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narcher
03-05-2009, 06:41 PM
Anybody know anything about this outfit?

http://www.cyberwizardproductions.com/

They seem to publish print and ebooks, yet seem to have no bookstore distribution, nor any ebook distribution via Fictionwise and other places.

para
03-05-2009, 07:18 PM
I'd stay far away. I'm a bit disturbed by the fact they have a donate button on the main page but yet can afford to have a flash site.

Looking at the "Editors" not one of them lists editing experience. Having a love of reading and being a writer does not make you an editor. Looks like aspiring authors who couldn't get published so set up their own publishing house. I could be wrong.

Shade53
03-05-2009, 07:44 PM
I'm a little groggy this morning on medicine for allergies so forgive me if I'm not completely coherent. I just wanted to say that my short story collection was put out by this outfit and I've been nothing but pleased. As for not having any editorial experience, CW did Flashing Swords mag for a long time - that's how I first came in contact with her actually and my editor was an absolute stickler with me.

New but don't count them out - very good to work with.

crystalwizard
03-05-2009, 07:54 PM
Anybody know anything about this outfit?

http://www.cyberwizardproductions.com/

They seem to publish print and ebooks, yet seem to have no bookstore distribution, nor any ebook distribution via Fictionwise and other places.

no bookstore distribution? I assume you've gone into various bookstores and actually tried to order our books before making that statement?

We've got world-wide distribution.

para
03-05-2009, 07:57 PM
no bookstore distribution? I assume you've gone into various bookstores and actually tried to order our books before making that statement?

We've got world-wide distribution.
Being able to order a book in a bookstore is not the same thing as going into the bookstore and seeing it on the shelf.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
03-05-2009, 07:58 PM
no bookstore distribution? I assume you've gone into various bookstores and actually tried to order our books before making that statement?

We've got world-wide distribution.

Being able to order isn't the same as being avaliable on the shelf itself. No one's going to order a book they don't know about. If you can't get books on shelves, you don't have distribution as defined by most people here. You can order PA books through bookstores - doesn't mean they have the same distribution commercial houses have.

crystalwizard
03-05-2009, 07:59 PM
I'd stay far away.

Thanks a lot. Your entire reason for being suspicious is because I have a donate button, which allows people to enter the specific amount they need to send (in case they have a special discount for example) AND have a flash site.

I'll be more than happy to put you in touch with every single author and artist that work with me if you'd like.

I also run Abandoned Towers magazine
I'm also the review editor for SFReader.com

I'll be happy to put you in touch with several hundred people who will be more than happy to tell you what they think of me and my company if you would like.

My email address is on the Cyberwizards website
It's also on the Abandoned Towers website
You can also PM me on the SFReader forums.
you can PM me here too, if you want.

Or just post in this thread.



Looks like aspiring authors who couldn't get published so set up their own publishing house. I could be wrong.

And you are very, very wrong.

See what you get for assuming instead of doing serious research?

Sheryl Nantus
03-05-2009, 08:01 PM
maybe CW can clarify what they see as "distribution"...

crystalwizard
03-05-2009, 08:02 PM
Being able to order isn't the same as being avaliable on the shelf itself. No one's going to order a book they don't know about. If you can't get books on shelves, you don't have distribution as defined by most people here. You can order PA books through bookstores - doesn't mean they have the same distribution commercial houses have.

Sitting on a shelf does not guarentee any sales. Bookstores, because you evidently aren't aware of this, don't leave books on the shelves very long. They send it back almost faster than it can be printed.

We do have our books in bookstores. Whether they are in the bookstore near you, I don't know.

crystalwizard
03-05-2009, 08:06 PM
maybe CW can clarify what they see as "distribution"...

Distribution means the same thing to just about everyone, or at least it should. It means that a bookstore CAN acquire a book for it's stores if it wants to. It means you can walk into any bookstore if you wish, and order that book. It does not mean that the book is automatically sitting on a shelf somewhere just waiting for you.

You know what strikes me most about the people on this forum? They're snarky. They're suspicious and from what I've seen, they're always ready to jump on the negative "accuse you of being a scam" bandwagon.

it's a sad, depressing thing, and one of the reasons I avoid this place.

Anna Magdalena
03-05-2009, 08:08 PM
I'd stay far away. I'm a bit disturbed by the fact they have a donate button on the main page but yet can afford to have a flash site.

Looking at the "Editors" not one of them lists editing experience. Having a love of reading and being a writer does not make you an editor. Looks like aspiring authors who couldn't get published so set up their own publishing house. I could be wrong.

I don't know anything about these people but it doesn't look like a 'flash' site to me. On the contrary. And what's wrong with a 'donate' button? That doesn't make them suspect. At least they're upfront about it.

They may be new and untried or even naive. You and I may not want to hand over our manuscripts to them but that in itself doesn't make them suspect. Unless anyone has any evidence of wrong doing or sharp practice, we should not wish them luck. They're going to need it.

Fenika
03-05-2009, 08:09 PM
Sitting on a shelf does not guarentee any sales. Bookstores, because you evidently aren't aware of this, don't leave books on the shelves very long. They send it back almost faster than it can be printed.

We do have our books in bookstores. Whether they are in the bookstore near you, I don't know.

What does 'guarentee' sales?

And which bookstores?

And jumping wildly to your own defense isn't the best approach. Take it easy, CW, and explain professionally. With proper spelling as a bonus.

Bubastes
03-05-2009, 08:11 PM
They're suspicious and from what I've seen, they're always ready to jump on the negative "accuse you of being a scam" bandwagon.


Given the minefield of traps, pitfalls, and scams out there for unsuspecting writers, I don't blame them for being suspicious.

Anna Magdalena
03-05-2009, 08:16 PM
Distribution means the same thing to just about everyone, or at least it should. It means that a bookstore CAN acquire a book for it's stores if it wants to. It means you can walk into any bookstore if you wish, and order that book. It does not mean that the book is automatically sitting on a shelf somewhere just waiting for you.

You know what strikes me most about the people on this forum? They're snarky. They're suspicious and from what I've seen, they're always ready to jump on the negative "accuse you of being a scam" bandwagon.

it's a sad, depressing thing, and one of the reasons I avoid this place.

Uh-oh, crystalwizard. You're making assumptions now. We're not snarky. We're cautious.

But, crystalwizard, 'distribution' in this case doesn't mean what you say. You mean your books have an ISBN and will appear on bookshop databases. Proper distribution means that you can sell--via a distributor--books direct to bookshops. If you're not selling directly to bookshops (not just through individual customer orders) then you haven't got distribution.

I am still prepared to give you the benefit of the doubt, but the more you protest, the more I begin to worry. Mainly because you're talking like an amateur or someone who doesn't really understand book publishing.

And no one is accusing you of being a scam. This thread is for anyone to ask about any publisher or agent. Many people have asked about some great examples. In those cases, when I know for a fact, they're good, I'm only too happy to say so.

Old Hack
03-05-2009, 08:17 PM
Distribution means the same thing to just about everyone, or at least it should. It means that a bookstore CAN acquire a book for it's stores if it wants to. It means you can walk into any bookstore if you wish, and order that book. It does not mean that the book is automatically sitting on a shelf somewhere just waiting for you.


Um, no. Distribution has a specific meaning within the publishing world: if a publisher has distribution in place, it means that the publisher has a wholesaler stocking its books and a sales team (on the road, and/or on a phone-line) actively selling those books into bookshops.

Any book with an ISBN on its cover can be ordered by a bookshop: but that is not the same as having distribution in place, and it certainly isn't going to result in as many sales as real bookshop placement. Because despite what some people say, most fiction titles are still sold through bookshops, not online (and you can check out the statistics at the Booksellers' Association website if you don't believe me--there's a lot to look through there). Readers prefer to pick books up, off those bookshop shelves, and look at them before paying their hard-earned money for them.

para
03-05-2009, 08:26 PM
Thanks a lot. Your entire reason for being suspicious is because I have a donate button, which allows people to enter the specific amount they need to send (in case they have a special discount for example) AND have a flash site.
I don't believe that I said I was suspicious of Cyberwizard. I would stay far away because I'm cautious of start up publishing companies that looking like they have been set up by a bunch of authors with no publishing experience. However I'll ask the question if you are a publishing company why are you soliciting donations?



I'll be more than happy to put you in touch with every single author and artist that work with me if you'd like.
No thanks. I'm not interested in submitting anything.



I also run Abandoned Towers magazine
A magazine with one issue.



I'm also the review editor for SFReader.com
So being a review editor qualifies you to run a publishing house?



I'll be happy to put you in touch with several hundred people who will be more than happy to tell you what they think of me and my company if you would like.
I'm not sure how that would help a writer who is deciding whether or not to submit to your company. Are these several hundred people writers who work for your company?





And you are very, very wrong.

See what you get for assuming instead of doing serious research?
From Cyberwizards site (non-flash) - there seems to be some cross over in editorial staff and authors.
Editorial Staff
Crystalwizard (http://www.cyberwizardproductions.com/cwiz.html)
Managing Editor
David M Pitchford (http://www.cyberwizardproductions.com/AbandonedTowers/staff/dave.html)
Copy Editor
Erin Bassett (http://www.cyberwizardproductions.com/erin.html)
Senior Editor
Danny Birt (http://dannybirt.com/)
Vivian Zabel (http://www.viviangilbertzabel.com/)
Rob Mancebo (http://www.cyberwizardproductions.com/rob.html)
Paul McDermott
Leo McCormick (http://cyberwizardproductions.com/AbandonedTowers/staff/leo.html)
Pat Hauldren (http://www.cyberwizardproductions.com/alley.html)

Authors
Laura Alton
Richard Berrigan
Michael Boatman (http://www.michaelboatman.net/)
Danny Birt (http://dannybirt.com/) Events (http://www.cyberwizardproductions.com/ancienttomes/pictures/db/)
C.E. Chaffin (http://www.cechaffin.com/)
Kendall Evans
Bryan Hitchcock (http://bryanhitchcock.blogspot.com/)
Dal Jeanis
David Kopaska-Merkel (http://dreamsandnightmaresmagazine.blogspot.com/)
Robert Koger (http://www.robertkoger.com/)
Robert Orme
Gary Petras
David M Pitchford (http://fringemonkey.wordpress.com/)
Siobhan M Pitchford (http://mother2rah.wordpress.com/)
John Kilian (http://johnkiliansearle.googlepages.com/strangeworlds)
Kevin G. Summers (http://www.kevingsummers.com/)
Sarah Wagner (http://www.sarahwagner.domynoes.net/)

There could be more than is at first apparent, as there may be some pen names in use. I find it interesting that the managing editor goes under a pseudonym.

I also note that they offer editing services.

BenPanced
03-05-2009, 08:28 PM
Sitting on a shelf does not guarentee any sales.
Unfortunately, neither does having a website.

Bookstores, because you evidently aren't aware of this, don't leave books on the shelves very long. They send it back almost faster than it can be printed.
Preying on the fears of the inexperienced doesn't help, either.

Distribution means the same thing to just about everyone, or at least it should. It means that a bookstore CAN acquire a book for it's stores if it wants to. It means you can walk into any bookstore if you wish, and order that book. It does not mean that the book is automatically sitting on a shelf somewhere just waiting for you.
If I don't know the book exists, I wouldn't know I could order it from a bookstore. I had no clue Cyberwizard even existed until this thread appeared.

Who's your distributor, then?

victoriastrauss
03-05-2009, 08:35 PM
I've looked at both the flash and non-flash versions of the site, and there are differences in the staff and author lists--one or the other really needs updating. Plus, the flash site is glitchy, at least for me in Firefox--a number of the links don't work.

I also find it interesting that the non-flash site (http://www.cyberwizardproductions.com/NFindex.html) states that "We edit our authors [sic] books for free, however we also offer editorial and ghost writing services to non-authors for reasonable fees", but the flash site doesn't have that statement. But even if a publisher builds a wall between its publishing services and its editing-for-hire services, the co-existence of an editing-for-hire service poses at least a potential conflict of interest.

I'm also concerned by the fact that most of the editors' writing resumes seem very thin. I'm not impugning their writing abilities, but I'm not seeing any pro publishing experience, and some don't seem to have published any book-length work at all. These are really not the kinds of qualifications you want to see in someone you're going to pay to edit your work, or to ghostwrite for you.

Last but not least, the owner and some of the editors are also published by the company, which is not the most professional of situations.

I'm sure that Cyberwizard Productions is enthusiastic and well-intentioned. The problem, as so often with small and micro-presses, is lack of experience.

- Victoria

para
03-05-2009, 08:39 PM
I don't know anything about these people but it doesn't look like a 'flash' site to me. On the contrary. And what's wrong with a 'donate' button? That doesn't make them suspect. At least they're upfront about it.

They may be new and untried or even naive. You and I may not want to hand over our manuscripts to them but that in itself doesn't make them suspect. Unless anyone has any evidence of wrong doing or sharp practice, we should not wish them luck. They're going to need it.
We must be looking at different sites then. When I clicked on the flash site link, it looked like flash to me. I heard that Flash is quite an expensive thing to add to a website. So my thought was if you've got enough money to be adding flash to your site, why do you need donations? If you're a business why are you soliciting donations? Its the kind off thing I see a lot on self-published authors websites. To me it smacks of unprofessional amateur and I wouldn't want to be associated with any company that has a donate button (for themselves) on their website. YMMV.

Anyway it was just a throwaway comment I'm not quite sure why some people appear to have latched onto it as the reason I wouldn't go anywhere near them. It isn't.

I must admit I'm quite impressed at the speed at which crystalwizard has popped up - 1h 13mins of a thread starting. Is this some kind of record?

Sheryl Nantus
03-05-2009, 08:40 PM
Which is NOT to say that any small press without a distributor is a scam. There are *many* small publishers out there who don't use a distributor due to the cost and just point to the fact that their books can be ordered from Baker & Taylor/Ingram's and Amazon.com as the extent of their distribution. They don't get their books into bookstores unless the author requests it and that's usually only done if the books are returnable; a financial risk for many small publishers.

HOWEVER, this sort of information is vital for authors to know before submitting. Without a distributor your sales are going to be severely limited and it's best to go into a relationship with a small publisher knowing exactly what sort of resources you're going to have to promote your book. If all you're going to have is word-of-mouth and a slot on a website it'll be a lot harder to generate sales than having it placed by a sales force on bookshelves across the country in bookstores that DON'T have to have it specially-ordered in by an individual who then has to wait for it to arrive and pay up-front.

veinglory
03-05-2009, 09:38 PM
It might be helpful to be specific rather than bat around defintions. My question regarding distribution would be are the books made available through Ingrams, with a deep discount and returnable? That, to my mind, makes them at least realistically "distribution ready" and is acheivable for a small press. I would also be interested in what is characterised as "alternative lifestyle" in the submission guidelines "We do not publish "alternate lifestyle" books, no matter how "G" rated the author may feel they are. There are plenty of publishers for such material. We aren't one of them."

narcher
03-05-2009, 09:54 PM
Thank you all. I'll watch this one for a while and see what happens. Crystalwizard, good luck with your venture.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
03-05-2009, 10:50 PM
There are no guarantees in publishing. But there are probabilities. And probabilities state that you're going to see the majority of booksales from bookstores unless you're with a good epublisher. If I've never heard of your books, it means I've never heard of you. And if I've never heard of you, what makes you think I'm going to walk into a bookstore and see if any of your books are there?

And given how many bad apples are out there compared to the good ones, I think we have the right to be a little suspicious at the very least.

crystalwizard
03-05-2009, 11:44 PM
We must be looking at different sites then. When I clicked on the flash site link, it looked like flash to me. I heard that Flash is quite an expensive thing to add to a website.

It's wordpress

The company that I pay for that site provides sites to other people. If you'd like one, it's fairly easy to contact them.
It's not expensive.
I'm not sure who told you that adding flash to a website is expensive, but that's not true either.





So my thought was if you've got enough money to be adding flash to your site, why do you need donations?

