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Thread: AuthorHouse / WordClay / Words of Belief / Author Solutions, Inc.

  1. #151
    sfsassenach
    Guest

    Justino, there are "in-house" [staff] publicists

    and freelancers. The in-house variety are usually spread fairly thin.

    Many novelists I know pay out of pocket to hire freelance publicists.

  2. #152
    Dragon Chow
    Guest

    1stBooks changed their name

    It appears 1stBooks have changed their name to AuthorHouse.

    AuthorHouse, eh? Hmmm, that, to me, is like saying they cater only to authors. Just authors. No readers.

    Perfect name for a vanity press, I guess.
    DC

  3. #153
    James D Macdonald
    Guest

    Re: 1stBooks changed their name

    From the article: AuthorHouse isn't vanity press, McCormack stresses. It offers too many services and isn't as expensive.

    Alas! Being a vanity press doesn't depend on a dollar figure or an array of services (services, incidentally, which are the exact same services offered by Vantage), or a printing technology. Vanity press is a business model. If, on the day the first book rolls off the presses, the rights are held by the publisher and the cashflow has come from the author, that house is a vanity press.

  4. #154
    Jarocal
    Guest

    Re: 1stBooks changed their name

    Oh my according to 1stbooks err Authershouse own numbers as quoted in the article their author's sell on average108.1 books. And since 2,500 more titles have been "published" than there are Authors, that means that each title averages 100 books for sales. Since they claim some authors have sold thousands of copies I shudder to think how many some of their Authors have sold.

  5. #155
    ZoeJesnik
    Guest

    1stBooks Library

    In regards to 1stBooks Library (now known as AuthorHouse), one must consider their goal in publication before committing to ANY publisher. First and foremost - it is best to try the traditional market first. There are good books on how to query agents and traditional publishers. Be persistent and have patience.

    If you are merely trying to publish a book that has a very limited market such as family histories, etc. - then a POD such as 1stBooks would be ideal.

    Never go into publishing with dillussions of grandure - you will only get hurt. Have patience and allow enough time for the traditional world to have considered your query. If after a year or two you feel that you are going nowhere fast - and just can't wait any longer to see your work in print - then you may want to consider self-publishing.

    Any publishing endeavor requires a whole lot of work. If you are self-published then you work your butt off trying to sell your bound book. If you want to be traditionally published - then you work your butt of trying to sell yourself and your manuscript. It all depends on how you want to do the work.

  6. #156
    ZoeJesnik
    Guest

    Re: 1stBooks Library

    Well, the squeaky wheel really does get the grease. After taking my frustration and emailing the higher-ups in the company I received a phone call early this afternoon. I have finally been offered a resolution. They have agreed to refund the money for the packages that were not fulfilled properly. In addition they have offered me a free Marketing Kit as well as 10 Free copies of my book.

    Now, I am not one to jump for joy until I see the proof that this is resolved. I will post back here and let you know how things turn out. Apparently with the name changing to AuthorHouse there has also been a swift move in management and the concept of customer service. I have been assured that they are working to resolve author problems and concerns.

    As with any publisher - read the contract and know what you are signing and what you are paying for. If you stay informed as well as being firm you CAN get a resolution to your problems.:hat

  7. #157
    KivrinAngel
    Guest

    Self Publishing

    I've seen a lot of people on this thread and others say that self-publishing is the best bet for a first time author. I'm sorry, but I have to dissagree. I'm not going to rehash the argument about vanity presses and POD publishers taking advantage of authors. I'm not going to state facts about how few books are sold by self-published authors. Instead, I must make the point that publishing is NOT as hard as the nay sayers make it sound.

    I wrote a novel, a paranormal romance, and wanted to publish it. I did not belong to any major writer's groups, such as RWA, WGA, or anything of that nature. Therefore I didn't know about all the alternative means of getting noticed, such as conferences, contests with fees, or epublishing. What I did have was a few books about the business, such as The Idiot's Guide to Getting Published, Writer's Market and the 2003 Guide to Literary Agents. The process seemed pretty easy: Write a query letter, get an agent, get a NY publisher.

