PDA

View Full Version : Gypsy Shadow Publishing



annetookeen
03-10-2010, 02:38 AM
Hello! I haven't found a thread about them, but I submitted a sample to them some time ago. Just wanna check. Here's their site: http://www.gypsyshadow.com/

Thanks ya'll!:D

M.R.J. Le Blanc
03-10-2010, 03:41 AM
Probably well intentioned, but there are flags:

-publish variety of genres
-started by writers with no apparent background in publishing
-claim to offer to publish in paperback (this almost never works with inexperienced publishers) but offers no criteria on how that is achieved.
-register copyright only if the book goes to print. Someone more experienced in eBooks might want to correct me, but I don't think format matters with regards to it

Their covers are really amateurish, IMO. I'd look elsewhere.

annetookeen
03-10-2010, 06:34 AM
Thanks for the response M.R.J! :) Do you mean by "...offers no criteria on how that is achieved" that the paperbacks might not get into the brick-and-mortar stores?

veinglory
03-10-2010, 06:54 AM
"It is not necessary for you to register or copyright your work before publication—it is protected by law as long as it has not been published. When a print edition is published, we will copyright the book in the author's name and register that copyright with the Library of Congress."

Um, what?

M.R.J. Le Blanc
03-10-2010, 07:41 AM
Thanks for the response M.R.J! :) Do you mean by "...offers no criteria on how that is achieved" that the paperbacks might not get into the brick-and-mortar stores?

I'm not fond of anything vague, and the other epublishers I've see who offer the print book option have some kind of criteria, as in sell x amount of ebooks and they'll release a paperback version. But given the lack of experience, I don't have any faith they'd get books into brick-and-mortar stores anyway.

michael_b
03-10-2010, 09:16 AM
I checked out their sample contract. Royalties amounts are not given in the sample, there are fill in the blank lines. Also, they pay 'monthly' but there is a 45 day lag after the end of the month before payment is made. Doesn't sound 'monthly' to me. Most publishers that pay out on a monthly basis do so within a much shorter time frame, like within 10-15 days of the end of the month.

Here's something else I didn't like in their contract:

13. Promotion and Promotional materials
Author has permission from the Publisher to duplicate, at no cost and no royalty, exact text copies in digital or print formats for the purpose of obtaining book reviews, or entering competitions or contests prior to publication. Once the Work is published and available in print format, Author does not have permission to make print copies for competitions or contests, but must use the free author copies provided or purchase additional print copies for this purpose at Author's discount. *Emphasis is mine.*

Personally I find that clause to be a red flag. They're planning to make the authors pay for copies for contests? My take on that, as a publisher, is it's sort of underhanded. The author makes no money on a copy of a book printed out for a contest and to me it doesn't seem like the publisher should either. It's predatory IMO.

There were a few other clauses that bothered me, but this one I've never seen done before which is why I mentioned it.

Momento Mori
03-10-2010, 08:49 PM
Gypsy Shadow Website:
We publish high-quality well-written manuscripts in a variety of genres and lengths. We want short stories, short story collections, novellas, novels in installment, novels, poetry to be included in a collection offered by GSP, poetry collections and non-fiction works.

The fact that they publish everything including poetry is a warning sign. Few publishers take poetry because there's virtually no money to be made in it.


Gypsy Shadow Website:
We will not consider manuscripts that are currently on submission to another publisher unless prior arrangements have been made with us directly BEFORE your submission. Please query FIRST if you wish to submit to other publishers simultaneously.

It's one thing to not accept simultaneous submissions (it's something that a lot of publishers say and frankly, most people ignore). It's completely clueless to demand that people wishing to submit query if it's okay for a work to go to someone else.


Gypsy Shadow Website:
It is not necessary for you to register or copyright your work before publication—it is protected by law as long as it has not been published. When a print edition is published, we will copyright the book in the author's name and register that copyright with the Library of Congress.

Copyright exists the moment you put your work into written form.


Gypsy Shadow Website:
Gypsy Shadow Publishing is a brand new publishing company. Its founders, Denise Bartlett and Charlotte Holley, are veteran authors themselves and have worked in various aspects of the print world for decades. With experience ranging from writing short stories and poetry to full length novels, newspaper columns and reviews to news and investigative articles, Bartlett and Holley are not strangers to the written word.

They may not be strangers to the written world, but writing is not the same as publishing and there is no direct publishing experience included in these statements.


Gypsy Shadow Sample Contract:
The Author, on behalf of the Author and the Author's heirs, executors, administrators, successors and assignees, grants to the Publisher the sole and exclusive worldwide right to the publish:

I don't see why they need worldwide rights. They're a US company without any apparent world-wide presence, so they should only be taking US rights.


Gypsy Shadow Sample Contract:
Print Edition: Optionally, to produce and sell in paper format(s) the Work in English. (Check here if the Paper Format is to be included: _____).

Given that Gypsy Shadow's mission statement focuses on Ebooks and there doesn't appear to be any distribution in place for a print edition, I don't think they should have the option to take the print rights. In any event, at whose option would this right be exercised?


Gypsy Shadow Sample Contract:
This Agreement shall begin with the execution of this contract and continue in force for a period of ____ (__) years from the actual date of publication of each edition.

Watch the term. If it's too short, you could be prevented from building up sales, if it's too long, you'll be locked in without being able to take it elsewhere.


Gypsy Shadow Sample Contract:
Author will be asked to produce proposed back blurb text and suggestions for cover art of Print Editions.

