honest accounts from people who have actually worked with the company. No research necessary. Life experience.

  6. #56
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    If you had honestly worked for this company then you would know who the owner is and that she in fact does work with children that have learning disabilities. This site is filled with wrong information which you are continuing to add to all this misinformation. This site should be called absolute wrong because that is what it is. HONEST research is always necessary so this slander is NOT continued by people like you. I suppose you still think the earth is flat and that Columbus discovered America? Do some HONEST research before you post your BS.
    Last edited by Marketeer; 05-12-2017 at 05:42 AM.

  7. #57
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    We did. Marfa was found wanting. As per Filigree's Rule, I'll no longer comment on this thread.

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  8. #58
    Herder of Hamsters AW Admin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marketeer View Post
    Do some HONEST research before you post your BS.
    On that note . . . Despite a direct statement from me:

    Quote Originally Posted by AW Admin View Post
    And you need to come clean about your connection to Big Bend Productions; your current behavior is neither ethical or appropriate.
    Marketeer is still posting without acknowledging that he is the spouse of Allison Bruning and an author under the Marfa imprint of Big Bend.

    MacAllister specifically told Ms. Bruning, who complained about the slander [sic] on AW that she was welcome to post in this thread and correct misinformation, but of course Marketeer was already posting by that time.
    Last edited by AW Admin; 05-12-2017 at 06:54 AM.

  9. #59
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AW Admin View Post
    On that note . . . Despite a direct statement from me:



    Marketeer is still posting without acknowledging that he is the spouse of Allison Bruning and an author under the Marfa imprint of Big Bend.

    MacAllister specifically told Ms. Bruning, who complained about the slander [sic] on AW that she was welcome to post in this thread and correct misinformation, but of course Marketeer was already posting by that time.
    Yeah. Big surprise there.
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  10. #60
    Perpetually in transit Helix's Avatar
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    Good heavens. You could have knocked me down with a feather.


  11. #61
    The King and Queen of Cheese BenPanced's Avatar
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    Yeah, here's my shocked and stunned face. :/
    I still poop rainbows.

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  12. #62
    Making Einstein cry since 1994 Maggie Maxwell's Avatar
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    Goodness! We've never seen anything like this before!



    So she works with disabled children. That's nice. My niece is learning disabled and the people who work with her are lovely. I'm sure she's a wonderful person. But here's the kicker.

    THAT DOESN'T MAKE HER A QUALIFIED PUBLISHER. It makes her qualified to work with learning disabled children. I'm a fantasy and sci-fi writer. That doesn't make me qualified to hang up a sign advertising myself as a plumber. There is no overlap between the two careers, and no reason for anyone to trust me with their overflowing toilet. I might be able to handle a plunger or a snake, but I don't know the intricacies of the job. In the same respect, her work with children does not make me trust her with my manuscript unless she's trying to help my book learn. So stop pushing that. No one doubts that she's a good person, but that doesn't make her a qualified publisher, and that's what we're looking at.
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  13. #63
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    I've seen a few references to Bruning/Espinosa working with gifted children and ESL students but nothing about children with learning disabilities. And as has already been stated, unless she's publishing books about teaching children with learning disabilities it's completely irrelevant.

    I'm reminded of Cheryl Pillsbury, who never missed an opportunity to mention that she had a disabled child.
    Last edited by aliceshortcake; 07-06-2017 at 03:04 PM.

  14. #64
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    There's a simple solution to your problem, Marketeer/Mr Espinosa - identify and correct this alleged "misinformation". I spent quite some time doing honest research into BBP/Marfa's background, and if I've made mistakes or been misled I'll be happy to apologise.
    Last edited by aliceshortcake; 07-06-2017 at 03:04 PM. Reason: Fixed typos

  15. #65
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Blimey. How have I missed this thread?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marketeer View Post
    It is my understanding that everyone has gotten paid. Since it is a traditional publishing house they take all the risk and the independent contractors mostly get paid from the royalties that come from book sales. What seems to happen is that some people want to be paid right away and not wait even though the company is taking all the risk.
    Good trade publishers don't wait to receive royalties before paying their staff.

    But then, they don't send people over to AW to make ad hominem attacks on people either.

  16. #66
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    I can just about believe that the Espinosas genuinely think they're running a "traditional publishing house", bearing in mind that Allison's previous experience of publishing consisted of a predatory vanity press and a self-publishing front. Mind you, I'd love to know why Page Turners Publishing Company was incorporated a mere seven days before it published her novel Calico. I can't help thinking there might be an interesting story behind that.