    So what happened? I wrote a query letter, got an agent, and am getting a NY publisher.

    In the midst of all the "options" people forget that sometimes simplicity is all it takes. Good agents are looking for good books that will make them money. They don't sit in their offices entertaining themselves by laughing meniacally at new authors and sending out rejection letters. Sure, I got rejections, probably 30 of them. Luckily, I sent out more than 30 query letters to top-rated agents. I got 3 requests for full manuscript, the second of which earned me an agent who had been in business since 1977, was recommended by Predators and Editors, and was named "Agent of the Year 2000". My book is currently in the "consideration stage" at Avon/Harper Collins.

    Don't listen to the propaganda you hear from the self-publishing houses or disgruntled would-be authors. Publishing is a business like any other. Provide a good product and it will sell. With dedication, determination, and a healthy belief in yourself, you will find the process much easier than you ever would have expected.

  8. #158
    SRHowen
    Guest

    second that

    I can second that as well, never had a novel published--now have a good NYC agent and my novel is now in the consideration stage with DAW and 4 others.

    Shawn

  9. #159
    James D Macdonald
    Guest

    Re: second that

    KivrinAngel is exactly right; it's what all the published authors have been saying right the way along ... publishing isn't closed to newcomers. The scammers and the vanity presses want you to think so because it's to their advantage. But in reality, every single famous published author you've ever heard of was an unpublished first-timer once.

    Write the best book you can. Then write another one, even better.

  10. #160
    HapiSofi
    Guest

    Re: 1stBooks changed their name

    Jim Macdonald very astutely said:
    If, on the day the first book rolls off the presses, the rights are held by the publisher and the cashflow has come from the author, that house is a vanity press.
    May I also recommend John Savage's analysis of this issue?

    My only quibble with John Savage's system is that for decades I've heard "vanity" used to describe setups where the author paid to have the books printed, whether the copies of the books thus printed belonged to the author or the publisher. If I'd been asked to distinguish between self-publishing and vanity publishing, I'd have said that at bottom they're the same thing, but vanity publishing pretends it's something else. Self-publication is an honest whore; vanity publishing is a golddigger.

  11. #161
    James D Macdonald
    Guest

    Re: 1stBooks changed their name

    I'd say that in self-publication the author is working with a publisher, but the publisher and the author are the same person.

    The prime mistake that self-publishers make is forgetting to pay themselves as authors. Self publishers need to set their cover prices high enough to pay themselves their own royalties. It wouldn't be a bad idea for self-publishers to set up separate bank accounts -- one for their author hat, one for their publisher hat.

    Small businesses often fail, usually from being undercapitalized. (The other main reason is from misjudging the market.)

    Self-publishing can be distinguished from vanity publishing by looking at the direction of money flow. Even if it's only from one pocket to another, it should be flowing from that person's Publisher pocket to his Author pocket.

  12. #162
    maestrowork
    Guest

    Re: 1stBooks changed their name

    Self-publishing is not vanity in that you are running a legit business. You may publish your own books, or you may publish someone else's books. You must separate the author from the publisher (you and you). If you're a bad writer, you may not be able to sell any books and your business would falter -- so that separates you from the vanity press (vanity has a different business model -- thus, they're not tied to the quality of the ms). There are a few excellent books out there on self-publishing.

    It's a good idea to call your publishing business something else other than JDM House or MacDonald Publishing... don't use your own name. Again, try to separate the author from the business.

  13. #163
    mrr0238
    Guest

    thank you

    I would like to thank you for your advise. I am looking into getting a book published and on line a found 1s books or author house as they now call themselves. I'm glad i haven't gone into things blindly. I was worried about going through a traditional publishing company and the guy I spoke to at author house only added to my fear. so thanks again for your advise.
    os there anything else you can tell me about the company? or other advise for a first time writer?
    thanks
    -Rachel

  14. #164
    James D Macdonald
    Guest

    Re: thank you

    Advice to a first-time writer?