I don't NEED donations.

having a button that allows people to donate if they want does not mean it's a requirement.


If you're a business why are you soliciting donations?

I'm not. It's primary use is so that if someone needs to send an amount which isn't coded into a preset button on the site, they have a way to access a page and fill in the blank with their amount. You jump to an awful lot of conclusions without very much information to use as a spring board.




Anyway it was just a throwaway comment I'm not quite sure why some people appear to have latched onto it as the reason I wouldn't go anywhere near them. It isn't.

Maybe it has to do with the way you phrased the original comment?



I must admit I'm quite impressed at the speed at which crystalwizard has popped up - 1h 13mins of a thread starting. Is this some kind of record?


One of my authors took issue with your comments, which is the only reason I even knew about the thread. It's not like anyone bothered to contact me and ask questions or do any actual research. They just started posting negative untruths. Which is, from what I've seen (yeah, I do lurk, I've been around here a while) par for the course with this forum.

crystalwizard
03-05-2009, 11:46 PM
And given how many bad apples are out there compared to the good ones, I think we have the right to be a little suspicious at the very least.

Be suspicious. But don't bad mouth (and I'm not saying you personally did, either) before having a reason to.

crystalwizard
03-05-2009, 11:46 PM
Thank you all. I'll watch this one for a while and see what happens. Crystalwizard, good luck with your venture.


Thanks.

I like your tagline, btw ;)

crystalwizard
03-05-2009, 11:54 PM
We have distribution through:

USA: Ingram, Baker&Taylor (and amazon and B&N but they aren't distributors)

UK: Gardners, Bertrums



Um, no. Distribution has a specific meaning within the publishing world: if a publisher has distribution in place, it means that the publisher has a wholesaler stocking its books and a sales team (on the road, and/or on a phone-line) actively selling those books into bookshops.

Any book with an ISBN on its cover can be ordered by a bookshop: but that is not the same as having distribution in place, and it certainly isn't going to result in as many sales as real bookshop placement. Because despite what some people say, most fiction titles are still sold through bookshops, not online (and you can check out the statistics at the Booksellers' Association website if you don't believe me--there's a lot to look through there). Readers prefer to pick books up, off those bookshop shelves, and look at them before paying their hard-earned money for them.

crystalwizard
03-05-2009, 11:56 PM
It might be helpful to be specific rather than bat around defintions. My question regarding distribution would be are the books made available through Ingrams, with a deep discount and returnable?

Yes, they are.





That, to my mind, makes them at least realistically "distribution ready" and is acheivable for a small press. I would also be interested in what is characterised as "alternative lifestyle" in the submission guidelines "We do not publish "alternate lifestyle" books, no matter how "G" rated the author may feel they are. There are plenty of publishers for such material. We aren't one of them."

alternative lifestyle=the politically correct way of saying "any sexual relationship that isn't the traditional man married to woman"

crystalwizard
03-05-2009, 11:57 PM
Without a distributor your sales are going to be severely limited and it's best to go into a relationship with a small publisher knowing exactly what sort of resources you're going to have to promote your book.

I did say that we have world-wide distribution, yes?

crystalwizard
03-05-2009, 11:59 PM
I

A magazine with one issue.

Two print issues now. The magazine itself has been in production since August of last year. We publish both online and in print.

Anna Magdalena
03-06-2009, 12:11 AM
We have distribution through:

USA: Ingram, Baker&Taylor (and amazon and B&N but they aren't distributors)

UK: Gardners, Bertrums


It's Bertrams, BTW and they're wholesalers.

As you say, Amazon and B&N aren't distributors, they're booksellers. They list your titles automatically because they have ISBNs. They don't actually DO anything. Nor do wholesalers, except hold stocks of your books for bookshops to order.

Who SELLS your books to the bookshops? (I don't mean individual customer orders.)

I understand, crystalwizard, that you're not necessarily doing anything wrong but I worry that you don't know much about book publishing or editing. (For example, I would expect an editor to check what they've written for mistakes and write with a degree of logic.)

Old Hack
03-06-2009, 12:19 AM
We have distribution through:

USA: Ingram, Baker&Taylor (and amazon and B&N but they aren't distributors)

UK: Gardners, Bertrums

But I didn't think that Bertram Books offered a full distribution service, and when I read its "information for new suppliers (http://www.bertrams.com/BertWeb/index.jsp?s=1&ss=307)" page I found this:


Publicity, marketing and sales representation remain the responsibility of you as the publisher - either directly, or via a book sales agency

Now, that implies to me that Bertram Books will stock your books, and fulfill orders: but only the orders that you provide via your sales team, or sales agency. It does also state this:


Bertrams|THE is a wholesaler and not a distributor, although the Bertram Group does offer distribution services to publishers. Please contact Ros Wesson, Business Development Manager, Bertram Publisher Services, for information on our distribution services (this service is for established publishers with a range of front and backlist titles)

I wonder: does your publishing company fulfill Bertram's criteria?

As far as I know (and I'm not up to speed with distribution and wholesale systems, I'm afraid, so do forgive me if I've got this wrong) neither Bertram nor Gardners provide the full sales support that publishers really need to get their books into bookshops. They'll fulfill orders, certainly; and invoice for the books, and so on. But they don't do the sales. Which is what you really need to have "full distribution".

M.R.J. Le Blanc
03-06-2009, 01:15 AM
Be suspicious. But don't bad mouth (and I'm not saying you personally did, either) before having a reason to.

I agree totally. However, one must be clear on what exactly falls under 'bad mouthing'.

para
03-06-2009, 01:30 AM
I don't NEED donations.

Seems a bit odd to have button for donations when you don't need them. Still different strokes for different folks.




You jump to an awful lot of conclusions without very much information to use as a spring board.

And you're very touchy for an experienced publishing professional.



One of my authors took issue with your comments, which is the only reason I even knew about the thread. It's not like anyone bothered to contact me and ask questions or do any actual research. They just started posting negative untruths. Which is, from what I've seen (yeah, I do lurk, I've been around here a while) par for the course with this forum.
Crikey that was quick, I only posted 16 minutes before you popped up. The thread itself had only been around for less than an hour. You folks definitely have your ears to the ground!

I'm at a loss to see what negative untruths I posted. There is very little evidence of editing experience in the bios of your staff. I gave my opinion that you look like aspiring authors who set up their own house so they could get published - there are a lot of those about. I found the solicitations for donations iffy as well - if you are on a sound financial footing there is no need to solicit donations. Having a button on the main page of the site is soliciting donations.

I see you've not responded to the points about the crossover in your editing staff and authors.

Sheryl Nantus
03-06-2009, 01:55 AM
I did say that we have world-wide distribution, yes?

obviously we're not talking about the same thing.

yes, anyone can walk into a store anywhere in the world and order your books.

in theory.

the hard fact is that unless you have a huge sales staff running around NO ONE is going to know about your books and the average person in a bookstore will never see a copy, unless the author places them there personally. So the majority of sales either come from the website, Amazon.com or maybe the actual bookstore where the author has personally contacted the manager and asked them to stock a copy or three. This will have a big impact on sales.

as I said in my post - having no or limited distribution isn't a killer when it comes to picking a publisher - but it should be taken into account.

saying "We've got Ingrams! etc." doesn't do anything but prove that you have an agreement with warehousers to ship out copies WHEN THEY'RE ASKED FOR. Otherwise the books sit there because no one knows they exist.

again - nothing wrong with not having a distributor but something that any aspiring authors should know before submitting to you.

crystalwizard
03-06-2009, 02:44 AM
othing wrong with not having a distributor but something that any aspiring authors should know before submitting to you.


Sigh. You need to rethink your definition. I HAVE a distributor. I actually have 4 distributors.

I'm curious if you even know what having a distributor means, because you continue to equate having books on store shelves with having distribution agreements with distributors.

I suggest that in order to further your education, you visit Baker & Taylor's website and take a look at their vender/distribution agreement information.

Then, before you continue to state that I don't have a distributor, you make the effort to learn the difference between what having a distribution relationship and not having one actually is.

veinglory
03-06-2009, 02:46 AM
alternative lifestyle=the politically correct way of saying "any sexual relationship that isn't the traditional man married to woman"

This is purely FYI but that is actually a fairly non-PC phrasingand often used to refer to lifestyling like swinging, not orientations like homosexuality. If you mean "no fiction about romantic or sexual relationships outside heterosexual marraige" I would suggest stating it that way for the sake of clarity.

crystalwizard
03-06-2009, 02:48 AM
It's Bertrams, BTW and they're wholesalers.


So are the other distributors. I'm curious if anyone here was under the impression that distributors (regardless of which ones) were anything BUT wholesalers?

If you thought otherwise, don't start a distribution business unless you want to very rapidly go out of business.

crystalwizard
03-06-2009, 02:51 AM
This is purely FYI but that is actually a fairly non-PC phrasingand often used to refer to lifestyling like swinging, not orientations like homosexuality. If you mean "no fiction about romantic or sexual relationships outside heterosexual marraige" I would suggest stating it that way for the sake of clarity.

This forum is the only place where the question of what I mean by that phrase has even been asked. That being the case, if anyone is individually unclear, I do have an email address and people are capable of emailing for a clarification. Out of the fairly large number of submissions I've received since those guidelines went up, I've had exactly 1 person ask for the clarification. Everyone else seems to understand quite well.

Billyo
03-06-2009, 02:52 AM
Hi. I've just come into this. For my experience with CW, as advertised, free editing for authors. Very cool folks with good ideas and great input. I also have the most fantastic quote from crystalwizard which I will post with permission. (I'll wait to hear from you CW) All businesses start somewhere. Of course it's not Random House, but Dell started in a garage. FOOD FOR THOUGHT.

My 2 cents.

veinglory
03-06-2009, 02:57 AM
This forum is the only place where the question of what I mean by that phrase has even been asked.

I really am just giving you an FYI as someone involved in gay fiction that if you want a PC-phrasing, that is not it.

On a side note I see your books are on the shelf in a number of Chicago indy books tores, kudos.

However Borders does not consider them "stockable" according to my friendly local stocking manager due to "standard terms not offered". However with the state Borders is on right now that may well be on their end.

veinglory
03-06-2009, 03:04 AM
And you are very, very wrong.

Although you do publish your own books through Cyberwizard? Which many small press owners do, of course.

crystalwizard
03-06-2009, 03:12 AM
I also have the most fantastic quote from crystalwizard which I will post with permission. (I'll wait to hear from you CW)

You're welcome to quote whatever you like.

Billyo
03-06-2009, 03:17 AM
Billy... would you expect someone that was a novice swimmer to be able
to win an olympic gold medal without coaching?

Part of the job of small press is to help train writers. I'll be more
than happy to work with you if you are willing to work with me as long
as it takes.

I copy/pasted this directly from an email. I don't want to sound like I'm defending CW, because I don't think defense is warranted. I do want to remove some of the jaded viewpoint toward anything new. I know most here have the best intentions, but innocent until proven guilty. Right?

M.R.J. Le Blanc
03-06-2009, 04:14 AM
Hi. I've just come into this. For my experience with CW, as advertised, free editing for authors. Very cool folks with good ideas and great input. I also have the most fantastic quote from crystalwizard which I will post with permission. (I'll wait to hear from you CW) All businesses start somewhere. Of course it's not Random House, but Dell started in a garage. FOOD FOR THOUGHT.

My 2 cents.

So what? Every commercial house does free editing for their authors. That's not exactly a selling point. Free editing (free as in the author doesn't upfront the money for it) is expected of a publisher, no question about it. That's why legit houses work so hard to sell books, so they can recoup the investment.

And yes, businesses all start somewhere. But I'll bet the people behind Random House and Dell had relevant experience. Good intentions and/or ideas do not sell books. Experience does. Plain and simple.

crystalwizard
03-06-2009, 04:22 AM
But I'll bet the people behind Random House and Dell had relevant experience. Good intentions and/or ideas do not sell books. Experience does. Plain and simple.


I wonder what you consider relevant experience. Maybe Random House was started by someone who worked their way up the ranks from cub reporter to newspaper publisher and then expanded into a larger business, but Dell was NOT. Michael Dell had no experience what so ever running a computer company. He was a hacker taking junk computers apart, salvaging the working pieces, putting them back together and selling them.

You'll find that scenario repeated over and over. Most of the successful companies were not started by people with out college degrees or vast amounts of experience in the field. They were started by people with passion, know-how and the ability to learn as they built the company from the ground up.

Good intentions/ideas actually sell far more than you would know. You might find some interesting reading waiting for you at the library if you were to go research how various companies actually started.

crystalwizard
03-06-2009, 04:27 AM
So what? Every commercial house does free editing for their authors. That's not exactly a selling point. Free editing (free as in the author doesn't upfront the money for it) is expected of a publisher, no question about it. That's why legit houses work so hard to sell books, so they can recoup the investment.

The line Billy quoted is on that page, not to advertise the fact that we edit our authors books, but to make it point blank clear to anyone looking for editorial services that we are offering those to NON-authors.

We don't push that service, we simply offer it if people are interested.

victoriastrauss
03-06-2009, 05:35 AM
So are the other distributors. I'm curious if anyone here was under the impression that distributors (regardless of which ones) were anything BUT wholesalers?

You really need to be less snarky about stuff like this. Because you're wrong.

A wholesaler provides warehousing and fulfillment services--they stock and ship your books in response to orders. Examples: Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Brodart, Bertrams. A distributor also stocks and ships your books--but it also has a sales force that actively sells the books into physical bookstores. Examples: National Book Network, Consortium, PGW/Perseus. A wholesaler fills orders. A distributor generates orders.

I will grant that the distributor/wholesaler issue is clouded because so many people use the terms interchangeably. But there really is a difference. And while a wholesaler is often called a distributor, a distributor is most definitely not a wholesaler.

Here's a more detailed discussion of that (http://www.untechnicalpress.com/wholedist.htm).

- Victoria

victoriastrauss
03-06-2009, 05:52 AM
I wonder what you consider relevant experience. Maybe Random House was started by someone who worked their way up the ranks from cub reporter to newspaper publisher and then expanded into a larger business, but Dell was NOT. Michael Dell had no experience what so ever running a computer company. He was a hacker taking junk computers apart, salvaging the working pieces, putting them back together and selling them.

Um. I think that what was meant was Dell the publisher (well, once a publisher. Now an imprint).

It's certainly possible for someone without publishing experience to start a publisher. I have two good friends who did this.* But they spent more than a year educating themselves about the publishing industry and drawing up a careful business plan before they ever opened to submissions.

So experience can be optional for people starting a new business. Knowledge, however, is not. To do something well, you need to know how to do it. Too many small publishers seem to think that's not a requirement.

Good intentions are important, but they don't mean much unless they're backed with knowledge and expertise.

- Victoria

*My friends produced beautiful books, won awards, and were picked up by a major distributor. Even so, they eventually went broke and after six years had to close the publisher. They simply couldn't sell enough books to stay afloat. Publishing is a very, very tough business, especially for those who try to do it right.

ejket
03-06-2009, 06:28 AM
Good intentions/ideas actually sell far more than you would know.
With any luck, the good intentions/ideas to be found in this thread will help you sell your books and succeed with your company. There's a lot to learn, and a lot of people here who know what you need to know.

Old Hack
03-06-2009, 11:15 AM
So are the other distributors. I'm curious if anyone here was under the impression that distributors (regardless of which ones) were anything BUT wholesalers?

If you thought otherwise, don't start a distribution business unless you want to very rapidly go out of business.

Crystal, I've already explained my definition of a distributor (which, just so you know, happens to coincide with the general view of that term within publishing and yes, I've worked in the business for over 25 years now, so do have just a little experience and knowledge). But I'll reframe the question for you to make it clearer.

How are you selling your books into physical bookshops? Depending on online availability, or on people being interested enough in them to ask the bookshops to order them in for them isn't enough because if readers can't see your books in the bookshops then they won't know about them--it's a Catch-22. So, I'll ask again: how are your books reaching the bookshops, so that potential readers can find them?

