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Thread: Gator House Publishing

  1. #1
    ....... Harlequin's Avatar
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    Gator House Publishing

    A new place, blasting links in various FB groups I'm in, inviting authors seeking CPs/betas to submit to them(!)

    Because obviously if you're in search for betas, submitting is high on your list atm?! Eh.



    https://www.gatorhousepublishing.com
    Last edited by Harlequin; 10-11-2017 at 02:46 AM.
    Happiness, is just a word to me
    And it might have meant a thing or two
    If I'd known the difference.

  2. #2
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    A Michelle Williamson registered that Wix site.

    This M/M space opera
    Blog: Blue Night
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  3. #3
    Preparing for winter VeryBigBeard's Avatar
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    I think this is likely someone who does not really know what they're getting into.

    I see very, very little on that site that convinces me this house is going to last beyond a few months, if that.

    I'd say wait and see, but frankly the success rate for this kind of thing is so low anyway. Too many mistakes early on--and there are more here than make sense to list--and the house will never survive the initial capital losses. I'm just going to assume there's not a whole lot of capital here because, yanno, Wix.

  4. #4
    ....... Harlequin's Avatar
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    I'm not recommending it by any means. Asking authors to send "proposals" (not queries) for their fiction wips is bizarre to say the least.
    Happiness, is just a word to me
    And it might have meant a thing or two
    If I'd known the difference.

  5. #5
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    I couldn't find any info about Michelle Williamson, possibly because she's a time traveller - the Gator House website is copyrighted 2023! Oddly enough, the LinkedIn symbol on Gator House's home page leads to the profile of Robert Wilkins, a student at Trident Tech University, North Charleston:

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-wilkins-5bb701151/

    Robert is also a time traveller - he left Trident Tech next year.

    The clunky English on Gator House's website makes me doubt their ability to recognise publishable material:

    We are proud to announce our journey to bring readers of all ages the most compelling stories has begun. We are geared at publishing books that will not sit on a shelf but will rest gracefully in our reader's hands. If times have taught us anything it is that a great story transports readers between the covers and traps them there until the end.

    We strive to bring well-written novels woven with compelling stories to the market-place.Payment is paid in royalties & subject to contract and type of publication.
    https://www.gatorhousepublishing.com/
    I wouldn't touch this one with a bargepole.
    Last edited by aliceshortcake; 10-11-2017 at 04:36 PM.

  6. #6
    ....... Harlequin's Avatar
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    Robert is the guy spamming in groups. Says it is his company and had a snarky go at me for saying he sounded dodgy. Dunno where mysterious Michelle figures into it.
    Happiness, is just a word to me
    And it might have meant a thing or two
    If I'd known the difference.

  7. #7
    Grumpy writer and editor Absolute Sage Gillhoughly's Avatar
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    Website is a lot of nothing and if they've published anything at this point they're keeping it a secret.

  8. #8
    Moderator AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
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    I do love poking around on the internet. Robert Wilkins' Facebook page is clearly the right guy, since it shows Gator House and that he's a student at Trident Tech, where he studies General Business and Entrepreneurship. But if you have LinkedIn (I don't, so I see the info blocked under a pop-up to join), apparently he's also a driver for Pizza Hut--a perfectly honorable way to earn money--because that's the same guy as on Facebook.

    All this suggests that he has no background in publishing. I'm not suggesting he is dishonest or anything, just that it may not be a good decision to go with a publisher with zero experience in the trade.

    Maryn, who's got paint on one hand
    "I've never had to fake sarcasm."

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  9. #9
    Heckuva good sport frimble3's Avatar
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    If he's not in Louisiana, why 'Gator'? Is his office paneled in 'Gator Board' (possibly trademarked?) Of the three division logos, one is a cartoon gator, the second is a silhouette of... some creature. The third appears to be a gator-tail, appropriately enough for the 'Gator Tales' division.

