PDA

View Full Version : Crushing Hearts & Black Butterfly Publishing / Hot Ink Books / Steamworks Ink



Silverrosess
12-20-2011, 12:10 AM
I found this brand-new publisher on facebook... new as in, they don't have any books out yet. I joined their facebook page on it's first day being opened, but I don't know if they are legit or not. Does anyone know anything about them? links:

http://www.facebook.com/#!/CrushingHeartsandBlackButterfly
www.crushingheartsandblackbutterfly.com (http://www.crushingheartsandblackbutterfly.com/)

priceless1
12-20-2011, 12:42 AM
From their About page:

Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly will be the publisher that writers want. We will support our authors and readers and we will never let a great story go untold.Geared toward writers rather than readers.

We are committed to promoting our writers by utilizing targeted marketing strategies and creative technologies (i.e. social networks, virtual tours and creative swag). We will bring solid stories with fresh voices to our readers, and offer AMAZING and VIVID cover art.They mention everything but distribution, which makes me wonder how they plan on getting their books to market.

It is our goal to have Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing become known as the publisher who gives authors the support and resources they need
This is a non-statement because all good publishers support their authors and offer concrete resources - like distribution, marketing, and promotion. They don't offer any specifics.

Bicyclefish
12-20-2011, 12:48 AM
From their website:


Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing is an Independent Press launching in 2012. We are headed by the creative team of SJ Davis, A. L. Kay, and SK Whiteside, who are passionate about innovative storytelling and independent artists. We have experience on all sides of the literary industry so we understand that every story has an audience, and we look for those unique and captivating authors with voices to tell those stories. The creative team mentioned appears to be mainly authors; I don't know what experience they have "on all sides of the literary industry", but I didn't dig too deeply. Others with more familiarity in the paranormal, urban fantasy, and gothic (which appears to be their genre) may recognize the names.

http://twitter.com/SKWhiteside
https://www.facebook.com/A.L.Kay.Author#!/A.L.Kay.Author?sk=info (https://www.facebook.com/A.L.Kay.Author)
http://www.facebook.com/sjdavis.writer#!/sjdavis.writer/info (http://www.facebook.com/sjdavis.write)

Momento Mori
12-20-2011, 12:59 AM
In addition to the excellent points raised by priceless1, I'd add the following:


Crushing Hearts & Black Butterfly Publishing Website:
We are committed to promoting our writers by utilizing targeted marketing strategies and creative technologies (i.e. social networks, virtual tours and creative swag). We will bring solid stories with fresh voices to our readers, and offer AMAZING and VIVID cover art.

I'd wait to see what those marketing strategies are or at least be provided with some details on how they see it working. All too often, when I see a publisher claiming to use social media and virtual tours, they're talking about setting up a Facebook page or Twitter account (to which writers inevitably have to point readers) and virtual blog tours are those that authors set up on each other's blogs. I'm not saying that this will be the case with this publisher, but it's something to be wary of.


Crushing Hearts & Black Butterfly Publishing Website:
If you enjoy dark paranormal thrillers, urban fantasy, or edgy YA, consider yourself at home.

The fact that they're specialising is a good sign, but those are all crowded markets so I'd be interested in knowing how they plan to tap into it and make themselves stand out. I will say that I quite like the covers for the authors they've listed though, which is a plus.


Crushing Hearts & Black Butterfly Publishing Website: (BOLDING MINE)
This anthology will pay NO royalties as a contract will state but you will retain the rights to your story. We also ask for exclusivity of the story for one year. Other rights we are requiring via contract are First Publishing Rights, the right to use the story for as long as there is demand for the book, the right to edit each story for missed or grammatical errors, and the right to use parts of the book and/or the author’s name for promotion. This would only be for the anthology and not any other books we may publish of yours. The author will receive two copies of the anthology, the PDF file, as well as a discount code for personal orders via Amazon.

All the things I've put in bold would get a loud "sod off" from me.

If you write short stories, there are better paying markets out there than this outfit - outfits that will put cash in your pocket (even if it's only a token sum) and give you full rights back at the end of the exclusivity period rather than hold on to them for as long as it (effectively) wants on a non-exclusive basis.

The main warning flag for me though is the fact that the website is a Weebly and one of the contact email addresses is on hotmail (i.e. free web based email). This suggests they don't have a lot of money to put into the business.

MM

Silverrosess
12-20-2011, 01:08 AM
Hm. Would you say it's not a legit place then?

veinglory
12-20-2011, 01:09 AM
That depends on what you mean by "legit".

Richard White
12-20-2011, 01:11 AM
I don't think legit enters into the equation.

I think there are much better places to start than a non-royalty paying publisher.

Much.

Momento Mori
12-20-2011, 01:18 AM
KatieC
Hm. Would you say it's not a legit place then?

A publisher doesn't have to be a scam to be a bad idea. There are plenty of well-intentioned publishers that go under year on year due to inexperience, lack of money, lack of distribution, lack of marketing, lack of promotion etc etc etc.

MM

Silverrosess
12-20-2011, 01:21 AM
I'm not looking at their non-royality short stories, I'm looking at their paying open-call manuscripts. Or, I think they pay for a full MS.

By legit i mean not-a-scam.

Richard White
12-20-2011, 01:23 AM
Check out the gray links in the publisher's index.

Most of these companies were not scams.

However, most of them were organized by people with limited or no publishing experience. A large number of the gray links also took books with them when they folded, tying them up for a long time by not clearly returning the rights to the authors or simply disappearing and the authors never got their publishing rights back.

While there are some very good small presses, they'll have books already lined up before they start publishing. They will have distribution already lined up before they start publishing and their web sites will be aimed at readers, not writers.

If they're good, writers will find them. They won't have to go looking.

veinglory
12-20-2011, 01:43 AM
It is not a scam, but it should also be way at the bottom of your list (or not on it at all).

Unimportant
12-20-2011, 02:05 AM
I can't find anything on the website that states they would pay for full-length manuscripts; the fact that they do not pay for short stories, however, is not encouraging.

Given the huge number of established, well-paying e-presses out there that looking for paranormal manuscripts, it would seem logical to start at the top (Carina? Samhain? Loose ID? Ellora's Cave?) and work your way down. If at the very end you've been rejected by all those dozens of other presses and get to CH/BB on your list of places to submit to -- it's probably time to write a new book.

Momento Mori
12-20-2011, 02:17 AM
KatieC:
I'm not looking at their non-royality short stories, I'm looking at their paying open-call manuscripts. Or, I think they pay for a full MS.

I can't see anything on the website to suggest they pay for a full MS.

There are plenty of small publishers out there that will at the very least pay royalties for short stories - the fact that these guys aren't even though it seems (judging from the statement that they'll be listing on Amazon) that they plan to sell them, means that they're making money off other people's work and taking non-exclusive long term rights in the story.

As a business practice, it makes perfect sense and it's perfectly legitimate. For authors, it sucks.

Now, if they're doing that for short stories, what is there to suggest that they're going to give fair terms for a full length manuscript?

Ultimately, it's up to you, KatieC. You won't be the first person who's come to this site to get advice on a start-up, had a lot of people tell them to wait as it may not be a good idea and then decided to give them a chance anyway because hey, at least it means you're published by someone and if you do decide to go with them then I genuinely hope that it works out for you.

However there's a long list of publishers on this site who've gone under, taking rights with them and leaving authors in limbo for those manuscripts (at best) and completely costing them any chance of commercial publication (at worst).

Like I said, something doesn't have to be a scam to be a bad idea.

MM

brainstorm77
04-30-2012, 10:17 PM
http://www.hotinkbooks.com/ They recently put out a call for subs on Facebook.

Fallen
05-01-2012, 07:48 PM
Any idea what it says in red beneath 'hot Ink Press'? I can't read it.

JL_Benet
05-01-2012, 08:07 PM
"Words that melt pages..."

Fallen
05-02-2012, 03:38 AM
"Words that melt pages..."

So it does. Thank you, JLB ;)

Silverrosess
08-13-2012, 02:36 AM
I was actually with crushing hearts for a while. They ended up putting out an unedited version of my YA fiction novel. The organization was VERY unprofessional, and I left the company. I wouldn't suggest CHBB or Hot Ink to anyone.

turtledinosaur
08-13-2012, 02:59 AM
I'm sorry about your experience with them, KatieC. I tried to read one of their books and had to stop. The editing made me want to pluck my eyeballs out.

folieadeux
01-06-2013, 03:34 AM
If you look at the books that are available from CH/BB and Hot Ink on Amazon and check out their reviews, it seems like they are having a lot of quality control issues.

On Ember by Madison Daniel: "I just couldn't bring myself to ignore. all. the unnecessary. periods. And grammatical errors."

On Reign of Blood by Alexia Purdy: "Also towards the final quarter of the book, the writing sort of devolved, (I think that Ms. Purdy is a great story teller, but got rushed at the end)so maybe didn't get the proofreading needed."

On Court Danger by Elizabeth A. Lance: "It was hard to follow the extremely boring dialogue because it was not formatted properly..."

On Bottom Feeders by Armada West: "The main problem is that the book is riddled with far more grammar errors and inconsistencies than should be allowed. To be blunt, the editor needs to take another look through every page. In some cases words are switched around or completely missing; spellcheck can't catch everything."

On My Everything by Khelsey Jackson: "the spelling and grammatical errors were PAINFUL. At the beginning of the book it gave credit to an editor. There is NO WAY this book was edited or proof read. Ever."

One book actually has *11!!* one star reviews out of 27 total.

Also a lot of books being published by the same authors. I think someone else said it best earlier.


From their About page:
Geared toward writers rather than readers.

I mean, it seems as though they are picking up some decent work but then are just not following through.

And something I noticed as I was going through looking for examples, A LOT of the reviews are posted by the same people. If you look at the previous reviews by these people, they are ALL five stars for the books printed by CH/BB and Hot Ink. To top it off, comments back to the low-rating reviews get responses from those same people and they're pretty aggressive sometimes. Only a couple times did the author respond graciously at the criticism.

Seems like a lot of tom foolery going on.

aliceshortcake
01-06-2013, 02:12 PM
Oh, dearie me. Here's an example of Hot Ink's editing (I'm assuming there was some editing because it's credited to S J Davis):


Jennifer shakes her head and walks to the bar. She is going to need something strong to get through the night. She knows that she doesn't look back but compared to Meg she is a fly on the wall.

Were it not for the fact that this odd statement is followed by a description of the heroine's appearance I wouldn't have known that the author meant "doesn't look bad". No competent editor would have allowed this to slip through.


She looks to her right, and there is a man in a flashy name brand suite sitting next to her. He is breath-taking beautiful. His hair falls to the middle of his neck, and it looks dark. She can't see what color is eyes are, but she has a feeling they are dark like is hair.

"It is the only think that I know I like."

This man is sex in a suite.

:Jaw:

And these are just the worst examples from the first two pages! I can't believe this is anything other than a straightforward text dump. Hot Ink should be ashamed of themselves.