This should be done by the publisher.

They're not paying advances, royalties are paid on net.

All in all, not a company I would rush to be published by.

MM

James D. Macdonald
03-10-2010, 08:57 PM
It's one thing to not accept simultaneous submissions (it's something that a lot of publishers say and frankly, most people ignore).

Ignore that one at your peril.

The reason people who ignore it don't get bitten square on the ass more often is that most people haven't written anything publishable anyway.

Momento Mori
03-11-2010, 03:01 PM
James D. Macdonald:
Ignore that one at your peril.

Well there aren't many advance-paying publishers who accept unsolicited manuscripts anyway and the very few who do do take anything up to 2 or 3 years to respond.

Yes, you're running the risk of getting 2 publishers making you an offer at the same time but if I was at the stage where I was submitting to publishers direct, I'd rather take that chance than wait years for an intern to maybe get to my manuscript in the snowdrift of slush.

MM

veinglory
03-11-2010, 05:56 PM
However, if you are submitting to publishers of this sort there are hundreds and I expect they respond fairly quickly : /

annetookeen
03-12-2010, 02:34 AM
Hoever, if you are submitting to publishers of this sort there are hundreds and I expect they respond fairly quickly : /

Not all of them respond quickly. Some of them are quite understaffed, and I've experienced waiting for more than 7 months on an ms. Still, it's not as long as Baen Books' RT, I heard they could take as much as 16 months. :O

michael_b
03-12-2010, 02:59 AM
Not all of them respond quickly. Some of them are quite understaffed, and I've experienced waiting for more than 7 months on an ms. Still, it's not as long as Baen Books' RT, I heard they could take as much as 16 months. :O

Most ebook publishers respond far faster than 7 months. All of them that I've submitted to--admittedly all erotic romance publishers--have replied in under 3 months, but maybe that's just because the epubs I submit to keep up with their incoming submissions.

Regarding Baen: I knew someone who waited two years to hear back from them, and then it was a rejection.

The longest I've ever waited for a response was from Dorchester which was over a year. (That involved their now defunct Shomi line.)

kristin724
06-22-2010, 04:05 AM
I just queried Gypsy Shadow as they are one of the few places I've found that publish short story collections. As my short story collection is a sequel, I wonder if the contract is negotiable?

Perhaps one can ask to not give up print or world rights. I know the ladies involved with the company, but perhaps yes, a company of authors won't do any better than a crooked epub. It seems there's a lot of clique start ups that never really pan out thanks to the rush for print that can't be returned.

Eh, What's one to do?

M.R.J. Le Blanc
06-22-2010, 04:21 AM
Eh, What's one to do?

Query legit agents and publishers, who's sales you can verify. Getting picked up isn't nearly as hard as some people try to claim :)

James D. Macdonald
06-22-2010, 04:37 AM
You're far better off selling the stories individually to major markets, then trying to publish a reprint collection.

The reason you don't see a lot of all-original single-author collections out there is because they're deuced hard to sell to the reading public.

kristin724
06-22-2010, 07:43 AM
This isn't a reprint collection. It's a sequel, but my publisher doesn't want these personal individual tales inbetween the full length sequels so they told me to shop it around. I've got the audience asking for it, just a pub who doesn't think it will sell.

I was on tour all of last year up until this March, so now that its back to writing and submitting I think I'm just hitting a burnout. It seems I keep finding all the wrong publishers. All these new start ups don't make the profit and become author mills, blow up, and breed into new epubs. Loyalties divide, choose sides, banish this one or that one. Eh. Sometimes it just makes me sour on publishing. I miss the old days where you submitted and that was that. No chasing straws on goofy Facebook.

All my other pubs are waiting on these upcoming two works that aren't ready yet. It just bugs me I may have to 'dump' good material because it's a tough sell.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
06-22-2010, 10:10 PM
What if you self-pubbed and offered it on your website? If you have the audience and no takers (publishing-wise), you might do well just doing it yourself. Something to think about, anyway.

kristin724
06-24-2010, 05:12 AM
Yes I thought about that. Yesterday I got two positive responses to queries, so maybe all publishing wells aren't dry yet. Self pub you don't have to share your money with anyone and the middle man is gone, but its the last resort in my mind, simply because some people don't yet think its legitimate. Go fig.

James D. Macdonald
06-24-2010, 07:04 PM
This isn't a reprint collection.

I'm saying that it should be.

FOTSGreg
06-26-2010, 03:04 AM
Nitemare, is the image in your post and ad for Behind the Gem an example of the art for this outfit?

If so, I shudder. I can, and have, done better with a free 3D modeling program (not to mention copyright-free images and an image editing program).

I'd suggest checking J.A. Konrath's blog for ideas and suggestions regarding cover designs and sales relationships. I think your $350 went to somebody's beer fund rather than to talent and art and effort.

Sorry.

-----

What red flag? I think the key here is 'make print copies'. IMHO, what if your book was already published (in paper), you won, they wanted to publish, and you had to tell them that it already had been published?

The legal copyright issue here is, for most legitimate publishers, that the book has already been published (in paper). If somebody else has already published the book, they can't publish it without marking it as a reprint, paying the author considerably less in royalties, and probably not making a dime off it themselves.

What kind of legal ramifications are involved here?

There are so many I cannot begin to describe them, but the first is offered above. The fact that you do not know this is an indication to me that you need to do quite a bit more research regarding copyright law and the publishing industry and business as a whole.

