Seems like a new publisher on the scene. What do you think?
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Seems like a new publisher on the scene. What do you think?
It seems unclear to me what this company offers (ebook, POD, offset, returnable, reasonable cover price?) or who runs it (self publishing their own work, experience or qualifications?). The only material they have posted is the mascot art which strikes me as very amateurish.
I can't get the website to show me anything but a green striped bar (no images or text at all); however, the tab header says "Wolf-Pirate Publishing and Editing." This suggests that they offer those two services separately, which could be construed as a conflict of interest.
I find the meta-content on their site to be rather revealing -
"Alternative publishing opportunity for aspiring talented writers/authors of limited genre fiction (horror, supernatural, contemporary fantasy, occult, suspense, mystery, thrillers). Wolf-Pirate also offers editing and book design services for others who" (note, the meta-content tag ends here)
So, it's a publisher who's also offering editing services and book design services also?
What I don't find on their page (and note, I don't have the latest version of Flash on my computer, so I'm looking at the raw HTML pages rather than the clunky site - Flash pages are one of my pet peeves as a web designer) is who is running this company.
What makes this person or these people more or less qualified to decide what is a good book than the average Joe on the street?
What publishing experience do they have?
Not to mention the other questions that should apply to any new start-up:
What kinds of distribution do they have set up yet?
What printing methods do they intend to use - short run or strictly Print to order?
Where are they located?
Since they mention editing services, will "new authors" be encouraged to use these editing services, or will "editors" be assigned to each book?
Who are these editors and what qualifies them to work on a book? Where have they worked in the publishing industry before?
Perhaps I'm just being cynical, but I would like to know a lot more about this company before I trusted them with a novel I worked on for a year or more.
For those having a hard time pulling up the website, this is from their submissions page:
The following genres will be reviewed for possible acceptance by Wolf Pirate Publishing. The reason for this is the personal preference of our staff for what we'd like to see on the market and the overall lack of books published in this field, as well as a limited amount of interest of publishers for these genres. Click on the individual category to see the submission guidelines for each.
Submit an electronic submission package to include a query letter, synopsis of your story, and the first three chapters. In the query, include a brief biography, an honest explanation of what you have done to attempt publication in the mainstream field, and why you think Wolf Pirate would be good for you. The purpose of Wolf Pirate Publishing is to give those writers who are worthy of being published a chance to see their work in print, provided they have the talent to promote literature as an art form. Far too many small and medium-sized publishers (and editors of large publishers, in some cases) are not discerning of what they put out and have spoiled the purity of the market.
Include a word count and your expectations from Wolf Pirate Publishing. If we are unable to meet those expectations, we will tell you and suggest other options. We accept electronic and mailed query submissions. If you send your query package through the mail, do not forget to include a self-addressed stamped envelope. If you send an electronic submission, please make sure it is done in either Word, WordPerfect, or in a PDF file format.
Electronic submissions allow us to reformat the contents to make it easier to read. It would behoove any writer intending to submit to Wolf Pirate to tidy up their manuscript before submitting their work to impress us with a good work ethic. Please use the Contact Page for submissions if you want to send one electronically. In the subject box, title it: Wolf Pirate Publishing Query Sumission. If it does not have this in the subject box, it may be dumped into spam mail and not reach the editor. We will reply to your email that we got your query so you feel comfortable that it made it to someone who will review it. We will also give you an estimated response time. If you would like to send an email in regards to checking up on the status of your query at any time, put the name of your manuscript's title in the subject block of the correspondence.
Mailed queries should be sent to:
Wolf Pirate Publishing
4801 SW 164 Terrace
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33331
From Wolf Pirate's FAQ (which they make you download):
Ah yes, the old "you have to know someone" myth. If this were true, neither I nor anyone I know would ever have published anything. And on agents:What are a writer’s chances of getting published in the traditional manner of a large publishing house in New York? For a previously unpublished writer, getting picked up by a traditional house is unlikely. Unless the author has contacts within the publishing house, it is unlikely their query will even be considered.
