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Willowwriter
02-21-2012, 01:16 AM
Another new publisher. Seeing lots of tweets from them. Here is their info. They're also running a contest for romance.

http://sapphirestarpublishing.com/

About Us

Sapphire Star Publishing is a small press publisher dedicated to bringing you today’s finest fiction. Here at Sapphire Star, we understand that publishing is only the beginning. We work alongside the author to provide the tools to help their work reach readers all over the world, ensuring each publication the opportunity to reach its full potential. By seeking out and publishing talented authors, Sapphire Star Publishing is able to deliver quality fiction that inspires, provokes, intrigues, and entertains the most important part of the equation—the reader.

Momento Mori
02-21-2012, 03:20 AM
No information on who's running the company or their experience. No information on what type of rights they're looking to take or for how long. No information on how they plan to sell. No information on royalty rates or whether they pay advances.

They're brand new. Wait 2 years and see what average sales/royalties are like if they're still around.

MM

Willowwriter
02-21-2012, 04:35 AM
is two years the time period that most people advise waiting for the new pubs?

herdon
02-21-2012, 05:41 AM
It would really depend on the publisher. If there was a strong indication that they knew what they were doing, were invested in the process and were willing to sink $$$ into the book before it got to the published stage, etc., you might look at that differently than a random Pub with no specifics on their experience, the distribution channels they plan to use, etc.

This one looks closer to the latter.

Also, your specific project would play a role. But in general, you'd want to wait until they actually had books out and check out the sales and quality of those books.

Willowwriter
02-21-2012, 03:54 PM
Thanks for the info herdon

priceless1
02-21-2012, 06:38 PM
is two years the time period that most people advise waiting for the new pubs?
It usually takes a couple years for a new company to run out of money.

akaria
02-21-2012, 06:45 PM
We tend to advise people to wait two years because that gives enough time to see if they can meet production schedules in a timely matter, have a quality end product and pay royalties on time.

Have you taken a spin through the gray links in the index? After a while you'll start to see patterns where a lot of places with the best intentions disappear like ghosts or go supernova leaving authors and stories scattered around like debris. There's a couple of success stories in the index but they are very rare.

Willowwriter
05-23-2012, 08:50 PM
Has anyone subbed to them? See them doing a lot of author and book promo on twitter lately

Leah J. Utas
05-25-2012, 01:35 AM
Just submitted today. I report back on how it goes.

Leah J. Utas
06-30-2012, 02:01 AM
Reporting back as promised. It would appear they have some standards as I got turned down today.
Not belittling myself. Merely drawing a point.

Undercover
06-30-2012, 06:48 PM
I wrote them today telling them my interest in submitting, asking some questions first. If and once I get info, I'll let you guys know.

It looks like a promising publishing house, but you never know.

HapiSofi
06-30-2012, 07:06 PM
The name says "amateur" to me. You may not be able to copyright a title, but you certainly can trademark a character name (https://www.google.com/search?q=sapphire+star&hl=en&safe=off&prmd=imvns&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=JhPvT8SJEYeErQGArrmOAg&sqi=2&ved=0CEYQ_AUoAQ&biw=1163&bih=637#hl=en&safe=off&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=sapphire+star+comic&oq=sapphire+star+comic&gs_l=img.3...16962.18121.0.18384.6.3.0.3.3.0.150.3 86.0j3.3.0...0.0.BraigPAKUcY&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=183db61087676aa5&biw=1163&bih=637).

It doesn't speak well for them as a publisher that DC has apparently not yet noticed them.

Willowwriter
07-01-2012, 12:34 AM
The name says "amateur" to me. You may not be able to copyright a title, but you certainly can trademark a character name (https://www.google.com/search?q=sapphire+star&hl=en&safe=off&prmd=imvns&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=JhPvT8SJEYeErQGArrmOAg&sqi=2&ved=0CEYQ_AUoAQ&biw=1163&bih=637#hl=en&safe=off&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=sapphire+star+comic&oq=sapphire+star+comic&gs_l=img.3...16962.18121.0.18384.6.3.0.3.3.0.150.3 86.0j3.3.0...0.0.BraigPAKUcY&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=183db61087676aa5&biw=1163&bih=637).

