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Old 02-06-2009, 09:40 AM   #101
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Other presses are small, but they market to the best of their abilities and budget. If paying a $5000 fee is seriously expected (is that what you imply?) from the author... well, that would be the mother of all red flags.
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Old 02-06-2009, 09:47 AM   #102
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Originally Posted by M.R.J. Le Blanc View Post
That and I would question whether the agent is really looking out for my best interest or the publisher's.
The agent sets up promotions for our authors to go to, various events and cons so the author can promote their own material. And why would you question the agent's intent? The agent knows how to do their job, are you expecting an agent to hide some kind of male intent and be shady? And for what purpose would that serve? The agent is there to HELP the author, if that isn't obvious to you, geeze Louise!

And it's not either or, c'mon! "Is the agent going to be looking out for me or the publisher?" How about BOTH? If the agent gets you setup at a Sci Fi con where you as an Author can go down and do some book signings and sell a few books, that's not looking out for the interest of JUST the author or JUST the publishing.
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Old 02-06-2009, 09:55 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
Other presses are small, but they market to the best of their abilities and budget. If paying a $5000 fee is seriously expected (is that what you imply?) from the author... well, that would be the mother of all red flags.
No, you didnt read my post. You skimmed through it. We at one point had tried to get an author's book submitted to Opera... what her producers told us is "Send us $5000 and we'll consider it!" well, we don't that kind of capital just laying around like a large press that clears a few million in sales ever year. Again, you're expecting us to offer the same things a large press can, and saying "oh you're bad or that's not good enough." when we cant. It's rather degrading after listening to it for so long.

You're all entitled to have your opinions, but you also need to have some general expectations about what Wandering Sage can provide as a publishing house, at the size we are right now.
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Old 02-06-2009, 10:21 AM   #104
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John, can you give us an idea of how many copies an author could expect to sell with you? Obviously you can't tell us how many copies a particular title has sold, but can you give us a range? Like, your best selling title so far has sold 4000 copies, and the least popular title has sold 300 copies. Something along those lines.
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Old 02-06-2009, 10:27 AM   #105
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John, can you give us an idea of how many copies an author could expect to sell with you? Obviously you can't tell us how many copies a particular title has sold, but can you give us a range? Like, your best selling title so far has sold 4000 copies, and the least popular title has sold 300 copies. Something along those lines.
Sadly I cannot, because I simply do not know. I wouldn't even try to venture a guess on that. As I've said, specific details about the publishing side of the company I don't know, Dave has all that information. I know some things, and what I do know is what I'll comment upon, but I'll note that question down on my list for Dave to address.

Thank you for it.
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Old 02-06-2009, 05:53 PM   #106
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John?

Are the Authors expected to financially invest in the publishing of their books?

Is there a fee that is to be paid by the author to have their books published?

What is the author's investment in this process?


Thank you in advance for responses to these.
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Old 02-06-2009, 06:16 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by John Dexheimer View Post
And it's not either or, c'mon! "Is the agent going to be looking out for me or the publisher?" How about BOTH? If the agent gets you setup at a Sci Fi con where you as an Author can go down and do some book signings and sell a few books, that's not looking out for the interest of JUST the author or JUST the publishing.
An agent gets paid by the writer - normally a percentage of earnings. So yes, they SHOULD be looking out for writers.

Agents also don't generally go about booking their authors at SF conventions. The authors do that themselves. Most literary SF conventions are non-profit or clear the organizers just enough to put on the next event. The top guests might get some sort of honorarium, but virtually every writer and artist who attends doesn't get anything more than a comped admission. What's an agent going to take out of that?
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Old 02-06-2009, 06:45 PM   #108
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Quote:
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Yet again, I'll say it, we have distributors, and our books circulate world wide. We do not function off the investments of our authors.
John, publisher's distributors are listed on Ingram iPage because they are the contact name for order fulfillment. If you have a distributor, they are a well-kept secret.

Quote:
pay Opera's $5000 fee for her to even consider looking at one of your books. Again, we're not huge, we're small.
John, that is not true. Oprah's people charge nothing to review a book. We're piteously small, yet they have one of our books waiting in the wings should the bipolar issue come up again. It cost me a publicity package that included an ARC. They won't accept POD or vanity books because there are no print runs. Her producer knows we have thousands in print, ready to meet demand.
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Old 02-06-2009, 06:51 PM   #109
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still waiting for Dave to make an appearance....
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Old 02-06-2009, 06:59 PM   #110
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An agent working for a publisher is a conflict of interest.
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Old 02-06-2009, 09:33 PM   #111
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Originally Posted by allenparker View Post
Are the Authors expected to financially invest in the publishing of their books?

