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Thread: Rabid Press

  1. #1
    1walkingadverb
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    Rabid Press

    I saw a write up on this press a year ago, but haven't found anything significant on them. The listing in P&E seems neutral. Does anyone have anything they can share--good, bad, borderline ugly?

  2. #2
    Eric_T
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    Rabid offers a deal

    Rabid Press just wrote me that they wish to offer me a deal. Anybody know how they operate? I've avoided a few publishing scams with my first novel so far, and I'd like to continue the trend. They seem sincere enough. I'll post more once I have a copy of the contract.
    Eric T.

  3. #3
    Hagiographically Advantaged AW Moderator HapiSofi's Avatar
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    If you can't find anything significant on a publisher, don't publish with them. An unnoticeable publisher is as useless as a silent rock band.

  4. #4
    Eric_T
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    Not much

    Well, I have read a couple press releases on a novel Rabid published which were very positive -- a very large turn out at a book signing and things of that nature. But all the information is on one novel (which is available on Amazon and other on-line sellers), so I don't know if they're new or slow or what. I figured if they were a scam-outfit, then many people would jump out and exclaim how terrible they are. This is a first novel for me, and agents aren't exactly beating down my door. Could a sale be bad? Or might it net me an agent for the next book? Help, anybody.

  5. #5
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric_T
    Could a sale be bad?
    Yes, a sale can be bad.

    Being badly published is worse than remaining unpublished.

  6. #6
    What? I have a title? Julie Worth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1walkingadverb
    I saw a write up on this press a year ago, but haven't found anything significant on them. The listing in P&E seems neutral. Does anyone have anything they can share--good, bad, borderline ugly?
    They’re not rabidly energetic. They have one author and one book. And that was published 2 years ago. Sales rank at Amazon is over 500,000. Not a good sign.

  7. #7
    figuring it all out Johanna's Avatar
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    www.rabidpress.com

    Just read. Anyone who uses "we're all about the authors" and "we're going to revolutionize [the publishing industry/book marketing/distribution/the world]" is usually too full of pretty words and purple prose to actually do some work.

    Fun phrases from their site:

    We strive to assist unknown authors and are widening the roads of a maze-like industry.
    Rabid Press seeks out fledgling authors to promote in the publishing industry. We print, market, and provide fair contracts to the writers who wish to venture forward with us. We desire to build a solid foundation and to endorse the dedicated author
    we started a publishing house with the author in mind.
    We are not a vanity press, and require no funding from those who wish to submit. Our success relies on quality work, dedication, and true enthusiasm.
    We just want to hear from you and your passion.
    They have also proposed sales classes for their authors.
    "We want our authors to know how to succeed, and we give them the tools to do so. You don't see that from most publishers."
    Marketing your book can be a palm sweating, brow beating ordeal. It involves getting up in front of people and doing book readings, calling local newspapers and magazines to do a review, and even seducing the numerous bookstores and libraries that populate our country.
    From the marketing director: http://www.rabidpress.com/Articles/mv062803.htm and http://www.rabidpress.com/Articles/mv080503.htm , where we find this gem:

    Through my own experiences, I have begun to compile a list of things authors can do to help promote their books on those rainy days when you have nothing better to do.

    1. Talk friends and family into buying copies.

    2. Arrange book readings in local libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops.

    3. Join online bulletin boards and get to know people. Gently [b]push your book.[b] [Johanna's translation: spam, spam, spam!] You don't want them to see the obvious--that you are selling your book.

    4. Talk to your local independent bookstores about buying your novel. Chances are, your publisher can't reach them like you can, and bookstores absolutely love local authors.

    5. A lot of communities have writing groups. Join a few to both improve your skills and get the word out about your novel.

    6. Request copies of the press release and order forms from your publisher. You can hand them out to friends, family, and just about anybody.

    7. One of my favorites--gather all of your friends and family together. Make an evening of calling bookstores and libraries across the country, requesting your book. The flood of requests increases demand, and bookstores will only push books with a high demand. [Johanna's translation: Bookstore-owners and librarians are stupid. They won't realise that you've bullied your friends and family into phonebombing them. Nope. They'll be especially happy to recieve dozens of phonecalls in the evening, five minutes before they close. They'll be so stressed that they'll order the book just so they can get you off their back and go home.] Don't forget to feed the people making the phone calls, and supply liberal amounts of coffee.

    8. Have friends rate your book on Amazon.com or anywhere your book is listed online. Good ratings bring positive attention and generate greater sales.

    9. Create a list of all your English teachers from high school and college. They'll love to know that you're a published author, and they're sure to both buy a copy and share the news with their students.

    10. There has been some debate on this issue, but go ahead and buy copies for yourself. Create a demand for your book in your local chain bookstores. I assure you that they'll buy more, and chances are that they'll start buying them for their other stores, too.

    Of course, Rabid Press could be completely honest and successful. Talk to them. Ask them how they market their books (and don't settle for some new-age "we believe in your power to resonate with an audoence" blather, only accept a real marketing plan). Ask them how many copies their title(s) have sold so far. Ask them about returns, and distribution--which stores are their books actulaly on the shelves in?

