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kelliewallace
01-23-2012, 02:22 PM
I had a look in the forums and could'nt find info on these guys. Anyone dealt with them?

They do primarily non fiction history books but I asked if they did historical fiction and they said yes. Seems reputable.

www.pen-and-sword.co.uk (http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/)

waylander
01-23-2012, 07:02 PM
I know someone who has published military history with them. They are entirely reputable.

Lily of Ulster
08-02-2013, 06:05 PM
Chaps, I am here to share rather disheartening experience with what looked like a reputable British press. Last year I was submitting my fifth historical novel to various publishers. Given that it deals with the Easter Rising in Dublin in 1916, I decided to explore the British and Irish publishers. My previous books were published by small American publishers. I had my doubts about branching outside of the US, but my friends in the literary world kept telling me "you won't know until you try". Well, imagine my delight when Pen & Sword Press offered me a contract just a week after receiving my manuscript. Their response was very enthusiastic. They said they would publish the novel under their fiction imprint. Now, they are known for publishing non-fiction, mostly dealing with WWII. They ejaculate 350 titles a year, according to their site. I gathered that fiction was new waters for them. But I signed the contract. They promised me the book would be out in November 2013. So all this time I have been gathering blurbs and endorsements. All that time I was in contact with the submissions coordinator. She kept assuring me everything was on track. Two weeks later she confessed to me that the project might be a "non-starter" because the Irish distributor they were thinking of using refused to cooperate. You see, the Irish didn't see a point in promoting a project by a "no-name Yankee", not with so many of their local geniuses with degrees from Trinity writing on similar subjects. So the British publisher decided to back out of the contract. They were clever enough not to return a copy of counter-signed contract. So for all 8 months I was technically speaking not under contract. I had signed my copy and sent it to them, but they never got back to me with a counter-signed copy. So now they are pulling out without any consequences. Such nice professional behavior! Honesly, I would've expected better from an allegedly reputable British publisher.

Wisteria Vine
08-02-2013, 06:13 PM
Chaps, I am here to share rather disheartening experience with what looked like a reputable British press. Last year I was submitting my fifth historical novel to various publishers. Given that it deals with the Easter Rising in Dublin in 1916, I decided to explore the British and Irish publishers. My previous books were published by small American publishers. I had my doubts about branching outside of the US, but my friends in the literary world kept telling me "you won't know until you try". Well, imagine my delight when Pen & Sword Press offered me a contract just a week after receiving my manuscript. Their response was very enthusiastic. They said they would publish the novel under their fiction imprint. Now, they are known for publishing non-fiction, mostly dealing with WWII. They ejaculate 350 titles a year, according to their site. I gathered that fiction was new waters for them. But I signed the contract. They promised me the book would be out in November 2013. So all this time I have been gathering blurbs and endorsements. All that time I was in contact with the submissions coordinator. She kept assuring me everything was on track. Two weeks later she confessed to me that the project might be a "non-starter" because the Irish distributor they were thinking of using refused to cooperate. You see, the Irish didn't see a point in promoting a project by a "no-name Yankee", not with so many of their local geniuses with degrees from Trinity writing on similar subjects. So the British publisher decided to back out of the contract. They were clever enough not to return a copy of counter-signed contract. So for all 8 months I was technically speaking not under contract. I had signed my copy and sent it to them, but they never got back to me with a counter-signed copy. So now they are pulling out without any consequences. Such nice professional behavior! Honesly, I would've expected better from an allegedly reputable British publisher.


Lily, sorry this happened to you. There's a thread for Pen & Sword already here: <snipped>


Maybe I'm mistaken, but don't publishers "fall out of love" with books fairly often? Were there other issues that came up, aside from their issues with a distributor?

Also, did they really call you a "no-name Yankee?" That's awful.

Torgo
08-02-2013, 06:33 PM
Maybe I'm mistaken, but don't publishers "fall out of love" with books fairly often?

