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Thread: Light Sword Publishing / LSP Digital, LLC

  1. #1
    banned as an incurable tosspot
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    Light Sword Publishing / LSP Digital, LLC

    Anyone have any information on this company?

    Here is what I have:

    Light Sword Publishing
    P.O. Box 851556
    Westland, MI 48185
    www.Lightswordpublishing.com

    And from Preditors & Editors just a notation that they're publishers.

    A search didn't show any previous threads.

    Any additional information would be much appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Let's set aside the hideous god awful website for a moment and look at this page:
    http://www.lightswordpublishing.com/OurCommitment.html

    Here is the relevant paragraph:

    The first thing we ask each of our author's to remember is that YOU must sell your book. That requires
    hard work, dedication, persistence and a solid marketing plan as the foundation for your business. One
    that we at LSP believes will pave the way to yours and our success . Below is a list of fundamental tools
    needed to 'Market your Wares', many that Light Sword Publishing creates for our authors to assist them in
    their marketing endeavors. NOTE: Although LSP will offer support to our stable of authors, by providing
    them with an extensive marketing kit and valuable tools, we firmly believe that it is the author that must sell
    their work, not the publisher. We publish books and should not be confused as an authors publicist.
    Bolding mine. Either these people are completely clueless or just not interested in doing the hard work of promoting their books, shouldering the burden of publicity and marketing on behalf their authors.

    Then further on:

    *** A table top easel to proudly display their novel at booksignings and events.
    *** LSP mails out 100 announcement letters to family, friends and colleagues introducing the release.
    *** LSP sends an email blast announcing the release.
    *** LSP mails an introduction press release to local & national publications, talk shows, local media and
    local book stores.
    This sounds like a poorly thought out plan already thought out by a scam operation, PublishAmerica.

    They do send out galleys and pays for booths at book fairs but in the end is this:

    Ultimately, we accept without reservation that it is up to the author to embrace 'Marketing Your
    Wares' if they are to become the success that they are searching for, we just believe that by assisting
    them on this wonderous journey these added steps will set LSP and our authors apart from the others.
    This publisher has red flags all over the place. I would avoid them as they are either clueless or incompetent and either way, your book will vanish without a trace in the market.
    Last edited by JCT; 10-01-2007 at 05:26 PM. Reason: typo

  3. #3
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    Okay, I did more research. Linda Daly, the President and CEO of Light Sword Publishing, is an ex PublishAmerica author with no experience in publishing. She was also involved with NF Publishing which was discussed here:

    http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2007/0...nferences.html

    one is a PublishAmerica author, with another book forthcoming from a micropress about which Writer Beware has gotten questions (Linda Daly
    So I would say Light Sword is completely clueless and probably incompetent. Stay away.

  4. #4
    I grow my own catnip JulieB's Avatar
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    Check out the comments thread of that entry. There's at least one unhappy author.

    There appear to be other authors who are quite happy.

    Still, I'm not enamored of their model. They do seem to be up-front about the fact that the author is responsible for PR, though.

  5. #5
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    Interestingly, if you check out the Writer Beware blog, there's a very snitty comment posted by:

    Elizabeth Montijo, Vice President of Light Sword Publishing
    Emontijo@Lightswordpublishing.com
    http://www.lightswordpublishing.com
    where she says:

    At this time I would like to gracefully remind the writers of this blog and its readers that Light Sword Publishing is a traditional, royalty paying publisher.
    Clearly, something very substantial happened between 12 March 2007 and today, given that traditional, royalty paying publishers don't require their authors to shlock their own books to anyone and anywhere. Or maybe they're just working to a different definition of "traditional".

    From the Light Sword Publishing website:
    NOTE: Although LSP will offer support to our stable of authors, by providing
    them with an extensive marketing kit and valuable tools, we firmly believe that it is the author that must sell their work, not the publisher. We publish books and should not be confused as an authors publicist.
    This right here is why if you're going to go with them, then you should keep your expectations very low. A publisher's job is to get books in stores and on shelves. That's how they make their money - from sales. It is the responsibility of the publisher to sell the book, not the author.

    From the Light Sword Publishing website:
    LSP recommends that each of our authors add personal touches to their kits, such as a quality binder for their personal professional PSA, purchase stickers that peel from a roll that say “Autographed Copy” on them, and lastly, splurge and purchase a special pen used only for booksignings.
    Oh yes, I absolutely must have my special pen for booksignings that I have to organise. Yeesh.

    MM

  6. #6
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    Thanks. Those are issues I am not at all sure I would have noticed from their website. Mind you, I think that authors SHOULD expect to help sell their own work, but only help not do everything.

  7. #7
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    Of course an author does some publicity (web sites, attend conventions, etc) but it shouldn't be expected.

    In short, you can do better than this publisher. Aim high.

