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

  1. #201
    Herder of Hamsters AW Admin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selkiegirl View Post
    Also, can anyone actually find a good word to say about vanity publishers, what exactly do they do other than scam hopeful writers out of thousands of pounds for very little in return? When I sent my first three chapters to AM, plus synopsis, along with a covering letter, their response was very quick, saying they wanted to see the rest of my manuscript, needless to say, I was ecstatic and emailed it to them, but when I calmed down and found out what they were like I was disappointed, fortunately, I didn't part with any cash, I couldn't afford even the basic package of 1900 they offered me. Even if I could, I still rather hang onto my money.
    They're less useful now with the number of places offering self-publishing without a fee to the author (i.e. Lulu, Create Space, Blurb, etc.).

    Back in the day, say twenty years ago or so, vanity presses were a way for a limited press run by someone who just wanted copies of a book to give to their friends and family, say, a family history.

    Their fees have gotten increasingly outrageous though, and there's less and less point as they get increasingly obscene in what they charge, and how very little they actually offer in a digital world where you don't have to handset cold type.

  2. #202
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    Plus, if that's all you want, there are plenty of print and binding services that can do amazing jobs.

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  3. #203
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    Putting this to bed

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hack View Post
    It's not that bookshops won't accept books from vanity publishers: they won't usually shelve books which are POD, or which are from a publisher which doesn't have full distribution, or which doesn't accept returns. If A&M prints via offset (which I don't think it does), has distribution (again, I don't think it does) and accepts returns (again, I doubt it will) then bookshops would be happy to stock them. Of course, they'd have to get a sales team to start selling their books into bookshops and yet again, I don't think the publisher will do that.

    I suspect the bookseller you spoke to was being kind when she said her bookshop might start ordering those books next year. And that it's not likely to happen.
    Just thought this might put the subject of being stocked in Waterstones to bed:https://www.waterstones.com/book/alg.../9781784552596

  4. #204
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    Quote Originally Posted by AW Admin View Post
    They're less useful now with the number of places offering self-publishing without a fee to the author (i.e. Lulu, Create Space, Blurb, etc.).

    Back in the day, say twenty years ago or so, vanity presses were a way for a limited press run by someone who just wanted copies of a book to give to their friends and family, say, a family history.

    Their fees have become increasingly outrageous though, and there's less and less point as they get increasingly obscene in what they charge, and how very little they actually offer in a digital world where you don't have to handset cold type.
    Could not agree more I remember when I had some of my poetry published by Remus house who have since closed. You could just order a handful of books to give as presents and it cost very little, now it seems to be in the thousands just for perhaps a dozen books.

  5. #205
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    Quote Originally Posted by wide-genre View Post
    Just thought this might put the subject of being stocked in Waterstones to bed:https://www.waterstones.com/book/alg.../9781784552596
    Not sure what you're trying to prove with that link. That shows it's available for order through their website, not that it's being shelved in their brick-and-mortar stores - which is what Old Hack was trying to point out.
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  6. #206
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Anything with an ISBN can be ordered in almost any bookshop.

    That is far, far, far from being shelved in those same bookshops.

  7. #207
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    Sorry did not realize

  8. #208
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    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald View Post
    Anything with an ISBN can be ordered in almost any bookshop.

    That is far, far, far from being shelved in those same bookshops.
    Just thougt as it said it is in stock it meant exactly that as it did not say order 2-3 weeks like other books

  9. #209
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrsmig View Post
    Not sure what you're trying to prove with that link. That shows it's available for order through their website, not that it's being shelved in their brick-and-mortar stores - which is what Old Hack was trying to point out.
    Here it says the shop has it in stocked in:https://www.waterstones.com/reserve/...9999&search=UK
    Last edited by wide-genre; 09-18-2016 at 10:34 PM. Reason: error

  10. #210
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    Quote Originally Posted by wide-genre View Post
    Just thought this might put the subject of being stocked in Waterstones to bed:https://www.waterstones.com/book/alg.../9781784552596
    All that shows is that Waterstones lists books with ISBNs on their websites. It's not at all the same as getting the books stocked on bookshop shelves, which is the significant thing here, because it triggers a huge number of sales, both on and offline.