Broadswordbabe
01-06-2013, 04:11 PM
Sex in a suite? Hotel suite or velour living-room suite?
Yeesh. That's some spectacularly bad editing. And/or spectacularly incompetent writing that didn't get picked up by the editor. Just in those two short sections I spotted several...infelicities of language and at least six actual mistakes.

writeontime
01-06-2013, 07:09 PM
"sex in a suite"? Oh no.
My headache just got worse.

justbishop
01-06-2013, 07:45 PM
The main warning flag for me though is the fact that the website is a Weebly and one of the contact email addresses is on hotmail (i.e. free web based email). This suggests they don't have a lot of money to put into the business.

MM

The bolded puts me off when any publisher does it (and not just on Weebly, I also do not consider a business using a Wordpress.com or Blogger site in any way to be professional).

To give everyone an idea of the meager amount of money it takes to set up a proper website:

$8-10/year domain registration
$5-10/month for real web hosting

An insane amount of webhosts provide one click automatic installation of the Wordpress package, which allows you to have a completely self-contained (i.e. not connected to wp.com in any way) Wordpress driven site. Barring that, there are loads of people willing to install WP for cheap (I used to charge about $20).

If you absolutely could not find a suitable free theme within the Wordpress.org theme repository of thousands of themes, a decent commercial one can be had for virtually ANY budget (I'm positive I could find one selling for $5-10 all the way up to $100+).

Hiring a designer to make color changes (if needed) to your chosen theme also need not be costly. I used to charge about $50 to go through a CSS file and redo the colors.

DaFont.com has tons of free for commercial use fonts that would make great professional logos, a service I would charge $25-50 for.

E-commerce systems are a bit more involved, but since my expertise lies in self-hosted Wordpress, I'll say there are several great shopping cart plugins available. Eshop is a free one, and Shopp costs less than $100.

So if a publisher cannot spare about $100 for a simple start up website, I doubt their seriousness.

folieadeux
01-09-2013, 05:46 AM
It looks like they DO have a website now, as well as another imprint too -- Vamptasy. Has anyone heard anything about the imprint?

http://www.crushingheartsandblackbutterfly.com/

http://www.vamptasy.com/

***

I looked to see if there was a thread for Vamptasy and this is what I found -- http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=218873

AmbrosiaArts
01-09-2013, 09:31 AM
There have been concerns brought to my attention about my previous posts. Some of them were grammatical! Oops. You’re right, I should pay better attention no matter the circumstance.
Now in regards to Crushing Hearts Black Butterfly, Hot Ink Press and Vamptasy… Do I think the companies are worth their weight? No. Have I seen the harm they can cause? Yes. Would I ever advise an author to submit to them again? No. Do they pay royalties? Yes on most things such as fulls, novellas, single short stories. (I gave the example of prequels here.) For Anthologies, they do not pay the writer royalties. It is stated in the anthologie contracts I have seen, No currency of any kind will be paid by the publisher to the author, it continues on, Profits made from this anthology will be used to fund future anthology projects for new artists.
To be honest, when done correctly and marketed appropriately I think that is a terrific idea! It could be so well used to help small indie presses promote the authors and as I hope to one day help do, get them to events that otherwise they may not be able to afford.
I admit openly I was not of sound mind last night. I made a bad judgment call because I felt attacked I felt my friends were attacked I felt innocent people were attacked and it was vastly inappropriate for me to come here when someone gave me the link to this thread.
However, I do think that my voice should be heard. I am not slandering. I am giving you my opinions for the questions asked.
I think any indie press is a great way for a new author to get in the market –when the work is ready- if they can’t afford to self-publish. I know a lot of them now that I have started working in other parts of the publishing world. Some are great. Some are really not. I learned last week some do honestly no more than amazon. I am not regarding chbb. I am stating I studied up on small presses vs self-publishing and learned some small presses are just self-publishing other author’s books for them through amazon. I think it’s wrong but I am pretty certain it’s not illegal.
Do I like all of the work CHBB puts out? Not really, no. But I could say the same thing about little and brown. Their graphics I will make the same statement about. As far as crediting inappropriately, perhaps it was over looked and misprinted in the books. Perhaps it wasn’t. In the end, all I can say is I don’t mean to offend anyone. I made good friends through this publishing trio of companies. Met wonderful writers. Made fantastic business contacts that I look forward to working with in the future.
I’ll stop here I think I have addressed everything. If not, feel free to mention so. (i bolded this to try and help but this was the font that came up automatically. If someone can tell me how to adjust this automatically I would appreciate!)

aliceshortcake
01-09-2013, 03:52 PM
Of the 5 I took to the publisher, SJ Davis, this editor was not listed as an editorÖ However yesterday I learned that SJ Davis does editÖ it is SHE that runs this company. It is NOT SJ Davis that edited most of these books. She took the credit but from what I have discovered she has edited few of these books herself.

I'm sorry, but I'm completely confused.

GinnieHazel
01-09-2013, 05:55 PM
Please don't use that font AmbrosiaArts, it hurts my eyes.

Gravity
01-09-2013, 07:39 PM
Fixed it, I think




Well I feel it only fair I share what I know about Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly (CHBB) Hot Ink Press (HIP) and their new sister add on company Vamptasy. Vamptasy I know very little about. The merger just happened. It has some worried, with good reason. That aside, Hot Ink aka HIP is an erotic sister company. Whereas CHBB primarily handles paranormal of some kind or another, but nothing ever over 100k words.


The shorts they publish they donít pay for but the shorts they sell, they usually only charge .99 cents for. They say this is to put money back into the company. Now I recently opened a company ( we are NOT a publishing house) where I plan to do something similar with anthologies only, however those proceeds go to getting authors into conventions and stuff like that. We are considering publishing anthologies that go out in or magazine as a collection volume style thing. Anyways thatís not what matters. I know itís a promo lots of companies do by selling work for a dollar or under. Thatís their choice but thatís why they wonít pay you for them.

Their FULL MS they give 50/50 royalties on. Again keep in mind they will not accept anything above 100k, their average full run s about 60k. To me I consider that a novella not a full. Points of view though.

I am not personally a fan or their promotional graphics, for merchandise posters trailers or covers. But some of them do look nice. My favorites are generally created by the author or someone they know personally and are not in house designers. They have some decent names. One I know of I believe is going to be agented to the big 6 soon. (sidebar: Is it still too early in that merger to call them the big 5 now?)


Was hired by CHBBís publisher this past fall as an editor when I took them 5 of their published books and pointed out errors. The head of their company acted appalled and hired me immediately without asking for credentials. I never asked for the job. She just assigned it to me as her handy little helper. Fortunately I freelance on the side. She didnít know this. But I agreed and I edited them. This upset her other editor that she did fire. She had one other editor that she didnít fire. She avoided speaking to and completely dropped them without comment going forward. I pity this editor but she is recovering from the insulting blow. Of the 5 I took to the publisher, SJ Davis, this editor was not listed as an editorÖ However yesterday I learned that SJ Davis does editÖ it is SHE that runs this company. It is NOT SJ Davis that edited most of these books. She took the credit but from what I have discovered she has edited few of these books herself. Why would the publisher personally edit them anyways? They have more important things to do. So why not give credit where credit is due, even if said credit may be minimal for not much was done?

But a lot of you said that CHBB and Hip or SJ basically said she gave general non answers as to how they would handle things. And a lot of assumptions were made about twitter fb and blog tours. All I can go by is my own personal experience. In going by that, I agree with every single one of youÖ I wasnít just an editor for CHBB I recently signed with them in October. Today I resigned. Iím not bitter actually I am well past that. I wonít give you the many many reasons as to why I resigned because as of yet the editor hasnít responded in regards to my resignation. I think thatís bad business to go poo on someone in a time when I may come across as bitter.

As far as website and graphics go I am not impressed. Their trailers are one MAYBE two pictures generally floating around a screen with scrolling font. Not impressed. I contracted my own people into doing it which lead to me creating a company of such services.

As far as the skill of their authorsÖ Their cheapest books are their worst. They are the most poorly edited. Great authors are being dismissed as lazy because of the errors brought to them by their readers. It is a writers group for writers who couldnít publish elsewhere so they published for themselves. No outsider do I believe would find a great deal of enjoyment in the majority of their works. Now I say the majority. Some if itís very goodÖ I was blessed to be the editor of a book titled Revealing Hamilton. It was an awesome book that I could barely put it down. I had to re-read it more than a few times to make sure I didnít miss something cause of how much I got hung up in some spots.

This is just my opinion of course.

All it boils down to is that I am glad I pulled my work out of their hands before it was too late. They play favorites. They dramatize, socialize and magnify things like teenagers. It didnít take a month before I was second guessing my decision in signing with them it took less than two before I outright regretted it. I was slandered once for expressing excitement for an upcoming photo shoot I had scheduled for something I thought may be great for CHBB. After being publicly slandered I was then threatened.

But thatís all I need to say for now. I have done my research heavily since feeling weary and have moved on to more promising places. They play some dirty pool though.

Stacia Kane
01-09-2013, 08:09 PM
You might want to add quote tags there, Gravity. :) Thanks for the fix!

kaitie
01-09-2013, 08:18 PM
Just read that big long post and I have several thoughts.

First, I'd never submit a short story that didn't pay (unless it was maybe to a free magazine or something of that sort that I knew and liked). I'd not at all be happy with a publisher putting my stories out and making money on them without paying me a dime. Maybe if they paid a flat fee up front I'd be more okay with it, but to pay nothing? I could put the same story on Amazon for $.99 and I'd at least get $.35 for every sale. I especially feel this way when they're planning to sell enough to fund other projects. If they're planning to make that many sales, I feel like they could at least give the author something.

Second thought is (and I know this is the internet) that the post has enough errors and sentences that were awkward that I had to go back and reread that I'd not be confident in this person's editing skills. I think if you're going to call yourself an editor, you need to show off those basic skills, particularly in a writing forum in which you are discussing your business.

The fact that they asked for no credentials and didn't test your skills beyond you pointed out errors in a few books doesn't inspire confidence, either. What sort of editing did they hire you for?

Final thought is that cheapest books or not, that they have books out that appear to be unedited and poorly written doesn't bode well for their standards. What it bodes even less well for is their business model. If they use cheap short stories as a way to fund larger projects, those had damn well better be some awesome stories that are well edited. The fact that those would be their worst just makes no sense to me.

christwriter
01-09-2013, 10:42 PM
First, I'd never submit a short story that didn't pay (unless it was maybe to a free magazine or something of that sort that I knew and liked). I'd not at all be happy with a publisher putting my stories out and making money on them without paying me a dime. Maybe if they paid a flat fee up front I'd be more okay with it, but to pay nothing? I could put the same story on Amazon for $.99 and I'd at least get $35 for every sale. I especially feel this way when they're planning to sell enough to fund other projects. If they're planning to make that many sales, I feel like they could at least give the author something.

