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Thread: Writer Beware: "Two Thumbs Down" Publisher List

  1. #1
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Writer Beware: "Two Thumbs Down" Publisher List

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  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW MMo's Avatar
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    Oh, marvelous. What a great gift!
    Never Moe and certainly not Moe-randa. I had the name first.

  3. #3
    Still Here! Alan Yee's Avatar
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    Oh wow. Finally!

    I was also surprised to find out PublishAmerica was listed only once. Sorry, Dave.

    Thankyou thankyou thankyou, Ann and Vic.

  4. #4
    Guido
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    Thank you!!!

  5. #5
    Crypto-fascist Soccer Mom's Avatar
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    Yay! Thank you so much. So glad to see it finally come to pass. Great job, guys.
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  6. #6
    figuring it all out
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    Thanks so much for the wonderful list!

  7. #7
    Me and my Muse BruceJ's Avatar
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    So, what do you do if you have had a book published through one of the blacklisted publishers--especially if your follow-on WIP is just that: a follow-on from the published piece? Are you pretty much hosed? How do you recover and get realigned with another publisher if you want to continue with your series. I know of at least one other author (Jan Karon) who switched publishers in the midst of a series. Any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance.
    Cheers! Bruce
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  8. #8
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Three suggestions:

    1) Get the rights back and resell the first book. (It's more than likely, with these publishers, that you know everyone who's bought a copy by name.)

    2)And/or: Write a stand-alone.

    3)And/or: Rewrite the next book in the series so that it doesn't require that anyone to have read the first book. (This is good advice in any case, regardless of your publisher.)

  9. #9
    Me and my Muse BruceJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald View Post
    Three suggestions:

    1) Get the rights back and resell the first book. (It's more than likely, with these publishers, that you know everyone who's bought a copy by name.)

    2)And/or: Write a stand-alone.

    3)And/or: Rewrite the next book in the series so that it doesn't require that anyone to have read the first book. (This is good advice in any case, regardless of your publisher.)
    Thanks, Uncle Jim. I do own the copyright, so I'm guessing that shouldn't be a problem. I'm back to square one on experience (maybe even a minus one or two). I assume the cover letter, or whatever would be the initial medium of contact with a new publisher, would reflect the fact that the piece has been published(?) Or would it go in as a fresh manuscript? Or would you even just send/offer a copy of the book? (Told you I was back to square one on experience...)

    The second part is already better than half finished. I like the storyline and am enjoying the experience of writing it. Unfortunately (as I've discovered after the fact from threads I've read in this forum that I wish I'd read first), I left a cliff-hanger in an epilogue on the first volume. That ties the two together and the second volume does presume some knowledge of the first.

    Don't know. Maybe I've made too much of a mess of it.
    Thanks again for the advice.
    Cheers! Bruce
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    "Editing your manuscript is the revenge your characters get on you for thinking you're running their lives."
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  10. #10
    Absolutely Fazed
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    Copyright and publishing rights aren't the same things.

  11. #11
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Of course you own the copyright; it's difficult to lose that (unless you did work-for-hire or signed a very bad contract). But if you sold the publishing rights, unless and until the book is reverted you can't do anything with that copyright.

    How a book is reverted should be spelled out in the contract -- but there are a lot of bad contracts out there, particularly when you're in the world of the Thumbs Down Publishers. Getting that reversion may not be simple.

  12. #12
    Me and my Muse BruceJ's Avatar
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    I'll review the contract to be certain, but I do believe I do control the publishing rights, as well. We'll see.

    Again, thanks for the comments. I'll chart something out from here.
    Cheers! Bruce
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    "Editing your manuscript is the revenge your characters get on you for thinking you're running their lives."
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  13. #13
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Raistlin Justice's Avatar
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    Oh man now I feel really bad. PublishAmerica just sent me a rejection email. God I can't even get accepted by them. I must suck lol.

    Have a great day,
    Raistlin Justice / Ricky Sides


    Co-Author of the "Brimstone" series. Author of "Birth of the Peacekeepers." My partner in the Brimstone books is Kittie Justice.

  14. #14
    Black belt in awesome scorpiodragon's Avatar
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    Thumbs down

    Quote Originally Posted by Raistlin Justice View Post
    Oh man now I feel really bad. PublishAmerica just sent me a rejection email. God I can't even get accepted by them. I must suck lol.

    Have a great day,
    You don't suck and you shouldn't feel bad If anything, you should feel grateful that you dodged the PA bullet.
    "Happiness isn't good enough for me. I demand euphoria!" ~ Calvin & Hobbes

  15. #15
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Raistlin Justice's Avatar
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    Hey thank you for the vote of confidence. It is much appreciated.

    sincerely,
    Raistlin Justice / Ricky Sides


    Co-Author of the "Brimstone" series. Author of "Birth of the Peacekeepers." My partner in the Brimstone books is Kittie Justice.

  16. #16
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raistlin Justice View Post
    Oh man now I feel really bad. PublishAmerica just sent me a rejection email. God I can't even get accepted by them. I must suck lol.
    Or maybe not.

    It could be just that your book arrived after they'd met their quota for that day.

