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Thread: Zoe Life Publishing

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW wordsmith's Avatar
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    Zoe Life Publishing

    I was at a literary conference earlier this month, and went to a workshop on children's books, which was led by a rep from Zoe Life Publishers. It was kind of strange. They said that they were co-publishers, which to me seemed like something between self publishing and traditional publishing.

    The rep completely bashed traditional publishing routes and she completely bashed agents. She didn't just say to beware of them, as there are unscrupulous ones out there, she said that you should never ever work with an agent. What kind of publisher would say that? Does anyone else think that's a strange thing to say? In fact, she said that they are less likely to take an agented author, and when discussing agents said that an agent is supposed to write your proposal for you.

    Has anyone here heard of them before or worked with them (or any other co-publisher)? I'm not interested in working with them, I'm just curious and if they need to be listed in the Bewares list, figured other writers should be aware of them.

    Can I also add that the handout that was distributed at the workshop was not proofread...there were so many errors on it, that it questioned any faith that I might have had in them. These were errors that my DH, who is not involved in the writing/publishing/editing world (except by marriage...LOL), noticed right away, so they were pretty blatant.

    Thoughts anyone?
    Last edited by wordsmith; 11-23-2007 at 09:26 AM.
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  2. #2
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    Within or shortly after the 21 business days you will first be contacted by letter regarding the status of your manuscript. If your manuscript passes all of our criteria and if God leads us to offer you an opportunity to publish with Zoe Life, you will then be contacted by our Author Advocate by phone and either an in-person or tele-conference meeting will be scheduled for you to meet and discuss the opportunity with our publisher.


    Then prepare yourself to get their pay-to-play booklet, which they will send to you, no doubt with all the prices for each stage of publishing service they provide. It looks like there are four publishing options, and I'll bet they are Godly wonders.

    I'm a Christian, and no doubt the roster of their books are oriented that way. However, I've never seen Christianity rammed down your throat quite like this site. I adore the message of God, but don't use his name to sell me something.

    Dunno, this is a really big red flag to me. Others might disagree. We need someone who has received their publishing package.

    P.S:
    You won't talk to an editor on the phone. You're going to be notified by an "Author Advocate" fa gawd's sakes.

    Tri
    Last edited by triceretops; 11-23-2007 at 01:36 PM.

  3. #3
    banned as an incurable tosspot
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    They'll quote the bible at you while lifting the money from your wallet is the strong impression I got from that site. Frankly, I found it a tad scary.

  4. #4
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Based on what I've seen they look like a total vanity press. They're less likely to take an agented author? I'd say so. No legitimate agent would touch them with the proverbial ten-foot-pole.

    Note to Zoe: Proofread your web page, dudes. That is not an optional step.

    Available Now!!!!

    Guaranteed to Sale Out
    Sale out? Really? We'll see. Any chance it'll sell too?

  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW wordsmith's Avatar
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    I'm so glad that I wasn't just being jaded when I went to the workshop, and that you guys agree with me that they are...um...sketchy at best. (I really had to search for a polite word there.) The really sad thing is that there were some very green writers at the workshop hanging on to her every word, and it was all that I could do to say, "Cover your ears and run!" They aren't listed at P&E. (Not yet anyway.)
    -Erika
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  6. #6
    starting over Marian Perera's Avatar
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    According to their website, they accept poetry and short story collections. Another warning sign.

  7. #7
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    Zoe Life Publishers Website:
    First and foremost we are here to glorify God in all that we do and to increase His kingdom in the earth.
    I think this is an acknowledgement that they're here to bury you.

    Zoe Life Publishers Website:
    If you are a writer, whether it is a children’s story, devotional, bible study, fiction, non-fiction, memoir or a collection of short stories, essays and poetry and it glorifies God, we will prayerfully consider your writing for publication.
    Queen of Swords is right - poetry and short story collections are never a good sign because there's so little money to be made from it. I'd also query whether essay publication would be profitable - I'd assume that it would be for platform writers, but otherwise not so much.

    I have no idea how you "prayerfully" consider something for publication.

    There's nothing on the site indicating that either founder has a background in publication and there's no word on whether the books are stocked in bricks and mortar stores.

    It all looks rather amateurish.

    MM

  8. #8
    starting over Marian Perera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Momento Mori View Post
    I have no idea how you "prayerfully" consider something for publication.
    For me, that word has bad connotations. About ten years ago, my parents had a friend who was a pastor and who wrote to them to "prayerfully request a loan of $20,000" so he could start a new business. My parents weren't that well-off, but since he was a man of God, they lent him all they could spare and he promised to pay it back in four months. He didn't. Ever since then, when I see the word "prayerfully" connected to anything regarding a business or money, I back away.

  9. #9
    haz a shiny new book cover Christine N.'s Avatar
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    "Discuss the opportunity" is code for "give you our price list and the hard sell to sign you up". It's how reps are trained to discuss party-plan 'opportunities' like Amway, Tupperware, Mary Kay.

    Run away.
    Christine

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  10. #10
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    Queen of Swords - that is a horrible story. You know, of all the poor publishers and agents I read about on this Forum, it's the ones who invoke God who really irritate me. There is something completely foul about broadcasting spirituality and God's goodness as a way to make people part with their cash. The basic rule has to be that the louder someone shouts about how they want to work for the good of God, the faster you should run away.

