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Thread: ArcheBooks Publishing

  1. #1
    I really do look like this. azbikergirl's Avatar
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    ArcheBooks Publishing

    I've reserved a space in this contest:

    http://www.archebooks.com/Contest2005.htm

    but after reading on, it seems kinda like a POD publisher, except that they only accept agented submissions (apart from the contest entries) and they don't print paperbacks, only hardcover and ebooks.

    Anyone have any info on them?
    Karen
    writing as KC May


  2. #2
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    Be Aware of ArcheBooks

    Several authors have withdrawn their manuscripts from this publisher because ArcheBooks doesn't follow through on what they promise and offers little or no marketing support.

    Authors who have booked readings have found that a supply of their books hasn't been delivered and the readings have to be rescheduled.

    Back in August, Robert Gelinas mailed his authors and agents and told them he was having financial difficulties and scheduled publications were set back several months.

    Some branches of B&N refuse to handle this publisher's books.

    My novel was in editing, and we were discussing possible covers, when ArcheBooks threw it out because they had a disagreement with my agent. This happened eleven months after they offered to publish.

    All in all, during my dealings with them, I'd say this is not a very professional publisher.

    Be careful.

  3. #3
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Somewhere in another thread it's mentioned that Archebooks gives shares to authors in lieu of advances. I can't find any evidence that it's registered to issue shares.

    I've gotten many questions about Archebooks, but no complaints to date. However, based on my research and what I can see at its website (where there's no evidence of any meaningful distribution arrangements), these problems don't surprise me. I've been suspicious of this publisher ever since it first showed up in the late 1990's as an e-publisher called VirtuaBooks.

    - Victoria

  4. #4
    banned as an incurable tosspot
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    Good instincts, Victoria. I didn't know they had earlier connections with Virtual Books.

    Robert Gelinas, of ArcheBooks, said the company would be going public in 2005, hence the offer of $2,500 in shares in the company. This is mentioned on his author pages, but may not be on the public pages.

    I am contacting another author to see if she will contribute to the information you have. She parted company with the publisher after her book was published. I suspect it was because the promised marketing backup didn't materlialize.

    Thanks for your message. I'll be mailing you more details.

    Asbikergirl ~ Several agents were taken in by this publisher's spiel, too.

  5. #5
    prsctrli
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    Anyone know about ArcheBooks?

    First, I am an attorney and took securities law and was an apprentice broker prior to that. Robert Gelinas is NOT offering SHARES in the company as an advance. A stock WARRANT is NOT a SHARE. It is an offer to SELL you the shares at a usually REDUCED RATE from the Initial Public Offering IF AND WHEN THE COMPANY BECOMES PUBLICLY TRADED.
    Last edited by prsctrli; 01-10-2007 at 12:14 AM.

  6. #6
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    To avoid thread proliferation, I've merged the Archebooks threads.

    Can you elaborate on your allegations? More specifics about your experience with this publisher would be helpful. What you have to say would carry more weight if we had some idea how you know these things.

    - Victoria

  7. #7
    banned as an incurable tosspot
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    I quote from my contract with Arche Books:

    ROYALTIES

    3. The publisher shall pay the Author Royalties as follows:

    a) Advance/Bonus: No cash advance against Royalties is due per this contract, however, Publisher grants Author a Bonus in lieu of advance in the form of 2,500 Warrants for Common Stock per Title of the Series, or a total of 7,500 Warrants, per the terms of separate Warrant Grant letter (issued upon execution of contract), with a minimum guaranteed net exercise value of $1.00 per share, thus a minimum guarantee bonus value of $7,500.

    I think I may have had a lucky escape, but a year was wasted on this publisher.

    Others were not so lucky. Their books were published before the contract was withdrawn. Now other publishers have to be approached with the words: "The novel was published but I made no sales." Howd'ya like them odds!

  8. #8
    haz a shiny new book cover Christine N.'s Avatar
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    The only thing I know about them - I met one of their authors at Philcon. He said he was happy with them. His book was also hardcover, not trade paperback, and it was good quality. He also had set up signings with local bookstores without trouble.

    The only thing he did say was his publication date had been pushed back a couple of months, and that kind of disappointed him, since he wanted to get the book out a few months before the holidays, instead of right before.
    Christine

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  9. #9
    banned as an incurable tosspot
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    Response to PRSCTRLI

    I am so sorry to learn of all the problems you had and are still having with ArcheBooks, but I want to thank you for going into detail. I didn't realize the problem was so widespread and so bad. I had a very lucky escape, but if I have information you can use please don't hesitate to contact me.

