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Thread: Janus Publishing Co., Ltd. / Empiricus Books

  1. #1
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Janus Publishing Co., Ltd. / Empiricus Books

    http://www.januspublishing.co.uk/

    So you've written a book...

    Our aim at Janus is to give first-time authors a chance.


    We recognise the difficulties new authors face

    If you're a first time author, then only one thing distinguishes you from a professional author. It's not talent. It's not dedication. It's simply that first-time writers will have difficulties in getting their manuscripts published.


    Why? It's precisely because you are an unknown author, that the vast majority of publishers are not interested in your work. Now, in the increasingly account driven world of publishing, there are only two certainties: guaranteed best-sellers or guanteed library and university sales. And books with long term sales are rarely kept in print, thus losing the author valuable reprint income.



    If, as likely, your work is very personal or specialised, then they just don't want to know. And as production costs rise and publishing houses merge into ever-larger multinational businesses, that situation can only get worse.
    The standard come-on for a vanity press, and sure enough: They are "one of the leading co-partnership publishing houses."

    This is a subsidy (that is, vanity) press.

    If what you want is a vanity press, there they are. If not ... not.

    As with any other vanity press don't expect sales to anyone you don't already know by name.

  2. #2
    Persisting AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
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    Jim, if I keep tipping my hat to you, and one hair falls out each time, eventually I'll be bald and you'll still be helping newbies sidestep vanity presses. Is "Hats off to you" okay?

    Maryn, full head of hair--so far
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  3. #3
    Now departed. Rest in peace, Scott, from all of us at AW Popeyesays's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maryn View Post
    Jim, if I keep tipping my hat to you, and one hair falls out each time, eventually I'll be bald and you'll still be helping newbies sidestep vanity presses. Is "Hats off to you" okay?

    Maryn, full head of hair--so far
    Just make sure Jim is not nipping those strands of hair to cover his own losses, so to speak.

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  4. #4
    practical experience, FTW BarbJ's Avatar
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    "If, as likely, your work is very personal or specialised..."

    Oh, yeah, definitely after the newbie gullibles. More competition for PA.

    I don't wear hats, but I can spare some hair.

  5. #5
    Banned Panda Dragon's Avatar
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    Janus Publishing

    I jumped by on this forum and thought I'd put in my own input to this. I have recently been in touch with Janus Publishing and, to be honest, I actually find them to be a very geniune and honest company. They don't lie about who they are or what they do, they admit they are a subsidy company, but they do publish books. I had the pleasure of meeting the person who runs it and we had a talk about my book. Just to check to see if she actually read it, I asked her a load of random questions about it. She answered them all! She really does seem concerned with publishing new authors and so I really am considering signing with them.

    I think, on the whole, subsidy publishing isn't so bad (see my other thread on this), so long as you do your research on the company before you sign. And check the forums for the worst publishers out there. Other than that, I might give this company a go. They seem more geniune than any other companies I've had contact with so far.

  6. #6
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    They are spreading tired, old, inaccurate information. If they are genuine and honest, they should know better.
    Emily Veinglory

  7. #7
    Banned Panda Dragon's Avatar
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    I disagree. I don't think the information they give is tired or inaccurate at all. At least they admit who they are and what they do. They don't promise multi-sales of books at all (at least they didn't to me) they just told me what they would do and I believe it enough to give it a go.

    In fact, I've actually got in touch with one guy who's signed to Janus Publishing (I think his name was Graham Wakfield) and managed to track him down after a heavy search. He told me that he had an offer from both Janus and Penguin (a major publisher) but he turned it down to go for Janus. How much of that is true or not I have no idea, but the fact that I had to find it myself and not through Janus must say something.

  8. #8
    The King and Queen of Cheese BenPanced's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panda Dragon View Post
    I jumped by on this forum and thought I'd put in my own input to this. I have recently been in touch with Janus Publishing and, to be honest, I actually find them to be a very geniune and honest company. They don't lie about who they are or what they do, they admit they are a subsidy company, but they do publish books. I had the pleasure of meeting the person who runs it and we had a talk about my book. Just to check to see if she actually read it, I asked her a load of random questions about it. She answered them all! She really does seem concerned with publishing new authors and so I really am considering signing with them.

    I think, on the whole, subsidy publishing isn't so bad (see my other thread on this), so long as you do your research on the company before you sign. And check the forums for the worst publishers out there. Other than that, I might give this company a go. They seem more geniune than any other companies I've had contact with so far.
    If you truly want to have a book out there, you'd probably be better off going with a company like Lulu. It's cheaper and you have better control of the final product.

  9. #9
    The King and Queen of Cheese BenPanced's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panda Dragon View Post
    I disagree. I don't think the information they give is tired or inaccurate at all. At least they admit who they are and what they do. They don't promise multi-sales of books at all (at least they didn't to me) they just told me what they would do and I believe it enough to give it a go.