It happens, but it is pretty unprofessional to offer a contract, send it out for signature, and then back away. I've had to break contracts in the past - coedition support fell through, that sort of thing - but it shouldn't really happen in this manner.

Lily of Ulster
08-02-2013, 07:25 PM
Lovies, here is the official letter sent today. Please note the generic phrases.

"
Dear Marina,

Thank you for your e-mail. After much discussion concerning your project, we have regretfully had to come to the decision that we will be unable to take it forwards at this time. I would encourage you to explore those other avenues that you have open to you, and wish you all the best of luck in these endeavours.


You can consider this as confirmation that you are free to look elsewhere. The contract that you signed has not been processed, so there are no binding arrangements in place to impede you.


I truly am sorry that we will be unable to add your title to our fiction list. We are very serious about the imprint and are doing everything we can in order to push the projects that we have already committed to. It is an entirely new arena for us. In terms of marketing, it requires a sea change in terms of our approach, and we just can't guarantee that we'd be able to make sufficient waves with your project with the infrastructure that we currently have in place.


Once again, my apologies and very best wishes for you and your projects in the future. I genuinely think that you are a very talented writer, and don't want you to read this decision as a sleight on your efforts. I'm sure the story will find its audience with an alternative publisher.


Best regards,"

Lily of Ulster
08-02-2013, 07:26 PM
I know someone who has published military history with them. They are entirely reputable.

Entirely reputable as far as non-fiction is concerned, maybe. They really have no clue how to sell fiction. They get jazzed up about the project and then drop them.

Lily of Ulster
08-02-2013, 07:30 PM
And here is the original happy-jazzy letter of acceptance I got from them.
___________
Dear Marina,


Once again, many thanks for choosing to send your work on to us for assessment. Having read through your work as it currently stands, I'm happy to inform you that we would like to make steps to contract your work and publish it under our historical fiction imprint Claymore Press. During the editing process, I would probably encourage you and your editor to think about skimming back on some of the Americanisms that have slipped into the current version of the manuscript - just because our readership will be largely British and the events are of course set in Ireland, so it will only add to the feel of authenticity that you have already managed to create.


Pen and Sword Books would be able to offer you 10% as a royalty payment on all sales of your book on the national and international market. Should there arise an instance where we choose to sell your book at a discounted price, you will still receive this commission. In cases where a discount of 50% (fifty per cent) or more is conceded however, this royalty payment will be calculated on the net price received rather than on the published price of the book. We will in turn ensure that your book is published with a high quality finish, and marketed and advertised to assist with its sales.

In terms of e-book royalties, we would be able to offer you 10% on all digital sales of your work. We would distribute widely, not relying solely on Amazon. I have attached to this e-mail a list of all the online outlets that would be utilised.


I hope this all sounds acceptable to you and look forward to hearing back from you once you have had time to process this information. If you are happy, I can then get your contract drawn up. Dependent on when you feel you'll be able to deliver the completed manuscript for editing, I will then add your project to our production schedule and the process will begin in earnest.


I've been having a think about the title of your work and I think we could probably come up with a stronger, more descriptive one. I wondered what your thoughts might be on this and whether you already hand any alternatives in mind.


Look forward to hearing back from you soon. I'm sure you'll have plenty of questions and I'll be happy to address these for you. Details of when we plan to schedule the work for publication will follow, once you've confirmed that you're accepting of these terms.


Congratulations!

Torgo
08-02-2013, 07:40 PM
That is not a letter I would have sent without (a) a full acquisitions costing including solid estimates of sales from UK, foreign rights, and export (b) an outline of a marketing and publicity plan (c) the sign-off of my Publisher and Business Manager.

I'm sure Pen and Sword are reputable, as Waylander vouches for them, but something went wrong here - this shouldn't really happen. Any serious worries about how you're going to sell the book should be resolved before an offer letter goes out.

(Also: it's not a very clear offer letter. Distinction between PP and PR royalties isn't as clear as it could be, stuff is misspelled and poorly constructed, and 10% royalties on ebooks is really rather parsimonious. Do we think that perhaps a junior member of staff overreached a bit?)