    I'm the author who was in final editing, with discussions between the editor and I on possible book covers, when my contract was cancelled. My agent told Gelinas that it would be the wrong thing to do, but he went ahead and did it anyway. Now that I know how bad things really are for other authors, I think he did me a favour, but it wasn't the way I expected a professional to behave. I also have the choice of going back to Gelinas for publication, but only if I'm prepared to leave my agent. I am far too ethical to take that step, even if I were prepared to become tangled with ArcheBooks again.

    The assertion that publication was put back many times is true. Originally, my novel was to be published in August 2005. It was brought forward to June, then set back to August again, and finally to October.

    I hope other authors will step forward and tell of their dealings with ArcheBooks. There may well be one or two who are happy with them, but the majority are not satified. Only by making our experiences known can we warn others against falling into the trap.

    Carmy

  10. #10
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    For Victoria

    I hope the above message from PRSCTRLI, combined with the information I mailed you, is sufficient for you to warn others about ArcheBooks.

    If I can supply further information, you have only to let me know.

    Carmy

  11. #11
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Just a thanks to Lisa for posting such a detailed account of her experience with Archebooks. Anyone thinking of working with this publisher should certainly read it.

    - Victoria

  12. #12
    prsctrli
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    Lisa Adams' Post Redux

    My agent, Faye Swetky, first sent the ArcheBooks contract to me on September 17, 2004. She wrote, and I quote: "The publisher doesn't pay advances per se, but they do offer $2,500 in stock warrants in lieu of cash that may be convertible down the road..."

    Why this is problematic: The agent somehow came under the mistaken impression - as have many authors and probably their agents - that stock warrants are shares or their equivalent. As explained above, they are not.

    2) AB's "Advance/Bonus" provision reads: "No cash advance against royalties is due per this contract, however, Publisher grants author a Bonus in lieu of advance in the form of 2,500 warrants for common stock per title of the series, or a total of 7,500 Warrants, per the terms or separate Warrant Grant letter (issued upon execution of contract), with a minimum guranteed net exercise value of $1.00 per share, thus a minimum guaranteed bonus value of $7,500."
    Problem with this provision: It intentionally and deliberately misleads the signer. It actually creates the distinct impression one will receive $7,500, not PAY $7,500 to exercise Warrant "rights." Again, securities law 101, a stock warrant is an offer to the recipient to BUY shares in the company. They do NOT represent an ownership interest that exists already. It is also misleading because there was no SERIES contracted with me. It was one book. So, again, the terms are misleading and incorrect because the total figure should have been, $2,500 NOT $7,500. This tells me AB did not pay attention to the terms of MY contract. Additionally, I never received the proposed "Warrant Grant letter."

    Royalties section, Provision F: "Royalty Statements: The Publisher SHALL provide a monthly Royalty Statements reflecting TOTAL recognized revenue sales of all works by the Author published by the Publisher for the prior month. Electronic royalty statements delivered via email SHALL be furnished monthly."
    Problem with this provision: Tax law 101 "recognized revenue" means income that you actually receive. The dollar amount you see on a 1099-MISC or W2 is your personal "recognized revenue." What a recognized revenue sale is beyond me. I suppose it means when a book is actually SOLD, the publisher recognizes revenue and so should the author in the form of the royalty. Therefore, each time one of my books sold in any given month, I should have received a royalty statement.

    Royalties section, Provision G: "Minimum Payment: If the total royalties due and payable are less than Fifty Dollars ($50.00), the Publisher may defer the rendering of payment until such regular payment date as at least said sum shall be due and payable to the Author."
    This is the deferral discretion I mentioned above which, incidentally does NOT act to postpone issuance of royalty statements.
    Last edited by prsctrli; 01-10-2007 at 12:29 AM.

  13. #13
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    Thank you for a detailed account of your dealings with Archebooks, PRSCTRLI

    Witnessed? Notarized? I didn't get a witnessed or notarized contract and there is no space on mine for anyone to witness or notarize. I faxed a copy to Victoria Strauss so maybe she can talk about this. Does that mean the contract was never valid?