  8. #8
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    Like JCT said, authors get involved with publicity for their books. Actually, in the UK there was an episode of The South Bank Show last night that followed Ken Follett's writing process, from research to publication of his next book and towards the end it showed his meetings with the marketing people at his publishers. They were talking about doing book tours and web feeds for individual retailers, all of which Ken said he'd be happy to get involved in (and in fact, doing The South Bank Show was a big publicity coup for his book). However, at no point in those meetings did anyone say: "Remember to buy your special pen for signings, Ken, and make doubly sure you have stickers ready saying 'Autographed copies'". Also, Ken wasn't told that he had to sell copies of his own book - the publishers had their distribution in place with booksellers because that's their job. All the web presence in the world can't hold a patch to people being able to pick up books in store.

    So definitely aim higher (although I think you'd have a job to find anywhere much lower than this outfit).

    MM

  9. #9
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Althelyna's Avatar
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    Smile LSP

    Hi Everyone,

    I come here because I find great information. As for Light Sword Publishing, you all have the wrong idea. This is a new publishing company and with all new companies there are ups and downs.

    Linda Daly, wants to do everything she can for her authors. What she means by "Market your Wares" is simply this. It will not hurt you to set up a book-signing with your local bookstore. It also will not hurt you to sign up for your local literary events or to do readings at libraries.

    I also know what her marketing team does. One her marketing team right now consist of TWO marketing reps. (New publisher or small press.) Which means they do not have the budget that a larger press has. Linda Daly also has an IT that will be fixing her website soon.

    One of her marketing reps has set up book-signings and has gotten them into a large literary event in Detroit, Michigan for FREE! They have only been in business for a short while but they are doing great things. If you have any questions about their marketing you can click on Shannon Wade's email on www.lightswordpublishing.com and she will be happy to answer any of your questions. She has answered all of mine. I for see them doing great things in the future. Please find out all the information instead of jumping to conclusions for past mistakes that people have made.

    Best Wishes,
    Althelyna

  10. #10
    A work in progress Saundra Julian's Avatar
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    Most publishers want their authors busy producing more books.

    Marketing departments should do a lot more than set up book signings. They should be trying to get bookstores to carry their publisher's "wares" ... much more important than "getting authors into a large literary event in Detroit, Michigan for FREE!"

  11. #11
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    I don't mean to be argumentative here, but a LOT of authors spend quite a bit of time helping their publisher to market their novels. There is nothing wrong, it seems to me, in a publisher expecting that.

    I have a lot wrapped up in my novels selling, so it's in my best interest to help. (Note that I said help. Obviously the main sales force has to be the publisher.)

    But if my books don't sell 1. I don't get royalties; 2. I'll have trouble selling more novels. So I don't agree with the "authors should just write and not help with marketing" comment.

    The fact is that if you are working with a small press they won't be able to do as much as a large press and will have a much harder time getting books into bookstores. I wish this weren't the case.

    Honestly, jumping down everyone's throat seems to have gone a bit overboard on this forum. Every time someone shows up to answer questions for a publisher, they are pretty rudely greeted. You may not agree with what they say, but I don't see that the comment required that harsh a reaction.

    Edit: Take a look at all the time J. A. Konrath put into helping his (major please note) publisher market his books. And I do recommend his blog for info on the subject.

    http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2007/08/what-works.html
    Last edited by J. R. Tomlin; 10-06-2007 at 04:09 AM.

  12. #12
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    I believe what is being jumped on is: "the author that must sell their work, not the publisher."

    Authors do their part but what sells books is promotion+distribution and distribution depends on the publishers. Author promotion creates demand but without distribution demand simply cannot be converted into sales.

    So, expectation of authors *promoting* (not selling) books must be supported by the published showing they can distribute them.
    Emily Veinglory

  13. #13
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    I can't defend this particular publisher, since as I said in the original post, I know nothing about them. The comment on jumping on people was just an observation from over time that at times the criticism seems a little overly harsh.

    Certainly all the author can do is help and the statement on their website was one that put me off.

  14. #14
    A work in progress Saundra Julian's Avatar
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    That was a harsh reply? Sorry if it came off that way.
    Yes, I agree new authors do have to do a fair amount of marketing on their first book.

    My point being, if a publisher has a mkt. dept, they should concentrate on getting books on shelves so the publisher and author can both make money...

  15. #15
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    Well, I didn't mean to jump on you or seem overly harsh about your reply. It seemed a bit harsh to me but the comment was really brought on by a number of threads where I thought the same thing.

    I can't argue with your main point. I agree with it.

  16. #16
    A work in progress Saundra Julian's Avatar
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    I'm just tired of publishers who want authors to take on ALL the responsibility of selling their book.

  17. #17
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    I am happy to take on *promoting* my work appropriately. But I do run away from the notion of 'selling' which suggests buying copies and reselling them, which is a bookstore's job.
    Emily Veinglory

  18. #18
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    Sorry to harp on the subject, but I don't see that:

    "Linda Daly, wants to do everything she can for her authors. What she means by "Market your Wares" is simply this. It will not hurt you to set up a book-signing with your local bookstore. It also will not hurt you to sign up for your local literary events or to do readings at libraries. "

    is saying that the author has to "sell" their own books. I do agree that the comment on the website was poorly worded, however. It certainly put me off submitting to them, which I decided not to do.

