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Thread: Sun Publishing Co. / Sun Books / Mandala Press

  1. #1
    bubba
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    Sun Publishing Co. / Sun Books / Mandala Press

    Has anyone here ever heard of Sun Books? I am curious to hear what's up with them.

  2. #2
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Where did you hear of them? Do you have a URL?

  3. #3
    bubba
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    I sent them a query a while back, along with several other publishers about my metaphysical book. They don't offer much information on their website besides their catalog. www.sunbooks.com

  4. #4
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Sun Books aka Sun Publishing Co. (Sun Rising Poetry, Mandala Press, etc.)

    As with any POD/niche publishing model, works best when you have an audience to direct-sell to.
    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:

  5. #5
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Sun/Mandala

    Any bad reports on sun books or Mandala press that we know of ? They refer to company as traditional publishing.

  6. #6
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    help!!!!

    I do have a specific market, which they have sold heavy to in the past... That being said, anything bad you folks might have a line to. I always ck here for the facts known by others. CaoPaux? James D. Macdonald? Tks

  7. #7
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    All "traditional publishing" means is that you probably won't have to pay an upfront fee. Otherwise, it really doesn't mean a thing. See here for more detail.

    - Victoria

  8. #8
    figuring it all out
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    Sun Rising Books/Mandala Press

    15/16 April 2007

    Greetings!

    I'm toward the end (I hope) of an experience with Sun Rising Books/Mandala Press. Here's what I can tell you:

    Mandala was an author subsidized press, which means (in this case, at least) that the author pays for the first 100 copies, and when the next 100 copies are sold, royalty payments start. For my co-author and me, this meant $550 each.

    My co-author and I signed with them -- Donette Smock and Dale Jungk -- in mid-October of '06. We were told our book would be out in the early Spring. We beat our submission deadline. Turns out that when they moved offices (which turned out to be a bigger deal than we originally knew), they lost the hard copy; and we never did find out if the soft copy would open for them.

    Then, back in the middle of January, we got an e-mail from her,"TO FRIENDS and authors we havea [sic] very inportant [sic] announcement to make in between times please use the e-mail ... instead of ...." She neglected to hide the list of recipients.

    Some of the authors grew impatient for the important announcement, and launched some e-mails to everybody on the list. The response we got -- in mid February -- was a little bit pissy (which I guess is fair enough, as apparently friends and family as well as authors were on the list) and a few answers were offered without any substantial information being conveyed. This e-mail did mention that they would be "restructuring and reorganizing," but it didn't use the "b-word," and it closed with the offer of a DVD press release to become available in April, and a set of new e-dresses.

    The next thing any of us, as far as I know, got was an April 5th e-mail from Dale saying that all things considered, they'd determined that bankruptcy was their best option, and that they hoped to retain their authors through the process but understood that this might not happen. As you might imagine, this stirred up quite a hornet's nest!

    Obviously I don't know how many e-mails were sent to Donette and/or Dale privately, but a few were sent to the whole list. This prompted somebody else to fire back an angry salvo, in which he called our publishing contracts "small, sophomoric agreements" and said that the e-mailer -- who had said the predictable things about wanting his money back or the name and address of the bankruptcy attorney -- should "quit whinning" [sic] and absorb his losses like a big boy. I am, of course, hopeful that Dale and Donette don't share that attitude.

    This week I sent a certified, return-receipt-requested letter, notifying them of my co-author's and my intent to reclaim the rights to our book pursuant to the "Rules of Bankruptcy" clause in the contract, as of the date of Dale's announcement. I posted it to their St. Louis address, and included an envelope to use to forward a copy of the letter to their new location; I know they've moved to Utah but don't have a snail address there. I also e-mailed Dale and Donette privately, but, because she'd been lax in responding and doing what she said she would for months before all this broke, and I wanted to be sure they received our notice of intent, I also e-ed a modified version of my letter to everyone on the list. I figured it was a pretty good bet that one or both of them would see it in that venue.

    I didn't get a direct response to it, but within a day or two, Donette did send an e-mail to family and friends, apologizing for their being in the middle of all this. The whole list of recipients was still visible, and more to the point, my e-mail was appended to hers. I printed that out as evidence that she had, indeed, been made aware of our intent to exercise the bankruptcy clause. On the 12th of this month I got an e-note from Dale thanking me for my letter and promising to get back in touch with me soon. (I haven't heard from him again yet, but I don't consider "soon" to have expired yet, either. And it's definite proof that they received our notice of intent.)

    There's still some e-mail flyin' around to everybody who's still on the list, and most of it talks of lawsuits. I'm trying to find out whether they've actually filed bankruptcy or not, as I don't know when I'm legally entitled to exercise the contract clause. I don't expect to get my money back, certainly not all of it; even the conventional pennies on the dollar would be nice, though.

    This is pretty much all I know about what's up with Sun Rising/Mandala. I'm chalking it up to Writerly Experience, and frankly feel relieved to be moving on.

    If anyone wants updates as and when we get more info, let me know -- I'm at O.Gaea_Writes@Comcast.net -- and I'll e-mail you privately.