Lily of Ulster
08-02-2013, 07:57 PM
That is not a letter I would have sent without (a) a full acquisitions costing including solid estimates of sales from UK, foreign rights, and export (b) an outline of a marketing and publicity plan (c) the sign-off of my Publisher and Business Manager.

I'm sure Pen and Sword are reputable, as Waylander vouches for them, but something went wrong here - this shouldn't really happen. Any serious worries about how you're going to sell the book should be resolved before an offer letter goes out.

(Also: it's not a very clear offer letter. Distinction between PP and PR royalties isn't as clear as it could be, stuff is misspelled and poorly constructed, and 10% royalties on ebooks is really rather parsimonious. Do we think that perhaps a junior member of staff overreached a bit?)

Not to be a prick here, but "Reputable Publishers" shouldn't let overreaching junior members of staff deal with prospective authors. They clearly didn't do their homework. I don't have a problem with a polite rejection letter. I've had people tell me before "We recognize the merit of your work, but we aren't convinced that we can market it effectively." No harm done. But they strung me along for 8 months.

Torgo
08-02-2013, 08:01 PM
Not to be a prick here, but "Reputable Publishers" shouldn't let overreaching junior members of staff deal with prospective authors.

You can be reputable and still screw up. God knows I've made a few messes in my time which needed to be cleared up by more competent colleagues. One of these days I will tell the story of my first week in publishing and the phone call I made to Russell Hoban.

I do think you were treated pretty shabbily though, yes.

Bufty
08-02-2013, 08:10 PM
Oooooooooh- :cry: you can't leave us all hanging - change the name and tell us, Torgo. :snoopy:


You can be reputable and still screw up. God knows I've made a few messes in my time which needed to be cleared up by more competent colleagues. One of these days I will tell the story of my first week in publishing and the phone call I made to Russell Hoban.

I do think you were treated pretty shabbily though, yes.

Lily of Ulster
08-02-2013, 08:11 PM
So you think they are just going to get away with this, because they left the door open for quick exit by not sending me the counter-signed contract? It's basically, "See ya, don't wanna be ya"? By the way, the author of these letters told me on the phone that I am the only fiction author they are doing this to. There are no other casualties. They just decided retroactively against moving forward. They fully intend on honoring their promises to other authors. It's just me they are nixing. Probably because I'm a "Yankee No-Name".

Torgo
08-02-2013, 08:21 PM
Did they actually call you a 'no-name Yankee'? Blimey.

There might be some kind of legal action you could take even without a countersigned contract, but it seems unlikely, and you wouldn't want them to publish you at this point anyway, surely?

Lily of Ulster
08-02-2013, 08:41 PM
The "Yankee No Name" is the Irish perspective. By the way, I'm not even a Yankee. I wasn't even born in the States. I'm poor Eurotrasch. English isn't even my first language. But you're right. I wouldn't publish with them even if they changed their minds. They are not serious about expanding their fiction imprint. I'm sorry, but when a press that claims to specialise in military history tells that the Anglo-Irish conflict falls outside of their area of expertise, that's a red flag. They also told me that the fact that I was across the pond didn't help with promotions. According to another author who published his novel with them, that's not really factor, because they haven't been very helpful with setting up in-person book events. Bookstores don't want to stock his book, because he's not "a big name". Apparently, "Big Name" is something you have to be born with. And he is local and British. They just don't know how to sell fiction. They should stick to non-fiction. That's what the world needs, another Panzer analysis.

Lily of Ulster
08-02-2013, 08:42 PM
By the way, take a look at the covers on their fiction titles. They look like gay erotica or video game covers. Such a half-hearted job.

amergina
08-02-2013, 09:13 PM
By the way, take a look at the covers on their fiction titles. They look like gay erotica or video game covers. Such a half-hearted job.

I thought their historical fiction covers look remarkably like historical fiction covers.