It doesn't speak well for them as a publisher that DC has apparently not yet noticed them.

what's DC?

Undercover
07-01-2012, 12:46 AM
Well someone got back to me right away. As far as royalty, here it is:

Books Sold Royalty Percentage to Author
0 – 250 25%
251-500 35%
500-1999 40%
2000+ 50%
(Quantities based on regularly priced ebooks)


Promotional priced e-books 50%


Print 25%
Distribution Print 50%


So they do do print also, which is nice.

amergina
07-01-2012, 01:04 AM
what's DC?

DC Comics (http://www.dccomics.com/), a part of Time Warner's holdings. They're the company who owns Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman (amongst others).

James D. Macdonald
07-01-2012, 01:54 AM
According to a search I just did over at the Patent and Trademark Office, the only trademarked "Sapphire Star" is a line of clothing: Goods and Services IC 025. US 022 039. G & S: Clothing, namely, skirts, blouses, t-shirts, sweaters, jackets, blazers, pants, shorts, and vests.

These books probably won't be confused in commerce with a pair of pants.

HapiSofi
07-01-2012, 06:40 AM
According to a search I just did over at the Patent and Trademark Office, the only trademarked "Sapphire Star" is a line of clothing: Goods and Services IC 025. US 022 039. G & S: Clothing, namely, skirts, blouses, t-shirts, sweaters, jackets, blazers, pants, shorts, and vests.

These books probably won't be confused in commerce with a pair of pants.
Sapphire Star is a longstanding part of the Green Lantern continuity.

Whether or not DC chooses to take action, it was a boneheaded move on the part of the publishers to put themselves in a position where that's a possibility.

acadia1997
07-11-2012, 11:45 PM
HapiSofi, please do your due diligence before criticizing a company you know nothing about.

The character in DC Comics' Green Lantern series is called Star Sapphire, NOT Sapphire Star. Please check out this very easy to find link from DC Comics http://www.dccomics.com/graphic-novels/green-lantern-corps-sins-of-the-star-sapphire So obviously there is no conflict, bonehead or otherwise.

It's disappointing that you have made a public judgment about whether SSP is professional or not without ever emailing them or even speaking to one of their many happy authors and asking them what they think of the company.

I can attest to the fact that they are indeed legitimate, very professional, pay competitive royalties, allow their authors a significant level of control, and promote their author's titles. SSP is not a vanity press. Nor do they charge for their services in any way. We who have signed with SSP are very happy and look forward to a long relationship.

To all those interested, please check the SSP website for submission standards.

Willowwriter
07-11-2012, 11:49 PM
Acadia--I think you mean the character is Star Sapphire.

LisaLRegan
07-11-2012, 11:52 PM
I signed a 2 book contract with Sapphire Star Publishing earlier this year. My first novel is due out 12/6/12. I have found them to be exceedingly professional and courteous. They are very well-informed as to what's going on in the publishing industry and clearly they know exactly what they are doing. They have very well-defined marketing plans for each one of their books and they are very author-oriented. Any issues or concerns that come up for me as an author are addressed immediately to my satisfaction. They really believe in their authors and they are determined to make each of us a success. I could not have asked for a better experience thus far. Also, FYI two of their first three titles have reached bestseller status on the Amazon Kindle list in their respective genres (one in the US and one in the UK) and their first title, Pulled by A.L. Jackson was in the top 300 in the paid Kindle store last time I checked and continues to climb. They put a lot of time, effort, thought and expense into each book they release. I think any writer would be lucky to sign with them.

acadia1997
07-12-2012, 12:01 AM
Oh yes, thank you, Willowwriter! I got that backwards. Duh! Fixed it though.

Axordil
07-12-2012, 12:13 AM
Here's an interview with one of the owners:

http://www.examiner.com/article/introducing-sapphire-star-publishing

This appears to be her website:

http://www.amylichtenhan.com/

I qualify the latter only because much of it appears non-functional in Chrome, but that might be my ad blocker at work.

