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Thread: Wolfmont Press / Honey Locust Press / Wolf Mountain Creative

  1. #1
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Wolfmont Press / Honey Locust Press / Wolf Mountain Creative

    Recovered:
    06-05-2006, 02:49 PM
    ddgryphon
    Arhythmic Bathtub Dancer

    Wolfmont Publishing

    Anybody got anything on this group?

    Looks like a vanity press to me, but I'd like something definite in that area before I go off on them.

    Thanks.
    __________________
    06-05-2006, 03:08 PM
    CaoPaux
    Mostly Harmless

    http://www.wolfmont.com/

    *wince*

    I'm not sure where to start.... Let's just say that any place which devotes a full page to "famous self-publishers" is a place to avoid. IMHO.
    __________________
    CAO
    06-14-2006, 04:22 AM
    Beirdd

    Just FYI

    Wolfmont's last two releases have been (1) a co-op release (Seven By Seven) and (2) a standard, commercial or "traditional" release (Under a Raging Moon).

    The page that is mentioned is put there for those who are so adamant that those who self-publish or small-press publish cannot succeed. I am the owner of Wolfmont, in case you haven't figured that out by now, and I provide self-publishing (or vanity, if you prefer), co-op publishing and commercial publishing.

    I do NOT accept just anything that comes in over the transom. I turn down work that is inappropriate or not ready for publication, in my opinion.

    As for the quality of the work I do publish, check out Midwest Book Review on Seven By Seven. As Under a Raging Moon has only been released this month, I don't have a review from them yet, on it.

    Oh, heck... here it is:
    Seven By Seven
    B. J. Bourg et al
    Wolfmont Publishing
    PO Box 205, Ranger, GA 30734
    0977840207 $13.95 www.wolfmont.com

    Expertly compiled and edited by Tony Burton, Seven By Seven: Seven Deadly Tales Of The Seven Deadly Sins By Seven Deadly Authors is a 194-page anthology of 49 "flash fiction" pieces contributed by seven gifted writers, each of whose succinct and polished stories feature one of the seven deadly sins. Showcasing works pertaining to Lust, Gluttony, Sloth, Greed, Wrath, Envy, and Pride, each represented by the literary and storytelling skills of B.J. Bourg, Kimberly Brown, Deborah Elliott-Upton, John M. Floyd, Sunny Frazier, Gary Hoffman, and Frank Zafiro. Brief but memorable stories that will linger in the mind and imagination, Seven By Seven is enthusiastically recommended reading.


    I understand your incredulity about the self-publishers page, I suppose, but if you investigated those on the list a little bit more you might be surprised. Then again, maybe not.

    I'll happily give anyone who inquires answers to as many questions as I can (within reason! My time is limited like anyone else's.) If you have a particular question with regard to distribution, royalties, book formats available, etc., I'm happy to answer them.

    I'll be up front with you right now and say that I won't be releasing a lot of commercially published books each year because, quite frankly, I'm a small-press publisher with a staff of ONE, and at present, don't have the resources to risk on that many commercial releases. And it takes a lot of time to do it right, too.

    I get this sort of response occasionally from people (Self-publishing - YUK!), and I've learned to deal with it, although occasionally the ignorance astounds me.

    Just as an observation - there are a lot of vanity and self-published books out there that are crap, and should never have been published, IMHO. There are almost as many commercially-published books that fit the same mold, unfortunately. Again, IMHO.

    Beirdd


    Beirdd
    06-14-2006, 07:33 AM
    Aconite
    Full sun to light shade
    Mod Squad Member

    Beirdd, please cite examples of where anyone in this thread has been "so adamant that those who self-publish or small-press publish cannot succeed."

    Members of this board typically don't have a problem with self-publishing or small-press publishing per se. I like to see those who are going that route be educated about what the real ins and outs are, so they can make a good decision about whether or not it's right for them. That's not being adamant that they can't succeed. And, to be honest, when a publisher like you comes here and starts immediately talking about how "you people" have it all wrong, and going on about how commercial publication isn't all it's cracked up to be, either, that sends up red flags for me. Just FYI.
    __________________
    06-14-2006, 08:13 AM
    Beirdd

    Lighten up, Aconite...

    I didn't say anyone HERE had that issue. But obviously it bothered someone (see the *wince* below in the post to which I replied). Wasn't addressing the PAGE to anyone, merely it's mention, which someone else already did. And some people DO have that problem - I've been chewed out in at least one group by someone who was absolutely LIVID because I had the gall to offer to review small-press and self-published books in my ezine. How DARE I do such a thing! Why that was only encouraging the sniveling little no-talent hacks!

    Of course, this was from someone who had never published a book anywhere, in any fashion, but that didn't keep him from ranting.

    Nowhere in my post did I say "you people". I did say "you" because I was addressing the post directly before mine. That's what "reply" means. I "replied" to the none-too-subtle jab. If it didn't apply to you, then good for you! I don't know how it could have applied to you, Aconite, since I didn't even know you existed until you jumped to the defensive.

    Read my post in its entirety, for goodness sake! Nowhere did I say anything about commercial publishing not being what it should be. I said that some books on BOTH sides of the issue probably shouldn't have been published. And I daresay most people would agree with me on that. If you don't, that's your option.

    What's the matter, did you read and reply before waking up completely? Or was it something else that put you on the prod?


    Beirdd


    Beirdd
    06-14-2006, 08:14 AM
    Aconite
    Full sun to light shade
    Mod Squad Member

    Have you considered how professional such a response makes you sound?
    __________________
    06-14-2006, 08:27 AM
    Beirdd

    Have YOU considered?

