View Full Version : Spinetinglers Publishing

06-12-2009, 06:11 PM

Just wondering if anyone has had experience when them. Appears to be vanity publishing.
Link to thread that they started to announce their services


James D. Macdonald
06-12-2009, 09:51 PM
Are your stories spookier than a Stephen King novel? Do your courtroom dramas pack more of a punch than John Grisham? Are your tales of witches and wizardry more magical than any Harry Potter book?

If the answer is yes to any of the above questions, then ...

... you can get a legitimate publishing deal with someone who pays you, rather than the other way around.

If your book is ready to go to print, i.e., you have formatted the manuscript and designed the cover, you can sign up for this great offer. For only £150, your book could be available to buy within the month.

Or, you could take the formatted manuscript to Lulu and have the book available to buy this afternoon, for free.

I'm sorry, but I'm not seeing any value here. And it violates Yog's Law all to heck and back.

06-13-2009, 01:22 AM
I run away from ANY "publisher" that has a list of customer "testimonials" rather than books for sale in the stores and up on Amazon or B&N.

Testimonials is the key word. It almost always means vanity press.

If you put in all that work writing a book, you should get paid for it, along with professional recognition and reviews.

If you just want a book in hand without going out of pocket, then Lulu is the better deal.

And sad to say, this is the second time in 24 hours that I've found a website with worse covers than those on Publish America's efforts.


Spine-tingling? It's well past that stage and into a full blown panic attack ... time to run!


04-09-2012, 09:33 PM
Hey all, this is my first post here. I have written a number of short stories that fall under the horror genre. I would like to submit a few of them, but am unsure where to begin. I have a basic knowledge of what to do to get published but am curious about one website in particular.

The website is called Spinetinglers and they feature a monthly writing contest. I don't have any visions of actually winning anything, but they do offer monetary prizes for the top five stories each month. Having never submitted anything before, I'm a bit unsure if this is a place that I should send my story. I did a quick search on this forum and found a thread regarding their publishing arm which seems to be along the lines of self-publishing/taking people's money.

I can't find anything about them in Writer's Market, and a Google search doesn't turn up much in the way of review or warnings.

A link to their story submission guidelines is below. Has anyone sent them anything in the past?


04-09-2012, 09:42 PM
IMHO you should disregard the word 'contest' and decide whether this is a market that interests you (i.e. 25 pounds and up for online publication).

James D. Macdonald
04-09-2012, 09:59 PM
A story that's good enough to win a contest is a story that's good enough to be published.

What are the best markets in your genre? (Highest circulation/highest paid/highest prestige)

Aim high.

04-09-2012, 10:02 PM
Also as the prize is publication and payment within the standard range, I think this *is* a market. FWIW the winning stories from previous months seem pretty good and the website seems to have a loyal readership.

Cassie Knight
04-10-2012, 05:47 PM
Another suggestion is to try Samhain Publishing - http://www.samhainpublishing.com

I don't know their word counts for Horror but I know they are actively seeking horror. I think most will tell you that Samhain is a good house. There is a thread here for them.

I'm a Samhain author and I've been very happy with them. The only thing I wish is there would be more promo assistance but who doesn't? :-D

Good luck!

11-12-2013, 02:32 PM
Hey guys & girls, My name is Kristian, i have been in the book world for a while now and currently work for a company called Spinetinglers (http://spinetinglers.co.uk/), We are a company set up by Authors for Authors, we publish books (http://www.spinetinglerspublishing.com/) of all shapes and sizes, Paperback, Hardback (http://www.spinetinglerspublishing.com/publishing-packages/black_white/) & E-Book (http://www.spinetinglerspublishing.com/publishing-packages/e-books/).

We also sell them on our wonderful Book Site (http://spinetinglersbooks.com/).

We also run monthly story competitions were you can win cash prize's of up to £100 and even the chance to get a free Publishing Package!! check out our website to find out more.

I can't wait to talk to you all.

11-12-2013, 05:18 PM
I'll port this over to Bewares and Backgrounds

11-12-2013, 05:48 PM
Self-publishing services outfit that charges fees for the services, plus a percentage of each sale. Unless I missed it, they don't say what that percentage is.