ETA: Ms. Lichtenhan is also an author. Her books, now appearing under the name A.L. Jackson, are currently published by SSP. They were formerly released under her own name, and published by The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House.

Momento Mori
07-12-2012, 02:15 AM
acadia1997:
It's disappointing that you have made a public judgment about whether SSP is professional or not without ever emailing them or even speaking to one of their many happy authors and asking them what they think of the company.

You've been a member here since November 2010. You should therefore know that this is a site where writers ask questions to ascertain whether a publisher is the right one for them and for people to identify potential issues that they should be aware of (if only so that they can ask questions about the same) and therefore make an informed decision about who to sign with.

You should also know that the people posting here do know what they're talking about either because they work in the industry, they're known commentators on the industry or they've got a lot of background experience to identify potential pitfalls.

If Sapphire Star put information on who was running it, what their experience was etc etc on their website then it would go a long way to alleviate concerns because it would show that the people standing behind and working for the publisher know what they're doing and so can help a book to be a success.

I've just taken a quick look at the site and I still can't see that information. Nor can I find any information on there about what rights they take or what type of deal they're offering new authors (i.e. advance or royalty only). This is all information that they can and should be up front about given that they're new and so have no significant track record.


acadia1997:
I can attest to the fact that they are indeed legitimate, very professional, pay competitive royalties, allow their authors a significant level of control, and promote their author's titles.

Okay. So you're one of their authors? When did you sign with them? Has your book come out? What kind of support have you had? What marketing activity has Sapphire Star done for you? What kind of sales figures have you had? How has that translated into royalties?

If you don't want to go into specifics then can you share what their "competitive" royalty rates are? Are they paid on net or gross? If they're paid on net then how is net calculated? Are they just taking electronic rights or do they take a print option? Are they limiting rights by territory or do they want worldwide rights? Who are the professionals behind the company? What is their expertise? Have they worked in publishing before? If so, who did they work for and in what capacity? Are the people behind the company also authors being published by them? What marketing activities do they do for their authors? Do they make promotional material available or is it confined to internet promotion?


acadia1997:
SSP is not a vanity press. Nor do they charge for their services in any way.

That's all good to know. Thank you for making that clear.


acadia1997:
To all those interested, please check the SSP website for submission standards.

I did. SSP apparently takes all genres. That worries me because it suggests they don't have a targeted marketing plan. Normally start-up publishers start in one particular genre to build up expertise, contacts and reputation before moving out. It also enables them to concentrate marketing spend. A publisher who is publishing any genre is unlikely to be able to concentrate marketing efforts, which can hurt authors.


CarrieAnn:
To ease some of your concerns, SSP is a legitimate small press and very professional in their handlings. This not a vanity pub, co-op, joint venture, etc. They do not offer any kind of service that requires the author to pay a fee.

That's all good to know but again, I'd like to know who is involved with it and what their background is.


CarrieAnn:
There’s a strong sense of community within our ranks. The owners are knowledgeable, attentive, and very willing to share their experience. The other authors have been nothing but supportive of me since day one. (If you follow any of us on Twitter, you know we like to think of ourselves as a family.)

Okay. So what is the owners' experience?

It's good that the other authors have been supportive but what's important is how that translates into sales. Do you cross-market each other? Are you encouraged to that yourselves or is it co-ordinated by SSP?


LisaLRegan:
My first novel is due out 12/6/12. I have found them to be exceedingly professional and courteous. They are very well-informed as to what's going on in the publishing industry and clearly they know exactly what they are doing.

Cool. So what's their background in publishing?


LisaLRegan:
They have very well-defined marketing plans for each one of their books and they are very author-oriented.

Great. Can you share examples of what those plans include?


LisaLRegan:
Also, FYI two of their first three titles have reached bestseller status on the Amazon Kindle list in their respective genres (one in the US and one in the UK) and their first title, Pulled by A.L. Jackson was in the top 300 in the paid Kindle store last time I checked and continues to climb.

That's great. How long were they in the bestseller lists and do you know what number they got to?