    First of all, how annoying it is to have assumptions made about the business you run, and have those assumptions publicly proclaimed, even in a mildly snide fashion such as:

    *wince*

    I'm not sure where to start.... Let's just say that any place which devotes a full page to "famous self-publishers" is a place to avoid. IMHO.

    I think the defense of my business practices was entirely in order, given that statement.

    Secondly, how annoying it is to have someone read parts of a post and reply to those small parts without seeming to read the whole thing? Context is an important thing.

    Anyone who really wants to know about what I do can ask me, or ask the people I've worked with.


    Beirdd
    06-14-2006, 08:32 AM
    Aconite
    Full sun to light shade
    Mod Squad Member

    Beirdd, I realize you probably won't take this well, but I feel I need to try anyway. Whether you realize it or not, the way you came onto this board, and the things you said and the way you said them, closely match the pattern of several publishers we've learned to be wary of. Those behaviors have become red flags for people evaluating the professionalism of a company. We're forming an impression of your company you probably don't intend for us to have.

    Take that for what it's worth.
    __________________
    06-14-2006, 08:46 AM
    Beirdd

    Actually I can accept that much more easily than the first thing you said to me. I understand it. And I hope you can understand that when I see my company spoken of in nasty and/or condescending tones by someone who has never even spoken to me or asked me about my publishing policies, it gets under my skin as well. Or when someone reads my post and misquotes it, then takes me to task for what I supposedly said.

    I'm serious about publishing, and about writing. They are not hobbies to me - both are my livelihood.

    I shudder when I see the things that some vanity publishers put out. What a waste of paper and time and for goodness sake, the author's money! So, to the idea that SOME vanity publishers are creeps, thieves and liars, I make no rebuttal. But I dislike broad-brush painting that smears me at the same time, just because I do vanity publishing in addition to co-op and commercial publishing. That's it in a nutshell.

    Perhaps I'm just as sensitive to those kind of things as the other members of this board are to what I said that are supposed to have sent up the red flags. (I'm not sure what they are.)


    Beirdd
    06-14-2006, 08:48 AM
    Kate Thornton
    One of the Locals

    I bought Wolfmont Publishing's "Seven by Seven" - and I think it is a terrific anthology of mystery/crime stories based on the 'seven sins' - well done by seven authors (2 of whom I had read before) and edited by Tony Burton.

    It's a trade paperback and I certainly feel I got my money's worth. I buy a lot of mystery anthologies because I write a lot of mystery shorts - I had nothing to do with this one, other than having heard it was good. I have bought several books from Wolfmont - as a consumer, they satisfied me.

    I will buy 'Under a Raging Moon' when it comes out because I know the author's other work and respect it.

    I think if I had anything book length ready for publication, I would inquire with them. If they put out a call for anthology submissions, I would respond.

    Kate
    __________________
    Kate Thornton
    06-14-2006, 10:57 AM
    CaoPaux
    Mostly Harmless

    I winced at a great many things on your website. I chose the famous self-published page as an example because it repeats the same myths and half-truths we see trumpeted by hundreds of Self-Publishing is Revolutionary!!!11!! folks who don t know the first thing about how to get a book on a shelf.

    Remembrance of Things Past, by Marcel Proust, 1920 s = Irrelevant to the current state of the industry.

    Ulysses, by James Joyce, 1922, Same.

    Legally Blonde, by Amanda Brown, Plume Books (div of Penguin). Self-published when and with who?

    The Adventures of Peter Rabbit, by Beatrix Potter, 1901, again, too old to be relevant.

    A Time to Kill, by John Grisham, Wynwood Press, (NOT self-published).

    The Wealthy Barber, by David Chilton. Originally self-published (not vanity), now pubbed by an imprint of Crown. That is, found fame through a commercial publisher.
    Etc., etc.

    If you wish to convince folks that self-publishing will bring them modern-day fame and fortune, I suggest limiting your list to authors who 1) pubbed after 1950 and 2) are still self-published.

    And, if you wish, I'll expound upon why I winced at the rest of your site.
    __________________
    CAO
    06-14-2006, 12:46 PM
    Popeyesays
    Board fanatic

    I would simply ask what kind of distribution your published books had?

    And suggest you might seperate imprints at least between your self-published book service and your small print efforts.

    Regards,
    Scott
    __________________
    06-14-2006, 02:26 PM
    Beirdd

    First to Cao

    If you read you will see that I didn't say that those who succeeded or became successful did so while self-publishing. I said that it was a doorway for them, or a springboard, if you will.

    I'm so glad you are the one with the power and authority to declare what is relevant and what is irrelevant! When did God abdicate and make you a deity? However, even if a couple of the examples are older than the others, there are many others which are modern. Actually, I refrained from putting up many which are older than those.

    Since you choose to reject anything older as irrelevant (May God have mercy on your parents when they reach their dotage!), Amanda Brown originally self-published Legally Blonde, and it was 1 1/2 years after the movie was made before Plume took up the book.

    In fact, A Time to Kill was originally self-published by Grisham. It was NOT his best book nor his most famous, but it was self-published. It was picked up by a traditional publisher after his name became established by his other novels.

    And as you say, The Wealthy Barber was self-published. Glad you admitted it.

    In truth, you and I know that I'm not going to change your mind. You have already made up your mind, and I can't confuse you with the facts. I shouldn't have wasted my time with your post, but I felt a small necessity. Your opinion, like those of most who are mired in their own self-worth and opinions, means nothing to me. I know that what I'm doing is worthwhile and I know I'm not being deceptive. I really couldn't care less why you winced at this point.

    I wish you well.


