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Harlequin
05-13-2017, 12:25 AM
Not to be confused with Between the Lines Books, who are also publishers but of nonfiction.

Someone I know has recently signed a contract of publication with these people and I'm a little concerned tbh. For one thing I couldn't find their website via searching--had to hunt it down through their FB page. Their titles also look... dreadful.

The site itself is barebones. And I couldn't find any reviews because they get buried or hidden by the nonfiction Canadian company.

Thoughts?

http://www.btwnthelines.com/

Old Hack
05-13-2017, 01:25 AM
They offer editing and ghosting services. (http://www.btwnthelines.com/services2.html)

Their submissions guidelines are not very well-written.


If you have a completed manuscript that explores the liminal world, we want to hear from you. Please send your query to [redacted]

What does "liminal" mean? The liminal world is the place that exists between one existence and another.

Their covers are abysmal.

They only have two books in their online bookshop. (http://www.btwnthelines.com/bookshop.html)

I wouldn't touch them with a six-foot pole.

Harlequin
05-13-2017, 01:38 AM
The line about liminal such and such is very similar to Between the Lines Books (marginalised people who fall between the lines or somesuch).

They've got at least three, now, but the cover for their newest one isn't any better.

Trying to work out a nice way to explain this to said person, but it's probably too late if they've signed a contract. Sigh.

Clairels
05-13-2017, 07:59 AM
Papyrus font on a book cover = I'm out.

Zombie Fraggle
05-13-2017, 08:17 AM
First paragraph on the splash page attempts to entice authors instead of readers.

*engages NOPE-SPEED™ engine*

aliceshortcake
05-13-2017, 10:57 AM
Papyrus font on a book cover = I'm out.

My thoughts exactly! The only time I've seen Papyrus used to good effect was on the poster for an amateur production of Antony and Cleopatra, where it just about made sense.

Undercover
05-13-2017, 03:52 PM
The moment I saw "editing services" I clicked out.

WrdWvr
06-14-2017, 08:03 AM
Wow - interesting critique from individuals who could have any answers to their questions simply by asking. Instead, you offer your opinion on whether authors should submit to us or not based on nothing more than a search online. Have you spoken to any authors who have submitted to us for publishing?

We are a young company (started out offering editing services and expanded). We do not now, nor have we ever charged someone to publish their work. It is not unusual for a publishing company to offer multiple services. We limited our publishing to two books for the first year so we could offer the best to the publications. This year will see four books. It's not about quantity. Thank you thought, for your opinions of the book covers. All are doing well, but your input is appreciated.

If there is something you would like to know about Between the Lines Publishing - ask. I am happy to answer any questions.

Old Hack
06-14-2017, 10:27 AM
Wow - interesting critique from individuals who could have any answers to their questions simply by asking. Instead, you offer your opinion on whether authors should submit to us or not based on nothing more than a search online. Have you spoken to any authors who have submitted to us for publishing?

Hello, Wrd.

The advice we've given in this thread is based on our experience, knowledge, and understanding of how publishing works, not just on online searches. And speaking to the authors who have submitted to you wouldn't have provided answers that would really help, I'm afraid, because they wouldn't necessarily know if you were a capable or professional publisher, just how their own submission process went.


We are a young company (started out offering editing services and expanded). We do not now, nor have we ever charged someone to publish their work. It is not unusual for a publishing company to offer multiple services.

It's always wise for writers to wait until a publisher is two or three years old before submitting. This gives the publisher time to prove itself. When new publishers start they don't necessarily have the knowledge or expertise required to make a good job of publishing, and often, the first few books they publish are not published well.

I'm glad you don't charge to publish books. But if you're offering paid-for services, and the writers you publish utilise those services, then you're a vanity publisher. You're earning money from the writers you publish, rather than from selling the books to new readers.

And yes it is unusual "for publishers to offer multiple services" when they're charging for any of those services. You don't see Penguin Random House charging writers for editing or marketing services, or for ghostwriting their books.