Is there a fee that is to be paid by the author to have their books published?

What is the author's investment in this process?.
There is "NO" fee that the author must pay us in order to have their book published with us.

The author's "Investment" is the material that they write. We do not seek money from our authors. The author gives up the material, we work on it, and do the printing. All the costs from doing that work falls upon us, and not the author.

There is no expectation on our part for the author to buy any books from us. We have that option available to them if "THEY" choose too. If an author wishes to attend a convention of some sort, and that would like to do book signings, or just setup a table on their own and sell their book, they are more than welcome to do so. We takes a % off the price of the book we sell to our author, so their expenses drop and they can make more profit. In addition to that, any book sold, rather it be to the author, to a store, online, ect, the author receives royalties from. So, if the author wants to buy their own book and sell it themselves, they are really getting paid twice, the sale that they make, and the royalty from buying the book from us.

I hope that answering your question.
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Old 02-06-2009, 09:41 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by JulieB View Post
An agent gets paid by the writer - normally a percentage of earnings. So yes, they SHOULD be looking out for writers.

Agents also don't generally go about booking their authors at SF conventions. The authors do that themselves. Most literary SF conventions are non-profit or clear the organizers just enough to put on the next event. The top guests might get some sort of honorarium, but virtually every writer and artist who attends doesn't get anything more than a comped admission. What's an agent going to take out of that?
Honestly, the contract agreement that we have with our agents, and the method they are paid, is none of your concern. The work they do and the service they provide is. The author does not pay the agent, Wandering Sage does. We have an agent because this allows us to "HELP" authors setup appearances, conventions, ect, and get them going if they are unable to do so on their own.

The agent also helps up with a few of our higher profile actor and authors as well, such as getting them voice over parts in movies. I'm truly baffled as to how you can take the position that having and agent available for our clients is a bad thing.

And one more time so I'm perfectly clear, the specifics on how Wandering Sage pay our agents is absolutely 100% confidential, because it's the company paying them, not the authors!
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Old 02-06-2009, 09:52 PM   #113
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And one more time so that we're perfectly clear, a publisher paying an agent is a conflict of interest. Agents should have no vested interest with a publisher. Or are you using "agent" in a completely different context than what we're understanding?
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Old 02-06-2009, 09:53 PM   #114
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John, publisher's distributors are listed on Ingram iPage because they are the contact name for order fulfillment. If you have a distributor, they are a well-kept secret.
It's not a secret I just don't know what they are so I can tell you.


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John, that is not true. Oprah's people charge nothing to review a book. We're piteously small, yet they have one of our books waiting in the wings should the bipolar issue come up again. It cost me a publicity package that included an ARC. They won't accept POD or vanity books because there are no print runs.
First, that is what they told us a while back when we tried to have one of our authors book on the show that would have been a perfect fit for the Alzheimer's show that she did. And YES the producers that we talked to at the time told us JUST THAT! Maybe they have changed their rule on that, I hope they did because it didn't sound fair or right to have to pay out 5k just to have a producer look at the book and go "Nah, but thanks for the money!"

A publicity package, or ARC, sadly I don't know what is involved in that or the cost of putting that together, but if it's a little more manageable that $5000, I don't see why Wandering Sage couldn't do that.

I've herd everyone her knock on POD... do this little experiment, call a "BIG" time publishing, for real, pick up the phone and this not once, twice, but four or five times, call big the big time and million dollar publishing houses. Say "I am a small press, and I was looking to know what kind of printing do you do?" and you know what they will tell you... POD. If you call up and say you're an author, you will get a different response.

Don't tell me "No I won't." either, because I said the same thing to Dave when he told me that. I said to him "What? You're full of it!" And so on speaker phone we made a few calls, and it was proven to me at that time, that even the BIG HOUSE publishers, while they tell you "Nooo, we don't use POD, that's bad, we're so much better than that!" to save costs and money and storage fees, that is EXACTLY what they do now, because they are not STUPID!