Would they let you take the money and run? I think mutual protection is the theme here. If contests are more important than being in print, enter contests before you go to print.

An "advance" is an advance against "royalties". There's a term called "earning out". Look it up. Yes, if a book does not earn out its advance the author does, with legitimate publishers, "take the money and run".

As a historical point about contract negotiations, I had another contract offer (from a different publisher) evaluated by a famous and knowledgeable person we all know,

You've said this twice now, name them please. I'm reasonably sure that if it's actually someone we all know they will not be offended by being "outed" as a publishing contract law specialist.

and I was advised that it was a poor contract on several points. Since it was something that I would not sign anyway, I politely asked the publisher about negotiating contract changes. I was curtly told that 'the contract stands as is'. I did not sign it 'as is'.

I do not believe that. Any reputable publisher has a legal staff on-hand to negotiate business contracts and deals between agents and the publisher. It's the agent's job to get the author the best possible deal they can for the person they're representing. It's the publisher's job to get the best possible terms for their house. Lawyers are there to mediate contract terms between the two. Contract law is a very specific specialty.

I do not believe that the "knowledgeable person" you are citing as someone we all know actually knows anything regarding what they are ostensibly talking about.

Again, I'm sorry if I offend. I simply do not believe you.

Marian Perera
06-26-2010, 03:19 AM
when you consider that less than 1% of all queries are taken seriously (unless you are an established writer) the odds are heavily stacked against the newbie.

Teresa Nielsen Hayden provided a list of reasons (http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/004641.html) why so many queries were rejected.

None of them say "the writer is a newbie", but many of them mention a lack of originality, lack of research into what the publisher wants, poorly written manuscript, etc.


If you are a fledgling writer, unknown to anyone but yourself, what better place to get your foot in the door but with a fledgling outfit?

So fledgling writer, unknown to anyone but himself, goes with fledgling outfit, similarly unknown to anyone but themselves? How is this a "better" way to get one's foot in the door?

Stacia Kane
06-26-2010, 03:32 AM
They may not be strangers to the written world, but writing is not the same as publishing and there is no direct publishing experience included in these statements.

MM

A Google search for Denise Bartlett led me to the site for her pseudonym, SilverValkyre [sic]. (I'd link it but it crashed my laptop.) Before it crashed I found three previously published "novels"; all of which were self-published, all of which were $3.99, and none of which were over 11k words. So I'm thinking "stranger to the written world" is actually pretty accurate.

She did have other titles listed; as I said, those were the only ones I got to look at before my internet froze. All of the other covers looked just as bad and amateurish as the three I was able to look at, though.



I was on tour all of last year up until this March, so now that its back to writing and submitting I think I'm just hitting a burnout. It seems I keep finding all the wrong publishers. All these new start ups don't make the profit and become author mills, blow up, and breed into new epubs. Loyalties divide, choose sides, banish this one or that one. Eh. Sometimes it just makes me sour on publishing. I miss the old days where you submitted and that was that. No chasing straws on goofy Facebook.

Stop submitting to new publishers, and you won't have that problem. Don't let it sour you on publishing, just make sure you're submitting to established houses: Ellora's Cave, Samhain, Liquid Silver, Loose-id. Harlequin has a new Carina imprint you could try.




I recently signed with Gypsy Shadow Publishing, but before I did, I had the contract evaluated by a famous and knowledgeable person we all know (or at least should). I was told that it is a good contract except for the lack of a publishing time frame and an escape clause if they do not publish on time.

Did this person recommend you sign it, or did they simply say, "It looks standard except it doesn't have X and Y?" Did you ask how important the lack of X and Y is? Did you say you'd already signed it?

Having someone tell you the contract is fine except for X and Y doesn't mean the publisher itself is a good bet, no matter who the person is.




I am sure that someone will say that I am an advocate for GSP. Well, I am. Every big time agent and publisher started as a tiny nobody,

They started out by learning how the business works, and they did that by working as an unpaid intern and working their way up. It's been said so many times here it hurts to have to repeat it, but "publisher" is not an entry-level job.

If it was, kristin724 above you wouldn't have had issues with start-up ehouses.




and when you consider that less than 1% of all queries are taken seriously (unless you are an established writer) the odds are heavily stacked against the newbie.

Where are you getting that statistic from? It's not true. All queries are taken seriously. It's just that only 1% or so of them don't suck. The ones that don't suck get requests for more.

The odds aren't stacked against newbies any more than they're stacked against everyone else, and the fact is that if your writing and story are excellent you have a great chance at finding representation and a publisher, whether it's your first novel or your fifteenth.

It happens every day. It's happened to dozens of members of this forum, including myself.



If you are a fledgling writer, unknown to anyone but yourself, what better place to get your foot in the door but with a fledgling outfit?

An agent is a better way to get your foot in the door. Or if epublishing is your goal, a bigger, established one is the place. Not a fledgling outfit that will not count as a publishing credit anyway.





M.R.J. Le Blanc Quote: Their covers are really amateurish.
Your cover is eye-candy, so feed your readers. GSP does not have an art department (yet), so they select a stock picture to reflect the theme of your manuscript. If you want a cover that reflects your vision, have it made for you. Depending on where you go, it is not all that expensive. Since I cannot draw a straight line with a ruler, I contracted 4 pieces with a Canadian outfit. It took 2 months and $350.

Do you think you're going to make that money back, from a newbie epublisher with no audience? There are ehouses that have been in business a couple of years whose average sales are still less than 100 copies per title, and those are the ones who've actually managed to survive; most epublisher startups don't.

