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Thread: WestBank Publishing / Fantasy Book Marketing Assoc.

  1. #1
    Historicals and Horror rule donroc's Avatar
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    WestBank Publishing / Fantasy Book Marketing Assoc.

    10/18/06 I sent the following inquery to WestBank Publishers after seeing the company's name on P&E's "New".

    I have yet to hear from them. Has anyone?

    Here it is:

    I have a completed horror novel, but before I query, I would like more information about you.

    1. Are you POD, or do you have runs of X number of copies?

    2. Do you distribute through Ingram and Baker&Taylor?

    3. Do you publish Hard Cover, Trade Paperback, both? And your typical cover price for a 65,000 word novel?

    4. How is cover design handled?

    5. Your names?

    6. What are your marketing strategies, or is it left 100% to author?

    Looking forward to your response,

    My name

  2. #2
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Possibly another self-publisher making her own imprint.

    http://www.westbankpublishing.com/

    In any case an outfit calling itself a "traditional publisher" with poor web design that was, until recently, advertising a self-publishing service.
    Last edited by veinglory; 10-22-2006 at 12:44 AM.
    Emily Veinglory

  3. #3
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Red flags:



    1) Main page geared toward authors rather than readers.

    2) Requests a "marketing strategy" from their authors.

    3) Royalties on net.

    4) "We are a traditional publisher...."

  4. #4
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    Cool

    No indication of genre preference. No book store. No contact names.

  5. #5
    Historicals and Horror rule donroc's Avatar
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    So I thought. Thanks for the reinforcement.

  6. #6
    John Menkes
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    WestBank Publishing

    I just finished a reply to them - was puzzled by them asking ME for a marketing strategy, and then found this interchange. Thanks. You saved me a lot of trouble.

  7. #7
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    It isn't that unusual for small publishers to request a marketing plan. Some legit places do this.
    Emily Veinglory

  8. #8
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    A marketing plan for nonfiction is pretty standard, but it's cause for hesitation if it's demanded as part of a fiction submission. It doesn't necessarily mean that the publisher is ill-intentioned, but it does suggest that the publisher has minimal ability to market its books, and intends to rely on its authors as an unpaid sales force.

    - Victoria

  9. #9
    The late, the great XThe NavigatorX mdin's Avatar
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    I got a spam from them this morning

    Subject: Reviewers are Raving about this new Fantasy Novel
    From: "Westbank Publishing" <Westbank_Publishing@mail.vresp.com>
    Date: Wed, May 2, 2007 11:53 am

    Dear Fantasy Fan:

    WestBank Publishing is happy to announce the publication of (redacted)
    WestBank will give a $2.00 discount for the purchase of this book
    through its bookstore. There is also a short story contest in
    conjunction with this novel. Chapters and information about the
    contest can be seen at the publisher or author website.
    The letter goes on to talk about the book and gives the website of the publisher and the author. You can figure out the book pretty easily by going to their website since it's their only one.

    My Art

  10. #10
    Passion in full bloom talkwrite's Avatar
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    I use the identification of "traditional publisher" as well as the term "house" to indicate that we are not a self published press and that we are skilled in and focus on the quality of the traditional procedures of publishing literary work (qualifying the manuscript, editing, production and marketing). This may seem obvious to experienced writers but as a series acqusitions editor when I am at conferences I get submerged with questions by novice writers who don't know the difference nor do they know how to approach types like me with their manuscript. As much as I love helping wirters become published authors I hate to admit some of these encounters are embarrasing and something that a simple bit of education would resolve. Having been a member of writers groups for over 25 years I watched the self published and POD industry come onto the scene. Yikes, am I dating myself here, or what ?

  11. #11
    The late, the great XThe NavigatorX mdin's Avatar
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    I got this email from "Fantasy Book Marketing" today:

    Subject: I saw your name as a fantasy writer and I have a quick question for you
    From: "Fantasy Book Marketing" <Fantasy_Book_Marketing@mail.vresp.com>
    Date: Sun, May 6, 2007 6:55 pm

    Dear Fantasy Author

    I am writing you because I have a small fantasy book publishing company and I have noticed there are a lot of authors who publish their book only to get stuck with the rest of self-published authors.....unable to sell any.

    I started thinking what I could do to help. So I have been bouncing an idea around my head and I want to get some feed back on it.

    I am thinking of starting a Fantasy Book Marketing Association. There would be a yearly membership of $25.00 and the purchase of another members book. The reason I will people have to purchase a book from another member is because it will be just one more way to help get some books sold.

    When someone joins they we will receive a spotlight spot in our online store with a review from one of our reviewers. The book will stay in the spotlight spot for one month. This will give it more of a chance to be the book purchased from new members for that month. The webstore will marketed vigorously to fantasy book authors and readers. The store will link to amazon so the sale will reflect on your amazon rank.

    At first we will offer these services:
    1. Email marketing. We have a few different list you can choose from.

    a. List of Reviewers we will email to try and get your book reviews. These include online reviewers and newspaper/magazine reviewers.
    b. List of fantasy readers and writers you can try and sell to.
    c. List of independent book stores whom you can try and get to buy your book.

    The cost for this service would be $10.00 set up fee and $0.02 per
    email.

    2. A Direct Post card Mailing. We have a few different list to choose from.
    a. We have very extensive list of fantasy readers who have either bought a book from our publishing company or have a subscription to a fantasy magazine.
    b. The same list of independent bookstores. They respond better to mail then email.

    The cost would be $10.00 set up fee and $1.00 per post card.