    There are weirdnesses.
    'Gator Bites' is for children, from 3-8. Picture books and chapter books. Normal enough.
    The division for 'Gator Tales' is for 'young adults' - starting at age 9. Novels and chapter books. Maybe they mean 'chapbooks', as they also do poetry?
    'Gator Books' is adult fiction. Normal enough. Across a wide range of genres. Often seen as a problem with small or start-up publishers, though, because it can seem unfocussed. Do they have expertise in everything from poetry to literary fiction, fantasy, thrillers and romance (to name but a few)?
    And, they have a short story contest: No entry fee (good), first prize $50.00 (realistic, for a start-up), top five manuscripts to be selected for publication in an anthology. Eh. There are no theme or genre restrictions. Tough to judge, and if they get a mix, could make for an 'interesting' anthology.

    TO CLARIFY:
    I don't think it's a scam. A scam would have GREATER QUALIFICATIONS! MORE PROMISES! BIGGER PRIZES!
    I suspect that he's just new to publishing.
    Last edited by frimble3; 10-12-2017 at 05:05 AM. Reason: clarification

  10. #10
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    I think he's just new, too. I asked about the company on Twitter, let's see if I get any response.

    I agree with Very Big Beard on this one: so little to go on, it's not even registering as a business risk for me. And for those who do sign up with GHP, I couldn't protect them anyway.

    Added: checked Twitter, no response yet. Their account has no followers, but they are following major publishers. Sigh.
    Last edited by Filigree; 10-12-2017 at 06:00 AM.

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  11. #11
    Preparing for winter VeryBigBeard's Avatar
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    Most of these kinds of places aren't started will ill intent. If this guy's a student in entrepreneurship, well, it's the sort of project student's try and there wouldn't be anything wrong with that if it weren't for the fact that, in books, you're not just fronting your own capital but also a bunch of rights to intellectual property you have to buy.

    When these sorts of places go, everyone gets burned. I realize this isn't news to any of you in this thread, but I feel for the authors such a facebook campaign will snare.

  12. #12
    Grumpy writer and editor Absolute Sage Gillhoughly's Avatar
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    I have decades more experience and qualifications in publishing than this guy and ain't opening any publishing business. The paperwork alone should send anyone running. Contracts, payouts, figuring royalties, dealing with (gasp) writers! No, thank you. I might end up with a pack of unreasonable divas just like me!

  13. #13
    Preparing for winter VeryBigBeard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillhoughly View Post
    I have decades more experience and qualifications in publishing than this guy and ain't opening any publishing business. The paperwork alone should send anyone running. Contracts, payouts, figuring royalties, dealing with (gasp) writers! No, thank you. I might end up with a pack of unreasonable divas just like me!
    It's exactly this--all the stuff that nobody starting from the outside considers: book return shipments showing up in the rain, hardware/software breaking at the busiest time, editors getting sick or going on maternity/paternity leave, etc.

    To be clear, I have exactly one month of publishing experience, on an internship at a small publisher that probably wasn't all that great and has long been no more.

    We tried hard.

    And that's not good enough.

    It doesn't make a jot of difference if the experience isn't there to get books to market. The main thing I learned that month is how much mistakes in the first couple years matter. That house had some successes. It had some things going for it. You just don't get time to make even the more forgivable rookie mistakes. The people I worked with were smart people, but by the time they'd fixed some of the early wrinkles, the place was on its last legs. I left at the end of my month and it went out of business a few months later.

    Nobody wins.

  14. #14
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Sigh. I reached out. The answers I got on Twitter were not encouraging.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/GatorHousePub

    Basically this person started a publishing company, thinking that 'working with an editor during a writing course for children and teenagers' qualifies as experience.

    This M/M space opera
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  15. #15
    ....... Harlequin's Avatar
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    "We have a hand full of other titles pending on contracts."

    handful

    >.>
    Happiness, is just a word to me
    And it might have meant a thing or two
    If I'd known the difference.

  16. #16
    I write novels
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    Apparently I accidentally deleted my previous comment...

    He's a senior in college, with no experience at all in publishing. He has no other staff. He doesn't want to hear anything about how he might do better.

    Avoid, avoid, avoid.