The cover in my Avatar? That's a gay erotica cover.

Lily of Ulster
08-02-2013, 09:23 PM
I thought their historical fiction covers look remarkably like historical fiction covers.

The cover in my Avatar? That's a gay erotica cover.

I should say, their historical fiction covers are inconsistent. Some are better than others. One of them looks like a sloppy Photoshop experiment. There is nothing wrong with gay erotica, as long as it's presented and marketed to the appropriate group of readers.

Lily of Ulster
08-02-2013, 09:26 PM
This is the publisher I'm most likely to go with. They published my Neo-Victorian novels. Fireship Press. http://www.fireshippress.com/
Granted, it's a smaller publisher, and they don't target bookstores, and they don't fight for shelf placement, but that's fine with me.

Old Hack
08-02-2013, 10:20 PM
We have a brief discussion about Fireship here (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=258477), if anyone's interested.

Let's not start a discussion about them in this thread, though.

Lily of Ulster
08-02-2013, 10:26 PM
No, we will start a separate discussion about them, if you wish. I am sorry if I am a little jumpy. Usually I'm a very reasonable, level-headed person. It's just I'm still rather sore and bitter after the way they treated me. Again, I can take a rejection, with or without an explanation. But this goes beyond rejection. I would expect unprofessional behavior like this from a fly-by-night. I really thought I was in good hands by signing up with a reputable publisher. Silly me!

Maryn
08-03-2013, 01:26 AM
By the way, take a look at the covers on their fiction titles. They look like gay erotica or video game covers. Such a half-hearted job.Whoa, there. Don't you think this insults the AW members who write gay erotica, who write video games, and/or those who do the cover art for them?

We have one rule here, Respect Your Fellow Writer, and I think in the heat of the moment you may not have realized the impact of what you said on those of us who take gay erotica, video games, and their covers as seriously as you take what you do.

Maryn

michael_b
08-03-2013, 01:26 AM
By the way, take a look at the covers on their fiction titles. They look like gay erotica or video game covers. Such a half-hearted job.

My current avatar to the left of my post is also gay romance, just for the record.

LindaJeanne
08-03-2013, 01:34 AM
I am sorry if I am a little jumpy. Usually I'm a very reasonable, level-headed person. It's just I'm still rather sore and bitter after the way they treated me. Again, I can take a rejection, with or without an explanation. But this goes beyond rejection. I would expect unprofessional behavior like this from a fly-by-night.
Yeah, I'd be pissed off to. Sorry that happened!

Lily of Ulster
08-03-2013, 02:21 AM
Whoa, there. Don't you think this insults the AW members who write gay erotica, who write video games, and/or those who do the cover art for them?

We have one rule here, Respect Your Fellow Writer, and I think in the heat of the moment you may not have realized the impact of what you said on those of us who take gay erotica, video games, and their covers as seriously as you take what you do.

Maryn

Uhm... Did I say there way ANYTHING wrong with gay erotica or video game covers? I just said that having such covers on historical fiction is misleading.

Medievalist
08-03-2013, 02:26 AM
Uhm... Did I say there way ANYTHING wrong with gay erotica or video game covers? I just said that having such covers on historical fiction is misleading.

A fair amount of gay erotica is set in a historical setting. Victorian is particularly popular as is Regency/Georgian.

Bicyclefish
08-03-2013, 02:57 AM
Uhm... Did I say there way ANYTHING wrong with gay erotica or video game covers? I just said that having such covers on historical fiction is misleading.
That's true. You did say:


There is nothing wrong with gay erotica, as long as it's presented and marketed to the appropriate group of readers.
But before that you also said:


By the way, take a look at the covers on their fiction titles. They look like gay erotica or video game covers. Such a half-hearted job.
That last line comes across as saying gay erotica and video game covers take little skill, time and/or effort. I assumed you misspoke in ire, not realizing it sounded like a jab, which is why when upset, in my opinion, it's a good idea to pause and review your posts before hitting send.