  19. #19
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    She says the author has to sell their own books here: "we firmly believe that it is the author that must sell their work". Their work being the book, it is rather hard to sell to a customer in any other form.

    Now that may of course not been what she meant but by following it by the statement that the publisher must not sell the work.

    That starts to cound like-- we will not sell the book, we do not commit to having it distributed. If you want anyone to buy it, well, good luck with that.

    Well, it looks bad. If that is not what she means then I would strongly suggest revision of that text. I doubt that is what she means, but it is what they are saying.
    Emily Veinglory

  20. #20
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    I agree that it needs to be re-written assuming that isn't actually what they meant. As I mentioned, it kept me from subbing to them--or was one factor anyway. I would say from other comments, they worded it poorly.

    I suspect that by "sell" she meant market--as in book signings, virtual tours, etc. But that isn't how it seems to read.

  21. #21
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Althelyna's Avatar
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    Smile Interesting

    I love reading everyones opinions. I have a question for some of you. Have any of you worked for a publishing company? The reason I ask this question is because of the misunderstanding that you have about the publishing industry.

    Light Sword Publishing or for that matter all small or new press must go through steps with the book chains headquarters to get the books into stores. Right now Light Sword is going through those steps.

    Authors cannot sit at home and expect a publicist or marketing personnel to get any number of books sold. Authors have to take steps to make their name known.

    You need to help market your book. Why do you think there are so many books on marketing . They have their books with Ingrams and Baker & Taylor. Did you know that the books have to sell a certain amount before the appear on a large bookstore chain's bookshelf? I bet you didn't. You probably thought that a CEO of a publishing company simply sent a catalog to a book chain and send promotional items to a store and they magically put the books on the shelf.

    Not possible with as many books that are in print today. You do not even see a quarter of Random House, Simon and Schuster, and many other publishing companies books in stores. Why because they did not sell enough to be noticed or considered to be put on the shelves. Some publishing companies put books as e-books first to see how many sell before they even print a book. Only if your name is as popular as Stephen King or Dean Koontz will your book automatically hit a book chains book shelf. You have to start on the bottom and your marketing team and your publisher will do everything they can to get you on the shelf.

    Light Sword Authors receive bookmarks, copies of their books, posters, and other promotional items to help them market their book. Also their marketing team sets them up with book-signings, festivals, and other events. They contact magazines, newspapers, and talk radio. To help market their authors. So that they can sale the number they need to get them on the shelves of major book chains.

    Again, I have talked to their marketing department and have asked them several questions. I asked because I work in marking authors books and I was looking for a job. I was tired of doing contract work. They are doing what normal SMALL press do. They are working within their means. The misconception that all an author does is write is sadly mistaken. That is what time management is for. If you believe that you need to research the industry a lot more. Most authors market their own books.

    That is my two cents on the subject and I have been working with the writing world for many years.
    Last edited by Althelyna; 10-07-2007 at 01:17 AM.

  22. #22
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Yes I have, and yes I did know that. My first print novel is with a small press called Samhain. I submitted to them because their books are available through Ingrams and returnable and so are found in chain stores. Not all of their books get picked up, which is why I have been walking store to store personally requesting that it be stocked.

    If a small press cannot, at this time, provide distribution they should simply say so. To not disclose this while claiming to be a "full-service, time-honored, conventional publishing company" strikes me as misleading as the three core services of mainstream publishing on any scale or format are 1) manuscript preparation, 2) printing and 3) distribution. So if you cannot get in stores the development of other less traditional channels should be front and center (many small and e-presses sell respectably well online).

    Author efforts augment publisher efforts, they do not as is suggested by the phrase I quoted (twice), replace them.

    But by all means assume the skepticism to be based on ignorance if you so wish.
    Last edited by veinglory; 10-07-2007 at 01:20 AM.
    Emily Veinglory

  23. #23
    Requiescat In Pace Requiescat In Pace
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    I'm not sure that's entirely accurate...

    I'm not Stephen King or Dean Koontz, and my books get onto the shelves in bookstores.


    -Ann C. Crispin

  24. #24
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    p.s. "Did you know that the books have to sell a certain amount before the appear on a large bookstore chain's bookshelf?"

    The reason I didn't know this is because it simply isn't true.
    Emily Veinglory

  25. #25
    practical experience, FTW Khazarkhum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Althelyna View Post
    Light Sword Publishing or for that matter all small or new press must go through steps with the book chains headquarters to get the books into stores. Right now Light Sword is going through those steps.
    OK, I'm not trying to be nasty or anything, but---

    Shouldn't a publisher go through those steps before printing books?

    I'm really new at this, but it seems logical to me that you'd want a firm distribution plan in place before starting to publish.

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