    We've seen this so many times: writer gets burned by a vanity press, thinks they could do a better job with one hand tied behind their back, and ends up playing roulette with the intellectual property of other people in the name of "making their dreams come true".

    A few things REAL commercial publishers don't have:

    1) Poorly written websites.
    2) Owners who claim to be best-selling authors but don't provide any numbers.
    3) Editors who feel it's worth mentioning their childhood prowess in spelling bees.
    4) VP's who can't tell the difference between promotion and marketing, and fail to spot the glaring errors in their own work.
    5) Pages of ridiculous personalized merchandise...such as leggings and footed pajamas.
    Last edited by aliceshortcake; 07-06-2017 at 03:05 PM.

  17. #67
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    As someone who can say that they have intimate inner working knowledge of this company, I have to mirror a lot of what many of the others have said. It should be noted that the owner of the company is also not even using her legal name to run the company, something that was not known to me, or anyone else, at the time. The announcement about not posting about any other books on social media came as a bit of a shock. While this came after my time with the company, I was made aware of this fact by someone whom I trust. I had seen the OP's post on Facebook, so assumed that was what had led to that particular clause, but had no way of proving that. Another commenter had mentioned the currnet VP. That particular invidual was brought on originally as an editor, with no prior experience mind you. Her only literary experience officially was as a book blogger, though she did have some decent references. The owner decided she was worth taking a chance on, despite others having misgivings. While in editing, she had to be retrained due to some errors. Despite this, she was quickly promoted to director of editing and then up the chain to VP after the abrupt termination of the prior VP. Her only educational background was that she was pursuing a degree in English. A bachelor's degree at that.

    Where I have to disagree is on the comments about Melissa Meeks. I disagree in that while yes, there may be errors in work she has edited, the editors were given very little ground to stand on, and if the author disagreed with the edits, they were able to refuse and there was nothing the editor could do about it, depending on who the author was anyway. The rules did not seem to apply to everyone the same. I know of another author who was terminated because he did not choose the cover image that the company wanted him to choose.

    At one point, the owner would give a great deal of control to a member of management, and then get paranoid that they were going to take over, even though she seemed to have little to no idea how to do any of the work that she needed to do.

    At one point, she did have a staff that had a fair amount of experience in the industry, but due to her tendency to need to control everything and inability to pay anyone other than her favorites, she has gotten rid of anyone she was not able to easily manipulate and now has for the most part a staff of younger people with little to no experience other than with her company who can be manipulated to do things the way she wants them done. There are perhaps 2 notable exceptions to that, at the most.

    While I wish none of these people any ill will on a personal level, on a professional level this is not someplace that anyone with any self respect wants their books. It is, and always will be, nothing more than a vanity press trying to masquerade as something more respectable. It is my strong belief that marketeer is the owner's husband, based on my experience with that individual and the way he carries himself and his bullying tactics.

    During my time with the company, I was forced to do things that I was not proud of that I wish I could go back and change. This is why I am choosing to speak out now. In the end, I was treated just as badly as everyone else, maybe worse because I had so much invested in this, and I ultimately lost a lot on a personal level because of it. That statement may well out my identity, but at this stage, I really don't care. I am tired of seeing people get screwed by these people. For anyone who does figure out who I am, if I had harmed you in any way while doing their evil bidding, I am truly sorry.

  18. #68
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum, read2live, and thanks for sharing your story - a sad tale indeed.

  19. #69
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    I'm going to copypasta all nine posts from our dear friend up there, color-code them by repeated phrases, assemble one post by eliminating all the repeated phrases, and then respond to it point-by-point, directly after each point, so there can be no mistake that I am responding directly to the words of their posts.

    I did my own research on Big Bend Productions and discovered it is the parent company. It is a transmedia company which means they can just about do it all. It is industry standards for a publishing house to have right of first refusal. This is what Marfa House does. I discovered they are very professional and they do not accept every author or publish every book. They screen every book before deciding on publishing it. The owner is actually a teacher with a masters who specializes in working with children who have special needs. I found it disturbing to see a company who works with children who have special needs being bashed by you. This says a lot about the kind of person you are. I suggest you do some honest research before posting misinformation.

    I did my own research into Marfa House and found it to be a very professional house. It is industry standards to have right of first refusal. This means an author that is with the publisher must go to them first and then they can go to another publisher if the first publisher does not want to publish their book. You mentioned the climb. It is simply a way to reward authors for their hard work of marketing and selling books. I think it is a great idea.


