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Thread: Ivy House Publishing Group

  1. #1
    ElizabethJames
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    Ivy House Publishing Group

    We confess to having been seduced into looking at the sites for some of the wolves around here. ST. PA. Whoever. There appear to be more and more on the prowl.

    From a business point of view, it may be the publishing industry is at an inflection point. The underlying business model is certainly under stress and some things are likely going to change. For example, who knows whether fees for certain things will become standard or not in the future?

    Does anyone know whether lawyers charge for 'incidentals' when they're working purely on contingency?

    In the meantime, we've heard nothing about any 'new model' agencies that are widely revered. So for now, if any agent starts talking about money at all (beyond the 15% commission thingie), we should probably cross our arms and glower.

    There's an agency here in North Carolina called Ivy Gate Books. They say they do 'subsidized publishing.' It's so weird. Despite all our skepticism, we really really really really want them to be a legitimate channel to commercial success. And not just their commercial success. (They charge $9000 for Five-Star Vanity.)

    We suppose it's about the goal. If we just want to see a book with our name on the cover, why not buy our way in?

    But if we want to change the world? Well, those stakes are a little higher. Honestly? If we could change the world for $9000, we'd do it in a heart beat. Just doesn't seem very likely.




  2. #2
    katdad
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    Re: Agent musings

    If we just want to see a book with our name on the cover, why not buy our way in?
    What I actually want is for someone to pay me to put my name on the book they publish that I wrote.

    Changing the world usually costs more. Besides, how many writers can claim to really having done that? Shakespeare, James Joyce, a handful of others.

    I'll settle for entertaining a bunch of mystery readers and making some bucks as a result.

  3. #3
    ElizabethJames
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    Re: Agent musings

    What I actually want is for someone to pay me to put my name on the book they publish that I wrote.
    Sounds kind of nice.

  4. #4
    vstrauss
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    Re: Agent musings

    >>If we just want to see a book with our name on the cover, why not buy our way in?<<

    No reason. But if that's your goal, you can do it for a heck of a lot less than $9,000.

    - Victoria

  5. #5
    Julie Worth
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    Re: Agent musings

    A lot less is right. Go to lulu and do it for the cost of the book. If you don’t buy an ISBN number, you can put out new editions at no cost. In five minutes! Where else can you do that? Doing it yourself, you have total control. You can do a global replace of your protagonist’s name and give a personalized book to your nephew for his birthday. You can put yourself on the cover. Naked. Anything you want to do you can do.

  6. #6
    Richard
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    Re: Agent musings

    Now that'd be an interesting birthday party...

  7. #7
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Question Ivy House Publishing: Job Interview

    I’m new, but I’ve lurked around for awhile, and I'm amazed at the wealth of information here regarding on the publishing industry.

    This week I have a job interview with a subsidy publisher (Ivy House Publishing) as a publishing assistant.

    Though I understand that self- or subsidy publishing is a bad way to go for fiction writers, I have also heard it can be a good avenue for other genres such as nonfiction or poetry.

    I’ve researched this company, and from what I can tell, they seem to be what they say—that is, if you give them money they’ll print your book. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, provided that the authors know what they’re getting into. This company is listed on Preditors & Editors as a subsidy publisher, but has no further pros or cons.

    My question: is working for a subsidy publisher a kiss of death for a career in publishing? That is, if a commercial publisher saw a subsidy house on my resume, would they merely chuckle before chucking it into the circular file? Could this experience be beneficial to a publishing career? Or would it be just another job?

    Input would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  8. #8
    Gone
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    chiouxy, a correction: Self-publishing is sometimes a good way to go for niche nonfiction or poetry, but vanity is not. Subsidy publishing is vanity publishing.

  9. #9
    Ooo! Shiny new cover! Absolute Sage Cathy C's Avatar
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    That is, if a commercial publisher saw a subsidy house on my resume, would they merely chuckle before chucking it into the circular file?