    Beirdd
    06-14-2006, 02:42 PM
    Beirdd

    For Popeyesays

    My recently published books are distributed through Ingram's and Baker & Taylor. They are presently being sold in the United States and Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Japan and Africa. Of course, this means they are available through Amazon, B&N, B. Dalton, Hastings, Blackwell, and so forth.

    My first two were not. They were very much learning experiences, to be truthful.

    Thank you for a factual question, rather than one based upon emotion.

    As for your suggestion, that is welcomed, as well. However, at this time I intend to keep them under the same imprint. Since I don't intend to take on any "junk", I don't want to label things that authors pay to have published as inferior. (I've honestly rejected more MSs than I've published.) I know many people say if a MS is good enough it would be picked up by a "traditional" publisher. I don't think that's always true - and I don't think the books that are picked up by traditional publishers are always good, either. Every editor makes mistakes in what he or she chooses or rejects. I'm sure all those who rejected the Rowling books are kicking themselves now.

    If an author looks at the books I've published and says, "I don't want to be under the same imprint as a self-published author!", then they and their ego are free to go elsewhere. I'm a small press, anyway, and I doubt I'll handle more than four or five titles a year (commercially/traditionally published), at least at this point.

    Thanks for your input.

    Beirdd


    Beirdd
    06-14-2006, 02:46 PM
    Sassenach
    Inexplicability Assessment

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Beirdd
    :::snipped:::
    I'm so glad you are the one with the power and authority to declare what is relevant and what is irrelevant! When did God abdicate and make you a deity? However, even if a couple of the examples are older than the others, there are many others which are modern. Actually, I refrained from putting up many which are older than those.

    Since you choose to reject anything older as irrelevant (May God have mercy on your parents when they reach their dotage!)
    :::snipped:::
    Free advice. Stop talking before you really embarass yourself. Petulance isn't something one seeks in a publisher.
    __________________
    06-14-2006, 02:51 PM
    Aconite
    Full sun to light shade
    Mod Squad Member

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Beirdd
    In fact, A Time to Kill was originally self-published by Grisham. It was NOT his best book nor his most famous, but it was self-published. It was picked up by a traditional publisher after his name became established by his other novels.
    This gets tossed around the 'Net a lot, but no, it really wasn't self-published. It was published by a small press--Wynwood--and picked up by a big house after The Firm was optioned and then filmed.
    __________________
    06-14-2006, 03:08 PM
    Beirdd

    I guess it depends on how you define "self publish". According to Grisham, who by the way doesn't recommend self-publishing (I have to be honest here), he paid to have it published. By self-publish, I don't usually mean that a person establishes their own publishing house and imprint. Sometimes that happens, but not always.


    Beirdd
    06-14-2006, 03:21 PM
    roach
    rpia

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Beirdd
    I guess it depends on how you define "self publish". According to Grisham, who by the way doesn't recommend self-publishing (I have to be honest here), he paid to have it published. By self-publish, I don't usually mean that a person establishes their own publishing house and imprint. Sometimes that happens, but not always.
    Please cite where he said this. Also, you mentioned that Amanda Brown self-published, could you please cite where this is confirmed?

    ETA: It seems that the entry on Self-publishing at Wikipedia perpetuates the Grisham myth. Are there any wiki-editors around who could fix that?
    __________________
    06-14-2006, 03:41 PM
    Kasey Mackenzie
    Blonde & Bookxum

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Beirdd
    I guess it depends on how you define "self publish". According to Grisham, who by the way doesn't recommend self-publishing (I have to be honest here), he paid to have it published. By self-publish, I don't usually mean that a person establishes their own publishing house and imprint. Sometimes that happens, but not always.
    You really should dial down the attitude a notch (or ten) and stop trying to pass off inaccurate information to people who know better. It took a very simple google search to reach John Grisham's official Random House website where his biography specifically states this: "Getting up at 5 a.m. every day to get in several hours of writing time before heading off to work, Grisham spent three years on A Time to Kill and finished it in 1987. Initially rejected by many publishers, it was eventually bought by Wynwood press, who gave it a modest 5,000 copy printing and published it in June 1988."

    Interestingly enough, it does not mention self-publishing. If you are referring to the little tidbit that floats around about him selling some copies out of the back of his trunk, a self-publisher that does not Grisham make.

    Edited to add: Further googling unearthed this interview with John Grisham himself where he states that he was not self-published. Scroll down to the second question from Slushpile.
    __________________
    06-14-2006, 04:24 PM
    Beirdd

    Replies and attitude

    As to attitude, I thought I was giving at about the same rate that I received, but I can lower that if it makes you happier.

    OK. Grisham. My sources were primarily two, though I've seen it in other places. One was the Wikipedia citation already mentioned by another poster, and the other was an author who (intererestingly enough) was bashing self-publishing, knows Grisham personally (he says) and said that Grisham DID self-publish, but now hates it. I took that as a confirmation of the Wikipedia entry. If I'm wrong, I'll gladly remove it. In fact, I'll remove it now, since it's being so hotly contested. No biggie for me. There are too many others to have to lean on Grisham.

    As for Amanda Brown, on an NPR Morning Edition show on June 13, 2005 Gloria Hillard quoted Amanda Brown, and she spoke of how she self-published, using First Books. Depending on whether or not you enjoyed the movie about the indefatigable Elle Woods, that may or may not be a good recommendation.


    Beirdd
    06-15-2006, 09:15 AM
    Sassenach
    Inexplicability Assessment

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Beirdd
    As to attitude, I thought I was giving at about the same rate that I received, but I can lower that if it makes you happier.
    It's not a matter of either of those, but the way you're representing yourself and your business.
    __________________
    06-15-2006, 09:37 AM
    James D. Macdonald
    Dawnolite Sparklecow
    Absolute Sage

    Legally Blonde was vanity-published through AuthorHouse.
    __________________
    06-15-2006, 10:47 AM
    James D. Macdonald
    Dawnolite Sparklecow
    Absolute Sage

    Another book that needs to come off the self-published success stories page is Strunk & White's The Elements of Style.