Seriously stop knocking POD, it's not something bad, it's awesome, it's great, and it's what 97% of the industry uses now, even if they will bold face lie to you can tell you they don't. Use some social engineering, call and make it seem like you're a publisher too and find out for yourselves as I did.
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Old 02-06-2009, 09:55 PM   #115
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I'll make it simple.

Give me a list of bookstores where I can find these books.

NOT where I can order them in; where I can find them on the shelves.

And preferably NOT ones where the author has had to walk in and request that the store order them or place them on consignment.

And tell Dave we're still waiting.

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Old 02-06-2009, 09:56 PM   #116
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And one more time so that we're perfectly clear, a publisher paying an agent is a conflict of interest. Agents should have no vested interest with a publisher. Or are you using "agent" in a completely different context than what we're understanding?
You can have your own opinion on that. We see it differently, plain and simple. I don't agree with you on this point, but I've explained it as much as I can as to how an agent works for us to help our authors. So I will not longer comment on any agent questions.
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Old 02-06-2009, 09:58 PM   #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Dexheimer View Post
Honestly, the contract agreement that we have with our agents, and the method they are paid, is none of your concern. The work they do and the service they provide is. The author does not pay the agent, Wandering Sage does. We have an agent because this allows us to "HELP" authors setup appearances, conventions, ect, and get them going if they are unable to do so on their own.

The agent also helps up with a few of our higher profile actor and authors as well, such as getting them voice over parts in movies. I'm truly baffled as to how you can take the position that having and agent available for our clients is a bad thing.

And one more time so I'm perfectly clear, the specifics on how Wandering Sage pay our agents is absolutely 100% confidential, because it's the company paying them, not the authors!
Because your agents make their money from YOU. There is no incentive to work hard to sell an author's novel and get them the best deal possible because their pay doesn't come from the author - it comes from YOU. That is what agents do - they work for the AUTHOR. Not the publisher. No one in their right mind is going to trust an agent who's pay comes from a publisher instead of the deal they get for their author. That's not how agenting works, and for good reason. Authors get much better deals when the agent is dependant on succeeding at selling their authors' works.

And I'm curious, why the emphasis on appearances and conventions? There is no evidence I know of that proves this is lucrative for first-time authors. I'd go see Guy Gavriel Kay if he ever did a book signing near me in an instant, but that's because I know of him and like his works. Why would I go see an unknown author?
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Old 02-06-2009, 09:59 PM   #118
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Originally Posted by Sheryl Nantus View Post
I'll make it simple.

Give me a list of bookstores where I can find these books.

NOT where I can order them in; where I can find them on the shelves.

And preferably NOT ones where the author has had to walk in and request that the store order them or place them on consignment.

And tell Dave we're still waiting.

Walk into a Borders Bookstore. You want a store name, hope that is big enough for you.

Dave will get her when he can.
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Old 02-06-2009, 10:02 PM   #119
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Honestly. John, for your sanity it might be best if you personally stop answering these questions, because it's obvious that these guys are vultures. They're picking at every little thing and you don't know the correct answers to everything, so it might be best if you step aside and wait for Dave.

There are some legitimate concerns, and some of the people here are reasonable and polite in their queries, but others seem quite confrontational ... as if they're trying to get a rise out of you. They may say that because I'm new to this and inexperienced that I should take into account their more experienced opinions, but I know an Inquisition when I see one. The thing is, I am taking their opinions into account; I am reluctant to submit anything to Wandering Sage until I know for sure the company knows what it's doing, but I still think some of the methods used here seem a little unfair.

To my mind, it bodes well that you are willing to come here and submit to this torture.
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Old 02-06-2009, 10:04 PM   #120
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Because your agents make their money from YOU. There is no incentive to work hard to sell an author's novel and get them the best deal possible because their pay doesn't come from the author - it comes from YOU. That is what agents do - they work for the AUTHOR. Not the publisher. No one in their right mind is going to trust an agent who's pay comes from a publisher instead of the deal they get for their author. That's not how agenting works, and for good reason. Authors get much better deals when the agent is dependant on succeeding at selling their authors' works.

And I'm curious, why the emphasis on appearances and conventions? There is no evidence I know of that proves this is lucrative for first-time authors. I'd go see Guy Gavriel Kay if he ever did a book signing near me in an instant, but that's because I know of him and like his works. Why would I go see an unknown author?
Okay, I'll comment on this, cause you make a good point.

Let me ask you a question, what about the authors that cannot get their own agent?