    In fact, I've actually got in touch with one guy who's signed to Janus Publishing (I think his name was Graham Wakfield) and managed to track him down after a heavy search. He told me that he had an offer from both Janus and Penguin (a major publisher) but he turned it down to go for Janus. How much of that is true or not I have no idea, but the fact that I had to find it myself and not through Janus must say something.
    Inaccurate, at best:

    Why? It's precisely because you are an unknown author, that the vast majority of publishers are not interested in your work. Now, in the increasingly account driven world of publishing, there are only two certainties: guaranteed best-sellers or guanteed library and university sales. And books with long term sales are rarely kept in print, thus losing the author valuable reprint income.
    1) If a publisher is not interested in unknown authors, then how do unknown authors get published by one of the big houses?
    2) No book is guaranteed anything.

  10. #10
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    If someone chose Janus over Penguin I can only assume they were given some very, very inaccarte information, or they have very strange goals.
    Emily Veinglory

  11. #11
    Banned Panda Dragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenPanced View Post
    Inaccurate, at best:


    1) If a publisher is not interested in unknown authors, then how do unknown authors get published by one of the big houses?
    2) No book is guaranteed anything.
    Totally agree on the second point. As to the first point, I have a counter question.

    If new authors are being published, why is it that whenever I walk into a bookshop, all I see is celebrity authors and hardly anything from new authors.

    Acutally, that's unfair. In my local waterstones, the manager is well known for helping local authors out and he often has a section for brand new authors to put their works in. So maybe I'm just looking at this the wrong way.

    But I still think subsidised publishing isn't totally a bad thing. Stubborn b*****d aren't I? lol

  12. #12
    Back in the black, & staying there! Marian Perera's Avatar
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    From Janus Publishing's website:

    Suprisingly, many well known authors have shared the costs of publication. Authors like Jane Austen, Poe, George Bernard Shaw, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Edgar Wallace, Kipling, Edward Fitzgerald. The list goes on including to most people's suprise, Beatrice Potter.
    1. A much longer version of this list was debunked here.

    2. A publisher which spells "surprise" incorrectly on its website isn't a publisher I'd trust to edit a book.


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  13. #13
    Noobus Perpetuus ejket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panda Dragon View Post
    But I still think subsidised publishing isn't totally a bad thing. Stubborn b*****d aren't I? lol
    But in almost all cases your books won't sell. So why bother?

    In the case where you have a lecture circuit or something similar that provides a venue for selling your books, you're better off self-publishing than going with a stealth vanity operation, simply because it's much cheaper.
    "Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future." - Oscar Wilde



  14. #14
    Hapless Virago IceCreamEmpress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panda Dragon View Post
    If new authors are being published, why is it that whenever I walk into a bookshop, all I see is celebrity authors and hardly anything from new authors.
    I don't know. Maybe you need to go to different bookstores? Here in the US, there are lots of books by first-time writers that make the best-seller lists, and I can't believe it's that much different in the UK.

  15. #15
    Sockpuppet
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    Wow, funny how the first thread I come across seems to be one of the most heated.

    I have to jump to Panda Dragon's defence. I to am signed on with Janus Publishing and also met the woman who is in charge of it (Jeannie), who is a smashing lady. My novel is an adult fiction type book, but they accepted it. She even showed me a list of manuscripts that she was sent in and turned down because they weren't good enough! So, I think she's trustworthy enough.

    If Mr Panda here believes that they are a geniune company, surely that's enough? Sure, I understand you guys are trying to help him, but if he believes in them, I don't see how that should be a bad thing. He's his own man after all.

    Also, I don't think we should discourage one website just because they spelt a word wrong. We're only human, we all make mistakes. Oh, and for the record, Janus DO publish in bookshops. I know, I saw one in London Waterstones one time. It was called Supergeek by David Ardern and was professionally editied as far as I was concerned.

    So yeah, that's my two cents there.

  16. #16
    Back in the black, & staying there! Marian Perera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by demonchessmaster View Post
    She even showed me a list of manuscripts that she was sent in and turned down because they weren't good enough! So, I think she's trustworthy enough.
    What a coincidence! I put up a blog post on misconceptions about vanity presses just a few days ago, and here's the first one - the idea that vanity presses are reputable because they reject some manuscripts. I'll quote myself:

    "No vanity press accepts everything itís sent. For one thing, some material may be legally damaging (eg. child pornography). For another thing, thereís no need to.

    Letís say I own a vanity press. Iíd like to make $10,000 dollars a month in profits. I can do this by signing up ten authors a month and convincing them to pay me $1,300 each (the extra $300 should cover the costs of printing each book if I cut every corner possible Ė no editing, stock image cover, no reviews, etc.). After that, I can regretfully reject all the other queries. Itíll convince a lot of people that Iím a selective publisher.

    The more money a vanity press makes from each author, the more authors it can afford to reject."