Lily of Ulster
08-03-2013, 02:57 AM
A fair amount of gay erotica is set in a historical setting. Victorian is particularly popular as is Regency/Georgian.

Well, Pen & Sword is not a press that specializes in fiction in which romantic themes prevail. They specialize in military history non-fiction. Claymore Press was a recent experiment. They tried venturing into fiction. No wonder they don't know what they are doing. Improper packaging/marketing can be a kiss of death for the book. One of my friends wrote a formula paranormal romance that was presented as literary historical fiction and marketed to the same crowd that would read "The Name of the Rose". Of course, she got horrible reviews and lost her contract with a division of Random House. It's not her fault. The book was pitched to the wrong crowd. She would've been much better with Harlequin.

Lily of Ulster
08-03-2013, 02:59 AM
That's true. You did say:


But before that you also said:


That last line comes across as saying gay erotica and video game covers take little skill, time and/or effort. I assumed you misspoke in ire, not realizing it sounded like a jab, which is why when upset, in my opinion, it's a good idea to pause and review your posts before hitting send.

Oh dear, let's not start picking on every single word here. I meant to say that the covers were clearly not thought through. They were designed without consideration for the audience. Is that better? There is nothing wrong with gay erotica. But you wouldn't expect a steak in a vegetarian restaurant, would you?

Jo Zebedee
08-03-2013, 03:16 AM
Actually, their claim that specialising in military history may not encompass the Anglo- Irish conflict may not be so far fetched, on a couple of counts. Firstly, the military aspects of that conflict are quite different from many other conflicts and may not fall under a more general imprint's expertise. Also, the sensitivities that are still in place might make a publisher leary of touching it with a barge pole, irrespective of the stance/authenticity/kudos of the book. Ths doesn't defend their business practice, btw, but it is a sensitive area of publishing that they may have underestimated the tact required to enter?

Stacia Kane
08-03-2013, 03:25 AM
My bold.


One of my friends wrote a formula paranormal romance that was presented as literary historical fiction and marketed to the same crowd that would read "The Name of the Rose". Of course, she got horrible reviews and lost her contract with a division of Random House. It's not her fault. The book was pitched to the wrong crowd. She would've been much better with Harlequin.


Or perhaps the problem was her book was bland, having been written to a formula?

I'm going to assume, Lily, that you meant no offense there, just as I am absolutely certain that you truly meant none with the comment about covers. (I mean that sincerely.) (BTW, if they ejaculate titles, perhaps gay romance is a good fit? ;))

I am sorry you were treated so shabbily by this press. FWIW, unless they offered an advance, I'd be quite wary of those contract terms re royalties. 10% for ebooks with no advance is just...better deals abound.

Your book sounds fascinating. I'm sure you'll find a house that will offer you better terms and treatment. Onward and upward! :)


ETA: To clarify, I'm just teasing re the "ejaculate" thing. I in no way mean to make fun of you.

Medievalist
08-03-2013, 04:16 AM
Oh dear, let's not start picking on every single word here. I meant to say that the covers were clearly not thought through. They were designed without consideration for the audience. Is that better? There is nothing wrong with gay erotica. But you wouldn't expect a steak in a vegetarian restaurant, would you?

This is a forum for writers. We expect writers to write with forethought and to say what they mean.

There's some stuff about that in the The Newbie Guide to Absolute Write (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=66315) which you might want to pause and read again.

Alessandra Kelley
08-03-2013, 04:35 AM
By the way, take a look at the covers on their fiction titles. They look like gay erotica or video game covers. Such a half-hearted job.

I think their historical fiction covers look professional and attractive. They are well differentiated from their nonfiction covers, with more focus on character, color, and drama.

If you found the covers jarring or overly melodramatic you could have said so directly rather than comparing them backhandedly to other genres.

Bicyclefish
08-03-2013, 04:37 AM
This is a forum for writers. We expect writers to write with forethought and to say what they mean.
Agreed.