    One thing I'm curious about. If your contract with ArcheBooks no longer exists, how are they able to still offer your novel on Amazon and Barnes & Noble? I'm assuming when anyone buys a copy from either of them, they have to contact ArcheBooks for a copy to be printed up. How does that work when there is no contract with you? Do you have a deal with ArcheBooks whereby they can continue to advertise your book even though there is no contract? I don't believe you sold them All Rights, did you? If not, how do you get royalties on copies they sell after the contract is terminated?

    These are the links where your book is advertised:

    http://search.barnesandnoble.com/boo...95070834&itm=2

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/159...lance&n=283155

    I find this very confusing and disturbing. Is it ethical to continue to offer novels for sale when the author's contract has been terminated?

    If you're going to check those links do it fast because, if ArcheBooks have heard of and are reading this thread, those links may not exist for long.

    I had a lucky escape. Thank God they didn't publish my book but cancelled my contract because of a disagreement with my agent. I don't have details of the disagreement but I suspect ArcheBooks thought it was in their best interest not to deal with any of that agency's clients. However, I hear Gelinas would be willing to publish my novel if I leave that agency. How ethical is that? Naturally, I wouldn't waste my time on them.

    I've also heard through the grapevine that other authors are cutting their ties with ArcheBooks. That isn't a good recommendation.

    I agree with you that writers who sign on with ArcheBooks could find themselves with nothing. It's their risk, but any author with sense would stay well away from them.

  14. #14
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    I've gotten quite a bit of Archebooks material from several authors over the past couple of weeks--I will weigh in, but right now a family emergency is keeping me pretty occupied, so I'm not sure when.

    - Victoria

  15. #15
    banned as an incurable tosspot
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    Hello Victoria,

    I'm so sorry to hear that you have a family emergency. I hope all is resolved happily. Don't worry about this thread. If anything happens, I have a feeling they may not need much input from us.

    I'm glad to hear other authors are weighing in.

    Carmy

  16. #16
    I really do look like this. azbikergirl's Avatar
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    Ruh roh. My book has just been published through AB. I know someone who's happy with this publisher and he's having a second book published there. The first is doing well.

    I'll try to keep an open mind and will report my experiences as they unfold.
    Karen
    writing as KC May


  17. #17
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    Congratulations on your publication, azbikergirl. I truly hope you don't encounter the problems others have and continue to have, so that they are withdrawing from ArcheBooks.

    Was your contract witnessed and notarized?

    Please keep us informed of how you get on, especially with regard to payment of royalties. Keep track of the sales. One author knew a box of her books were bought but not shown on her sales record. ArcheBooks denied the sale but eventually agreed. It still took months for the author to get her royalties from them.

  18. #18
    I really do look like this. azbikergirl's Avatar
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    Thanks very much! Since my book became available just last week, I don't expect to see my first check for a month or two yet (or longer if my agent sends only quarterly). My contract was not notarized, but in fairness to my publisher, I have to state, for the record, that all of my dealings with him have been completely professional, courteous, reasonable and pleasant. I have no complaints at all, and I believe I've been treated fairly and well.

    In the beginning of my relationship with this publisher, I expressed concern that I didn't care for most of the covers, and I was disappointed in his requirements for the artwork (he retains full copyright) and so I did not hire the artist I had wanted to hire, and opted to take a chance on the cover art supplied by ArcheBooks. Although I fully expected to hate it, I'm actually quite pleased with it.

    That's not to say things can't go sour, but as of today, I'm happy with the publisher and with the quality of my book.
    Karen
    writing as KC May


  19. #19
    prsctrli
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    Talking Good for you, AZ

    I am glad to hear you are not having a negative experience. Perhaps a lesson has been learned, perhaps not. Only time will tell. I do know that Carrie Chesney contracted her own cover art. So you might be able to work that out down the road. Best of luck to you.

  20. #20
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    Your cover looks great, Azbikergirl. Let's hope ArcheBooks has learned a lesson now that so many authors have cancelled their contracts.

    I wish you every success.

  21. #21
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Just a couple of cents about Archebooks

    I was in Las Vegas this last weekend and decided to pay a visit to Archebooks, maybe try and cold sell my manuscript, but at the very least shake Robert's hand and thank him for the articles he posts on his Archebooks web site. Some are informative.

    So off I went to 9101 W Sahara Drive, Suites 105-112. It was only (!) a $25 cab ride from the strip but a worthy investment in my eyes.

    Lo and behold, there are a bunch of strip mall stores at that location; a cigarette store, cell phone outlet, some small food joints, even an Albertson's grocery store. But I found no Archebooks. Now, granted there was a MailBoxes Etc-type store (can't remember the name, never heard of the chain), and maybe he uses that as a clearing house for submissions, but I was a little disgruntled. This smacks of someone hiding behind an address not his. And when someone hides, it means they have something they don't want others to know.