    I think that having an incentive to sell books is a great idea. It is unique.


    After reading all these comments I decided to do my own research into Big Bend Productions and Marfa House. I discovered that Big Bend Productions is the parent company and Marfa House is the publishing house. I also discovered that the owner is a teacher with a masters who specializes in working with children who have special needs. To bash a company who works with children with special needs tells people a lot about who you are. Why should any one listen to what you have to say? I suggest you do some honest research for yourself.


    I did my own honest research and discovered that the owner is actually a teacher. She started Big Bend Productions in order to help people. I found Marfa House to be a great company and their staff to be professional. The reason they look for interns is that they try to help college students that are planning to go into the publishing field. I think this is a great way to help college students. I also discovered that Marfa House is a traditional publishing house which means they do not charge the author anything to publish their book. Marfa House takes on the risk completely so they have to be very careful what author they publish. I suppose if you had done some honest research you would have discovered that they have a company that works with children that have special needs as mentioned before that the owner is in fact a teacher. It is very sad to hear you or anyone else bash a company that works with children that have special needs. It says a lot about what kind of person you are.


    You must be a very sorry person to keep on bashing a company that is owned by a teacher and works with children who have special needs.


    After reading so many negative comments about Big Bend Productions and Marfa House I decided to do my own research. What I discovered is that the company is owned by a teacher who works with children that have special needs. The proceeds go towards helping the children. For you to be bashing such a company tells a lot about the kind of person you are. Why should anyone believe anything you say?


    It is my understanding that everyone has gotten paid. Since it is a traditional publishing house they take all the risk and the independent contractors mostly get paid from the royalties that come from book sales. What seems to happen is that some people want to be paid right away and not wait even though the company is taking all the risk.


    If you had honestly worked for this company then you would know who the owner is and that she in fact does work with children that have learning disabilities. This site is filled with wrong information which you are continuing to add to all this misinformation. This site should be called absolute wrong because that is what it is. HONEST research is always necessary so this slander is NOT continued by people like you. I suppose you still think the earth is flat and that Columbus discovered America? Do some HONEST research before you post your BS.
    Wow, a rainbow! How pretty!
    After reading all these comments I decided to do my own research into Big Bend Productions and Marfa House. Where did you look during the course of your research? Because when I Googled 'marfa house' just now, it returned exactly one page related to something other than real estate: the company website. I also discovered that Marfa House is a traditional publishing house[,] which means absolutely nothing. I'll assume you meant trade publisher, though: they do not charge the author anything to publish their book. Not charging the authors to publish their own work means they're not a vanity publisher. Okay, I'll grant you that Marfa House is not a vanity publisher. Marfa House takes on the risk completely so they have to be very careful what author [sic] they publish. They have a screening process for manuscripts? So does literally every other publishing company in existence. The independent contractors mostly get paid from the royalties that come from book sales. That means that Marfa House is not a trade publisher. I don't actually know what kind of publisher this would make them, since this is a horrendous way to run a business. What seems to happen is that some people want to be paid right away and not wait I can't say it any better than Clairels did: "That's called an advance. Wanting one does not make you a greedy monster. It makes you smart." even though the company is taking all the risk. Poppycock. Doing months, possibly even years, of work when you don't have any control over how much will sell, and therefore over how much you get paid for all that work you did, is very risky indeed. It is industry standards to have right of first refusal. Well at least you got that part right. This means an author that is with the publisher must go to them first and then they can go to another publisher if the first publisher does not want to publish their book. That's close to what RFR means, but not quite: the author does NOT have to accept the offer of the publisher with RFR. I discovered they are very professional. On what basis are you defining "professional"? According to the company website, the President of the company doesn't even have a degree in business. The owner is actually a teacher with a masters who specializes in working with children who have special needs. According to her company's own website, the founder (who is presumably still the owner) has a Certificate (not a Degree) in Elementary School Education and a Master's Degree in Creative Writing, which is unrelated to education. She also has no education or training in the areas legally required to be an educator of children with special needs. You must be a very sorry person to keep on bashing a company that is owned by a teacher and works with children who have special needs. As mentioned several times, this (even if true) has absolutely nothing to do with the qualifications of a self-proclaimed publishing company: ad hominum attack is hereby ignored. I think that having the climb is a great idea. It is unique. What is "the climb"? The three pages of "Author Swag" (listed in 1,3,2 order, by the way) aren't referred to as "the climb" anywhere on the website. Are you sure you're not affiliated with the company? Why should anyone believe anything you say? Because two of them used to work for the company we're discussing - one of them is the OP. This site should be called absolute wrong. I see what you did there. Unfortunately, your argument (singular, though repeated several times) has been overwhelmed by this annoying little thing called "evidence". I suppose you still think the earth is flat and that Columbus discovered America? I suppose you think Lief Ericsson and company discovered America, then? It is my understanding that everyone has gotten paid. Then you understand incorrectly. I quote eternalised: "I never received payment either. They're a joke." I suggest you do some honest research before posting misinformation. I did some honest Googling and concluded that this company is a joke.
    marketeer, if you disagree with anything I've said there, would you mind providing some evidence so we can discuss?

