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Thread: Silver Leaf Books / Creative Strategists

  1. #1
    Now departed. Rest in peace, Scott, from all of us at AW Popeyesays's Avatar
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    Silver Leaf Books / Creative Strategists

    Silver Leaf Books declined my submission a few months ago and sent me an e-mail offering subsidy publishing with a new subdivision of their company. I pointed out itwas a conflict of interest and the editor said his boss was realloy pushing this new author's service, though he was not entirely comfortable with it.

    This announcement was on their website:
    Announcement: Bowyer Opens Book Services CompanySLB News, March 10, 2006Silver Leaf Books is proud to announce that Managing Director and our original author, Clifford B. Bowyer, has recently developed and opened a new company, Creative Strategists. Creative Strategists will provide consulting services to authors and other small presses. Bowyer has developed an elaborate network of artists, graphic designers, editors, and business development professionals to provide the highest possible quality and service to the clients of Creative Strategists.
    The opening of the new company will not impact the release of future Imperium Saga novels. According to Bowyer, the Fall of the Imperium Trilogy is complete, as is the young adult spin-off The Adventures of Kyria, and Ilfanti and the Orb of Prophecy. From all of us here at Silver Leaf Books, we wish Bowyer every success in his new endeavor.
    For additional information on Creative Strategists, visit www.Creative-Strategists.com.

    This is the website for Silver Leaf Books.

    http://www.silverleafbooks.com/AspiringAuthors.htm

    I submitted before I knew much about the game, from their presentation and the fact that seven of their eight published books are by their managing director, Bowyer; I suspect they are much like Reagent Press a publishing company name to cover the fact that the Editor in Chief is self-publishing.

    We have no thread for them, and P&E hs not taken any notice of them either.

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    Scott
    Okay, damnit, I blog http://cscottsaylorsbooks.blogspot.com/
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  2. #2
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Here at Creative Strategists, we know how important it is for you to find a distributor or wholesaler to carry your books. Unless they agree to do so, it becomes very time consuming for you to try and get your books into stores. Most major book chains will only deal with distributors or wholesalers, making it imperative for you to be represented. As such, we have designed two options for our clients to utilize:

    Option 1: We will provide contact information and recommendations for you to attempt to foster relationships with distributors, wholesalers, and book chains; or

    Option 2: We would complete and submit your application packet for representation by key distributors, wholesalers, and book chains.
    Confidence in value for money, I am not feeling.
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  3. #3
    And now, back to Plotting! Duncan J Macdonald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaoPaux
    Confidence in value for money, I am not feeling.
    I'm sure that the forms would be filled out correctly, and even submitted IAW established protocol. What's not to value here?
    R/
    Hamster #164

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    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    How true that a well-filled form is a thing of beauty. And when properly submissive submitted, is a joy to record.
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    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
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    I am assuming these people aren't worth submitting to, but I wanted to check to see if anyone had anything more recent on them. When I was a lot more ignorant quite some months ago I sent them a query and just got a request for a full ms which I am inclined to ignore. Any thoughts or information out there?
    Last edited by J. R. Tomlin; 11-21-2007 at 10:07 AM.

  6. #6
    figuring it all out The Scribbler's Avatar
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    I recently reviewed a book by one of their authors, and it was a complete mess. I don't know why any self respecting writer would even consider this outfit.

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    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Manuscript submissions must be accompanied by a Nondisclosure Agreement for Submitting Ideas, which is one of the more amusing documents I've read lately. Either this company is deliberately targeting seriously inexperienced writers (for whom idea theft is a huge, and totally unfounded, fear), or it's run by them.

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    Silver Leaf Books (SLB) is a publishing company that has been incorporated under the laws of Massachusetts in 2003. We will focus on the development of both novels and authors during its early years of existence. It is anticipated that it will take roughly two years before SLB is able to advance its standings into the classification of a Small Press, and be able to release and sustain at least three titles annually.
    Help wanted: Copy Editor.