    Take this for what it's worth as an FYI.

  22. #22
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    Probably the best $25 you could ever spend, Jenken.

    I wonder how azbikergirl is getting on with her royalty cheques.

  23. #23
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    I haven't visited this thread for a while, and note that one of the people who posted detailed information about a bad experience with Archebooks has removed her posts. So I'll summarize from Writer Beware's files.

    Since my 2005 post, Writer Beware has received a number of complaints about Archebooks, including:

    - Repeatedly delayed publication dates
    - Inadequate/unprofessional editing
    - Nonpayment of royalties
    - Failure to provide royalty statements
    - Problems with marketing and distribution (authors report a variety of issues, including requests for review copies being ignored and bookstores not receiving book orders placed in advance of scheduled signings)
    - General unprofessional behavior, especially nonresponse to authors' and agents' repeated questions and concerns.

    Archebooks appears to do very little in the way of marketing and distribution. It does not appear to work with a distributor (as distinct from a wholesaler such as Ingram), seems to do little or no advertising apart from its website, and has stated that it "doesn't work" with Publishers Weekly (from which one might infer that it also doesn't work with Booklist, Kirkus, or Library Journal. Sending review copies to such journals in advance of publication is an important component of book marketing, and any publisher that's really serious about getting its books into libraries and bookstores will do it). As a result, Archebooks' books don't seem to make it into brick-and-mortar bookstores on a regular basis. Several of the authors who've contacted Writer Beware report total sales of less than 100 books--about the average for a vanity-published book.

    Archebooks' royalties, which are set at a flat rate of $2 per book, amount to less than 10% for most books (cover prices are in the $22-30 range). As mentioned above, authors have had trouble getting Archebooks to issue royalty checks, or to account for sales.

    Archebooks has claimed that it pays "up to" $10,000 advances, but if that's true, it's not the case for everyone. Some of the authors who contacted Writer Beware provided their contracts, which specifically state that no advance is due. Instead, the author is granted a "bonus" in lieu of an advance, consisting of 2,500 warrants for common stock with a net exercise price of $0.10 per share. Since the author would have to send payment to Archebooks in order to exercuse the warrants, this comes awfully close to vanity publishing. Another concern: there's no indication that Archebooks has ever made the necessary filings to enable it to issue stock. Despite this fact, authors were sent a memo in 2004 with instructions for exercising the warrants--including directions on where to send the check.

    Archebooks claims to accept submissions only through agents. Due to the lack of advances, there's not much incentive for reputable agents to work with it. The one exception I know of is Cherry Weiner, who has placed at least two of her clients with Archebooks--but there seems to be a connection here, since Bob Gelinas, one of Archebooks' owners, is or was also Ms. Weiner's client. Apart from Ms. Weiner, I've confirmed that Archebooks has dealt with several agents who are on WB's warning list for fee-charging, and with a couple more about whom we've gotten complaints of unprofessionalism. One of these agents placed at least three of her clients with Archebooks, but she and the clients became so frustrated with the publisher that they canceled the contracts.

    Archebooks, which publishes a fair amount of science fiction and fantasy, recently removed from its website wording and logos claiming the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America as a "partner and affiliate." This was a false claim; Archebooks didn't and doesn't have a connection with SFWA.

    - Victoria
    Last edited by victoriastrauss; 02-21-2007 at 03:53 AM.

  24. #24
    Now departed. Rest in peace, Scott, from all of us at AW Popeyesays's Avatar
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    The Thriller Writer Association lists Archebooks as an acceptable publisher for membership. Perhaps they should be told about all this?

    Regards,
    Scott
    Okay, damnit, I blog http://cscottsaylorsbooks.blogspot.com/
    Sword of the Dajjal e-book, Published by BooksForABuck.com May, 2007 ISBN: 978-1-602-052-2 http://www.booksforabuck.com/sfpages...rd_dajjal.html
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  25. #25
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Popeyesays
    The Thriller Writer Association lists Archebooks as an acceptable publisher for membership. Perhaps they should be told about all this?

    Regards,
    Scott
    Thrillerwriters.org? I don't see Archebooks on their list of Approved Publishers (in the "for authors only" box): http://s9884.gridserver.com/index.ph...pper&Itemid=39
    ICAO
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