    William Strunk originally had his class notes printed and distributed to his students at Cornell, where he was an instructor. Yes, this was self-published, for certain values of the term, but it was really because the Xerox machine hadn't been invented in 1918.

    Strunk & White, the revision done by E.B. White (one of Strunk's students, since gone on to become an editor at The New Yorker), was published by Macmillan and Company. Hardly self-published.
    __________________
    06-15-2006, 12:07 PM
    CaoPaux
    Mostly Harmless

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Beirdd
    First to Cao

    If you read you will see that I didn't say that those who succeeded or became successful did so while self-publishing. I said that it was a doorway for them, or a springboard, if you will.
    The page is labeled “famous_selfpub”, named “Self-publishing and Small-press Successes”, and titled “Winners who self-published or small-press published”. How are you not intimating that the authors listed became famous via self-publishing?

    Quote:
    I'm so glad you are the one with the power and authority to declare what is relevant and what is irrelevant!
    It has nothing to do with power and/or authority; ‘tis a fact that the structure and function of the industry has changed drastically over the past century. Add to that the inherent differences between publishing in the U.S. versus England/Europe, and it’s simple to separate apples from oranges.

    Quote:
    When did God abdicate and make you a deity?
    She didn’t, and I'm content to remain a mere minion. Fortunately, a divine intellect is not required to find, much less understand, the wealth of information regarding how modern publishing works. I suggest starting here:

    http://www.sfwa.org/beware/vanitypublishers.html
    http://www.sfwa.org/beware/printondemand.html
    http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20586

    Quote:
    However, even if a couple of the examples are older than the others, there are many others which are modern.
    I look forward to seeing them.

    Quote:
    Actually, I refrained from putting up many which are older than those.
    That is good, for reasons already explained.

    Quote:
    Since you choose to reject anything older as irrelevant (May God have mercy on your parents when they reach their dotage!), Amanda Brown originally self-published Legally Blonde, and it was 1 1/2 years after the movie was made before Plume took up the book.
    1) 1stBooks/Authorhouse is vanity, not self-publishing. 2) Her book wasn't even “published” by 1stbooks until the movie was released. http://starbulletin.com/2001/07/08/features/story2.html Therefore, her fame is not due to self-publishing by any stretch of the imagination.

    Quote:
    In fact, A Time to Kill was originally self-published by Grisham. It was NOT his best book nor his most famous, but it was self-published. It was picked up by a traditional publisher after his name became established by his other novels.
    This myth is well debunked elsewhere.

    Quote:
    And as you say, The Wealthy Barber was self-published. Glad you admitted it.
    But do you admit that self-publishing for the financial seminar circuit is an entirely different model than the Success Through Self-Publishing that you are selling?

    Quote:
    In truth, you and I know that I'm not going to change your mind.
    That I can agree with.

    Quote:
    You have already made up your mind, and I can't confuse you with the facts.
    There is confusion over facts, here, but it's not mine.

    Quote:
    I shouldn't have wasted my time with your post, but I felt a small necessity. Your opinion, like those of most who are mired in their own self-worth and opinions, means nothing to me.
    My initial opinion was that, based on a wince-inducing webpage, your company was not a good choice for a writer seeking to be gainfully published. Your responses have yet to provide any evidence to the contrary.

    Quote:
    I know that what I'm doing is worthwhile and I know I'm not being deceptive.
    Deliberately deceptive, no. But it would behoove you to gain more understanding of the industry so you can avoid misleading your clients through ignorance.

    Quote:
    I really couldn't care less why you winced at this point.
    That’s too bad. Correcting errors of fact and format would improve your credibility.

    Quote:
    I wish you well.
    And I you. I look forward to tracking your progress.
    __________________
    CAO
    06-15-2006, 04:03 PM
    HapiSofi
    Board fanatic
    Absolute Sage

    Here are some knowledgeable sorts who've commented on the unreliability of the "successfully self-published authors" list:

    Scrivener's Error
    Making Light
    Nick Mamatas
    Michelle Sagara

    To quote from Making Light's "More Linguistic Markers":
    Never get your advice about self-publishing from a source that feeds you a long list of famous authors who were supposedly self-published. Medium-length lists are bad too. They're all variants of the same original list, and are a marker for bad advice about self-publishing.

    Where did this original list come from? This is predictable: it was compiled by a guy who markets a book about what a swell thing it is to self-publish your work. ...

    (Much pungent commentary regretfully snipped)
    The author list isn't so much an indication of a specific scam as it is a warning that you're in the land of overhyped and underinformed self-publishing advice. Think of it as a road sign on the information highway that says CLUELESSNESS IN PROGRESS HERE.


    Basically, if you've heard of a contemporary author's work, it's not because they self-published it. It's because a real publishing house with a real marketing department and a real distribution deal published and sold the work in vast quantities.

    Onward, then, to Mr. Beirdd's remarks at AW:

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Beirdd
    I'm serious about publishing, and about writing. They are not hobbies to me - both are my livelihood.
    I'm serious about them too. Tell me: how many copies have you sold so far this year?

    Quote:
    If you read you will see that I didn't say that those who succeeded or became successful did so while self-publishing. I said that it was a doorway for them, or a springboard, if you will.
    If it's just a doorway or springboard, how can it provide anyone with a livelihood?