The task of getting an agent is almost as difficult as getting a publisher, since most agents only want an author who has been published before. If they accept a new author, the writer can be sure that the agent has several other talents he is representing and may be competing against when selling his work.
Yet another amateur publisher, dispensing writing mythology as of it were fact.
And no indication on the website that they can market or distribute their books.
The mascot, Scurvy Dog, was drawn by a 'budding artist'. If the quality of the art reflects the quality of the writing, be very, very afraid.
And just for fun, find all the warning signs in the FAQ!
Why we list our competitors on the banner at the bottom of each web page: Wolf Pirate Publishing and Editing Inc. not only provides readers outstanding books in category fiction, but it accepts submissions from exemplary writers who endeavor to become published. We are not a vanity press or subsidy publisher. We do not make frivolous claims of providing our authors outstanding fame and fortune through publication. An author rarely makes a living out of writing. It simply doesn’t pay enough to quit their day job. Any publisher who promises this is misleading the writer. We are very discerning of who we publish at Wolf Pirate. However, some writers believe in themselves so much that they will do anything to become published. This determination is laudable, but it may not be feasible. Anyone considering vanity or subsidy publishers should carefully examine all the caveats involved before plopping down their hard-earned money in this endeavor. On that note, we do not mean to infer that any of the companies listed on the banners of our website are misleading the public. They are randomly selected to appear and are not endorsed in any way by Wolf Pirate Publishing.
Will Wolf-Pirate Publishing accept genres other than what are listed? No. Wolf-Pirate Publishing was created by the company owner who became disillusioned by the quality of stories and books produced by traditional publishing houses of late. Editing errors were becoming more prevalent, as well as the stories themselves lacking in solid plotlines and characters. These books were written by tried and true authors who seemed to have lost some of their steam, or perhaps their writing had been chopped in editing. For whatever the reason, the market seemed to be declining. It became the owner’s primary goal to resolve this by producing books of literary merit in the categories of the owner’s particular preference. To discover samples of what Wolf Pirate Publishing considers entertaining and excellent stories published by mainstream publishers, check out the page on Wolf Pirate Recommends.
What are a writer’s chances of getting published in the traditional manner of a large publishing house in New York? For a previously unpublished writer, getting picked up by a traditional house is unlikely. Unless the author has contacts within the publishing house, it is unlikely their query will even be considered. Check out the odds listed in the Writer’s Market. Each publisher lists how many queries they receive and how many titles they print. A calculator will show just how slim an unpublished writer’s chances are. Most of the large houses will not even accept unagented authors. The task of getting an agent is almost as difficult as getting a publisher, since most agents only want an author who has been published before. If they accept a new author, the writer can be sure that the agent has several other talents he is representing and may be competing against when selling his work. If a writer is lucky enough to be accepted by a publisher, he shouldn’t break out the champagne yet. Projects get scrapped all the way up to print time. Even if the writer has been paid an advance, his book may never see print for many various reasons.
What are the chances of getting published by Wolf-Pirate Publishing? That depends on how well a story is crafted and written. We don’t expect writers to be English majors but we do expect them to have more than a modicum of writing skills. Run a spell check and grammar program before doing a personal edit. Polish it up as best you can. Show some effort of a good work ethic where it will show us that your project is worth the money and effort we invest in it. If it is a good story, with an interesting plot and characters we fall in love with, you have a good shot at acceptance. If we reject a project, we will give an explanation for our reasons in the hopes that such a response will help the writer make adjustments to his writing or feels his work was adequately reviewed. It is also possible that something rejected for reasons that can be corrected may be accepted later.
Please be aware that we will not accept every project submitted. We have a rigorous standard for what we consider exemplary in the art of storytelling.