As I suggested before, have a look at the Booksellers' Association's website: there are plenty of reports and statistics there for you to download and find out more. It's well worth doing.

You might also want to consider that question of yours, because I could rework it like this:


If you thought otherwise, don't start a publishing business unless you want to very rapidly go out of business.

As for the "alternative lifestyle" question, well. I'm married, with children: an alternative lifestyle for me would be to be single, or living in a built-up area, or to be vegetarian. I have gay and lesbian friends, for whom my lifestyle would itself be considered "alternative"; transsexual friends who would consider both my lifestyle and that of my homosexual friends to be "alternative"; transgendered friends who now engage in both hetero- and homosexual lifestyles which are alternative to their original physical gender (so perhaps they've lived both alternative and non-alternative lives); and I even have one celibate friend who doesn't have sex at all, which is perhaps the most alternative lifestyle out of the lot of them. So I have to ask: alternative for whom?

C. E. Chaffin
03-07-2009, 01:01 PM
I don't know the fine points of distribution, etc., but anyone who pays a poet in advance, insists on a hardcover, and does everything she can do to get the book right and out there is all right in my book. I speak from experience.

C. E. Chaffin

DavidKM
03-07-2009, 06:41 PM
when I first discovered cyberwizard productions I was a little skeptical. Kelly seemed to promise a lot of thing and I wondered if she could deliver. I decided to try this small publisher out and I now have copies of a very handsome poetry chapbook. I'm not sure how effective the distribution will be, but publishers of this size frequently have distribution problems. I've worked with publishers that don't even make it possible to order online. Don't send Cyberwizard a novel that you can sell to a major publisher. But a book whose distribution is likely to be primarily word-of-mouth or sales at readings anyway is going to be very pretty if it's produced here. And I really have no data on distribution, good or bad.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
03-07-2009, 07:07 PM
when I first discovered cyberwizard productions I was a little skeptical. Kelly seemed to promise a lot of thing and I wondered if she could deliver. I decided to try this small publisher out and I now have copies of a very handsome poetry chapbook. I'm not sure how effective the distribution will be, but publishers of this size frequently have distribution problems. I've worked with publishers that don't even make it possible to order online. Don't send Cyberwizard a novel that you can sell to a major publisher. But a book whose distribution is likely to be primarily word-of-mouth or sales at readings anyway is going to be very pretty if it's produced here. And I really have no data on distribution, good or bad.

If that is your reason for getting a book published (and I am by no means saying it's a bad reason, because it isn't), why not go to lulu? For poetry, you'd probably find that a better option anyway. Even with good distribution, there is little to no market for poetry. Publishers tend not to deal with it unless the person has a solid following, and legit agents don't bother repping it because it's simply not worth it. Keeping a publisher afloat seems hard enough as it is - if as you say they're not a publisher to be taking your novel to if it can sell to the other houses, I wonder about what they can do.

Robert Koger
03-07-2009, 07:45 PM
When it comes to publishers, they are like every other business. One size doesn’t fit all. What may be right for one person may not be right for someone else. After writing my first book my agent had two major publishers requesting the book. Only one had the same vision for the book as I did, so I went with them (McGraw-Hill Trade). You have to be comfortable with the publisher. My second book was with Skyhorse Publishing, my third with Wild Plains Press (imprint of Crystalwizard productions), and my fourth book was back with McGraw Hill.

When Wild Plains requested the rights to publish, my agent checked them out. We talked and decided the editorial team, distribution, etc., were a good fit for this book. The book is about simplifying your life through knowing how to shop, cook, clean, organize, budgeting, and much more. All of my books are self help and will never appear on a best sellers list, nor will they win a Pulitzer. Many popular books like romance, suspense, and other genres have a limited sales time. Self help books generally stay around for 10 or more years and will have sales during that whole time.

This book was ideal for a boutique publisher and I enjoyed working with the editorial staff. They took my work, and working with me, made it much better. I don’t have the dream of writing a book that will sell millions within weeks of release, and then be made into a movie. I do know that getting the royalty checks is great. The royalty check from Wild Plains Press (Crystalwizard Productions) spends just like the others. Although my books aren’t going to make me independently wealthy, they do supplement my income very nicely.

For me Crystalwizard Productions was a good fit, and in the future if I have a book that my agent and I feel is right for them, I‘ll go back. Some people go POD and pay for their book to be published. That method isn’t good for me, but each person has to make that decision. Again, each person has to know what they want. If Crystalwizard Productions is not right for you, don’t go to them. But don’t think that small independent publishers, inclunding them, don’t have a place in the book market.

Anna Magdalena
03-07-2009, 08:16 PM
Looks like crystalwizard has rallied the troops! Three first time posters on one thread.

I would agree that poetry is a whole different ball game. But I dispute the idea that anyone who prefers the idea of a mainstream publisher does it in the hope or expectation of selling millions of copies, making loads of money and the 'inevitable' movie blockbuster. Not so. Not so at all.

lonrach
03-07-2009, 08:35 PM
Hi people.

I've been in this business since the 70's and I mean in the business. It's in the family and my mom is a well-known author. I know NY agents, editors in the big houses, big name authors. What I see over and over again are these myths perpetuated among writers (and illustrators) that got started god knows where, but they are based on stuff publishers did in the 50's and is in no way current with today's industry.

Until the advent of Lulu and other POD options, there was this fear that going to a small press meant limited run and no exposure to the bookstores. In the 80's this changed radically. Writers, (including my mom) pushed for a law that would tax bookstore inventory to prevent B.Dalton and other big stores from "making" a best seller by buying up a million copies, warehousing the book and then announcing that it was a best seller to cash in on the lemming effect. The result was that bookstores did not discontinue doing this, but dumped their mid-lists. Thousands (and I mean thousands) of solid, mid-list writers were dumped by the big houses who were also in the process of consolidation as the industry faced huge rises in paper prices and the loss of revenues to TV and lack of exposure on magazine racks. So the writers shot themselves trying to prevent the big stores from doing the grocery store best seller displays that they thought pulled in bigger bucks.

The result was the same as in the music industry. A new author pretty much had to sell themselves to "prove" that they were big market. You could no longer depend on steady sales. You had to make a big splash with the FIRST book or die. Declining money available for this kind of advertising pushed it on the author.

The result is that if you opt for a big house, and you can even get signed on (your chances are about 1 in 10,000) you then have to go to bookstores and get them to buy the book, which means going on tour on your own expense, going to cons, going everywhere. Authors often take books with them everywhere they go and hawk them to relatives, kids at school visits, friends, anyone and everyone who has money for a book. The effort involved with this will take about 50 percent of your writing time.

As for distribution, the big stores buy through one source: Baker and Taylor. All their buying is corporate though marketing people. Essentially, if you do not have some kind of catch or gimic or something, you will not rise to the top of the B&T pile to the notice of the reps. The reps are desperate for books that will sell, so are the stores, but no one knows what will sell, so they hope for the lemming effect.

I don't mean to be harsh and cynical, but there are three industries that are totally brutal: music, art, and writing.

I've sold to small press for a long, long time. Sometimes I get a contract and money and they never print. Sometimes they print and I get nothing. Sometimes they cancel the contract after two months and the book didn't sell wildly (this means you, the author, buy the books and sell them.) This is rapidly changing. POD books make it to Baker and Taylor, so if you find a press who has distribution in B&T and Ingram, you are just as well off as in the big houses. Better if the press is honest and reliable.

When Harry Potter 4 did not do well, what did Scholastic do? They had hired on hundreds of people to deal with the anticipated sales. They canceled almost 50 contracts with other fantasy authors instead of let go of the HP staff.

You are not going to get treated like anything other than another joe in this industry. But, long and short of it, is:

1. Look for a good editor who communicates with you, can actually spell, and will help you make the book better. Swallow your pride and know that good editors are hard to find.

2. Look for quality printing. Books that don't fall apart or ink that comes off in your hands, etc., etc.

3. Look for Baker and Taylor, Ingram but not Amazon. Amazon is great, but they are scalpers when it comes to selling books. They want huge discounts and pay schedules like the big chain stores.

4. Sell locally, over the net, and try to go to cons, etc. You'd do this anyway with a big contract. Most authors who make a living do this.

CYBERWIZARD has all these points.

Know that of the THREE MILLION authors in the US, only 3,000 make a living writing and over half of them also teach writing. So give up trying to get rich and go for quality and the satisfaction of having authored a book.

My two cents--but I can't stand to see this kind of thing keep going around.

thanks

M.R.J. Le Blanc
03-07-2009, 09:13 PM
For someone who's 'been in this business', I've yet to see those words echoed by people whom I know are in this business - Victoria, Jenna, Ann, Dave, Jim, and others. For your claims, you don't say who you are or where I can find your work. From my understanding, authors rarely go on book tours. And they get so many free copies from their publishers, they don't have to hawk them to family and friends. They give them as gifts. I've yet to meet an author who's majority of sales happens anywhere other than bookstores, with the exception of those who go with a good epub. It sounds like you got screwed by some bad presses out there, and if that's true I'm sorry that happened. But good publishers, both large and small, PAY their authors and get their books into bookstores. With good quality books that don't fall apart. And until some major shift happens, that is where the majority of your sales will happen.

I didn't get into this business to be a full-time marketer - I got in it to write. How much success I see I don't know, I have no expectations other than a good publisher and an acceptable advance. Anything after that is just icing on the cake.

Anna Magdalena
03-07-2009, 09:16 PM
Hi people.

I've been in this business since the 70's and I mean in the business. It's in the family and my mom is a well-known author. I know NY agents, editors in the big houses, big name authors. What I see over and over again are these myths perpetuated among writers (and illustrators) that got started god knows where, but they are based on stuff publishers did in the 50's and is in no way current with today's industry.

Until the advent of Lulu and other POD options, there was this fear that going to a small press meant limited run and no exposure to the bookstores. In the 80's this changed radically. Writers, (including my mom) pushed for a law that would tax bookstore inventory to prevent B.Dalton and other big stores from "making" a best seller by buying up a million copies, warehousing the book and then announcing that it was a best seller to cash in on the lemming effect. The result was that bookstores did not discontinue doing this, but dumped their mid-lists. Thousands (and I mean thousands) of solid, mid-list writers were dumped by the big houses who were also in the process of consolidation as the industry faced huge rises in paper prices and the loss of revenues to TV and lack of exposure on magazine racks. So the writers shot themselves trying to prevent the big stores from doing the grocery store best seller displays that they thought pulled in bigger bucks.

The result was the same as in the music industry. A new author pretty much had to sell themselves to "prove" that they were big market. You could no longer depend on steady sales. You had to make a big splash with the FIRST book or die. Declining money available for this kind of advertising pushed it on the author.

The result is that if you opt for a big house, and you can even get signed on (your chances are about 1 in 10,000) you then have to go to bookstores and get them to buy the book, which means going on tour on your own expense, going to cons, going everywhere. Authors often take books with them everywhere they go and hawk them to relatives, kids at school visits, friends, anyone and everyone who has money for a book. The effort involved with this will take about 50 percent of your writing time.

As for distribution, the big stores buy through one source: Baker and Taylor. All their buying is corporate though marketing people. Essentially, if you do not have some kind of catch or gimic or something, you will not rise to the top of the B&T pile to the notice of the reps. The reps are desperate for books that will sell, so are the stores, but no one knows what will sell, so they hope for the lemming effect.

I don't mean to be harsh and cynical, but there are three industries that are totally brutal: music, art, and writing.

I've sold to small press for a long, long time. Sometimes I get a contract and money and they never print. Sometimes they print and I get nothing. Sometimes they cancel the contract after two months and the book didn't sell wildly (this means you, the author, buy the books and sell them.) This is rapidly changing. POD books make it to Baker and Taylor, so if you find a press who has distribution in B&T and Ingram, you are just as well off as in the big houses. Better if the press is honest and reliable.

When Harry Potter 4 did not do well, what did Scholastic do? They had hired on hundreds of people to deal with the anticipated sales. They canceled almost 50 contracts with other fantasy authors instead of let go of the HP staff.

You are not going to get treated like anything other than another joe in this industry. But, long and short of it, is:

1. Look for a good editor who communicates with you, can actually spell, and will help you make the book better. Swallow your pride and know that good editors are hard to find.

2. Look for quality printing. Books that don't fall apart or ink that comes off in your hands, etc., etc.

3. Look for Baker and Taylor, Ingram but not Amazon. Amazon is great, but they are scalpers when it comes to selling books. They want huge discounts and pay schedules like the big chain stores.

4. Sell locally, over the net, and try to go to cons, etc. You'd do this anyway with a big contract. Most authors who make a living do this.

CYBERWIZARD has all these points.

Know that of the THREE MILLION authors in the US, only 3,000 make a living writing and over half of them also teach writing. So give up trying to get rich and go for quality and the satisfaction of having authored a book.

My two cents--but I can't stand to see this kind of thing keep going around.

thanks

I'm sorry, lonrach, but I don't follow your argument. As I said earlier, I'm not expecting to get rich or to make a living by writing. I wanted to write at least one novel that was chosen on its merits and by a publisher who would work hard to sell and promote my novel. Anyone can end up with quality and satisfaction in a finished book. It means nothing.

You seem very cavalier with your writing. Better if the press is honest and reliable?? Essential I would say.

I can't speak for bookshops in the US but I do not recognise any of it with reference to British bookshops and British mainstream publishers. Or the mainstream publishing business in the UK. I speak as someone who has worked in several big chain bookstores and know how they run their business. In the UK publishers dropped their mid-lists largely as a result of the abolition of the Nett Book Agreement and discounting began.

My two cents--but I can't stand to see this kind of thing keep going around.

I'm not sure what you mean about 'this kind of thing.' Do you mean the idea that mainstream publishing along tried and tested lines is no good or people being messed about by dubious outfits.

I would be interested to hear what other people have to say.

victoriastrauss
03-07-2009, 09:22 PM
When Harry Potter 4 did not do well, what did Scholastic do? They had hired on hundreds of people to deal with the anticipated sales. They canceled almost 50 contracts with other fantasy authors instead of let go of the HP staff.

What???

Can you cite a source for this bizarre assertion?


In the 80's this changed radically. Writers, (including my mom) pushed for a law that would tax bookstore inventory to prevent B.Dalton and other big stores from "making" a best seller by buying up a million copies, warehousing the book and then announcing that it was a best seller to cash in on the lemming effect.

This is also bizarre. What law was this? Besides, of what possible benefit would it be to bookstores to do this?

I wonder if you're thinking of the change in tax laws in the late 1970's that made it harder for companies to depreciate their warehoused inventory. The impact of this law--which made it less profitable to keep inventory on hand--was on publishers, not bookstores.


Thousands (and I mean thousands) of solid, mid-list writers were dumped by the big houses who were also in the process of consolidation as the industry faced huge rises in paper prices and the loss of revenues to TV and lack of exposure on magazine racks.

"Thousands" of midlist writers were dumped? Again, can you cite a source for this statement?

Publisher consolidation did happen in the 80's and 90's, but you're pretty far off on the causes.


As for distribution, the big stores buy through one source: Baker and Taylor.

Um. You forgot Ingram. Not to mention other wholesalers, distributors, and the publishers themselves,


The result is that if you opt for a big house, and you can even get signed on (your chances are about 1 in 10,000) you then have to go to bookstores and get them to buy the book,

This is nonsense. Yes, authors self-promote, but trust me, if you sign up with a large publisher, you do not have to hawk your books to bookstores. That's strictly an issue for small press authors.


Know that of the THREE MILLION authors in the US, only 3,000 make a living writing and over half of them also teach writing.

Come on. Where do you get something like this? Granted, writing is not a lucrative profession--I wrote a blog post (http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2007/08/victoria-strauss-writers-and-money.html) on that a while back. But please, if you're going to make that point, just make it--don't cite bogus statistics to back yourself up.

- Victoria

Anna Magdalena
03-07-2009, 09:44 PM
Thanks Victoria. I forgot to pick up on that last point. (The first is something I can neither support or refute although it doesn't sound like the way a company like Scholastic would behave.)