People misspeak. It happens, especially in the heat of the moment. I've done it, and I suspect everyone has at least once in their life. Foot is too delicious. It's how a person behaves afterwards that matters more to me. Do they own their words and apologize or defend them, or do they deny ever saying those words?

Lily of Ulster
08-03-2013, 04:55 AM
Actually, their claim that specialising in military history may not encompass the Anglo- Irish conflict may not be so far fetched, on a couple of counts. Firstly, the military aspects of that conflict are quite different from many other conflicts and may not fall under a more general imprint's expertise. Also, the sensitivities that are still in place might make a publisher leary of touching it with a barge pole, irrespective of the stance/authenticity/kudos of the book. Ths doesn't defend their business practice, btw, but it is a sensitive area of publishing that they may have underestimated the tact required to enter?

Ya know, I had asked them that question point blank. "Will it be a problem that I'm a Russian-American author, writing about the Anglo-Irish conflict, submitting to a UK press?" And the answer was "No, no! We want great stories! We want meticulous research!" I asked them specifically if this would be a problem. Why did I ask them? Because 4 years ago my debut novel was thisclose to getting a contract with Penguin Canada. Their reason for rejecting it? "We already have so many great Victorian novels by Canadian authors." So yes, it does get very political. And I had the foresight to ask that question. Clearly, Pen & Sword hadn't done their homework.

Lily of Ulster
08-03-2013, 04:58 AM
My bold.




Or perhaps the problem was her book was bland, having been written to a formula?

I'm going to assume, Lily, that you meant no offense there, just as I am absolutely certain that you truly meant none with the comment about covers. (I mean that sincerely.) (BTW, if they ejaculate titles, perhaps gay romance is a good fit? ;))

I am sorry you were treated so shabbily by this press. FWIW, unless they offered an advance, I'd be quite wary of those contract terms re royalties. 10% for ebooks with no advance is just...better deals abound.

Your book sounds fascinating. I'm sure you'll find a house that will offer you better terms and treatment. Onward and upward! :)


ETA: To clarify, I'm just teasing re the "ejaculate" thing. I in no way mean to make fun of you.

Indeed, her character development and the plot progression adhered more to formula. And she would've done beautifully with an audience who had an appetite for this type of fiction. But her agent and her publisher presented her as this upscale, gritty, academically accurate historical novel. The content did not match the cover. People did not know what to make of it. And you don't get many second chances in Big House publishing.

Lily of Ulster
08-03-2013, 05:03 AM
I think their historical fiction covers look professional and attractive. They are well differentiated from their nonfiction covers, with more focus on character, color, and drama.

If you found the covers jarring or overly melodramatic you could have said so directly rather than comparing them backhandedly to other genres.

You just never know who is going to take offense to what. You don't know what kind of day any particular person had, and what sort of comment is going to set them off. I really meant no harm. As far as covers go, it's all a matter of taste. What you find tasteful and suitable, another person can find distasteful. My point is, if you are in a mood for an authentic, serious historical novel, you are not going to pick up a book that looks like a lighthearted, fun steamy gay romance. And you are not going to pick up something that looks like a pyrotechnics manual.

AW Admin
08-03-2013, 05:21 AM
You just never know who is going to take offense to what. You don't know what kind of day any particular person had, and what sort of comment is going to set them

Since you seem to have a habit of posting without thinking about how you will be read, I strongly urge you to stop posting for a bit and read a lot.

Starting with the The Newbie Guide to Absolute Write (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=66315).

We have all sorts of people as members, which means you need to think about your audience and how your words will be read.

Lily of Ulster
08-03-2013, 05:35 AM
Since you seem to have a habit of posting without thinking about how you will be read, I strongly urge you to stop posting for a bit and read a lot.

Starting with the The Newbie Guide to Absolute Write (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=66315).

We have all sorts of people as members, which means you need to think about your audience and how your words will be read.


