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Thread: Smart Publishing

  1. #1
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Smart Publishing

    I'm porting this thread over here because there's some useful info on distribution, among other things...

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    smartpublishing
    New friend
    Posts: 1
    (2/11/05 10:18 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del New Post I will only answer you once Interesting that you should take your time to defame Smart Publishing the way you have! Shame on you! Perhaps if you spent more time creating novels - it would be more advantageous for you. However, I am not here to degrade you the way you did our company. Everyone must start somewhere sir. It is disclosed in all of our advertising campaigns and solicitations that Smart Publishing started operating October, 2004. Would it have been more advantageous for me to lie, telling authors that we have been in existence longer than we have - to give you a more solid belief in our abilities to operate as a publishing company? That's not my style, nor do I consider it professional.

    As a suggestion - maybe call the organization and speak to someone personally before you decide to "black ball" someone else's efforts in assisting struggling authors, with a good story to tell. Maybe, just maybe sir, if you had spoken to me personally on the phone, I would have had the opportunity to defend my endeavors. Instead you chose to have this "one sided" conversation!

    I defend RoseDog.com! Through my efforts to obtain quality manuscripts, I have met some very talented authors on their site! Perhaps you were one of them? I stand by what RoseDog.com offers aspiring authors - and find it refreshing that not once, have I received a negative comment from anyone on their site in regards to our company, mission or solicitation! With over 12,000 manuscripts available on their site - it's a publisher's dream! I have the opportunity to review synopsis before I request the full manuscript. Saves me time - saves the author money.

    "Half Baked Sistas - In the Beginning" by Marguerite Wabash is not on BN.som, Amazon.Com or any physical book store! Why? Because I came to my senses a long time ago about distributors! I am sure you are aware that a distributor takes 55% off the top of the book from the publisher. Hmm...seems to me that through creative marketing to schools, libraries and that little old lady that we have standing out on the corner distributing the announcement of your new book, we see a larger profit. Translated - more money for the author - more money for the publisher. "Half Baked Sistas" has been sold in schools and public libraries throughout the U.S., and countless copies have been sold just because a patron read it at the public library, and wanted a copy for their personal collection!

    Yes, and that infamous $10.00 contest fee! Smart Publishing reinvests 70% of that budget into advertising your new novel! My editors and cover illustrators receive the balance!

    In conclusion sir, if you are interested in submitting your manuscript for inclusion in the "Winter 2005 Revelation Contest", please visit our website at:
    www.smartpublishing01.com

    (Readers: It is not my normal routine to respond to libel.)

    Cordially,
    Suzette Smart
    CEO
    Smart Publishing

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    snarzler
    Board regular
    Posts: 78
    (2/11/05 10:32 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del New Post Re: The Neverending PublishAmerica Thread (Publish America) Did I miss something? Was this person responding to something in this thread or are they misplacing rage from a comment in another thread?

    And why do they come only when they've been "disparaged", 'rebutt', generally get shot-down and then disappear?

    Oh wait.

    Nevermind /Emily Latilla

    Andrea 0]

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    keltora
    New friend
    Posts: 39
    (2/11/05 10:36 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del New Post Re: The Neverending PublishAmerica Thread (Publish America) Yeah, I'm trying to figure out what that has to do with PA too.

    Laura J. Underwood (A Little Bit of Travis Tea--My ATLANTA NIGHTS can poke out your EYE OF ARGON any day!)

    Laura J. Underwood
    Black Hunters, Demons and Blood Mages--Oh, MY!
    CHRONICLES OF THE LAST WAR available from Yard Dog Press
    DRAGON'S TONGUE forthcoming from Meisha Merlin in 2006

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    DaveKuzminski
    Board royalty
    Posts: 1469
    (2/11/05 10:37 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del
    New Post Re: I will only answer you once Since you're here, I'll point out that you're not being deprived of the opportunity to defend your company.

    Ms. Smart, you weren't libeled; you were ridiculed. If you knew anything about the author who posted that analysis of your company, you'd realize that he's been very busy creating novels as you suggested.

    In the meantime, Rosedog isn't at all the great source that you imagine. Then again, if you knew more about publishing, you'd already know that it's a nightmare, not a dream. Furthermore, your idea of a contest flies in the face of that wonderful slush pile you think is a dream. What do you need a contest for if Rosedog is so great for providing your company with material to publish? Oh, and why isn't all of the contest funding used for promotion?

