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Thread: GW Publications (formerly Parkbench Publications)

  1. #1
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    GW Publications (formerly Parkbench Publications)

    I've been through the index but couldn't find Parkbench Publications listed, so decided to start a new thread.

    I received the following message through Myspace today advertising the services of Parkbench Publications and needless to say, it bears all the hallmarks of a vanity press operation. I've set out the full contents of the message below:

    Parkbench Publications are looking to recruit new writers on any subject. If you have a project that is between 100 and 250 pages in length, then you are welcome to send a sample to Parkbench Publications, PO Box 1081, Belfast, BT1 9EP. Please enclose an SAE if you want your material returned or an email to parkbench@fsmail.net
    Okay then, so what's the catch, I hear you say. Well, you will be required to contribute towards the cost of publication. You have two options; Either pay £800, receive 10% royalties, and 10 complimentary copies, or pay £1,000, receive 20% royalties, and 20 complimentary copies. Your fee goes towards the ISBN number and barcode, cover artwork, typesetting, proof-reading, printing, and binding. You will also be entitled to purchase extra copies at half-price thus providing you with the scope to recover your original outlay. Therefore, you're not really giving away £800 or £1,000, as you will be recouping these amounts from subsequent sales. How many sales is open to question, but with the best will in the world, then the sky's the limit.
    Consequently, you should think of your fee as an investment or alternatively as an expensive hobby. After all, is golf club membership, football season tickets and gym fees not of comparable amounts? If you want to take this forward, then do not hesitate to proceed, or alternatively you can wait weeks and even months for the standard, tiresome 'good luck elsewhere' replies from other publishers.
    Best wishes to you
    For those of you based in the US, £800 works out at roughly USD 1500 and £1000 is about USD1900, which is obviously a huge amount of money.

    The 10% -v- 20% royalty figure is ridiculous when you think about the number of books you'd have to shift to cover your initial "investment" and especially given that you're having to sell the books yourself as they clearly have no interest in and no capability to supply your books to bookstores.

    The Myspace member who sent me this (who I won't name but can do so if required) is advertising two books on their Blog as having been published by Parkbench. The books are 198 pages and 176 pages respectively but he's states that they're priced at £9.99 (£8 for Myspace members). No word on whether they're paperback or hardback, but you can go into any bookstore in the UK and buy a 300+ page paperback for £6.99/£7.99 and 300+ page hardbacks cost from upwards of £12.99 - so Parkbench's prices are about as far away from competitive as you can possibly get.

    Finally, the fact that the only address given is a PO Box is not encouraging - they're v. easy to set up and just as easy to take down.

    I'd advise anyone to avoid them like the plague.

    MM

  2. #2
    Reinventing Myself Scribhneoir's Avatar
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    Consequently, you should think of your fee as an investment or alternatively as an expensive hobby.
    There's a certain raw honesty in calling their services "an expensive hobby" that's refreshing, in a weird sort of way.

  3. #3
    Mexican on the loose! DamaNegra's Avatar
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    What concerns me the most is this part:

    How many sales is open to question, but with the best will in the world, then the sky's the limit.
    As in: "Your book will sell as many copies as you manage to sell yourself." 100% vanity. An expensive printer. Hell, they don't even pretend to pass off marketing as one of the things they do. An expensive hobby? Well, at least they're honest, aren't they?
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  4. #4
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    "you will be required to contribute towards the cost of publication."
    'Nuff said. They're vanity.

  5. #5
    I grow my own catnip JulieB's Avatar
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    Either pay £800, receive 10% royalties, and 10 complimentary copies, or pay £1,000, receive 20% royalties, and 20 complimentary copies.
    What? The books tell you what a wonderful writer you are? Observe how your shirt really sets off your eyes?

    Complimentary my bottom line. You're paying for them.

  6. #6
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    "Okay then, so what's the catch, I hear you say. Well, you will be required to contribute towards the cost of publication. You have two options; Either pay £800, receive 10% royalties, and 10 complimentary copies, or pay £1,000, receive 20% royalties, and 20 complimentary copies. Your fee goes towards the ISBN number and barcode, cover artwork, typesetting, proof-reading, printing, and binding. You will also be entitled to purchase extra copies at half-price thus providing you with the scope to recover your original outlay. Therefore, you're not really giving away £800 or £1,000, as you will be recouping these amounts from subsequent sales. How many sales is open to question, but with the best will in the world, then the sky's the limit.
    Consequently, you should think of your fee as an investment or alternatively as an expensive hobby. After all, is golf club membership, football season tickets and gym fees not of comparable amounts? If you want to take this forward, then do not hesitate to proceed, or alternatively you can wait weeks and even months for the standard, tiresome 'good luck elsewhere' replies from other publishers.
    One final word goes to the little persons with negative agendas and their own axe to grind who trawl through all the posts and then 'bravely' reply with their bitchy remarks from behind their computer screens. Our books are currently on sale in Waterstones branches in Belfast, Dublin, Edinburgh, and in such London stores as Camden, Gower Street and Islington to name but three, as well as Foyles, Charing Cross. This is in reply to the bitter person who suggested that we might be producing shoddy material and not even getting any of it exposed in shops. Not guilty on both accounts! Anyone serious about getting their book published, step right this way, or follow the advice of the negatives and wait many months for the 'rspectable' publishers to return your samples with their 'thanks but no thanks' responses."


