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Maddie
10-08-2009, 01:49 AM
Is anyone familiar with the publisher, Savant Books & Publications, which is located in Hawaii? They have offered a contract but I just want to be sure what I'm getting into. Contract looks good, offers buy-back at publisher's expense, royalties, etc., just not sure what other questions I should be asking them.

Swordswoman
10-08-2009, 02:19 AM
Hi, Maddie, and welcome to AW! :welcome::welcome:

Hopefully a Mod will be along soon to move this to the Bewares and Background forum where I'm sure you'll find someone to answer your question. This particular forum is really for saying 'hi' and introducing yourself - and giving us a chance to say 'welcome'!

Louise

CaoPaux
10-08-2009, 03:01 AM
Welcome, Maddie. Moving thread and adding link: http://www.savantbooksandpublications.com/

Maddie
10-08-2009, 08:47 PM
Thanks, Louise.
-Maddie

priceless1
10-09-2009, 12:41 AM
All their books are published by Amazon CreateSpace (https://www.createspace.com/3375975). None of their titles are listed with Ingram iPage, therefore bookstores will have a hard time ordering it for author events.

Maddie
10-09-2009, 02:44 AM
Savant's contract states that they will "...obtain ISBN and EAN-13 for the Work...", which seems to indicate a listing with Ingram iPage. Also, I did receive a reply from Predators&Editors that there is nothing "bad" on file for Savant. However, as with any legal step, I think it merits more research. I appreciate pricelss1's input, and if anyone else can advise an experience with Savant, I'd greatly appreciate that, too.

-Madde

Swordswoman
10-09-2009, 03:06 AM
Hi again, Maddie.

I'm guessing the lack of response is down to Savant being new - most of their books have yet to be released, so very few writers have experience with them so far.

Going just by the website, I'd say that good points are the fact they're selling books rather than trying to lure in authors, and also the fact they seem to offer proper editing. 'Tracking changes' is a very good way of working, and suggests proper line-editing standards.

However, there are some worrying signs too, particularly these:
1. The author most plugged is the publisher himself, Daniel S. Janik. We have seen this before, and it never ends well...
2. Checking the staff, not one of them seems to have real publishing experience - unless you count the one who has been an editor at Yomiuri America. This does not augur well.
3. The books seem to be priced at the high end for softbacks, which won't do much for sales.

The 'newness' in itself is something of a problem. It's hard for new companies, and we don't want to crush them at the beginning, but the bitter truth is that the first authors through are effectively the guinea pigs. Are you sure this is what you want for your book?

I can understand the temptation of a firm offer of a contract, but I think you're right, and further questions certainly need to be asked. I would want to know (for instance): what is their marketing plan for your book? in which bricks-and-mortar bookstores will it be placed? are they POD, and are their books returnable by bookstores? If they object to any of these questions, that is the biggest red flag of all.

It is difficult to offer much else at this stage, since you (having an actual contract of theirs) know more about this company than any of us. You'll know what size advance they're offering, what scale of royalties (and whether it's based on net), whether they're trying to charge you for anything, how many free books you'll get etc etc. I appreciate you can't share the details of a confidential agreement, but if there's anything in it that worries you specifically you can always ask general questions in that area as to what's normal elsewhere.

Not very helpful, I'm afraid, but at least it bumps the thread, and someone more knowledgeable may be along soon!

Good luck,

Louise

Maddie
10-09-2009, 03:14 AM
Thanks, Louise. I've sent an inquiry email to Savant, and I'll see what the response is.

-Maddie

priceless1
10-09-2009, 03:28 AM
Savant's contract states that they will "...obtain ISBN and EAN-13 for the Work...", which seems to indicate a listing with Ingram iPage.
Yes, the books do have an ISBN, but that doesn't mean the publisher will automatically list their titles with Ingram - it costs money per title, and it's possible they haven't established a relationship with them. You need at least ten books in your lineup to open up a relationship.

The other thing to consider is distribution, meaning sales teams pitching their titles to genre buyers. Since their books are done through CreateSpace, I can say with certainty that they have no way of getting their books on store shelves.


Also, I did receive a reply from Predators&Editors that there is nothing "bad" on file for Savant.
That isn't unusual for a new company. All it means is Dave hasn't received anything about them as yet. it's neither an endorsement nor indictment.