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    Victoria, thanks for confirming my impression.

  10. #10
    Little Doggie Michael's Avatar
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    I see that the last post here was over a year ago, but does anyone have any new information about Silver Leaf and Creative Strategists? I've looked at their site again and now they do have four authors in addition to Bowyer. Silver Leaf still is not listed in Preditors and Editors, either. Apparently they have a board at SFReader Forums, and some of the members there seem to have a little respect for them. It would be nice to have as much information as possible before I even think of submitting to them, so please help me if you can.

    EDIT: I meant to meant link directly to Silver Leaf's board in the first place. Sorry about that. It's fixed now.
    Last edited by Michael; 01-26-2009 at 09:07 AM.

  11. #11
    practical experience, FTW
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    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Have you, personally, ever read anything they published? Do you know anyone who has?

  13. #13
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Silverleaf Books recommends Creative Strategists as a vanity/self publishing service, and the two are owned by the same person, so there's the potential for a conflict of interest.

  14. #14
    practical experience, FTW
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    Thats what I thought when I seen the subsidy link.

  15. #15
    Writing, fencing, and chocolate!!! tempered_steel's Avatar
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    I was offered a contract from Silver Leaf Books a few months ago. They were very quick in responding, and very friendly. The fellow I emailed back and forth with for a bit said that the whole office read my ms. He offered helpful editing advice.

    I turned down the offer, though. I have no idea what's in a regular contract, but this one said that the published retained all the rights - not only to the book, but the characters, settings, costumes, and future books. Also, I had to pay for my own cover art and hire my own artist. Sounded bad to me, so I turned it down.

    And yes, they did offer me self-publishing through Creative Strategists when they responded to my rejection email.
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  16. #16
    practical experience, FTW rejectME's Avatar
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    So after you turned down their offer they thought you might be more interested in paying to publish? That's pretty funny, actually.

    Was it for your middle grade?
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  17. #17
    Writing, fencing, and chocolate!!! tempered_steel's Avatar
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    Yes, it was. Since they don't spend any money at all for marketing/promotion, I think they're looking for authors who are very passionate and have a good marketing plan. Unfortunatly, I fell into that catagory.

    It is pretty funny that they offered me self-publishing after I turned down the contract. But self-publishing isn't much different from what they offered me.
    Just keep writing, just keep writing, just keep writing, writing, writing...


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  18. #18
    practical experience, FTW rejectME's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tempered_steel View Post
    Yes, it was. Since they don't spend any money at all for marketing/promotion, I think they're looking for authors who are very passionate and have a good marketing plan. Unfortunatly, I fell into that catagory.

    It is pretty funny that they offered me self-publishing after I turned down the contract. But self-publishing isn't much different from what they offered me.
    Have you submitted your MG book to other publishers and agents? What made you submit to these folks?
    Please check out and "Like" my Facebook author page for info on current publications, WIP, and non-fiction work. If you have a page, I'd be happy to return the favor!

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  19. #19
    Writing, fencing, and chocolate!!! tempered_steel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rejectME View Post
    Have you submitted your MG book to other publishers and agents? What made you submit to these folks?
    Yes, I've submitted to a lot of agents, and several publishers. I wasn't aware of Silver Leaf's policies on buying my own cover art and how they wouldn't pay for promotion when I submitted to them. I had read about them a few years ago, and written down their website. They were just another publisher on my list that published fantasy. I didn't do much research about them until after I was offered the contract. That'll teach me to do my research first and submit later. :-)
    Just keep writing, just keep writing, just keep writing, writing, writing...


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  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by tempered_steel View Post
    It is pretty funny that they offered me self-publishing after I turned down the contract. But self-publishing isn't much different from what they offered me.
    Self-publishing might be a better deal, considering they wanted all rights, not only to your book, but also the characters, setting, and future books. That contract sounds like it's stuffed with red flags.