This was my first response, too. (assuming you meant $.35 and not $35.00)IMHO there are three reasons to go with a press: Quality covers, quality editing, and better sales than you could get on your own (due to distribution, sales teams ect.)

The covers are okay. Some of 'em are good, some of 'em arehorrible, none of 'em strike me as particularly eye catching. They're very basic photo manipulations, and one of 'em in particular looks like crap piled on top of crap. An author could do that on their own with GIMP, good stock photos and a couple month's practice...or they could pay a starving artist to do it for them.

The editing is abysmal. The authors should have done a better job before they handed their manuscripts over. The formatting on the Kindle is just as bad. Paragraphs are indented AND broken up by spaces, which is a big no-no. And I really hope that the coding for the Amazon previewer spontaneously broke, because the text appears in Courier, aka the "My computer can't handle the real font" font. I think the only font people hate more is Papyrus. Admittedly most people can't edit well, but if you can research topics for your book and format a document in Word you can figure out how to reformat your books for the Kindle without breaking them.

The real story to me, though, is the Amazon rankings. The shorts aren't ranked much better than mine. Worse, in a couple of cases. The full length books aren't any better. They're selling...what, one copy a week? If this press were to be a better choice than self publishing, the sales on their books should be superior to the sales of self-published titles. And they're not.

Frankly, I see NO advantage to publishing with this press. And giving them a short story for free makes no sense at all. You can do just as well on your own.

folieadeux
01-10-2013, 12:55 AM
The editing is abysmal. The authors should have done a better job before they handed their manuscripts over. The formatting on the Kindle is just as bad. Paragraphs are indented AND broken up by spaces, which is a big no-no.

The thing is that if this is a serious company then they should offer editing services with their contracts, and from what I took of Ambrosia's post is that they in fact DO do that. Authors do need to have a presentable manuscript when they send it to the publisher, but as a writer I know that I understand what I write and how I mean things -- yet they might confuse others. That's part of what an editor (hopefully) does, in addition to fixing typos and errors. I personally feel like if the author is being told in a contract that they (the company) will handle editing, then it's the company's job to fulfill that part of the agreement. Unfortunately not all authors are editors.

And from the looks of things that simply isn't being done to standard.

kaitie
01-10-2013, 01:18 AM
See, I'd generally agree that authors should have a more polished product. Yes, I make occasional comma errors or word choice errors, and once in awhile I might have a sentence that doesn't quite work, but part of being a writer is having pretty darn good grammar and writing ability. An occasional error isn't a big deal and won't hurt the piece. Numerous errors shows, IMO, that the author needs to work more on their craft. I think every author has weak points, even with grammar or punctuation, but an author at a professional level should be able to put together a fairly polished piece before ever submitting. I tend to think editing should be more about fine-tuning--not making it competent.

I know that there are a couple of big name authors I've heard of who are apparently abysmal writers when it comes to grammar and what not, but who put together good characters and stories and have been picked up because of that, but honestly, I'd never suggest anyone submit with errors like you're seeing here. Part of our job is to learn to do this well. Not perfect, mind you, but well.

aliceshortcake
01-10-2013, 01:44 AM
I'm with kaitie on this one. No amount of editing will turn slush into readable, saleable work.

folieadeux
01-10-2013, 01:56 AM
Oh, I totally 100% agree the author has to do quality control during the initial writing process. But there's a difference between "slush" as you put it and typos/some grammer mistakes/etc. You say slush and all I could think of was that awful snippet that was posted.


Oh, dearie me. Here's an example of Hot Ink's editing (I'm assuming there was some editing because it's credited to S J Davis):

"Jennifer shakes her head and walks to the bar. She is going to need something strong to get through the night. She knows that she doesn't look back but compared to Meg she is a fly on the wall."

Were it not for the fact that this odd statement is followed by a description of the heroine's appearance I wouldn't have known that the author meant "doesn't look bad". No competent editor would have allowed this to slip through.

"She looks to her right, and there is a man in a flashy name brand suite sitting next to her. He is breath-taking beautiful. His hair falls to the middle of his neck, and it looks dark. She can't see what color is eyes are, but she has a feeling they are dark like is hair.

"It is the only think that I know I like."

This man is sex in a suite."




As opposed to things like...thinking of an example...Oh, I don't know. "John, you can't just walk away like hat."

SUPER minor mistake that won't be caught by the average spell checker, and easy to miss during a read through.

AmbrosiaArts
01-10-2013, 02:00 AM
Hey alls. Not sure how to find or edit my last post so I wanted to ammend something. They do pay authors royalties on shorts when its their own short. Like a prequel for example? They have a lot of those I was only thinking of anthologies. The anthologies I know they dont pay royalties for because I have seen that contract. A friend gave it to me asking for advice. But the single shorts they do indeed pay royalties for. Apologies I forgot that.

AmbrosiaArts
01-10-2013, 02:30 AM
Second thought is (and I know this is the internet) that the post has enough errors and sentences that were awkward that I had to go back and reread that I'd not be confident in this person's editing skills. I think if you're going to call yourself an editor, you need to show off those basic skills, particularly in a writing forum in which you are discussing your business.


.
You're correct about the post I should have saved it and submitted it today after cleaning it up, but I wasn't thinking too well. 3 a.m. and painkillers = bad mix. So I agree with you there and I do apologize and blush for that.

She asked me to edit an anthology that I brought to her attention. I did a skim of it and honestly I could have done better at the time I didn't think I was going to be hired. After that I have done line by line edits of a few of their fulls. Not many admittedly I was there for less than two months as an editor.
I haven't caught up with the rest of these posts, but I am getting there.

AmbrosiaArts
01-10-2013, 02:34 AM
:3 Hah. Thanks. Least I can laugh at myself and own up to it. My bad.

sjdavis
01-10-2013, 09:53 PM
Thank you, Ambrosia Arts, for correcting the misinformation from the earlier post. The original post can still be seen as the font was fixed by Gravity.

We have several editors who work with us now and their work is impeccable. As we reach our first year in business, we have set up an Ingram's account and hope to be in more bookstores soon. Yes, our books are being re-edited as we upload the new versions.

I hesitate to ever reply to posts of this nature, but I feel that I must stand up and say every editor is correctly identified in each book. Also, I pay royalties promptly and on every book, whether it's .99 or 14.99.

Our anthologies do not pay royalties except to the editor. This is for two reasons, I pay for the isbn and blog tour/promotion. Additionally, every anthology we have done has donated a percentage to charity, including TWOLA, Turning Point Women's Shelter, and St. Jude's

Best of luck in the future! Good writing, everyone.

SJ Davis

evilrooster
01-10-2013, 11:34 PM
Additionally, every anthology we have done has donated a percentage to charity, including TWOLA, Turning Point Women's Shelter, and St. Jude's

Out of curiosity: what kind of percentage?

veinglory
01-11-2013, 12:32 AM
It still seems very odd to me to pay the person who edited the work a very generous share, and the ones who wrote it nothing at all.

aliceshortcake
01-11-2013, 12:36 AM
sjdavis, your company's donations to charity are laudable. However, you are a publisher/editor, not a philanthropist, so let's go back to those excerpts from a recent Hot Ink book edited by you:


Originally Posted by aliceshortcake
"Jennifer shakes her head and walks to the bar. She is going to need something strong to get through the night. She knows that she doesn't look back but compared to Meg she is a fly on the wall."

Were it not for the fact that this odd statement is followed by a description of the heroine's appearance I wouldn't have known that the author meant "doesn't look bad". No competent editor would have allowed this to slip through.

"She looks to her right, and there is a man in a flashy name brand suite sitting next to her. He is breath-taking beautiful. His hair falls to the middle of his neck, and it looks dark. She can't see what color is eyes are, but she has a feeling they are dark like is hair.

"It is the only think that I know I like."

This man is sex in a suite."

Why on earth did Hot Ink release a book in such a poorly-edited state? Did the author have anything to say about it?

AmbrosiaArts
01-11-2013, 04:58 AM
I wanted to make one more statement. I said that editors were not being correctly edited because another editor of chbb bought the book they edited and their name was nowhere in the credits under editing. I did see a picture of this. SJ had the same book and has a picture with the editor’s name in it. So I suppose maybe there were misprints. But I feel that is just as bad as any other typo found in a book. The reason I started editing was for one reason. Chbb is not the only indie press with this problem, tons of them have it. How are indie presses ever supposed to be recognized as a legitimate way to publish in the BIG world of publishing if this continues? They're laughed at by big presses and agents. That shouldn’t be the case. If you want to compete in this wild world of publishing you have to prove yourself. You have to prove you're just as good as anyone else. You have to prove you can stand next to anyone else and hold your own. I have worked with other publishing houses with the same problem and I hate it. These authors don't deserve these poor marks against them because they can't edit. Do I think it's a big part of the author's job, to make sure their work is as edited as possible before submission? Yes. I will cringe every time I hear a writer say they submitted their first draft to a company. It makes my stomach flip! Then these small presses, who see the value of the story, take the work and they slack on polishing when that should be the absolute focus of their work is polishing. Polishing words. Polishing covers. Forget merchandise. Make the book WORTH its weight in gold. You can have a TON of merchandise and if people see 3 star reviews for horrible or lack thereof editing then why would someone else take the chance on buying it? I wouldn't. I don't. When I buy a book it has been published or agented by a big name because I know I can relax and read. That editor inside of me doesn't have to stress and flinch for every flaw because at best, there are just one or two. - Rant over.(tried to find font change again.)

kaitie
01-11-2013, 05:37 AM
I think it's more that there are a lot of great indie presses who do amazingly well, but there are a lot of there one day gone the next that don't show up on anyone's radar. The industry doesn't really care about them. Agents wouldn't submit to them and probably haven't heard of 90% of them. Most are set up by disgruntled authors who couldn't find an agent or publisher, so they decided to make their own, doing things the "right" way.

They don't last. I understand your thinking, and it's nice someone wanted these presses to be taken seriously, but the problems with these publishers go beyond editing and crappy covers. It's a lack of understanding by the principals in how the publishing business actually works. They're often underfunded (not realizing how much capital is required to start a successful company), they don't have a good understanding of contracts, they lack and understanding of how distribution and marketing and promotion, etc. all works together to help achieve success.

These poor publishers won't last long. You can see a long list of them on the index page here. They don't really make many waves in the publishing industry in general, but they do take a few authors with them when they go down. That's why we're here. To help authors avoid getting caught by publishers like this.

folieadeux
01-11-2013, 05:56 AM
sjdavis, your company's donations to charity are laudable. However, you are a publisher/editor, not a philanthropist, so let's go back to those excerpts from a recent Hot Ink book edited by you:

"Jennifer shakes her head and walks to the bar. She is going to need something strong to get through the night. She knows that she doesn't look back but compared to Meg she is a fly on the wall."

Were it not for the fact that this odd statement is followed by a description of the heroine's appearance I wouldn't have known that the author meant "doesn't look bad". No competent editor would have allowed this to slip through.