Maddie
10-10-2009, 10:57 PM
I figured out Savant's sales angle - if you look up "Tropic of California", a new release book by Savant author R. Page Kaufman on amazon.com, all four of the reviews come from authors signed with Savant (and not surprisingly they were all five-star reviews). I can understand the angle, authors supporting authors within a single small publishing house, but there's a sincerity factor that's lacking in each review. A smart idea, but unfortunately transparently obvious. That technique amplifies my reticence to sign with this publisher.

Eirin
10-11-2009, 12:59 AM
A smart idea, but unfortunately transparently obvious.

It's not a smart idea though. It's dishonest. And worthless. Who but the authors and their friends will ever see it?

victoriastrauss
10-11-2009, 02:23 AM
Savant looks to be a self-publishing endeavor that is trying to expand. Of the six books published to date, four are by the owner.

As Lynn pointed out, all the books are printed through CreateSpace (curiously referred to on the Savant website as "the Imprinter"), Amazon's "free" self-publishing service. None are available on the Barnes & Noble website (I checked), which suggests to me that there is no distribution at all other than a listing on Amazon. That's even worse than your typical amateur small press that at least is sensible enough to print through Lightning Source or another printer that offers wholesale distribution through Ingram.

For a small publisher, Savant boasts an extraordinary number of editors, which makes me wonder how exactly they are paid. Many don't seem to be adequately qualified. The book covers aren't the worst I've seen, but they're not very professional.

- Victoria

Maddie
10-11-2009, 07:48 PM
Thanks for the update. As soon as I realized how Savant works, I knew it wasn't the place for me. There was also something interesting in their contract relating to the galley - that after the first authorized galley, if there were any errors, it was the financial responsibility of the author to pay for changes (which means even if the galley was prepared at no fault of the author, and unauthorized changes made). At $150.00 a pop, that seems a likely means of income for Savant.

-Maddie

Donna Pudick
12-05-2009, 09:03 PM
Savant does not offer advances. They don't deal with agents. They have very precise rules for submitting manuscripts. Many small publishers start with their own books. If they have a good business plan, and have written reasonably good books, they can survive very nicely if 1) their own books sell enough to finance other authors' books and 2) they have decent distribution.

As for the reviews on amazon. They aren't the first publishers to encourage their authors to support each other, and won't be the last. Friends, neighbors and relatives often chime in, too.

kluron
12-12-2009, 01:27 AM
I just got an acceptance from Savant for my novel, which I sent several months ago. Then I found this by way of Google. An upper and a downer on the same day! It's still tempting considering all the queries sent to agents and publishers--the few publishers that will read a query from someone other than an agent.

Maddie
12-14-2009, 04:34 AM
Don't be discouraged. Daniel Janik seems like a person who wants Savant to succeed, which means that the authors have to succeed. But there were so many red flags about this deal, that I simply had to pass on the contract. I have self-published through AuthorHouse previously, and I felt that with Savant, I was going to be left to my own devices in regards to marketing.

Donna Pudick
02-01-2010, 06:25 PM
Most small publishers require the authors to do a lot of self-promotion. This house is so new, I don't think we can make any judgments just yet. Janik is an M.D. and a Ph.D., so he's a smart guy. Whether or not he's good at publishing will tell soon enough.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
02-01-2010, 07:52 PM
There's a difference between self-promotion and marketing though Donna. Without a publisher marketing the title, the author's promotion efforts are pretty much a waste of time. Proof's in the pudding with all those PA authors.

I'm sure he's got good intentions, but the fact is no one (including him) has any publishing experience with the exception of maybe a couple editors (and I agree with Victoria - that's a lot of editors!). We all know where that road goes, we've seen it far too many times here. However if he's actually putting in the effort to learn how publishing works and how a good publisher operates, then I say kudos and maybe he will succeed.

JoshDodd
02-06-2010, 07:36 AM
Hi, I was just curious, because Savant actually requested to review my manuscript. My question is how long did it take for them to review your manuscript before they fianlly came to a decision concerning publication for you? And I haven't read anything bad about the company according to Predators & Editors, but you never really know until you carefully research. And if you do find anything bad, please inform me. Good luck!

HistorySleuth
02-06-2010, 07:58 AM
I don't see why you would need to go to Savant if they are publishing through CreateSpace. That's something people do on their own, you don't need another CreateSpace author to do it for you. Why not just cut out the middleman Savant? Why give them part of your profits if you will have to promote the book yourself anyway? There is a CreateSpace thread in the POD forum. You may want to take a look. I have one book in particular that I will probably go that route, a collection of my news articles.