You spent $350 of your own money to do something that is a publisher's responsibility, and still think you made a wise choice with this publisher?




michael_b Quote from the GSP Contract
"Once the Work is published and available in print format, Author does not have permission to make print copies for competitions or contests, but must use the free author copies provided or purchase additional print copies for this purpose at Author's discount.
Personally I find that clause to be a red flag."
What red flag? I think the key here is 'make print copies'. IMHO, what if your book was already published (in paper), you won, they wanted to publish, and you had to tell them that it already had been published? What kind of legal ramifications are involved here? Would they let you take the money and run? I think mutual protection is the theme here. If contests are more important than being in print, enter contests before you go to print.

I believe you're completely misunderstanding the point; if you're entering your printed book in a contest it's clearly a contest for published books, and the scenario you describe above wouldn't happen.

The point isn't about copyright, it's the fact that if you want to enter your book in a contest you have to purchase copies with which to do so. Legitimate publishers do not make you purchase copies of your own book, especially not for contests that could promote you and themselves.




As a historical point about contract negotiations, I had another contract offer (from a different publisher) evaluated by a famous and knowledgeable person we all know, and I was advised that it was a poor contract on several points. Since it was something that I would not sign anyway, I politely asked the publisher about negotiating contract changes. I was curtly told that 'the contract stands as is'. I did not sign it 'as is'.

Okay, and...? That still doesn't mean you've made a good choice here. Contracts aren't everything. It can be the most fair contract in the world, but if the publisher is amateurish, has no customer base, isn't a publishing credit, can't sell books, costs you money and treats you badly you've still made a lousy choice.

veinglory
06-26-2010, 04:26 AM
So, am I to understand that this press does not provide cover art? Or they just let authors choose whatever they want. Because I am not sure which of those is worse.

veinglory
06-26-2010, 04:38 AM
p.s. How do I find a book on that site if I don't know the imprint? I couldn't even find "Behind the Gem"

victoriastrauss
06-26-2010, 06:14 AM
The (completely non-famous) person Nitemare is talking about is me.

I thought Gypsy Shadow's contract was pretty fair, with the exception of the two things Nitemare mentioned. I did warn him that the publisher's newness is a concern, especially as the people running it don't appear to have any kind of professional publishing or writing experience. They also made a rather odd suggestion regarding format, which I wasn't sure how to interpret.

The other contract Nitemare mentioned did indeed suck royally.

- Victoria

kristin724
06-26-2010, 07:39 AM
Hi Stacia. Excellent post!

I agree that the idealogy is to start out submitting to the top. Sure I've piled up a few rejections that way. Maybe my writing was there at the time, maybe it just wasn't right for the pub at that time, but indeed I do think we get lax sometimes and think that if something is a 'small' work that is should go to a 'small' publisher. Is it only psychological, or is that the caveat that the new houses prey upon? 'We're young and new and this is only something quick and easy, and you really have nothing to loose, so pick us despite this this and this?'

What is the author in between those rocks and hard places to do? If you're on a streak of rejections, you always have to keep the faith and not settle. Yay! The material I was discussing here I actually submitted to Samhain instead. The gals at Gypsy were very kind in saying they would take it. However, when Samhain answered my query saying they were interested in short vampire romance such as this.

Well, hello! I honestly told the gals at Samhain, I was looking at them for my 100k erotic fantasy and took the chance on the short vampire query. Even if I end up waiting a few more months on a response and end up getting a final rejection, a positive contact was made for the big work thanks to the 'small' one.

Am I rambling or making any sense at all? :0)

Stacia Kane
06-26-2010, 08:06 AM
Hi Stacia. Excellent post!

I agree that the idealogy is to start out submitting to the top. Sure I've piled up a few rejections that way. Maybe my writing was there at the time, maybe it just wasn't right for the pub at that time, but indeed I do think we get lax sometimes and think that if something is a 'small' work that is should go to a 'small' publisher. Is it only psychological, or is that the caveat that the new houses prey upon? 'We're young and new and this is only something quick and easy, and you really have nothing to loose, so pick us despite this this and this?'

What is the author in between those rocks and hard places to do? If you're on a streak of rejections, you always have to keep the faith and not settle. Yay! The material I was discussing here I actually submitted to Samhain instead. The gals at Gypsy were very kind in saying they would take it. However, when Samhain answered my query saying they were interested in short vampire romance such as this.

Well, hello! I honestly told the gals at Samhain, I was looking at them for my 100k erotic fantasy and took the chance on the short vampire query. Even if I end up waiting a few more months on a response and end up getting a final rejection, a positive contact was made for the big work thanks to the 'small' one.

Am I rambling or making any sense at all? :0)


Hey Kristin! I admit I'm a little confused; you submitted a query to Samhain for a short vampire romance, and when they asked for more you told them you also had a long erotic fantasy to send them, and submitted that as well? Did I get that right?

Good luck!

As for the psychology of new presses and "small" works, I kind of think it's two things, and I'm replying publicly because I think it's important.

First, I think it's easy to get so fixated on being published, that we start to forget that the reason we want to be published is to be read, and to have reached a certain skill level and make money from that. Being Published starts to seem like the end-all-be-all, the top of the mountain, and there is a point at which I think some of us stop thinking about why or what they hope for and just want to Be Pubished at any cost, by anyone, so they can say they're published. I'm not saying this happens to everyone or that it's happened to anyone in particular, but I do think it happens. Being Published becomes such a huge deal that everything else falls by the wayside, you know?