So why even do it? Why write at all? It is common belief that a writer is not an author until he is published. Wolf Pirate’s philosophy is contrary to that. A writer is an author once he finishes his first manuscript or project, however poorly done it is. A complete story in written form earns him the title author. For simplicity’s sake, we use the term writer and author synonymously. A writer is someone with the passion to create stories in written form for the sake of telling or sharing them. A true writer takes pleasure in the actual creation of the story, while publishing it becomes secondary. A writer does not work at his craft for fame, fortune, or notoriety. He does it for the sheer enjoyment of it. He is, in essence, an artist. A writer does not wake up one day and says he is going to write a book. He has always felt the compulsion to do it and makes the time. People like Britney Spears are not writers or authors. A writer is someone who completes one story and must write another. It is their calling. Also, a writer does not take years to complete a book. If the story is in him, it will come out on its own. A true writer is a rare person, but it is also someone who cannot turn away from his talent.
Company Contact Information:
Wolf Pirate Publishing and Editing, Inc.
4801 SW 164 Terrace
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33331
Last edited by Khazarkhum; 11-27-2007 at 04:34 AM.
"Also, a writer does not take years to complete a book."
[quote] What are a writer’s chances of getting published in the traditional manner of a large publishing house in New York? For a previously unpublished writer, getting picked up by a traditional house is unlikely. Unless the author has contacts within the publishing house, it is unlikely their query will even be considered. Check out the odds listed in the Writer’s Market. Each publisher lists how many queries they receive and how many titles they print. A calculator will show just how slim an unpublished writer’s chances are. Most of the large houses will not even accept unagented authors. The task of getting an agent is almost as difficult as getting a publisher, since most agents only want an author who has been published before. If they accept a new author, the writer can be sure that the agent has several other talents he is representing and may be competing against when selling his work. [quote]
Clearly bullshit as plenty of people round here can testify
Are they Wolf Pirate or Wolf-Pirate? They use both.
Also, probably not a good idea not to use a PO Box for what is obviously a residential address.
"If the story is in him, it will come out on its own" ?? That's a really disturbing image.
I notice that two of the problems with commercial publishing are described as a)nobody edits any more so there are errors, and b)the good stuff is removed by editors.
I think we have seen this before, and it will end in tears.
will crit for rep points
"Your commas are pretty good." TNH
okay, I have a blog
Without thinking, I erroneously copied their entire FAQ here. I've since removed the parts that aren't really germaine to the discussion.
The three bolded sections of that paragraph are all great big RUN AWAY signs.From the Wolf Pirate Web Site (BOLDING MINE):
In the query, include a brief biography, an honest explanation of what you have done to attempt publication in the mainstream field, and why you think Wolf Pirate would be good for you. The purpose of Wolf Pirate Publishing is to give those writers who are worthy of being published a chance to see their work in print, provided they have the talent to promote literature as an art form.
Why would any publisher give a damn about an author's attempts to be published? All any publisher should care about is whether they think they can sell a book and make a profit on it.
Likewise, publishers don't care why an author thinks they'd be a good fit. Provided a submission meets the stated requirements (i.e. you don't send romance to a publisher who says they don't accept it), acceptance or rejection hinges on the quality of the manuscript and whether the publisher thinks they can sell it.
Finally the reference to promoting literature as an art form sounds to me like authors are expected to get out there and sell their own books.
Basically, there's a lot of arrogance on that page for someone unwilling to cite their actual publishing credentials (and note: frustrated author is not a publishing credential).
Amateurish writer sets up nanopublishing business in her basement, offers amateurish services to even more amateurish writers.
Dean Swift, as always, had the mots justes:
So, naturalists observe, a flea
Has smaller fleas that on him prey;
And these have smaller still to bite ’em;
And so proceed ad infinitum
Their name says it all. he he
After a year, I finally found this blog. I wasn't going to answer, but after a few months, I thought I'd at least defend the company out of respect for it and the direction we have taken it.
First, we have grown in our goals and shifted things around in the time we've been in business. The economy has had something to do with that, but after a year of receiving submissions, I realized how difficult it is to please everyone without hurting a few.
