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Old 12-27-2007, 10:51 PM   #1
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Lanico Enterprise / Lanico Media House (formerly Living Waters Publishing Co.)

The president of this company posted a call for new authors on a Christian Fiction Yahoo group. The post used the phrase "we are a traditional publisher." Yike on the "call" and the phrase! The post said they can take on 75 (!) new authors--"are you one of the 75?" Yike again!

Here's the link:

www.livingwaterspc.com

For those who might be tempted, do our resident gurus have any info, good or bad? They seem to publish books by everyone on staff, but perhaps by others as well.
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Old 12-27-2007, 11:28 PM   #2
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pay to play

They area vanity publisher. They charge for publication.
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Old 12-27-2007, 11:35 PM   #3
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I thought so, but they seem to have a legit arm as well.

Not someone I'm going to ask my agent to query for me.
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Old 12-28-2007, 01:21 AM   #4
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From the website, it looks like a subsidy/vanity house that's announcing that it's going to take on some non-subsidy authors as well. I imagine there are people for whom this might be a reasonable choice, if the deal actually is as represented and if it's handled effectively.

If you wanted to get, for instance, 2,000 copies of a book on spirituality out to religious bookstores, this could conceivably be a good deal for you. Not a lot of money in that, but then that's not what everyone's looking for.
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Old 12-28-2007, 01:48 AM   #5
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Good God, I read this under their "fees" section (which they also charge for their "traditional publishing option") and damn near dropped my teeth.

Quote:
Most authors do not have thousands of dollars lying around. Financial shortages shouldn't keep you from realizing your dream. If you need help financing your program, please email us at acquisitions@livingwaterspc.com. Someone will explain the program in more detail and let you know if you qualify. Let us help you succeed. After all, your success is our business!

http://www.livingwaterspc.com/Pricing.html

Yes, not only can you pay to become an author, they'll help arrange financing for you.

The mind boggles.

The list of their other fees are highly outrageous also.
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Old 12-28-2007, 03:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard White View Post
Good God, I read this under their "fees" section (which they also charge for their "traditional publishing option") and damn near dropped my teeth...Yes, not only can you pay to become an author, they'll help arrange financing for you.

The mind boggles.

The list of their other fees are highly outrageous also.
Yes, they do seem high, don't they?

I didn't grasp that they would be charging these wonderful new 75 chosen ones the fees, though. That's really...special.
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Old 12-28-2007, 03:13 AM   #7
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Man, those are some of the worst looking book covers I've ever seen. And those are their featured books.
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Old 12-28-2007, 10:51 AM   #8
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Yea, another POD/vanity (Christian) outfit merging into the writing community with their hands out, instead of clasped in prayer. They're a perfect resource for preachers and priests, who have their own built-in fan base and congregation. And the cover art IS ghastly.

So sick of seeing this.

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Old 12-29-2007, 11:33 AM   #9
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Living Waters Publishing Company

Hello Group,

I was surprised to find this thread about Living Waters. I just finished a thorough background investigation on them and they passed with flying colors.

I spoke to both Mark Miller and John Schroeder, the best known authors they have, and each gave them great recommendations. One of the children's books they released in September has already sold more than 5000 copies. They were helpful to provide me with 35 references and 5 creditor references. Everything I found was good.

I believe on person posted something about fees under the traditional publishing. Actually, the fees on the website are under the self-publishing tab. I've worked for Simon & Schuster, for the better part of 9 years. You can find out more about them on my website at www.terryknowsbooks.tripod.com.

I hate that you guys have begun to flame their names when they are more than willing to answer any questions and they are very cooperative people. These people have nearly 165 clients. I believe if they were a fraud, we'd all have heard it by now... not from people like those posting here, but those who have been victimized!

Terry
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Old 12-29-2007, 12:41 PM   #10
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These people have nearly 165 clients.

Very appropo sentence if you consider the laudry list of lucrative services below. Sorry, allabouttheindustry, but this is a very big conflict of interest with a publisher, as far as I'm concerned. I would like to know, firsthand, how many of those 165 "clients" paid absolutely nothing for publication, being accepted solely on the merit of their manuscripts. And who gets the marketing here if you're not paying for it? Perhaps the two that you mention? Sorry, this doesn't wash at all. Odds are extremely good that all of those clients signed on the pay to line for some form of service or another.