Second, I think the urge to submit to small houses with "small" works is either insecurity or a secret acknowledgment that your work isn't where you want it to be. Now, none of us ever have our work exactly where we want it to be, I think; I know my books are always way more exciting and much better written in my head, lol.

But here's the thing. Either you believe your work is publishable, or you don't. If you do, you need to submit it to the biggest possible house(s) or the best possible agent(s), because it and you deserve to reach the widest audience possible, and if the work is truly publishable you stand a very good chance at, well, getting it published.

But if you don't honestly believe the book is publishable, if you know deep down that none of the bigger houses would take it because it's not up to their standards...then really, why are you submitting at all? One day you'll be much better than you are now, and it will be embarrassing to have that book out there (trust me, I know of what I speak. ;) ). Not to mention that if the book isn't very good, and by chance someone does read it, next time they see your name they're going to avoid it. Not to mention that so many of those tiny startups treat their authors like absolute crap; they send abusive emails, they don't pay royalties when they're supposed to (if at all), they rewrite books without permission, the list goes on and on. I'm not saying they all do this, just that it happens often enough to make it a concern.

So if you don't believe it's really publishable, but you're submitting it to a very small/startup house anyway, maybe it's a good idea to ask yourself what exactly you hope to gain. If you just want to be able to call yourself published, well, that's fine, although I find it a little sad and most professionals won't consider that to be a proper credit. If it's to gain experience in working with an editor etc., well, I haven't seen a lot of books from start-up epubs where the writing is strong enough to make me think the editors know what they're doing. If it's to start making money from your work, the chance of a book with a startup house making more than a few dollars is pretty low.

Forget about Being Published as a goal, or rather, don't focus so much on it. Focus instead on craft, and really working hard and opening yourself up and putting everything you have into your work. And then, when you think you have something that can play in the Big Field, submit it to the biggest, bestest place you can find. Don't sell yourself short with the startups anymore.

I hope that helps. :)

Momento Mori
06-26-2010, 05:14 PM
Nitemare:
Every big time agent and publisher started as a tiny nobody

That's true. But then, almost every big time agent and publisher will have started as a nobody working within an established agency or publishing house first so that they had the relevant industry experience that they could draw on.


Nitemare:
less than 1% of all queries are taken seriously (unless you are an established writer) the odds are heavily stacked against the newbie

Ah yes, the old statistics game.

99% of queries submitted to publishers and agents are unpublishable.

I was an unknown writer with a single, token paying short story credit to my name and I signed with one of the top agencies in the United Kingdom. How come? Because I wrote a book that my agent enjoyed and thinks she can sell.

New authors get published every week. Check out the national newspapers review sections and see how many of them are debut authors. Most of them will have had no previous publishing history.


Nitemare:
If you are a fledgling writer, unknown to anyone but yourself, what better place to get your foot in the door but with a fledgling outfit?

There's a difference between being published with a well-capitalised start-up publisher, run by someone with previous publishing experience and the ability and contacts to get books into stores and well regarded review media, and being published with an outfit started by well meaning but clueless amateurs who are relying on authors to make all sales, have no ability to get books into stores and whose whole approach seems confused and ineffective.

It's better to not be published than to be published badly because once you're published, you've lost your first rights in a book and it is very, very unlikly that anyone else will ever pick it up.


Nitemare:
GSP does not have an art department (yet), so they select a stock picture to reflect the theme of your manuscript.

GSP should have an art department or at least have contacts with illustrators who can produce art work for them.

Stock pictures are a sign of an amateur and clueless organisation. They're often ugly and look cheap.


Nitemare:
If you want a cover that reflects your vision, have it made for you. Depending on where you go, it is not all that expensive. Since I cannot draw a straight line with a ruler, I contracted 4 pieces with a Canadian outfit. It took 2 months and $350.

Well, at least you haven't paid to be published ...

Do you think that you will make that $350 back in sales of the book or are you writing that off as an expense?

GPS should have paid that money because the cover is the publisher's responsibility. Good publishers want their books to have a cover that attracts potential readers and responsible publishers make sure they have the capitalisation in advance to make sure they can pay for it.


Nitemare:
IMHO, what if your book was already published (in paper), you won, they wanted to publish, and you had to tell them that it already had been published? What kind of legal ramifications are involved here? Would they let you take the money and run? I think mutual protection is the theme here. If contests are more important than being in print, enter contests before you go to print.

You've missed the point.

If you, as a published author of GPS, see a competition that you want to enter your published book into, you either have to use your free author copies to do so, or pay for a copy of your own book so that you can enter.

Responsible publishers will supply you with free copies of your book to enter into contests because if you win, it increases sales.

Responsible publishers will also be on the look out for respected competitions to enter your book into because it can help marketing.

MM

brianm
06-26-2010, 05:42 PM
It's better to not be published than to be published badly...

This.

LLauren
06-26-2010, 10:13 PM
Pardon me for jumping in here with my $0.02, but I wanted to add something to the discussion. I have been a longtime book design judge, and am occasionally asked for input on a cover design (but I am not a cover designer) by a successful boutique publisher.

Cover design is a professional marketing tool. It should be a handsome or arresting piece of work, but it really needs to operate as a sales tool because readers are inclined to interpret the image on a book's cover as an extension of the text inside.

