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Thread: Athena Press, Ltd.

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Athena Press, Ltd.

    Does anyone have anything bad to say regarding Athena Press in Twickenham London UK. So far everything I've read has been good, more than good.
    I just want to do my homework thoroughly before submiotting my manuscript to them.
    Currently I am with Publish America, but I live in the UK and so would prefer to find a UK publisher.

    Many thanks,
    WT.

  2. #2
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    IMHO unless most of your potential buyers are in the UK and would be killed bu US shipping charges I do not see a good reason to use a British self-publisher. Also this place does not seem all that 'up front'. I am guessing they are fee-charging but there seems to be no way to determine what that fee is until after you submit. Their paperbacks seem to have a cover price of 11 pounds ($20) and up.

    My two cents: try Lulu
    Last edited by veinglory; 07-19-2006 at 01:05 AM.
    Emily Veinglory

  3. #3
    Gone
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    Can you find any of their books in bookstores? Have you, personally, bought any of their books? Have you been able to check the quality of their work firsthand?
    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

  4. #4
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
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    Not listed as a book publisher in the Writers and Artists Yearbook

  5. #5
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    http://www.athenapress.com/about-us.php

    Vanity POD. Unlike PA, they're honest about it. Still won't get you into stores, though (presuming that's what you want).
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  6. #6
    Ellie_V
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    Hi - I'm new here, but was just browsing and came across this thread. I know this company well and would strongly advise you not to send your manuscript in, unless you enjoy parting with your money for very little return. As someone else posted - it is vanity POD. Unless things have changed drastically in the last year or so, authors are left to their own devices when it comes to marketing - at one point they were actually making a loss on copies sold, so effectively it wasn't in their interest for a book to be successful - they survived solely on the fees they extracted from authors for publishing. I've heard some desperately sad stories of authors getting themselves into debt. They used to be known as Minerva and were investigated here in the UK, hence the change of name (none too subtle really though, eh?).

    I'd be interested to know where you found the good stuff?

    Basically, avoid! Good luck with your manuscript.

  7. #7
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Baumski's Avatar
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    I'd like to thank everyone who has posted on this thread. Like Sandhome who began this thread, I saw an advert for Athena, went onto their site and was very impressed. However, one can never be too sure and now after reading the very frank exchange of posts, I feel more enlightened. So once more, thanks to everyone who has contributed for making my life easier.
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  8. #8
    Never Surrender AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
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    As usual, I'm so glad this board is here. I just now saw someone at Yahoo! Answers inquiring about this and was about to direct them here when I saw that someone else already had.

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  9. #9
    America: A Dream Come True
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    Thumbs down Athena Press, UK

    Anyone know anything more about Athena Press in Twickenham. I very nearly got 'burned' despite being told not to go to someone you pay! Info I got was not good! Be warned!

  10. #10
    practical experience, FTW MickRooney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yellow Rose View Post
    Anyone know anything more about Athena Press in Twickenham. I very nearly got 'burned' despite being told not to go to someone you pay! Info I got was not good! Be warned!
    http://www.athenapress.com/

    Yellow Rose,

    You don't say how you nearly got 'burned', but to be fair to Athena Press, they seem to be up front about the fact that they offer author paid services.

    The very first line on their website spells this out clearly.

    "Athena Press is an author-funded book publisher mainly dedicated to the publishing of books by new authors."

    The bold and underlined is mine.

    ...and,


    "If you would like to find out more about our publishing system, go to About Us. For details of how to submit a manuscript, go to How To Publish, and in our Authors’ Area you will find information about our house style and marketing. To view our catalogue, click on Books."

    While an author choosing to pay to be published is a personal choice (we can argue the pro's and con's all day about self-publishing and author-paid services)--I'm not sure how Athena Press could be any more open about what their publishing process and the reasons why you feel you nearly got 'burned'.

    If I have one qualm about their site, it is that they do not disclose author fees for their services. That is never a good sign. Could you expand on your original posting. Do you have experience or knowledge of this company misleading authors about what they do?
    Last edited by MickRooney; 03-27-2009 at 05:24 PM.

  11. #11
    America: A Dream Come True
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    The info I got was that they take your money to print, but that they only do a basic, put you on Amazon and that's that. Same really as PublishAmerica but you lose around £3800 (approx $6000 I think) for the priviledge. I wasn't willing to lose what little cash I have to find out!

  12. #12
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Thumbs up Athena...well I never....