MM

Undercover
07-12-2012, 03:03 PM
They were prompt and professional in answering questions when I dealt with them. If that means anything. From what I've asked, I don't think they pay advances, but I posted their royalties here. They seem competitive. Not sure if that's net or cover price though. I know that's a huge difference.

acadia1997
07-13-2012, 04:53 AM
My comments were in response to HapiSofi when she said the name "says amateur". That's awfully judgmental considering she knows nothing about SSP and had even gotten the reference wrong concerning the name and the DC Comics character. Her remarks were hurtful to not only SSP, but also to the authors who work with them. So please pardon Lisa, Carrie, and I if we appeared sensitive to her judgmental comment.

As for the info you seek, since I'm under contract, and, as most contracts include a DND clause, I cannot comment on the terms of my deal. Neither can Lisa or Carrie. But if you're interested, you can email SSP and ask them yourself. As with most publishers, they do not post their terms on their website, but disclose when terms are discussed with potential authors. It's up to the individual whether those terms are acceptable.

I think commenters who work in the industry would understand these issues.

James D. Macdonald
07-13-2012, 04:58 AM
The only times I've seen non-disclosure clauses in book contracts have been when I've written tie-in and licensed works (e.g. movie novelizations). I'm not certain that they're common.

Unimportant
07-13-2012, 05:05 AM
I have seen non-disclosure clauses in publishing contracts, but in every instance they have been from small presses that I really, really wouldn't recommend anyone to work with. These contracts also required the author to sign the copyright over to the press for seven years, or had ROFR for everything the author ever produced for life-of-copyright term, or did not pay royalties until the press recovered all direct and associated costs of publishing the book, or....

BenPanced
07-13-2012, 05:12 AM
As for the info you seek, since I'm under contract, and, as most contracts include a DND clause, I cannot comment on the terms of my deal. Neither can Lisa or Carrie. But if you're interested, you can email SSP and ask them yourself. As with most publishers, they do not post their terms on their website, but disclose when terms are discussed with potential authors. It's up to the individual whether those terms are acceptable.
Every contract I've ever signed, both within and outside of publishing, has never had a non-disclosure clause.

Unimportant
07-13-2012, 05:28 AM
I've signed contracts that contained a confidentiality agreement, but never in publishing.

Al Stevens
07-13-2012, 05:55 AM
The only times I've seen non-disclosure clauses in book contracts have been when I've written tie-in and licensed works (e.g. movie novelizations). I'm not certain that they're common.


I have seen non-disclosure clauses in publishing contracts, but in every instance they have been from small presses that I really, really wouldn't recommend anyone to work with...


Every contract I've ever signed, both within and outside of publishing, has never had a non-disclosure clause.

I am currently under contract with an established, well-known, advance-paying publisher for one of my novels. If I were to reveal that the contract has a non-disclosure clause (not saying one way or the other), that would be in violation of the non-disclosure clause.

Catch-22.

LisaLRegan
07-13-2012, 07:03 AM
Well regardless of your feelings about the non-disclosure issue, it seems as though it would be quite unprofessional to go around telling anyone who asked the terms of your contract. I honestly can't think of one author who has posted the terms of their contract on the internet for anyone to peruse. That seems tantamount to professional suicide. Also I work in the legal field and many, many, many, many different kinds of contracts have non-disclosure clauses or language in them. Non-disclosure language in contracts is not that unusual. People just don't talk about it because, you know, you're not supposed to disclose stuff.

Other than that, I think a lot of very good questions have been raised. I can certainly understand wanting to know all of these things before signing an actual contract. We were merely trying to let others know that we've had great experiences with SSP within the parameters of what we are able to divulge. All I can say is that if the feedback actual SSP authors have provided is not sufficient and SSP has made you an offer and you're not satisfied that all your questions have been answered, just ask them. Or have your agent ask them.

veinglory
07-13-2012, 07:07 AM
I have discussed my contracts with plenty of people. They are standard for my publishers and nothing prevents me from discussing them or makes me feel it would be "unprofessional" to do so.