    Write the strongest book you can.

    Submit it to traditional publishers, following their guidelines.

    If your book's rejected, send it to the next place on your list.

    While you're submitting your book, start work on your next.

    If someone asks you to write them a check, they're not your friend.

    If a publisher can't get books into a doors-and-windows bookstore (check for yourself!) you aren't interested in talking with that publisher.

    A useful agent has sold books that you've heard of.

    <hr>

    Go to the biggest bookstore you can find. Go to one side, where you can look down the aisle to the other side, about a football field away.

    See all those books? Every single one of those authors was unpublished once. Only a vanishingly small percentage are or were "celebrities."

    Perhaps there are a couple of vanity PoD books somewhere in the store -- look on the "local authors" shelf. Even fewer of them than there are "celebrity" books.


    <hr>

    Preditors & Editors is an excellent resource, as is Writer Beware.

    Learn your craft, learn the business, and enjoy yourself.

  15. #165
    JustinoIV
    Guest

    also keep in mind

    "Go to the biggest bookstore you can find. Go to one side, where you can look down the aisle to the other side, about a football field away.

    See all those books? Every single one of those authors was unpublished once. Only a vanishingly small percentage are or were "celebrities."

    Perhaps there are a couple of vanity PoD books somewhere in the store -- look on the "local authors" shelf. Even fewer of them than there are "celebrity" books."

    Also check in mind that Wal Mart is perhaps the biggest seller of books these days. Wal Mart does not do vanity/POD. You need to go through traditional publishing.

    Traditional publishers have professional sales forces whose job is to get your book in Wal Mart and the book stores.

    Newspapers and major television outlets (such as Oprah, Good Morning America, etc), will bring interview traditionally published authors. They do not deal with Vanity/POD people.

  16. #166
    HapiSofi
    Guest

    Re: thank you

    My advice:

    1. All the best advice for beginning writers (such as you've already been getting here) is very simple. The trick is to accept it, believe it, and put it into practice.

    2. Cultivate what the fanfic community calls "beta readers". These are well-disposed but not uncritical readers who are willing to read your work in progress and give you feedback on it. The good ones will tell you where it made them laugh, or cry, or where a turn of phrase confused them so that they had to re-read it three times to figure out what it said; and the best ones will tell you things like "you've gotten hold of the wrong end of a really cool idea."

    Beta readers are not paid. One of the best ways to get them to read your work is to do the same for theirs.

    3. Plays and movies are the best place to learn basic plotting.

    4. If you haven't yet learned how to plot, steal one. It's easier to learn how to write if you've got a decent plot to work with.

    5. Read a lot. Read widely. Read fiction and nonfiction, old and new.

    6. Write every day.

    7. Write books you would want to read.

    8. The last big jump before getting published is the one between writing a book that's good enough to be published, and writing one that an editor wants to publish.

  17. #167
    James D Macdonald
    Guest

    Re: thank you

    8. The last big jump before getting published is the one between writing a book that's good enough to be published, and writing one that an editor wants to publish.

    And boy howdie is that a big jump!

    That's the difference between writing a book that people will read and writing a book that people want to read.

    When your beta readers ask if they can pass your story on to their friends, when they ask if you have any more for them to read, that's when you're getting close.

    Editors are just readers, that's all. When I hear people talking about "how do I get around editors?" it makes me a little crazy: that's like asking "how do I avoid readers?"

    And I want to find the guy who wrote that "Everyone can be published!" TV commercial for the IBM DocuTech machine (you know the one, with the professor and the snotty student). I want to find that guy and shake him 'til his teeth rattle, while shouting in his face, "Do you know how many new writers you've hurt?"

  18. #168
    sfsassenach
    Guest

    Beta readers

    2. Cultivate what the fanfic community calls "beta readers". These are well-disposed but not uncritical readers who are willing to read your work in progress and give you feedback on it. The good ones will tell you where it made them laugh, or cry, or where a turn of phrase confused them so that they had to re-read it three times to figure out what it said; and the best ones will tell you things like "you've gotten hold of the wrong end of a really cool idea."
    Or not. I think crit partners who are skilled in your genre will provide better feedback.