    Quote:
    I'm so glad you are the one with the power and authority to declare what is relevant and what is irrelevant!
    CaoPaux's authority derives from being right.

    If you knew enough about publishing to justify soliciting other writers to put their work in your hands, you'd surely be aware how much the industry has changed over the last couple of decades. But if you insist on the validity of your earlier examples, you have an unpleasant surprise awaiting you: there are other reasons why those examples don't work. If you want to discuss them in detail, feel free to say so.

    Quote:
    ...even if a couple of the examples are older than the others, there are many others which are modern. Actually, I refrained from putting up many which are older than those.
    Good thing. The older titles' problems are even more embarrassing. If this were a Warner Brothers cartoon, you'd be standing on air. Look downward at your own risk.

    Quote:
    In truth, you and I know that I'm not going to change your mind. You have already made up your mind, and I can't confuse you with the facts. I shouldn't have wasted my time with your post, but I felt a small necessity. Your opinion, like those of most who are mired in their own self-worth and opinions, means nothing to me. I know that what I'm doing is worthwhile and I know I'm not being deceptive. I really couldn't care less why you winced at this point.
    You're talking to a group of people who collectively know a great deal more about publishing than you do. You're being told, accurately, that what you're doing won't work the way you imagine. It's your call whether that's a worthwhile thing to do with your own writing. The problem is that you're also doing it with other people's writing, and telling them it will work. That's not fair. And once you've been given the opportunity to understand that your program isn't going to succeed, it becomes dishonest as well.

    Quote:
    My recently published books are distributed through Ingram's and Baker & Taylor. They are presently being sold in the United States and Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Japan and Africa. Of course, this means they are available through Amazon, B&N, B. Dalton, Hastings, Blackwell, and so forth.
    Nice try. What that list means is that you don't have a brick-and-mortar or wire rack distribution deal. Your titles are "available" insofar as they can be ordered via the distributors and online booksellers that will carry absolutely anything.

    Quote:
    Thank you for a factual question, rather than one based upon emotion.
    Child, don't even start.

    Quote:
    I've honestly rejected more MSs than I've published.
    If you think that's something to boast about, you're so close to being a vanity publisher that it's hardly worth making the distinction. I've seen more slush than you would believe. A publisher who printed one slush submission out of a hundred would be nothing short of indiscriminate.

    Quote:
    I know many people say if a MS is good enough it would be picked up by a "traditional" publisher. I don't think that's always true -
    And your qualifications for saying that are?

    I'd bet the rent that you've had books rejected and can't tell why. Odds are your book was either not as good as you thought, or not as commercial as you thought, or both.

    Quote:
    and I don't think the books that are picked up by traditional publishers are always good, either.
    It's a safe bet that they're better than the ones that don't get picked up.

    Quote:
    Every editor makes mistakes in what he or she chooses or rejects.
    For every "mistake" an editor makes, there are hundreds and hundreds of rejected writers telling themselves that editors make mistakes.

    Quote:
    I'm a small press, anyway, and I doubt I'll handle more than four or five titles a year (commercially/traditionally published), at least at this point.
    If that's your livelihood, you're not getting enough to eat.

    Quote:
    OK. Grisham. My sources were primarily two, though I've seen it in other places. One was the Wikipedia citation already mentioned by another poster, and the other was an author who (intererestingly enough) was bashing self-publishing, knows Grisham personally (he says) and said that Grisham DID self-publish, but now hates it. I took that as a confirmation of the Wikipedia entry. If I'm wrong, I'll gladly remove it. In fact, I'll remove it now, since it's being so hotly contested. No biggie for me. There are too many others to have to lean on Grisham.
    Trust me, the others are just as embarrassing.

    Quote:
    As for Amanda Brown, on an NPR Morning Edition show on June 13, 2005 Gloria Hillard quoted Amanda Brown, and she spoke of how she self-published, using First Books.
    And is that your definition of successful self-publication? To repeat my earlier point, your examples don't support your argument. If you or anyone else have heard of those writers, it's not because they were self-published.
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    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    James D. Macdonald
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    Back to Legally Blonde for a moment. The movie, Legally Blonde, was filmed October - December 2000, and released June, 2001.

    The AuthorHouse edition of Legally Blonde was published in 2001, after the movie was already in the can. Exactly how that is a self-publishing success story is hard to tell.

    Let's look at the rest of the list:

    Remembrance of Things Past, Marcel Proust. 1911. Proust gave up after only three rejections. Proust was already an established writer at the time. An old example.

    Ulysses, James Joyce. 1922. Legally obscene; unprintable, unpublishable. Serialized in The Little Review before publication as a book, four issues were confiscated and burned by the Post Office department. Joyce was already an established writer at the time. An old example.

    The Adventures of Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter. 1902. An old example.

    A Time to Kill, John Grisham. 1989. Commercially published; not self-published in any sense.

    The Wealthy Barber, David Chilton. 1991. Specialized non-fiction/business, sold by the speaker at presentations.

    The Celestine Prophecy, James Redfield. 1992. Promoted as non-fiction. Inspirational..

    The One-Minute Manager, Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson. 1981. Specialized non-fiction/business sold by the speaker at presentations.

    What Color is Your Parachute?, Richard Nelson Bolles. 1970. Specialized non-fiction/business, sold by the speaker at presentations.

    In Search of Excellence, by Tom Peters and Robert Waterman. 1982. Specialized non-fiction/business/inspirational., sold by the speaker at presentations.

    The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E. B. White. 1959. As previously noted, this book was commercially published. Written a dozen years after Strunk's death, it was based on the class notes that Strunk distributed to his Cornell students. Specialized non-fiction.