    If Mr Panda here believes that they are a geniune company, surely that's enough?
    Surely that's enough for what? For him to be happy? Perhaps. But for another writer who wants to actually sell copies of books, belief doesn't make it so.

    Also, I don't think we should discourage one website just because they spelt a word wrong. We're only human, we all make mistakes.
    If a publisher cannot spell-check its own website, I doubt it's going to do a good job of editing books. Allowing errors may be a sign of humanity, but I don't think it's a sign of professionalism.


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  17. #17
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceCreamEmpress View Post
    I don't know. Maybe you need to go to different bookstores? Here in the US, there are lots of books by first-time writers that make the best-seller lists, and I can't believe it's that much different in the UK.
    I have noticed bookstores in the UK tend to be smaller in general, and have a less varied selection. Not all of them, but it seems outside the big stores in the cities, a small-town Waterstones, for example, is almost like a mall store.

    However, even those small stores still stock PLENTY of new authors. How far into the bookstores are you going, Panda? Because once you get past the celebrity books up front there's plenty more books. My local Waterstones has my small press urban fantasy; I don't know how they found out about it, but I walked in there one day last month and there it was.

    She even showed me a list of manuscripts that she was sent in and turned down because they weren't good enough! So, I think she's trustworthy enough.
    Wow, yeah, she must be trustworthy if she showed you a list of books she turned down. Because someone trying to get your money would never lie about something like that.


    Also, I don't think we should discourage one website just because they spelt a word wrong.
    Had the problem been one simple misspelling it wouldn't have come up. (Actually there were two mistakes in that sentence--it's not "Beatrice" Potter, it's "Beatrix".)

    But they spread misinformation, like that untrue, inaccurate list of famous people who self-published. They spread that old tired lie about how new writers will never get published by real advance-paying houses. I know this is a lie because we have so many members here who have, as new writers, gotten published by those houses (I'm one of them). So, I can look at them and their stories, and how they have nothing to gain from telling the truth, or I can look at a vanity press who wants my money and tells me I don't have a chance at getting published for real. Hmm...which one might have an ulterior motive?
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  18. #18
    That door could be a time portal... Deb Kinnard's Avatar
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    One route unpublished authors sometimes take is small press. This means, non-vanity, non-subsidy, royalty-to-author-we-don't-pay-anything presses. You write your book, buff it as best you can. You pitch it to a small press who handles the kind of fic you write. You get a contract, wait a year or so and end up with either an e-book, a print book, or both. You learn to do promo, and marketing, and get your name out there as best you can.

    Sometimes this experience can be a steppingstone to a larger press. I do know from personal experience it's an education in itself as to how publishing works.

    Those of you who feel your best option is vanity/subsidy publishing, why not think about the small press option? An added benefit is that larger houses will give it more weight than subsidy publishing experience, so you can cite that book or books in your query to them.

    Does it work every time? No, obviously not, 'cause nothing does. But there are many authors who started small and grew their abilities to end up with a larger-house contract, or two, or a dozen.

    Remember Yog's law: Money flows to the author.

  19. #19
    Mushroom Polenth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceCreamEmpress View Post
    I don't know. Maybe you need to go to different bookstores? Here in the US, there are lots of books by first-time writers that make the best-seller lists, and I can't believe it's that much different in the UK.
    It's fair to say we don't get many sci fi/fantasy debuts (Panda Dragon's genres of choice). Those genres are poorly represented in the UK. It's not an insurmountable problem though, as America has a big market taking on many debut authors.

    Other than William Shatner, I'm having a hard time coming up with celebrity novelists in sci fi/fantasy. Most of the authors are every day people who got a deal when they were unknown. So I don't know where the celebrity thing is coming from.
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  20. #20
    The King and Queen of Cheese BenPanced's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panda Dragon View Post
    If new authors are being published, why is it that whenever I walk into a bookshop, all I see is celebrity authors and hardly anything from new authors.
    If a publisher didn't publish new authors, they'd be out of business. There's only so much a "celebrity author" can crank out any given year.

  21. #21
    practical experience, FTW
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    Hokay. Demonchessmaster and Panda Dragon.

    Same. Damn. Person.

    Adios!

  22. #22
    The King and Queen of Cheese BenPanced's Avatar
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    Bloody hell.

  23. #23
    Noobus Perpetuus ejket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenPanced View Post
    Bloody hell.
    Exactly. It's nice to know that only one of them is out the chunk of cash, though. Widespread suffering is such a downer.
    "Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future." - Oscar Wilde



  24. #24
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Am I the only one who assumed that was the sock-puppety case, then?
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  25. #25
    To-to-to-ron-to Darzian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rolling Thunder View Post
    Hokay. Demonchessmaster and Panda Dragon.

    Same. Damn. Person.

    Adios!
    I thought it was sort of obvious. I just clicked on the demonchessmaster profile and there was NOTHING, suggesting he was a hastily set up figure.

    The OP needed a twin to continue posting!

    QUOTE from demonchess:

    If Mr Panda here believes ....

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