11-12-2013, 07:31 PM
Could someone maybe change the thread title?

Marian Perera
11-12-2013, 09:25 PM
Self-publishing services outfit that charges fees for the services, plus a percentage of each sale.

99 pounds (http://www.spinetinglerspublishing.com/publishing-packages/e-books/?utm_expid=49233797-0.TDXWMM5qR0micwuD0dyGGA.1&utm_referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.spinetinglerspublish ing.com%2F) for the ebook package.

And the usual myths and misconceptions (http://www.spinetinglerspublishing.com/authors/) about publishing are featured.

On the road to literary fame and fortune I discovered that there are a lot of very talented writers out there who, like me, find it difficult to break into the publishing world. In today’s market unless you’ve been previously published and your last novel sold a million copies or you’re a reality star who has been on an ‘emotional rollercoaster’ the big publishing houses won’t even look at your manuscript. So therefore I decided to help my fellow scribes and set up Spinetinglers.

I'm surprised she forgot the one about publishers requiring you to return your advance if you don't sell eleventy million billion copies.

11-12-2013, 09:34 PM
Kristian, thanks for coming aboard to talk about your company. Given the large numbers of publishing services we've already seen here, what can you tell me how Spinetinglers is going to help its authors market their books? Visibility is key in this business. Author self-marketing can do only so much to get a book noticed outside the circle of 100 -150 buyers typically reached through family, friends, and local sales.

Is your 1000-sale refund guarantee in effect through multiple contract extensions, or does it reset with each extension? Is a refund, pro-rated or not, available to the author while the book is in production?

I worry about the apparent misinformation on your site, not because I think you are intentionally misleading potential authors, but because it shows some gaps in your industry knowledge. Unknown authors get published all the time by established commercial companies...if the books in question are of commercial quality and theme.

I have seen a few great self-pub and vanity-pub books too quirky for commercial publication. But for the most part, stuff that gets commercially rejected is often just not ready for wider publication. It may fit in a niche or local market just fine, or it may require substantial developmental editing and revision to reach its potential. Does your editing team have the experience to do that?

Old Hack
11-12-2013, 09:56 PM

From Spinetinglers' T&C page (http://www.spinetinglerspublishing.com/terms-conditions/):

All writers retain the copyright to their work. By submitting your work to Spinetinglers Publishing you are giving Spinetinglers Publishing permission to publish your work in printed and/or eBook format but you retain the copyright.
Spinetinglers reserves the right to publish excerpts of any work submitted for publication for promotional purposes.

Simply by submitting your work to this publisher, you're giving them permission to publish your work and to use excerpts of it to promote themselves with.

And look, it gets worse:

By completing and submitting the electronic order form (or proceeding through the ‘checkout process’) you are making an offer to purchase goods which, if accepted by us, will result in a binding contract.

So just by submitting your work you're agreeing to buy their services.

Spinetinglers is a vanity publisher, not the self-publishing service it claims to be. Despite that little comment about writers retaining copyright to their own work, Spinetinglers is trying to grab rights to any and all submissions and seems to think it's ok to demand money from anyone who sends their work in--even if the writers concerned sign nothing. I can't find any contract on the site (but I've not searched very thoroughly), so as far as I can see there's no way for writers to see what they're agreeing to before they submit their work.

I'm sure I don't have to add that this is one to avoid.

11-12-2013, 10:04 PM
Ah, here we go again...another "I went with a vanity press, wasn't happy with the results and think I can do better" outfit. Spinetinglers' founder Nolene-Patricia Dougan's novel Vrolok was published by AuthorHouse in 2005.

Another little gem:

With a variety of packages to choose from you can be sure that we have the publishing package to suit your needs – and if you sell more than 1000 copies of your book we will refund your publishing costs!

The chances of anyone selling more than a thousand copies of a vanity-pubbed book are so remote Spinetinglers needn't worry about paying out.

Also, Spinetinglers' own books are conspicuously absent from their "wonderful Book Site" - all I can find are bestselling books and DVDs.