"She looks to her right, and there is a man in a flashy name brand suite sitting next to her. He is breath-taking beautiful. His hair falls to the middle of his neck, and it looks dark. She can't see what color is eyes are, but she has a feeling they are dark like is hair.

"It is the only think that I know I like."

This man is sex in a suite."
Why on earth did Hot Ink release a book in such a poorly-edited state? Did the author have anything to say about it?

That is a very good question. I'm interested in hearing what the justification is for that, too, because the errors there are flamboyantly awful.

christwriter
01-11-2013, 07:13 AM
The thing is that if this is a serious company then they should offer editing services with their contracts, and from what I took of Ambrosia's post is that they in fact DO do that. Authors do need to have a presentable manuscript when they send it to the publisher, but as a writer I know that I understand what I write and how I mean things -- yet they might confuse others. That's part of what an editor (hopefully) does, in addition to fixing typos and errors. I personally feel like if the author is being told in a contract that they (the company) will handle editing, then it's the company's job to fulfill that part of the agreement. Unfortunately not all authors are editors.

And from the looks of things that simply isn't being done to standard.

Damn, I should have been clearer. My meaning was more along the lines of filtering than "the authors should have done better". If publishing houses are water treatment plants, authors are the first filter and editors are the second. Authors should catch the leaf and twig sized mistakes, editors should catch the germs and chemicals and silt that the author can't get on their own, as well as the occasional leaf or twig the author misses, because you're right. We're not all that good at editing. And maybe the editor can't catch all the silt, but it should be catching the leaves.

If the "leaf" mistakes are still in a published book, it's not the author's fault. They entrusted their book to someone else who is not doing their job. But it's a sign that that either NOBODY is going over the manuscripts at all, or the comb these editors use is less "fine tooth" and more "fireplace grate".

folieadeux
01-11-2013, 08:53 AM
If publishing houses are water treatment plants, authors are the first filter and editors are the second. Authors should catch the leaf and twig sized mistakes, editors should catch the germs and chemicals and silt that the author can't get on their own, as well as the occasional leaf or twig the author misses, because you're right. We're not all that good at editing. And maybe the editor can't catch all the silt, but it should be catching the leaves.

That's a fantastic way of summing it up! :) Pure poetry.

Not trying to speak for everyone in this thread, but I'm still holding my breath though for sjdavis' reason that all those errors were allowed to go to print.

ViariRose
01-11-2013, 09:40 AM
I remember CHBB launching, I also remember thinking that the site was not at all professional. Though I am a very visual person. I couldn't understand why any author would want to give up a free short, especially if the pub wasn't paying me, but they were paying themselves.

As for donating to charity, I've seen it done by other pub houses on the rare occasion, though if your going by what SJ Davis donates from her own books, it's only 10%. It's not at all a large percentage. A little above my current state sales tax.

From the Vamptasy site.

Vamptasy was founded by Nicola Ormerod of Scotland. She quickly built Vamptasy into one of the leading Independent Publishers in the UK. Currently Nicola Ormerod and Rue Volley have teamed to create Vivid Book Designs, a New York /London Style Graphic Arts Company specializing in book and CD covers. Their creative style has made Vamptasy Covers into a truly recognizable brand.

SJ Davis, an author for Vamptasy, founded Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing in the US and quickly became a best selling Indie Press in the states. Nicola and SJ decided to merge powers and now Vamptasy is part of the CHBB and Hot Ink powerhouse.

Bios can be very misleading. I wouldn't consider either of these pub's leading or best selling. After just a second with Google, you find one owner with a site who's hosting has expired and the other well I don't even think words can describe that bio. (link here (http://www.modelmayhem.com/2368780)) Needless to say I wouldn't submit anything to them. Though I am not an author, a reviewer yes, a cover designer yes, but author no.

As for the covers, anyone can throw text on a stock cover, you don't even need any special graphics, paint comes pre-installed in Windows. I wouldn't call those covers a recognizable brand.

G. Applejack
01-11-2013, 09:41 AM
If publishing houses are water treatment plants, authors are the first filter and editors are the second. Authors should catch the leaf and twig sized mistakes, editors should catch the germs and chemicals and silt that the author can't get on their own, as well as the occasional leaf or twig the author misses, because you're right. We're not all that good at editing. And maybe the editor can't catch all the silt, but it should be catching the leaves.

Don't forget to give it lots of retention time (letting it sit without rereading/editing) to let the disinfectant do its work.




:nothing

Stacia Kane
01-11-2013, 03:28 PM
A bestselling indie press? Those books are bigger sellers than releases from Kensington? Baen? Ellora's Cave? Samhain?

I have to say I seriously doubt that.

justbishop
07-11-2013, 03:46 AM
Hey guys :)

Got an offer from CHBB on my novella. Not sure what prompted me to sub to them, as one of the main reasons I'm hesitant to self-pub it is that I feel like it needs a pro editor (which seems to be an issue here). I also find it weird that I posted in this thread myself a while ago about their website, which seems to be improved, but I guess something made me think that subbing them was a good idea :Shrug:

Does anyone have any recent experience with them? I know at one point in the thread it was said that they were pulling a lot of books and having them re-edited. How did that turn out? I've read the Amazon reviews on a few of their books that did not inspire confidence, but I figured maybe the reviewers mentioning sup par editing had old copies. I'm at work today and can't download anything to read sample chapters, but will be spending some time doing so tomorrow. Just thought that maybe someone here would have additional input.

I know it's better to not be published at all than badly published, but finding a home for a 24k word YA contemporary novella is much harder than one would think (not that I'm willing to accept being badly published), so I'm ok with aiming lower than advance paying big 5 publishers. The piece is still out with a few other publishers, but it's been quite a while and I'm thinking they fall into the "no word means no" category. Bloomsbury Spark is the only one I'm holding out hope for, but I don't think I'm that good or that lucky, lol. I am leaning heavily toward self-publishing, but I have no clue what I'm doing in that arena and am not sure what my best option would be if it should come to somewhere like CHBB and going it alone as a total newb to DIY.

veinglory
07-11-2013, 04:59 AM
You have a lot of options outside of the Big 5. I, personally, would be surprised if this is the best of them, or in the top ten.

And I see lots of Amazon reviews mentioning basic editing problems that are less than a week old. I doubt all these people read an old copy. Especially as some of the tiles were released less than a month ago.

craziichas
07-11-2013, 05:01 AM
Soo..um..what's the big 5?...

justbishop
07-11-2013, 05:03 AM
You have a lot of options outside of the Big 5. I would be surprised if this is the best of them, or in the top ten.

Not a lot that I've found, aside from romance epubs. And like I said, I've had several R's and lots more that I haven't heard from in over 6 months, so I'm losing hope.

If you have suggestions for small houses accepting NON-romance (non-horror, non-scifi/paranormal, non-UF, non-LGBTQ) YA contemporary in the 24k word count range, I would welcome the heads up via PM :)

And yeah, I wouldn't consider this one in the top 10, either, but they do have more experience than I do with epublishing. The reviews on Amazon seem to be hit or miss. Some are good honest 3-5 stars, while others are either 1 or 5 star reviews, with a rave/hate split (the haters citing poor editing), so I'm torn :Shrug:

veinglory
07-11-2013, 05:09 AM
I sent you a PM

The top ten I was speaking of were epublishers who would accept your manuscript. Just my POV, of course.

For the rave reviews, consider the source. And use "look inside".

justbishop
07-11-2013, 06:01 AM
Gotcha ;)

ETA: So what's the most polite way of telling a publisher that you submitted to "no thank you"? I feel badly about wasting their time. I'm just looking for more reliable editing. Do I just say that?

dondomat
07-11-2013, 10:21 AM
You say "I'm sorry, but the manuscript is no longer available. Good luck with everything, and I hope we can work together in the future."

aliceshortcake
07-11-2013, 11:10 AM
I feel badly about wasting their time

Don't! They should feel badly about their awful editing.

Stacia Kane
07-11-2013, 04:20 PM
You have a lot of options outside of the Big 5. I, personally, would be surprised if this is the best of them, or in the top ten.

And I see lots of Amazon reviews mentioning basic editing problems that are less than a week old. I doubt all these people read an old copy. Especially as some of the tiles were released less than a month ago.

Ditto. I just had a look at the Look Insides of a couple of their new releases, and found them riddled with basic errors.


Soo..um..what's the big 5?...

Penguin Random House
HarperCollins
Simon & Schuster
Macmillan
Hachette

justbishop
07-11-2013, 05:34 PM
I don't want to lie (especially since I've posted here about it), so how about something like "I've decided to go in a different direction with the story. Thank you for your consideration and I wish you the best of luck." ?

And thanks so much to those who have sent me a few more recs for publishers :D

ironmikezero
07-11-2013, 10:32 PM
When you realize the house is on fire, there's no need to apologize to the flames and try to justify your imminent departure.

Communicate the truth - succinctly - on your way out.

"Circumstances have changed; this manuscript is no longer available."

WiltRhys
07-16-2013, 10:28 PM
I'm in a similar position as justbishop. For me, however, it has been a few months that I've been going back and forth with myself about this publisher. I've read several reviews of some of their newer releases and their older releases and one issue reigns supreme: bad editing. There have been several other issues I've found disconcerting and thought I might be able to overlook those, but something has kept me from signing the contract for my full-length manuscript. I've gone back and forth with the self-publish or not to self-publish debate and keep landing on maybe self-publishing is the best choice for me. Does anyone else have any experience with this publisher?

justbishop
07-20-2013, 04:00 AM
Something is wrong with me. I'm reconsidering. I figured out how I ended up subbing CHBB, and it was on rec from an author I respect. Second hand info, as she mentioned it to me because a friend of hers is very happy there, and said that most of their books sell a significant number of copies on their release day. She did say that her friend's MSs were pretty clean before she handing them in though, so editing was not a concern.

I wouldn't mind going with them if it weren't for the editing issues. I think my writing is pretty clean, especially on this particular MS since it's been gone through so many times with revisions. I'm mainly hesitant due to the rejections I've received on the piece stating developmental issues, but my many beta readers have loved the story and not had any concerns with things like the non-chronological order and multiple POVs I've utilized (i.e. the bits mentioned by editors).

Maybe I'm being to hard on myself and the story will do just fine with minimal editing at CHBB? Gah ><;;

DreamWeaver
07-20-2013, 05:29 AM
Maybe I'm being too hard on myself and the story will do just fine with minimal editing at CHBB? Gah ><;;Pretend someone else wrote the sentence above and ask yourself, "Does this person sound comfortable with this plan?"

Good luck whatever you decide.

justbishop
07-20-2013, 05:37 AM
Pretend someone else wrote the sentence above and ask yourself, "Does this person sound comfortable with this plan?"

Good luck whatever you decide.

I know, I'm losing it. Not to mention the to/too typo, but I'll blame that on my work keyboard sucking ass (it really does take a gargantuan effort to be sure all of the keys get pressed with the perfect amount of pressure to register the right letters and NOT make me appear to be an idiot).