Our services include:

  • Ghostwriting - for those who have the idea and the organization, but don't have the time to actually put their
    ideas on paper. Our writers will interview you, take your materials and turn it into a book, ready for the market.
    You keep total control and rights over your book. We write and rewrite it until we get it just right!
  • Content, Line and Copy Edit - to ensure accuracy and quality while preserving the style of the author. If you are
    self-published, you control the edits. Nothing goes to market without your approval.
  • ISBN, Bar code and LCCN - we provide the numbers necessary for your book to be sold in stores across the
    world and cataloged in libraries; the LCCN comes through the Library of Congress and we purchase our ISBNs
    and bar codes through R.R. Bowker Agency, www.bowker.com
  • Copyright services - we take special precautions to keep your work safe. Our files are password protected and
    changed randomly; we also apply for copyright protection through the United States Copyright Office for the
    works that have not already been copyright protected; www.loc.gov/copyright
  • Professional interior and cover design - we employ only the best artists and design technicians when it comes
    to presenting a professional product; we work at designs until we get them better than right! We take your input
    and make it a reality.
  • Worldwide Distribution - our books are sold through Baker and Taylor and Lightning Source, an Ingram owned
    company, distribution services. This means that virtually anyone around the world can find your book through
    special sales agents and through stores such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Waldenbooks, Borders, and many
    more.
  • Extensive marketing - if our authors don't make money, neither do we; we employ an extensive marketing
    program for each author, including but not limited to press releases, newspaper and magazine articles and
    advertising, radio and television promotion spots, etc.
  • Financial Assistance - this is for authors who want to or have to self-publish, but don't have all the finances
    they need; this is just one more way Living Waters is showing our love and appreciation for our authors. YOU
    WILL NEVER PAY INTEREST ON OUR FINANCING!
  • Multiple Level Royalties Program - our royalties are some of the highest in the industry; with each book
    published through us, the royalty rates are raised and in some cases, we pay handsome sign on bonuses.
  • Ongoing Training - Living Waters believes in continual education about the ever-growing and changing
    publishing industry. New technology is made available all the time that greatly affects how we publish and sell our
    material. We keep our clients informed.
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Old 12-29-2007, 01:21 PM   #11
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I have not yet finished my manuscript, but
contacted Living Waters with a brief synopsis of
what the book is. I was amazed to have an answer
from them within nine days. Most publishers hadn't
even responded to me. With the help of Henry
Carlyle and Lacresha Hayes, I was able to catch a
lot of things in the earlier portions of the book that
would have affected my ability to get it published.
I've called on them more than four times and they
always answer me with great insight. I don't have a
contract with them, but I can't think of anyone else
I'd rather publish my book than the people who are
helping me to format it properly."

Carlyn, Louisiana

This is from their testimonial page. Carlyn, let me tell you something darling, the reason why those "legitimate" publishers did not contact you was because your manuscript WAS NOT FINISHED. That's why Living Waters responded so favorably to your problems. Also, you have NO contract with them, so your recommendation is moot. In fact, it looks like you picked up on one of their special programs and they are on your payroll. WHO suggested that your format was in need of work? And why format? What about content editing. Unless this was a non-fiction book, but if it was, the most important part of a project like that is the outline and proposal--trust me, they are tedious and involved, having sold my work on them alone.

"I just want to say that I love you people. You have been
an inspiration to me in this endeavor. I finally finished
my book with a lot of assistance from you. I'm glad you
accepted me as a client. After 10 companies denied me
and 20 others returned my partial manuscript
unopened, I had given up hope. But I was led to your
company and haven't regretted it since that time. Praise
God for a real Christian company that is more
interested in the stories you publish than the money you
make. Thank you and I will gladly refer you to anyone,
even the biggest names."


Carolyn Thomason, Illinois


Again, another unfinished book. Living Waters caught them in the creative stage, right where authors are most vunerable to hype, editing services, marketing, "formatting", or any other service provided.

Both of these examples are bought services--or I'll eat my hat with mustard.

We don't promise to be the least expensive option...
only the BEST option for SERIOUS authors.