I am with a small but mainstream UK publisher. They use a professional design company to produce the cover. They use a company that handles sales to bookstores. They produce a glossy new titles catalogue that is sent to every bookstore in the land. I am a writer not a salesman (and no, not famous or young and blonde either.) They have distribution and warehousing organised. They use a US distributor. They have appointed a PR agency to handle all my promotion with the media.

If I wanted to I could sit back and do absolutely nothing. I have agreed to be available for interviews and promotions but I don't have to do any actual selling. Oh and I got paid an advance (not a huge amount but a lot more than one dollar) and I get the standard royalty percentage on sales. I get a through (and I mean thorough) line by line editing as well as the standard copy editing.

veinglory
03-07-2009, 11:33 PM
I see all kinds of logical fallacies here but the most striking one is that if you can make millions you shouldn't worry about making any money at all. Working purely at the small press level even a very low output writer like myself (may a hundred publishable words a day on averge) can make thousands of dollars a year. Is the implication that authors choosng small presses cannot and should not expect to earn useful amounts of money? because my experience is that you can make useful money in the small press, if you choose the right small press.

James D. Macdonald
03-07-2009, 11:57 PM
Writers, (including my mom) pushed for a law that would tax bookstore inventory to prevent B.Dalton and other big stores from "making" a best seller by buying up a million copies, warehousing the book and then announcing that it was a best seller to cash in on the lemming effect.

Dude, are you trying to take credit for Thor Power Tool?

Old Hack
03-08-2009, 12:30 AM
Lonrach titled his single post up there, "It's not about distribution". I can't help feeling he's trying to distract us: Crystalwizard insisted that Cyberwizard Productions had proper distributions, and went so far as to name its distributors. We then discussed how the organisations named were wholesalers, and not distributors, which is a whole other bunch of bananas: and now Lonrach and his or her friends have come along to tell us all sorts of things. But regardless of their views, it's important not to lose sight of the fact that Cyberwizard Productions doesn't appear to have any effective distribution in place for the books that it publishes, and so any author who publishes through them is unlikely to sell more than a few copies to anyone they're not related to, or aren't friendly with.

tbrosz
03-08-2009, 12:32 AM
What???

Can you cite a source for this bizarre assertion?

- Victoria

Why, Rita Skeeter, of course.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
03-08-2009, 01:04 AM
But regardless of their views, it's important not to lose sight of the fact that Cyberwizard Productions doesn't appear to have any effective distribution in place for the books that it publishes, and so any author who publishes through them is unlikely to sell more than a few copies to anyone they're not related to, or aren't friendly with.

QFT

Anna Magdalena
03-08-2009, 01:06 AM
Why, Rita Skeeter, of course.

Nice one! :roll:

Michael H. Hanson
03-08-2009, 04:39 AM
Hello:

My trade paperback creation, the shared-world anthology "Sha'Daa: Tales of the Apocalypse" is being published by Altered Dimensions Press. The official publication date is May 1, 2009.

The "back and forth" that I have been reading in this forum folder appears to be filled with cross discussions on the "nature of professionalism in publishing," "the definition of book distribution," and loaded questions seemingly designed to somehow embarrass the organization in question.

Cyberwizard Productions is a Small Press. Their business model is a common-enough one predicated on a small war chest, a POD-style ordering policy, and a strong working relationship between author and publisher (one that admittedly relies heavily on authors willing to actively promote themselves and their writing to the best of their abilities).

As creator and co-author of "Sha'Daa: Tales of the Apocalypse" I wish to state for the record that my dealings with Cyberwizard Productions have always been above-board, honest, straight forward, and quite informative. They have always answered every single pointed question I have asked (and I've been asking dozens from acceptance all the way through final approval on galley proofs of both the text and the cover). They have never misled me, made false promises, exaggerated their services, nor pretended to be anything other than what they are, a small press.

I consider any and all of their actions since acceptance of my book back in 2008 to be ethical, honest, and professional.

And that is all I have to say on that matter.

Kind regards,

Michael H. Hanson
http://www.shadaa.com/

brainstorm77
03-08-2009, 04:47 AM
Altered Dimensions Press is an imprint of Cyberwizard Productions?

veinglory
03-08-2009, 04:58 AM
I order to determine what posts in this thread are "designed" to do I would suggest that participants look at other threads in this subforum (some run more critical, some more favorable, none all favorable that I can think of). There is a phenomenon called "defenders of the faith" which pops up more often in some threads than others. In fact I am resisting the urge to run a correlational analysis between such posts and the duration of the publisher's operation.

crystalwizard
03-08-2009, 07:27 AM
Cyberwizard Productions doesn't appear to have any effective distribution in place for the books that it publishes, and so any author who publishes through them is unlikely to sell more than a few copies to anyone they're not related to, or aren't friendly with.

You are wrong. Very wrong. And I am very, very tired of being insulted by this forum in public.

When and if you can prove your statement, you're welcome to post it in public. Until you can prove it, all you are doing is stating your personal opinion which isn't based on facts but rather on assumptions.

everythinginblak
03-08-2009, 07:45 AM
People are going to say what they want to say. I don't mean for that to sound nasty either. But-if you are tired of being insulted-which I don't think anyone is trying to do-then...how about just stop posting all together? Personally, I would question your publishing ethics just like everyone else. You are new, I don't know who you are, and with the rise of publishing scams and such, people want to know who they are dealing with.

That isn't being insulting, it's called being cautious.

I would never submit to you. Your guidelines are WAY too strict-and....this is just my opinion, but I feel that they were poorly written. I remember when my sister and I started a magazine, that we worked really hard on writing the best, professional submission guidelines we could. And we had someone read them over and make suggestions.

Anyway, this wasn't meant to insult you. I understand what it's like to be new working in the publishing industry. But I did LOTS of research for a few years before I even started. Heck, I'm thinking about starting another magazine soon. And guess what? I'm still going to do more research on how to make it better! I want the people that I aquire to help me, as well as those that submit to me to be happy with the service. And if they have any concerns, I won't take any offense to it.

Humbleness is key.

But then again-what do I know?

I'm just an eighteen year 'kid' in a conversation with a bunch of grown folks who know more then me. :D

BenPanced
03-08-2009, 08:43 AM
You are wrong. Very wrong. And I am very, very tired of being insulted by this forum in public.

When and if you can prove your statement, you're welcome to post it in public. Until you can prove it, all you are doing is stating your personal opinion which isn't based on facts but rather on assumptions.
Then would it be possible for you to give us some sales figures?

Phoenix Fury
03-08-2009, 09:16 AM
You are wrong. Very wrong. And I am very, very tired of being insulted by this forum in public.

When and if you can prove your statement, you're welcome to post it in public. Until you can prove it, all you are doing is stating your personal opinion which isn't based on facts but rather on assumptions.

Sigh.

Argument: A series of statements, supported by logic and evidence, intended to convince or compel an individual or group of people to agree with a particular position.

Assertion: A statement claimed as fact, unsupported by either logic or evidence.

Old Hack engaged in the first process. Cyberwizard continues to engage in the second. And becoming angrier and angrier, and shooting out defensive comments like "I'm very tired of being insulted"--when it is the PUBLISHER which must prove its worth, not the other way around--doesn't help Cyber's cause either. Enough of the vitriol. Time for the sales figures.

ejket
03-08-2009, 09:33 AM
I am very, very tired of being insulted by this forum in public.
If you're being misunderstood, then please make some effort to clear things up; if not---which is to say if you print books that your authors must sell for themselves despite your insistence that you have full distribution in place---then please just admit it and be done.

And yes, sales figures.

Mac H.
03-08-2009, 09:58 AM
Writers, (including my mom) pushed for a law that would tax bookstore inventory to prevent B.Dalton and other big stores from "making" a best seller by buying up a million copies, warehousing the book and then announcing that it was a best seller to cash in on the lemming effect. The result was that bookstores did not discontinue doing this, but dumped their mid-lists. Thousands (and I mean thousands) of solid, mid-list writers were dumped by the big houses ...The idea that a supplier would push for a law with the aim that their customers would be taxed more is bizarre! Please tell your mother not to push for any other laws !

Thankfully, though, I think this is a mis-remembered account of the famous 'Thor Power Tool .v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue' court-case.

There is a full account of it here: http://supreme.justia.com/us/439/522/case.html

I really feel sorry for that company. The court found that that not only was it 'thoroughly convinced' that the 'write-down of excess inventory did conform to generally accepted accounting principles ' and that if Thor had failed to write down its inventory on some reasonable basis, its 'accountants would have been unable to give its financial statements the desired certification' .. they still weren't correct according to the Department of Internal Revenue.

The SWFA have a nice article of how this affected publishers here: http://www.sfwa.org/bulletin/articles/thor.htm

Mac

Anna Magdalena
03-08-2009, 01:44 PM
Cyberwizard.

No-one is insulting you or your business. No-one is calling you a crook or a scam meerchant. No one even thinks you are. Can you quote the words where that has been stated for fact?

Those of us who care to post on the Bewares and Background sub-forum do so because we care about writers and want them to get the best publishing deal for their writing. Look upon us as investigative journalists, if you like. The moderators, especially, are all highly informed. So are many of the people who take the time to post and help other writers avoid getting into something without being armed with all the facts.

When we see a publisher who shows that he/she doesn't fully understand publishing from top to bottom or hasn't much experience, we ask questions. We're not stupid. We do know there are different ways of being published and we do know that everyone has to start somewhere but when people start yelling that they're being insulted, well, we start to wonder...

You see, in our experience, those who shout the loudest about the intentions of people who just want to get things clear, who don't acknowledge that there are writers out there who have been sorely disappointed or ripped off, some of them for thousands of dollars/pounds--just read some of the other threads here--then you will see why we are cautious. Cautious. Not accusing.

We have no agenda. We are all individuals from all around the world. We have no problems with small publishers, micro, mini, whatever...as long as they know what they're doing. We give praise where praise is due. Take a look at other threads here.

victoriastrauss
03-09-2009, 04:02 AM
I note that in the discussion over the past couple of days, the point I made (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=3359248&postcount=18)about the Cyberwizard editors' apparent lack of professional writing/publishing experience hasn't been addressed.

- Victoria

Cyia
03-09-2009, 05:41 AM
Publishers without the resources (and this is not a jugement on CW, just an answer to the above question, I can't comment on CW as I've never seen their site) do NOTHING for the industry other than muck it up for writer's whose best efforts get sullied by association.

Even if someone writes the definitive novel of our time, it means nothing if it can't make it out to the readers via a distribution system that lets people know it exists. You can starve to death in a house full of food if you don't know it's there.

And, IMO, warnings are the greatest form of help. They keep others from getting dragged into a quagmire that requires a larger scale of resources later.

KikiteNeko
03-09-2009, 05:55 AM
We don't help publishers. Publishers help us by agreeing to publish us. It's not our job as writers to help rookie publishers as they struggle to get the job done without the proper means to do so.

I think it's a common misconception that new writers are given an unfair shake. While it's true Stephen King will get published sight unseen, agencies and publishers are always looking for a new breakout authors to hit it big. A new writer with the right talent can be published and hit it big. In fact a LOT of big bestsellers are first-time novelists. A LOT. And they are published by Penguin, Harper, etc. Big names.

A publisher must have industry connections and be able to do all it can to promote the book. It's better to have no publisher than to have an inexperienced one that won't do you any good. The mom-and-pop principle does not apply here.


There are many on this forum who have knowledge of the publishing industry. Some believe this publisher is lacking in areas of that knowledge. It is very hard for a new writer to be published in good times. The present world situation is making it even harder. Would it not be better to have more publishers willing to take on new writers? Not to say, “Publishers who are lacking in expertise should be used,” but, with all the knowledge in this forum would it not be better to help this publisher grow in the right direction? As Victoria stated…”Even having it right does not guarantee success.” Why don’t those who can help, say, “Hey, I’m here. Have any questions let me know. I’ll be glad to help.”
I understand many members of this forum would say left if I suggested right, and right if I suggest left…etc…But like it or not, this is a truth you can take to the bank:
“Take care of the industry you need, and it will take care of you.” Anyone can sit back and find something wrong with anything. What became of Americans who offered help, rather then gave warnings. Help this publisher. Maybe someday she will help you.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
03-09-2009, 05:55 AM
There are many on this forum who have knowledge of the publishing industry. Some believe this publisher is lacking in areas of that knowledge. It is very hard for a new writer to be published in good times. The present world situation is making it even harder. Would it not be better to have more publishers willing to take on new writers? Not to say, “Publishers who are lacking in expertise should be used,” but, with all the knowledge in this forum would it not be better to help this publisher grow in the right direction? As Victoria stated…”Even having it right does not guarantee success.” Why don’t those who can help, say, “Hey, I’m here. Have any questions let me know. I’ll be glad to help.”
I understand many members of this forum would say left if I suggested right, and right if I suggest left…etc…But like it or not, this is a truth you can take to the bank:
“Take care of the industry you need, and it will take care of you.” Anyone can sit back and find something wrong with anything. What became of Americans who offered help, rather then gave warnings. Help this publisher. Maybe someday she will help you.

The thing is, in my short time here I've seen a lot of new publishers who either don't know what they're doing or are screwing people over. Out of all the ones that don't know what they're doing, only a couple have seemed to actually take the time to listen to what Victoria and others are saying. To really try hard to make it work despite the obstacles before them. The rest plain just don't want to listen, whether because they honestly believe their way is the right way or they don't like being told what their doing is wrong or won't work. If you look at the reasons behind a lot of these new publishers, there's a common theme. They feel in some way that the industry is 'broken', or doesn't give new writes a chance and so they're going to come in and 'revolutionize' it. Do you really think they're going to listen to those who tell them there's nothing wrong with the publishing industry?

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.

Lamadon
03-09-2009, 06:20 AM
I am an author with one of Crystalwizard's magazines, and I am very pleased with how she has handled everything. She is a micropress, and makes no illusions otherwise. Micropresses can lead to greater things, such as the case of Matthew Wayne Selznick and many others. A real publisher wouldn't say "Oh, he's with a micropress even though he's a really good writer, I wont offer him a deal." If you can succeed with a micropress there is a chance a bigger house will pick you up.

I feel like the people on this board make the pretense of "helping" writers, when what they really are doing is trying to feed their ego. The world of publishing is changing.

And by the way, Victoria, you don't need professional publishing credits to know how to edit a book.

Unimportant
03-09-2009, 06:25 AM
with all the knowledge in this forum would it not be better to help this publisher grow in the right direction?
That is exactly what everyone here is trying to do. We're asking CW the same questions we ask every publisher -- who are your distributors? What experience do your editors have? What kind of print runs do you do? What books have you published? How many copies have sold?

And when we get answers, we'll offer information as appropriate: Ingrams is a warehouser; get in with a distributor like IPG or Perseus. Hire staff or freelance substantive and copyeditors who have solid credentials. Do print runs of at least 2000; it's more cost effective than POD and, honestly, if you're not selling at least 2000 copies per title you're probably not going to stay in business long. Send out galleys for review to high-profile places to get some buzz going.

An awful lot of us here -- me, Veinglory, etc -- are published with small presses, micro presses, POD presses, e-presses. We aren't trying to stomp out small presses by any means. A good small press is awesome. But a bad small press can destroy an author's career. And we're all here because we care about authors.

So we're asking CW, as we ask everyone: What can you, a publisher, do for me, an author? If I sign a contract with you, can you edit my book properly? (Prove it!) Can you turn my manuscript into a quality product with a nice cover and good layout? (Prove it!) Can you make sure my book gets in front of potential buyers? (Prove it!) Is my book likely to sell enough copies to make it worth my while? (Prove it!)

Authors show a publisher they can write a marketable manuscript by sending them a marketable manuscript. Publishers show authors they can turn a marketable manuscript into a book that sells well and earns the author tangible rewards by having in place all the necessary criteria to make this happen, and, even better, by also having done it before. So, if CyberWizard will show us what they can do, we authors will show them what we can do.