  21. #21
    Writing, fencing, and chocolate!!! tempered_steel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eqb View Post
    Self-publishing might be a better deal, considering they wanted all rights, not only to your book, but also the characters, setting, and future books. That contract sounds like it's stuffed with red flags.
    That's what I thought, too. I don't know what a contract is supposed to look like, but this one just seemed wrong on a number of levels.
    Just keep writing, just keep writing, just keep writing, writing, writing...


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  22. #22
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin jsmith's Avatar
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    Silver Leaf

    I published two novels with them: The Mills of God, and a sequel, The Well of Souls. I provided cover-art for both (luckily, I have computer software that can easily generate cover art for novels in this series).

    Although I didn't like the terms of their contract, I had a unique problem: I originally "published" The Mills of God with an online "publisher" called Online Originals --- with an even worse contract that designated them as my "agent" (and was valid Until The Crack Of Doom + 500 years). At the time I was very ignorant of the publishing business.

    Online Originals opposed my efforts to print-publish my novel (!?!) but Silver Leaf had a lawyer that fought with them.

    Scribbler, I don't know which novel of theirs was a "complete mess" to you --- hope it wasn't mine!

    The Silver Leaf people are slowly crawling up the learning curve (learning cliff?) in the publishing business. At least, they are now able to get their stuff stocked by Ingram (one of the major book-distributors, used by Barnes and Noble, Borders, etc.). I was able to do a book-signing of my second novel.

    In PRINCIPLE, they can get their books into stores (if you can find stores willing to carry them ). I think there's one Barnes and Noble store in my area that carries a couple copies of my second novel.

    Luckily, they turned down my third novel, Eye of a Fly. I have a few agents reading partials, and a few reading fulls, but no offers of representation yet.

    Anyway, this is my $.02.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsmith View Post

    The Silver Leaf people are slowly crawling up the learning curve (learning cliff?) in the publishing business. At least, they are now able to get their stuff stocked by Ingram (one of the major book-distributors, used by Barnes and Noble, Borders, etc.). I was able to do a book-signing of my second novel.

    In PRINCIPLE, they can get their books into stores (if you can find stores willing to carry them ). I think there's one Barnes and Noble store in my area that carries a couple copies of my second novel.

    Luckily, they turned down my third novel, Eye of a Fly. I have a few agents reading partials, and a few reading fulls, but no offers of representation yet.

    Anyway, this is my $.02.
    First, I don't think Ingram's is a distributor, I think they're a warehouse. Plus, I think every schmo who wants their book (Self published or otherwise) listed on Ingrams and B&T can get that done. But that just makes the book available through the store, not in the store.

    But the real reason I was replying is because that "learning curve" you were talking about is something that, ideally, is learned before starting the company. IMO a publisher with zero "Publishing" experience can still make it as long as they have good "Business" experience and understand that they need to hire the people who know what they're doing.

    I've seen a few POD publishers sprout up lately that bring past experience in marketing, and seem to have an understanding that they need to bring industry professionals on to help them grow their business. These guys I would keep my eye on (if you want POD). Otherwise, pass.


    ETA: I will say this, though, they seem to put nice covers on their books. Too bad they're $17.00 for a paperback.
    Last edited by Sydewinder; 07-16-2010 at 05:30 AM.

  24. #24
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin jsmith's Avatar
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    Silver Leaf

    B & T yes, Ingram no. It took them years to get a contract with Ingram.

    The cover-art on their books is all provided by the authors (who either do it themselves --- as I do --- or pay big bucks to artists to create it).

    Yes, I think they started as an effort to self-publish the founder's books.

    As I said, I had a unique problem with Online Originals (!#!!) that made dealing with almost any other publisher impossible.
    As long as you are not aware of the continual law of Die and Be
    Again, you are merely a vague guest on a dark Earth." --- Johann
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  25. #25
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Ingram does have a distributor arm, which adds to the confusion of trying to determine what service this level of publisher means when they claim Ingram as a distributor (especially since most such publishers aren't aware of the difference themselves). But if Silver Leaf actually qualified for distribution, good on them.
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