    Blessings,
    Ashleen O'Gaea
    Ashleen O'Gaea
    www.AdventureWicca.com

  9. #9
    Ahead of Your Time Chicken Warrior's Avatar
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    Wow. That's quite the story.

    So we should avoid Smock and Jungk, I guess.

    Thanks for sharing your experience, and good luck with everything.

  10. #10
    i am dragon. roar. Aprylwriter's Avatar
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    I've heard of them.

    They had this poetry contest that was being held every month on their poetry web board. The winner was going to be published in their forthcoming chapbook. I won twice, once for February and March, and I have not heard of anything about the chapbook since then. This was six months ago or longer.

    My friend, Carter, published a chapbook with them, and she was telling me that there have been complaints about the publisher. I don't know what kind of complaints they were, though.

    Apryl
    WHEN I am a best-selling author...did I say when? Yes! WHEN! Not "if."

    "I have no particular talent. I am merely inquisitive." -Albert Einstein

  11. #11
    figuring it all out
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Warrior View Post
    Wow. That's quite the story.

    So we should avoid Smock and Jungk, I guess.

    Thanks for sharing your experience, and good luck with everything.
    Hello again!

    I'm back to tell you the end of the story. After a few exchanges with Dale and his attorney, I got an e-mail this morning -- two, actually -- indicating that a) their public declaration of the intent to file bankruptcy was a basis on which to invoke the bankruptcy clause in the contract, and b) they are willing to release us from the contract before actually filing bankruptcy anyway.

    I thanked them for their responses, and indicated that if there's any possibility to recover any of the monies my co-author and I paid toward publication, we'd like still to be on the creditor list. In the meantime, I'm this week sending a proposal for the book to my agent, and she hopes to be able to sell it p.d.q.

    There is an on-line support group for Sun Rising authors, which tends to be sort of kvetchy (understandably), but which is currently "under repair." As soon as it's back up and running, I'll post something there, to the effect that when you accuse people of deliberate scammery and call them names and threaten lawsuits, they're quite likely to respond defensively; whereas when you are firm about your expectations yet sensitive to their experience and feelings, they often respond helpfully. This was certainly my experience with Dale and Donette.

    My goal was to get my book back, so I could sell it elsewhere. My opinion is that D & D are just not quite professional enough, or good enough money managers. I don't think that makes them scam artists; I still say if they were con people, they'd be out of the country by now, not filing bankruptcy.

    Anyway, yes, I'd approach their reorganized company (if they manage to get that far in the process) with great care, which is to say, I won't approach them again at all. But that's a business decision, not one made in anger or in the belief that they mucked this all up on purpose. Publishing is a risky business; and investors in anything pretty much shouldn't put down more money than they can afford to lose. $550 wouldn't have been much if we'd gotten a book out of it, but it's a fairly high price to pay for a class in the school of hard knocks.

    That's another point I'd like to make here: if I'm paying $550 to learn a lesson, I want to be sure it's a lesson worth $550. I've heard other Sun Rising/Mandala authors say that they've learned you can't trust anybody and that everybody's out to get a beginning writer .... I don't happen to think that's worth $500; you can get that kind of cynicism for the cost of a daily paper! <g> But I do think it could be worth that much to confirm that lots and lots of homework is appropriate when you're spending your own money on your book. If you're not sure that the publisher is utterly professional, then you yourself need to take up that slack, and know as much as you possibly can. That would be not only about the business of publishing, but also about spelling and grammar and format and graphics; and publicity and marketing ....

    Which is why it's going to be darned long time before I try to publish anything on my own again. I'm stickin' with my agent, and if I write something she doesn't mess with, I'll find another agent rather than try to find a publisher on my own. I'm basically turning this $550 loss into a $550 ego stroke: I'm a writer, not a sales person, so I'm gonna stick to what I do best, and ally myself with people whose best is doing the other stuff.

    I suppose this isn't really over till we sell the book and get our money back through an advance, but being done with Sun Rising/Mandala -- having the right to sell the book elsewhere -- feels like "over" to us. And as far as we're concerned, it's a happy ending.

    Good luck to all y'all in your respective projects,
    Ashleen O'Gaea
    Ashleen O'Gaea
    www.AdventureWicca.com

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Ashleen View Post
    That's another point I'd like to make here: if I'm paying $550 to learn a lesson, I want to be sure it's a lesson worth $550. I've heard other Sun Rising/Mandala authors say that they've learned you can't trust anybody and that everybody's out to get a beginning writer .... I don't happen to think that's worth $500; you can get that kind of cynicism for the cost of a daily paper! <g> But I do think it could be worth that much to confirm that lots and lots of homework is appropriate when you're spending your own money on your book.
    No disrespect, but I'd hope that the one thing you learned with that $550 is that you shouldn't spend any money on your book.

  13. #13
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Sun Rising Poetry and Mandala Press are gone. Sun Books/Sun Publishing Co. remains, with new affiliates Far West Publishing and http://abooksource.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:

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