    If you were more experienced as a publisher, you'd also know that distribution is the key to making lots of money because that's how you sell lots of books. Without it, not many folks are going to find you. Then again, that's why you have the contest, right? You need funds, so why not hit up the authors?

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    Ed Williams 3
    Board fanatic
    Posts: 479
    (2/11/05 10:57 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del New Post Ms. Smart, the mere fact... ...that you are deliberately avoiding established distribution channels for your books labels you as a novice right out of the gate. Second, the person you admonish to create more novels is quite established as an author, which underscores your ignorance yet again. Finally, your web page looks like cobbled together crap, you need to go out, spend a few bucks, get a domain, and at least make your enterprise look passibly legitimate. Geez, even PA has a registered domain...

    P.S. To the mods, can we cut this "mini-thread" out and create a "Smart Publishing" thread?

    Edited by: Ed Williams 3 at: 2/11/05 11:40 am

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    James D Macdonald
    I live here
    Posts: 3189
    (2/11/05 11:12 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del
    New Post Re: I will only answer you once I believe that what has Ms. Smart's knickers in a twist are my comments here.

    May I make a guess about what those "countless" sales are? I'm guessing high-two to low-three digits. Am I right?

    In conclusion sir, if you are interested in submitting your manuscript for inclusion in the "Winter 2005 Revelation Contest", please visit our website at:
    www.smartpublishing01.com

    Thanks for the offer, but no. If someone pointed a gun at my head I might consider it; otherwise I'd leave my manuscript in my desk drawer before I'd dream of sending it (with ten bucks) to a place with no distribution and no idea why getting books distributed might be a good plan.

    I'm happy you have a hobby -- really, I am -- but please don't ask me to recommend your publishing house.

    Writers with any desire to be read should stay well clear.

    (And signing up with Rosedog is still a bad idea. Look what kind of offers you get....)

    book publishing

    Edited by: James D Macdonald at: 2/11/05 11:17 am

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    Medievalist
    Board regular
    Posts: 86
    (2/11/05 12:19 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del New Post Re: I will only answer you once
    Quote:Hmm...seems to me that through creative marketing to schools, libraries and that little old lady that we have standing out on the corner distributing the announcement of your new book

    Anyone who believes this has never either never read or purchased a book, or is astonishingly daft.

    This is not how schools or libraries purchases books. Nor do individual readers tend to purchase books based on "announcements."

    The "distribution" system you refer to is over four hundred years old; though the names of the most of the major players have changed, the basic principles have not. It's been pretty thoroughly debugged, and there are constant reassessments. Trust me, if it weren't working for readers, publishers, authors, libraries and book sellers, we would have changed it until it did.

    Honest, it really isn't broken. It works.

    --
    Lisa L. Spangenberg | Digital Medievalist
    Celtic Studies Resources | www.digitalmedievalist.com
    My opinions are my own. | Who else would want them?

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    smartpublishing
    New friend
    Posts: 2
    (2/11/05 12:20 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del New Post Interesting... This is my first attempt at internet promotion, and it is quite apparent that it must not be the option for me!

    You claim to be "experts", but instead of guiding someone who is new to the field and offering legitimate advice, you persist on a negative thread without any constructive criticism. It appears to be that you only offer destructive accusations without even knowing anything about Smart Publishing.

    Why is that? I refuse to turn into a "snob" or a "hard nose" to accomodate your need to degrade someone. It's sad. I remain true and honest to my talent and endeavors. How about you?

    www.smartpublishing.com

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    smartpublishing
    New friend
    Posts: 3
    (2/11/05 12:23 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del New Post ...it works I do not argue that it doesn't work for some - I do believe that and agree with you. I am just saying that is not the option that I choose. Thank you.

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    CaoPaux
    One of the
    locals
    Posts: 279
    (2/11/05 12:34 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del New Post Re: ...it works From SmartPublishing's website:
    Quote:Content and plot of each manuscript, and following directions for submission of your manuscript(s), is more important to us than your proper command and grammatical expertise with the English language. If you are awarded the winning contract, we have experts that can work along with you to produce a shining final product! You want constructive criticism? Get your "experts" to edit your website. Begin with removing the phrase "fiction novel", as it is redundant and makes you look clueless in the extreme.