    ...I was completely taken in by their website; I've had a book with an agent in New York for a couple of years now, so I haven't stopped looking for a likely publisher myself. Didn't interpret "author funded" as meaning vanity pub. Duh.
    All I can say is, and this is heartfelt, thank fuck for sites like this.
    I was nearly stung by Publish America once; after that, I made it a habit not to get too excited and do some background checks. Well, that's not true; the New York Literary Agency (lol) got their mitts upon my wallet, and I forked out for an "independent" critique of my novel. It was all very flattering and exactly what a new author wants to hear.
    It took about five years to find a genuine agent, and even then I had to approach agencies in the States (agents over here liked the book, but said that the market was already cornered by Pratchett, et all).
    Still not published, constantly tinkering with the bloody thing to see where I went wrong. It's tough enough dealing with my own insecurities without being bamboozled by the arsewipes trying to steal all my hard graft.
    Anyway, thanks be to the site (found it while doing background on Athena) and those who posted. That was a close one.
    Frothy, man.

  13. #13
    practical experience, FTW MickRooney's Avatar
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    Athena Press (formerly Minerva Press)

    http://www.sfwa.org/beware/vanitypublishers.html

    "Minerva Press Ltd., a UK vanity publisher with branches in India and the USA, was the subject of two exposes by the BBC. More than 40 authors sought redress from this company, alleging false promises, production of shoddy books, and general failure to fulfill contractual promises. In 2001, 16 of those cases were settled by Minerva in favor of the authors under a blanket non-disclosure agreement. Minerva went bust in 2002, leaving behind over £2 million in debt, as well as unpaid staff and multitudes of unhappy authors."

  14. #14
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Athena name change conundrum

    There seems to be some strange goings-on with Athena Press Ltd (present co. no 07522024) regarding apparent name swapping around the 14/02/2011 with another company (Wilbury Solutions Ltd co no. 04308545) both registered at the same address (9 Donnington park, 85 Birdham Rd, Chichester, PO20 7AJ).
    The reason this is of interest is my daughter published a book with Athena in March 2010 and come March 2011 had not received any royalties although we know at least 60 or so books had been sold.
    She received a letter from Fastprint Publishing (which have taken over UpFront publishing (see thread on Fastprint)) to say Athena had gone into liquidation which is patently not the case. She was asked to sign a piece of paper transferring publishing rights to Fastprint which thankfully she has not done.
    Upfront are famous for taking over titles published by Minerva Press when it went bust in 2001 (after 2 Watchdog investigations) and became Athena Press...
    These are strange murky and dubious dealings which I am only just starting to investigate in an attempt to get my daughter the money owing to her...

  15. #15
    Toughen up. gothicangel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Porpoise35 View Post
    She received a letter from Fastprint Publishing (which have taken over UpFront publishing (see thread on Fastprint)) to say Athena had gone into liquidation which is patently not the case.
    It would surprise me very much if they had gone into liquidation, as only a a few days I saw an Athena author promoting her book on a Scottish tv programme.

    Is it possible for your daughter to get the rights returned?
    The Speculator: On submission.
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  16. #16
    Toughen up. gothicangel's Avatar
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    Nice try Athena :

    http://www.fast-print.net/
    The Speculator: On submission.
    Aelia: Work In Progress

  17. #17
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by gothicangel View Post
    It would surprise me very much if they had gone into liquidation, as only a a few days I saw an Athena author promoting her book on a Scottish tv programme.

    Is it possible for your daughter to get the rights returned?
    Thanks. Yes that's what we'll try and do but I'm not hopeful of getting any meaningful reply out of them, especially when we ask for the money due! I shall also be writing to Watchdog about all this - I'm sure they'll be interested as they investigated twice before!

  18. #18
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Lightbulb A Way Out

    Hi everyone, I too was involved in all of the above. Complete nightmare.

    Apparently, Minerva Press went 'bust' once before then changed their name to Athena. I didn't know this and so I wanted out, no more dealing with them or any of their 'recommendations'- something wasn't right! I really didn't want to pay huge amounts of money to self publish all over again, but a friend recommended Pen Press to me, the self-publishing imprint of Indepenpress (http://penpress.co.uk), and they offered to strike up a deal for ALL Athena authors, for very little cost as long as I could get the files from the liquidator. They changed the cover and ISBN and I am back up and running. I finally feel like I am in CHARGE of my own book again. I only wish I went to them first!

    I thought I should pass this on, I wish you the best of luck!

  19. #19
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Thank you

    Thanks for your advice ANT123. I'll pass your message on to my daughter, but she has now become totally disillusioned with the self-publishing business and for her latest books she is attempting to go through the "normal" publishing channels. No success yet but she will keep on trying. Thank you again and best of luck for the future!

