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Thread: Black Pearl Books Inc

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Black Pearl Books Inc

    pulled the post
    Last edited by Dawnny; 11-15-2006 at 05:00 AM.

  2. #2
    5 W's & an H Sassenach's Avatar
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    If you're his publicist, I suggest you make sure press releases are edited and proofread before they're released.
    I feel God in this Chili's.
    -Pam Beesley









  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW Tilly's Avatar
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    I think this is the website:

    http://www.blackpearlbooks.com

  4. #4
    What happened to my LIFE?!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sassenach
    If you're his publicist, I suggest you make sure press releases are edited and proofread before they're released.
    My thoughts exactly.

  5. #5
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Dawwny, no offense, and we understand your concern for your authors, but second-hand reports carry little credibility unless they're supported by outside evidence such as newspaper articles. These allegations would be a lot more convincing if the authors themselves visited AW and told their own stories.

    Thanks.

    - Victoria

  6. #6
    Player of the Year nighttimer's Avatar
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    Thumbs down

    Quote Originally Posted by Tilly
    I think this is the website:

    http://www.blackpearlbooks.com
    Ugh.

    To each his own, but I wouldn't read any of the garbarge offered by Black Pearl if they gave it away for free.

    Life is too short to waste it on crap books.
    Most people don't want to change. They're comfortable and set in their ways. But in order to change, you have to be able to agitate people at times. And I think that's something that's very necessary for us to improve as a country.
    ~ Colin Kaepernick



    Watch This Space


  7. #7
    I Heart Mac Absolute Sage Lauri B's Avatar
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    Nighttimer, do you really think this kind of comment is necessary? It isn't contributing to the discussion at hand in any way.

  8. #8
    Player of the Year nighttimer's Avatar
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    I beg your pardon, Nomad. I realize my newbie status is no excuse, but there was a link to the Black Pearl Books Inc website and having followed it, I was less than impressed by what I found there.

    I was not aware that I was hindering the discussion by commenting on the content of the site.
    Most people don't want to change. They're comfortable and set in their ways. But in order to change, you have to be able to agitate people at times. And I think that's something that's very necessary for us to improve as a country.
    ~ Colin Kaepernick



    Watch This Space


  9. #9
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Calling a book "crap" isn't constructive. You could have phrased the same point more respectfully (like in your second post) and connected it to the discussion in some way.
    Emily Veinglory

  10. #10
    I Heart Mac Absolute Sage Lauri B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nighttimer
    I beg your pardon, Nomad. I realize my newbie status is no excuse, but there was a link to the Black Pearl Books Inc website and having followed it, I was less than impressed by what I found there.

    I was not aware that I was hindering the discussion by commenting on the content of the site.
    Hi Nighttimer, I was referring to your comments that Black Pearl's books were crap and what the company was offering was "garbage." The discussion was about authors who hadn't been paid, and the fact that their complaints would be taken more seriously if the actual authors themselves were here to discuss.

    There's no need to be rude.

  11. #11
    sharrgurl
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    Greetings everyone,

    I am a newbie here so please be nice!

    If you are interested in what the authors have to say, may I suggest you view these four links:

    Brenda Hampton

    Rahasaan Ali

    Tia Hines

    Tangelika Bolen

    All interviews were conducted by a very good friend of mine. Please look and judge for yourself.

    Sharrgurl

  12. #12
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    sharrgurl, what are those interviews trying to achieve?

    I see a lot of anger there (totally understandable if the authors are owed money), but there's no documentary evidence being provided. Also, as victoriastrauss said in her post above, the allegations would be more convincing if the authors concerned came here to tell their stories.

    I'm also concerned that one of the authors interviewed (Mr Ali) is v. quick to tell people to go down the self-publishing route, when this may not be appropriate for all authors.

    I understand that you and Dawnny are trying to help these people, but neither of you are doing them any favours by making second hand reports that appear to lack any supporting evidence.

  13. #13
    sharrgurl
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    hello mori, if I may call you that.

    I believe the purpose of the interviews as when I first saw them lets us the consumer know that these authors are not being paid for their work. Outside of my good friend Mr. Chatmon interviewing these authors who as you mentioned are angry about not being paid, these authors have not been able to speak anywhere else. I would strongly suggest mori and anyone else who would like to hear from the authors themselves, email them and ask them the same questions they were given. I would think that would be a better approach rather than 'wait for them' to come to you. Perhaps they are not aware of your forum, ummm?