We limited our publishing to two books for the first year so we could offer the best to the publications. This year will see four books. It's not about quantity. Thank you thought, for your opinions of the book covers. All are doing well, but your input is appreciated.

If there is something you would like to know about Between the Lines Publishing - ask. I am happy to answer any questions.

It's very wise to restrict the number of books you publish. I wish more small presses would do this. And I'm glad you're happy to answer questions, and appreciate input, because I have some questions and some advice.

I'm glad your books are doing well: how many copies have you sold?

Do you separate your paying clients from the authors you publish? Do you expect the authors you publish to pay you to edit their work prior to publication?

I suggest you update your website: the design is poor, the writing on it is not very good, and it's full of grammatical and punctuation errors, which doesn't bode well for the editing services you provide.

WrdWvr
06-14-2017, 07:59 PM
First - as for experience, I have 15 years in the industry. The assumptions made within this thread were based on a site that was created 5 years ago when we only offered editing and creative writing services. This was updated to add the publishing aspect two years ago. Yes, at the time it was bare bones and still a work in progress. The site was updated in late May. It will never be a site over-run with text or graphics - it's meant to be streamlined. Having spent years designing business websites, I prefer keeping things simple.

No author, who submits a manuscript for publishing, has ever paid for editing. That is a service we offer to clients. Thank you for explaining vanity presses to me. Though, I have to admit, I don't enjoy being treated as if I just walked through the doors. I do know too many young writers who have fallen victim to vanity presses. We have had clients who shifted to our publishing side. When that happens, they do not pay for the editing and are no longer clients.

Book performance varies. One book sold 200+ copies during its release weekend, while another didn't do as well. We market for our authors, but expect them to engage with their readers as well. Their level of engagement reflects in the book's performance. With that in mind, we never stop working for our authors. BLP competitive royalty rates and is willing to take a chance on newer writers.

Cover art appears to be a particularly important part of the comments. Papyrus was used with intention and has not negatively impacted the reception the anthology received. We do not push our vision. Authors are fully engaged in the process and have final say on their art work. Some come to us with a completed cover design, while others are created in house. We offer suggestions and give caution where warranted, and while I have not personally agreed with some of the final art work, the end result is THEIR vision and voice. As to the artwork displayed on the services page: each belongs to the respective author and were provided to us post publishing.

You opened your comment mentioning the years of experience all of you have in the industry. How many years do you have working as a publisher or as an editor?

It was suggested that newer publishers should have a few years under their belt before authors submit to them. That is a circular argument. A publisher can not get experience without authors to publish. If potential authors avoid newer presses based on this advice, the press will inevitably fail.

I should have started this off with: A "young company" does not necessarily mean the owners/operators are inexperienced.

Marian Perera
06-14-2017, 08:20 PM
It was suggested that newer publishers should have a few years under their belt before authors submit to them. That is a circular argument.

I see it as a way writers can protect themselves. A lot of presses are founded on hope, optimism and good intentions, but then go out of business quickly. If writers wait a few years to see how a press does in the long run, the writers are less likely to be burned.

And if the press is a good one, they'll still be around in a few years.

Old Hack
06-14-2017, 08:29 PM
First - as for experience, I have 15 years in the industry.

It would really help if you mentioned this on your website. And if you explained what you've done during those fifteen years. It helps people understand who they might be working with.


The assumptions made within this thread were based on a site that was created 5 years ago when we only offered editing and creative writing services. This was updated to add the publishing aspect two years ago. Yes, at the time it was bare bones and still a work in progress. The site was updated in late May. It will never be a site over-run with text or graphics - it's meant to be streamlined. Having spent years designing business websites, I prefer keeping things simple.

I've made my comments based on how your website was when I looked at it. You should keep it current, rather than complaining that we don't understand that it was dated when we looked at it.

As your site stands right now, today, it's not "streamlined": it's poorly designed, and full of errors. It's not a good advertisement for your company.