Lamadon
03-09-2009, 06:29 AM
OK, look, I hope I didn't sound harsh in my last post. But I know for a fact that when I sent her a story to her magazine, we went through extensive edits and it lasted about 2 months before we got it right. She has a good eye for editing.

Once again, I hope I didn't offend anyone.

Lamadon
03-09-2009, 06:31 AM
Also, she doesn't have a shitload of books that she's published to collect $50 on each, she is trying to market the heck out of the ones she has, and although she doesn't have a sales team I know for a fact she is a very hard working and good intentioned lady.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
03-09-2009, 06:44 AM
That may be so, but it's experience, know-how and connections that sell books. Not good intentions.

KikiteNeko
03-09-2009, 06:51 AM
I know for a fact she is a very hard working and good intentioned lady.

Good intentions mean squat when they're your only tool, sorry to say.

KikiteNeko
03-09-2009, 06:51 AM
And by the way, Victoria, you don't need professional publishing credits to know how to edit a book.

You do if you want the book edited professionally.

Lamadon
03-09-2009, 07:00 AM
She has experience editing semiprofessional (less than 5 cents a word) magazines. If you say you can't publish books without professional experience, you are condemning probably 90% of all micropresses and small presses.

KikiteNeko
03-09-2009, 07:01 AM
She has experience editing semiprofessional (less than 5 cents a word) magazines. If you say you can't publish books without professional experience, you are condemning probably 90% of all micropresses and small presses.

I wouldn't say I'm condemning them, but I don't think a small press will get a novel the attention a bigger publishing house would.

veinglory
03-09-2009, 07:03 AM
I would say more like 25%, about the proportion that close within 2 years. That's just my made up statistics based on the number I have seen close since I started tracking epublishers. The other thing I noticed is that the few that really took off are run by people with executive or senior editing experience.

That said some novices certain did start what turned out to be stable micropresses.

DavidKM
03-09-2009, 07:04 AM
I want to mention first that I am feverish still and that's why you haven't heard from me for the last three days. Also, I use voice recognition software, so anything that looks like a typo is probably a speako. I don't plan to do a lot of proofreading of this message. What can I say to all who know a different, and much more professional, world of publishing. My experience comes out of science fiction fandom. Although some of those publishers do pay, it is not very much. Some pay royalties, but mostly they publish things that won't pay royalties because not enough copies will be sold to pay out the cost of publishing. The only book I've gotten royalties on was a science textbook. That was yet a different kettle of fish, and it was with McGraw-Hill. From the perspective provided by my experience, Crystalwizard behaves very professionally to her authors. I don't know why she has posted so defensively here; I wish she hadn't.

KikiteNeko
03-09-2009, 07:10 AM
Is there a difference between a business expert, and a person who knows how the publishing industry works?
Um. Yes.



Thus far the only expert I have seen comment on this thread is Victoria. The rest sound like echo's falling out of a tin can.

In other words, the person who agrees with you is an expert and the rest are just noise. Lots of people on this thread know how publishing works.

Lamadon
03-09-2009, 07:13 AM
I wouldn't say I'm condemning them, but I don't think a small press will get a novel the attention a bigger publishing house would.

I realize this. But I don't think that makes small press worthless.

KikiteNeko
03-09-2009, 07:18 AM
I realize this. But I don't think that makes small press worthless.

I don't think small presses are worthless. I think authors who are seeking high advances and wider distribution should aim for bigger houses. I realize it doesn't always work out that way, but there's nothing wrong with starting out by aiming for the top.

veinglory
03-09-2009, 07:18 AM
I don't think anyone is proposing that small presses are worthless. Suggesting there are limitations is not saying there are no merits. You might note that many of use participating in this thread publish with small presses.

Perpetua
03-09-2009, 07:19 AM
I don't think small presses are worthless. I think authors who are seeking high advances and wider distribution should aim for bigger houses. I realize it doesn't always work out that way, but there's nothing wrong with starting out by aiming for the top.

Isn't this a individual choice made by each writer?
Personally I choose to stick with publishers I know that have a good track record.
This thread seems to be just moving round and round in circles.

KikiteNeko
03-09-2009, 07:21 AM
Isn't this a individual choice made by each writer?

that would be why I said "I think" and "in my opinion"

DavidKM
03-09-2009, 07:27 AM
I have learned a lot, reading the last three days worth of posts. My book consisted of science fiction and fantasy Poems, some of which were previously published in micro-press magazines, both electronic and paper. Some were reprinted from Isaac Asimov's science fiction magazine, and some saw their first publication there.


http://www.cyberwizardproductions.com/diminuendo/nightship.html


Of the micro presses I have dealt with, this is seriously the most professional. Then again, most of the rest were one-person operations and are no longer in business. Maybe these people would have done better if they had sought professional advice and taken it. I do know some people involved with science fiction micro-press publishing who have also sold to more professional places, like Wildside. I guess they know when they write something that would interest such a publishing house and then they sent the manuscript.

aka eraser
03-09-2009, 08:05 AM
Enough.

Closing this until and if the resident mods decide it's worth re-opening.

CaoPaux
03-09-2009, 06:50 PM
Enough, indeed. Take the personal stuff to PM, folks.

victoriastrauss
03-09-2009, 07:37 PM
And by the way, Victoria, you don't need professional publishing credits to know how to edit a book.

This may be true.

But if I'm going to pay you to edit my book, I'll be looking not just for natural editing ability, but for professional experience that assures me you'll be editing to market standards. And if my publisher employs you to edit my book, I'll be looking for the same thing--not just as an assurance that your editing will make my book better, but as an indication of my publisher's professionalism.

Once again, I'm not impugning anyone's abilities. It's entirely possible that someone with no professional writing or publishing experience is the most brilliant editor ever. But there is no way to know that in advance. So in evaluating a publisher (or an editor), it's much safer to look at credentials. Publishing, agenting, and editing are skilled professions, and one of the best measures of skill is professional achievement.

This is basic logic in most professional situations, and it constantly amazes me that so many writers are ready to pitch it out the window at the slightest sign of publisher or anget interest. One of the reasons you want an agent or an editor is that they are more skilled than you. One of the reasons you want a publisher, rather than just self-publishing, is that it can do more for you. But again and again, I see writers giving the benefit of the doubt to agents, publishers, and editors who have hardly more experience than they do. At best, this won't move you any farther along in your career. At worst, it'll waste your time and tie up your rights.

- Victoria

lonrach
03-09-2009, 08:27 PM
Hi people,

Sorry that some of my stories seem bizarre. I didn't want to name drop. I've been involved with SCBW and NY agents and editors for a long time. In my own family are authors with 70 books published some of which sell into the hundreds of thousands. Harlan Ellison and Jane Yolen are family friends, just to say two names so you know that I'm not just groaning and complaining, although that's what Harlan does! ;)

I may have some of my factoids wrong, but my sister is a manager at Borders and none of the stores buy from Ingram any more. The Scholastic thing was from five Scholastic writers who had their contracts canceled.

I know five authors who don't have to push their books but do, G.R.R. Martin is one. He shows up at cons, even local cons quite often. No, you don't have to tour, but if you don't, your sales show it. I also know a number of agented writers (big houses) who "compete" like artists for bids on a writing job.

My information on writers' incomes comes from two internationally renowned teachers who have been teaching creative writing workshops for 20 years.

Yes, some of what I said was obvious, like getting someone honest. But I do know authors who have had their royalty statements docked with all kinds of weird stuff. Some houses are reputable, check with other authors with those imprints first. Usually writers are so eager to have their work published that they'll go with someone and then be too embarrassed to pull out later. If you don't have an agent, have a lawyer look over the contracts first.

The best way I've found to get published, if you want to be so with anyone, is to connect with other published writers or editors, etc. My sister writes high-powered sports articles, but go no jobs until the editors met her, interviewed her, talked with her, and realized that not only was she talented, but that she could do the job and be on time. The biggest gripe of editors (and one of the big reasons they don't like first time authors) is that artists/writers are not professional, can't get the work done on time, can't make changes, can't stand feedback, and etc.

Another friend of mine who is a book doctor in the UK and knows all of the editors there says that people don't realize that it's all right to be an amateur author. An amateur author is one who loves their work, has a special project, is keen on getting it out there as it is, and wants their ideas and talent brought forth. A professional writer (he says) is someone who can write to spec, can write on deadline, has written hundreds of stories or many, many books, loves the process of writing, and doesn't much care about the projects except as a participant on a writing team. Most agented writers do not even get to write their own plots.

The romance of writing a book and have some editor fall in love with it and pay thousands of dollars advance for it, is a romance. It exists, yes, but it's like winning the lottery. For hard core writers, (like Harlan Ellison) you write hundreds of thousands of words for diddly until you gradually work up (through your connections) to doing more interesting and lucrative projects. All the big name authors, Martin, Herbert, Heinlein, etc., spent many many years working very hard for very little. What editors want to see is a looonng track record that proves that you are professional, not a manuscript from a author that may be delightful and glorious but may not be professional.

I have not sold fiction to Cyberwizard. I don't think that my work is a good match for their house. But I've worked with over twenty houses and know the reps of fifty more. If you don't think you have to go on tour or to cons and that you don't have to hawk books (even if you get 100 free copies) think again. If you have a day job, those copies can stay on the shelf. If you don't, then you take them to cons or bookstores or even funerals.

But good news is: although there are more writers out there, the work is better. It's much harder to make a living doing art or music than writing. Seriously, if you want to be a professional writer, sell whatever you have to whoever will buy it and go on to the next project. If you can sell ten books in five years, you can be a professional writer. If not, that's cool. Amateur has this stink to it that it doesn't deserve. In my book, Tolkien qualifies as amateur writer. He had one project and did not love writing, but loved writing on his work. He refused to let anyone edit his work. Ayn Rand started wanting to be a professional and became an amateur. Hugo coughed up at least one book a year.

If you love your project, consider a small press. If you just love writing, even if you never get to choose the plot or develop the characters, go with a career as a professional.

I'm not going to post again. Frankly, I don't have time. You all seem like a nice bunch of people, but I do both illustration and writing. i write 10,000 words a day or I do one illustration a day on top of working a day job. I'd love to be involved in discussions about craft, but it's just not logistically possible. I've tried to clear up some myths about the industry as I see them (the one where all you have to do is sell a book and the publishers will do all the work to market it) but I don't have much time to argue.

Please take what I've said into the collection of other stuff you've heard. I would love to give facts and figures, but this industry is very tight. I've gotten totally flamed for complaining when a magazine took a year to pay me for a rush job. If you say something bad about anyone--well, just don't do it. Let it go.

hey, people. Writers are a special kind of people. Craftsmen. But the book industry is an industry. They have to make money to survive. If you, as a writer, know this, you can help them make money and work with them.

I don't know this will help you, but you can have fun looking at it! ;) After thirty-five years and 20 books, I'd go with a reliable small press over someone like Scholastic. But I'm an amateur now! I love it.

take care

Lamadon
03-09-2009, 08:33 PM
This may be true.

But if I'm going to pay you to edit my book, I'll be looking not just for natural editing ability, but for professional experience that assures me you'll be editing to market standards. And if my publisher employs you to edit my book, I'll be looking for the same thing--not just as an assurance that your editing will make my book better, but as an indication of my publisher's professionalism.

Once again, I'm not impugning anyone's abilities. It's entirely possible that someone with no professional writing or publishing experience is the most brilliant editor ever. But there is no way to know that in advance. So in evaluating a publisher (or an editor), it's much safer to look at credentials. Publishing, agenting, and editing are skilled professions, and one of the best measures of skill is professional achievement.

This is basic logic in most professional situations, and it constantly amazes me that so many writers are ready to pitch it out the window at the slightest sign of publisher or anget interest. One of the reasons you want an agent or an editor is that they are more skilled than you. One of the reasons you want a publisher, rather than just self-publishing, is that it can do more for you. But again and again, I see writers giving the benefit of the doubt to agents, publishers, and editors who have hardly more experience than they do. At best, this won't move you any farther along in your career. At worst, it'll waste your time and tie up your rights.

- Victoria

Right. But I think a small publisher like Cyberwizard Productions is better than a self publisher because it offers editing, (marginal) promotion, cover design, and some publisher investment ($$) all for free. Not to mention without the stigma of self publishing.

I agree that major publishers are better for someone's career, but I think small press is a way that many people have started out.

The Grump
03-09-2009, 08:44 PM
Want to ditto Lamadon on small presses as a way to start a career ... or at least get feedback.

My experience: On my first novel, I've submitted it to the fantasy agents to be rejected all around. Have submitted it to four publishers so far and got three personal comments even though still rejected. (I accept that the book would be a hard sell. *shrug*)

priceless1
03-09-2009, 09:03 PM
Crystalwizard, you state that you have distribution. When I look up your titles on iPage, I don't see a distributor listed. iPage always lists them because they are the contact point when Ingram needs to order more books for their warehouses.

lonrach
03-09-2009, 09:04 PM
Quick note,

I haven't tried to sell fiction to Crystalwizard because my fiction is intellectual, Victorian and complex. Crystalwizard tends to like more straightforward stuff that is emotionally appealing and good fun with action and adventure thrown in. I highly recommend them as a publisher for those who fit their profile. As editors, they are without parallel.

thanks
me

veinglory
03-09-2009, 09:19 PM
How did this turn into a debate about small versus large press? It seems to me the criticisms made were about whether this was a good small press, i.e. one that will make good sales due to effective distribution. Crystalwizard said they did have it--offering deep discount and returns. Borders staff said otherwise.

All generic faith and doubt aside--do they have a distributor and offer standard terms or not? A small press should know what these terms are and whether they offer them.

BenPanced
03-09-2009, 09:38 PM
Also, some of us have asked about sales figures to help determine how much distribution this publisher has.

Anna Magdalena
03-09-2009, 09:39 PM
I agree. What Lonrach says about the publishing industry is right in many places but wrong in others. Much of the rest is totally off-topic and confusing--at least to me. I still don't know the difference between an amateur and a professional writer. To me, anyone who writes and submits and hopes to sell their writing is a professional. Amateurs keep their writing under the mattress.

This thread is about Cyberwizard and distribution. As veinglory says, someone said that Cyberwizard has no distribution. Cyberwizard said she did. Then there was a bit of a heated discussion about what she means by distribution and then she said distribution isn't necessary anyway. Which is it?

I like things to be clear and straightforward.

victoriastrauss
03-09-2009, 09:55 PM
Lonrach, no amount of name dropping will enhance the credibility of your comments. (BTW, I've been in the business since the 70's too--and I know Jane Yolen. Shall I say hello for you?)

Above, you say "The Scholastic thing was from five Scholastic writers who had their contracts canceled." But in your initial message (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=3366670&postcount=57), you said "almost 50" writers had their contracts canceled by Scholastic. OK, so maybe it was a typo, and you meant "almost 5." Even so, I would appreciate some sourcing of this claim--not just to verify that writers' contracts really were canceled (which can happen for a variety of reasons), but that the cancellation had a connection to Harry Potter 4 "not doing well," per your original claim.

For the record, I agree completely that writing is a difficult, non-lucrative profession not for the faint of heart. But to say that "Most agented writers do not even get to write their own plots" is quite simply absurd--where on earth do you get this kind of information? Are you perhaps thinking of tie-in fiction? And again, having to hawk one's books to stores or carry them to cons is only an issue for authors with smaller presses. I've been to many cons as a guest and panelist, and the dealers there have stocked my books without any help from me (are you aware that the contracts of many commercial publishers prohibit authors from re-selling their books?). Also, even if you are with a smaller press, if it's a SF/fantasy specialist press it may well be at the con in the dealer's room, with--yes--a stock of your books.

It's also not true that "What editors want to see is a looonng track record that proves that you are professional." A track record certainly helps get you noticed in the slush pile; but it is absolutely not a pre-requisite for publishing a first novel. Poke around AW for a while, and you'll find many track-recordless first-timers who've gotten good agents and sold novels to major publishers.