    Quote Originally Posted by wide-genre View Post
    Could not agree more I remember when I had some of my poetry published by Remus house who have since closed. You could just order a handful of books to give as presents and it cost very little, now it seems to be in the thousands just for perhaps a dozen books.
    There are vanity publishers which let you buy your books just one at a time, and have no requirement that you buy anything from them at all. However, they push you into paying for their expensive editing, marketing, and goodness knows what else, none of which is particularly effective but which is usually very expensive.

  11. #211
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrsmig View Post
    Not sure what you're trying to prove with that link. That shows it's available for order through their website, not that it's being shelved in their brick-and-mortar stores - which is what Old Hack was trying to point out.
    Here it says the shop it is stocked in:https://www.waterstones.com/reserve/...9999&search=UK

  12. #212
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    Quote Originally Posted by wide-genre View Post
    Here it says the shop has it in stocked in:https://www.waterstones.com/reserve/...9999&search=UK
    It says the book is in stock in ONE branch of Waterstones. ONE. That's not nearly the same as being available nationwide, is it? Chances are the author lives near that book shop, or he has friends or family who do.

  13. #213
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hack View Post
    It says the book is in stock in ONE branch of Waterstones. ONE. That's not nearly the same as being available nationwide, is it? Chances are the author lives near that book shop, or he has friends or family who do.
    OK thanks for the explanation, was not trying to debate, just thought I was being helpful.

  14. #214
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    Quote Originally Posted by wide-genre View Post
    OK thanks for the explanation, was not trying to debate, just thought I was being helpful.
    You are being helpful. Debate is good.

  15. #215
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    One business model among certain publishers is to acquire a large number of titles then do the absolutely minimum on editing, production, art, printing, etc. etc. They put a fairly high price on the books, then live on the profit that comes with 75-150 sales.

    Most authors know 75-150 people they can get to buy a copy of their book: Mom, Dad, best friend from high school, members of their car pool, the lads in the lunchroom at work, and so on.

    It doesn't work out well for the authors, generally speaking, though the publisher can prosper for years using this business model.

  16. #216
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    Notice the 'only a few copies left' alert. That's likely because the author could only convince the bookseller to carry a few copies in the first place. To be effective, chain bookstore inventory has to be at least a few copies in many stores.

    Indie bookstores may be more welcoming to vanity-published books, but it depends. They may take them on consignment only. I'm going to spend time looking through two famous indie bookstores in my area, to see their vanity-published policies.

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  17. #217
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    These guys, Austin Macauley, pop up on banner ads on the AW site. I know that's google's doing, but it is a bit of a pity, as it might legitimize them as actual standard publishers to unsuspecting folk.
    Last edited by StuToYou; 09-19-2016 at 04:24 AM.
    mostly.

  18. #218
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    Quote Originally Posted by StuToYou View Post
    These guys, Austin Macauley, pop up on banner ads on the AW site. I know that's google's doing, but it is a bit of a pity, as it might legitimize them as actual standard publishers to unsuspecting folk.
    I did wonder how that was possible, I remember a long time ago an airport taxi company did similar adds on Google, only to find rival companies would click on them to cost them, pay per click soon changed how they advertised.

  19. #219
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    Like many other complaints/criticisms (mine included) about Austin Macauley and vanity publishers in general, I do feel sympathy for those who have fallen for the very plausible tactics that they use to get aspiring authors to part with substantial amounts of money, as they know those writers who send their work in to legimate agents/publishers are more than likely to be turned down, as agents/publishers are innundated with numerous manuscripts on a daily basis, although self-publishing is cheaper than vanity publshing and the person maintains control of what happens in regards to getting their book published, novice writers might be unaware of this, or might not want the 'hassle,' therefore they'll trust a vanity publisher, only to regret it later. I've been writing on and off for 20 years, but it is only recently that I feel my own work has reached a standard which I feel confident enough to submit it to publishers, with the majority of writers, whether they're successful writers like J K Rowling or ones such as myself who are hoping to be published, they all have two things in common 1. They've been working at their craft for years, before they've considered their work to be good enough to send away to an agent/publisher 2. They've had to go through the 'rejection' process before someone has liked their manuscript, in my opinion those are what I consider to be' 'real' writers, unlike celebrtites who think they can write books, and get publsihed within months of annoucing they're writing a book. Seems unfair, but that's where the problem lies, writers who've been working for years fail to get recogntion.
    Last edited by Selkiegirl; 11-15-2016 at 08:23 PM.

  20. #220
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    The ads have an effect. I was corresponding recently with a local self-published author who sought media coverage for his book. At one point, he mentioned interest from Austin Macauley as proof of the book's merit, though he seemed to confuse it with an agency.