I emailed the publisher to ask if they'd mind discussing their editing process and their thoughts on my MS in particular a bit more, so we'll see where it leads. Will keep you all updated.

veinglory
07-20-2013, 05:51 AM
I would suggest asking specific authors for specific numbers. Because if they sell what I would consider significant, I would be amazed.

I mean, their books... I mean, you looked at them right? I don't know what more there is to say that has not already been said.

justbishop
07-20-2013, 06:29 AM
I think our definitions of "significant" are likely pretty far apart, but it seemed a significant number to me, and one I'd be thrilled with for this awkwardly short/long story that no one else seems to want but beta readers adored.

I haven't had a chance to do much reading of anything lately, but it's on my list, and certainly something I will do BEFORE making any final decision.

aliceshortcake
01-21-2014, 05:09 PM
A formerly self-published friend of mine wasn't happy with how the sales of his first self-pubbed book were going (really, he had WILDLY unrealistic expectations). When contracted by CHBB--which I warned him about after he signed on, so it was too late--with another book, he decided to give up his rights of his first self-pubbed book.

I'm a bit confused by this. Are you referring to first publication rights? If so, weren't they already used up because the book had been self-published?

kaitie
01-21-2014, 06:13 PM
Did they change the cover? Cover matters a lot.

nkkingston
01-21-2014, 09:27 PM
Sometimes just being new again can buoy sales; it reappears at the top of certain pages in front of the eyes of new readers. If his monthly sales remain above his self-published levels in a few month's time, then he can credit that to CHBB and their visibility.

MissMaster
02-01-2014, 09:40 PM
I have been scooping them out for a while, they seem to be right up my alley but I really want to make sure my book is edited before it's published. What a shame.

1BigBreak
02-12-2014, 02:29 AM
I was recently offered a 3 year contract by Vamptasy Publishing, an imprint of CHBB, for a series of mine. I have many questions and issues with the details but most of all I'm simply wondering if anyone here has anything new to say about the company? Has it evolved at all? If so, do you think it was for the better or worse?

Like the poster before me, I truly feel that a publisher specializing in material such as this is perfect for me. However, when I did research on the company through this site, D&B, the IL and MI SoS sites, I didn't come away with a good feeling. I've been self-publishing/promoting/working my tail off on this series for 4 years making it available in a wide variety of ebook formats and print domestically and internationally. I'm searching for a company that can take it to the next level (maybe even beyond). Does anyone here feel this company is capable of doing that?

HistorySleuth
02-12-2014, 04:39 AM
Also, his book is doing better with them than when he was at it alone, so that makes no sense to me. It's in the 100,000 range now, but it did start out in the 40,000 range, and he never had a sales rank that low in the beginning. It's also a categorical bestseller in dystopian, something he's never had before, either. He had sword and sorcery, but I thought dystopian was a pretty tight market. I'm scratching my head on this one because CHBB obviously didn't market/promote it beforehand, and yet it's selling better.

Can anyone explain this to me? Is this sheer dumb luck, or is CHBB slightly better with marketing than anything

You're talking amazon ranking right? If his book was in the 40,000 range before and is in the 100,000 range now, that means it's doing worse not better. He's dropped back another 60,000 from where he was before.

1BigBreak, I see this is your first post. I'd check around a LOT in the Bewares threads at other publishers first, based on the previous posts.

Filigree
02-12-2014, 05:01 AM
I missed that on the first read-through. Yes, the larger the Amazon sales number, the fewer sales. The actual pattern is subject to super-secret Amazon algorithms. During a run of recent good sales, my rank was averaging around 18,000 to 22,000 for five sales a day on Amazon. In researching a particular publisher, I found fairly strong hints that an Amazon sales rank of over a million may indicate only single digit sales since publication.

As far as this particular publisher, it might be good to see their collective Amazon rankings.

veinglory
02-12-2014, 05:05 AM
For print, anything under 50,000 tends to be a sale per week or less. Kindle is a bit harder to figure out.

Filigree
02-12-2014, 05:10 AM
This publisher currently has several books at four-digit Amazon sales ranks, starting at around 6500, and several more books ranked between 20K and 40K. So they are selling.

Amberley
03-26-2014, 03:13 PM
I had considered subbing to them, then heard how they actually treat their authors. They focus primarily on their best sellers and the rest are forgotten. Not sure I'd want to be under the rule of someone who isn't interested in all their authors.
Plus, their editing leaves a lot to be desired. (check out some of their recent titles, then you'll see what I mean)

JEISME
04-18-2014, 11:04 PM
^ This statement is true. I've heard it time and time again.

Amberley
04-24-2014, 02:37 PM
Oh it really is!

I believe they've had quite a few author's leave them recently - a few who have a good career ahead of them - but with each departure comes a 'shunning' process, where the author's who've left are blocked, deleted and often reported to FB for spam, abuse etc.

How does a company who constantly states that they base their integrity on good professional work ethics behave so childish?

I don't know about you, but this seems rather cruel to me.

Filigree
04-24-2014, 10:48 PM
It's also shortsighted of them, because that kind of behavior gets outed when enough people start to compare notes.

Much better for a publisher to just ignore the authors who leave.

Gravity
04-25-2014, 12:31 AM
Fixed it, I think

Well I feel it only fair I share what I know about Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly (CHBB) Hot Ink Press (HIP) and their new sister add on company Vamptasy. Vamptasy I know very little about. The merger just happened. It has some worried, with good reason. That aside, Hot Ink aka HIP is an erotic sister company. Whereas CHBB primarily handles paranormal of some kind or another, but nothing ever over 100k words.


The shorts they publish they don’t pay for but the shorts they sell, they usually only charge .99 cents for. They say this is to put money back into the company. Now I recently opened a company ( we are NOT a publishing house) where I plan to do something similar with anthologies only, however those proceeds go to getting authors into conventions and stuff like that. We are considering publishing anthologies that go out in or magazine as a collection volume style thing. Anyways that’s not what matters. I know it’s a promo lots of companies do by selling work for a dollar or under. That’s their choice but that’s why they won’t pay you for them.

Their FULL MS they give 50/50 royalties on. Again keep in mind they will not accept anything above 100k, their average full run s about 60k. To me I consider that a novella not a full. Points of view though.

I am not personally a fan or their promotional graphics, for merchandise posters trailers or covers. But some of them do look nice. My favorites are generally created by the author or someone they know personally and are not in house designers. They have some decent names. One I know of I believe is going to be agented to the big 6 soon. (sidebar: Is it still too early in that merger to call them the big 5 now?)


Was hired by CHBB’s publisher this past fall as an editor when I took them 5 of their published books and pointed out errors. The head of their company acted appalled and hired me immediately without asking for credentials. I never asked for the job. She just assigned it to me as her handy little helper. Fortunately I freelance on the side. She didn’t know this. But I agreed and I edited them. This upset her other editor that she did fire. She had one other editor that she didn’t fire. She avoided speaking to and completely dropped them without comment going forward. I pity this editor but she is recovering from the insulting blow. Of the 5 I took to the publisher, SJ Davis, this editor was not listed as an editor… However yesterday I learned that SJ Davis does edit… it is SHE that runs this company. It is NOT SJ Davis that edited most of these books. She took the credit but from what I have discovered she has edited few of these books herself. Why would the publisher personally edit them anyways? They have more important things to do. So why not give credit where credit is due, even if said credit may be minimal for not much was done?

But a lot of you said that CHBB and Hip or SJ basically said she gave general non answers as to how they would handle things. And a lot of assumptions were made about twitter fb and blog tours. All I can go by is my own personal experience. In going by that, I agree with every single one of you… I wasn’t just an editor for CHBB I recently signed with them in October. Today I resigned. I’m not bitter actually I am well past that. I won’t give you the many many reasons as to why I resigned because as of yet the editor hasn’t responded in regards to my resignation. I think that’s bad business to go poo on someone in a time when I may come across as bitter.

As far as website and graphics go I am not impressed. Their trailers are one MAYBE two pictures generally floating around a screen with scrolling font. Not impressed. I contracted my own people into doing it which lead to me creating a company of such services.

As far as the skill of their authors… Their cheapest books are their worst. They are the most poorly edited. Great authors are being dismissed as lazy because of the errors brought to them by their readers. It is a writers group for writers who couldn’t publish elsewhere so they published for themselves. No outsider do I believe would find a great deal of enjoyment in the majority of their works. Now I say the majority. Some if it’s very good… I was blessed to be the editor of a book titled Revealing Hamilton. It was an awesome book that I could barely put it down. I had to re-read it more than a few times to make sure I didn’t miss something cause of how much I got hung up in some spots.

This is just my opinion of course.

All it boils down to is that I am glad I pulled my work out of their hands before it was too late. They play favorites. They dramatize, socialize and magnify things like teenagers. It didn’t take a month before I was second guessing my decision in signing with them it took less than two before I outright regretted it. I was slandered once for expressing excitement for an upcoming photo shoot I had scheduled for something I thought may be great for CHBB. After being publicly slandered I was then threatened.

But that’s all I need to say for now. I have done my research heavily since feeling weary and have moved on to more promising places. They play some dirty pool though.

FYI, I never posted this, not a word. Evidently my name got attached to someone else's post. Maybe a kind-hearted mod can fix it, please? :)

Ludens
04-25-2014, 01:59 PM
FYI, I never posted this, not a word. Evidently my name got attached to someone else's post. Maybe a kind-hearted mod can fix it, please? :)

If I recall correctly, that post was intended to show AmbrosiaArts' message at #26 in a more readable font and format. AmbrosiaArts has since edited the original post, so it's no longer clear that you are quoting her, but a small part of it is preserved in the quote at #27.

Gravity
04-25-2014, 06:11 PM
That makes no sense. As a writer I own all the words I utter. I never uttered any of these.

Filigree
04-25-2014, 06:56 PM
Gravity's fix-it post was #29, and still managed to avoid quotes in the revision. Some simple editing should do the trick. When I read posts around the same time period, it's obvious the original text came from AmbrosiaArts, not Gravity.

CaoPaux
04-25-2014, 07:07 PM
FYI, I never posted this, not a word. Evidently my name got attached to someone else's post. Maybe a kind-hearted mod can fix it, please? :)You posted it to make AmbrosiaArts' post #26 readable (she later changed it). I've added a quote tag for you.

Gravity
04-25-2014, 10:25 PM
Works for me!

Robyn M. Pierce
04-30-2014, 09:18 PM
I was with them for a short while, and the favoritism is definitely there.

They ask their authors to basically spam-advertise for others in the group (at the very least, it's expected that everyone share posts for the "focus" authors for the week) and then promise that everyone will reciprocate. I never liked the thought of spamming, but of course did what I was asked for a few weeks, until the guilt of being Spammy McSpampants outweighed the need to follow their "advice." (Really, it was made clear that if you weren't going to share for others, no one would share for you -- a lot of good that did me, as no one really shared for me anyway.)

