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Thread: Leucrota Press / Arkham Tales Magazine

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW necia phoenix's Avatar
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    Leucrota Press / Arkham Tales Magazine

    I heard about them (I think) from the Writer's Beware blog,
    I just got contacted via my lj. Nothing spammish or anything. Just a few helpful comments about a blurb I was sharing and signed Danielle Leucrota Press.

    On doing a search for Leucrota Press I located their web site which, though is very pretty, set off a few bells. I remember reading/commenting in a discussion about Leucrota press but for the life of me I don't remember where, or what the conclusion about them was. I couldn't find a post here about it (did a search) so I was just wondering if anyone here has heard anything.
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  2. #2
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Wherever you heard of them, it wasn't from my blog. Writer Beware hasn't gotten any complaints about this publisher.

    - Victoria

  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW necia phoenix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by victoriastrauss View Post
    Wherever you heard of them, it wasn't from my blog. Writer Beware hasn't gotten any complaints about this publisher.

    - Victoria
    Ok.
    Their site, fyi, has few working links, no actual published books they appear to be a baby company, just starting this year.
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  4. #4
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Well, that's good reason to take a wait-and-see approach. New publishers often go out of business without ever putting out a book--it's smart to wait a year or so to see whether or not they can actually take books all the way through the production process, and put them on the market. This also allows you to assess things like quality, marketing, etc.

    - Victoria

  5. #5
    Inappropriate Charmer Saanen's Avatar
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    I looked into them too, and in fact sent a query/chapters just for the hell of it. I got a rejection, but a nice critique with it.

    I love their website although it's pretty much content-free at the moment. They're starting off with an anthology, but I didn't submit to it because it was a non-paying market. I was also a little concerned that the staff have mostly newspaper experience and not book-publishing experience--not that that's necessarily a bad thing. And I don't see a lot of evidence that they have distribution worked out. But they are just starting up.

    I've got another manuscript that might be a better fit for them than the one I sent, but I think I'll keep an eye on them this time and see how they do before I send it along.
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    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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  7. #7
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Unhappy Leucrota Press

    Anyone have any contact or buisness with these guys?

    I read the disclaimer and the "swearing" kind of threw me off.

    www.leucrotapress.com

  8. #8
    Inappropriate Charmer Saanen's Avatar
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    I don't have any experience with their contracts or anything, but there is another thread here that has a little more information (although nothing recent).

  9. #9
    Crypto-fascist Soccer Mom's Avatar
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    Not really sure about the "disclaimer" that put you off. They say they don't care for excessive swearing that isn't necessary to the story. Other than that, they seem to be a baby company. They also have a blog.
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    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    I have to say--the "good example" of a query letter given on their blog reads to me like a textbook example of what not to do in a query letter.

    I'm sure there are abundant good intentions at Leucrota, but there appears to be a paucity of relevant professional experience.

    - Victoria

  11. #11
    Yeah, I have to say, that is a query letter that you want to study and do exactly the opposite.

  12. #12
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    Their single pubbed title is a hardback printed through Lightening Source and is returnable. According to Ingram iPage, they don't have an indie distributor. Their writeup states that the staff are all authors so they know how

    I sort of question their "highly trained" claim after reading their bios, but that isn't to say they can't be successful.

    Why a Leucrota?
    Well, because we’re different. We’re proud of our uniqueness, running ahead of the pack in innovative ideas and social concepts, testing limits and working with authors and topics that many larger, conservative houses won’t risk.
    This is a case of tell vs. show. Don't tell people you're different and unique - that is a template, boilerplate statement. How are they running ahead of the pack with innovative ideas and social concepts. What is a social concept anyway? How are they testing limits? Stating that they'll take work that the big houses won't take is also boilerplate. It's fluff that's meant to appeal to an author's emotions. But there is no substance behind it because they only have one title, written by one of the owners, to their credit, and, according to Ingram iPage, they have zero in stock and no backorder.