    Life's Little Instruction Book, by H. Jackson Brown. 1991. As near as I can tell, the first, self-published edtion consisted of one copy, a gift from Brown to his son. Specialized non-fiction/inspirational.

    The Artist's Way, by Julie Cameron. 1992. Specialized non-fiction/inspirational. Cameron was already an established writer at the time.

    The Christmas Box, by Richard Paul Evans. 1992. First edition of 19 copies run off at Kinko's, as Christmas presents for family and friends. Second edition, 8,000 copies, also self-published. Inspirational.

    When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple, by Sandra Martz [ed]. 1987. Self-publishing only in that Martz owned Papier-Mache Press, founded in 1984. The authors of the stories in the anthology weren't self-published in any sense of the term.

    =============

    If I wanted to be exhaustive about it, I could go and Google the other authors -- where we'd discover that Louis L'Amour did, indeed, self-publish a collection of his poetry -- but what would be the point? Nearly every author has self-published at one time or another. I know I have (a collection of song parodies, in 1976, and a chapbook of three short stories just this year for a class I was teaching). This proves nothing -- saying that an author is both successful and has self-published doesn't imply that the author is successful because he or she self-published something at some point in his or her career.

    Despite what the self-publishing enthusiasts would have you believe.
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    The thing I find most interesting about this list is that in most of the cases, the definition of "success" is that the author was then later (and this is important!) picked up by a traditional publisher! But in most of the ones I looked at, it wasn't the self-pubbed book that was picked up for reprint rights. It was the SECOND book---basically dooming that first book to the dustbin, or hoping that someday the author will become successful enough to get it reissued.

    Sigh... So, is that the be-all, end-all of self-publishing? To "get noticed" by the big presses? I really hope not. I like self-publishing---the real kind where the author is an entrepreneur who also runs his own publishing company. It's good, honest work, like making fine furniture, that deserves a special niche in the world. But slapping something together through any printer out there that calls itself a publisher because they bought a block of ISBNs is the equivalent of a Sauder do-it-yourself bookcase versus hand-carving it as a labor of love.

    JMHO, of course. :sadly shakes head and goes back to writing:
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    If getting noticed and picked up by a large commercial publisher were your goal, then submitting directly to them yourself, or through an agent, would make far more sense than self-publishing.

    There are good reasons to self-publish. I don't think that's one of them.
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    Flash Bang Mysteries BJ Bourg's Avatar
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    From one of the "Seven By Seven" authors

    I haven’t had a chance to read all of this thread, but I’ve read enough. As most of you already know from following this, I’m one of the “Seven By Seven” authors. Initially, my experience with the project/Wolfmont Publishing had been a very positive one (other than not knowing it was a cooperative arrangement until *after* I had been accepted for the anthology and had already begun writing my additional stories) and it’s been great working with most of the authors who are a part of the anthology. I’ve also had a few short stories published in Crime and Suspense and the majority of those experiences have been good ones. Having said that, and not going into detail about the many reasons for my decision, unless I have a *very* drastic change of heart, I will not be submitting any of my work to either Wolfmont Publishing or Crime and Suspense.

    Also, while I have no opinions, either good or bad, about other people self-publishing, I won’t do it. Instead of putting up my portion of the set-up fee, or whatever it was called, for “Seven By Seven”, I had the editor take it out of my share of the royalties. I just can’t bring myself to send money to someone in exchange for him or her publishing my work. Had I known from the onset that “Seven By Seven” was a cooperative venture, I would not have submitted to it. Of course, some things happen for the better. Looking back, I’m kind of glad it happened the way it did, because I’m in an anthology with my favorite short story writer, John Floyd, and that makes me happy.

    Anywho, since my name appears in part of the thread and I’m a member here (although a quiet one -- heck, I didn’t even know this conversation was taking place:-), I decided I’d give my abbreviated take on this thread.

    I hope everyone had a great Fourth of July week!

    bjb
    Last edited by BJ Bourg; 08-12-2010 at 09:22 AM.
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    I'm confused...

    Quote Originally Posted by BJ Bourg
    Also, while I have no opinions, either good or bad, about other people self-publishing, I won’t do it.bjb
    I'm not trying to be snarky here, but at the bottom of your post it links to your book at Lulu.com. Now, I have nothing against Lulu--after all, they gave us the groundbreaking (and teeth-jarring) "Atlanta Nights*"--but isn't Lulu self-publishing? Or is there something about Lulu that I don't understand?



    * a title that sits on my shelf next to "Moby Dick"...or would, if only Melville's surname had been Tellville** (instead it sits between Donna Tartt and Walter Tevis).

    **or would sit next to Melville if Uncle Jim had fessed up, on the spine, to being senior author. No, I lie--I went and checked. It would end up between Amin Maalouf and Norman Mailer. But it would be CLOSE to "Moby Dick." One shelf above it, in fact. There's a blurb for Mr. Tea--I would place this novel higher than "Moby Dick."
    Last edited by UrsusMinor; 07-07-2006 at 02:07 PM.

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    Flash Bang Mysteries BJ Bourg's Avatar
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    Don’t worry about sounding snarky; your question is a good one, as many people get confused with Lulu’s role. This topic actually comes up a lot. To clarify, Lulu can be either a venue for self-publishing, or a printer for small publishing companies. In fact, Jenna used Lulu’s printing services to make “Stories of Strength” available in print form. In my case, “Absent the Soul” is not self-published. I submitted my completed manuscript to a small press called ePress-Online and they accepted it for publication. My book went through the entire publishing process, including exhaustive editing by three excellent editors, and it didn’t cost me a cent. I also receive royalties on sales. Lulu is merely the printer that ePress-Online chooses to utilize for the print version of the books they publish (they have a number of titles already published and more scheduled for release). Again, I do not self-publish, and my reason is very simple -- I am not good enough to determine if my writing is worthy of publication, and I definitely won’t pay someone to publish my work. I’m one of those who believe money should flow to the writer.