A cover should illuminate something about the book—however abstractly. It should suggest something about the tone and possibly even something about the subject matter and/or setting. At the very least, it should convey whether it is fiction or nonfiction. It’s a communication tool which has the potential to communicate artfully. But if it’s not communicating anything, it isn’t doing its job.

And, finally, this: It is competition for the book buyer's eye that ultimately drives the process—and should determine the final product.

FOTSGreg
06-26-2010, 10:48 PM
Victoria, Thanks for that. I apologize if I caused offense, but anyone can just rattle off that they had a contract evaluated by "a famous and well-known" individual.

You, I would tend to trust as much as I would trust Uncle Jim - but I'd still rather have a professional contract attorney or an agent involved (even if only for a 2nd opinion). Again, no offense intended.

veinglory
06-29-2010, 12:49 AM
My apologies. I assumed that if it was far enough along to have cover art it would at least be on the coming soon page. As a general point I would encourage this press to have a search function on their site for people who are looking for a specific title.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
06-29-2010, 04:18 AM
Honestly Nightmare, I think people just want to understand. If you look back through old threads you'll see A LOT of publishers who went under, and they weren't all scammers. Many were well-meaning but clueless, and just couldn't do it. Think of it like this; you want new cabinets in your kitchen. Who do you call - a guy with a lot of enthusiasm, good attitude, friendly but with no skill? Or a guy with skill, references and proof he can do the job? Publishing isn't that different.

Ultimately the choice is yours, but I think most people here just hate seeing an author who most likely is going to come back and regret it.

Stacia Kane
06-29-2010, 04:42 AM
Victoria, thank you for your post. I was not given permission to mention you by name. But I did not ask either.

veinglory Quote: p.s. How do I find a book on that site if I don't know the imprint? I couldn't even find "Behind the Gem"
Oh, person of instant gratification, have peace and enjoy patience. I signed with Gypsy Shadow just last week.

One thing is for sure, it seems like every time I post something, I get hammered for having an opinion. Not a problem for me though. I am a tough skinned old fart who knows that everyone is entitled to an opinion, and I have defended your right to enjoy it.


No one is "hammering" you "for having an opinion."

What we're doing is explaining to how how publishing as a business actually works, and trying to pass on to you the knowledge gleaned from our years of experience and study. We do this because we care about writers and want to help them.

If you don't want that, and aren't interested in our help and find it offensive in some way, that's just fine, too.

Feel free to enjoy the rest of the forum, there are plenty of great threads and discussions here.

I wish you the best of luck, and sincerely hope you enjoy your experience with Gypsy Shadow.

Momento Mori
06-29-2010, 01:04 PM
Nitemare:
it seems like every time I post something, I get hammered for having an opinion. Not a problem for me though. I am a tough skinned old fart who knows that everyone is entitled to an opinion, and I have defended your right to enjoy it.

People are sharing with you the benefit of their experience and letting you (and others who might be thinking about this publisher) know what the possible pitfalls are.

That's the purpose of this forum.

If you don't like what people are saying/pointing out, then I'm sorry about that. However the purpose of the thread is to share information - that may mean being told things you don't want to hear.

MM

DreamWeaver
06-29-2010, 06:05 PM
Hi, Nitemare.

If you'd be interested in seeing an example of how this can go pear-shaped, read the Cacoethes thread from the beginning. It illustrates all the stages:
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=97595&highlight=cacoethes

(If the link doesn't work, search Cacoethes. My link-fu is not that reliable ;) )

veinglory
06-29-2010, 11:10 PM
"If anyone wants to be pressed into a mould and cranked out of an assembly line"

Oy.

There are more than two options.

Stacia Kane
06-29-2010, 11:20 PM
If anyone wants to be pressed into a mould and cranked out of an assembly line, I offer my congratulations and I wish them well. I have chosen my own path.


Yes, that's clearly what I've done.

Thank you for being so rude and disrespectful. You'll notice I didn't speak to you that way, and neither did anyone else here.

Marian Perera
06-29-2010, 11:35 PM
I think the problem here (if there is one) is the blinders that some people seem to wear, as if their own point of view was the only one. If anyone wants to be pressed into a mould and cranked out of an assembly line, I offer my congratulations and I wish them well.

I believe you and Gypsy Shadow are well suited for each other as far as a level of professionalism goes.

Old Hack
06-30-2010, 12:18 AM
If Gypsy Shadow happens to go under, everything reverts back to the author; something that no one wanted to mention when the sample contract was being picked apart.

Just be aware that even if the contract stipulates this, it might not happen. There have been a few cases where the Administrators of a bankrupt publishing house decided that such clauses amount to an illegal disposal of assets, and insisted that all rights were retained.

priceless1
06-30-2010, 02:56 AM
If Gypsy Shadow happens to go under, everything reverts back to the author; something that no one wanted to mention when the sample contract was being picked apart.

As usual, Hackie beat me to the punch. But one thing I wanted to add is that the first rights are gone, and publishers aren't always interested in picking up a previously pubbed book. It's not as la-dee-da as you're making it sound. There are big ramifications to an author when a publisher goes under, and that's why it's so important to choose wisely and understand how the business works.

James D. Macdonald
06-30-2010, 06:11 AM
This hasn't yet been discussed:


Gypsy Shadow Sample Contract:
This Agreement shall begin with the execution of this contract and continue in force for a period of ____ (__) years from the actual date of publication of each edition.

Unless there's language that specifies that actual publication must happen within a certain timeframe, this is tantamount to giving your work to them forever -- if they don't publish it.