    All of the staff are authors or artists themselves – so we know what it’s like to be on both sides of the spectrum, and our mission is to guide authors away from the dreaded slush pile and onto the bookshelves.
    Being an author and knowing both sides of the writing desk doesn't translate to sales. This statement accomplishes little more than claiming there is empathy for the writer, which is nice, but it doesn't sell books. This is meant to make writers feel good about their company. But it lacks substance and proof they can accomplish their goals.

    As read on their Publishing Profile:
    Leucrota Press employs a hybrid production strategy in order to keep costs down, allowing us to offer authors above-market royalties and limit returns. Hybrid production means the use of both traditional high-volume printing as well as state-of-the-art digital Print-On-Demand (POD) printing. Offset printing is used for high-demand books for distribution nationwide to large booksellers and private businesses. POD printing is used for lower-demand projects, such as a new author’s first run and as an international ordering backup.
    Hybrid? Okay, I guess that works. I'm of a mind that most of their works will be POD given that their marketing person's experience is woefully thin. It's financially suicidal to do an offset run of thousands without being confident those puppies are going to go home in someone's shopping bag. That takes marketing skills from someone who understands the business and getting a distributor.

    I don't think these guys are scammy in any way. I think they have very good intentions but are clueless right now. It's good they're moving slowly. Hopefully they're using this time to consult with publishing professionals and discover exactly how difficult and expensive it is be a publisher and what they're going to do to compete in a competitive market.
    Last edited by priceless1; 02-15-2008 at 08:43 PM.

  13. #13
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by priceless1 View Post
    I don't think these guys are scammy in any way. I think they have very good intentions but are clueless right now. It's good they're moving slowly. Hopefully they're using this time to consult with publishing professionals and discover exactly how difficult and expensive it is be a publisher and what they're going to do to compete in a competitive market.
    I hope so too. A hybrid model can certainly work--Prime Books is one example.

    However, at this point there's no way of knowing. The proof is in the performance. Which is just one of many reasons to adopt a wait-and-see approach to this publisher (and to ANY new publisher, unless you're 100% that the people involved have substantial industry experience).

    - Victoria

  14. #14
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    A fellow writer received a rejection letter from them that was close to being nasty. They DID critique his work, though, and gave him some excellent pointers for improving the dialog in his manuscript. They were very picky about details and were far more critical than the big publishers who read and considered his work.

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    practical experience, FTW Shadow Dragon's Avatar
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    Now that they have released some books, has any one heard anything new about them? Like where their sales good and did they win any kind of awards or anything else about Leucrota Press?
    "There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance." - Socrates

  16. #16
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Their blog is now here: http://blog.leucrotapress.com/
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  17. #17
    Just a guy with a pen & a delusion Mr. Anonymous's Avatar
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    Just got an email asking for a full on a book I've more or less given up on. What the heck? I sent it away. I'll let you guys know how it goes.

  18. #18
    I got a request for a full from David, who seemed really nice. Trouble was, I had already promised the book to Lyrical Press an hour before, literally. Still, the idea of having two acceptances in one day made me so happy I was babbling incoherently and running around aimlessly for the rest of the day (but I was at work, so it was okay).

  19. #19
    Hates Marketing. Loves Writing. The Grump's Avatar
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    Question Any recent experiences with Leucrota Press?

    Have checked the files for Leucrota Press but was wondering if anyone here had some recent experiences to share. Please, pretty please.

    Link: http://www.leucrotapress.com/index.html

    How do they compare with Mundania (ie: strengths and weaknesses) ?

    Thanks much.

    PS: I think this needs to be moved. Sorry, I'm a klutz.
    Last edited by The Grump; 12-30-2008 at 10:16 PM. Reason: Stupidity.