    Please ignore the clearly insane electrical engineer behind the instrument panel. His meds won't wear off until Thur - it's Friday? Already?? Oh dear.
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  20. #70
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aliceshortcake View Post
    Welcome to the forum, read2live, and thanks for sharing your story - a sad tale indeed.
    Agreed.

    But I am going to be my usual difficult self and clarify one thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by read2live View Post
    Where I have to disagree is on the comments about Melissa Meeks. I disagree in that while yes, there may be errors in work she has edited, the editors were given very little ground to stand on, and if the author disagreed with the edits, they were able to refuse and there was nothing the editor could do about it, depending on who the author was anyway.
    When an author disagrees with an editor's suggestions, the author should always have the final say. It's their name on the cover of the book, after all. This is how things have worked at every publisher I've worked for over the years.

  21. #71
    Herder of Hamsters AW Admin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hack View Post
    When an author disagrees with an editor's suggestions, the author should always have the final say. It's their name on the cover of the book, after all. This is how things have worked at every publisher I've worked for over the years.
    Yep. There's a reason people use stet, and have used it for centuries.

    Editors do not make changes; they suggest them, and those changes are accepted and made by the author or rejected by the author.

    The author has the right to say no to changes, or suggest an alternative.

  22. #72
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hack View Post
    Agreed.

    But I am going to be my usual difficult self and clarify one thing.



    When an author disagrees with an editor's suggestions, the author should always have the final say. It's their name on the cover of the book, after all. This is how things have worked at every publisher I've worked for over the years.
    I do not disagree with you at all. What I was trying to get across and probably did not say very clearly, was that you cannot always put poor editing back on the editor. However, where the rules varied, was some authors were told if they disagreed their contracts would be terminated, and others were given the right to disagree. It was very inconsistent.

  23. #73
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    Oh, I understand that authors can choose to ignore an editor's suggestions. But if you want to go down that road it seems a bit strange to mention the editor by name in the front matter of your book! Yes, she only used a Christian name but it was enough to identify a Marfa editor. And the presence of horrible, and horribly obvious, errors in a publisher's book wouldn't encourage me to buy anything else from the same company. Just to make things clear, this is what I was referring to:

    She applied a little bit more of the red mascara she was wearing. "There perfect." She said, re-examining herself in the mirror.

    She just needed a little human snack here and there, speaking of a snack.


    "Harold!" she hollered as she went and sat on the red leather couch. Her black leather pants stretching tightly as she crossed one stiletto-clad foot across the other.

    "Yes, ma'am?" He said hurriedly.
    That's from the first page of a 16-page short story.

  24. #74
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Breaking silence to note: I had a lovely professional experience recently with an unrelated small press on a revised novel that will soon be published. Several editors, all skilled, all merely suggesting changes. They were careful to have me do the actual rewriting. Which is how it's done in the real world, by people who are not playing house.

    Blog: Blue Night
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  25. #75
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by AW Admin View Post
    Yep. There's a reason people use stet, and have used it for centuries.

    Editors do not make changes; they suggest them, and those changes are accepted and made by the author or rejected by the author.

    The author has the right to say no to changes, or suggest an alternative.
    Right. But then it is often turned around and said that a book is poorly edited, which has been stated in this thread. That was what I was trying to clarify. Some of that onus needs to be placed on the author as well, not just on the editor in question. While it is true, however, that there is very little editorial staff left at Marfa House that has ANY editing experience, I do know for a fact and from personal experience that Melissa Meeks does in fact have several books that she has edited and edited well. I personally know authors outside of Marfa House that would vouch for her, myself included, though as she is still with Marfa House, she is no longer able to work on my writing at this point.

    The remainder of their editing staff, unless they have managed to hire anyone else, which I doubt, has little to no experience outside of the company, and they tend to take in interns so they do not have to pay.

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