  20. #20
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    Porpoise35:
    She received a letter from Fastprint Publishing (which have taken over UpFront publishing (see thread on Fastprint)) to say Athena had gone into liquidation which is patently not the case.
    It would be interesting to know the date and contents of that letter because according to Companies House, Athena renamed itself as Wilbury Solutions on 14th February 2011 and then filed for voluntary liquidation on 16th August 2011. It's currently still in the process of being wound up according to the latest records.

    I don't know why the companies engaged in what was effectively a name swap on the same date (14th February 2011). Contracts with UK companies should ideally state the company registration number together with the company name and then current registered address. That way, if the company changes name later on in its life, you can still identify the legal entity you've contracted with. Therefore, the mere act of changing the names of the two companies wouldn't have been sufficient to move the contracts to a new entity (assuming that this was something that was intended).

    It would be also interesting to know what the terms of the original contract were as regards assignability - specifically whether Athena (now Wilbury) had any right to transfer its publishing contracts without the consent of the authors.

    Interestingly the new Athena company (formerly Wilbury) was only formed this year and so its accounts won't be due until November 2012. Maybe they will give a hint as to what the intention was.

    Porpoise35:
    These are strange murky and dubious dealings which I am only just starting to investigate in an attempt to get my daughter the money owing to her...
    Liquidators have been appointed, Porpoise, so if they haven't been in touch with you then according to Companies House you need to get in touch with:

    SILKE & CO LIMITED
    SILVER HOUSE SILVER STREET
    DONCASTER
    DN1 1HL
    If it's a voluntary liquidation then I would presume that it's still able to pay off its debts so you should notify the liquidator of the amount owed.

    MM

  21. #21
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    A company called G2 Rights Limited (registered January 2010 in Bristol) recently sent a letter to Athena/Wilbury authors claiming that it had purchased "the business and assets of the company," was holding all its intellectual property, and would be in touch "very soon" about "the future of your books." The letter was signed by Julian Gammond.

    G2 Rights appears to be a subsidiary of specialty publisher G2 Entertainment. G2 already provides custom publishing services for corporations and other entities--maybe it's looking at expanding into author-directed self-publishing with its acquisition of the Athena/Wilbury catalog.

    - Victoria
    Last edited by victoriastrauss; 03-26-2012 at 10:37 PM.

  22. #22
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Thank you Momento Mori and Victoria for your replies. My daughter was contacted by the liquidators, but being bottom of the pecking order she has received nothing. The contract did not contain a company number - something to beware of for the future.

    G2 has not contacted my daughter and in any case she has now abandoned the harcopy publishing route and is publishing on Kindle - as least she will get paid something and may be able to slowly build up a reputation for the future!

    Best of luck with all your own endeavours!

  23. #23
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Re ATHENA PRESS

    Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES WHATSOEVER SHOULD YOU FOLKS EVEN THINK OF GIVING MONEY TO THESE PEOPLE. Last year 'Athena Press' or 'Wilbury Transactions' or whatever else it's currently calling itself sent a circular to all its authors inviting them to buy shares in the company at some attractive rates and then shortly after allegedly went into liquidation owing me and presumably the rest of the stable some 18 months of royalty payments which I still havent received 18 months on, yet lo and behold, theyve been up and running again. I have tried to have my publication removed from amazon but something/someone is blocking it - I wonder who? Athena is run by an alcoholic called DAVID ROBERTS and a hypercondriac called MARK SYKES and this pair want YOU to pay for their lifestyles by offering YOU a half-arsed service for 3,800 pounds which you can do far better yourself for 50 pounds on lulu.com or even Waterstones.com. The end product I received was poorly and cheaply jacketed, their half-baked proof reader argued the toss over everything; the print was thinned down on every verso page to save even more outlay, the font was obnoxious to the reader and the pages were made of recycled paper which soon went yellow and fell out easily. As soon as you've paid up, you'll find it's a constant chase to find out how things are and you'll have to prise your cut out of these two devious bastards.
    Does that clear up athena press for you folks?
    THE DAYS OF HANDING BIG MONEY OVER TO PEOPLE LIKE THIS ARE OVER. YOU CAN PUBLISH FOR FREE - GLOBALLY DISTRIBUTE FOR 50 POUNDS. PASS IT ON; LET'S PUT THESE SHARKS OUT OF BUSINESS FOR GOOD
    Last edited by shedfixman; 06-25-2012 at 03:38 PM.

  24. #24
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    anyone wants to know how to get up and running, you're welcome to ask me
    all the best
    SFM

  25. #25
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    (Never mind, thread merged)
    Last edited by Stacia Kane; 06-25-2012 at 07:57 PM.
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