    A major house? Yeah, probably --- sorry

    But you might get luckier with a small press. I think a lot depends on the house you'll be working for. If all you'll be doing is running spell check on a file that's submitted, that's not really "editing." I haven't heard of Ivy House, so perhaps they actually allow the editors to do some developmental or line editing. It's sort of a coin toss though.
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  10. #10
    Wandering vaguely Torin's Avatar
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    From Ivy House's pages:

    The cost of a Tier 3 contract starts at a minimum of approximately $9,000, averaging at about $14,000. The publication time frame is between 9 and 12 months.

    HOLY COW!!!!!!

    If anyone is paying this, they're insane. Good luck with the job, though.
    I have a mind like a steel...thingmabob...you know...doohickey.

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  11. #11
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiouxy
    That is, if a commercial publisher saw a subsidy house on my resume, would they merely chuckle before chucking it into the circular file? Could this experience be beneficial to a publishing career?
    No. At best it would be neutral. At worst it would indeed send your application to the circular file. Even if the person looking at your application had no prejudice against fee-based publishers, the experience you'd get at a publisher like this--which doesn't provide editorial, design, marketing, or distribution services equivalent to those provided by commercial publishers--wouldn't give you any transferable skills.

    With a few exceptions in specialized fields, there really is no such thing as a subsidy publisher anymore--at least, in the classic definition of the term, where both author and publisher contribute something of value. Ivy House does provide a range of services to its authors, and it's straightforward about its fees (some pay-to-play publishers aren't)--but it's unlikely that it is "contributing" anything. The author's fee probably covers all services and includes profit and overhead. Which makes Ivy House, like most self-styled "subsidy" publishers, a vanity publisher.

    - Victoria

  12. #12
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cathy C
    A major house? Yeah, probably --- sorry
    No need for sorry--if that's how it is, that's how it is. I can't say I'm surprised.

    Thank you for the reply, though.

  13. #13
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by victoriastrauss
    No. At best it would be neutral. At worst it would indeed send your application to the circular file. Even if the person looking at your application had no prejudice against fee-based publishers, the experience you'd get at a publisher like this--which doesn't provide editorial, design, marketing, or distribution services equivalent to those provided by commercial publishers--wouldn't give you any transferable skills.

    With a few exceptions in specialized fields, there really is no such thing as a subsidy publisher anymore--at least, in the classic definition of the term, where both author and publisher contribute something of value. Ivy House does provide a range of services to its authors, and it's straightforward about its fees (some pay-to-play publishers aren't)--but it's unlikely that it is "contributing" anything. The author's fee probably covers all services and includes profit and overhead. Which makes Ivy House, like most self-styled "subsidy" publishers, a vanity publisher.

    - Victoria
    [GULP]Yikes![/GULP]

    I appreciate the info. I didn't realize the extent of the decline of the subsidy press. Food for thought to be sure.

  14. #14
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    (Just adding Googleness: Ivy House Publishing Group, imprint of Pentland Press, Inc. (not to be confused with The Pentland Press, Ltd.))
    Last edited by CaoPaux; 12-02-2006 at 05:17 AM.
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  15. #15
    figuring it all out
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    Victoria, may I quibble just a bit? A job in the editorial end of a subsidy house is no recommendation if you're looking for an editorial job with a legitimate publisher. But depending on what you've been doing, it could be applicable experience for someone who's looking for a job in production.

    That's assuming your person wants to work in production. Few applicants do.

  16. #16
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speed
    Victoria, may I quibble just a bit? A job in the editorial end of a subsidy house is no recommendation if you're looking for an editorial job with a legitimate publisher. But depending on what you've been doing, it could be applicable experience for someone who's looking for a job in production.

    That's assuming your person wants to work in production. Few applicants do.
    Point taken. I was assuming (and one should never assume!) that the goal was an editorial job.

    - Victoria

  17. #17
    Keynote Speaker
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    Sometimes production is where you have to start.

  18. #18
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Always figure out first what your objectives are, and how you'll know when you've achieved them.

    Then ask yourself if the path you're on is the best one to reach those objectives.

  19. #19
    Bored at work fanatic FergieC's Avatar
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    You can put yourself on the cover. Naked.
    Personally that's always been the only ambition I've ever had as a writer. I'm working on losing a few pounds before my first publication though.