    I cannot speak for any of the authors mentioned but I will say if you were in their same position, how would you react? what would you say? I appreciate your candid reply mori, I really do, but if you want to know from the horse's mouth go straight to the source.

  14. #14
    ShapeShifter WestofMars's Avatar
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    But, Sharr, you seem to have a better path to them than many of us do, and so the request might be better if it comes from you, or your friend who did the interviews you posted. "Hey, I found people who want to listen. Can you please go talk to them?"

    By inviting them here, you will be allowing them to tell their stories to people who are in a position to help, particularly those like VictoriaStrauss, who spends a great deal of time tracking down scam artists.

    However, for her to be most effective, she has a method she follows, and she has made the request that the authors come here because that is part of her method. Plus, it allows the authors to tell their story once, to a large audience, and does not make them repeat things ad infinitum. That's better for everyone involved.

    Best of luck.

  15. #15
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    Is this a serious example of a publicist doing a good job? The press-release above paints the main client in a TERRIBLE light.

    Ignoring the poor English for a moment - it even brings up the fact that Myriecke (who the publicist is meant to be painting in a positive light) is currently in jail! By providing complaints rather than itemised events, it putting their (probably entirely legitimate) complaints in the most negative light possible !

    This press-release should probably be studied as being a 'What NOT to do as a publicist'.

    Mac
    (Edited to add: Giving glowing reviews Amazon reviews under the title
    "Mahogany Book Club - Mahogany Media Review" to people who are your clients may not be the best idea either - full disclosure would indicate that you should include a disclaimer in your Amazon review that you are actually the author's publicist)
    Last edited by Mac H.; 10-31-2006 at 08:08 AM.

  16. #16
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    sharrgurl:
    I would strongly suggest mori and anyone else who would like to hear from the authors themselves, email them and ask them the same questions they were given. I would think that would be a better approach rather than 'wait for them' to come to you. Perhaps they are not aware of your forum, ummm?
    Erm, but sharrgurl both you and Dawnny plainly are aware of this Forum, which is why you're both posting here. Given that you are aware of it, why aren't you telling these authors about it so that they can come on over and share the information?

    I understand that you're only connected to this because your friend Charles interviewed them and therefore you might be wary of butting in, but given that Charles does appear to know them (or be in contact with them), it wouldn't be out of bounds for him to let them know that there's a group of people interested in hearing their story directly.

    I don't know if you're connected with or know of Dawnny, but she describes herself as the publicist for some of the affected authors and yet does not appear to have made any attempt to encourage her clients to come to a Forum like this (which you can see has a huge membership) and get them to share their tale either. That makes me confused and it also makes me a little suspicious because if she knows enough to post a press release here, why isn't she encouraging her clients to visit it as well?

    You say that "if you want to know from the horse's mouth go straight to the source", but in fact you're not providing the source. You're providing a link to a Blog run by your friend who many people here don't know from Adam and therefore we don't know what his motives are, we don't know how connected he is personally to the authors, we don't know if he's had any connection with Black Pearl Books himself. The only contact we'd have with the authors is by commenting on your friend's blog and there's no guarantee that we will get any response from the authors themselves.

    By contrast, if the authors post here, we can ask them questions and they can supply evidence and they'll know that there's a lot of support out here for people like them, which can be a big boost when you feel like you've been done over. In addition, the huge membership of a board like this will mean that if Black Pearl are stiffing authors, the word will get out more quickly than it ever could via one Blog interview (and I mean absolutely no lack of respect to your friend when I say that). It might also help to prevent the authors from getting into a similar situation again with another publisher and surely that can only be in their interests?

    People like victoriastrauss know what they're talking about and they're genuinely out there to help authors. I would strongly encourage you to do these people a favour by asking them (or asking your friend Charles to ask them) to contact her with their evidence or by posting here to share their tale. It would be beneficial to them and beneficial to anyone else who might otherwise have the same problem in the future.

    sharrgurl:
    I cannot speak for any of the authors mentioned but I will say if you were in their same position, how would you react? what would you say?
    I would probably feel very angry and cheated. Then I would sit at my computer, log onto the internet, come to this board and make a detailed post setting out all of my dealings with the company concerned so that no one else suffers the same experience. The post may or may not include swearing and a wish for pustulating boils to break out on those people working at the company.
    Last edited by Momento Mori; 10-31-2006 at 04:01 PM.