No author, who submits a manuscript for publishing, has ever paid for editing. That is a service we offer to clients. Thank you for explaining vanity presses to me. Though, I have to admit, I don't enjoy being treated as if I just walked through the doors. I do know too many young writers who have fallen victim to vanity presses. We have had clients who shifted to our publishing side. When that happens, they do not pay for the editing and are no longer clients.


So first you say writers who submit to your publishing company have never paid for editing; then you say you HAVE published some of your editing clients. This is confusing.

And please, don't take our comments here personally. We're discussing a business, and whether it's in our interests to submit to that business.


Book performance varies. One book sold 200+ copies during its release weekend, while another didn't do as well.

Selling just 200 copies during release weekend is not good. But thank you for telling us that. I hope you do better in future.


We market for our authors, but expect them to engage with their readers as well. That reflects in the book's performance. With that in mind, we never stop working for our authors. BLP offers some of the best royalty rates (based on research with previously published authors and other publishers) in the business and is willing to take a chance on newer writers.

I've heard lots of publishers claim to offer some of the best royalty rates there are. But royalty rates are not the only thing writers should be concerned with, nor are good royalty rates enough to make a publisher good; and this claim is often invalidated by their calculating royalties on an undefined net, rather than on cover price.

All reputable publishers are "willing to take a chance on newer writers" if their writing is good enough. Implying otherwise, as you do here, does not reflect well on your knowledge or understanding of the publishing business. In fact, it's one of those Great Big Red Flags which often denote that we're dealing with a vanity press.


Cover art appears to be a particularly important part of the comments. Papyrus was used with intention and has not negatively impacted the reception the anthology received. We do not push our vision. Authors are fully engaged in the process and have final say on their art work. Some come to us with a completed cover design, while others are created in house. We offer suggestions and give caution where warranted, and while I have not personally agreed with some of the final art work, the end result is THEIR vision and voice. As to the artwork displayed on the services page: each belongs to the respective author and were provided to us post publishing.

So you're willing to let people without experience or expertise decide on one of the most important marketing tools you have as publishers: the design of your book jackets. Again, this does not reflect well on your abilities as a publisher.


You opened your comment mentioning the years of experience all of you have in the industry. How many years do you have working as a publisher or as an editor?

I can't remember exactly. More than thirty. Perhaps more than thirty five. I've worked for all of the Big Five, on both UK and US imprints, and for many independent publishers; I've worked for book packagers; I've worked in editorial, marketing, publicity and sales; I've spent some time in music, newspaper, and computer games publishing, too. I've won prizes for my marketing and publicity work, and I now work as a director for two specialist companies. In addition I have a masters degree in writing (with distinction), I've won over thirty prizes for my writing, and I've had over forty books published, some of which have been best-sellers across the world.


It was suggested that newer publishers should have a few years under their belt before authors submit to them. That is a circular argument. A publisher can not get experience without authors to publish. If potential authors avoid newer presses based on this advice, the press will inevitably fail.

I should have started this off with: A "young company" does not necessarily mean the owners/operators are inexperienced.

The suggestion that writers should not work with newer publishers is not a "circular argument", it's good sense. Let others allow new publishers to treat their books as learning experiences: my books are only going to be placed with good, established publishers who have proved they know what they're doing.

I agree that there are some young companies out there which are worth submitting to: but when I look at a company's website and see nothing about its principals, nothing about their background or skills or experience, and that website is as dire as yours is, I don't have much faith that they're going to do a good job of publishing my books.

WrdWvr
06-14-2017, 08:34 PM
I agree that all authors should do their own research on any publisher before submitting.

This is another reason we limited our first year to only two publications. This gave us the ability to focus on those publications quality and not simply churn out books like a mill. I do agree there are areas for improvement for both books - specifically with formatting. Both are in the process of being reformatted to give the content cleaner lines and improved appearance.

folclor
06-14-2017, 08:37 PM
I do not have years of experience and am barely published, so take whatever value that puts on my words:

As an author, your site does not appeal to me. It doesn't appear to be a product of knowledgeable web design in that the best way I know to describe it is unappealing. It doesn't even seem 'decent' for something made five years ago. Now, I think you could easily make it appealing, and I do understand that this sort of thing is completely subjective, but I would urge you to at least look at templates on host services like SquareSpace or Wix to get ideas.