    There are also writers who self-publish with no awareness of what it takes to do well in self-publishing -- this one was shocked and upset that local booksellers wouldn't stock his CreateSpace books. Now he's turning back to what he sees as trade publishing -- which, unfortunately, is AM.
    Last edited by Fuchsia Groan; 11-15-2016 at 11:19 PM.

  21. #221
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    What I find odd about Austin Macauley, is when I looked at the reviews on Google they received four-and-a-half stars out of five, with 16 positive comments, however, one was very scathing indeed, I might be wrong, but all I can assume is those people who were complimentary about AM have either, A: Been a lucky few who have had success with AM, but a bad review about AM has somehow 'slipped through the net.' B: Have not been charged a fee by AM to have their work published. C: AM had written the reviews themselves, using fake names, though that still doesn't explain that one piece of negative feedback. I find it very odd that the rest of us here, and people on other forums have all been (rightly) critical of AM, yet according to the Google reviews AM have had positive reviews, could someone help me out with this one, please? Thanks.
    Last edited by Selkiegirl; 12-05-2016 at 01:05 AM.

  22. #222
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selkiegirl View Post
    What I find odd about Austin Macauley, is when I looked at the reviews on Google they received four-and-a-half stars out of five, with 16 positive comments, however, one was very scathing indeed, I might be wrong, but all I can assume is those people who were complimentary about AM have either, A: Been a lucky few who have had success with AM, but a bad review about AM has somehow 'slipped through the net.' B: Have not been charged a fee by AM to have their work published. C: AM had written the reviews themselves, using fake names, though that still doesn't explain that one piece of negative feedback. I find it very odd that the rest of us here, and people on other forums have all been (rightly) critical of AM, yet according to the Google reviews AM have had positive reviews, could someone help me out with this one, please? Thanks.
    You missed out option D: The reviews were written by people who had been rejected by everyone else they tried, so they were grateful to be published; and those people didn't realise that what they were signing up for was vanity publishing, not trade or self publishing.

    If you read those Google reviews you'll see that one of them, at least, claims to have self published with Austin Macauley. That's impossible.

  23. #223
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    Old Hack, Ref: Your comments, 'You missed out option D,' saying the reviews were written by people who were grateful to be published, but unknowingly signing up to a vanity publisher. What you say seems obvious and makes sense, though I never gave it a thought. I read those reviews myself, and yes, the first one does say AM are self-publishers, and two reviews, not one, were critical of AM. Furthermore, it would seem those people who have paid a vanity publisher without checking them out first, must be very naive, especially when there is so much helpful information on the internet, and numerous forums giving cautionary advice about vanity publishers and publishing in general, one being Victoria Strauss' excellent 'Writer's Beware,' 'Thumbs Down' list of publishers, AM being listed there.
    Last edited by Selkiegirl; 12-05-2016 at 08:15 PM.

  24. #224
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    Another question I'd like to ask is, how much profit/royalties has the writer earned back after having their books published by Austin Macauley, after paying them such exorbitant fees, since AM claim that their books they publish are best sellers, also have AM actually sold many, if any books to the general public, (not just on an unknown website that no book buyers have heard of or will access?) and have made a profit from legit books sales, like a traditional publisher they claim to be, instead of making their money scamming hopeful authors? Does anyone know their profit margins?
    Last edited by Selkiegirl; 12-07-2016 at 10:42 PM.

  25. #225
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selkiegirl View Post
    Another question I'd like to ask is, how much profit/royalties has the writer earned back after having their books published by Austin Macauley, after paying them such exorbitant fees, since AM claim that their books they publish are best sellers,
    Bugger all, if the writers I know who have published with AM are anything to go by.

    also have AM actually sold many, if any books to the general public, (not just on an unknown website that no book buyers have heard of or will access?)
    I don't see how AM sells any books to anyone other than their authors. As far as I know, they don't have a contract with a book distributor, which means it's up to the author to sell their own books.

    and have made a profit from legit books sales, like a traditional publisher they claim to be, instead of making their money scamming hopeful authors? Does anyone know their profit margins?
    I don't know their profit margins, but without that distribution contract I mentioned earlier they won't sell many books. It's just not possible. So it looks to me as though they make money from the payments they charge their authors; then they make more money when those authors buy their own books to sell on. Which is not how it should be.

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