I certainly hope that exactly what constitutes an "edition" is defined.

Momento Mori
06-30-2010, 01:28 PM
Nitemare:
If anyone wants to be pressed into a mould and cranked out of an assembly line, I offer my congratulations and I wish them well.

Okay. What makes you think that Gypsy Shadow Publishing is any better than going it alone with Lulu or any other up-front self-publisher? Because it seems to me that you get the same service with them that you do with Gypsy Shadow but you keep control of your work.

It's a shame that you don't like people pointing out potential issues with your publisher. I hope that Gypsy Shadow proves me wrong and that you end up making more money than you have spent with them - or at least get your $350 back for the cover art.


Nitemare:
If Gypsy Shadow happens to go under, everything reverts back to the author; something that no one wanted to mention when the sample contract was being picked apart.

Because in many jurisdictions, once an insolvency situation arises it doesn't matter what your contract says about rights reversing - all assets belonging to the company vest in the liquidator who can dispose of them as s/he thinks best - including by selling them back to you if that recoups funds for the company's creditors.

MM

priceless1
06-30-2010, 06:04 PM
Gracious...I guess Nitemare picked up his/her toys and went home. Sad that they'd rather turn a blind eye than learn something about how the industry works.

Stacia Kane
06-30-2010, 08:46 PM
Gracious...I guess Nitemare picked up his/her toys and went home. Sad that they'd rather turn a blind eye than learn something about how the industry works.


Oh, but what do we know? We're just a bunch of cookie-cutter slaves.

BenPanced
06-30-2010, 09:10 PM
I'm not sure what we know. After all, I'm just a cookie-cutter slave.

Momento Mori
06-30-2010, 09:16 PM
Stacia Kane:
Oh, but what do we know? We're just a bunch of cookie-cutter slaves.

Well I know that I'd rather be paid $350 to publish my novel rather than pay that out in order to be published.

MM

Stacia Kane
06-30-2010, 09:20 PM
I'm not sure what we know. After all, I'm just a cookie-cutter slave.

Yes, BenPanced of Borg. We all must assimilate!


Signed,

StaciaKanus of Twelve, Unimatrix 73.

Marian Perera
06-30-2010, 09:20 PM
I know I'd rather have a publisher which puts together attractive covers than one which either assigns a stock image or lets writers pay for those.

But take no notice of me, for I have sold out to the Man and am currently being mass-produced in a factory in New Jersey.

BenPanced
06-30-2010, 10:35 PM
I know I'd rather have a publisher which puts together attractive covers than one which either assigns a stock image or lets writers pay for those.

But take no notice of me, for I have sold out to the Man and am currently being mass-produced in a factory in New Jersey.
:e2headban

priceless1
06-30-2010, 10:59 PM
We're a small publisher, so I wouldn't call us assembly line by any stretch. But even as wee as we are, even we print up 10k+ print runs. And actually SELL them.

James D. Macdonald
07-01-2010, 02:24 AM
The subject is Gypsy Shadow, not someone's on-line behavior.

Undercover
08-22-2010, 09:23 PM
Has anyone had any experience with Gypsy Shadow Pub? Does anyone know anything about them? I can't find them on predators and editors.

priceless1
08-22-2010, 09:27 PM
There's an existing thread here -<snipped>

Undercover
08-22-2010, 09:35 PM
I read through most of it and it seems complicated. I was wondering if someone else had something to add about the publisher.

priceless1
08-22-2010, 10:03 PM
Lmc, maybe you could point out the specifics of what is confusing you.

Undercover
08-22-2010, 11:16 PM
Well it seems to me there is no guarantee that your book will in fact be in print. I mean how do they decide that?

And someone said they had to pay for cover art, but it doesn't say the author has to pay anything. So I am confused on that too.

priceless1
08-22-2010, 11:52 PM
You want to query those who have proven their ability to get their product to market. Questions about whether a book will be printed and who pays for cover art seems to indicate this publisher doesn't quite have their act together. Given that, what's to ponder?

veinglory
08-22-2010, 11:55 PM
Well it seems to me there is no guarantee that your book will in fact be in print.

They are an epublisher, all they are offering is to publish an ebook.

Undercover
08-23-2010, 12:44 AM
They are an epublisher, all they are offering is to publish an ebook.


But there are in fact print books on there site, how do they decipher what goes into print and what remains an ebook?

jennontheisland
08-23-2010, 01:03 AM
But there are in fact print books on there site, how do they decipher what goes into print and what remains an ebook?
That's something you'd have to ask them.

veinglory
08-23-2010, 01:30 AM
IMHO, assume it won't go into print unless you specifically require this--in which case they might say no. Most epublishers that don't go into print routinely, rarely go into print at all (as a proportion of total titles).

Stacia Kane
08-23-2010, 03:21 AM
And someone said they had to pay for cover art, but it doesn't say the author has to pay anything. So I am confused on that too.


The person who paid for cover art did so because all Gypsy Shadow does is stick a stock photograph on your cover, and type your title and name on top of it. Have you seen the covers on their site?

If you want something better than that you'll have to pay for it, apparently.

What attracted you to this publisher to begin with, if I can ask?

Undercover
08-23-2010, 03:29 AM
Well I found them on a list that claims they are NOT a vanity pub, so I gave it a try. They are a royality too, but I don't know until my contract is prepared.

Don't know if it will be in print either. Seems like only a selected few that are in print.