  20. #20
    Cinnamon, sit. Bad fish! C.M. Daniels's Avatar
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    I have a story in their 2008 Abaculus anthology, and they were easy to work with.
    Published Shorts:
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    Life After--Golden Visions, April 2010
    Milking the Station--Ghostlight #1 Fall 2009
    Learning Curve--Kasma Magazine, Spring 2010

  21. #21
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Leucrota Press isn't a literary agency. They're a small press (publisher).

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Grump View Post
    Have checked the files for Leucrota Press but was wondering if anyone here had some recent experiences to share. Please, pretty please.

    Link: http://www.leucrotapress.com/index.html

    How do they compare with Mundania (ie: strengths and weaknesses) ?
    The comments I made here pretty much remain the same. As for how they compare to Mundania, they're both PODs without distribution. This means that their books won't be seeing the inside of any bookstores.

    As seen on their About Us page:
    Once accepted, Leucrota Press promises to diligently work with each author, new or established, to develop other marketing plans such as setting up book signings and readings, proactively sending out press releases to papers around the country, and vigorously promoting each book via our own website, book clubs, and other online outlets.
    This is boilerplate stuff that I see on many POD sites. They keep the verbiage vague, but just tantalizing enough to give the impression they have a full promotion plan for all their titles, and I doubt this very much.
    They "promise." What the heck does that mean? It sounds pedestrian and unprofessional. Press releases are often dumped into the recycle bin faster than you can say "where's my royalty check?" There is no way to verify these things are being done, and this is typical among PODs. It will always boil down to the author making their sales happen. Is this what you're looking for?

  23. #23
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    Well you should always adhere completely to a publisher's or agent's submission policy to the letter. Not doing so could get your ms rejected without it ever being looked at. However judging from all that's here you're probably better going elsewhere anyway.
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  24. #24
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    I think you are reading "hate" where it doesn't exist--and assuming both ignorance and spite out of an understandable but unprofessionally-toned emotional tie to your publisher, whilst disclosing a worrying blending of author/editor roles.

    If you could present the same perspective without the ad hom attacks it would be far more convincing. As it is the "warm fuzzies", "you are mean", "we worked hard" and other defences shown here are well known pink flags.
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  25. #25
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edurante View Post
    And your malicious and mocking comments about small presses who use POD as a printer not marketing their books or seeing the inside of bookstores is wrong. Well, not for some, but it definitely does not apply to all.
    There's nothing malicious or mocking about pointing out the challenges for authors with small presses that have limited ability to market and distribute their books. Many such presses point these things out themselves on their websites, saying right upfront that they rely heavily on their authors' self-marketing efforts and can't routinely get books into stores. That doesn't make a publisher bad or disreputable (though sometimes the two go hand in hand), but it does mean that there are important issues a writer needs to take into account before approaching the publisher.

    To make informed decisions about which publishers to approach, authors need to know that a small press that relies entirely on digital technology (a marker for small print runs) is different from a small press that has enough sales volume to be able to employ a hybrid offset/digital model, is different from a commercial independent with trade distribution, is different from one of the mega-houses. They need to be aware that a wholesaler such as Ingram is not the same as a distributor such as PGW, and what it means for sales and exposure if a publisher has only wholesale distribution. They need to understand the difference between the extensive pre-publication marketing provided by larger publishers, and the more limited (both timewise and budgetwise) marketing that is all most smaller publishers can afford, and which so often leads them to rely on their authors as an unpaid sales force. These are important issues, and they need to dovetail with the writer's goals and expectations.

    edurante, it sounds as if you approached Leucrota with your eyes open, and had a good sense of what kind of publishing experience you were going to have. That's wonderful--I wish all authors were careful enough to do that, and I'm glad your experience is good. It's great to have that kind of information in this thread, because it's important for writers to be able to see both sides. But please don't assume that those who point out the limitations of publishers like Leucrota--and again, I'm not saying that Leucrota is anything but reputable, just that it's small--are simply being malicious or elitist.

    - Victoria

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