    See also the list of the books that PA rejects:

    The Assistant Acquisitions Editors and Acquisitions Editors automatically reject all books that are too short (less than 6,500-7,000 words), books by persons under 18 years old, books in journal format, illustrated children's books, any book that's too difficult to format (multiple tables, for example), a second book by an author who didn't buy enough copies of his/her first book, books that only exist on paper, previously published books (this includes books where the author made a few copies to give to his/her friends), books by dead people, and books submitted from anywhere except the USA or Canada.
    Just as an acceptance from PA doesn't mean that your book is good, a rejection from PA doesn't mean that it's bad.

  17. #17
    He ain't right... dub's Avatar
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    Thanks for the list and comments, I'm surprised that Trafford didn't make the list; perhaps their claims and prices are so outrageous that nobody pays attention to them anymore.
    Space reserved for potential Freelance Challenge Awards.

  18. #18
    Preditors & Editors Requiescat In Pace DaveKuzminski's Avatar
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    Generally, Trafford, though expensive, has been honest about what it provides.

  19. #19
    ... with the High Command Dave.C.Robinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveKuzminski View Post
    Generally, Trafford, though expensive, has been honest about what it provides.
    I answered phones for a week at Trafford, and they were very clear about being a "publishing service" not a "publisher." They made no bones about being in a completely different line of business than a commercial publisher.


    Grasshopper, you too can master the ancient martial art of BIC FOK. (Butt in Chair, Fingers on Keyboard.) Find me on Kindle: Against the Eldest Flame, the first Doc Vandal adventure; Amadar, a heroic fantasy adventure; Price of Imperium, space opera with a street-level twist.

  20. #20
    Chrestfelt
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    Excellent

    Well this is a great service....

    I was with publish america but with the cost they retail their books at the book didn't sell much. I bought a large number of the books so the price would come down and sold those myself... in the end I just asked them to release me from my contract and they did. It was seriously that easy.

    I have been contacted by Janus Publishing, does anyone know anything about this crowd? please email me at scgoatboy@hotmail.com

    Thanks
    Stephen
    www.freewebs.com/rosemaryherbb

  21. #21
    practical experience, FTW BarbJ's Avatar
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    There's a thread on Janus. My advice is to stay far away from them. Chrestfelt, check out all of this site and the others on Absolute Write; get to know how the market works; learn, learn and learn; settle down for the long haul, because overnight success is very highly unusual. Such is the writing world.

    Any publisher that is approaches you instead of you approaching them is 99.99% certainty a scam. (The other .01% is ignorance.) They don't know you, and they don't want to - they want your money.

    And welcome to Absolute Write. It's a good learning place.

  22. #22
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin lisanevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarbJ View Post

    Any publisher that is approaches you instead of you approaching them is 99.99% certainty a scam. (The other .01% is ignorance.) They don't know you, and they don't want to - they want your money.:
    Really? why is this 99.99 a scam. What about people who receive book deals?
    Are you telling me that in all those cases (except that .01 %) that the author went to the publisher.
    I believe it is possible a publisher might get wind of some author and want to hook them in before they get too rich and famous and beyond them.
    Mind you, I'm not defending this because I have publishers banging my door down, merely, I believe it is possible a publisher might come after a writer.
    The scam publishers are an easy spot!

    Hey, how did you get the 'icon' in your signature area?
    Lisa
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  23. #23
    practical experience, FTW BarbJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lisanevin View Post
    Really? why is this 99.99 a scam. What about people who receive book deals?
    Are you telling me that in all those cases (except that .01 %) that the author went to the publisher.
    I believe it is possible a publisher might get wind of some author and want to hook them in before they get too rich and famous and beyond them.
    Since I post at work, sometimes I shorten things too much. Sorry. Key phrase here is, They don't know you. If you've written a piece that's been published and has the possibility of being extended into a book, or have a blog geared to a specific subject (usually non-fiction), or - basically - have had something published somewhere that has potential for a book, you may be approached by someone legitimate (usually a small press, unless you've become wildly popular with multilpe thousands reprinting your articles or logging onto your blog daily).

    It's very rare and this is, sadly, another tactic with scammers. It does happen, less often than miracles, but commonly (if I can use that word with rare) with a non-fiction piece for which the agent/publisher has an anticipated niche.

    Most agents and publishers are simply too busy to hunt for work, and they're hoping those they're already working with will become rich and famous.

    But I think you're talking about fiction, where one book has been published and the writer is contacted for a series. (Are you?) I'm told that also happens (rarely), but couldn't name an example. Still, in this case, the writer has been published, and usually by a legitimate publisher, large or small, and is therefore known to the person calling. If anyone has ever had this happen, they can jump in.

    Guess the bottom line is if someone just contacts you and tells you you're a fantastic writer but can't tell you how they know, complete with full details of a published piece, hang up or delete.

    And welcome!

  24. #24
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin lisanevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarbJ View Post

    Guess the bottom line is if someone just contacts you and tells you you're a fantastic writer but can't tell you how they know, complete with full details of a published piece, hang up or delete.

    And welcome!
    Ok, I get your point. I guess I'm guilty of taking it too literally!

    Thanks for the welcome, the waving guy is cute.
    I like how new members are 'Esteemed'! I might get used to that unless the next level is 'Lady'. "Lady Lisa" that works quite nicely!
    Now, 15 minutes ago I told myself I was going to stop, but I keep checking my email and seeing I have more messages.
    Lisa
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    Author: Into This Mind

  25. #25
    practical experience, FTW LloydBrown's Avatar
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    Lisa, after 50 posts, I believe you can change your title if you want. I just stick with the default because I don't are enough to change it. I think there's a newbie FAQ that has the details.
    Lloyd Brown
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