I'm a dry Mormon and you've got MY hair standing on end with this comment. Many companies tout that only serious authors should be willing to invest in their own writing. I'm willing to bet my christian life that if Living Waters were to remove all of their fee-based operations, this company would fold, flat on its face, in a manner of weeks. 165 clients is a subsidy writer's mill--there, I've quoted a new term.

[SIZE=2][COLOR=#ffffff][SIZE=2][COLOR=#333333] The president of this company posted a call for new authors on a Christian Fiction Yahoo group. The post used the phrase "we are a traditional publisher." Yike on the "call" and the phrase! The post said they can take on 75 (!) new authors--"are you one of the 75?" Yike again!

So, Living Waters put out the call for 75 new authors on a Christian Fiction Yahoop group? Say it with me AUTHOR MILL. No self-respecting legitimate publisher has to solicit new writers.

The whole LW site is geared to snag authors and NOT sell books.

Even the traditional arm has multiple conditions and charges. None of this is free or absorbed by the publisher. It all costs.

Tri

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Old 12-29-2007, 05:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
We don't promise to be the least expensive option...
only the BEST option for SERIOUS authors.
The BEST option for SERIOUS authors is one that pays SERIOUS money TO those authors.
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Old 12-29-2007, 08:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allabouttheindustry View Post
These people have nearly 165 clients. I believe if they were a fraud, we'd all have heard it by now... not from people like those posting here, but those who have been victimized!
Terry, the people posting here have legitimate questions and doubts. That's why they're posting here. That's the purpose of this board. The company itself admits through their "not the cheapest" comment that they make their a lot of their bucks through charging writers for services, which is, as Tri pointed out, a worrisome and potentially volatile conflict of interest.

As for 165 clients, outright and known scammers often have more than that. I'd be more interested in for what services the clients have paid them. If 160 have paid them for the editing, that would make them an editing service more than a publisher. As a publisher, what advances do they pay, if any? What's their distribution? Etcetera, etcetera.

Um, the possibility of perhaps fraudulant practises is now known. Should it have been known two weeks ago to be considered a possibility? Not saying they are a fraud, just that there are, as mentioned, legitimate questions.

In many people's opinions, a company that labels itself Christian should be held to the highest standards. It's biblical. Questions have been asked. Will they be answered? Breaths are bated.
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Old 12-29-2007, 08:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allabouttheindustry View Post
Hello Group,

I spoke to both Mark Miller and John Schroeder, the best known authors they have, and each gave them great recommendations.
Best known where?

Mark Miller's 470 page paperback sells for $69.99. At this price, I don’t expect it will sell very many copies. Especially since the entire work can be read here online at no cost.

http://www.nazarene-friends.org/nazc...ary%202000.htm

John Schroeder paid to play when he published his first book. It appears he has done the same thing with his second book through LWPC.


Quote:
One of the children's books they released in September has already sold more than 5000 copies.
Elijah the Penguin? Its ISBN doesn't appear to be a valid number. I was unable to find any reference to this book on any online site except one placed by the author on Craig's List. How are readers finding this book and purchasing it? I sincerely doubt this book has sold 5,000 copies, unless the first time pubbed author of this book bought them herself.

Quote:
They were helpful to provide me with 35 references and 5 creditor references. Everything I found was good.
That's nice. A student and her husband, who appear to have no publishing credentials, own this company. They may have good personal credit and are devout Christians, but that's not something one weighs heavily when considering a publisher.

Quote:
I believe on person posted something about fees under the traditional publishing. Actually, the fees on the website are under the self-publishing tab.
Look again. There are fees associated with both forms of publishing on their site.

Quote:
I've worked for Simon & Schuster, for the better part of 9 years. You can find out more about them on my website at www.terryknowsbooks.tripod.com.
What did you do for S&S? By the by, your link doesn’t work.

Quote:
I hate that you guys have begun to flame their names when they are more than willing to answer any questions and they are very cooperative people. These people have nearly 165 clients. I believe if they were a fraud, we'd all have heard it by now... not from people like those posting here, but those who have been victimized!
Fraud? Nope, no one said that in this thread. What this publisher has been called is a vanity publisher. If the shoe fits…

They have 165 clients and they are posting on the Internet that they are seeking 75 more clients? And this doesn’t scream author mill/vanity publisher to you?

Again, what is it you did for Simon & Schuster?