  8. #8
    Writer Beware's Faithful Igor Richard White's Avatar
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    (Odd, this is the third time I've tried replying to a message only to have it disappear in the bit bucket.)

    These sound vaguely familiar.

    You don't suppose that PA is now franchising themselves? "For a mere X number of dollars, we'll show you how to set up a publishing house and make tons of money off of newbie authors without having to actually do anything."

    Bleah.

  9. #9
    Banned zizban's Avatar
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    They have one author. One. Ummm....

  10. #10
    Preditors & Editors Requiescat In Pace DaveKuzminski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johanna
    Thank you, Johanna. These just gave me the justification to give Rabid Press an appropriate recommendation that will soon be posted on P&E.
    When it comes to PA, the royalty check and the reality check arrive in the same envelope.

    Remember to be kind to writers who step in PA. They really don't know how bad it smells.

    The difference between PA and WLA? None. Both have the stench of dead and dying books emanating from their doorways.


  11. #11
    Eric_T
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    Contract info

    Well, got the contract from Rabid Press. They want to buy ALL the rights for 10% royalties (for the first 5,000) with 9% royalty for discounted books up to 50% and 8% royalty for books sold at greater discounts. They will grant $1,000 toward obtaining permissions, but not as an advance. In fact, there is no provision for an advance anywhere in the contract. Plus, they want an option on the next book.
    Sounds bad, huh?
    Any advice here?
    Eric T.

  12. #12
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric_T
    Any advice here?
    Have an experienced agent look it over.

  13. #13
    Eric_T
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    Thanks, Johanna

    Quote Originally Posted by Johanna
    Of course, Rabid Press could be completely honest and successful. Talk to them. Ask them how they market their books (and don't settle for some new-age "we believe in your power to resonate with an audoence" blather, only accept a real marketing plan). Ask them how many copies their title(s) have sold so far. Ask them about returns, and distribution--which stores are their books actulaly on the shelves in?
    I did ask Rabid Press, and while they are very small, they do offer a marketing plan, they made money on their first book and then had to reorganize when the initial partnership broke up. They place books in the chains, and while they don't offer the moon (rather, they offer a lot of hard promotional work), they do seem like a legitimate press, not a POD or vanity. In spite of the lack of an advance, I may go with them.

  14. #14
    Eric_T
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    skewed reasoning

    As a small business owner myself, I prefer dealing with smaller independent companies. I've had no success, on a personal or business level, with large corporations. As an unknown writer, it seems like the risk invested in me by a small company is much larger than any risk taken by a large publisher. It feels like the investment goes both ways.
    I feel that the novel is solid, even though it is my first, and hopefully can succeed on its own merit. And while I wouldn't turn down a large advance, I think I would benefit more from the attention from a small publisher given to a few titles than a large publisher spread out over dozens or hundreds of titles.
    Or maybe I'm just crazy.

  15. #15
    Gone
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric_T
    I think I would benefit more from the attention from a small publisher given to a few titles than a large publisher spread out over dozens or hundreds of titles.
    But doesn't the large publisher have a bigger staff? It's not like both the small publisher and the large one each have two people working on all the books they publish, so you're not dividing the same number of people working on the books by the different number of books published.

    One big advantage of going with a larger publisher: They have more resources. A small publisher may flinch at the cost 20 ARCs; a large one won't blink. Larger publishers also already have certain marketing and publicity strategies set up that your book gets plugged into simply by being with those publishers.

    Please don't get me wrong. I have a soft spot for small publishers, and I'm always happy to see nicely made books put out by small presses. But given the choice between a big publisher who can market the hell out of my book, and a small one who can't, I'm not going to hesitate before picking the big one.

  16. #16
    QuantumWriter
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    PODs and Vanity Presses...

    Psst, Eric T.

    PODs do not equal Vanity Presses, as Vanity Presses are not legitimate publishers by any means. Self publishing, where the author brunts the expense of publishing, is closer to vanity publishing, though it carries a tad bit more respect.

    PODs are closer to small, independent publishers. They rarely offer advances, keep inventories to a bare minimum, and usually rely on the author to participate fully in marketing their own work. Many are connected to respected distributors, like Ingrams and Baker & Tayor, who get books in the right places.

    For many "legitimate" and "aspiring" writers, it's a foot in the door. Please don't degrade them by comparing the two. Many new authors are quite happy to be with PODs.

    On a lighter note, Rabid Press rejected me and I consider it a compliment. I've since found a publisher who is thrilled to publish my work.

    And yes, it's a POD.
    Last edited by QuantumWriter; 04-27-2005 at 06:28 AM.

  17. #17
    Gone
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    POD, from SFWA's Writer Beware:
    http://www.sfwa.org/Beware/printondemand.html

  18. #18
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Digital printing is a technology.

    Print/Publish on Demand (POD) is a business model that may or may not use digital printing.

    Vanity publishing is another business model (that may or may not incorporate POD).