    CAO
    -------
    "I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage."
    -- Charles DeSecondat

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    vstrauss
    Moderator
    Posts: 855
    (2/11/05 12:38 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del New Post Re: Interesting... >>It appears to be that you only offer destructive accusations without even knowing anything about Smart Publishing.<<

    Ms. Smart, you're giving us an education. This statement:

    "Half Baked Sistas - In the Beginning" by Marguerite Wabash is not on BN.som, Amazon.Com or any physical book store! Why? Because I came to my senses a long time ago about distributors!

    is all a would-be writer needs to know about your company.

    - Victoria

    Two of Eight
    Website: www.victoriastrauss.com
    Writer Beware: www.writerbeware.com

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    DaveKuzminski
    Board royalty
    Posts: 1470
    (2/11/05 12:53 pm)
    | Del
    New Post Re: Smart Publishing Ms. Smart, it is not our responsibility to seek out and educate publishers on how to operate. That is their responsibility.

    We are educating writers in this topic about what publishers to avoid. Primarily, this topic is to educate writers about PublishAmerica. You might read through this topic and learn just some of what must a publisher is expected to do or not do in order to avoid earning your own topic in the Bewares forum.

    Argh! Too late! I was writing this just as you earned the promotion.

    Edited by: DaveKuzminski at: 2/11/05 12:55 pm

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    Ed Williams 3
    Board fanatic
    Posts: 481
    (2/11/05 1:01 pm)
    | Del New Post Re: Smart Publishing Ms. Smart, you may be very well motivated and are trying to do something good with your company, only you know the answer to that. All we're saying is that the model you're using is not likely to work, and it will be very disadvantageous to your authors. Should you wish to discuss certain aspects of your business with us, we will be happy to help where we can, at least we can refer you to resources that could help you where they are available. Other than that, our mission here is to be sure that writers are given factual information about prospective publishers, and right now your company is not a very attractive one. That could change, dependant on what your business aims are, only time will tell.

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    James D Macdonald
    I live here
    Posts: 3192
    (2/11/05 1:02 pm)
    | Del
    New Post Re: Smart Publishing The link got lost in the move. My original comments about Smart Publishing were here.



    ... instead of guiding someone who is new to the field and offering legitimate advice...

    I believe that "Writers with any desire to be read should stay well clear" is guiding someone new to the field and offering legitimate advice.

    The "someone" in this case is Barbara O'Sullivan, author of The King's Quinto, in particular, and new authors in general.

    book publishing

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    CaoPaux
    One of the
    locals
    Posts: 280
    (2/11/05 1:15 pm)
    | Del New Post Re: Smart Publishing www.smartpublishing01.com

    To reiterate my point above: If you wish to be taken seriously as an author and a publisher, you will need greater editorial oversight of your material and your website.

    CAO
    -------
    "I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage."
    -- Charles DeSecondat

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    smartpublishing
    New friend
    Posts: 4
    (2/11/05 1:37 pm)
    | Del New Post Re: Smart Publishing Wow! What a snob you are Mr. Macdonald! With all your fame with numerous, numerous works out there - you forgot one thing: human kindness! I am so happy that I have not allowed any of my children to read your books. The thought of putting MY money into your pocket makes me want to (for lack of a better term) GAG!

    But perhaps that's what you're looking for - to make me speechless. I'll put you in that folder of a bitter Chicago Winter. Eventually, like you, POOF it will be gone and a beautiful refreshing spring air will arrive.

    Stay strong my brother - one day you will realize that you are only 1 in a trillion!

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    smartpublishing
    New friend
    Posts: 5
    (2/11/05 1:40 pm)
    | Del New Post Re: Smart Publishing Mr. Williams,
    Thank you for the advice. It is truly appreciated.

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    DaveKuzminski
    Board royalty
    Posts: 1473
    (2/11/05 1:41 pm)
    | Del
    New Post Re: Smart Publishing I believe the most recent figures for population indicate that there are only about six billion people on Earth. But what the hey, at least you're consistent about getting facts wrong.

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    Beth Bernobich
    New friend
    Posts: 9
    (2/11/05 2:35 pm)
    | Del New Post Re: Smart Publishing
    Quote:Stay strong my brother - one day you will realize that you are only 1 in a trillion!

    Given a choice between following Jim's advice and yours, I'd certainly take Jim's. Jim spends a great deal of time helping new writers. You? You came here spouting angry accusations because Jim pointed out the flaws in your business.

    And yes, I would let put money in his pocket by buying his books for my kid. (I already have. My son enjoyed them very much.)