You know what I dislike? People who pop into AW to hype and mislead writers about a publisher, and then claim we are flaming the publisher when we discuss what the publisher can offer writers who are seeking publication for their works.

Something else I dislike? People and companies who use religion to make themselves appear trustworthy and legit.
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Last edited by brianm; 12-29-2007 at 11:06 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 12-29-2007, 09:22 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by brianm View Post
Look again. There are fess associated with both forms of publishing on their site.
Not only are there fees for their so-called "traditional publishing" option, those fees are just as excessive: an unspecified service fee, an editing fee for any editing over 10 hours or any content editing, and the real winner--a fee of up to $2000 for extra cover proofs.

At that rate, the "traditional" author pays as much as the one who chooses the self-publishing route.

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Old 12-29-2007, 10:22 PM   #16
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With a wee bit of research, I was able to locate allabouttheindustry/Terry's webpage.

http://members.tripod.com/terryknowsbooks/id2.html

In addition to Living Waters, Terry also recommends two more vanity/pay to play publishers. Tate and Xulon.
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Old 12-29-2007, 10:44 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by brianm View Post
With a wee bit of research, I was able to locate allabouttheindustry/Terry's webpage.

http://members.tripod.com/terryknowsbooks/id2.html

In addition to Living Waters, Terry also recommends two more vanity/pay to play publishers. Tate and Xulon.
Oh, Terry. You appear, from the evidence of your webpage, to know exactly jack about the publishing industry, but you're awfully good at selling the vanity-press snake-oil, aren't you?

And why is the phrase "scribes and Pharisees" ringing in my head?
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Old 12-29-2007, 11:16 PM   #18
allabouttheindustry
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I'm not saying you guys don't have a right to question this business. I did it, but I did it with people who could answer my questions. They have 100 traditional contracts with no money down. I suggest some of you contact them and ask them for references. As a Christian, I just hate to see all this from you guys when you won't contact the company. Of course, some of your questions are the very ones that sent me on my search, so it would be hypocritical to say you shouldn't question. But, there's a right way to do anything. From what I hear from PMA and a few other organizations, their business dealings are on the up and up.

The children's book I mentioned was Benjamin P. Blizzard: Welcome to Christmastown. They have meetings with 2 studios to have the book made into a Christmas special. Lacresha actually gave me the contact info so that I could verify that info.

The only thing I hated about the whole thing is that they are trying to do three different businesses in one. And my exact words to them was, "No one is going to accept it as legitimate because no one else is doing it." That being said, Lacresha was trained by a smaller publisher for nearly 3 years. Her husband is not. But, you must understand, the company began in service to churches only. From what I can tell, that changed in 2006. I know one of their magazines is up to begin major distribution with more than 100,000 subscribers within one year.

As for the references, I spoke with various employees, authors and vendors. I spoke with organizations. And here's something you can verify for yourself: Zondervan actually has them listed as major competition. They are up for several awards. They publish Christian literature from various foreign countries freely. They distribute nearly 8,000 copies of their Christian magazine to countries where the Gospel has been forbidden, which may not be wise in my humble opinion. They are less expensive than Tate, AuthorHouse and Xulon when you compare services offered. I'd be happy to share more information with those who seriously want to know why they have my vote as Publisher of the Year. You can write me at booksrme2@fastmail.cn.

The last thing I want to say has to do with my personal opinion of traditional publishers altogether: in traditional publishing, the author basically sells all his rights to the book and are controlled by the publisher. After working with that for years, I found that it's not always the best choice for everyone. For years, I thought that traditional publishing was a favor to the author, but it's not. For every $1000 the author makes, the company makes $5000. I ask you to research it and then you will know why all the biggest publishers are now offering or owning a company that offers self or vanity publishing. Random House does. S&S does. Even Amazon has BookSurge. There's a reason. PEOPLE WANT TO MAKE MONEY from book sales. I speak to authors are the time who get as little as 4% royalties. That's terrible and you guys know that!
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Old 12-29-2007, 11:33 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by allabouttheindustry View Post
Iin traditional publishing, the author basically sells all his rights to the book and are controlled by the publisher.
That is a flat-out lie.

In commercial publishing, an author sells a *subset* of rights to the publisher.