One of the key changes we've made is to mentor writers. If you read the website now, you will see that we do not charge for our services. We have opened a workshop to assist with writers who have completed a project we find interesting. Currently, we are working with four different writers. This is a hands-on effort with an editor that takes months to complete. Why? For the same reason why you've created or contribute to this blog. For the same reason why we contribute a portion of our books to Operation Paperback and libraries, and have set up a way for readers to get books free. To help inspire a love of reading. If you read the Founder's Message in the website, you will understand the reasoning a little better.
We have also removed all extraneous advertising, which clutters up many websites (and makes them look unprofessional). Wolf Pirate must approve any endorsements, which currently only consists of our charitable affiliates in the Armed Forces, the IBPA, and SuspenseMagazine.com, which endorses reading.
In regards to the address that was posted, you look at a residential address as something horrendous. If the company didn't allow some of its people to work at home, it would lose a lot of valuable talent. Check around and you will see many large companies make arrangements with their employees who have family issues to work from their home. In this economy, businesses succeed when they think outside the box and leave traditional practices behind. If a writer feels more comfortable sending their work to an office, by all means, do so. Their work is a product of their time, effort, and passion. They shouldn't throw it out hook, line, and sinker for any interested nibble. That is a sure-fire way of being hurt in the long run. (And shame on anyone who thinks an editor cannot be a mom )
As for Ms. Rudy authoring a book, there was a private--and personal--arrangement with the author in regards to that, the specifics which will remain between them. At the time, he needed his anonymity, but he has since reclaimed responsibility for his work. The two are happy with the way things turned out. Thank you for asking.
Wolf Pirate advocates literacy and will continue to offer their workshop to interested writers. Our submissions for outright publishing are closed at this time, pending a full catalogue, but we continue to work with those writers who would like to take advantage of our services. There are no hidden gimmicks other than the author showing a good work ethic. They may also send it out to any publisher they chose at any time. This is an opportunity for them to have their work polished up. We do not try to peddle our books out to those who put in for the workshop, and have even given them out for free to show the level we expect, in certain instances.
If any of you are interested, take a peek at our League of Traveling Books. If you're up for it, send us an email for a free book from that program. The point of having it is to get people interested in reading for leisure. If it means shoving a book in their hands, by damn . . . This industry is going to tank if someone doesn't prompt the younger generation to put down the video controller and pick up a book.
All-in-all, visit the website again and tell me what you think. If you doubt us . . . well, so be it. But please, before you write derogatory things about the company, deal with it first and find it not up to your standards. It's only fair.
As for you thirteen people who have posted, I say, BRAVO. You 13 have at least done some research. I can't tell you how many hundreds of email and mailed queries that came in "hook, line, and sinker". You 13, if you have written something, truly must care about your work. That is evidence of an excellent work ethic. Keep your eyes peeled so others who read this blog have an idea of the industry.
If our website seems to lack someting, I'm open to suggestions and feedback. We keep thinking of ways to help out, and if you have idea, by all means, send them. Make criticism contructive, not destructive.
Hi, ltower and welcome to AW.
Are you able to provide answers to the questions that Richard White asked above, specifically:
Added to this, does Wolf-Pirate Press pay advances for those books that it decides to publish? Also, are you able to share the royalty rates?What kinds of distribution do they have set up yet?
What printing methods do they intend to use - short run or strictly Print to order?
ltower, the website looks much more professional now, and I'm glad you've removed the misinformation about the publishing industry.
I too am eager to know the answers to Rich White's questions.
However, I'm concerned about this (quoted from the Message From the Founder, which is linked from the difficult-to-find submission page):
That's just...weird. As is this:I admit, the guidelines are hard to find on the website, and there is a reason for that. Number one is to find out if the writer is clever enough to find them. I had hoped that someone with the tenacity to find the guidelines would at least read them thoroughly.