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    smartpublishing
    New friend
    Posts: 6
    (2/11/05 2:41 pm)
    | Del New Post Re: Smart Publishing Beth,
    You and I do not know each other. Good afternoon. If you read from the beginning of this thread (the very beginning) you will notice that I did not attack this gentleman first. I merely responded to the accusations. All I ever asked was for him to look past the errors, and to give me guidance. He chose (along with others for some unknown reason) to use degradation as his tool for guidance.

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    Beth Bernobich
    New friend
    Posts: 10
    (2/11/05 3:04 pm)
    | Del New Post Re: Smart Publishing
    Quote:If you read from the beginning of this thread (the very beginning) you will notice that I did not attack this gentleman first. I merely responded to the accusations.

    I did read the entire thread, actually, and I happen to agree with Jim. Your publishing model does not sound viable, I'm appalled that you would deliberately avoid working with distributors and call this a good idea.

    However, I'm glad to see that you do want to do the right thing. If I were you, I'd ask post some politely-worded questions about how to improve your business.

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    underthecity
    Board regular
    Posts: 105
    (2/11/05 3:04 pm)
    | Del New Post Re: Smart Publishing All right, I'll step in with something constructive. No attacks, no accusations.

    I am an author with two books published by a fairly well known regional history publisher. My books are physically available in bookstores, and online on amazon and bn.com.

    If the publisher said that books published by them would NOT be available in bookstores or online, then I would not have published with them.

    Why? Well, as it has been stated hundreds of times on the PA thread, most books are sold in real bookstores. The minority of sales are online. I want potential buyers of my books to find them in bookstores, to be able to pick them up off the shelf and leaf through them, blown away by my stunning prose, and buy them and recommend them to their friends. Then buy my upcoming December release.

    How do I do this if my books aren't available in bookstores or online?

    Quote:seems to me that through creative marketing to schools, libraries and that little old lady that we have standing out on the corner distributing the announcement of your new book, we see a larger profit. Translated - more money for the author - more money for the publisher.

    No, I just don't buy that at all. How do sales to schools and libraries translate to sales to the average bookstore patron? Furthermore, I'm not trying to goose every last cent I can from my books. And I'd be willing to bet that most authors would agree.

    If distributors have to take a chunk of the sales of my books so the books can be placed in bookstores, so be it. I think any other author published by Random House all the way down to Bleak House Books would feel the same way. Good distribution would lead to good profits.

    The way you describe your model is the same way a self-published author describes his. And I have nothing against the successful self-published author. He wrote it, he had it printed, he distributes it himself, he gets most of the profit (minus printing and other expenses). However, self-published authors also see the need to get their books picked up by distibutors if they want to have any sales. And they do, and their self-published books are available nationwide. Peter Bowerman is a well known example. There are many others.

    Can I purchase Half Baked Sistas at any of my local B&Ns? Can I pick it up off the shelf so I can read it before I buy it? With no distribution except to schools and libraries and the lady with the fliers, how does anybody buy the book?

    underthecity

    Edited by: underthecity at: 2/11/05 3:11 pm

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    DaveKuzminski
    Board royalty
    Posts: 1475
    (2/11/05 3:05 pm)
    | Del
    New Post Re: Smart Publishing One of your first comments in response was, "Shame on you." That's not an attack?

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    vstrauss
    Moderator
    Posts: 858
    (2/11/05 3:18 pm)
    | Del New Post Re: Smart Publishing To be fair...there are publishers that skip retail channels and market mostly/only to the library trade or to schools. Some, such as Gale/Five Star, sell a fair number of books. But they're set up to do this with distributors and sales reps, not to mention real editing and professional design/cover art.

    - Victoria

    Two of Eight
    Website: www.victoriastrauss.com
    Writer Beware: www.writerbeware.com

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    reph
    Keeper of the
    folded waterproof
    tarp
    Posts: 1689
    (2/11/05 3:31 pm)
    | Del New Post Re: Smart Publishing I did not attack this gentleman first. I merely responded to the accusations.

    It's unprofessional to respond to an attack with an attack, unless your profession is prize fighting. "He hit me first" belongs on a kindergarten's playground.

    Besides, your suggestion that Mr. Macdonald spend more time creating novels is laughable. Have you seen a list of his published novels?

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    smartpublishing
    New friend
    Posts: 7
    (2/11/05 3:55 pm)
    | Del New Post Re: Smart Publishing Yes, I have seen a list of his novels, and I applaud his success. There are many very talented authors out here that probably only dream of that success.