    Take care,

    bjb
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    Thanx, bjb

    That clears things up considerably--and is very interesting, too.

    Good luck!

    Ursus the Lesser

  7. #7
    Flash Bang Mysteries BJ Bourg's Avatar
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    Thanks for the good luck -- I need all the help I can get. I've recently sent a query letter to an agent on a novel I just completed and I'm patiently, yet anxiously, awaiting a response.

    Take care,

    bjb
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    Now departed. Rest in peace, Scott, from all of us at AW Popeyesays's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BJ Bourg
    Thanks for the good luck -- I need all the help I can get. I've recently sent a query letter to an agent on a novel I just completed and I'm patiently, yet anxiously, awaiting a response.

    Take care,

    bjb
    Send them out one a day--five a day. Don't wait on replies to query the next. A query is not an expression of exclusivity--it's just a question and a business proposal.

    If you query ONE at a time and wait for the response, how long will it take you to find an agent--decades?

    Regards,
    Scott
    Last edited by Popeyesays; 07-12-2006 at 10:27 AM.
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    Crypto-fascist Soccer Mom's Avatar
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    I say congrats to BJ for taking the plunge and sending one out. The first one is the hardest. It takes guts to lay it out there and let people stomp on it.

    Keep at it BJ!
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  10. #10
    Flash Bang Mysteries BJ Bourg's Avatar
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    Thanks, Soccer Mom!

    bjb
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    Flash Bang Mysteries BJ Bourg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Popeyesays


    Send them out one a day--five a day. Don't wait on replies to query the next. A query is not an expression of exclusivity--it's just a question and a business proposal.

    If you query ONE at a time and wait for the response, how long will it take you to find an agent--decades?

    Regards,
    Scott
    Thanks for the reply, Scott. When I read over the agency's guidelines, I thought it said "no simultaneous submissions" and I mentioned in my Query Letter that it was not a simultaneous submission. However, looking back at the website, it says not to simultaneously query two of *their* agents. I goofed. :-( So, I'll wait for a reply from this agent. If she doesn't accept it, I'll take your advice and send out a bunch of them. After all, if you fish with several lines in the water, you stand a better chance of catching something, right?

    bjb
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    BJ, no need to wait on a reply before sending out those other queries. As Scott mentioned, it can take months for an agent to get back to you. You don't want to wait that long to get other lines in the water.
    Winner of Uncle Jim's Whoo Hoo Super Writer Award and Nomad's Most Use of Vowels in a Screen Name Award as well as Maryn's Only Person on AW Whose Name Anagrams to "I, Octane," "Act I (One)" and "Nice tao" Award in addition to batgirl's Culpeper Award for Botanically Erudite Screen Name plus awatkins' AW's Most Creative Srounger [sic] of Rep Points Award not to mention azbikergirl's Arizona Most Awarded Writer Award and also Dawno's Most Interesting Signature Line Award

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    Flash Bang Mysteries BJ Bourg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aconite
    BJ, no need to wait on a reply before sending out those other queries. As Scott mentioned, it can take months for an agent to get back to you. You don't want to wait that long to get other lines in the water.
    Thanks for your suggestion, but I told her in the QL that it was not a simultaneous submission, so I'll just wait the wait and keep my word. I'll chalk it up to "lessons learned" and I'll get it right next time. I totally misread the guidelines and thought it said "no simultaneous submissions". Hopefully she'll accept my work and there won't be a next time. :-))) Of course, I know how impossible that is. This is actually my second QL. My first effort was met with, "Sorry, just not for me."

    bjb
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    BJ, queries aren't submissions. A submission would include all or part of your manuscript. A query is just that. Nobody on earth would expect an exclusive query.
    Winner of Uncle Jim's Whoo Hoo Super Writer Award and Nomad's Most Use of Vowels in a Screen Name Award as well as Maryn's Only Person on AW Whose Name Anagrams to "I, Octane," "Act I (One)" and "Nice tao" Award in addition to batgirl's Culpeper Award for Botanically Erudite Screen Name plus awatkins' AW's Most Creative Srounger [sic] of Rep Points Award not to mention azbikergirl's Arizona Most Awarded Writer Award and also Dawno's Most Interesting Signature Line Award

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    Flash Bang Mysteries BJ Bourg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aconite
    BJ, queries aren't submissions. A submission would include all or part of your manuscript. A query is just that. Nobody on earth would expect an exclusive query.
    Actually, there are quite a few literary agencies that prefer to read material exclusively. If you check the “Novel and Short Story Writer’s Market”, and other places, you’ll find such agencies. Serendipity Literary Agency, Jeffrey Simmons Literary Agency, and Farber Literary Agency are only a few such agencies. But really, that doesn't matter. If I say I'm going to do something, or not do something, I keep my word. Thus, I will *not* query another agent until I receive a response from this agent. It's really that simple. Like I said, I might waste a few months just to get rejected, but my word will be intact. J
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    You should certainly do what you're comfortable with. But I think there's a disconnect happening here...

    Aconite is telling you that a "simultaneous submission" is impossible here, because you have not submitted anything to the first agent. You have only sent a query letter, which is not a submission!

    You're trying to stick to the letter of your initial query, which, while noble, is somewhat Quixotic, especially since you have not submitted anything.

    Most pro writers endure dozens or hundreds of queries before landing an agent or book deal. Waiting on one agent who might or might not ever reply seems a terrible waste.