You're right about writers being on a fishing expedition. That goes with the territory. The way to deal with it is to delete the submission if the cover letter makes it clear it's inappropriate for your list, or stop reading the submission if the first page contains grammatical and other errors. That way, you'll eliminate most of the substandard stuff without investing too much of your time. But making it a game of hide-and-seek, or a test of dedication, to locate your submission guidelines isn't the best way to do it. You're as likely to eliminate worthy writers who can't be bothered to comb your website for submission guidelines as you are to eliminate the "fishers."While we received hundreds of queries and submission packages, not one of these writers purchased any of the books we published to gauge their work against our standards. Only a handful asked for our free catalogue. This leads me to believe that most of the writers out there are merely on a fishing expedition to any publisher to pick up their work.
I also have trouble understanding why you'd increase your editors' workload with your writers' workshop, since it doesn't seem as if workshop enrollment puts writers on track for publication through your company. Plus, I'd be interested to know the qualifications of your editors, which is nowhere mentioned on your website (I always suggest that writers be cautious of a publisher if they can't verify the professional backgrounds of staff). All other considerations are moot if they don't have professional editing or writing experience.
Last but not least, I'd appreciate it if you could elucidate this, from your Mission Statement page:
As an author, I'd be somewhat alarmed by this. Does it mean that Wolf Pirate will be distributing for free books that might otherwise be sold and generate a royalty for me? What does it mean?Having said that, Wolf Pirate Publishing does not publicly admit to being a non-profit organization, but we are veering in that direction...We have adopted several programs to accomplish this task, including The League of the Traveling Books, Operation Paperback, and a new option for libraries to acquire books for their shelves at no cost...As such, any author we sign must have this same mentality and understand that their books may be distributed at a cost wholly absorbed by Wolf Pirate. Only those books that are sold are subject to royalty payment.
And if Wolf Pirate is a non-profit publisher, why would it not publicly admit it?
It kind of sounds like the old joke--"This business is non-profit. That's not what we intended, but that's what it is."
Real non-profits have missions statements, and generally start out as NP; it's not the usual way for a business to become NP because it isn't profitable. Businesses take anywhere from 1-7 years to turn a profit. Some never do, while others succeed right away. Resigning the business as a profit-generator into a non-profit after only a year in operation will probably send up many warning signs to the taxman.
All good questions, but I believe you are still hung up on the idea that we are a business set up strictly for profit margins. There seem to be many out there who are of the mindset that there aren't people/companies out there with an interest in assisting the arts strictly for developing them. We are trying to do that. We have recently closed submissions for offers of publishing, leaving open the workshop to assist writers who would like to take advantage of this. Our editors volunteer their time for the workshop, much like you might have a parent volunteer for the PTA, or someone volunteers at a local library or hospital. There are only four, and they find the intrinsic rewards of developing a good working relationship/friendship with their writers very appealing. It has been a very good experience all the way around. And no, we make no allusions that we will accept these projects as something for publication. That is up front. We do not take remuneration for the work, and if that's hard to believe, well . . . I'm sorry you can't see beyond the "profit". There are more facets to success than seeing money come in. It's nice, but it's not the bottom line with us.
As for distribution, one of the hardest hurdles in publishing is getting a distributor. I've done some research on other small and medium press publishers who claim they have a distributor, but be wary of what that means. Many actually have their books only available on bn.com, amazon.com, and other online stores, which are programs offered to most, if not all, publishers. We declined to go this route and opted for putting up our own on-line store. The problem with any on-line store, no matter which it is, is getting the word out to readers that a particular book is in publication and available for purchase. For the most part, getting them on bookshelves in bookstores is the most ideal situation. Wolf Pirate has been involved in direct mailing to over 2,000 independent bookstores across the United States for the past year (at each new printing), sending out catalogues and order forms to booksellers of the type of fiction we create (excluding Christian bookstores, which our books are not appropriate for). We have attended the Southwest Florida Book Festival in Fort Myers and the New York Book Festival in Central Park, so far this year. This coming year, in May, we will be attending and represented at the Book Expo of America. We are a member of the Independent Book Publisher Association and have put all our books in their Bookstore Catalogue for exposure to booksellers. We also submit our newly printed books in IBPA's Review Catalogue, as well as submit ARCs to several book reviewers ourselves. We submit our works to IBPA's distributor marketing program and other major distributors for possible consideration. Recent articles about "returns versus no returns policies" by small/medium presses have shown that many of these presses are reconsidering the detriment of distributors to their businesses (large return rates, high discount demands, less representation, etc.). They are investigating new avenues of bringing their books to the end consumer, which is what we are already attempting. One of the things we are focusing on in the near future is taking out advertising space in magazines geared to the retail reader. And yes, providing books for free gets our name out there. As one of you liked to quote idioms, "You've got to spend money to make money." And yes, we are aware that there is a lengthy process for a business to turn a profit. That is why are are not so hung up on profits.