BenPanced
07-13-2012, 07:16 AM
Well regardless of your feelings about the non-disclosure issue, it seems as though it would be quite unprofessional to go around telling anyone who asked the terms of your contract. I honestly can't think of one author who has posted the terms of their contract on the internet for anyone to peruse. That seems tantamount to professional suicide. Also I work in the legal field and many, many, many, many different kinds of contracts have non-disclosure clauses or language in them. Non-disclosure language in contracts is not that unusual. People just don't talk about it because, you know, you're not supposed to disclose stuff.
My publisher. (http://www.musapublishing.com/)

Links to their sample contracts and royalty structure. (http://musapublishing.blogspot.com/p/musa-contract.html)

LisaLRegan
07-13-2012, 07:18 AM
In general terms or have you posted your contract on a website or forum? Just wondering. I've never been able to find anyone's signed contract on the internet and back before I had an agent, I was always curious as to what peoples' contracts actually said. Other then finding what publishing contracts should and should not say; should or should not include; red flags, etc. I couldn't find copies of peoples' signed contracts. Perhaps that would be a good resource for writers. It might save time.

LisaLRegan
07-13-2012, 07:19 AM
Well there you go, that's a general contract (although not a signed one.) But yes, that's a good resource.

otinifni
07-13-2012, 03:00 PM
Why do people who have no relationship with a publisher always feel the need to cut them down? The last time I saw so many douches was in the tampon aisle at WalGreens!

Wisteria Vine
07-13-2012, 04:03 PM
It's not "cutting them down" to ask questions about a publisher. In case you didn't notice, the forum is called "Bewares, Recommendations, and Background Checks."

Aside from your post, there has been nothing untoward in any of the questions or concerns raised. Maybe you should ask yourself why you're so defensive (and offensive) about this particular subject.

Terie
07-13-2012, 04:42 PM
Why do people who have no relationship with a publisher always feel the need to cut them down? The last time I saw so many douches was in the tampon aisle at WalGreens!

Someone needs to grow up and learn how to be professional. This kind of post does nothing to make your publisher look good. When a publisher calls out the troops to its defense (which is what looks like happened here with a bunch of new members all joining and posting on the same day), this sort of behaviour does the opposite of help.

Also? Read the newbie guide, link at the top of the page.

Stacia Kane
07-13-2012, 05:25 PM
I have discussed my contracts with plenty of people. They are standard for my publishers and nothing prevents me from discussing them or makes me feel it would be "unprofessional" to do so.


This. I've never heard of a single author who got in any kind of trouble for discussing contract terms (unless the contract had an NDA, which none of mine ever have).

I've posted contract clauses. I've disclosed certain terms, such as which rights were sold and which were not. That's hardly privileged information; obviously readers in, say, Spain will know I have not sold Spanish rights, since there is no Spanish edition. I've discussed my contracts in specific and general terms when I feel it will be helpful (for example, comparing several contracts to post suggested clauses to look for or look out for, or to answer questions about editing clauses or situations, that sort of thing). I've mentioned royalty rates. None of that has gotten me into one iota of trouble and to my knowledge no one cares. According to my agent, it's my contract and I can disclose what I like.



In general terms or have you posted your contract on a website or forum? Just wondering. I've never been able to find anyone's signed contract on the internet and back before I had an agent, I was always curious as to what peoples' contracts actually said. Other then finding what publishing contracts should and should not say; should or should not include; red flags, etc. I couldn't find copies of peoples' signed contracts. Perhaps that would be a good resource for writers. It might save time.

I wouldn't post an entire signed contract. I don't know anyone with half an ounce of brains who would. For one thing, such a document contains my private identifying information, which is nobody's business. For another it contains the amount(s) of my advance(s), which is again nobody's business.

Not to mention, that's my contract with my publisher for my books negotiated by my agent. Not every contract will be the same. Not every author is offered the exact same terms. (Trust me, Stephen King's contracts look a hell of a lot different from almost everybody else's. :)) So knowing exactly what my contract says in every respect about everything isn't going to be that helpful for you.