  17. #17
    Flash Bang Mysteries BJ Bourg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buffoon
    You should certainly do what you're comfortable with. But I think there's a disconnect happening here...

    Aconite is telling you that a "simultaneous submission" is impossible here, because you have not submitted anything to the first agent. You have only sent a query letter, which is not a submission!

    You're trying to stick to the letter of your initial query, which, while noble, is somewhat Quixotic, especially since you have not submitted anything.

    Most pro writers endure dozens or hundreds of queries before landing an agent or book deal. Waiting on one agent who might or might not ever reply seems a terrible waste.
    Okay, I get what you’re saying, but I have submitted something. I've submitted a query letter. When a writer sends a query letter to an agent or publisher, it is a "query submission". It might not be a "manuscript submission", but it *is* a submission. But terminology is irrelevant in my case. While I might have used the term "submission" too loosely here and caused some confusion, this is the exact wording in my query letter, "This is not a simultaneous query." The agent will certainly understand that to mean I will not query any other agency until I’ve heard from her. Now, if I receive a rejection from her, I will certainly follow Scott’s invaluable advice and submit query letters as fast as I can hit the "send" key.

    Sorry for the confusion. If I made any of your heads hurt, I'll pay for the aspirin. I chew children's Bayer aspirin, orange flavor. They're awesome! An adult can chew up to eight of them every four hours. :-)))

    bjb
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  18. #18
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    I've submitted a query letter.
    Yes, but that is not a "submission."

    Really.

    A submission is three-and-an-outline or whatever the agency requests. A query asks if they'd like to see a submission.

    An adult can chew up to eight of them every four hours.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BJ Bourg
    Okay, I get what you’re saying, but I have submitted something. I've submitted a query letter. When a writer sends a query letter to an agent or publisher, it is a "query submission". It might not be a "manuscript submission", but it *is* a submission. But terminology is irrelevant in my case. While I might have used the term "submission" too loosely here and caused some confusion, this is the exact wording in my query letter, "This is not a simultaneous query." The agent will certainly understand that to mean I will not query any other agency until I’ve heard from her. Now, if I receive a rejection from her, I will certainly follow Scott’s invaluable advice and submit query letters as fast as I can hit the "send" key.
    If the agent notices, she'll not doubt attribute it to newbie confusion.

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    Flash Bang Mysteries BJ Bourg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sassenach
    If the agent notices, she'll not doubt attribute it to newbie confusion.

    Don't make an ethical issue of it.
    That's funny.

    bjb
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    Has removed page of "famous self publishers" and added imprint: Honey Locust Press.
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    Honey Locust has issued an anthology call. I'm not sure how unusual the terms they offer are, after all it is a small press and I wouldn't expect the writers to get paid much, but I did worry about the apparently sweeping powers they give themselves to edit as they choose. (Possibly I am just touchy about the latter subject because I have a friend currently having trouble with an unrelated publishing house that contracted her for a book, then wanted a full rewrite, and were trying to weasel her agreement to them hiring another writer to redo it-- and pay for it out of my friend's projected royalties! But that's another story, and she is still working it through, with legal help, so I won't name the publisher or say any more.)

    http://www.honeylocustpress.com/Anthology_callout.htm

    Seeing the support for Wolfmont's (the parent company's) Seven by Seven anthology on this page was for me a point in their favour; on the other hand, seeing their publisher's choosing to 'give as good as he got' (in his view) on the hot button issue of self-publishing, rather than 'rise above' and just state the facts about his company is a definite strike against.....

    what do other people think of the terms for this new anthology?
    Last edited by matdonna; 02-20-2008 at 11:53 PM.
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    Crypto-fascist Soccer Mom's Avatar
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    Outright purchase of the story and all rights for 24 months after publication, at 1 cent per word. With this option, the author can purchase additional copies of the anthology with a 10% discount (minimum purchase of ten copies to get this discount; smaller quantities at standard retail), OR
    Author releases story and all rights to publisher gratis for 24 months after publication, but the author can purchase up to 100 (one hundred) copies of the anthology at 30% off retail. Purchases beyond 100 are at a 35% discount.
    This isn't very attractive. You can do better with your fiction. They want ALL rights but don't even pay a copy? You can get more money and still retain reprints, etc... They want you to buy at least ten copies to get a discount? Let's see, if the book sells for 11.95 (which is what their site says) that would mean they pay you $30 and you pay them something around $100 (with your discount). Or you can just buy a single copy at the $11.95.

    I think I know how they will make their money.

    ETA: My bad. I see that they list that they do provide ONE comp copy for author.
    Last edited by Soccer Mom; 02-21-2008 at 01:27 AM.
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    matushka at large matdonna's Avatar
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    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by Soccer Mom View Post
    This isn't very attractive. You can do better with your fiction.
    Oh, I personally can and have...:-) But a penny a word is still the reality for many small press magazines, and others still pay in copies only, and they can be a good choice for new writers.

    Option one looked better...and the way it is worded, "additonal copies"....seems to imply at least one contributor's copy is given. If I were going to submit there, that's definitely the option I would choose. Authors buying additional copies of the anthology to flog themselves, if they know they have a market, wouldn't be so bad-- but in my opinion, they should then get the equivalent of a bookseller's discount-- 40%?

    But the wording is confusing, to me at least. "Outright purchase of the story and all rights for 24 months"...um... why say 'the story', if all they are getting is 'all rights -to the story- for 24 months? And why not just go with first rights?
    http://raftersscriptorium.blogspot.com/


    The Ravens of Farne, picture book, Conciliar Press Feb 2010

    Bearing the Saint, YA historical, Conciliar Press June 2010

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