    You are also right with having actions of a kindegarten playground, and for that I truly apologize to all board members. When I first started here (just this morning), it was not my intent to make waves or create this ongoing argument, just to defend our Contest. I do believe that as a small publishing we can make a difference. I do not claim perfection - and never will. It is with others' critical analysis, and my 30 hour days that I will succeed. And for that - I thank all of you.

    To the moderator, I thank you for your comments. They have been well received, and perhaps I will need to do more research on other distributors that perhaps are a better match for Smart Publishing.

    I have spent entirely too much time here today. Have a good evening folks.

    Suzette Smart
    Smart Publishing
    www.smartpublishing.com

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    RaechelHendersonMoon
    New friend
    Posts: 21
    (2/11/05 4:13 pm)
    | Del
    New Post Re: Smart Publishing Ms. Smart --

    If you are looking for advice and help I'd point you to the Self-publishing over at Yahoo Groups.

    While the group is geared towards self-publishers there is a wealth of information on distributors, fullfillment centers, working with Amazon.com, etc. The people who post there have been very open to answering questions and giving guidance.

    Editor's Journal - Writing, Editing, Dogs and Charlotte

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    HapiSofi
    Board elder
    Posts: 594
    (2/11/05 7:33 pm)
    | Del New Post Re: Smart Publishing You want guidance? I'll give you guidance: If you don't know what you're doing, don't offer to publish other people's books. It's not a learn-as-you-go entry-level position. Your follies may be your own affair, but not when you set yourself up in a business where your mistakes can hurt others.

    Speaking strictly for myself, I don't care whether you mean well. That's between you and God. I also don't care whether you "... believe that as a small publishing we can make a difference." Fact is, you're wrong, unless by "making a difference" you mean "screwing up a bunch of writers' lives." You've got a bad model. That's real.

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    Stlight
    Board regular
    Posts: 68
    (2/12/05 1:52 am)
    | Del New Post Re: Smart Publishing Ms. Smart, you're giving us an education. This statement:

    "Half Baked Sistas - In the Beginning" by Marguerite Wabash is not on BN.som, Amazon.Com or any physical book store! Why? Because I came to my senses a long time ago about distributors!
    __________________________________________________

    I had a publisher who felt that way. Didn't realize it until after the contract signed for my book. There was editing, there was communication, there were no sales - zip, nadda, none.

    After a year, the publisher decided to include Amazon and B&N.com. Staggering increase of sales to four books.

    Another author did better worked pr and the signing, convention, speaking tours like mad - two years and she sold 1000 books. Not much for all those hours and all that cash put into pr.

    End of contract, but not the end of the publisher's story. It goes on, but without me.

    Stlight

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    DaveKuzminski
    Board royalty
    Posts: 1476
    (2/12/05 7:31 am)
    | Del
    New Post Re: Smart Publishing I have to add a similar experience. With one of my publishers, a book of mine sold exactly one copy in the first year without distribution. Once the publisher contracted with Amazon and others, sales of that book have been very good.

    As to how it affected royalties, I saw no difference in the amount per book, so it was only the publisher who saw a smaller profit per sale. However, the publisher is clearly bringing in more than before the distribution agreements even though it's a lesser amount per book.

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    James D Macdonald
    I live here
    Posts: 3203
    (2/12/05 7:52 am)
    | Del
    New Post Re: Smart Publishing Dave, STlight, what in the hey are you doing selling books to companies that don't believe in distribution? That should be the first thing anyone checks when considering where to submit their work.

    I saw no difference in the amount per book...

    I take it that you were getting paid on cover price, which is good. That's standard.

    book publishing

    Edited by: James D Macdonald at: 2/12/05 8:19 am

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    PixelFish
    Board regular
    Posts: 127
    (2/12/05 9:07 am)
    | Del
    New Post The Reader's Instant Gratification Syndrome These are just my observations on how I (and some people I know) purchase their reading material. Think of it as the reader/buyer's perspective.

    I personally don't see how the model of selling to libraries will increase sales if the books aren't available through normal distribution channels. When I like a book and have that "must read" urge, I trot right off to my local Barnes and Noble with its generally massive selection. If it isn't there, I might try a few local bookstores, and if they don't have it, then I go to Amazon. IF....IF I get that far. Because there are still an AWFUL lot of books in that Barnes and Noble and those little local bookstores, and when it comes to reading, I'm kind of like that little kid in a candy shop. Oh, if the urge is strong enough, I'll go through hell-and-high-water to find the book I want, but if your book, which I may only know from a brief glimpse on the subway, or a doctor's office, or whereever I found it...if that book isn't available, there are hundreds of others that are.