    Also, some novelists [e.g., Diana Gabaldon] eschew beta readers, crit groups, etc. and depend on their own gut.

    Whatever works.

  19. #169
    JustinoIV
    Guest

    agents

    "Also, some novelists [e.g., Diana Gabaldon] eschew beta readers, crit groups, etc. and depend on their own gut."

    I think people would be better off letting their agent service as their reader. The agent is the one who has to sell it, after all, and would probably be better suited to providing the necessary feedback than your fellow writers.

  20. #170
    wouff hong
    Guest

    Correction on old post

    This is my first look through this topic and I was struck by a post from last summer by RealityChuck.

    He plugged some newspaper articles into Lexis-Nexus and came up with no mention. He then implied that this proved a prior list was pure fiction.

    Chuck, if you are still on the thread, you owe ebookren a major apology for the insinuation.

    Either you aren't very good with Lexis-Nexus, or Lexis-Nexus was incomplete.

    I searched the NYT for the first two reviews that you say didn't exist. My results:

    4/2/03 Dining In, Dining Out/Style Desk
    "Taking Comfort From An Unexpected Source"
    by Ralph Blumenthal
    Book review of: "Delights from the Garden of Eden"
    written by Nawal Nasrallah

    9/8/02 Long Island Weekly Desk
    "Long Island Journal: In the Last 28 Bay Houses, The Past Lives On"
    by Marcelle Fischler
    Book review of: "Bad Blood: A Long Island Mystery"
    by David E Feldman

    ebrookren even gave you the Long Island Section as a search aid for this one.

    Your poor search does not justify the slur on ebrookren.

    I didn't bother looking up any of your other mis-hits, I'll leave it for you to try to figure out what you did wrong. But, in paraphrase of your own conclusion:

    Let's review: Two supposed articles: both verified.

    Sounds like the searcher is pure incompetent.

  21. #171
    James D Macdonald
    Guest

    Re: Correction on old post

    Wouff hong:

    Did you actually read those "reviews"?

    They aren't reviews -- they're profiles of the authors. The <a href="http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F03E6DC173EF93BA3575AC0A9649C8B 63" target="_new">Local Man Writes Book</a> sort of story that gets used as filler.

    There's a bit of distance between "book gets mentioned" and "book gets reviewed," as I'm sure you're aware.

  22. #172
    Markallen
    Guest

    Author House/1ST Books Class Action Lawsuit

    AUTHOR HOUSE/1ST BOOKS POTENTIAL SUBJECT OF CLASS ACTION SUIT. Clients of 1st Books Library have been contacted by the law firm of Robert L. Lewis in Gary, Indiana, (219-944-2755) soliciting participants in a class action law suit. The firm is gathering information concerning breach of contract by not providing services, product or consideration for payment of money; deception; misrepresentation and fraud.

  23. #173
    Peter Hedge
    Guest

    Re: Author House/1ST Books Class Action Lawsuit

    Does anyone have more information about this action?

    Thanks

  24. #174
    James D Macdonald
    Guest

    Re: Author House/1ST Books Class Action Lawsuit

    I first heard about this from a 1stBooks author about a month ago, so I knew it was coming. Allegedly, 1stBooks/AuthorHouse hasn't been making royalty payments, or royalty payments haven't matched known sales. I expect that the best way to find out more about this suit would be to call Mr. Lewis.

  25. #175
    Peter Hedge
    Guest

    Re: Author House/1ST Books Class Action Lawsuit

    Thanks James. I will fill out the form the lawyer sent send it off and see what happens.

    It's a tough one to prove - how many sales - like everyone else my novel is listed on perhaps 300-400 sites from Amazon.com to (of all places) a site specializing in 'Medical text books' (my novel is a mystery set in a UK prison).

    But, like I say, I will complete the forms and see what happens. Who knows, maybe I'll make more from the law suit than the sales.

    Thanks again,

    Peter (Victoria, BC, Canada)

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