Knowing what clauses are standard and what phrases to look out for? Sure, that's helpful. But that may be worded a bit differently at different houses, too. My Indemnity clause with Random House isn't worded exactly the same as my Indemnity clause with Simon & Schuster, for example, although the basic "meat" is the same, and I'd hate to have an author think one or the other of this is the only "correct" way to word the clause.

I've copied-and-pasted clauses for people privately and publicly, but I'm not going to post my entire contract; not because it's unprofessional or I'm forbidden somehow from doing it, but simply because it's my business and I don't need my financial information floating around out there.

If you're curious about what's standard in a publishing contract, and you're agented, your agent is the best person to ask. Every agent has things they're very careful about in contracts; many of them--if not all of them--have slightly different versions of contract from the publisher's boilerplate. Like HapiSofi might say "I've made an offer to Stacia Kane's agent for this book of hers, but I know he's a real bugbear about this clause which is in our boilerplate, so let me grab the boilerplate we use specifically for his clients so we don't have to have another set printed up when he points out that he'll never let her sign a contract with that clause in it. Whereas I've also offered for ChaosTitan's book, and her agent is okay with that clause but has an issue with this one, so let me grab that agent's boilerplate and send it over." See?

We're not all signing the same contracts. And what's in mine might not help you in yours.

James D. Macdonald
07-13-2012, 06:59 PM
My last contract was 23 pages long. Darned if I'm going to retype and post that. Also, your eyes would glaze over.

jeffo20
07-13-2012, 10:46 PM
I'm not going to get into the ins and outs of the contracts that Sapphire Star is offering. Instead, I can say I have read all or parts of the works of 2 of the authors who have posted here and can vouch for their skills. I am curious about the books Sapphire Star has already put out: are they well written? How's the physical quality of the products? Are these books findable? So, in addition to contracts, if I were considering this publisher, that would be something else I'd be looking at.

Momento Mori
07-13-2012, 11:37 PM
acadia1997:
That's awfully judgmental considering she knows nothing about SSP and had even gotten the reference wrong concerning the name and the DC Comics character. Her remarks were hurtful to not only SSP, but also to the authors who work with them. So please pardon Lisa, Carrie, and I if we appeared sensitive to her judgmental comment.

I get that people don't like it when people raise questions about their publisher. I've seen enough here to know that it's a highly emotional subject. But then, you've apparently been here since November 2010, so you should well know how we operate here. Hapi doesn't sugar coat her concerns and neither do I. I get that it's difficult for someone to read, but you don't do yourself or your publisher any favours by taking such a defensive tone in your posts not least because we've seen it so many times it's got a bingo card for it.


acadia1997:
As for the info you seek, since I'm under contract, and, as most contracts include a DND clause, I cannot comment on the terms of my deal. Neither can Lisa or Carrie.

A DND clause isn't normal but if it's in your contract then I understand that you have to comply with it (although as Al Stevens points out, just telling us that you have a DND clause in your contract is arguably an actionable breach of your contract). Fortunately the following questions that I asked should not come within the scope of a DND clause because it should all be public information:

- Who are the professionals behind the company?

- What is their expertise?

- Have they worked in publishing before?

- If so, who did they work for and in what capacity?

- Are the people behind the company also authors being published by them?


acadia1997:
But if you're interested, you can email SSP and ask them yourself. As with most publishers, they do not post their terms on their website, but disclose when terms are discussed with potential authors. It's up to the individual whether those terms are acceptable.

No, I'm not going to email them. Small start-up publishers typically put up that information in advance so that people know what they're getting into before going through the submission process. The reason for that is that the last thing you want to do as an author is waste time and energy in submitting to a publisher that (for example) gives you a paltry royalty rate calculated in net that makes so many deductions that you're lucky to get 1c per book sold.


LisaLRegan:
It seems as though it would be quite unprofessional to go around telling anyone who asked the terms of your contract. I honestly can't think of one author who has posted the terms of their contract on the internet for anyone to peruse. That seems tantamount to professional suicide.