    Oh, look, FOUR new Georgette Heyer novels sitting in the romance section. Oh, look, the next Elizabeth Peters book. Oh, look, Neil Gaiman, Orson Scott Card, Susanna Clarke, Elizabeth George, Terry Pratchett, Jane Lindskold, Barbara Hambly, Tamora Pierce, George R. R. Martin....oh, wait, I haven't read that one.....Oh, look, here's the classics section. Whatever happened to that copy of Catch 22 I loaned to my brother? I better get a new one. Haven't read it for a while anyway. I always did mean to read Herodotus, better grab that too.

    That right there, Ms. Smart, is what you are dealing with. The books you publish have to compete with all the books I can get RIGHT NOW. If I can't find your books, even if I managed to find it in a library once or saw a blurb for it somewhere, if it's out of sight, it's out of mind. Well, not necessarily. I'll probably file it away in the back of my head in the specially filed limbo reserved for books that I will get someday, somewhere. If I come across it.

    And the sad thing is...I probably never will come across it.


    Now, this is just how I work. But keep in mind, I'm still an inveterate reader. Most of my co-workers, for example, read one or two books a month. If that. Maybe one book every two or three months. They usually pick up the stuff that you can find in the first couple aisles of the bookstore, the books they heard about on national TV or saw on the best sellers list. They don't read anything else.

    My boyfriend likes to read, but has a slow pace, and being an artist, he likes to read graphic novels, because, well, one day he'd like to make one. Now many graphics novels and comics are often self-published or published through small publishers, but even a lot of self-publishers often tend to distribute through somebody like Diamond, because it is a REAL PAIN IN THE BUTT to ship your books separately to every comic book store in the US/Canada that wants your book. The ones that do well, even through word of mouth in the comics community, still tend to end up in....comic book stores and through some kind of distributor.

    My little brothers and sisters and most of my extended family buy the same way I do....bookstores, occasionally making it to Amazon. (I don't know why people tend to think that online ordering is instant gratification. You still have 3-5 business days of shipping time.)

    People generally don't go to libraries and schools to buy books. I know, I know, there are those little Scholastic takehome order forms (so very deadly in my house--and my mom was always buying the books I didn't want. She nearly killed science fiction for me. The Scholastic science fiction anthologies for kids were pretty much man-meets-strange-alien-planet, which kills him in a new and unique way. Or man-meets-technology, which kills him in a new and unique way. But I digress.) and there were bookfairs, but 90% of those books I could buy at a bookstore.

    Oh, and I tend to avoid little old ladies passing out "announcements" on street corners. The last time I didn't I got a crossword puzzle spelling out the numerous ways I was going to hell.

    She sings from somewhere you can't see....

    Edited by: PixelFish at: 2/12/05 9:11 am

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    DaveKuzminski
    Board royalty
    Posts: 1477
    (2/12/05 9:37 am)
    | Del
    New Post Re: Smart Publishing James, it was my first book years ago. I thought the publisher did have distribution at the time. It was partly my doing that convinced them to change their ways.

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    smartpublishing
    New friend
    Posts: 8
    (2/12/05 9:54 am)
    | Del New Post Re: Smart Publishing Thank you everyone for your advice on distribution. I managed to do quite well with Half Baked Sistas in schools and public libraries - probably because it was a topic that middle readers could relate to, and one that teachers could use as an example. I directly solicited schools and libraries and as of today, have seen sells in excess of 4000 copies (since October,2004). My sells with this novel have predominately been in bulk however (reading literacy programs, classroom projects) and I also include a continuation of the book by providing an "assembly" to schools that carry over the theme of the book: date rape, derogatory terms, racism. In the assembly, the author describes her trials and tribulations and why she wrote the book; we have 2 young actors who present a skit directly from the book; and a Prevention Specialist who ties it all together giving guidance to young people - teaching them that they can be advocates for themselves, and to be proactive in their success, opposed to being reactive.

    Though this is a "grass roots" approach - Smart Publishing thought it was creative, and it continues to be profitable for the author.

    However, I can see where your suggestions for major distribution could be even more profitable. Once again, thank you.