We have a few authors that DO have their own agent that work FOR them. But, for those new authors out there, that are publishing their first book, that a normal agent would look at, scoff at, and say "Go away, you're not worth my time." Those are the authors our agents help.

An author wants to get their own agent, they have the power and writing or artistic talent where they can do that, we wont stop them. You can have your own agent, but if you don't, and you're willing to work hard, and promote yourself to get your foot in the door, we will help you, that is the purpose of our agents.

Is that wrong of us?
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Old 02-06-2009, 10:07 PM   #121
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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Honestly. John, for your sanity it might be best if you personally stop answering these questions, because it's obvious that these guys are vultures. They're picking at every little thing and you don't know the correct answers to everything, so it might be best if you step aside and wait for Dave.
LOL! It's okay, I don't take any of this personally. And let them pick at me, if I can answer the questions I will, for the ones I cannot, I say "Wait for Dave." One thing that I have learned in life is to never be "bullied" around, if someone confronts you, do not take a pacifist position and turn the other cheek, confront them right back.

It is the conflict that great stories are told.
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Old 02-06-2009, 10:10 PM   #122
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http://www.borders.com/online/store/...b=&sku=&type=1

These are the eight books I can find from Wandering Sage Publications listed on the Border's website. They all are listed as "not available in stores".
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Old 02-06-2009, 10:11 PM   #123
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John,

Perhaps you mean "publicist" instead of "agent?"

The word "agent" has a specific meaning here. As in a literary agent.

If you're talking about a publicist hired by your company to do the things you're talking about, then you're perfectly correct. Your dealings with them are your own business.

Please understand why we got kind of bent out of shape over the use of "agent" in that context, though. We expect agents to work for US because we pay them. If they're double-dipping from a publisher, then we have a right to be angry because there's every chance they're not looking out for our best interests. Even among literary agents that's considered unethical behavior.
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Old 02-06-2009, 10:17 PM   #124
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Originally Posted by John Dexheimer View Post
It's not a secret I just don't know what they are so I can tell you.
It's odd how you, their "tech" guy, know so much about some aspects - like the innerworkings of your agent arrangements (which I think you mean publicist) regarding promotion and Oprah, but answering a simple question regarding your distributor seems outside your grasp. Actually, this answer is probably one of the easiest to answer, so this just feels off to me.

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First, that is what they told us a while back when we tried to have one of our authors book on the show that would have been a perfect fit for the Alzheimer's show that she did. And YES the producers that we talked to at the time told us JUST THAT!
John, I know quite a few people who have been on Oprah, and not once have I ever heard this. That she said it to you says more about your company, I think, since I know the producer's assistants vet the publishers because they've been burned in the past.

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do this little experiment, call a "BIG" time publishing, for real, pick up the phone and this not once, twice, but four or five times, call big the big time and million dollar publishing houses. Say "I am a small press, and I was looking to know what kind of printing do you do?" and you know what they will tell you... POD. If you call up and say you're an author, you will get a different response.
I have many buds who work for large presses or are agents who sell to them. You're right, everyone uses the digital printing process for ARCs and backlist books, but it's foolish to imply that their first print runs are digital. They print in the tens - hundreds of thousands, so you appear to be misinformed. Heck, even us, little spuds that we are, do offset runs in the thousands. What I'm talking about here, regarding your company, is that you're based on the Print on Demand business plan because you don't appear to have any distribution - sales teams who go out and pitch your lineup. As much inside information as you appear to possess about WS, I can't believe you wouldn't know whether you have sales teams.

Last edited by priceless1; 02-06-2009 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 02-06-2009, 10:22 PM   #125
JulieB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M.R.J. Le Blanc View Post
And I'm curious, why the emphasis on appearances and conventions? There is no evidence I know of that proves this is lucrative for first-time authors. I'd go see Guy Gavriel Kay if he ever did a book signing near me in an instant, but that's because I know of him and like his works. Why would I go see an unknown author?
A lot of SF writers do the regional convention circuit to raise their profile. As I said before, there's generally nothing in it other than a comped membership for the author and a few extra sales for the publisher, but it is a good way to introduce yourself to potential readers. You might not go there to see the new author, but if he/she's on a panel with an established author you did go to see, you may end up buying their book. I've done it.

Conventions are also a very good opportunity to network with other authors. None of us go home from a convention with a wad of cash, but it's almost always a good experience.
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