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Thread: Austin Macauley Publishers, Ltd. (formerly Austin & Macauley)

  1. #76
    practical experience, FTW MickRooney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scriba View Post
    Hi there, I did send a submission and used the Artists and Writers Handbook to look for potential publishers and agents.

    Any advice you have would be great.
    But just to clarify, Scriba. Is this where you first came across A&M? I ask because - in general - I've found The Writers' & Artists' Yearbook a more stringent resource to filter publishers who charge authors and the ones who are publishers operating a mainstream model of business. As an example - I've discovered listings in The Writers' Handbook to be less than helpful when it comes to filtering out publishers by classification. In other words, The Writers' Handbook is simply a listing of 'publishers' with little explanation for what that actually means. The W&A Yearbook actually classifies paid services in a separate section.

    To be fair to A&M, I've been on their case for several years about how the company presented what they did for authors, and it is only in the past two to three years that the company has demonstrated a greater degree of transparency as to their model of business.

    The UK market for authors is easier to research and pin down companies than the greater US market. If we look back - pre 2000 - the UK was rife with appalling vanity operations like Excalibur, Minerva, Athena, and several others, exploiting the naivety of new authors. Sadly, there is an identifiable group of former directors, owners and staffers still involved or operating print/publishing services in the UK by way of re-listing company names, mergers or simply starting a new company from scratch.

  2. #77
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Gross Misrepresentation of Pubishing Services

    New authors must be aware of just what goes on in the departments of Austin & Macauley Publishers who are guilty of gross misrepresentation of the services they offer. Whoever wants to listen, the following is the TRUTH.
    1. In her letter of 16 October 2009, chief editor Annette Longman says, "The proofreader combines the editing of the work which is the way our staff carry out their work."
    It's amazing how inexperienced a chief editor can be, for proofreading and editing are two different skills that can never be combined. Alarm bells rang when the first set of the proofs came back with no editing at all, just a few corrections.
    Naturally, if the proofreader combines the editing of the work as Annette says, we get a sloppy copy-editing. In fact, a review of the author's book by Annie Slemrod for the leading Daily Star newspaper on December 2, 2010 confirms as follows: "English-language readers will find the author's labor has not been well served by its sloppy copy-editing, which is credited to Austin & Macauley."
    2. Poor page format of the books they produce.
    3. In addition to have been overcharged for the publication of his book, the author received inaccurate royalty statements that did not reflect the true sales figures.

    Serge

  3. #78
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    Having just tossed aside as unreadable a novel published by Austin and Macauley, I can confirm that both their editing and copy-editing are far from professional. In the first twelve pages I came across gems such as:

    As spring hangs out her perfumes along our mortal way, the heavy vapours of silence begin to thread my nostrils and the mould of time grows dankly across my reputation...

    A palisade was built around the pit and the villa's side wall shorn up with baulks of timber which to my mind must have come from some earthless man o'war...

    when ever I was at large...

    up-side-down...

    Like a martyr I allowed myself to undergo the indignity of bending over the desk, my hands on the sides, and receiving four humourless bombardments on my bare vulnerability...
    Simply opening the book at random a few pages later revealed:

    Marie herself is under no allusion.
    It's sad to think that writers are paying for such a poor service.

  4. #79
    Posting on AW instead of writing
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    frivolous comment alert

    Alice, thank you for sharing those "humorless bombardments on my bare vulnerability." I'm going to be giggling over that phrase all evening.

  5. #80
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    As spring hangs out her perfumes along our mortal way, the heavy vapours of silence begin to thread my nostrils and the mould of time grows dankly across my reputation...

    Oh...my my aching visual orbits. This is so purple it's been beaten and bruised black.

  6. #81
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    Lawks, yes. Admittedly the author is attempting to write in mid-Victorian English but I couldn't subject my brain to any more of this punishment. I suspect it gives us an insight into what slush readers have to plough through every day!

  7. #82
    practical experience, FTW MickRooney's Avatar
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    Some recent information

    I've been looking at this company for quite a while. They are all part of the same paid publishing cartel. Austin & MacAuley, Pegasus Elliot MacKenzie, Ashwell Publishers, Olympia Publishers and Artemis Publishers are all linked through the ownership and directorship of one family in the Cambridge, England area. All of them are involved in paid publishing models under the guise of 'Traditional Publishing'.