    Suzette Smart
    CEO
    Smart Publishing
    www.smartpublishing.com

  2. #2
    annoyed and annoying roach's Avatar
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    Distribution

    With one of my publishers, a book of mine sold exactly one copy in the first year without distribution.
    Dave, wasn't your first publisher an e-publisher? I recall at the time there weren't any distributors for e-books. Amazon, IIRC, was the first place to even consider selling e-books, and I believe what they sold were e-books on CD.

    These days there are more venues (Fictionwise, Mobipocket, LS, etc.) but I don't think you can really compare e-book distribution to print book distribution. The two are different beasts.
    Eggplant Literary Productions,
    A small electronic speculative fiction publisher.

  3. #3
    I Heart Mac Absolute Sage Lauri B's Avatar
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    Smart,

    It sounds like you have a good book there, and since you've managed to do a really good job breaking into the school and library markets--and obviously making money doing it, I would assume, if you've already sold more than 4,000 copies to a market that almost never has returns--why not consider it an investment and try to find a good distributor to broaden your market share? Yes, they take a percentage of sales, but they'll also help you get into other special sales venues such as museum stores, school supply catalogs, all the major library shows, etc. where the discounts are nearly as big as those for the chains. Distributors don't take 55% off the top--they usually take 28% on sales they make (the 55% percent is usually the discount publishers are required to give the chains). You get the benefit of a sales force, marketing, and much more exposure.

    Good luck-

  4. #4
    smartpublishing
    Guest

    Smile Thank You

    Nomad,
    Thank you so much for your advice. I will further my research into distributors.

    Suzette Smart
    Smart Publishing

  5. #5
    Preditors & Editors Requiescat In Pace DaveKuzminski's Avatar
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    Yes, Roach, you're correct on that. They're now expanding into producing my books as audiobooks, too.
    When it comes to PA, the royalty check and the reality check arrive in the same envelope.

    Remember to be kind to writers who step in PA. They really don't know how bad it smells.

    The difference between PA and WLA? None. Both have the stench of dead and dying books emanating from their doorways.


  6. #6
    Banned bikrpreacher's Avatar
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    It's interesting to me that as soon as someone said something about Smart Publishing, they came right over and talked about it. Too bad Publishamerica didn't do the same thing, and that is really telling isn't it.

  7. #7
    I aim to misbehave Uncarved's Avatar
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    Yes, you can see that Smart Publishing is at least willing to listen. PA will never do anything but sit at the playground and throw sand.

  8. #8
    Preditors & Editors Requiescat In Pace DaveKuzminski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinasamuels
    Yes, you can see that Smart Publishing is at least willing to listen. PA will never do anything but sit at the playground and throw sand.
    More like they throw what they find in the sand.
    When it comes to PA, the royalty check and the reality check arrive in the same envelope.

    Remember to be kind to writers who step in PA. They really don't know how bad it smells.

    The difference between PA and WLA? None. Both have the stench of dead and dying books emanating from their doorways.


  9. #9
    banned as an incurable tosspot Ed Williams's Avatar
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    To me, it looks like Ms. Smart...

    ...has an interest in being a publisher, PA's interest is in being a vanity printing press, two very different endeavors...

  10. #10
    smartpublishing
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    I will always listen...

    Everyone has a story to tell - but not everyone has the ability or talent to write about it! I know several authors that have been "taken" by vanity presses and regret it. They believed the only way to see their work of art in print - was to pay for it. What I have found over the last year however, is that there are unbelievable plots out there, but they lack what most would consider "grammatically" correct. I think that's probably the hardest part for most aspiring authors. It's not the story they have to share, it's trying to get it read through all of the typos and sentence structure mishaps. I'm a little different than most publishers - I read the story through all of its imperfections - and then let the editors do the rest!

    When "Half Baked Sistas" first crossed my desk - it was handwritten! But there was something about Ms. Wabash's style of writing (she's been closely associated with the works of Judy Blume) that forced me to overlook the presentation of the stories, and to focus on the content and plots. To say the least - I was overwhelmed! To date, this novel has sold over 4000 copies, since its debut in October,2004.

    Bowker contacted me in regards to signing a contract for advertising. Their audience, of course, is vast. I will never stop accepting constructive criticism! Any and all advice is appreciated and never just "filed away".

    Suzette Smart
    Smart Publishing

  11. #11
    5 W's & an H Sassenach's Avatar
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    couple of questions for Suzette

    Quote Originally Posted by smartpublishing
    I'm a little different than most publishers - I read the story through all of its imperfections - and then let the editors do the rest!