Okay, I read the guide, and the bit about not being a jerk. I'm not being a jerk. But I am tempted to quote a very clever saying I saw on Facebook, "I am responsible for what I say. I am not responsible for what others understand." But honestly, I think there's too much noise over one innocent comment re: gay erotica comment.

Alessandra Kelley
08-03-2013, 05:58 AM
You just never know who is going to take offense to what. You don't know what kind of day any particular person had, and what sort of comment is going to set them off. I really meant no harm. As far as covers go, it's all a matter of taste. What you find tasteful and suitable, another person can find distasteful. My point is, if you are in a mood for an authentic, serious historical novel, you are not going to pick up a book that looks like a lighthearted, fun steamy gay romance. And you are not going to pick up something that looks like a pyrotechnics manual.

Sorry, I should have clarified.

I am a professional artist and illustrator with a couple of decades' experience, including magazine and book covers.

In my professional opinion, the covers in Pen & Sword Books' fiction section are perfectly reasonable for conveying that these are historical fiction. I was, in fact, impressed by how they managed to avoid anachronisms and give a modern, dramatic effect using actual historic imagery.

Lily of Ulster
08-03-2013, 06:14 AM
Sorry, I should have clarified.

I am a professional artist and illustrator with a couple of decades' experience, including magazine and book covers.

In my professional opinion, the covers of Pen & Sword Books nonfiction are perfectly reasonable for conveying that these are historical fiction. I was, in fact, impressed by how they managed to avoid anachronisms and give a modern, dramatic effect using actual historic imagery.

I'm sorry, are you talking about their fiction or non-fiction? I am not arguing with you. I am sure you are very good at what you do. It's a matter of taste. It just doesn't seem to me that Pen & Sword poured as much effort into their fiction imprint as they did into their non-fiction. The person who was my contact there openly admitted that fiction isn't their main focus, and it's just a side project. And if that's how you view your imprint, you will get just that - a halfhearted side project.

Alessandra Kelley
08-03-2013, 06:44 AM
I'm sorry, are you talking about their fiction or non-fiction? I am not arguing with you. I am sure you are very good at what you do. It's a matter of taste. It just doesn't seem to me that Pen & Sword poured as much effort into their fiction imprint as they did into their non-fiction. The person who was my contact there openly admitted that fiction isn't their main focus, and it's just a side project. And if that's how you view your imprint, you will get just that - a halfhearted side project.

Sorry, I mistyped the first time. I am talking about their fiction. I'll go clean up my earlier post.

Lily of Ulster
08-03-2013, 07:53 AM
Sorry, I mistyped the first time. I am talking about their fiction. I'll go clean up my earlier post.

Again, it's a matter of taste. I've spoken to some of their fiction authors, and they felt so-so about the covers.

Lily of Ulster
08-03-2013, 07:54 AM
Also, those who think it's important to get shelf placement, will be disappointed, because their fiction imprint doesn't have a return policy. Which means most bookstores won't risk stocking your book.

James D. Macdonald
08-03-2013, 03:27 PM
Granted, it's a smaller publisher, and they don't target bookstores, and they don't fight for shelf placement, but that's fine with me.

If it were my career I'd aim higher rather than lower.

RichardGarfinkle
08-03-2013, 05:47 PM
By the way, take a look at the covers on their fiction titles. They look like gay erotica or video game covers. Such a half-hearted job.


Again, it's a matter of taste. I've spoken to some of their fiction authors, and they felt so-so about the covers.

If your first statement was a personal dislike of the covers, that would be a matter of taste. But that isn't what you said. You said these covers look like the kind of covers used for a different kind of book. That's a matter of comparison of appearance not of taste.

Anninyn
08-19-2013, 11:18 PM
Not sure about their fiction imprint.

My mother has had two non-fiction books published through them (and is writing a third, I believe). She laughs about her low royalty cheques and small advances, but is overall fairly impressed with them.

Second hand info, I know, about as useful as a chocolate teapot. I'd get her to give her opinion herself, but she 'doesn't understand forums and that stuff'.