11-12-2013, 10:44 PM
So just by submitting your work you're agreeing to buy their services.

No contract information on their site. No details about what percentage they take. Nothing about their background in publishing.

I'll pass, thanks.

11-12-2013, 11:03 PM
Spinetinglers has been around for quite a while:

Spinetinglers launches today; giving aspiring dark fiction writers real opportunities

Nolene-Patricia Dougan, author of the acclaimed new dark fiction novel ‘Vrolok’ is spearheading the launch of a website, www.spinetinglers.co.uk, in conjunction with other Northern Ireland writers. The site will give aspiring horror authors a chance to get their foot on the first rung of the publishing ladder. She explains “the 6th of the 6th of 2006 seemed like a propitious date to start a website dedicated to the dark fiction genre!

Oh, God - not the 'publishing ladder' thing again. A book that only exists because someone paid Spinetinglers to print it is the same kind of publishing credit as a book with AuthorHouse, ie not a publishing credit at all.

Old Hack
11-13-2013, 12:39 AM
If Spinetinglers launched in 2006 and is a good publisher, it should have published a few books that people have heard of by now, and it should have a reasonable reputation among writers, publishers and agents.

I've never heard of them, and I've not heard of any of the books they've published. Anyone else?

11-13-2013, 01:04 AM
They've had a few dark fiction anthologies out. Print versions ranked in the high millions on Amazon, Kindle versions doing somewhat better. Early versions of the anthologies riddled with spelling and editing mistakes, according to some reviewers.

A review of the 2011 anthology says this in part: "...While the stories were entertaining, none of them were exceptionally scary. None of them kept me up at night or made me check behind me while walking down my dark hallways at night. But perhaps the most disappointing part of this anthology was its severe lack of editing. Almost every story had a spelling mistake, tense mistake, grammar mistake, or punctuation mistake. It was very distracting to me as a reader."

A quick check of the Vrolok vampire novel shows fairly standard prose with a tendency toward passive voice. The sample section is no better and no worse than much of the other vampire fiction published in the same time period (which was probably the zenith of the current trend). Which makes me wonder just how hard Nolene-Patricia Dougan tried to query it before paying AuthorHouse. There were agents begging for decent vampire fiction in 2004 - 2006.

FWIW, Vrolok had many 5-star reviews, including one from Harriet Klausner.

For a house that's been around for seven years, especially in the dark fiction/horror market, I'd expect to hear and see more about Spinetinglers.

11-13-2013, 01:05 AM
Nope. There are three pages of Spinetinglers books on Amazon UK, and some of the reviews mention poor writing and editing. Others have a distinct "rally round our publisher and give each other rave reviews!" feel.

11-13-2013, 01:09 AM
And look, it gets worse:

So just by submitting your work you're agreeing to buy their services.

Holy moley. They're out there, folks, just as sly and rapacious as ferrets as they make a dead run for your wallets.

11-13-2013, 12:45 PM
I wonder if we'll hear back from Kristian? He really should have spent some time browsing the Bewares and Background section before jumping in with both feet.

Old Hack
11-13-2013, 01:50 PM
Kristian started this thread in the Newbies room, I believe. With all the links in the post, it seemed a bit spammy. Luckily for us, the thread was moved here instead of being deleted for spam.

I do hope Kristian returns, to respond to our concerns. After all, he did say,

I can't wait to talk to you all.

03-03-2015, 11:16 PM
What I've learned of Spinetinglers is that the contests are simply bait to encourage their vanity press. The short story submissions for the monthly contest most likely to garner them business on the vanity end, are the ones most likely to place.

They will pay if they let you place, but spending a little time reading some of their "winners" will tell you all you need to know as to the real value of the contest.

04-21-2018, 08:44 PM
Sites* are gone, last book pubbed Jan '17. Here's an old blog for posterity's sake: https://spinetinglers.wordpress.com/

*Incl., but not limited to, spinetinglers.co.uk, spinetinglerspublishing.com, spinetinglersbooks.com, spinetinglersentertainment.com