  19. #19
    annoyed and annoying roach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric_T
    I feel that the novel is solid, even though it is my first, and hopefully can succeed on its own merit. And while I wouldn't turn down a large advance, I think I would benefit more from the attention from a small publisher given to a few titles than a large publisher spread out over dozens or hundreds of titles.
    Or maybe I'm just crazy.
    If you want to go with a small press, there are so many out there that will give you a fair contract (that doesn't take all rights). And there are small presses that pay an advance, have agreements with distributors, and put together a marketing budget for their titles. Why not keep trying the small presses, rather than settling for one that might not do you or your novel any good?
    Eggplant Literary Productions,
    A small electronic speculative fiction publisher.

  20. #20
    I Heart Mac Absolute Sage Lauri B's Avatar
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    Baker & Taylor and Ingram are NOT distributors: they are wholesalers. They take and fulfill orders for books; they do not actively sell them. There is a HUGE difference. B&T and Ingram will get books into "the right places" only if the right places order books from them. Wholesalers are vital to the bookselling industry, but it's really important not to confuse them with distributors.

  21. #21
    QuantumWriter
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    Hello Nomad...

    Baker & Taylor is a leading full-line DISTRIBUTOR of books, videos, and music products to libraries. Representing more than 66,000 book publisher imprints and 7,500 video and music audio suppliers, Baker & Taylor also provides its customers with many value-added products and services, including customized management and outsourcing services.

    Eeww...

    Needless to say, 100 Poets Against the War did not stop the war. And more than a month after the release of the book, Swift and Christopher Hamilton-Emery of Salt Publishing are noticing a strange and inexplicable phenomenon, particularly in light of the fact that the war on Iraq began on March 19 and the American antiwar movement is running hot and heavy: Although 10,000 U.S. bookstores—from tiny independents to large chains—were contacted about the availability of the book, not a single one had ordered it. This is despite the fact that Salt Publishing enlisted two major U.S. wholesale book DISTRIBUTORS—Ingrams and Baker & Taylor—to handle DISTRIBUTION to U.S. bookstores.

    Your apology is accepted.

    Q

    PS. When in doubt..check it out!
    http://www.btol.com/
    Last edited by QuantumWriter; 04-29-2005 at 04:31 AM.

  22. #22
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuantumWriter
    Baker & Taylor is a leading full-line DISTRIBUTOR of books, videos, and music products to libraries.

    Your apology is accepted.
    Ummm....Q. Nomad is a publisher. She knows about this stuff--it's her job. I'm sure she'd accept your apology, though.

    Nomad, thanks for making the wholesaler/distributor distinction. It's so important, and so many people (including a lot of the small publishers doing business on the Internet) aren't aware of it.

    - Victoria

  23. #23
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuantumWriter
    Needless to say, 100 Poets Against the War did not stop the war. And more than a month after the release of the book, Swift and Christopher Hamilton-Emery of Salt Publishing are noticing a strange and inexplicable phenomenon, particularly in light of the fact that the war on Iraq began on March 19 and the American antiwar movement is running hot and heavy: Although 10,000 U.S. bookstores—from tiny independents to large chains—were contacted about the availability of the book, not a single one had ordered it. This is despite the fact that Salt Publishing enlisted two major U.S. wholesale book DISTRIBUTORS—Ingrams and Baker & Taylor—to handle DISTRIBUTION to U.S. bookstores.
    This is exactly the kind of small press cluelessness I'm talking about. If these guys had known the difference between a wholesaler and a distributor, they might have sold a book or two into stores.

    - Victoria

  24. #24
    QuantumWriter
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    Wait...Victoria:

    Nomad is a publisher and can't differentiate between a distributor and a wholesaler? Care to elaborate? A name please...

    I respect you a lot, but are you neutral?

  25. #25
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuantumWriter
    Nomad is a publisher and can't differentiate between a distributor and a wholesaler?
    I'm afraid you're the one who can't differentiate. You're confusing the act of distributing books with the meaning of the term "distributor" as it's used in publishing.

    Nomad already said this, but here goes again. A wholesaler takes and fulfills orders from booksellers. It may also issue a catalog and provide other fulfillment-related services. It does not do any "selling", in the sense of directly contacting booksellers on behalf of publishers. Baker & Taylor is a wholesaler (even if it calls itself a distributor). Ingram is a wholesaler too (though it recently added a distributor division, Ingram Publisher Services).

    A distributor, like a wholesaler, provides ordering and fulfillment services--plus it fields a team of sales representatives who call on booksellers. Independent Publishers Group is a distributor.

    A publisher that wants to sell into bookstores must either employ its own sales staff (as all the large commercial publishers and many independents do) or work with a distributor. Without a sales force to directly contact booksellers, booksellers aren't going to know about the books. You can't order what you don't know exists. That's what happened to Salt Publishing. It relied on wholesalers--which were indeed able to make its books available to bookstores, but weren't able to get any bookstores to order.

    As for Nomad (who actually is an editor--sorry), her credentials are discussed here.

    - Victoria
    Last edited by victoriastrauss; 04-29-2005 at 05:46 AM.

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