    Olympia declare its part of Ashwell Publishing, which in turn shares director(s) running the other companies from the same family (father and sons). Over time, they have operated 'virtual offices' in the London and Cambridge areas, but actually use warehouse offices near Witchford, Cambridgeshire. Prospective authors, requesting meetings, are taken to plush offices, borrowed or rented for the day, (or hotels) in Cambridge and London to present the illusion that the companies are based there.

    When letters are sent out by the above companies to request 'author contributions', often the letters are identical - word-for-word - with the only difference being the company logo and editorial name at the bottom. Here is one author who caught them when he submitted to both.

    I'm copying some links below to prove the connection between this motley crew.

    http://company-director-check.co.uk/director/912152405
    http://www.misterwhat.co.uk/company/2450554-pegasus-elliott-mackenzie-publishers-ltd-ely
    http://company-director-check.co.uk/search?name=robina+bedar&posted=true&Search=Check+ now
    http://companycheck.co.uk/company/07199116
    http://companycheck.co.uk/company/06243206
    http://company-director-check.co.uk/search?name=robina+bedar&posted=true&Search=Check+ now


    I'd suggest the mods might want to consider linking all these companies into one thread.
    Last edited by MickRooney; 11-07-2012 at 08:16 PM. Reason: Removing personal data

  8. #83
    practical experience, FTW MickRooney's Avatar
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    Some further info linking Olympia, Artemis, Pegasus and A&M as one in the same. All these companies share directorship and/or operating addresses in Segway Business Park, near Witchford, Ely, Cambridgeshire, through this design company - Zeetech (look under web and also e-commerce work)...and the e-book side of the businesses - e-books-Publisher!
    Last edited by MickRooney; 09-23-2012 at 11:50 AM. Reason: link added

  9. #84
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    Excellent detective work, MickRooney!

  10. #85
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin expansionlink's Avatar
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    Angry Austin & Macauley

    After months of waiting for a verdict on my manuscript, I finally got a reply from Austin & Macauley Publishers. They offered me a contract at an extortionate price. Nobody in their right mind would accept a contract on the terms they proposed. It would save a lot of time if there was a legal requirement for vanity publishers to divulge their over-inflated rates on their websites or at the very least on their first communication. That way we wouldn't all waste a lot of time!! If one knows how to do simple arithmetic it is to check if it's a bad deal. One should not have to pay anything to get published.

  11. #86
    Swimming through the reed's
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    Austin & Macaully publishers

    My book was released on 30th November 2012; 'Swimming through the Reeds' by Austin & Macauley Publishers. When I submitted my work to them I did not know what to expect as I am completely new to this and a first time author. After a few months and numerous letters from them I was delighted to hear that my book was accepted on a traditional contract! I was ecstatic I am an unknown author and for my book to be accepted on a non-contributory contract was a huge achievement for me. After months of my book being in production the date was near for release on the release day I actually went to their office in Canary Wharf and met with some of the team. I would highly recommend this Publisher they are delightful to work with and a very enthusiastic team that have supported me every step of the way.



    Quote Originally Posted by SDennis View Post
    I've been looking everywhere and can't find this out, so I hoping you all can help:

    Has anyone ever (or have first-hand knowledge of) been charged any publication fees by the London-based publisher Austin & Macauley?

    Additionally, does anyone have personal feedback from dealing with this publisher?

  12. #87
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VRauthor View Post
    My book was released on 30th November 2012; 'Swimming through the Reeds' by Austin & Macauley Publishers. When I submitted my work to them I did not know what to expect as I am completely new to this and a first time author. After a few months and numerous letters from them I was
    delighted to hear that my book was accepted on a traditional contract! I was ecstatic I am an unknown author and for my book to be accepted on a non-contributory contract was a huge achievement for me. After months of my book being in production the date was near for release on the release day I actually went to their office in Canary Wharf and met with some of the team. I would highly recommend this Publisher they are delightful to work with and a very enthusiastic team that have supported me every step of the way.
    I'm glad you're happy with Austin and Macauley, VR.

    It's still a vanity publisher.

    Good luck with your book.