  17. #17
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    I would also directly approach other influential online blog and site like Preditors and Editors and Miss Snark.
    Emily Veinglory

  18. #18
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    I've heard privately from Rahsaan Ali. I've invited him and other authors who've had problems with the publisher to contact me privately with their complaints (and to provide documentaiton), or to come to AW and post their stories publicly. There's certainly reason to suspect that Black Pearl is a troubled publisher--but without those first-hand accounts (NOT in the form of interviews), what we have here right now is not very persuasive.

    - Victoria

  19. #19
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    It is better to have first-hand witnesses and accounts, rather than second-hand information. However, hopefully this ball will pick up speed and the cloak will be torn down.

    Tri

  20. #20
    I just visited the website, and their submission guidelines are among the strangest I've ever seen. They want one, preferably two, bound copies of the manuscript, in a three-ring binder, in single-spaced TNR with two-inch margins. Bizarre. And they list the "benefits" of being published through them.

    I hope some of the Black Pearl authors chime in on this thread. I am interested in their stories.

  21. #21
    figuring it all out
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    swvaughn,

    I'm not a Black Pearl author but I can answer your question. I write Urban Fiction. Black Pearl publishes Urban/Hip Hop Fiction exclusively. I've done extensive research on the UF/HHF industry. After being burned by PA, I learned to do my RESEARCH. The beauty of learning things the hard way is that we never forget, but I digress...

    The reason BP asks for that format is so they can print the ms AS IS. If you look at Triple Crown's submission guidelines, you'll note that they, too, have "oddball" formatting criteria. Again, if they like the ms, they can print it AS IS. If you do the measurements, you'll end up with a ms that is pre-formatted into either a 5.5x8.5 or 6x9 template. Melodrama Publishing also has "unorthodox" submission guidelines.

    Unfortunately, this is the case with most UF/HHF publishers. Lack of editing, or shoddy editing at best, is one of the biggest complaints about this genre. (Many don't consider UF/HHF a genre, but those who write, publish and/or read it do). It is not unusual to open an UF novel and see the typeset is double-spaced throughout the ENTIRE novel, typos galore, (--) not changed to emdash, words underlined rather than italicized, edges unjustified, and so forth. I won't even get into the "bootycall" covers.

    In defense of UF, a lot of it is self-published so, perhaps these self-pubbed authors don't know any better, rather, haven't taken the time to educate themselves on the business and production ends of publishing. So, I won't come down on those authors because they're only hurting themselves. However, I will and DO come down on the CRAPPY UF/HHF half-a$$ publishers who send mss straight to press - they are hurting others (writers).

    This isn't my first time hearing these allegations against BP. They've been all over other forums, which are predominately comprised of Black and Latino writers, for months. In most cases the authors have come forward and posted their experiences firsthand. IIRC, one of the cases is presently in court (I believe in GA). Perhaps that explains why the authors directly involved can't comment.

  22. #22
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Could you please pass HapiSofi's advice on do-it-yourself typesetting on to the self-publishers in the UF/HHF community?

    http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/...ad.php?p=94054

  23. #23
    Hi Gigi,

    Thanks for the info! I've been trying to look in to urban fiction out of curiosity, but there doesn't seem to be much out there. Urban fantasy is "big" now, but that's completely different from UF/HHF.

    I think it's sad that there is the potential for an interesting new genre, but no decent publishers to get it out there. Self-publishing is hard enough as it is, without a bunch of sharks swimming around waiting to pounce on the weary and disheartened.

    Good luck! I'll be following this with interest.

    -S

  24. #24
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Find a compelling story and you'll get the big guys interested.

  25. #25
    figuring it all out
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    Thx so much for that link, JDM (and HapiSofi), I'll be sure to pass it along. I even learned a few things that will come in handy for my poetry chapbooks; considering poetry doesn't sell big, I'm better off doing it myself - now I've got a great guideline.

    swvaugh, my pleasure. I, too, am curious to see where this will lead. At any rate, UF/HHF seems to be catching on. Today's Publishers Lunch (Marketplace, maybe) mentions amongst its deals that UF/HHF author Teri Woods' agent just landed her a 5-book deal with Warner; this includes previously self-pubbed novels by Woods.

    Kudos to Ms. Woods, but I find this odd. Woods has her own publishing co. (located in the Empire State Bldg in NYC) and she publishes other writers. However, she began her company to self-pub some years ago because she couldn't land an agent or publisher. I read an article on her that stated her "house" is hugely successful and, as a result, she's now a self-made millionaire. So why would she need a book deal thru a different publisher? Couldn't she just continue to publish her books thru her company? Obviously, it's worked for her. (I know this portion is off-topic, but if anyone can answer this I'd 'preciate it).

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