So despite doing what I was asked, the sales were never there for me. Meanwhile the book that released two days after mine did phenomenally because everyone shared that one around. No sour grapes here. It's great that the other author is doing well, but it's kinda lame that they don't care equally for everyone.

When I did request to be released from my contract, it took nudging on Facebook to get her to respond to the email, even though it was posted in the group that she would be in and out of her inbox the very next day to discuss covers, edits, etc. I also didn't get my edits back (I say edits, but she only made one change before having it formatted into an ARC) until a week before it was scheduled to be published, so review copies were sent out fairly late.

Overall, I'd warn everyone away from CHBB/HIP/Vamptasy Publishing.

(Unfortunately I hadn't paid much attention to the threads here before jumping in with them. Lesson learned! :))

JEISME
05-10-2014, 10:01 PM
I've seen the spamming, it is horrid!

With as many books as they release, and one editor, I imagine that things are slow, and the poor ratings on amazon for editing, are correct.

Robyn, I've heard horror stories about authors leaving, or trying to leave CHBB.

Silverrosess
05-11-2014, 05:47 PM
Everything about the politics and the favouritism in CHBB is totally true. I joined them in fall of 2012, right when the company was new (Hahaa, I am the one who began this post after all ;D) and I must say, DON'T DO IT!!
First, I was excluded from their 'fun' in the private author Facebook group, and then they didn't include me on their website. Then I was made fun of and taunted, and reminded very much of the fifth grade. Not mature, not professional in the least, and not fun at all. After that, my manuscript was returned to me, with the woman in charge (SJ Davis) claiming it had been edited, but it had clearly not been edited at all. On top of that, when I refused to - not forcefully, I just didn't do it like everyone else did - kiss enough ass and call her 'queen', things didn't go well.

Anyways, I don't suggest this company. Unprofessional, and just plain bad. Just my words of advice and my little story for you.

Robyn M. Pierce
05-11-2014, 10:23 PM
Wow. I'm suddenly grateful for the cruddy treatment I got. It's far more preferable to the treatment you received, Silverrosess. How unfortunate. I try to warn away anyone that asks me directly whether or not I'd recommend joining up with them, but so far no one has listened. They'll just have to learn the hard way.

At least we're away from them.

JEISME
05-12-2014, 03:05 AM
They should listen, but many are fooled by the few books they have with high rankings....

Amberley
05-12-2014, 06:46 PM
From my observations on FB (yes, I admit that I silently watch the 'happenings') They are fixated on branding themselves The Leading Indie Publisher and hash-tagging #onehouseunited.

I don't know about you, but it is highly laughable, when they are nowhere near the top of the leading Indie press. They are nothing like Salt Publishing, Ellora's Cave or the like.

They also are obsessed with competing with other's who are breaking into the traditional field, and can't stand to see them succeed before them.

I watched the 'going ons' over the weekend, and was stunned with the complete unprofessional manner by one of their 'leading' author's, who was so blatantly crying out for attention. Every time another author posted something in the form of an announcement, low and behold, their performing monkey was announcing nonsense.

For someone who isn't a part of their 'leading press', it really put me off them even more.

I feel so sorry for the writer's signed to them, because quite frankly I don't think they truly understand what they've let themselves in for.

JEISME
05-12-2014, 07:03 PM
Is there a mod I can get into contact with?

Amberley
05-12-2014, 07:10 PM
Is there a mod I can get into contact with?

What's the problem? I'm not a moderator, but I am sure there is a thread if you're looking to talk to one.

CaoPaux
05-12-2014, 07:22 PM
Is there a mod I can get into contact with?Regarding what? Use PM if you'd like to talk privately.

Robyn M. Pierce
05-12-2014, 07:36 PM
I left shortly after they began the #onehouseunited nonsense. I can understand what they're trying to brand themselves as, but it just isn't true. If it were, they would work toward the success of every author associated with them.

Hopefully the writers signed with them can see them for what they are before they get too far into it or screwed over.

Filigree
05-12-2014, 10:30 PM
All I can offer at this point is Filigree's Rule: some authors deserve some publishers, and vice versa. Anyone still with this publisher or considering them should have more than enough information by now.

Leviathan
05-18-2014, 07:50 PM
I had been with them over a year. I was originally signed with Vamptasy and then CHBB bought Vamptasy out after almost a year. At first things went pretty smoothly, but then as mentioned here I began to notice several problems.

1. A handful of "best sellers" got all the attention and air time. I couldn't even get anyone from CHBB to share my books or links on their fan pages.

2. Editing. In my books wasn't horrible but was so-so at best. I know some other authors it was really bad for, when they complained they were ignored.

3. cost of print books. I do various local events and conventions. For some reason the author's cost for print books between 6-9.00 per copy. When I went out on my own using Createspace my per book cost is around 3-4.00.

4. Cult like mentality. Anyone who says anything bad about them either former authors or whoever is usually attacked, threatened, blocked, etc.


When I left I tried to keep things cordial. Yet someone told SJ I was spreadling lies about them, when all I had done was told one or two people some of the reasons I left. SJ then threw a fit and then reported me to amazon for still using the same covers...even though one of the covers I had actually paid for before I had signed with them. So I had to re-do the covers which turned out for the best anyway. The new ones are much better.

Utlimately my decision to leave was more practical. I learned how to make my own covers and I found my own editors. All they really do for authors is make you a cover and do some half assed editing, but will take half your royalties. Once I had my own system in place, there was no point in splitting my royalties with anyone.

I've talked to others who have left and things seem to have gotten really silly their. They have started their own film production company...but they are only developing one authors work into anything.

A few other authors recently left or are about to leave after getting their own film agents or signing their own film deals...only to have SJ get pissy with them over it, which is stupid since she had no intention of developing their stuff anyway.

My thing was, for anything like finding out what your sales were to ordering copies it all had to go through SJ who will get to it when she is good and ready. And don't you dare email her twice asking if she's gotten to it yet. I don't like having to be at someone else's mercy just to have access to my own stuff.

She would always talk about how CHBB is becoming a powerhouse in indie publishing, but if you google them all you find is their own websites and this page LOL. So not exactly a force to be reckoned with.

Anyway, there's more, but these are the main things.

folieadeux
06-14-2014, 10:11 AM
Even recently it seems their internal drama hasn't met its end yet. For several days now my feed has been filled with multiple CHBB authors posting about people having "issues" with SJ and standing up for her. I won't fault them for standing up for someone, but if there is a "cult mentality" (I believe that was the phrasing) -- which seems to be a recurring theme through several pages here -- I'd wonder if this isn't more of it manifesting.

I wouldn't submit here. Not between the continuous editing issue (which SJ previously evaded when she was responding to this thread awhile ago), and the apparent struggle that's ongoing within.

folieadeux
06-14-2014, 10:19 AM
Preditors & Editors still lists CHBB as a company to avoid.

http://pred-ed.com/pebc.ht

"Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Press: Not recommended. A publisher of dark paranormal, urban fantasies, anthologies, and speculative fiction. See this thread for more details why they are not recommended." (Links to this thread)

I don't know if being a part of CHBB would earn Hot Ink and Vamptasy their own listing or not, but they don't even show up regardless

Amberley
06-14-2014, 03:03 PM
Even recently it seems their internal drama hasn't met its end yet. For several days now my feed has been filled with multiple CHBB authors posting about people having "issues" with SJ and standing up for her. I won't fault them for standing up for someone, but if there is a "cult mentality" (I believe that was the phrasing) -- which seems to be a recurring theme through several pages here -- I'd wonder if this isn't more of it manifesting.

I wouldn't submit here. Not between the continuous editing issue (which SJ previously evaded when she was responding to this thread awhile ago), and the apparent struggle that's ongoing within.

This too has been clogging up my news-feed for the past week, and I too have been seeing the whole #loyalty repeated over and over by many of their authors.

But what strikes me as odd, is their "cult" like mentality. Regardless of who crosses who, is this any way for them to behave? I had assumed that with them being a "leading" publisher (I use that loosely) then why behave like a bunch of children at school?

Obviously, if someone has a problem with this SJ Davis, maybe this person has a good enough reason, and their"followers" are acting on orders from those high up within the publishing house.

Just a thought!

I still would never submit to them. I have the feeling that would be the end of my career and reputation.

folieadeux
06-16-2014, 08:18 AM
Yeah. It's kind of sort of genuinely creepy

Amberley
08-16-2014, 02:41 PM
The thing continues.....

They have moved into the movie industry.

http://www.lovebitespc.com/

Developing all their own self professed best selling titles.

It gets curiouser by the day.

Leviathan
12-14-2014, 09:20 AM
They even have a trailer out now

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7T9e6eXgtE

Filigree
03-07-2015, 06:55 AM
Actually, if the publisher cared about its reputation, its principals wouldn't pull stuff like this. It makes prospective authors look back more carefully at the earlier thread. Maybe the publisher got its act together now. But this kind of reputation management is clueless, dangerous, and an automatic red flag for me.

CaoPaux
03-07-2015, 07:14 PM
I'll just shut up in the future when criticizing publishers, because they might start out rocky but end up as something good a few years later.Please don't be silenced. Shutting up only allows them to hook the next fish.

Also, of the hundreds of rocky-start publishers discussed here, how many survive, much less have become anything approaching "good"? N.B., it's no small thing that the professionalism required to become "good" includes the ability to take criticism.

Filigree
03-07-2015, 07:28 PM
The inability to take constructive, business-related criticism is a big indicator of unprofessional behavior in other areas. Just what I've noticed in some thirty years of watching various businesses start and fail.

Filigree
03-08-2015, 03:38 AM
I'd say you came out on the right side of the deal.

Seriously, ultra-litigious behavior, public rants, and retaliatory strikes at critics are part of my checklist for Businesses To Avoid.