  17. #17
    ....... Harlequin's Avatar
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    Now seeking "beta readers"



    Happiness, is just a word to me
    And it might have meant a thing or two
    If I'd known the difference.

  18. #18
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    Oh dear ghu.

    He really is that clueless. Not that I'm surprised.

  19. #19
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Oh boy. He doesn't know the difference between a copy editor and a beta reader. Filigree's Rule for this one: I don't have the energy to tilt at that particular windmill.

    This M/M space opera
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  20. #20
    I write novels
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    In case anyone was still considering Gator House, here are Robert's answers to my questions about his company. As you can see, he has zero experience in publishing, and when I asked for a few clarifications, he said he's answered enough.

    Avoid, avoid, avoid.

    1. What is your background in publishing? Have you ever worked for another publisher? If you have, what kind of work did you do for them?

    Just as indie publishing has opened up possibilities for authors, new technology has created opportunities for new publishers. There are still authors that will lack the technical skills to navigate all the steps for their book to be available to the public - editing, cover art, formatting, and promotion. Smaller houses will be able to take more risks and allow more authors to achieve their dreams of being published.

    2. Are you planning to publish e-books only, or do you plan to publish print editions as well?

    Print and Electronic books will both be published.

    3. If you're planning on print editions, will you use POD or print runs? And do you have a distributor lined up?

    Books will be available through POD for the duration of the contract. Each contract is different based on what is best for the author.

    We will run printed books as needed for book signings and other events set up by ourselves on behalf of the author. Also we will supply materials for events the author chooses to attend if asked prior to event.

    4. What kind of royalty rates (in general terms) will you offer, and are you calculating royalties on cover price or on net? (And if net, how do you define that?)

    Royalties are paid off Gross Revenue/Gross Profits(I use these words interchangeably). In some cases if the author has prior publications and a solid following of readers then the contract will have stipulations for them to receive a percentage of the sticker price for a set number of books sold.

    How we determine the net is discussed with the authors who are under contract.

    5. What rights are you asking for?

    A standard contract ask for First American Rights and First Electronic Rights. Again based on the author and book these can change.

    6. Could you briefly tell me how the typical editing process goes at Gator House? Do you have editors, copyeditors, and proofreaders?

    The manuscript is read and determined if it would be a good fit for our company.
    It then goes through three rounds of editing. Each round offers a different type of editing if needed. Additional editing will be provided as needed. We feel three rounds on an already polished manuscript will produce a good quality book. I don't want to go into specifics of our staff at this time.

    7. What kind of marketing and promotion will you do for your authors?

    Marketing and promotional materials will be created on behalf of the author. Again, specifics are based on the book being published.

  21. #21
    I write novels
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    I shouldn't be surprised that he's blocked me on Twitter and on Facebook. I'm sure he truly means well, but he refuses to admit that he might have more to learn. It's all about him and his dream, not about his authors.

  22. #22
    Grumpy writer and editor Absolute Sage Gillhoughly's Avatar
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    Clueless on an epic scale. Danger, Will Robinson! Danger, danger, danger! You will lose your shirt to a moron!

  23. #23
    Heckuva good sport frimble3's Avatar
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    I don't want to go into specifics of our staff at this time.
    Why does this sound like 'I don't have any staff'? Or any worth mentioning?
    There are still authors that will lack the technical skills to navigate all the steps for their book to be available to the public - editing, cover art, formatting, and promotion.
    And wouldn't those authors be better off hiring someone to do these things as separate work-for-hire jobs, done by people who know what they're doing, rather than tying their books to a would-be 'publisher' with no experience or ability?

  24. #24
    I write novels
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    He already admitted to me earlier that he's using freelancers for staff, so yeah. And since he's a senior in college, I can't imagine he has the time to do a decent job of editing and marketing, even if he had the skills and experience.

  25. #25
    Preparing for winter VeryBigBeard's Avatar
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    If he's still using gross revenue and gross profit interchangeably in contracts he might, uh, want to talk to a lawyer.

    Or his business prof.

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