Where did I ask you or any of the other SSP authors here to give me chapter and verse on your precise contract arrangements? I was asking general questions about matters such as territory rights, how royalties are calculated etc. If there is anything in there that you're not comfortable in talking about then fine, I can understand that. But you now seem to be hiding behind a (in my opinion) very unusual DND clause to not provide any information about your publisher. Instead we're asked to just take your word for it and when we point out the problem with that you accuse us of being judgmental.

You can see how ridiculous that is.


LisaLRegan:
Also I work in the legal field and many, many, many, many different kinds of contracts have non-disclosure clauses or language in them. Non-disclosure language in contracts is not that unusual. People just don't talk about it because, you know, you're not supposed to disclose stuff.

I also work in the legal field and you're being somewhat selective here in your interpretation of what people are saying. Commercial contracts generally do have confidentiality clauses in them with normal carve outs for matters such as publicly available information, information that has become public other than through breach by either party of the contractual terms and disclosure required by operation of law.

What we're saying is that such clauses are not common in the publishing industry.


LisaLRegan:
Or have your agent ask them

An agent would only talk to them if they were paying advances. Are they paying advances? (Don't want to know specifics, just a general yes or no would be fine).


LisaLRegan:
I've never been able to find anyone's signed contract on the internet and back before I had an agent, I was always curious as to what peoples' contracts actually said. Other then finding what publishing contracts should and should not say; should or should not include; red flags, etc.

Where did you get the idea we were asking for signed contracts? It's perfectly normal for small publishers to put up sample contracts, which can then be negotiated.

I never asked to see anyone's signed contract. I have no wish to see anyone's signed contract. What I'm interested in is general contractual terms. I fail to see why such information should be confidential - particularly if they're using industry standard positions.


jeffo20:
I can say I have read all or parts of the works of 2 of the authors who have posted here and can vouch for their skills.

Great. But this isn't a place where we're talking about the quality of the authors. We're interested in the quality of the publisher and unfortunately, a lot of really good writers get caught in really bad publishing deals.

It's also not just findability that you're interested in (although that's important). There's basic stuff too like - are they going to cease trading and disappear over night taking my rights with them? Are there good rights reversion clauses in my contract? Do I keep rights in respect of certain derivative works or are they tying up everything? You've got to look at publishers as an overall package.

I'm going to repeat all of the perfectly reasonable questions that I asked earlier because notwithstanding the apparent DND clause, there are points here that someone can answer without blowing hard about how we're mean and judgmental:


o you're one of their authors? When did you sign with them? Has your book come out? What kind of support have you had? What marketing activity has Sapphire Star done for you? What kind of sales figures have you had? How has that translated into royalties?

If you don't want to go into specifics then can you share what their "competitive" royalty rates are? Are they paid on net or gross? If they're paid on net then how is net calculated? Are they just taking electronic rights or do they take a print option? Are they limiting rights by territory or do they want worldwide rights? Who are the professionals behind the company? What is their expertise? Have they worked in publishing before? If so, who did they work for and in what capacity? Are the people behind the company also authors being published by them? What marketing activities do they do for their authors? Do they make promotional material available or is it confined to internet promotion?

MM

Al Stevens
07-13-2012, 11:55 PM
You submit. You get an offer. The contract has questionable terms. You decline to sign or are on the fence. That's when it would be okay to discuss the specific terms that concern you. I used this forum that way last year and got good advice.

Of course, an experienced agent can make all that unnecessary.

BenPanced
07-14-2012, 04:13 AM
acadia1997:
But if you're interested, you can email SSP and ask them yourself. As with most publishers, they do not post their terms on their website, but disclose when terms are discussed with potential authors. It's up to the individual whether those terms are acceptable.
No, I'm not going to email them. Small start-up publishers typically put up that information in advance so that people know what they're getting into before going through the submission process. The reason for that is that the last thing you want to do as an author is waste time and energy in submitting to a publisher that (for example) gives you a paltry royalty rate calculated in net that makes so many deductions that you're lucky to get 1c per book sold.
Or they graciously and professionally answer the questions that have been raised in a public forum that, quite honestly, would welcome them without any qualms.