Bushdoctor
02-06-2010, 09:15 AM
I don't see why you would need to go to Savant if they are publishing through CreateSpace. That's something people do on their own, you don't need another CreateSpace author to do it for you. Why not just cut out the middleman Savant? Why give them part of your profits if you will have to promote the book yourself anyway? There is a CreateSpace thread in the POD forum. You may want to take a look. I have one book in particular that I will probably go that route, a collection of my news articles.


This is a good point Sleuth. I think what happens in this case is that people wish to avoid the stigma of self publishing by going through a firm like Savant. I would advise them to go to a good e publishing firm that does POD instead. That way they can at least recieve editorial support and marketing support.

wcpeever
02-08-2010, 10:48 PM
I am writing in response to the questions posed on the site. I am anticipating the release of my first novel The Jumper Chronicles: Quest for Merlinís map through Savant. I was signed on in August of last year and since then have been working tirelessly with my assigned Editor. The first round of editing was plot related, the second round was line editing and tightening of the script, and the third round is making sure that everything is consistent. Then the book is sent out to readers who check once again for consistency. Then art for the cover and M&P is completed, I am in that stage now but I will be happy to talk to you all about it when it happens.
A friend of mine works for Random House as a senior editor, and I can tell you that they are not taking on very many, if any new authors over the next couple of years, and those that they do pick up are not getting the kind of attention that I received through Savant. The other interesting thing, is that everything is open and above board, Dan (the owner of Savant) created a google group so that all of the signed authors and editors can communicate about everything from their books to world news. In this economy, this kind of attention is uncommon at best. So why would you advise people to do their own create space when the editing you receive on your novel is free, and professional?
As for the review of each otherís books. We are a small but growing community of authors who purchase, read, and comment on each otherís works. As long as the comments are honest what is the harm? You say that it is dishonest, while I see it as the most honest and supportive thing an author can do for another author. I am sorry if you do not have a family of authors to help you get you foot in the door, but we do.

Yes I concede the fact that Savant is Brand New to the world, but so am I and this experience has made me a better author. I am published, my book is tight and a fun read thanks to my editor, and I did not have to spend a cent. I may use a private publicist at some point, but if any of you are familiar with publishing, you will find that unless you are Dan Brown or J.K. Rowling your publishing company does not give a whole lot of money to your publicity campaign, so nothing lost and everything to gain.

I am happy to answer whatever questions you may have, I hope that this answers the real questions that are out there, and reminds those people who offer advice without understanding all of the facts a pause.
Thank you again
W.C.Peever

MartyKay
02-09-2010, 06:52 AM
I am writing in response to the questions posed on the site.
Hi wc, and welcome.


I am anticipating the release of my first novel The Jumper Chronicles: Quest for Merlinís map through Savant.
uh-huh.

snipped the bit about the editing process.


A friend of mine works for Random House as a senior editor, and I can tell you that they are not taking on very many, if any new authors over the next couple of years, and those that they do pick up are not getting the kind of attention that I received through Savant.

Does the lack of attention that new authors are supposedly not getting from Random House (which particular imprint are you referring to, by the way?) outweigh the lack of distribution and advance?


The other interesting thing, is that everything is open and above board, Dan (the owner of Savant) created a google group so that all of the signed authors and editors can communicate about everything from their books to world news. In this economy, this kind of attention is uncommon at best. So why would you advise people to do their own create space when the editing you receive on your novel is free, and professional?

I'm sure there are many writing groups out there, and critique groups. As for the "professional" bit, that would depend on the qualifications and experience of the editors. As Victoria mentioned earlier, for a small publisher they do seem to have lots of editors. Which makes me wonder why your "assigned" editor was doing plot, consistency and line editing.


As for the review of each otherís books. We are a small but growing community of authors who purchase, read, and comment on each otherís works. As long as the comments are honest what is the harm? You say that it is dishonest, while I see it as the most honest and supportive thing an author can do for another author. I am sorry if you do not have a family of authors to help you get you foot in the door, but we do.
PubliSHAMErica authors are a "family" too :rolleyes:. The whole "we are a family of authors" puts pressure on people to reciprocate with favourable comments and ratings even when the work doesn't deserve it, while a truly supportive thing is to tell someone the truth.


Yes I concede the fact that Savant is Brand New to the world, but so am I and this experience has made me a better author. I am published, my book is tight and a fun read thanks to my editor, and I did not have to spend a cent. I may use a private publicist at some point, but if any of you are familiar with publishing, you will find that unless you are Dan Brown or J.K. Rowling your publishing company does not give a whole lot of money to your publicity campaign, so nothing lost and everything to gain.
Nothing lost, except distribution to bookstores? And an advance?