Haven't signed nothing yet and will NOT until I know all about it.

veinglory
08-23-2010, 04:30 AM
If your requirement is that you want a non-vanity press that is a reeeaaaally long list. If your further requirement and deal killer is that your book come out in print that is a fairly long list too, but you better ask before they go to the trouble of mailing out a contract. It might save you and Gypsy Shadow some trouble, including this requirement in your query might have been even more time-saving....

Stacia Kane
08-23-2010, 04:34 AM
Well I found them on a list that claims they are NOT a vanity pub, so I gave it a try. They are a royality too, but I don't know until my contract is prepared.

Don't know if it will be in print either. Seems like only a selected few that are in print.

Haven't signed nothing yet and will NOT until I know all about it.


Okay, but have you ever read any of their books? Ever seen any of their books reviewed anywhere? Are any of their authors' names familiar to you? Have you spent time on their website looking at their books, checking the covers, reading excerpts, making sure the basket works and the buying/downloading process runs smoothly? Because anyone looking to buy a book is certainly going to leave the site if it isn't. That's part of the reason why readers of ebooks tend to be loyal to one or two different houses and don't branch out; they're familiar with what they'll get at house A and the buying process.

Isn't your work worth a bit more than just sending it to any old name you see on a list somewhere?

M.R.J. Le Blanc
08-23-2010, 04:40 AM
Isn't your work worth a bit more than just sending it to any old name you see on a list somewhere?

This. This so much.

veinglory
08-23-2010, 04:44 AM
Their Smashwords site says they plan to put 10 books in print in the next year, presumably at their own discretion. In the previous year they released 50 ebooks. So it doesn't look like print will be the norm. Also the print will probably not be discounted/returnable and so will probably not be stocked in bookstore to any real extent. The two print books they released this year (April and August respectively) seem to have zero (no) sales via Amazon (no sales rank).

But if you are at the stage of being offered a contract, its time to just ask them.

Undercover
08-23-2010, 06:03 AM
Yes, it is about time I start asking questions. I haven't emailed them yet, but will sometime this week. I just want to compile any and all information before I do.

And yes, I read their site from top to bottom Stacia, but you're right. I should test out the printing of one of their ebooks and see what it's like.

Thanks you guys, I sincerely appreciate all this.

Momento Mori
08-23-2010, 12:56 PM
Lmc71775:
Well I found them on a list that claims they are NOT a vanity pub, so I gave it a try.

Well there are lists and there are lists. Just because a list contains publishers that are not up-front fee chargers, doesn't mean that they're a good idea for an author.

MM

Stacia Kane
01-25-2011, 01:55 AM
I received an email through the contact form on my site from an author with Gypsy Shadow, letting me know that "the editing stinks." Apparently it's not been a good experience.

I've encouraged the author to come here and tell the story in a bit more detail, so I hope my advice is taken.

Meanwhile, FYI.

Zefiris
02-26-2011, 11:06 PM
!!!

I've just gone on their website and had not one but two Trojan Horse viruses blocked by Avast.

Be careful if going on their site.

kathleea
02-27-2011, 12:52 AM
I am in the process of having a murder mystery edited and they seem very upfront and professional so far. I have no issues with them and have met another author that publishes with them and likes what they did for her books. I can update as I go through the process if you like.

DreamWeaver
02-27-2011, 03:10 AM
kathleea, that would be very helpful. Thank you!

kathleea
10-07-2011, 08:15 PM
I wanted to update everyone on Gypsy Shadow. I published a murder mystery with them just released 9-25-11 and I couldn't be happier with the editing, cover design etc. I feel they were professional and are willing to work with you however long it takes. I would recommend them especially if you already have a social media presence. Yes, they are fairly new and no they don't do advances or promote much except for on their website but they give you places to promote (blogs etc.) Thanks.

Terie
07-25-2012, 09:24 AM
According to a Gypsy Shadow author on a Yahoo group I'm in, they charge $150 to put your book into print, and then this is apparently 'refunded' as copies of the print book sell.

That makes it sound, to me, as if GSP doesn't put books into print themselves, but that authors fund GSP to put their books into print.

It would be nice to get some clarification on this.

childeroland
08-09-2012, 06:03 AM
I recently got something accepted by them and now this thread's scared me off. (Should have done some research first, I know, I know.) Is it the thing to just refuse the contract, offer an excuse, what?

James D. Macdonald
08-09-2012, 07:22 AM
No one's holding a pistol to your head to make you sign a contract.

childeroland
08-09-2012, 07:43 AM
I just wondered if there is an etiquette for these things.

htrent
08-09-2012, 08:04 AM
"Thank you for your time and offer of publication. Unfortunately, I must ask to withdraw this manuscript from consideration.

Regards,

Childe Roland"

Of course, only do this if you have no intentions to submit there again. In some circumstances I can see offering a terse explanation, but this isn't one of them.

childeroland
08-09-2012, 01:59 PM
Why not?

kathleea
08-09-2012, 04:23 PM
I have a murder mystery with them and just got a contract for the next one due out by Thanksgiving. They are a small publisher but very invested in their authors. The promoting is minimal, you do a lot of it yourself but I'd recommend them for Ebooks. If you want it in print they do charge because they are mainly an Ebook publisher.

veinglory
08-09-2012, 05:59 PM
Why not?

Professionalism. You decided not to pursue publication with them. That is all that needs to be said.

childeroland
08-10-2012, 02:08 AM
Gotcha. Thanks, guys.