The covers seem like they're made with the CreateSpace cover templates, something the authors could do themselves. Speaking of, how much marketing do you do for your books? Does most of it fall on the author's shoulders? My first publisher was that way and it was infuriating not understanding what that meant going in.

And this final aside: I'm glad to know you have experience, but there's no About page on your website. How are we supposed to know that you have experience or where you got it from?

WrdWvr
06-14-2017, 08:38 PM
What I said was: Authors have come to us for our editing services. During the process (we offer a free sample edit to all potential clients), if the editor sees a publishing opportunity (i.e. the book fits our theme), an offer is made. If the author accepts, then we shift the manuscript to our publishing side. This ends the client relationship and a publishing agreement is drawn up. No author, being published by us, has ever paid for editing.

Old Hack
06-14-2017, 09:06 PM
What I said was: Authors have come to us for our editing services. During the process (we offer a free sample edit to all potential clients), if the editor sees a publishing opportunity (i.e. the book fits our theme), an offer is made. If the author accepts, then we shift the manuscript to our publishing side. This ends the client relationship and a publishing agreement is drawn up. No author, being published by us, has ever paid for editing.

If they pay for editing and THEN you decide to publish them, do you refund them the money they paid for editing?

How many of the authors you've published have first paid you for editing and then become authors you publish?

And you've not yet told us what your publishing credentials are. Who have you edited for? Where have you worked? What's your expertise?

aliceshortcake
06-14-2017, 09:38 PM
WrdWvr, are you Cherie Macenka, the owner of BTL Publishing?

https://www.facebook.com/cherie.macenka?lst=100017378947691%3A1000000349652 95%3A1497461687

Also...homonym alert!


You can get updates and sneak peaks into this and other books by Blake at her author page found here.
http://www.btwnthelines.com/

(This is a teaser for a book whose back cover boasts reviews by 'Charlote D.' and 'Susan P.')


Julia's natural curiosity is peaked
https://www.facebook.com/btwnthelinespub/photos/a.551809001647722.1073741828.522224391272850/723780454450575/?type=3&theater

aliceshortcake
06-14-2017, 10:31 PM
Oooh, buttered, please!

Gravity
06-14-2017, 10:33 PM
Just ran out, Alice. Time for a beer run.

aliceshortcake
06-14-2017, 11:10 PM
It's rather ironic that there's a perfect example of the risks of going with a new publisher on BTL Publishing's own Facebook. The owner of Mighty Quill Books, founded in 2015, is struggling:

http://www.writinginadarkroom.com/posts/the-hardest-post-to-write

She's launched an appeal on Patreon and the company is currently seeking promotion team members, developmental editors, copy editors and proofreaders willing to work for free.

While we're on the subject of editing and proofreading, two of the three BTL books I looked at were not edited to a professional standard.

C Alberts
06-14-2017, 11:29 PM
While we're on the subject of editing and proofreading, two of the three BTL books I looked at were not edited to a professional standard.

I took advantage of Amazon's 'Look Inside' feature of one of their very recent releases. There's an obvious typo in the second sentence of page 2. A character's name is spelled 3 different ways in the first few pages (if this is deliberate for some reason it is certainly not clear from the sample pages shown).

Not a good first impression.

Round Two
06-14-2017, 11:45 PM
I agree that all authors should do their own research on any publisher before submitting.

This is another reason we limited our first year to only two publications. This gave us the ability to focus on those publications quality and not simply churn out books like a mill. I do agree there are areas for improvement for both books - specifically with formatting. Both are in the process of being reformatted to give the content cleaner lines and improved appearance.

You knowingly put out a book that did not meet market expectations? There simply is no excuse for this. None. You're not going to be graded on a curve or with any special consideration -- the things you publish are either ready to be on the shelf next to other publishers, including the Big Five and respected independent houses, or they're not. That decision is made by the publisher BEFORE a book sees the light of day. Why would you do that?