    3. We are working on setting up direct mailing of brochures so that the cost of the mailing can be reduce by the amount of authors who add their book. For example if ten authors do a mailing together then the cost will be a tenth of the cost as doing a mailing yourself.

    4. We are also working on putting together sales brochure that we will distribute every quarter with new books in our association. This will go out to our list of bookstores and be posted on-line.

    5. We will create a forum for all the members to talk about what has worked and what has not in their efforts to sell books. This will be a place for you to get good answers to your questions and issues.

    There will be more services coming once it gets going and the list will get better and better. I just want to see if enough people would be interested to make it worth starting this endeavor.

    Thanks,
    Shane Camus
    This message was sent by Fantasy Book Marketing using VerticalResponse

    Fantasy Book Marketing Association
    4408 Bayou Des Familles
    Marrero, LA 70072
    ,
    I recognized the name Shane Camus, but I couldn't remember from where. Then I remembered I had looked at the whois data for Westbank Publishers when I got the previous spam a couple posts above:
    Domain Name.......... westbankpublishing.com
    Creation Date........ 2006-08-17
    Registration Date.... 2006-08-17
    Expiry Date.......... 2007-08-17
    Organisation Name.... shane l camus
    Organisation Address. 4408 Bayou Des Famillies
    Organisation Address.
    Organisation Address. Marrero
    Organisation Address. 70072
    Organisation Address. LA
    Same address as Fantasy Book Marketing. It looks like they're branching out.
    Last edited by CaoPaux; 06-04-2008 at 10:51 PM. Reason: refornettign to conserve space

    My Art

  12. #12
    The late, the great XThe NavigatorX mdin's Avatar
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    I don't know how I got on their spam list. I got another one today, this one from a "Wayne Dorr, FBMA president"

    This is the URL for their new venture:

    http://www.fantasybookmarket.com/

    My Art

  13. #13
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Gawd. He thinks he can get hold of/use subscriber lists from F&SF, etc.

    http://www.lulu.com/forums/viewtopic...c81a4d6438ed66

    Quote Originally Posted by XThe NavigatorX View Post
    This is the URL for their new venture:

    http://www.fantasybookmarket.com/
    That's now down...dare we hope blocked for spamming?
    ICAO
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    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

  14. #14
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Not sure if this is a new or prior incarnation: http://www.westbankpublishing.homestead.com/index1.html

    Regardless, not a professional operation.
    ICAO
    ---------
    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

  15. #15
    banned as an incurable tosspot
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    An amusing quote from the excerpt of their one book:

    "thousands of demons resembling huge, grotesque spiders with incredibly long legs and arms"

    All of my spiders always have incredibly short arms so I was amused. But then I'm easily amused.

  16. #16
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Which ones are the arms? As opposed to the legs.

    - Victoria

  17. #17
    practical experience, FTW BarbJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by victoriastrauss View Post
    Which ones are the arms? As opposed to the legs.

    - Victoria
    The ones holding the Jack Daniels, of course.

  18. #18
    banned as an incurable tosspot
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    Quote Originally Posted by victoriastrauss View Post
    Which ones are the arms? As opposed to the legs.

    - Victoria
    The arms are the one holding the really bad publishing contract.

    Edit: I always give those to my spiders, you see. Quite nutritious--but only for spiders.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaoPaux View Post
    Gawd. He thinks he can get hold of/use subscriber lists from F&SF, etc.

    http://www.lulu.com/forums/viewtopic...c81a4d6438ed66
    .. Actually he DOES use the subscriber lists from F&SF.

    F & SF rent him their snail-mail subscriber list to him so you can get his junk mail. If you don't want F&SF to give your details, you need to write "Do not Rent Name to Outside Lists" in the field for 'company' when you subscribe.

    I found this out from the circulation manager of F & SF. (I've been intending to subscribe instead of buying from a newsagent for a while, so it was a good opportunity to email the question and ask)

    I'm not sure I like that idea -- they hand out your private information publicly unless you do a fairly obscure thing to stop it. I'm not familiar with the privacy laws in the USA, but it seems like an odd way to have a hidden opt-out technique.

    If a shoestring budget like Chamus' can afford to rent the list, it seems like an affordable way to stalk someone and get their private address.

    Mac
    Last edited by Mac H.; 10-09-2007 at 04:59 AM.

  20. #20
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    That's unfortunate. Considering how upset Van Gelder was when F&SF got hit by that subscription service scam, you'd think they'd screen better.
    ICAO
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    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

  21. #21
    avalon098
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    Renting List

    I figured since this thread was about me I would say that is not very hard or expensive to rent a list. It cost about 3,000 and up for about 1,000 names. You just have to send them a copy of what you are planning on mailing out.

    For the record I did not rent a list to send anyone spam. I just searched forums and emailed people the info I could find. It was a bad idea but at the time when I started the publishing company I was willing to try everything to get information out. Now I have learned how fast you can get bad publicity from a few emails. So I will stick with reviews and word of mouth.
    Last edited by avalon098; 01-29-2008 at 02:43 AM. Reason: spelling

  22. #22
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    westbankpublishing.com is gone, but Homestead site remains and WestBank is still publishing.

    Affiliated sites: http://www.fantasyauthorreview.com/ and http://2007storycontest.homestead.com/
    ICAO
    ---------
    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

  23. #23
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    All websites gone, last book published July '10.

    Mmm, I take that back: there's one from Sept '11 on Shane's Lulu store (reprint of book from '08).
    ICAO
    ---------
    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

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