  20. #20
    Feeling lucky, Query? jclarkdawe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElizabethJames View Post
    The underlying business model is certainly under stress and some things are likely going to change. For example, who knows whether fees for certain things will become standard or not in the future?

    Does anyone know whether lawyers charge for 'incidentals' when they're working purely on contingency?

    In the meantime, we've heard nothing about any 'new model' agencies that are widely revered. So for now, if any agent starts talking about money at all (beyond the 15% commission thingie), we should probably cross our arms and glower.
    Basically, one way to improve your profitability is to pass on as many costs as you can to your customers. Real estate agents, lawyers on contingency, and agents improve their profitability by charging back some costs to their customers. Depends on the agreement, the realative bargaining strength of the parties, and the approach of the agent or attorney.

    I know as an attorney, if I really liked your case, I probably wouldn't charge copying and phone charges. If your case was somewhat marginal, or I didn't like you, I'd try to charge you for the water I used when I flushed the toilet.

    Top writers can negotiate stronger deals for themselves than beginning writers. The trick is to make sure any money comes out of your profits on your book, not your bank account.

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  21. #21
    Forever Learning
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    What's "wrong" with self publishing?

    Thread started with:

    There's an agency here in North Carolina called Ivy Gate Books. They say they do 'subsidized publishing.' It's so weird. Despite all our skepticism, we really really really really want them to be a legitimate channel to commercial success. And not just their commercial success. (They charge $9000 for Five-Star Vanity.)

    We suppose it's about the goal. If we just want to see a book with our name on the cover, why not buy our way in?

    But if we want to change the world? Well, those stakes are a little higher. Honestly? If we could change the world for $9000, we'd do it in a heart beat. Just doesn't seem very likely.


    Note implications and further questions for writers:


    - “legitimate channel ….” What’s typically not legitimate about self publishing or – note the connotation in this term – “self” publishing? Sounds low grade, inferior, ego driven. But suppose an author has done his/her homework, has had help from paid editors, experience with the subject, beta reviews, good track record with, say, referee journals and is writing quality work which agents don’t think is very marketable, or does not fit their taste buds, or gets passed over because there are thousands of submission from which to chose and why not go with the safest? Now what’s the problem with the likes of lulu in such a case? Or is the implication that there are many scammer self publishing outfits which cheat the author some way. If that’s the issue, there should be a thread on that topic.

    - “change the world …” Who says getting published the tried and true way – agent, publisher – will get one to that goal? And what if an author has no desire to change the world, but merely get their work in electronic or book form out there? And is willing to do some self marketing (needed anyhow with traditional publishing)? Now what’s the problem with lulu or the likes, presuming non-scammers?

    - “channel to commercial success …” Now we are getting to the nub of it. What evidence do we have that lulu and the like actually sell books in volumes comparable to regular paper publishers, whether electronically or in paper? And how do their commissions compare? Crass perhaps, but at least an issue worth pondering where there may be some objective answers. No?

  22. #22
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    If a book isn't very marketable, it still won't be marketable with the author doing the marketing -- and the author won't have the contacts, the experience, or the cash to do a lot of effective marketing.

    If you go with non-traditional publishing, be ready to do non-traditional distribution too, since the normal distribution channels are closed to you.
    What evidence do we have that lulu and the like actually sell books in volumes comparable to regular paper publishers...
    The evidence that we have is that they don't. By orders of magnitude.

  23. #23
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Hrm. The only Ivy Gate Books nowadays is a packager in Brooklyn. Might have moved, of course. http://www.learningsourceltd.com/IVG...IVG_opener.htm

    ETA: Aha! The vanity in NC is Ivy House Books http://www.ivyhousebooks.com/index.php?pid=main
    Last edited by CaoPaux; 10-02-2007 at 01:21 AM. Reason: better late than never...
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  24. #24
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    II 2016: 2017:

  25. #25
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Last book published Nov '12 which, if I'm reading this right, is also when they filed for bankruptcy.
    ICAO
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    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

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