WrdWvr
06-15-2017, 01:41 AM
If they pay for editing and THEN you decide to publish them, do you refund them the money they paid for editing?

How many of the authors you've published have first paid you for editing and then become authors you publish?

And you've not yet told us what your publishing credentials are. Who have you edited for? Where have you worked? What's your expertise?

Okay - let me make this clearer for all of you - no one we have published has EVER paid for any service we offer. If an author requests a sample edit (this is free) and we decide from that sample to make an offer, we do. If they opt to only use the editing services, then we move forward with that agreement, but if they decide to accept our offer to publish, then we complete a publishing agreement. No money is exchanged.

Two of the authors we are publishing this year started out this way.


Like you I've been in the industry for a while - though you've got years on me. I respect your comments based on your experience and accept the changes that need to occur to the website. Funny thing is, it is based off a publishing template, but go figure. Thank you for that input. I started out as an intern for Bloomsbury, with several indie presses, and Oxford University Press. I have edited both fiction and academic non-fiction.

WrdWvr
06-15-2017, 01:47 AM
WrdWvr, are you Cherie Macenka, the owner of BTL Publishing?

https://www.facebook.com/cherie.macenka?lst=100017378947691%3A1000000349652 95%3A1497461687

Also...homonym alert!



(This is a teaser for a book whose back cover boasts reviews by 'Charlote D.' and 'Susan P.')


Not sure what you're question is here, but thank you for pointing out a human error - it's fixed. I take it your comment about the back cover boasts has a point. The reviews listed on the back cover are from ARC reviews. They can also be found on the web, written by the reviewer.

I am the owner of BLP and yes, that is my PERSONAL page. What's your point? If this is meant to be a professional conversation, then leave my personal page out of it. Unless your point is to simply attack another human being.

cornflake
06-15-2017, 01:50 AM
Jesus. I just looked at Ominous Tales -- I count three errors in the first two sentences. The antecedent issues alone render the thing incomprehensible.

The people who put this out not only put it out under the guise of a professional publishing outfit, they charge for editing.

Hubris is an amazing thing.

WrdWvr
06-15-2017, 01:53 AM
It's rather ironic that there's a perfect example of the risks of going with a new publisher on BTL Publishing's own Facebook. The owner of Mighty Quill Books, founded in 2015, is struggling:

http://www.writinginadarkroom.com/posts/the-hardest-post-to-write

She's launched an appeal on Patreon and the company is currently seeking promotion team members, developmental editors, copy editors and proofreaders willing to work for free.

While we're on the subject of editing and proofreading, two of the three BTL books I looked at were not edited to a professional standard.

Come on, are you planning on going after every post? Do you have issue with helping another author? Without knowing the full story, you've decided in your infinite wisdom to use their situation in this conversation. Unless you are privy to the details of a given situation, don't assume to judge.

So, since you're so quick with the know-it-all comments, why don't you tell me what YOUR experience is, shortcake. Have you owned a publishing company? What gives you the expertise to deem who is worthy of being in business or not?

BTW - while you're out on your beer run, grab a hard cider for me. ;-)

WrdWvr
06-15-2017, 02:08 AM
While this has been lovely, I can see there is zero chance at having a professional conversation. What started out as someone deciding the press was unworthy, but didn't know how to tell their friend, has turned into vitriol. BLP does not scam anyone nor do we require any published author to pay for services (clients yes - though not sure how many times I need to explain that one point). We work to market each book published, but expect our authors to participate in their own marketing.

With the exception of one (Old Hack (btw - love the name)) - none of you have offered your own expertise or experience. You sit, in self-appointed judgement, of publishing companies. If a company has scammed or hurt authors, then go to it. If they are a vanity press, have a good time, but going after indie presses (not just this one) who do not meet YOUR idea of being worthy of existence need to be left to succeed or fail on their own. You claim to be protecting new authors, yet nothing you've said above (again, with the exception of one) offered anything constructive or demonstrated how any author is at risk.