    ParkBench have been posting on Gumtree, a community website under the creative writing section. (www.gumtree.com) This is their second post - much the same as Momento quoted, only a few people must have been questioning them, hence the rather paranoid response above. Shame about their spelling of 'respectable' though!!!

  7. #7
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    Parkbench Publications:
    Our books are currently on sale in Waterstones branches in Belfast, Dublin, Edinburgh, and in such London stores as Camden, Gower Street and Islington to name but three, as well as Foyles, Charing Cross.
    Who put those books there? The authors or Parkbench Publications? If Parkbench has the distribution in place to be picked up nationally by Waterstones, why does it then tell authors that they can "recoup" their financial outlay by selling extra copies?

    Parkbench Publications:
    You will also be entitled to purchase extra copies at half-price thus providing you with the scope to recover your original outlay
    Parkbench is effectively saying that the sales from the bookstores won't earn back the 800 quid/1000 quid that it's asking authors to front for those services that should be provided by a publisher for no charge at all.

    Parkbench Publications:
    One final word goes to the little persons with negative agendas and their own axe to grind who trawl through all the posts and then 'bravely' reply with their bitchy remarks from behind their computer screens.
    That's ironic, coming from an organisation that hides behind a PO Box number.

    I think that Parkbench is a vanity outfit and it's charging a very considerable sum of money for the dubious privilege of being published through them.

    MM

  8. #8
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Momento, I very much doubt that Parkbench has been picked up by Waterstones. If they were a thriving small press, they would have a proper website, not be hiding behind a P.O box address, or advertising for authors. Nor would they have the time to stamp their little foot while shouting: "You're mean!" at people who have been questioning their company ethics -

    All the hallmarks of a vanity press as you say.

  9. #9
    Back in the black, & staying there! Marian Perera's Avatar
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    If you want to take this forward, then do not hesitate to proceed, or alternatively you can wait weeks and even months for the standard, tiresome 'good luck elsewhere' replies from other publishers.
    I like the "it's either us or failure" line at the end.

  10. #10
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Someone on gumtree.com appears to have made Parkbench very cross indeed:

    "On closer study of your most recent post, I have consulted with a member of the legal profession and decided that unless you issue an apology posted for all to see then I shall have to initiate libel proceedings. The major book wholesalers Gardners and Bertrams do not reveal what retail outlet has placed an order, but for our four most recent publications, please observe the following FACTS for Waterstones stores:
    1. 'That Was The Decade That Was' by Arthur TS Jackson is on sale IN Gower Street, Ealing, and Belfast;FACT
    2. 'A Dedication To Someone So Very Special' by Maggie Brown is on sale IN Edinburgh; FACT
    3. Newly published 'Garry Potter And The Same Old Nonsense' is so far on sale IN Norwich; FACT
    4. 'How To Commit Suicide In Ten Easy Steps' by KJ Rolling is on sale IN Belfast, Coleraine, Dublin, Piccadilly, Islington, soon IN Ealing, Oxford ST East, among others, and IN Foyles, Charing Cross; FACT
    There is no need for anyone to go up to the counter, equipped with an ISBN Number and order them in these stores, because they are already there; FACT!
    Like I said, Gardners and Bertrams won't reveal which other stores possess these books on the shelves, although Easons in Northern Ireland stocks the Jackson and Rolling books IN their shops in Belfast, Coleraine, Lisburn, and Newry; FACT.
    If you're going to make slanderous and libellous accusations about other companies, then get your facts right, or I'LL SEE YOU IN COURT. Many thanks for the publicity. It is most welcome".

  11. #11
    Writer Beware's Faithful Igor Richard White's Avatar
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    Ah the old, "any publicity is good publicity" acorn is trotted out once again.

    No, bad publicity IS bad publicity. If everyone knows your name because of shoddy business practices (the general "your", no specific company implied *grin*), that's not how you want everyone to think about you.

    And how quick to trot out the "I'll sue" canard also.

    Sounds like someone's a 'wee bit" upset.