  13. #88
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VRauthor View Post
    I was ecstatic I am an unknown author and for my book to be accepted on a non-contributory contract was a huge achievement for me...I would highly recommend this Publisher they are delightful to work with and a very enthusiastic team that have supported me every step of the way.
    A&M could support you even more by using the 'Look Inside' feature on Amazon, or using excerpts from your book on their own site. At the moment it's impossible for potential readers to sample the work before they buy. You could lose a lot of sales because of this.

    VR, would you mind sharing this non-contributory contract with us? You're the only A&M author we've heard from who didn't pay to be published.
    Last edited by aliceshortcake; 01-05-2013 at 03:26 PM.

  14. #89
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    It would also be useful if A&M corrected the punctuation on the book's description on Amazon. I saw several errors there, and it would put me off buying the book.

  15. #90
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aliceshortcake View Post
    VR, would you mind sharing this non-contributory contract with us? You're the only A&M author we've heard from who didn't pay to be published.
    Same here. I've seen a number of A&M fee-based contracts, but never one that doesn't involve payment. Contact me privately if you prefer; my email is beware [at] sfwa.org. All information shared with Writer Beware is held in confidence.

    - Victoria

  16. #91
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VRauthor View Post
    My book was released on 30th November 2012; 'Swimming through the Reeds' by Austin & Macauley Publishers. When I submitted my work to them I did not know what to expect as I am completely new to this and a first time author. After a few months and numerous letters from them I was delighted to hear that my book was accepted on a traditional contract! I was ecstatic I am an unknown author and for my book to be accepted on a non-contributory contract was a huge achievement for me. After months of my book being in production the date was near for release on the release day I actually went to their office in Canary Wharf and met with some of the team. I would highly recommend this Publisher they are delightful to work with and a very enthusiastic team that have supported me every step of the way.
    VR, did Austin and Macauley ask you to make any contributions at all to the production, publication, marketing or promotion of your book? Did they refer you to any editors, publicity people, or any other people who were involved with the publication of your book who provided you with paid-for services?

    I ask because I've never heard of A&M publishing anyone for free before, and I'm cynical enough to wonder if they're now charging writers in a different way.

  17. #92
    Swimming through the reed's
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    Austin & Macauley are producing, marketing and promoting my work and it is at there expense, they haven't asked me to contribute towards anything. I have been to numerous publicity events and I can certainly say from my experience with Austin and Macauley Publishers that they are not Vanity Publishers. I am thoroughly enjoying being involved with the promotion of my book.

  18. #93
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Have you been obliged to buy any copies of your own books?

    You might not have been charged to publish: but you're the only writer I've encountered who published with A&M who did so without charges; and just because A&M might not have charged you, they are not instantly transformed into a non-vanity publisher.

  19. #94
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    VRauthor, look at the extracts from an A&M book quoted in post 78. It's a perfect example of the sort of pure, unedited slush only a vanity press would publish, and were it the first A&M book I'd come across I'd never read another. Even if A&M is accepting at least some work on merit and at no cost to the author, the fact that they are still publishing vanity projects makes them a vanity press - a vanity press with a long history of misleading novice writers into thinking that it's normal to pay to be published.

    As for the marketing provided by A&M, they are falling down badly by not making excerpts from your book available online.

  20. #95
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    I came on this site to look up about Austin and Macauley as I am seeking an agent or publisher for my 1st novel, in womens fiction and saw their Ad. in a womens magazine. Even the advertisement looked sad, a tiny little box in the corner of the mag page. Thank you all so much for the valuable insight to this publishing house and the others associated with it. I shall avoid them like the plague.

    http://marytbradford-author.blogspot.com

  21. #96
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Generally speaking, any publisher that needs to advertise for manuscripts is one to avoid.

  22. #97
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    It's a pity that VRauthor never returned to tell us more.

  23. #98
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by expansionlink View Post
    After months of waiting for a verdict on my manuscript, I finally got a reply from Austin & Macauley Publishers. They offered me a contract at an extortionate price.
    Emily Veinglory

  24. #99
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    "That's why we're most interesting vanity press in the world!"

  25. #100
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Trivial note: They've dropped the "&" (back in February), so they're now just Austin Macauley.
    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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