Last edited by eqb; 12-29-2007 at 11:56 PM.
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Old 12-30-2007, 12:35 AM   #20
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No, Beth. Some publishers get all the rights. Do more research and you'll find out that it happens more than 45% of the time when the writer doesn't have an agent or an inexperienced agent.
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Old 12-30-2007, 12:36 AM   #21
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I've worked in both Acquisitions and in Marketing
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Old 12-30-2007, 12:42 AM   #22
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Good God, I read this under their "fees" section (which they also charge for their "traditional publishing option") and damn near dropped my teeth.

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Most authors do not have thousands of dollars lying around. Financial shortages shouldn't keep you from realizing your dream. If you need help financing your program, please email us at acquisitions@livingwaterspc.com. Someone will explain the program in more detail and let you know if you qualify. Let us help you succeed. After all, your success is our business!

http://www.livingwaterspc.com/Pricing.html

Yes, not only can you pay to become an author, they'll help arrange financing for you.

The mind boggles.

The list of their other fees are highly outrageous also.
That's terrible. So in other words, you not only spend money that you may never see a return on, but it isn't even your money. So you get to not only waste a bunch of money, but potentially butcher your credit score at the same time.
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Old 12-30-2007, 12:45 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by allabouttheindustry View Post
No, Beth. Some publishers get all the rights. Do more research and you'll find out that it happens more than 45% of the time when the writer doesn't have an agent or an inexperienced agent.
Then name which publishers require an author to sign over all rights, and under what circumstances, because that is not the standard practice in the industry, according to the publishers and editors I work with.

Because, y'know, I have trouble trusting your word when you've already stated that Living Waters doesn't charge for "traditional" publishing, when their webpage clearly states otherwise.
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Old 12-30-2007, 01:14 AM   #24
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I'm not going to continue arguing about Living Waters. It's not my company, but I know that more than 20 contracts I say personally did not require any payment. I do believe they charge a deposit for new authors, but none of the ones who returned a questionnaire paid anything. So, I'm finished with that.

As far as that: most of the newer companies take the rights to publish any all book forms in every country. If you are talking about taking the rights as far as the full copyright, etc, then we have had a failure to communicate. I am simply speaking of publication rights and subsidiary rights like cartoons, etc. And, I won't name a company, but you can do a Google search and find 25 in less than 5 minutes.
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Old 12-30-2007, 01:27 AM   #25
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I believe this will be my last post to this blog. For those of you who are sensible, here are words of wisdom: always do your own research. You cannot believe everything you read and no two people has the same desires in publishing or the same experience. Self-publishing has its place, as does vanity. It all depends upon you, the writer. I do not condone the practices of many of the newer publishers, but ask yourself where the bigger houses started.

The best thing to do is to call the company. Ask questions. Seek proof, not from those who have never worked with the company, but from those who have been published by them already. Look to organizations like PMA, SPAN, SPAWN, etc. You can go to Books in Print and find out how many books a publisher has in circulation. You can call the Secretary of State in the businesses state of incorporation to see how long they've been in business and if they pay their taxes, etc. There is a lot of information out there, but groups that gang up and each party stops and starts with the other is not the best source of information.

Ask for sample contracts. Have your attorney to review it. Ask for a written marketing plan for your book or for previous books. Ask for payment history with some of the authors. Look at how often the publisher paid late or not at all. Call the Clerk of Court and see if there's ever been a suit for nonpayment of royalties, etc. Always, always, always FIND THE INFORMATION FOR YOURSELF. Never take anything at face value.

I believe in Living Waters enough to entrust them with my book and so has 165 other people. Not all of their contracts are traditional, but their problem is they are upfront about their subsidy dealings, unlike any other larger house who owns shares of smaller subsidies like AH, Xulon, Vantage, Whitmore, BookSurge, iUniverse or PublishAmerica. It says a lot that of the billions of dollars of books sold annually, the majority of the "filler" titles come from subsidy houses. Their books make up the lion's share of the profits. Whether you are published by Random, Zondervan or others, your book will only do as well as your personal involvement. And THAT is a fact no one can disagree with. Visit my site at http://terryknowsbooks.tripod.com.

Signing off, I am Terry, the Canadian bulldog!

Last edited by allabouttheindustry; 12-30-2007 at 06:09 AM.
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