James D. Macdonald
07-14-2012, 04:56 PM
Why do people who have no relationship with a publisher always feel the need to cut them down? The last time I saw so many douches was in the tampon aisle at WalGreens!

I invite you to read the Blu Phi'er thread (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=53293) from the beginning.

priceless1
07-14-2012, 07:24 PM
They are very well-informed as to what's going on in the publishing industry and ... have very well-defined marketing plans for each one of their books and they are very author-oriented.
Perhaps it would help if you could talk a bit about their marketing plans. Reason being, Lightning Source is listed as their distributor, which means they don't have national distribution for their physical books. It's possible they rely more heavily on their e-book sales and only print up physical books based on actual orders, which is fine, but it's an important distinction authors should be aware of.

brianm
07-14-2012, 09:52 PM
The operations manager and co-owner of SSP is an Amy Lichtenhan. (http://www.examiner.com/article/introducing-sapphire-star-publishing) She is also pubbed by SSP under the pen name A.L. Jackson. (http://sapphirestarpublishing.com/aljackson/)

I was unable to find any work experience (publishing or otherwise) and it appears her two books with SSP are her first published works.

~brianm~

otinifni
09-09-2012, 06:45 PM
Okay, so I was a little rude a few months ago. I guess what I was trying to say is that judging a new company by their track record is a tough thing to do because they don't have a big track record. I just don't think that there is a need to poke fun at their name or take other shots at them in the process. Peace out people.....

veinglory
09-09-2012, 09:48 PM
I see judgements based on relevant experience, distribution methods and presentation (of which the company name is part). People are not obliged to only discuss the stuff they love, and not the stuff that makes a negative impression.

Filigree
09-09-2012, 11:01 PM
I'll weigh in with some examples from the art world. I sell art in galleries, and I'm always looking for new venues. However, before I consign with any of them I research the principals to see if they have industry background, complaints or bankruptcies in their past businesses, a committed cash reserve to get through the first 2 years of business, and a solid marketing plan. If not, then I'll adjust my approach - they may still be worth the risk, but I'm not committing large amounts of product with them.

Why do I do this? Because when I was less-informed about this business, I had the following happen to me: A boutique went out of business and ended up stealing two of my necklaces. A design group sold artwork of mine to a hotel and never paid me. A gallery went out of business and I'm still trying to track down two pieces of artwork that have either been stolen or are hidden in storage somewhere.

It's really easy to have great intentions as a new publisher. I've seen so many here in AW that I *want* to contact, because they strike me as exciting and fun. But I can't afford to have someone learn the industry while screwing around with my work.

So I ask the tough questions.

Eva Lefoy
01-06-2013, 05:08 AM
so they have been in business almost a year now - halfway to the two year mark.

If they weren't a steady publisher, there'd have been some signs of trouble by now, right? Am I assuming correctly?

James D. Macdonald
01-06-2013, 06:06 AM
If they weren't a steady publisher, there'd have been some signs of trouble by now, right? Am I assuming correctly?

Maybe.

Wait the full two years.

Meanwhile there are plenty of publishers who've been in business for decades who offer better deals.

kelliewallace
01-06-2013, 06:19 AM
I've received two rejections from them so they aren't just picking any book.

Stephanie Witter
01-18-2013, 02:55 AM
I don't know them very well beside some novels they published and I read but I sent them a query with three chapters of my novel and received a week later - yesterday - an email asking for a full manuscript.

The email was short but very professional as far as I'm concerned.

Also, I follow them on twitter and Facebook and I think they are really promoting authors and books efficiently. Now, I'm a newbie in all of this so I'm probably not the best person to talk. :)

Undercover
01-18-2013, 05:39 AM
Congrats Stephanie! Good luck with it. I really do like their covers. Let us know how it turns out.

Stephanie Witter
01-18-2013, 12:58 PM
Thank you Undercover. I'll let you know how it turns out.
I like their covers too.

CaoPaux
05-20-2016, 03:46 AM
Last books were reissues, in Jan '14. Some Tw/FB activity, though. Anyone have recent contact?