Uilasel
04-19-2015, 11:01 PM
Unfortunately, I have been an author of CHBB and Hot Ink Press. That is a year of my life I will never get back. They were nice at first, SJ Davis (publisher) especially. You hand in your book and she tells you how amazing it is and everything.
I had her do it with me. And like every author with a book they want published, I fell for it.
Then came signing the contract. And what a contract it is. In a Word document and the publisher didn't even sign it, just typed in her name. So I did the same. Now I think back, I do wonder why I even continued from that point on.
She invited me to various private groups for just CHBB/ HIP/ Vamptasy authors and introduced me to the group. They were welcoming and everything and I felt like I was home. In the groups, you're given access to all their files, including pages to promote and stuff. And you think, wow! it's great how everyone works together to make each other successful! And my doubts over the contract disappeared.
But months later, I hadn't heard anything to do with my book. I contacted SJ various times and she ignored all my messages. Until I wrote on her Facebook wall. She didn't like that at all. So she set a release for my book at CHBB. I asked about the cover and she told me to contact one of the cover artists and ask what I should do.
Isn't it the publishers job to do all this?
But I stupidly didn't question any of it. Still on a high that something might actually go right for once, and I contacted the cover artist. She explained that I needed to go onto shutterstock, choose an image I liked and she will do the rest.
Let me tell you, I hate choosing an image for my covers. I'm with two other publishers and I just fill out a Cover Information Form and they do all the work. I love being surprised. But again, I didn't question it, even when I had to ask multiple people to help me find an image because I didn't even know how to use the damn image website. I found one in the end, a nice zombie one for my zombie book. I asked the cover artist if I could have the Lady holding a certain weapon and a shadow of a man with large wings on the wall behind her, to show someone out of the view of the camera stood in front of her. A simple thing to ask, but one that took a month to sort out. I was asked to go back to shutterstock and pick the images I wanted...again...I hate searching for my own cover. The image I have in my head is completely different to what someone else makes. And I couldn't find the images, so again, I asked for help.
And so the process of the cover began. She did it in about five minutes and what I got back just made me wish I never went with them. It was horrible! As though a five year old had created it. But I'm a nice person and I couldn't tell her that, so I stuck with it. Posted it for all my fans to see and tried to imagine my release day instead of the horrible cover my beautiful story had.
It wasn't that simple when a cover artist came along to my page and slammed me for the awful cover design. She told me no one would buy the book because the cover will repel them. I ignored her, and her doting fans when they wrote abuse on my page. It's what SJ told me to do. Told me to suck it up because that was what being an author was about.
So, unfortunately, I did. I continued on and wrote another book, this time for Hot Ink Press, which would be released the day after my first book. This time, I had a cover that was reasonably beautiful and completely forgot about my first book. Until the release day.
No, I didn't miss the all important thing that every author should go through at least three times before their book is published. Edits. I never got any. Didn't see one lick of anything to do with edits or anything. I hated that. My editor at my second publisher completely tore my book apart and I loved every single second of the gruelling three day editing I did for the first lot of edits. So I was definitely disappointed in that. But hey, I ignored it because it was release day and I had two events to run.
I did events for both books and put up the links too. No one brought my CHBB book, but a lot of people brought my HIP book. I know because they wrote the order number on the event page for a chance to win a HUGE SWAG bundle. I began to get super excited to receive my royalties and never once questioned anything that I'd begun to question when I first joined them. I was happy, ranking and had others promoting me happily.
Pay day came and I received a whopping amount of...nothing. Yep, you read right. I got nothing. Not a penny. But I put it off as people returning my work and felt disappointed that people would stoop that low to win a big bundle of goodies. The book had released at just 99 cents.
So I carried on. Promoted the hell out of both books, but my CHBB one still made no sales. My second one continued to rank and all was good with that one. I waited patiently again for my royalties...and they never came. Once more, I got nothing.
I gave up after that. Six months of being in the top hundred in erotic and I had nothing to show for it. I stopped promoting, and my rank went down. I found myself not caring in the slightest.
That's when I noticed posts from authors who had been with the publisher, going as far as to call SJ and some others a colt. Not only that, but since my rank fell, the authors of CHBB/ HIP and Vamptasy had stopped promoting me. Instead, they began to promote Rue Volley and her Hellhound series.
That's when I found out that SJ doesn't pay for short stories. It hit me then. I had a lot of readers assuring me they never returned my book, and I still didn't receive a payment. I asked the authors who had left what happened, and they replied honestly. SJ had been abusive to them, and they were never paid for their stories. She even told them that she didn't want their work because it wasn't selling. She told them that unless they rank, they wouldn't get any help and if they didn't sell, she would make it hard for them. She drove them away and then had her merry band of loyal, ass kissing authors give them hell.
I decided to listen to my head then and messaged her asking if she could pull both of my books. I had a complete valid reason. I was, after all, with four publishers at the time. I wanted to leave without trouble. She pulled my books within a second of me asking. She didn't even fight to keep me there, where as my editor at another publishing company fought to stop me from pulling one of my books because I had blanked with the second one. I didn't get that same treatment from SJ. I decided I'd made the right choice. I was glad I did it without causing trouble.
Yeah...I wish. She wouldn't give me my rights back, told me I had to wait three years before the contract was up. And then she began to make my life hell. She continued to sell my work, keep my money and all the while, I had no idea what to do. I contacted my editor at my first publisher out of sheer desperation, and she, alongside my publisher, talked me through what to do. But that only poked the dragon in the side and made her angry. SJ ignored all my emails, my messages and blocked every post I made. But little did she know, I could be a bitch when the time called for it too. I found a loophole in the contract. She didn't sign it! Therefore, the contract was null and void.
Happy days! I gave my books to my first publisher. She had helped me through it after all. And received a contract within minutes. A proper one! I happily posted on Facebook that I was republishing my work.
And so I'd stabbed the dragon in the eye. She contacted me and told me I was lucky she wasn't taking me to court and I'd made a big mistake. Soon, I found book pages that happily promoted for me, blocked me from their page. Groups had banned me, and the ones that hadn't, deleted my posts whenever I posted.
Also, a lot of people went onto my author page and wrote some horrible stuff. And I mean horrible. No matter how many times I deleted them, more popped up. And what hurt most was that most of it was from my readers who I thought supported me. I contacted them and they all said the same thing. SJ told us...
So then I knew. I unfortunately deleted my page, lost all my readers and most of the places I promoted. All because of SJ.

I'm slowly bouncing back but it's like starting all over again, only this time, everyone knows who you are, and they want nothing to do with you. It's such a low blow but I'm stronger than that and I'm not letting that woman pull me under the water.

I just hope my horrible experience can come to some use at least, by me getting it out there and warning others.

Filigree
04-19-2015, 11:37 PM
So sorry that happened to you. But it's a good bad example to newer writers: choose your publishers carefully.

Undercover
04-20-2015, 12:37 AM
So sorry that happened to you. But it's a good bad example to newer writers: choose your publishers carefully.

And I will repeat: Choose your publishers carefully, research the hell out of them, FIRST before you sign. Sorry about the experience you had, Uilasel. I'm glad to hear you finally got out of it and were able to re-publish.

I had a contract offer from Crushing Hearts and I thought it was just lousy so I passed right away. Glad I did.

Ang123
06-05-2015, 01:41 AM
I also got published by CHBB and my experience was the same. SJ Davis hired someone to edit my book--they didn't do it on time so the publication date was delayed and the editing was terrible. SJ Davis was very unresponsive to my advertising campaigns and her royalty statements were vague and infrequent. I waited until my contract was up because I didn't want to keep my book there, and then when the contract was up she said she wasn't renewing it because she expected authors to publicize their books--she's got to be the worst publisher ever. I am trying to market my book to other publishers.

millymollymo
08-23-2015, 09:49 AM
CCHB has an imprint they are currently pushing social media for submissions. Steamworks Ink. I have no experience with them, and only came across this thread by researching CCHB - SJ Davis appears to be involved. Caution required!

millymollymo
08-23-2015, 09:57 AM
This new imprint crossed my path aggressively on Twitter, I have no experience of this publisher they have been live for about two months, however a background check reveals they are an imprint of CHBB.

CHBB's has plenty of warnings to stay away listed on Preditors and Editors http://pred-ed.com/pebc.ht and on AW here: <snipped>

mrsmig
08-23-2015, 05:36 PM
Adding link: Steamworks Ink (http://www.steamworksink.com/)

Have to add that if you don't add the "Ink" to a Google search, you get a bunch of carpet cleaning services. :Shrug:

Filigree
08-23-2015, 09:03 PM
Another criteria in my 'Publishers To Avoid' list: when a publisher creates too many 'new' imprints to either whitewash their reputation or latch onto publishing 'trends'.

BTW, while I love the genres to bits, most commercial industry insiders note that steampunk and associated genres are getting heavily saturated now. Great works will still get published by reputable publishers...but they have to be great. For now, expect to see a lot of second-tier steampunk stuff show up more in small presses like this or self-published. Why I'm adding this? Because small-press and self-published authors need to know what they are getting into, as far as being able to actually sell to readers.

Based on the previous thread posts and general sales rankings of this publisher's novels, I'd say self-pub may be a somewhat more profitable and less stressful option.

OhMyGosh
11-12-2015, 08:17 PM
My facebook feed has been flooded with authors who have been let go, I wonder what that is about.

CaoPaux
11-13-2015, 08:28 PM
I've received a report that CHBB is trimming their imprints to provide better support to the remaining authors. Assurances were made they're not in financial trouble.

CaoPaux
03-22-2016, 11:25 PM
Updating URL: http://www.chbbpublishing.com/

DonnaDuck
03-29-2016, 08:02 AM
I was referred to them by an author friend of mine and I submitted my manuscript. They got back to me after about three weeks asking if it was still available for publication. I said it was and I had a few questions. I asked whether I should ask them now or if they wanted to send over a contact, I can read through it, and just pose all the questions in one go. After about 4 days I got a response to just go ahead and ask the questions I had. So I did. Very basic publishing questions about royalties, distribution, marketing expectations, things like that.

That was on February 2nd. To date I have not received a response. I sent an email on February 28th officially withdrawing my manuscript, just to have it in writing. Still no response.

I submitted to them before researching (bad, I know) but it was a situation where I'd received so many rejections I honestly didn't think I'd hear anything. When I did I went I have to research them. And then I found this read and read through the entire thing. I then promptly went "fuuuuuuuuuuu . . . ." So . . . blessing in disguise? I work in a professional business setting and it's one thing to lose your head and accidentally delete an email or something. I've done it before. But radio silence is something else, especially when the conversation was already started and the other person just stops talking.

o.Nixie.o
03-29-2016, 08:48 AM
Holy moly... this is a bunch of rubbish. Thank goodness they rejected a short of mine and I felt weird about querying a full manuscript. PHEW! SO sorry that happened to you, Uilasel. Thank you for sharing!

MMauthor
09-01-2016, 06:02 PM
This company has a new imprint called Encompass Ink. It focuses only on LGBT topics. I have read through this entire forum on CHBB/HIP/VP/EncompassInk and I can tell you with 100% certainty that this is all true beyond question. I only wish I would have seen this before I signed. I have since withdrawn all my titles. Not only are the women there abusive, but they are downright bullies. I have seen firsthand what they do, how they treat "their own", and how they "deal" with those that leave. Their web of hate doesn't stop when you leave. They will torment you well after. If I can do anything at all I would warn anyone from signing with this company. I've read in this thread about people saying they are a "cult" and I would say yes, yes, yes. The mental anguish these people put you through is terrible. I've also read that they will report people, and this to is TRUE. Please, authors looking to sign, READ THIS THREAD. It is 100% TRUE.

MMauthor
09-01-2016, 06:17 PM
I can say that this is true. You posted this over a year ago and I can tell you, it has not changed. The only thing is her loyal ban of authors are even more vicious and will do anything, including reporting you to facebook, twitter, and amazon. They will try to ruin anyone that leaves.