    *cues up melodramatic music*

  12. #12
    Hapless Virago IceCreamEmpress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eviemuff View Post
    for our four most recent publications, please observe the following FACTS for Waterstones stores:
    1. 'That Was The Decade That Was' by Arthur TS Jackson is on sale IN Gower Street, Ealing, and Belfast;FACT
    2. 'A Dedication To Someone So Very Special' by Maggie Brown is on sale IN Edinburgh; FACT
    3. Newly published 'Garry Potter And The Same Old Nonsense' is so far on sale IN Norwich; FACT
    4. 'How To Commit Suicide In Ten Easy Steps' by KJ Rolling is on sale IN Belfast, Coleraine, Dublin, Piccadilly, Islington, soon IN Ealing, Oxford ST East, among others, and IN Foyles, Charing Cross; FACT"
    Oh, whoop-dee-doo. Authors can often get their self-published books into their local bookstores--that doesn't mean that Parkbench has any kind of a decent distribution system.

    My local bookstore sells a couple of very local niche guides that I suspect were created by their authors at the nearby Kinko's (photocopy shop).

  13. #13
    Crypto-fascist Soccer Mom's Avatar
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    "On closer study of your most recent post, I have consulted with a member of the legal profession ??? Would that be a lawyer? Court clerk? A legal assistant? The woman who answers the potted plants and occasionally answers the phone?
    If you're going to make slanderous and libellous accusations about other companies, then get your facts right... Your legal professional told you the difference, right?
    :pulls lawyer hat down tightly so it doesn't fly off:
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  14. #14
    Writer Beware's Faithful Igor Richard White's Avatar
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    Garry Potter And The Same Old Nonsense'?

    'How To Commit Suicide In Ten Easy Steps' by KJ Rolling?

    Someone has to be pulling my leg . . . seriously.

  15. #15
    What a desolation. Alexandra Little's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard White View Post
    Garry Potter And The Same Old Nonsense'?

    'How To Commit Suicide In Ten Easy Steps' by KJ Rolling?

    Someone has to be pulling my leg . . . seriously.
    Dang, you beat me to it.

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  16. #16
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    Parkbench Publications:
    I have consulted with a member of the legal profession and decided that unless you issue an apology posted for all to see then I shall have to initiate libel proceedings.
    I am a member of the legal profession and I say: "Good luck with that". Whilst the English courts are traditionally seen as a "soft" landing for libel actions, court cases are extraordinarily expensive, you don't get legal aid for them and I don't know many solicitors who will take them on a contingent fee arrangement business. You're looking at an outlay of at the very least 20 grand just to get into the court house (and that's assuming the defendant doesn't oppose). Oh, and you have to prove that you have a reputation to defame and the defendant can rely on their statements being true as a defence.

    Also, here's a hint that you may need to consult a member of the legal profession who knows the difference between libel and slander:

    Parkbench Publications:
    If you're going to make slanderous and libellous accusations about other companies, then get your facts right, or I'LL SEE YOU IN COURT.
    Libel is when the defamation is written. Slander is when the defamation is spoken. Any first year law student should be able to explain the difference to you. Hell, any GCSE law student should be able to explain that to you.

    Parkbench Publications:
    please observe the following FACTS for Waterstones stores:
    1. 'That Was The Decade That Was' by Arthur TS Jackson is on sale IN Gower Street, Ealing, and Belfast;FACT
    2. 'A Dedication To Someone So Very Special' by Maggie Brown is on sale IN Edinburgh; FACT
    3. Newly published 'Garry Potter And The Same Old Nonsense' is so far on sale IN Norwich; FACT
    4. 'How To Commit Suicide In Ten Easy Steps' by KJ Rolling is on sale IN Belfast, Coleraine, Dublin, Piccadilly, Islington, soon IN Ealing, Oxford ST East, among others, and IN Foyles, Charing Cross; FACT
    That's nice. Care to share whether it was the author who placed those books in the stores or Parkbench? If it was the author (and I strongly suspect that it is), why isn't Parkbench doing it? And of course there are the obvious questions:

    1. Why are Parkbench books in so few bookstores?

    2. Why doesn't Parkbench know exactly which stores are stocking their books?

    3. If Parkbench is such a publishing success story, why is it touting on Gumtree (the internet equivalent of the Yellow Pages) for authors?

    MM

  17. #17
    Hapless Virago IceCreamEmpress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard White View Post
    Garry Potter And The Same Old Nonsense'?.
    I assumed that was a parody like The Da Vinci Cod .

  18. #18
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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  19. #19
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Is now GW Publications. Facebook page is gone.
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  20. #20
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Going by Amazon, hasn't published anything since early '12, but here's his WN profile just for the record: http://www.writers.net/writers/81233
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