I am happy to answer whatever questions you may have, I hope that this answers the real questions that are out there, and reminds those people who offer advice without understanding all of the facts a pause.

Oh, you are new here, aren't you.

HistorySleuth
02-09-2010, 08:39 AM
I worry about this part wcpeever, in your comments, "We are a small but growing community of authors who purchase, read, and comment on each other’s works"

A good local writers group will give you the same feed back on your writing--or beta readers here at AW.
The idea really is to sell to more then your friends and other authors in your group. Those will be exhausted pretty quick. The only one who will make money by all of you buying each other's books is Savant.

I looked at their website. They sell at their store and Amazon (which makes sense as it is createspace.) as set out below:

3. SBP is a royalty-paying publisher. Savant authors are issued a written contract and paid a royalty on net publication sales (except for specially announced publications e.g. Savant's yearly poetry anthology). It is the author's responsibility to take care of any literary agent fees. Authors retain full financial rights to any "spin-offs" such as movie rights.

10. SBP publications are listed on and available for purchase from the Savant Books and Publications Bookstore and on Amazon.com, affiliated and feeder online book outlets as well as interested independent "brick and mortar" booksellers throughout the world. Booksellers may purchase books from the SBP website in lots of five (5) at approximately 75% of SRP and in lots of ten (10) at 50% of SRP. These prices include book rate shipping anywhere in the USA including Hawaii and Alaska.

I am curious as to your royalty wcpeever. I don't know ... I just hate to see you lose a percentage of the cut you would get if you used CreateSpace yourself. They have a forum online community too for support.

And I agree it would be better if they got a different POD for publishing. I don't think their name as a publisher going through createspace adds any credibility. If you go to their website, at the bottom it says, "Designed by free CSS templates" and if you click on it you go to the createspace page.

I just don't see Barnes & Nobles taking that seriously. I'm not sure if Indy book stores would either.

I guess it really depends what your looking for in publishing this way. I'm not knocking it, depending on what it is. I have one on local history that I am going do do through createspace --- but on my own. Its really easy enough. If you have to do all the publicity, and can get people you know to beta read (or from here), and I can get anything I write in my local Indy book stores (which is good enough for this particular title I want to do.) So I ask again -- why pay a middle man to do the exact same thing through createspace you could do yourself. I'm just not getting it.

I'm guessing he bought a block of ISBN numbers (cheaper that way) and to do that you have to set yourself up as a publisher (even if it is in name only and just yourself.)

I guess what I'm saying is, I would try an established publishing/agent route first, and not assume they won't take you. You never know till you try. If that didn't work, then do createspace yourself as you really don't need Savant for that.

wcpeever
06-09-2010, 05:45 AM
So sorry,
Before I wrote back to you I wanted to complete the entire process with Savant Publications, so I could let you know the entire process and how it is different and better than going out on your own, as so many people suggest on this site.
My book was first content edited with an editor that was assigned to my book, this took about 2 months of back and forth and took the book in a whole new direction.
Then the editor did three more line edits to catch anything we might have missed.
Then the book went to the head editor who created a proof and did another edit in pencil, sent me the proof to complete the edit, and then it went off to my editor once again for a final line edit,
Then it went to two professional readers to catch anything that we missed.
And finally it is in cue to be published while we do publicity for the book.

So to answer your question...with a question...would I get this type of help with self publishing? I do not believe so. It would not have been the best situation for me, that said for some people it might not be the way they wish to go. it worked for me. Good luck with all your endeavors.
Bill

Writer911
11-18-2010, 01:50 AM
@ wcpeever That certainly seems like a lot of help, but did I miss the part where you wrote about the expense? How much did they charge for all of this editing?

Thanks, Spencer

Momento Mori
11-18-2010, 08:36 PM
Writer911:
did I miss the part where you wrote about the expense? How much did they charge for all of this editing?

Unless you have information not previously discussed or offered on the thread, Savant don't charge for editing. At one point they were charging for galley proofs (I'm not sure whether they still do but it seems not for an initial one, although their FAQs leave it open to charge for subsequent ones).

MM

HistorySleuth
08-07-2014, 04:56 AM
Any recent updates or experiences on this one? Just curious really.

PVish
08-07-2014, 05:46 AM
wcpeever seems to have published two books with Savant. His Amazon page is here (http://www.amazon.com/W.-C.-Peever/e/B003X8DEYK). Some of the reviewers found fault with grammatical errors and typos in the first book.