MMauthor
09-01-2016, 06:21 PM
Another criteria in my 'Publishers To Avoid' list: when a publisher creates too many 'new' imprints to either whitewash their reputation or latch onto publishing 'trends'.

BTW, while I love the genres to bits, most commercial industry insiders note that steampunk and associated genres are getting heavily saturated now. Great works will still get published by reputable publishers...but they have to be great. For now, expect to see a lot of second-tier steampunk stuff show up more in small presses like this or self-published. Why I'm adding this? Because small-press and self-published authors need to know what they are getting into, as far as being able to actually sell to readers.

Based on the previous thread posts and general sales rankings of this publisher's novels, I'd say self-pub may be a somewhat more profitable and less stressful option.


They have cut Steamworks Ink, but have since made a new one called Encompass Ink(an LGBT imprint). They ride on the popularity of who's selling.

UnbearableLight
09-02-2016, 02:11 AM
Is Ten Million Books (http://tenmillionbooks.blogspot.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/TenMillionBooks/) related to CHBB & co? My cursory googling last night yielded some connections, but I wasn't sure.

MMauthor
09-04-2016, 12:49 AM
Is Ten Million Books (http://tenmillionbooks.blogspot.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/TenMillionBooks/) related to CHBB & co? My cursory googling last night yielded some connections, but I wasn't sure.

Yes! Kinzie Rose runs that page and she is a part of CHBB, has been for many years. She goes through times where she'll back away, but always comes back. Sometimes as a different name, but it's her. She runs TenMillionBooks. By no means would I trust anything ran by them.

MMauthor
09-05-2016, 02:29 AM
I had considered subbing to them, then heard how they actually treat their authors. They focus primarily on their best sellers and the rest are forgotten. Not sure I'd want to be under the rule of someone who isn't interested in all their authors.
Plus, their editing leaves a lot to be desired. (check out some of their recent titles, then you'll see what I mean)

This is so true. They only favor certain authors. They preach fair, but do not follow through. They are not at all interested in all their authors. They will promote certain, leaving others with none at all. It is very much a favoritism publishing house and lord forbid, do not get on the three queens bad side, all hell will break loose and you think you know bullying, let me tell you first hand, they will do anything to see you go down. They're all show, but behind the scene they are the most vindictive witches I've ever met. Just read some of their "star" authors pages and you'll see how they act. PM me if you want more details.

MMauthor
09-05-2016, 02:36 AM
Oh it really is!

I believe they've had quite a few author's leave them recently - a few who have a good career ahead of them - but with each departure comes a 'shunning' process, where the author's who've left are blocked, deleted and often reported to FB for spam, abuse etc.

How does a company who constantly states that they base their integrity on good professional work ethics behave so childish?

I don't know about you, but this seems rather cruel to me.

They are very cruel, and I can say this is VERY true. Although I would take the shunning over all the cyber bullying, reporting, and stuff they've done to me. With everything today, it makes it so easy for them to do it anonymously and then blame it one someone else. They will make your life and career hell when you leave. Especially if you made SJ money. Oh, and writer beware, when you're in this company you are not allowed to have an opinion that differs from the bitchy three. Once you do, you're on their target list even when you're still in the company. It's so wrong. I can not tell you how much I would warn people away from this company.

MMauthor
09-05-2016, 02:48 AM
Preditors & Editors still lists CHBB as a company to avoid.

http://pred-ed.com/pebc.ht

"Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Press: Not recommended. A publisher of dark paranormal, urban fantasies, anthologies, and speculative fiction. See this thread for more details why they are not recommended." (Links to this thread)

I don't know if being a part of CHBB would earn Hot Ink and Vamptasy their own listing or not, but they don't even show up regardless
How do we add Encompass Ink to this list?

MMauthor
09-05-2016, 02:50 AM
Actually, if the publisher cared about its reputation, its principals wouldn't pull stuff like this. It makes prospective authors look back more carefully at the earlier thread. Maybe the publisher got its act together now. But this kind of reputation management is clueless, dangerous, and an automatic red flag for me.

Hasn't changed. In fact, I'd say it has gotten worse. The bad thing is, most authors are almost brainwashed. I admit I was.

MMauthor
09-05-2016, 02:56 AM
I also got published by CHBB and my experience was the same. SJ Davis hired someone to edit my book--they didn't do it on time so the publication date was delayed and the editing was terrible. SJ Davis was very unresponsive to my advertising campaigns and her royalty statements were vague and infrequent. I waited until my contract was up because I didn't want to keep my book there, and then when the contract was up she said she wasn't renewing it because she expected authors to publicize their books--she's got to be the worst publisher ever. I am trying to market my book to other publishers.
I never received one royalty statement, not one. Yes, probably my fault for not thinking of it at the time, but I was just excited to get published. I've talked to most authors there and they all say the same, no statements. We all got taken for a ride and never questioned. Shame on us, smart on her. She was the one banking on it. Their process: edit(which most didn't even get this), amazon ONLY, and expect the author to do everything for themselves. Now tell me why does she collect 50% for just putting it up on amazon? This should be against the law and FYI, her contracts still aren't signed. They're all doc through word and TYPED.

James D. Macdonald
09-05-2016, 03:07 AM
Leave and don't look back.

There is nothing whatever this person can do to harm you with commercial publishers.

Being published well is the best revenge.

MMauthor
09-05-2016, 04:49 AM
Leave and don't look back.

There is nothing whatever this person can do to harm you with commercial publishers.

Being published well is the best revenge.

Although I agree with your statement, there is a lot this publisher can do to ruin your reputation. I know because they've tried. I've gone to self-publishing with full control of my own stories and marketing, so my best revenge is to sell well, which I do, and prove they did nothing for me. I already know that anyway. I have no regrets about leaving. The only one I have is that I didn't do it sooner, but we all make mistakes ;)

Filigree
09-05-2016, 05:49 AM
James is right: fundamentally, all they can do is high school bullying. Document every incidence for future legal uses, and don't respond to the perps. They're only powerful if you give them power. In the world of real commercial publishing, they're a pathetic joke.

MMauthor
09-05-2016, 06:08 AM
James is right: fundamentally, all they can do is high school bullying. Document every incidence for future legal uses, and don't respond to the perps. They're only powerful if you give them power. In the world of real commercial publishing, they're a pathetic joke.

That is very true. I just feel bad for the authors that don't fight back and actually do get run off from the cyber harassment. If there is anyone like that, don't give up. This is what they do. You can overcome and still thrive as an author. I'm proof, along with many other ones.

UnbearableLight
09-05-2016, 08:57 PM
Yes! Kinzie Rose runs that page and she is a part of CHBB, has been for many years. She goes through times where she'll back away, but always comes back. Sometimes as a different name, but it's her. She runs TenMillionBooks. By no means would I trust anything ran by them.

Thanks. I had a strange feeling after I was invited to like the page by an author I don't really know and saw that it was basically promo-swapping.

MMauthor
09-06-2016, 09:42 PM
Thanks. I had a strange feeling after I was invited to like the page by an author I don't really know and saw that it was basically promo-swapping.

Their authors are over aggressive with that stuff. I know because I was one and thought it the only way to do it. That is what we were taught. Mob mentality ;) You should see my list of blocked people on social media and the sad thing, it doesn't stop them. New ones appear and report, invite. Just a mess. :) But smart move on not accepting. If you have any questions, or anyone, I can answer almost anything.

Filigree
09-07-2016, 08:29 AM
Yup, this is not how real publishing works.

Silverrosess
01-17-2017, 02:08 AM
I can't remember if I actually ever posted my experience with these CHBB guys, because I was legitimately scared of them for a long time, but I thought it might be cool, since I started this thread waaaaaaay back in 2011. I was 19 when they signed my novel and I had 0 experience with publishers. I thought it would be an actual "Big Six" type publisher (lol) with books in Chapters and Barnes and Noble. Well, I proceeded to be excluded, verbally harassed on multiple occasions, and for lack of a better phrase, violently cyber-bullied in a way that reminded me horribly of elementary school. A good portion of this came from (I believe) refusing to call SJ Davis "The Queen", among other things. I feel a bit sick every time an author I know (Because I'm a cover designer now) signs on with them. I was in college at the time, and at one point one of their biggest 'attack dogs' of the time had me in full breakdown mode in the cafeteria because of the threats - actual THREATS of harm - he was sending me.

It was a horrible few months I'll never get back, but it's all good now. We'll leave 'em in the dust, right? ;) There are so many ex-CHBBers I think we should have a name and a club... the Free Butterflies maybe? LOL

Filigree
01-17-2017, 09:47 AM
I'm sorry you had to endure that. Did you report him for the threats to his local police?

Silverrosess
01-17-2017, 06:55 PM
I'm sorry you had to endure that. Did you report him for the threats to his local police?

No... I honestly don't even think it went through my mind at the time.

Filigree
01-18-2017, 08:18 AM
Here's a truth, people. Police were, and still are, reluctant to get involved in electronic trolling. But Gamergate and some bad behavior on Twitter have made law enforcement more likely to at least look into victims' complaints.

If someone online wishes you active and specific harm, and seems willing to back up threats with doxxing and stalking...*report them*. Especially if they're affiliated with one of these pissant 'publishers' that are run more like cult cliques instead of businesses.

MMauthor
05-04-2017, 07:02 AM
They did the same to me with the bullying and cyber harassment. They even went as far a doxxing me. I wish I could get my time back and money. How can these companies get away with these shotty contracts and ONLY load on amazon to collect all the profit. That is all this company does. ONE THEY ONLY GO TO AMAZON AND KU. No other outlets. They're a filler. A hand. All they do is proofread(if best, NOT edit and that's for sure) and do a cover and then load to amazon then collect 50% your money. They do promote on FB, but no paid tours or anything like that. But I signed electronically as did she, so I suppose it's legal. I had zero experience as well and was hoping they would be honest and trustworthy. Lesson learned, but in the contract it states the publisher is not responsible for edits or having the doc error free. But I know I read somewhere and I could have sworn it was in contract about what the publisher was responsible for. Does anyone have that? Also, other REAL companies will have a audit clause. CHBB does not. There should be legal action people could take on these companies. It's a shame. Just an FYI to anyone: READ THE CONTRACT carefully. Have a lawyer check if over. Oh, when asked about statement of proof of amazon payouts, they say they can't do it because it is a publisher and not individual author. Not to mention, kindle unlimited doesn't show under books sold, so that is a different payout spread sheet. I just don't know how they can know how much an author is making if they can't "see" each author. I have no idea how this company hasn't been sued yet.

MMauthor
05-04-2017, 07:06 AM
I never thought about it either, but I would recommend other's follow this.

Sylvir
11-06-2017, 12:10 PM
Jumping in with a random question, sorry, but does anyone know what happened to their (apparently) film production company? Just curious how that went.

folieadeux
04-24-2019, 08:23 PM
I personally haven't seen hide nor hair of it. If that ship sank before it got out of port, that's for the best. Their website is also particularly vacant right now