I have to ask, if you don't have books with Cyberwizard, why are you so intent on defending this company and its editors? I suspect a connection you aren't confessing.

Veinglory said, "How did this turn into a debate about small versus large press? It seems to me the criticisms made were about whether this was a good small press, i.e. one that will make good sales due to effective distribution." It's a good point. Questioning or criticizing the business practices of a small press is not the same as impugning small presses in general. And it's perfectly reasonable for writers to want to know what a small press can do for them, and whether it is able to live up to its claims.

ETA: OMG, I missed this: "...but my sister is a manager at Borders and none of the stores buy from Ingram any more." Come on. Borders is in trouble, we know that, but "none of the stores buy from Ingram any more?" How can you make a statement like that, and expect anyone to take you seriously as someone who knows about the biz?

- Victoria

Phoenix Fury
03-09-2009, 10:34 PM
Veinglory said, "How did this turn into a debate about small versus large press? It seems to me the criticisms made were about whether this was a good small press, i.e. one that will make good sales due to effective distribution." It's a good point. Questioning or criticizing the business practices of a small press is not the same as impugning small presses in general.

Amen. Large houses aren't all alike; neither are small presses. And small doesn't mean micro either, btw, which also seems to have gotten confused in this thread.

Old Hack
03-09-2009, 10:54 PM
I phoned Gardners this afternoon to ask what the terms were for Crystalwizard's books and was told that while Gardners' website will list anything with an ISBN, they don't appear to have had terms set for the titles I provided--which implies that Crystalwizard has no distribution contract with Gardners. I've emailed Gardners for clarification, and emailed Bertram THE too, and will report back if and when I receive a reply.

veinglory
03-09-2009, 11:03 PM
We can disagree on concepts, but distribution is a matter of which agents and under which terms, and so should be something that simply "is".

Gravity
03-09-2009, 11:03 PM
:::grabbing some popcorn from Mister Jimmy and settling in to watch:::

Lamadon
03-10-2009, 12:04 AM
This is all a game designed to boost your egos. I am satisfied. I KNOW cyberwizard doesn't have a massive distribution team, but I seriously doubt a lot of publishers you've given your almighty "OK" to haven't either. That's OK--I don't need your approval.

veinglory
03-10-2009, 12:10 AM
No one cares about egos here (for good or ill). The thread is to help people understand what publishers offer. Question number one in all cases is: "what is their distribution capability"? The reason we are going in circles is because we haven't received an answer to that yet but I will try one more time.

What is the returns policy?
What is the discount offered to retailers?
Are the books available through Ingrams?

All of the above can be substituted for: what are the typical sales levels (for example in the first year after release)?

Any answer is a valid answer, honestly. Authors just like to know. Then they can decide how that matches what they are seeking in, or can realistically expect from, a publisher.

As I have already noted, several of my own publishers have no print copy distribution at all. It isn't always a deal killer because they offer ebook sales that are more than adequate for my needs.

Lamadon
03-10-2009, 12:11 AM
That's something CW would have to answer.

veinglory
03-10-2009, 12:13 AM
I would also expect their existing authors to be privy to that knowledge and permitted to share it, as I am with my publishers.

Lamadon
03-10-2009, 12:17 AM
Like I said before, I am only published with one of her magazines. I do not have a book out with her company.

IceCreamEmpress
03-10-2009, 12:43 AM
This is all a game designed to boost your egos.

No, it really isn't.

Victoria doesn't need to "boost her ego" by doing watchdog work. She does it (and her colleagues A.C. Crispin and Richard White do it) as a service to her fellow writers.

The SFWA recently honored Victoria for her ten years of work (http://sfscope.com/2009/01/victoria-strauss-to-receive-sf.html) on behalf of fellow writers.

Nobody else here is doing this for the egoboo, either, because there isn't any egoboo involved here any more than there is on Yelp or Angie's List or the Better Business Bureau website. People are sharing their opinions and trying to help others.

BenPanced
03-10-2009, 03:52 AM
This is all a game designed to boost your egos. I am satisfied. I KNOW cyberwizard doesn't have a massive distribution team, but I seriously doubt a lot of publishers you've given your almighty "OK" to haven't either. That's OK--I don't need your approval.
Any publisher, regardless of size, should be willing to discuss the terms we've questioned. They're in it for the business and if they aren't going to reveal the terms and conditions on which they operate, then they must not need the business. No accusations of "scam" or "charlatan" or "snake oil" here. Simple rules of business, really.

Lamadon
03-10-2009, 05:41 AM
I asked her some of the questions you've had.

Here are her answers:

What is the returns policy?

We accept returns. The specific policy is dependent on the distributor the store is working with. I specify deliver, not destroy. Some distributors will only accept returns from stores if the books are in good shape, some are more relaxed. I want the books back in saleable condition.

What is the discount offered to retailers?

If they buy directly to CWP, they get a 40% discount off retail. If they buy from the distributors they're supposed to get 40% as our distributors are giving 55% but whether they follow that is up to the individual distributor.

Not sure why she didn't come and post them here. Also, she said she specified her distributors already.

If those aren't good enough answers, I'm sorry; I'm beginning to grow weary of this thread and I feel like CWP has no need of being defended anyway. Besides, I find this questioning of one of the magazines I write for to be a little insulting, whether I should or not.

Lamadon
03-10-2009, 05:42 AM
And yes, with the distributor thing, she doesn't mean a massive sales team shipping to multiple bookstores.

veinglory
03-10-2009, 06:07 AM
[removed]

CaoPaux
03-10-2009, 06:09 AM
Yeah, keep the munching to the PA threads, m'kay?

Lamadon
03-10-2009, 06:10 AM
<DELETED>

priceless1
03-10-2009, 07:00 AM
Also, she said she specified her distributors already.
Well, no she didn't. I made a point of asking, and she never replied. iPage shows her "distributor" as Lightning Source, which means this is a POD operation who lacks proper distribution with sales teams pitching their lineup to genre buyers and libraries. No crime in that, only there is no way her books will see the store shelves. Again, no crime here as long as authors are aware of this fact.

Personally, I think she came in with a pretty strong attitude and ran from this board awfully fast. Any publisher should be willing to answer questions. This is how people learn about their company. Her defensive tone and unwillingness to answer very simple, basic questions speaks volumes in my book.

Phoenix Fury
03-10-2009, 07:08 AM
Well, no she didn't. I made a point of asking, and she never replied. iPage shows her "distributor" as Lightning Source, which means this is a POD operation who lacks proper distribution with sales teams pitching their lineup to genre buyers and libraries. No crime in that, only there is no way her books will see the store shelves. Again, no crime here as long as authors are aware of this fact.

Personally, I think she came in with a pretty strong attitude and ran from this board awfully fast. Any publisher should be willing to answer questions. This is how people learn about their company. Her defensive tone and unwillingness to answer very simple, basic questions speaks volumes in my book.

I don't always agree with Lynn, but she's right on here. And it seems to me there's a lot of the whole "I'm insulted!!!!! *FLOUNCE*" coming from some of the Cyberwizard people in this thread. I fail to see why any press, let alone one which can't fully explain its distribution model, deserves to be treated with kid glove reverence. Again, less vitriol and more reasoned replies would be helpful.

Lamadon
03-10-2009, 08:30 AM
I've reasoned about all I can. You people just won't listen. Yes, she's a POD publisher, and I realize it.

I give up on this thread, and I won't be returning. I simply don't care.

Lamadon
03-10-2009, 08:46 AM
I took a look at the titles, and most of Crystal Wizard's books are further ahead in Amazon's ratings than Lyrical Press or the vast majority of POD presses. She doesn't publish a shitload of books like Lyrical does.

And by the way, Jeff VanderMeer told me micropresses are a good idea. He started out in the small press and now he is a World Fantasy Award winner who writes for Tor (more than the vast majority of you can claim--except Victoria and Mr. McDonald of course).

Either way, I am done. You people are completely unreasonable and nothing I say will ever satisfy you.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
03-10-2009, 09:52 AM
Look Lamadon, no one forced you to come in here to defend CW. And quite frankly, it's hard to believe someone who is so willing to talk about all this knowledge he/she apparently has but refuses to give their own name. I don't know you from Adam, so why should I believe what you say? I have no way of knowing. You provided nothing to support your arguements, and when you were asked to you got defensive. Victoria and the others at the very least don't hide behind a screen name. If you expect people to take you seriously, maybe next time try not being so vague.

And by the way, there's a difference between a small press and a micropress, the latter being smaller hence the name. There's nothing wrong with either so long as you know what to expect and are satisfied. No one here is arguing the merits of small publishers or micro publishers. What is being questioned is CW's ability to act as a capable publisher.

Plus, Amazon ratings don't mean squat. They're constantly changing.

Phoenix Fury
03-10-2009, 12:32 PM
I've reasoned about all I can. You people just won't listen. Yes, she's a POD publisher, and I realize it.

I give up on this thread, and I won't be returning. I simply don't care.

DING!

And, breaking Phoenix's Law (when you flounce out of a thread, stay flounced) in a record sixteen minutes:



I took a look at the titles, and most of Crystal Wizard's books are further ahead in Amazon's ratings than Lyrical Press or the vast majority of POD presses. She doesn't publish a shitload of books like Lyrical does.

And by the way, Jeff VanderMeer told me micropresses are a good idea. He started out in the small press and now he is a World Fantasy Award winner who writes for Tor (more than the vast majority of you can claim--except Victoria and Mr. McDonald of course).

Either way, I am done. You people are completely unreasonable and nothing I say will ever satisfy you.
Again, DING!

Do I win the bingo game, Old Hack?

veinglory
03-10-2009, 05:59 PM
Micropesses in general are neither a good nor a bad idea. A good micropress is potentially a good idea, a bad one is always a bad idea.

And to be fair although I let it go her answrrs to my three simple questions were still incomplete. i.e. the two answers were a tad vague and the third was missing. But it was sufficient for authors to understand that Cyberwizard books are not stockable in normal chain bookstores. It should be noted that some small presses are stockable either intermittantly or routinely.

crystalwizard
03-13-2009, 01:26 AM
But it was sufficient for authors to understand that Cyberwizard books are not stockable in normal chain bookstores. It should be noted that some small presses are stockable either intermittantly or routinely.

I have told you this before in this thread, and I will say it again. Our books ARE stockable in normal chain bookstores. I am very tired of you continuing to insist that they are not.

Why Borders lists our books as not offering normal terms, I have no answer for. They should not. Our books are returnable and bookstores, including Borders, get the standard 40% discount.

I would greatly appreciate it if you would stop spouting off the untruths and out right lies about my company that you continue to post in a public forum.

Phoenix Fury
03-13-2009, 01:33 AM
I have told you this before in this thread, and I will say it again. Our books ARE stockable in normal chain bookstores. I am very tired of you continuing to insist that they are not.

Why Borders lists our books as not offering normal terms, I have no answer for. They should not. Our books are returnable and bookstores, including Borders, get the standard 40% discount.

I would greatly appreciate it if you would stop spouting off the untruths and out right lies about my company that you continue to post in a public forum.

This kind of attitude is making your press look much, much worse. Stop the vitriol.

priceless1
03-13-2009, 01:50 AM
Our books ARE stockable in normal chain bookstores... Why Borders lists our books as not offering normal terms, I have no answer for. They should not. Our books are returnable and bookstores, including Borders, get the standard 40% discount.

Argh. None of the titles have ISBN numbers, so I picked a title out of the blue, which happened to be Crysalwizard's own book; Wizard's Bane: Book One of the Sojourn Chronicles. I found it in Amazon (was trying to find the ISBN so I could check iPage for their distributor). Only problem is that this book was pubbed by AuthorHouse, and there is no other listing, yet it is listed on the Cyberwizard site. After some further checking around, it appears as though the Ancient Tomes imprint is a collection of Crysalwizard's books. All of the subsequent books are listed on iPage, there is no distributor listed.

Yes, the books are stockable by special order since they are returnable. Where I get concerned is if Borders is listing you as not offering normal terms, then you, as the publisher, must find out for the good of your authors. Otherwise they may not order any of your books for special orders. You're the captain of your ship, and you have to be able to provide your authors with the answers. "I don't know" doesn't cut it.

I don't think anyone is trying to set you up as raw meat for the lions, but you haven't been very forthcoming. We asked some basic questions, and you came here with a chip on your shoulder and snipped at us rather than provide answers. Why? Any publisher worth their weight must be able to answer questions - especially such simple ones such as, who distributes your books?

That you're less than forthcoming says something about you, given that you grow so defensive over questions that every publisher is asked any number of times. Makes no sense, and makes people wonder why.

roseangel
03-13-2009, 02:23 AM
It makes me wonder, as a potential maybe one day submitter, what the heck they are so intent on hiding?

crystalwizard
03-13-2009, 02:41 AM
Argh. None of the titles have ISBN numbers,

Every single book has an ISBN number and a Library of Congress control number



After some further checking around, it appears as though the Ancient Tomes imprint is a collection of Crysalwizard's books.

My name isn't Danny Birt. Did you happen to notice his books on the Ancient Tomes imprint page?

Also, did you happen to notice that the ISBns for those books that ARE mine are different from the ISBNs that belong to Authorhouse? Is there a problem with me putting my own books up under my own company?





Yes, the books are stockable by special order since they are returnable. Where I get concerned is if Borders is listing you as not offering normal terms,

Borders has their information incorrect. They get their information from either Ingram or Baker & Taylor, whichever distributor they purchase from. They don't order directly from me, any more than Barnes and Noble does or Amazon does, or the libraries do. They all go through various wholesale distributors. I posted that as well, but evidently no one reads my posts, only the posts of those people who live on this forum and think that they are experts.




but you haven't been very forthcoming.

Oh yes, I have. I have answered every question, some several times. I listed the names of the distributors we work with. I then saw several posts in this thread where I was accused of NOT listing those people.

I will say this one more time. Regardless of the incorrect opinion of some of the members of this forum that a distributor's main function is to contact book buyers for chains and talk them into buying copies of books for their stores, that is not the function of a distributor. A distributor's function is to distribute stock for vendors to various outlets. They may be distributing potato chips or they may be distributing produce or they may be distributing other goods. Book distributors are almost also wholesalers. Their function is to have stock on hand and make it available to various retail outlets.

They are not book resellers. They are not book marketers. They are not in the business of contacting book buyers for various chains and or indies. They are in the business of selling large amounts of stock to various retail outlets.

We are distributed by 4 different companies world wide. You are welcome to look back through my posts in this thread if you want the specific names of those companies. I don't feel a need to repost them again.

Nor do I expect several of the members of this forum to pay any attention. I expect them to continue right on posting incorrect information, spouting off their personal opinions as fact and continue to do their best to create problems.




We asked some basic questions, and you came here with a chip on your shoulder and snipped at us rather than provide answers.

Let's see. Almost the first post that someone made here was an accusation directed at me. Go back and read through the first few posts. See where someone is stating that they would "stay away" because I am supposedly suspected of doing something underhanded. Go read that post and see what the crime I was supposed to be doing actually was.

I've watched the members of this forum do the same sort of underhanded thing to a number of other publishers over time. There are people here who seem to feel that they are the authorities and that their personal opinions, which don't as a rule have any actual research to support them, are absolute fact.

I have little hope that those people will get a clue. I fully expect to see them continue to attack and try to tear down anyone that they don't personally approve of.

That's a sad thing, frankly, because those people damange a lot of others and they seem to enjoy it.

The snipe squad that lives on this forum hasn't got a very good reputation in other places.





Why? Any publisher worth their weight must be able to answer questions - especially such simple ones such as, who distributes your books?

I posted that way, way, way back at the beginning of this thread. It is the incorrect opinion of a couple of the members here that the companies I listed are not distributors. Since those companies CALL themselves distributors AND they do the job of a distributor AND they are considered by various bookstores to BE distributors, the problem is not that I didn't list my distributors. The problem is that a couple of people (one who has the title of Mod) are wrong with their own idea of what a distributor actually is and they are not about to admit it.

crystalwizard
03-13-2009, 02:44 AM
It makes me wonder, as a potential maybe one day submitter, what the heck they are so intent on hiding?