    When "Half Baked Sistas" first crossed my desk - it was handwritten! But there was something about Ms. Wabash's style of writing (she's been closely associated with the works of Judy Blume)
    Does that mean you have editors working for you that will get a contracted book 'into shape'? Or is that an extra cost for the author?

    Are you saying that Wabash and Blume have similar styles or that they're literally associated?

    Did you call Wabash and request a typed ms?


    thanks,

  12. #12
    smartpublishing
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    Answering Sassenach

    Good Evening Sassenach:

    I will answer your questions as thoroughly as I can:

    1. Marguerite Wabash (at the time I read her ms) lived a very chaotic and hectic life. When I received her ms, the first thing I did was to call her to find out why her stories were submitted to a publisher in such an unusual form. After hearing her personal story, I agreed to read through what she had submitted.

    2. I was floored with the flow to her short stories, the plots and the lessons they brought forth. I proceeded to have my editor take a look at it. She made her suggestions (basically misspelled words, grammar errors) and returned it to Marguerite. I explained to her that I was highly interested in her work, but, along with the editing, needed to resubmit her stories in the format we requested. She did! A final contract was not offered until this had been completed. There were no additional charges for the editing.

    3. Marguerite's style has been reviewed as "similar" to Judy Blume's work.

    I receive manuscripts every day that are full of typos, torn corners, pages not in order, run-on sentences that nearly take up an entire half sheet of paper, and aspiring authors that forget the main character's name! But I do not let that deter me from the focal point - the story they are trying tell.

    Cordially,
    Suzette Smart
    Smart Publishing
    www.smartpublishing01.com

  13. #13
    Learning!
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    "There were no additional charges for the editing."

    That implies there were charges originally. Was that the case?
    I'm nobody! Who are you?
    Are you nobody, too?
    Then there's a pair of us don't tell!
    They'd banish us, you know.

    How dreary to be somebody!
    How public, like a frog
    To tell your name the livelong day
    To an admiring bog!

  14. #14
    smartpublishing
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    No charges...

    Arainsb123,

    The only money Smart Publishing sees, is from the profit of sells. We do not charge our authors any fees for marketing, editing, or cover design. In Ms. Wabash's case, we offered our editing service to her, because we were pretty sure we wanted to offer her a contract!

    Suzette Smart
    www.smartpublishing01.com

  15. #15
    practical experience, FTW
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    My Advice

    My advice is that authors pay heed to what the others write here. And for the publishers at this company get off their soapbox and prove them wrong. But I do not think they will and so I will take my own advice and heed what these good people have to say. I wish that I had done so before I signed with who I did.

  16. #16
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Alas, it looks like Smart Publishing is no more. The pub's site is gone, and her Yahoo page hasn't been updated in ages. Can anyone find anything more recent than this cache page? http://66.102.7.104/search?q=cache:A...blishing&hl=en
    ICAO
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    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

  17. #17
    I heart Malamutes! :-) JerseyGirl1962's Avatar
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    This is the most recent it gets...

    This webpage (which looks very nice, BTW) states that winners from her Winter 2005 contest "to be announced on June 1, 2005." Apparently has been updated since before that time.

    http://www.geocities.com/smart_suzet...ublishing.html

    And you're right, CaoPaux, about smartpublishing01; I couldn't find it either.

    ~Nancy
    Screw the new blog, I've resurrected my old blog: Writerly Stuff.

    I twit, therefore I am?

    Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. ~Thomas Edison

    It took me fifteen years to discover that I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous. ~Robert Benchley

  18. #18
    Learning!
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    So is that Geocities page the only Smart Publishing site? That's highly unprofessional. I mean, even I forked over the $10 to buy myself a domain name.
    I'm nobody! Who are you?
    Are you nobody, too?
    Then there's a pair of us don't tell!
    They'd banish us, you know.

    How dreary to be somebody!
    How public, like a frog
    To tell your name the livelong day
    To an admiring bog!

  19. #19
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    She had her own domain for a time, but it's gone. I guess the "profit of sells" wasn't enough for upkeep.

    ETA: Relaunched May '15 at http://www.smartpublishingco.com/, but no further activity.
    Last edited by CaoPaux; 05-27-2016 at 08:13 PM. Reason: updating w/o bumping
    ICAO
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    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

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