    Although, whenever I see sites like Zoe Life, it does make me think of God or, to be more precise, I see the site and think: "Jesus Christ!" followed by "You've got to be kidding me!" But then, I'm not a spiritual person ...

    MM

  11. #11
    Sockpuppet
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    Co-publisher is simply another term for vanity press. Once they have your "share" of the publishing costs, they've made their money and you can expect zero marketing, distribution or bookstore placement.

  12. #12
    Requiescat In Pace Requiescat In Pace
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    Erika, may I suggest that you notify the people who held the conference that they inadvertently invited a vanity press that may not try to to solicit money from their attendees?

    You might want to suggest that in future they check the reputations of their invitees with Writer Beware or P&E. We always respond to such invites to "vet" an attendee list, and I'm sure Dave does, too.

    -Ann C. Crispin
    Chair, Writer Beware
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  13. #13
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Momento Mori View Post
    You know, of all the poor publishers and agents I read about on this Forum, it's the ones who invoke God who really irritate me. There is something completely foul about broadcasting spirituality and God's goodness as a way to make people part with their cash.
    I agree, and there are a lot of publishers and agents who do this. I suspect that Christian writers tend to be more trusting of people who self-identify as Christians. I've gotten many letters from writers who were hooked by dodgy enterprises for exactly this reason.

    - Victoria

  14. #14
    practical experience, FTW wordsmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AC Crispin View Post
    Erika, may I suggest that you notify the people who held the conference that they inadvertently invited a vanity press that may not try to to solicit money from their attendees?

    You might want to suggest that in future they check the reputations of their invitees with Writer Beware or P&E. We always respond to such invites to "vet" an attendee list, and I'm sure Dave does, too.

    -Ann C. Crispin
    Chair, Writer Beware
    www.writerbeware.com
    You know, that's a really good idea. Thanks! The woman who runs the conference seems to be well-intentioned. The other speakers/workshops that I attended were pretty good, nothing that got my dander up anyway.

    Love your site, by the way. So how do we get Zoe Life to be listed on your site under Alerts for Writers? Do you need more "evidence" so-to-speak?
    -Erika
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    POM, a WIP: 5,153 / ????? words
    Sept JHS

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    The Right Words
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  15. #15
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wordsmith View Post
    So how do we get Zoe Life to be listed on your site under Alerts for Writers? Do you need more "evidence" so-to-speak?
    To become an "Alert" on Writer Beware, a publisher or agent needs to be the focus of an official investigation, the focus of a class action lawsuit or successful litigation, or else we need to have received an extraordinary number of complaints--100 or more.

    We don't consider it a "beware" if a company is simply functioning as a vanity publisher--as long as they're honest about what they are and what they do, and don't provide misleading information or make deceptive claims on their website or in their printed materials. Zoe is a bit cagy about their pay-to-play status (they don't provide any prices, and the "co-publisher" label is a euphemism that an inexperienced writer might misinterpret), but their website doesn't make any of the crazy claims about publishing that they seem to have made at the conference.

    That said, writers' conferences shouldn't invite pay-to-play publishers, unless they have a self-publishing track--and if they do, they should invite straightforward self-publishing services, not vanity publishers trying to pass themselves off as an alternative to commercial publishers.

    - Victoria

  16. #16
    Seen 'em come, seen 'em go Gravity's Avatar
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    As an aside, Victoria, last month was my third time on teaching staff at the Glorieta Christian writers' conference (one of the CBA biggies), held outside Santa Fe. A month before the start, I was checking the site, trying to see if anyone I knew was going to be on staff this year. That's when I saw, listed on the "agents attending" thread, none other than a notorious member of Writer Beware's 20 Worst Agents list.

    Immediately I got on the horn with the director, explaining that somehow this yahoo must have slipped under the radar. The director was very grateful (not wanting to sully the name of the conference); within forty-eight hours the scammer's name was removed, thus saving some newbie attendees a ton of hurt.

    All that to say, the Christian world (of which I've been a part, since abandoning athiesm nearly thirty years ago), sadly is awash with two big problems: too many con artists (or just plain dodgy incompetants; not saying Zoe Publishing is, mind), and too many gullible marks. Wish I had the answer. I don't.
    Cameron Bane

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  17. #17
    Preditors & Editors Requiescat In Pace DaveKuzminski's Avatar
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    Yes, P&E vets lists for conventions and such. Sometimes they look through the listings first and then ask us why we don't recommend a business.

    In the meantime, Zoe will soon be listed at P&E.

  18. #18
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Hmm, Zoe Life Publishing of Canton, MI is down, but cache shows relatively recent activity, so it could be temporary.

    And just FYI - there's also The Zoe Life Publishing Company in Fontana, CA: http://www.thezoelifepublishing.com/
    ICAO
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  19. #19
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Yup, it was temporary: http://www.zoelifepub.com/

    (And just FYI - The Zoe's Life in Fontana is gone.)
    ICAO
    ---------

    Censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates in the end the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion. -- Henry Steele Commager
    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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