Printing methods: We do not print on demand. We used Thomson-Shore for our first books. They did a beautiful job, and we had a specific run number. We warehouse our own stock and do our own fulfillment (which hurts when we tell a distributor that we can do this ourselves, since they make a money on warehousing publisher's stock and doing all the fulfillment services). We also have the capability of doing second and subsequent runs when stock goes below a certain level. Our second and third publication of our books were done by United Graphics, who also did a beautiful, meticulous job. Again, we warehouse our stock.
We do not pay advances, but we offer a tiered royalty, starting at 15% for the first 1,000 copies, and going up from there. The average price for these trade-size paperbacks is $16.00. And no, we do not pay royalties on those books we provide to Operation Paperback. However, the author may opt out of allowing their books to be a part of this program. Those who take a part in it are given tax-deductable receipts for their royalty percentage. The costs for the books we provide to our other programs are absorbed by the company. This is not a great expense in comparison to the marketing viability of the programs. In answer to your question in that respect, the author would get their royalty from those, which the company absorbs.
The part in the website that states how no author purchased a book was not meant to say they should. It stated further down that a chapter was available for them to read. The website clearly states that we do not accept YA fiction and we have a minimum 80,000 words for submissions. Yet people still sent us YA fiction and short stories. It got so bad, it was frustrating, and that's when we made it difficult to find the submissions link. We hoped to dispel fishers. There's never any way of knowing if we missed out on good writers. We had many good writers we couldn't accept simply because the theme of their project was similar to something we already published. This is another caveat to being accepted or not. But . . . yes, the majority of the submissions we got were fishing expeditions. It was easy to see in some emails where our email address was only one of dozens of other publishers, or in posted queries that was clearly a copy of a copy of a copy, with our name typed in. These writers should take better care of their work. Not only does it show a poor work ethic, but it sets them up to fail from the get-go.
I hope I've answered everything. If not, keep the questions coming.
I have one question.
How did you manage to pay for the printing of the books?
Firstly, it's great that you're trying. I think something is happening to the publishing industry; I'm not sure what, but it is changing. One change is that micro-publishing becomes possible.
I guess you've found the greatest bottleneck for agents and for publishers (and to some extent for readers): You have to kiss a lot of frogs.
As long as you accept submissions, you're going to be ass-deep in frogs, and only a few of them will transform to royalty.
Getting distribution, as you pointed out, isn't really an issue now there's internet. It's getting publicity, which is several orders of magnitude harder. I would definitely want my books to be available on Amazon and bn, that's where I go when I'm looking for specific books.
On the matter of fishing expeditions: An author, even a good one, has an under 10% hit rate with any one agent or publisher. (Miss snark suggested querying 100 agents, which would suggest a 1% hit rate.) People do try to do their homework, but there's a limit to how much they can do and how many books they can read to get a sense of standards.
Anyway: Good luck. I hope in ten years, you can point to this thread as the story of the origins of your publishing house.
Last edited by victoriastrauss; 12-10-2008 at 07:59 PM. Reason: Trimmed very long quote to save space.
ltower, thanks for your detailed response. It sounds as if you have a plan and are working hard to put it into action.
I'm always encouraged when a small publisher appreciates the issues surrounding distribution (as opposed to saying "we work with Ingram" and leaving it at that). Distribution really is the thing that makes the difference for small publishers, and as you say, it's a tough nut to crack.
I still think the hunt-the-submission-guidelines thing is weird, but maybe that's just me...