I'm hiding nothing. I've answered every question that I've been asked. The problem is that there are certain members of this forum who have incorrect information which they continue to post as fact and who have deliberately ignored my responses.

Way back at the beginning of this thread I also offered to put anyone that would like in touch with all the various authors and artists that work with me. That offer still stands. If anyone would like to speak to people that have had experience with me, let me know.

I was turned down flat. The people who started this aren't interested in accurate information. They are only interested in posting their personal opinions and looking like they are right and everyone else is wrong. Like they are some kind of authority, which they are not.

crystalwizard
03-13-2009, 02:47 AM
And to be fair although I let it go her answrrs to my three simple questions were still incomplete. i.e. the two answers were a tad vague and the third was missing.

You are one of the posters here who is a serious problem. Yet I answered all of your questions. You ignored my answers. You continue to insist on incorrect definitions, insisting that I didn't post the names of the distributors I work with when I did. You insist that the companies I listed arent' distributors, which strikes me as odd since the bookstores who use them consider them distributors.

As far as I can see, the only reason you are actually posting anything in this thread is to make yourself look important and authoritative since you have ignored every response I have given, substituting your own opinion for the actual facts.

crystalwizard
03-13-2009, 02:49 AM
Personally, I think she came in with a pretty strong attitude and ran from this board awfully fast. Any publisher should be willing to answer questions. This is how people learn about their company. Her defensive tone and unwillingness to answer very simple, basic questions speaks volumes in my book.

I didn't run from the board. When it became evident that my responses were being ignored, and that the people I was trying to have a conversation with were actually only interested in being negative and seeing what kind of problems they could cause, I decided I had much better things to do with my time.

I have been a member of this forum for quite a while, in case you're interested, and lurked as a guest long before I did join. I didn't join just because someone started this thread. I almost never post.

I truely dislike the way that the vocal members of this forum behave.

Sheryl Nantus
03-13-2009, 02:59 AM
You really need to be less snarky about stuff like this. Because you're wrong.

A wholesaler provides warehousing and fulfillment services--they stock and ship your books in response to orders. Examples: Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Brodart, Bertrams. A distributor also stocks and ships your books--but it also has a sales force that actively sells the books into physical bookstores. Examples: National Book Network, Consortium, PGW/Perseus. A wholesaler fills orders. A distributor generates orders.

I will grant that the distributor/wholesaler issue is clouded because so many people use the terms interchangeably. But there really is a difference. And while a wholesaler is often called a distributor, a distributor is most definitely not a wholesaler.

Here's a more detailed discussion of that (http://www.untechnicalpress.com/wholedist.htm).

- Victoria

repeated for truth.

Vic does know what she's talking about. Check her resume.

:D

everythinginblak
03-13-2009, 03:01 AM
Touchy. See this is exactly why I hang out in the 'Teens writing for Teens' thread. Adults can be so stuck-up and ill-tempered. It's kind of funny.

Everybody should just calm down.

I mean, I can understand being a bit upset when you have to constantly repeat yourself because you feel like no one is listening. But....usually when it comes to that point-you should just leave the situation alone. And I don't think this whole conversation is going anywhere.

I think anyone getting ready to sign with any publisher should ask questions, and do some extensive research before signing the dotted line. And I don't think that the publisher should have an attitude when someone raises concerns-even if that person is incorrect about their buisness model. That makes you look bad. And image should mean everything.

Once again, no one is probably going to pay any attention to me-because I probably 'don't know what I'm talking'.

But I can't help but put my two cents in.

amergina
03-13-2009, 03:09 AM
So how does Borders or Barnes and Noble find out about your author's books so that they can order them from B&T or Ingrams and stock them on their shelves?

Do the authors have to go into the stores and market the books, or do you as a publishing company contact these outlets and encourage your titles to be stocked? Does another company do this for your books?

Basically, how do your books wind up on a shelf in a bookstore?

(I've been lurking on AW for quite some time, but yes this is my first forum post)

crystalwizard
03-13-2009, 03:28 AM
I mean, I can understand being a bit upset when you have to constantly repeat yourself because you feel like no one is listening. But....usually when it comes to that point-you should just leave the situation alone. And I don't think this whole conversation is going anywhere.

Yeah, and I tried that. You can see what happened though. If I answer their questions, I get accused of one thing. If I ignore their posts then I'm accused of something else.

I have, however, said all I'm going to and responded to all the posts in this thread that I'm going to.

My email address is on my website. If anyone here is honestly interested in answers, not just bored and looking for something to do, they are welcome to email me and we'll discuss stuff. Privately.

everythinginblak
03-13-2009, 03:39 AM
And like I said, when you have said all you can say, say nothing else at all. Maybe that's 'bad' advice coming from an eighteen year old, lol. But all the back and forth? Most of the time, I just roll my eyes at everybody. Nobody seems to be getting their point across. It's starting to turn into a very informative/useless debate. Hope that makes sense.

I'm not saying that I don't have concerns about your company. But I have had concerns about plenty of publishing companys-regardless of that fact if they were legit or not. That's just normal. People want to make sure that they are getting exatcly what someone states they are and will get.

Every business has to grow and learn in the industry that they are pursuing. Even if you have been in it for twenty years. You never stop learning. There is a way to say things and to handle certian situations.

I am never for someone being insulted. But I'm also not for rudeness either.

This should be a polite conversation, with polite answers to questions.

I'm not taking sides.

I just want everybody to play nice-even if we all do not agree :)

priceless1
03-13-2009, 03:50 AM
Every single book has an ISBN number and a Library of Congress control number
Yes, I'm sure they do, but the ISBNs aren't listed on your site anywhere, so I had to hunt them down on Amazon.


Also, did you happen to notice that the ISBns for those books that ARE mine are different from the ISBNs that belong to Authorhouse? Is there a problem with me putting my own books up under my own company?
You miss my point. Your current title wasn't up on Amazon, so there is no way anyone could order it unless they went to your site. I never did find your current ISBN because you don't list them on your site.


Borders has their information incorrect. They get their information from either Ingram or Baker & Taylor, whichever distributor they purchase from.
And that is why you have to contact Ingram and B&T to straighten out the problem. Otherwise it could cost you and your authors sales.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
03-13-2009, 03:54 AM
There has been a lot of talking, and I've followed this thread all the way through. The one thing I have yet to see is how Cyberwizard's books get on store shelves. Being avaliable to order is all fine and dandy, but I'm not going to go into a store to order a book I don't know exists. And it seems I'm not the only one who hasn't seen a straight answer to this. So Crystalwizard, or someone else, please either just give the straight answer or point it out where I missed the answer to this question:

How do Cyberwizard Productions books get on bookstore shelves?

I'm not being snarky, I'm not being accusatory, at this point I just want to know. This is one of the most important points for any writer when considering a publisher, and you owe it to your current authors and future potential authors to be extremely clear on this point.

Phoenix Fury
03-13-2009, 04:17 AM
I'm not being snarky, I'm not being accusatory, at this point I just want to know. This is one of the most important points for any writer when considering a publisher, and you owe it to your current authors and future potential authors to be extremely clear on this point.

Too late, I'm afraid--Crystal has flounced out, and if she obeys Phoenix's Law, she'll have to stay flounced (though we'll give her an exception if she wants to try again :) ). Two thoughts for Crystal:

1. No amount of angrily stamping one's foot and yelling "We are TOO distributed!" makes it so. As Victoria has made it very clear, a true distributor sells your books actively, not just makes them available to bookstores if anyone randomly decides to order a book out of the ether (since they would have no way of knowing said book even exists otherwise). Pointing your finger and accusing pros of ignoring your posts, when you continue to avoid this issue, isn't helping.

2. Your defensiveness has been in evidence very early, and it's gotten worse as time goes on. You've also engaged in the classic BS tactic of claiming outside authority: "You have a bad reputation elsewhere," though you don't give specific examples...and besides, if people elsewhere really feel this way they'll come and say so themselves.

I've said it before and I'll say it one last time: drop the attitude and get rid of the chip on your shoulder. Every one of your posts has made you look more and more petty, and played in to every one of the stereotypes associated with the new publisher that doesn't know what it's doing and decides to substitute vehemence for competence. If you want to be taken seriously, answer the questions calmly and thoroughly. If not, by all means stay flounced.

victoriastrauss
03-13-2009, 05:25 AM
Folks, can we dial it down a notch or two?

Crystalwizard, as one of the only people here whose comments you haven't addressed, I'd like to suggest that you reconsider the tone of your posts if you decide to return. It certainly isn't pleasant to be grilled on a writers' forum, and I understand the instinct to become defensive. But much of the heat that's been generated here has been the result of your sarcastic and condescending responses--which are especially unwarranted in the instances in which you are quite simply wrong (such as your insistence that those who point out the difference between wholesalers and distributors are "incorrect").

- Victoria

aka eraser
03-13-2009, 09:47 AM
Closing this until/if Vic or Cao re-open.

CAO ETA: reopening.

simonm223
09-06-2010, 05:20 PM
Wow,

Those submission guidelines were REALLY specific.

I mean, no swearing, no sex, no graphic depictions of violence. Got me coming, going and coming again.

crystalwizard
09-06-2010, 09:15 PM
Wow,

Those submission guidelines were REALLY specific.

I mean, no swearing, no sex, no graphic depictions of violence. Got me coming, going and coming again.

*grin* You can't say that I confused you with my guidelines, now can you?

KyraDune
10-01-2010, 07:12 PM
I was thinking of submitting my novella here http://www.greatfantasybooks.com/

Does anyone know anything about this publication?

amergina
10-01-2010, 07:23 PM
I'm sure a mod will be along shortly to move this, but in the meantime, here's a link to the thread about Cyberwizard Productions: <link snipped>

My questions when I look into a publisher are this: Have I read works in their line? Were they any good? Has anyone I know ever heard of this publisher? Read their books? Is that what I want for my work?

Some things to think about... :)

Gillhoughly
10-01-2010, 07:53 PM
I think they are well-meaning but inept. Really inept.

"How inept are they, Gill?"

Here's my edit of two sample paragraphs left to die on their front page:


By the time Jarl and Aerline got to Wizard’s Alley, the clouds had started (passive voice)to break apart and float away. Sunshine spilled across over the street. and lit up the (they're not electric or on fire) Brightly colored flags waved from above every shop.

(New paragraph) “Wow,” Jarl exclaimed, trying to make sense of the confusion. (It's sunshine on flags, what is so confusing? Keep this guy away from used car lots or he'll have a cardiac.)

Aerline smiled, took his arm, and led him down the street (word rep). A pink dragon perched on the roof of a nearby shop took to the air as she finished speaking (WHO is speaking? Not Aerline. Not the pink dragon. Jarl only said the one word, wow.) and soared less than a foot over their heads. Jarl ducked and cast a wary glance at its departing tail.

(New paragraph) Aerline laughed. “It wasn’t isn't real, silly. That’s Nonnie’s shop. She only does illusions. That’s an advertisement. (Fantasy world and 20th century Madmen words, let's call this jarring.) See?” She pointed to the roof where the pink dragon had rematerialized (passive voice) appeared once more. “He can’t hurt you, he’s not solid.”




This 134-word excerpt, intended to hook a reader into spending 16.95 + S&H to read the rest, has at least 10 errors that should have been cleaned up before releasing into the wild.

There may be more, but I'm waiting for my coffee to kick in.

I suspect the editor and the writer are the SAME person, since the author of this book is "Crystal Wizard."

As a writer and an editor, CW is hardly qualified for either job.

Here's the next line:



Jarl glared suspiciously at the dragon, ducked as it flew over his head again, and dragged Aerline to the other side of the street. (The pink dragon dragged her? I know what you meant, but change this so no one else has to read it twice.)



Their awkward cover art looks like screen caps from a low resolution video game or from 3nd rate artists still trying to figure out how to use Photoshop.

Move on, this POD bunch is strictly amateur hour. They won't intentionally screw you over, but they are hardly going to be a pro credit.

Their chief editor can't fix his/her own prose and bring it up to a readable level, how is he/she qualified to work on YOURS?


It's a rookie mistake to start at the bottom. When shopping a book around start at the top (after workshopping and feedback and lots of rewriting) and work your way down.

By the time you're desperate enough to sub to THIS bunch, you should have a new book finished and ready to shop--to the big houses who can pay you money.

KyraDune
10-02-2010, 08:46 PM
Okay, I think I'll pass on this one and look for a different publisher. Thanks.

crystalwizard
10-02-2010, 10:22 PM
By the time Jarl and Aerline got to Wizard’s Alley, the clouds had started (passive voice)to break apart and float away. Sunshine spilled across over the street. and lit up the (they're not electric or on fire) Brightly colored flags waved from above every shop.

spoken like a man who is obsessed with fad editing.

There is nothing wrong with passive voice, just so that you are aware. Granted, the current fad is that passive voice should never ever be allowed, but there's still nothing wrong with it.

Most of your line edits show distinct personal preference, but not solid, editorial excellence.

You obviously do not like such tools as personification, alliteration, and other perfectly acceptable methods of turning boring prose into vivid imagery. From reading your edits, I'm guessing you at the sort of person that prefers only peas, corn and potatoes with your steak, and avoids any sort of unusual foods.

That's fine, that's your choice, but such an attitude doesn't make for a good editor.

But worse that that, you went from ill-considered editing advise to personal attacks. That shows a serious lack of professionalism on your part.

Terie
10-02-2010, 10:24 PM
:popcorn:


I'm guessing you at the sort of person that prefers only peas, corn and potatoes with your steak, and avoids any sort of unusual foods.

(snip)

But worse that that, you went from ill-considered editing advise to personal attacks. That shows a serious lack of professionalism on your part.

You know that phrase about the pot calling the kettle black?

crystalwizard
10-02-2010, 11:13 PM
:popcorn:


:partyguy:

M.R.J. Le Blanc
10-02-2010, 11:21 PM
Here we go again...

brainstorm77
10-02-2010, 11:27 PM
spoken like a man who is obsessed with fad editing.

There is nothing wrong with passive voice, just so that you are aware. Granted, the current fad is that passive voice should never ever be allowed, but there's still nothing wrong with it.

Most of your line edits show distinct personal preference, but not solid, editorial excellence.

You obviously do not like such tools as personification, alliteration, and other perfectly acceptable methods of turning boring prose into vivid imagery. From reading your edits, I'm guessing you at the sort of person that prefers only peas, corn and potatoes with your steak, and avoids any sort of unusual foods.

That's fine, that's your choice, but such an attitude doesn't make for a good editor.

But worse that that, you went from ill-considered editing advise to personal attacks. That shows a serious lack of professionalism on your part.

Well, you're the one running the business. You're not showing much professionalism yourself. I would expect more from you, since you are representing your business with every post. *shrugs*

When someone googles Cyberwizard Productions, this thread will come up too. Not good, in my opinion.

brainstorm77
10-02-2010, 11:36 PM
spoken like a man who is obsessed with fad editing.

Gill is a woman.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
10-02-2010, 11:50 PM
Gill is a woman.

And an editor, IIRC

Saanen
10-03-2010, 12:01 AM
Oh, good grief, CW. I've stayed out of this thread until now because frankly I don't want to get involved, but your defensiveness is (as others have pointed out) completely unprofessional and frankly childish. And before you snark at me too, please note that I am one of your authors. At this point, I'm embarrassed to be associated with you. If you must reply to people's comments, please make an effort to act like an adult and address the issues calmly and rationally.

I'd be happy to answer anyone's questions regarding this publisher if you'd like to PM me. I'm quite happy with them, actually. My book, Jack of All Trades, was the result of a writing experiment (I actually wanted to see if I could write a book that could be broken up into short stories) that didn't quite work the way I'd hoped--it's a 60,000 word fantasy, rather episodic, set in an alternate-history 1920s rural Britain, and I had already trunked it without trying to place it when I got into an online conversation with CW about it, and she asked me to send it along. She offered me a contract and the book was released about a year and a half ago.

