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Thread: Empire Publishing Service / Players Press / Gaslight Publications

  1. #1
    figuring it all out samfield's Avatar
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    Angry Empire Publishing Service / Players Press / Gaslight Publications

    Well i'm quite surprised I can't find these names in the "index" or in the rogues' gallery search, so let me be the first to share a strange letter I got from them. (oh, and the mandatory "Does anyone have anything on these guys...?"

    Eager to test drive my new 2008 N&SSWM, I sent a query to Gaslight Publications, a Mr. Simon Waters, in Studio City, CA. He wrote back saying my work was not for him, but that "we distribute for other publishers material like yours. See enclosed." he enclosed, in fact, a b&w photocopy of weird little skit books from "Players Press, Inc." (of, hmm, Studio City, CA...) and this photocopied form letter (all written in the same odd English):

    Empire Publishing Service (Studio City... etc.)
    Dear Author, we have reviewed your submission and it appears to fit one of our imprints we represent. Empire Publishing Service represents several publishers and their various imprints. We are returning your proposal because it is incomplete, pending your response to this letter and proper information included.
    Before forwarding your letter to the appropriate publisher/editor, we would like you to understand that this is not an imprint we publish: we represent and distribute the imprint applicable to your material. This publisher is a partner publishing company. If they accept your work, they will expect you to invest in the production of your book. This is not a vanity publisher just trying to make money from you. This is a real publisher with many books in print..."

    (I feel a little queazy even copying this stuff down... need a little breather here...but I figured no one else has posted this, and it IS from the 2008 N&SSWM, so someone might just fall into this mess unless I do my civic duty... Anyway, it just gets worse and worse...)

    "If you agree and want us to forward your proposal, please complete the information below and return to us with the material you want us to send to the publisher. Enclose $25 US for processing, postage and handling Payable to Empire Publishing Service..."
    ...mercifully, it finally ends...

    "George Grey, Publisher Service Coordinator"

    two things: 1) I kinda thought the agents and houses in N&SSWM would be safe, but this goes to show you have to keep your eyes open all the time, I guess.. 2)I sent this right away to Lauren Mosko and she said she forwarded it to the Editor of GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS.
    Surreally, the only empire publishing i could find on Google was, (wait for it...) run by the KKK (anti-jewish publications about "Kosher-taxing", etc...)
    While it's a pretty depressing to get this kind of thing, i figured i better put this out there... but scuse me now, gotta go take a real long shower,,, uck.
    Last edited by samfield; 02-03-2008 at 03:43 PM. Reason: suggestion by victoria, and typos

  2. #2
    Brian Boru brianm's Avatar
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  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW Kryianna's Avatar
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    I have a hard time taking an agency or an agent seriously that won't spend the ten bucks to buy his own domain name, much less get a real webhost. That might just be my day job (web programmer) talking, but still. Come on. It's not that hard, and not that expensive.

  4. #4
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samfield View Post
    two things: 1) I kinda thought the agents and houses in N&SSWM were safe, but this goes to show you have to keep your eyes open all the time, I guess..
    Yup. I don't know of a single market guide that's 100% free of dodgy people and/or companies. It's a good idea always to do some additional research.

    Samfield, would you send me the letter you received, or a copy of it, so I can start a file on this company (about which I've never before received any reports or complaints)? My snail mail addy is PO Box 1216, Amherst MA 01004, and my email address is beware@sfwa.org. You can also fax me--drop me an email and I'll send you the number. All information shared with Writer Beware is held in confidence.

    Thanks!

    - Victoria

  5. #5
    Yep, no list is 100% perfect, so you always want to do a little investigating.

    Also, might want to add GaslightPublications to the title -- they are, after all, part of the scam ring.

  6. #6
    figuring it all out samfield's Avatar
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    thanks victoria, i'll send it right over. just plain weird...

  7. #7
    figuring it all out samfield's Avatar
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    update

    update, Gaslight and Empire are in the NSSWM under the book publishers section, on page 392 (and 388). I also sent copies of the letters to the NSSWM Editor Lauren Mosko, (and I also wanted to check and see if my jpeg made it on the board here yet...)

  8. #8
    figuring it all out samfield's Avatar
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    Thumbs up update on the update

    lauren wrote that Gaslight/Empire will not be included in future publications or data bases.

  9. #9
    practical experience, FTW BarbJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samfield View Post
    lauren wrote that Gaslight/Empire will not be included in future publications or data bases.
    Well done.

  10. #10
    Reputation Fairy The Moirai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samfield View Post
    lauren wrote that Gaslight/Empire will not be included in future publications or data bases.

    Way to turn something bad into something good.

    I'll know not to submit to them in the future!

    Kuddos!
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  11. #11
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by victoriastrauss View Post
    Yup. I don't know of a single market guide that's 100% free of dodgy people and/or companies. It's a good idea always to do some additional research.

    Samfield, would you send me the letter you received, or a copy of it, so I can start a file on this company (about which I've never before received any reports or complaints)? My snail mail addy is PO Box 1216, Amherst MA 01004, and my email address is beware@sfwa.org. You can also fax me--drop me an email and I'll send you the number. All information shared with Writer Beware is held in confidence.

    Thanks!

    - Victoria
    I received the same letter just today. This publishing company needs to be investigated. They actually told me to write them a check a for 25$ and that they would try to distribute my book.

  12. #12
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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