I haven't sold many copies, but I never expected to. If anyone's interested, I've got the first chapter up on my website (http://kcshaw.net/novels.html; you'll have to scroll down a bit). Royalties are paid quarterly and always arrive promptly.

Again, please PM me if you have any questions because I don't plan to revisit this thread. I'm probably going to regret posting this as it is.

veinglory
10-03-2010, 12:09 AM
When I visited the site that book was one that stood out as interesting to me, if anything the cover art was what didn't quite sell it to me. Just FYI.

Gillhoughly
10-03-2010, 03:18 AM
spoken like a man who is obsessed with fad editing.

Spoken like an editor who would have returned the submission with a recommendation you get Elements of Style and take it to heart. The copy on my desk is about worn out after 22 years of use.

You call it a fad. I call it making excuses to avoid fixing what's clearly in need of a tune up.


There is nothing wrong with passive voice, just so that you are aware.Perhaps not in your universe, but in mine it is eliminated as much as possible. That is why I have 20+ books in print, selling in the bookstores, translations in half a dozen languages, audio books, invitations to contribute stories to this or that collection--

--and you do not.


Granted, the current fad is that passive voice should never ever be allowed, but there's still nothing wrong with it.The "current fad" is what it is and you deal with it or you don't sell---or you open a micro press and try to convince people that details like that don't matter.


Most of your line edits show distinct personal preference, but not solid, editorial excellence. Content editors do exactly the same thing, and you got exactly the same editing style I've used on a dozen other writers--many of whom are on the NYT bestseller list. (The moderators will vouch for that; they know who I am.)


You obviously do not like such tools as personification, alliteration, and other perfectly acceptable methods of turning boring prose into vivid imagery. Actually I do. I adore all of it! And if you had any of that in your writing I'd be buying your books and recommending them and your publishing house to writers rather than correcting basic mistakes you should have dealt with yourself.

You are more than welcome to post work on the AW Share Your Work forum and other writers will be glad to help you improve your craft. I can promise they will pick on the passive voice business along with the other points, but you'll emerge a better writer for it.


From reading your edits, I'm guessing you at the sort of person that prefers only peas, corn and potatoes with your steak, and avoids any sort of unusual foods.Learn to cook the basics yourself first before you tell Gordon Ramsey how to do it.


That's fine, that's your choice, but such an attitude doesn't make for a good editor.I've won awards for it, kiddo, and get to sit at the cool table with editors from St. Martins, Baen Books, Tor, and Penguin. The drinks are great, the chat even better.


But worse that that, you went from ill-considered editing advisce to personal attacks. That shows a serious lack of professionalism on your part.Not at all. You got the same drubbing I give to those NYT writers. They can take it and have done so with much grace.

The usual response is a head slap followed by "How did I miss THAT one! Hang on, let me fix it."

That's a pro attitude.

You have a passion for writing so LEARN YOUR CRAFT.

Plenty of writers take the simplest of words and make miracles.



THIS IS JUST TO SAY, by William Carlos Williams

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox
and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast
Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

Jamiekswriter
10-03-2010, 06:24 AM
Wow. ::applauds Gill:: Wow. :e2headban

christwriter
10-04-2010, 03:25 PM
(Offers Gill a doughnut)

Ya know, I know it's really hard to do it, but when you say "i'm leaving" you really ought to stick with it. Coming back just makes you look bad. Also, you DO know that Priceless1 runs her own small press, right? So her questions weren't coming from a writer. They were coming from a peer who knows what the "right" answers are, because she had to do it herself not too long ago.

My 2cents? Between poor distribution/no distribution (as that question still remains unanswered and publisher is insanely defensive when it is brought up, so I have to assume the answer is negative) the poor editing I can see from the excerpts, the horrible covers (the next time your artist does a 3-d cover, turn the shadows on. It triples the render time but it quadruples the art quality. Also find subtler image maps for landscapes and the DAZ dragon, because right now everything is chew-your-face-off busy. Is the guy on the last cover David3? He looks like David3. Why is he missing half his face?) and the owner's unprofessional attitude, this is not a press I would want to work with.

If these points are addressed, and there is improvement over the course of a year (esp. the covers. Once you're actually in a bookstore that's the most important part of the book, and the covers I see are genuinely hideous. It's bad enough having to carry Baen's covers through the checkout line) then I might change my mind. Right now, there's absolutely nothing to recommend Cyberwizard Productions over another small press.

... Seriously. Why is the guy on Wizard's Bane missing half his face?

Shade53
10-04-2010, 04:01 PM
Not all the covers are awful. I was quite pleased with the one done for my collection. It's not part of the fantasy section but the scifi one.

Hardwired Humanity (http://www.amazon.com/Hardwired-Humanity-Sarah-Wagner/dp/0981566987)

christwriter
10-07-2010, 05:19 AM
It's not awful, but it's not good, either. There's a few anatomical flaws, shading issues (I should not be able to identify the brush settings used on the moon, let alone see individual brush strokes, and I can) and a total lack of depth. The deal killer with this cover, for me, is that it isn't well designed. It isn't designed at all. It's just text plopped down on top of mediocre artwork. The text is this small, cramped, "Gee, this one looks otherworldy" font that is difficult to read and further complicated by being dropped directly on top of artwork. If you're making a cover, you use a clear font. If you're putting the text on top of artwork, you use a really clear font, and you tell the artist ahead of time to leave a big-ass dead space (sky, usually) so that the font will still be readable when it's dropped in there. It also irks me as a buyer that the jacket blurb is a quote instead of a summery. I want to know what the book is about. If I want a random quote, I'll open the book to a random page.

The overall problem, though, is that it does not look like a professionally published book. It's bland. It's ugly. It's hard to read. Worst of all, it does not leap out and grab my attention. A professionally designed cover (read as=cover a publisher pays money for) is not just artwork shoved on the cover for the sake of artwork on the cover. It's an advertisement for the book inside. It should identify, clearly, at twenty paces, that the book is professionally published, what genre it is, what some of the content is, and usually, what the author and title is. And it should make the viewer be more interested in this book than the other fifty books sitting on the shelf right beside it. There are a few exceptions to "genre and content" (the goddamned apple-and-hands on Twilight's cover) but generally, that's what you do. And that damn apple-and-hands was minimalistic genius. Somebody at Little, Brown knew exactly what would happen with that book. But I digress.

"Professionally published" is indicated by hiring an artist who can create competent, mostly anatomically correct and (usually) visually pleasing artwork. "I value this product", it says, "so I invested money in it. I can afford to hire a good artist, so you know I can afford to buy quality material and hire good editors and a competent book design team. You know you'll like it. Go ahead. Pick it up."

As a reader, I wouldn't do any in-depth analysis. I would go "Not interesting" and move on to something shinier, and I wouldn't even know that I did that. I would not notice this book at all. As an author, though, I have to ask myself why the publisher is not investing in a better artist. If a book deserves publication, it deserves a kick-ass cover. If a publisher is genuinely serious about investing in a book, they WILL invest in a kick-ass cover because THAT, more than anything else in the UNIVERSE, is what sells the book.

If a publisher's covers suck, I have to wonder why they value their products so poorly that they won't invest in good promotional materials (AKA good covers). Artists are cheap. We work for rent and ramen. It isn't that hard to get one of us who actually knows what they're doing to work for you. If you compare the cost of artwork with the cost of editors, printers, shipping books, warehousing books and keeping a good marketing team on staff, it's not that much. If a publisher doesn't care enough to get the basics right, why should I give them my book?

M.R.J. Le Blanc
10-07-2010, 05:53 AM
Is your book supposed to be published by Cyberwizard, Shade53? Because it lists a different publisher.

veinglory
10-07-2010, 06:16 AM
Altered Dimensions is an imprint.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
10-07-2010, 06:20 AM
Got it :)

crystalwizard
10-07-2010, 07:22 AM
It's not awful, but it's not good, either.

to each their own.

Some people delight in tearing other people down.

This forum has a reputation for being populated by people who have nothing better to do than be mean spirited and look for reasons to trash other people.

Terie
10-07-2010, 07:41 AM
But worse that that, you went from ill-considered editing advise to personal attacks. That shows a serious lack of professionalism on your part.


This forum has a reputation for being populated by people who have nothing better to do than be mean spirited and look for reasons to trash other people.

And you have established a reputation for being a hypocrite.

When you've dug a hole this deep, it's best to stop digging.

triceretops
10-07-2010, 07:42 AM
to each their own.

Some people delight in tearing other people down.

This forum has a reputation for being populated by people who have nothing better to do than be mean spirited and look for reasons to trash other people.

Then I'm glad I'm here. I've been trashed to the point to where my eyes are open and become a better writer for it.

Tri

M.R.J. Le Blanc
10-07-2010, 08:20 AM
to each their own.

Some people delight in tearing other people down.

This forum has a reputation for being populated by people who have nothing better to do than be mean spirited and look for reasons to trash other people.

And you're honestly well on your way to creating a reputation of being unprofessional. You don't see other publishers engaging in this sort of behaviour. I'm of the mind that if you're good at what you do, negative comments aren't going to matter because whatever it is you do is going to stand on its own merits regardless. People slam Microsoft, but it's still raking in millions of dollars a year isn't it?

Marian Perera
10-07-2010, 12:10 PM
Not all the covers are awful. I was quite pleased with the one done for my collection. It's not part of the fantasy section but the scifi one.

Hardwired Humanity (http://www.amazon.com/Hardwired-Humanity-Sarah-Wagner/dp/0981566987)

I just read the Product Description on Amazon.


Set in the new future, when cyborgs are not too uncommon, Sarah weaves tails of suspense and intrigue packed with raw human emotion.

Gillhoughly
10-07-2010, 07:10 PM
QoS--I know I was harsh on the publisher/editor in chief/ whoever is in charge. He or she is not terribly good at the craft of writing (or editing) and it wanted pointing out to the writers who asked about this company.

But we do not go after its other writers. That bit posted on Amazon might not have been by the author. I've read worse copy from bigger places that had books in the stores.

On the up side, CW is not charging them money, trying to sell overpriced books back to them, or otherwise attempting to rip them off. They have a severely limited target market to judge by their submission guidelines, and their prices are over the top.

My opinion is that they are well-meaning amateurs with sloppy editing and worse covers. If any of their writers can overcome those and make a sale, more power to them.

But if the writers are able to do THAT, then they need to shop their next book to a commercial house, turn pro, and stop wasting time in the pee-wee leagues.

Marian Perera
10-07-2010, 07:26 PM
Sorry, Gill. I didn't mean to pick on the writer. I was just surprised that the publisher had not corrected such an obvious error.

IMO, it would benefit a small press to be even more on-the-ball about such mistakes than the major houses.

christwriter
10-07-2010, 07:46 PM
to each their own.

Some people delight in tearing other people down.

This forum has a reputation for being populated by people who have nothing better to do than be mean spirited and look for reasons to trash other people.

Two points:

1. Art might be subjective, but it's far less subjective than you think, commercial art even less so. Baen Books, as I've said before, has hideous covers ... that still manage to look professional. Bad art can work on a cover, as long as the cover functions as it needs to. Yours do not.

2. It's not "Trashing people". It's basic due diligence. If I'm investing my money with somebody, I want to make sure they're not going to run off with it, invest it in trash stock, or (if it is a business venture) go bankrupt inside of six months. If I'm investing my book with a publisher, I want to make sure they're going to do as good a job on their end as I did on mine. I've been burned as both an artist and a writer and I want to help other creative types avoid that experience. If I see a red flag, I'm pointing it out. Your job is to address the flags, not defend them.

The sales materials you decide to use for your products is your choice. However, this is not a forum for publishers. This is a forum for authors, and someone seeking small press publication should know what to expect from you and should understand what poor promotional materials (this includes covers) means in regards to potential sales. I also find it far more illuminating that you'd rather defend poor material than invest in quality. It speaks volumes for your attitude as a publisher and it does not cast you in the best light.

It sucks to be on the receiving end of this process, but that's part of the game. A reputation is not something you're handed. You earn it, and right now you're earning a bad one. Yes, it hurts to be told that your baby has flaws. The amateur reaction is to break down and start screaming. The professional reaction is to suck it up, put on the big girl panties and go back to work. This is what you expect from your authors. This is also what your authors should expect from you.

Momento Mori
10-07-2010, 08:14 PM
crystalwizard:
This forum has a reputation for being populated by people who have nothing better to do than be mean spirited and look for reasons to trash other people.

Uh-huh. I expect we do have that reputation insofar as you and your sockpuppets are concerned. Fortunately the wider world sees this forum as an invaluable resource for pointing out the pitfalls of going with clueless amateur outfits, which throw hissy fits when challenged on their (many) inadequacies.

MM

Gillhoughly
10-07-2010, 08:24 PM
Everyone calm down.

CW has a right to his/her opinion and we --certainly *I*--have put "Crystal Wizard" through the wringer.

Anger is perfectly normal. Not professional, but normal.

CW's reaction speaks volumes to potential writers looking to check out this company; we don't need to pour gas on that fire.

CW, if I may direct your attention to the thread for DarkStar Books (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=128061&highlight=darkstar).

Their head honcho is a study in grace under fire.

He came here, was met with suspicion, 'cause face it, there are a lot of ripoffs in this industry, and answered all posts openly and with calm consideration.

All questions were addressed, given thorough answers, no dodging, no hand waving, no anger, and in a professional manner.

He won everyone over.

No one here is specifically after YOU, though it may seem so. Our goal is to look at publishing operations with a neutral eye, determine if they are a good choice for new writers, and lay the facts out.

Neither CW or DarkStar are a good choice for new writers.

The reasons for not recommending CW have already been detailed.

DarkStar is, at present, only looking at work from established writers and won't do open submissions until their business is solidly afoot. A new writer needs to go elsewhere, since DS can only give them a rejection at this time.

But CW may certainly take a page from DS on presenting a calm professional front.

At this point you are your own worst enemy.

If you intend to be a pro operation, then behave like one. What would DarkStar do?

defyalllogic
10-08-2010, 01:04 AM
why are there so many imprints? is that usual? are they all very different or more like franchises?

Gillhoughly
10-08-2010, 01:33 AM
Larger houses like Macmillan have various imprints to deal with various genres.

http://us.macmillan.com/#

Just click on "Publishers" and you'll see the different names under their general umbrella.

The imprints themselves have imprints. St. Martin's is owned by Macmillan and in turn have St. Martin's Press and St. Martin's Griffin. I think the former does mysteries, and the latter is their romance line.

In the case of this micro press, they seem to have a different imprint for each genre. That's a fairly common thing, but unless a house has dozens of titles in each, it doesn't present well and may confuse writers hoping to submit work.

If their work has an alien who lands in the old west, which house do they send it to?

It likely doesn't matter since all mails seem to go to a single e-box and someone else can decide the genre.


They also seem to be reprinting public domain titles like the Raffles stories. At least the generic covers for those are stock photos, not clumsy computer art. I expect they turn a profit on the odd sale but they're overpriced. The books are available on Amazon in Kindle and at used stores.

Oh, yeah, the library, too! ;)

MumblingSage
10-08-2010, 05:58 AM
CW, if I may direct your attention to the thread for DarkStar Books (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=128061&highlight=darkstar).

Their head honcho is a study in grace under fire.

He came here, was met with suspicion, 'cause face it, there are a lot of ripoffs in this industry, and answered all posts openly and with calm consideration.

All questions were addressed, given thorough answers, no dodging, no hand waving, no anger, and in a professional manner.

He won everyone over.
And how. This is the second time I've seen Gill link to them in fifteen minutes of browsing this subforum. The folks at AW are good ones to have at your back.

CaoPaux
11-12-2013, 06:18 AM
Closed to submissions in '12 and is now gone. Imprints which had free webpages (e.g., http://cyberaliens.webs.com) remain up, but inactive.

CaoPaux
03-23-2016, 09:43 PM
Tried for a relaunch in '14 (http://www.cwizprod.com/), but closed as of April '15.