I wish all of you success it whatever it is you choose to do. I would appreciate your leaving my business - my livelihood alone.

cornflake
06-15-2017, 02:12 AM
While this has been lovely, I can see there is zero chance at having a professional conversation. What started out as someone deciding the press was unworthy, but didn't know how to tell their friend, has turned into vitriol. BLP does not scam anyone nor do we require any published author to pay for services (clients yes - though not sure how many times I need to explain that one point). We work to market each book published, but expect our authors to participate in their own marketing.

With the exception of one (Old Hack (btw - love the name)) - none of you have offered your own expertise or experience. You sit, in self-appointed judgement, of publishing companies. If a company has scammed or hurt authors, then go to it. If they are a vanity press, have a good time, but going after indie presses (not just this one) who do not meet YOUR idea of being worthy of existence need to be left to succeed or fail on their own. You claim to be protecting new authors, yet nothing you've said above (again, with the exception of one) offered anything constructive or demonstrated how any author is at risk.

I wish all of you success it whatever it is you choose to do. I would appreciate your leaving my business - my livelihood alone.

You put your business on the Internet.

If you're offering editing services for pay, and claiming to run a professional publishing concern, yet putting out books with numerous, glaring errors on the first page, I don't know what, exactly, you expected would happen.

People who know better are going to call that out. Sorry. This is the 'Bewares, Recommendations & Background Check' section. Your 'publishing company' is public. People are thus going to evaluate it and post their recommendations, based on what they see -- like lots of basic errors in published work.

If that's not something you enjoy, I'd suggest employing professional editors.

folclor
06-15-2017, 02:27 AM
While this has been lovely, I can see there is zero chance at having a professional conversation. What started out as someone deciding the press was unworthy, but didn't know how to tell their friend, has turned into vitriol. BLP does not scam anyone nor do we require any published author to pay for services (clients yes - though not sure how many times I need to explain that one point). We work to market each book published, but expect our authors to participate in their own marketing.

With the exception of one (Old Hack (btw - love the name)) - none of you have offered your own expertise or experience. You sit, in self-appointed judgement, of publishing companies. If a company has scammed or hurt authors, then go to it. If they are a vanity press, have a good time, but going after indie presses (not just this one) who do not meet YOUR idea of being worthy of existence need to be left to succeed or fail on their own. You claim to be protecting new authors, yet nothing you've said above (again, with the exception of one) offered anything constructive or demonstrated how any author is at risk.

I wish all of you success it whatever it is you choose to do. I would appreciate your leaving my business - my livelihood alone.

I mean... I did, but I guess you ignored me. Though my response was mostly about your website and covers. Considering I have a graphic design background and have been creating websites since 1997 (yes, I started web design at 7) that's the only expertise I can give you. I have never worked as a publisher or editor, but I know about websites and I know about good design. And it's kind of common sense to add an 'About' page. Take it for what you will, but your website and the covers of your books are the front line of what anyone finds about your company and right now it's not great.

Round Two
06-15-2017, 02:45 AM
While this has been lovely, I can see there is zero chance at having a professional conversation. What started out as someone deciding the press was unworthy, but didn't know how to tell their friend, has turned into vitriol. BLP does not scam anyone nor do we require any published author to pay for services (clients yes - though not sure how many times I need to explain that one point). We work to market each book published, but expect our authors to participate in their own marketing.

With the exception of one (Old Hack (btw - love the name)) - none of you have offered your own expertise or experience. You sit, in self-appointed judgement, of publishing companies. If a company has scammed or hurt authors, then go to it. If they are a vanity press, have a good time, but going after indie presses (not just this one) who do not meet YOUR idea of being worthy of existence need to be left to succeed or fail on their own. You claim to be protecting new authors, yet nothing you've said above (again, with the exception of one) offered anything constructive or demonstrated how any author is at risk.

I wish all of you success it whatever it is you choose to do. I would appreciate your leaving my business - my livelihood alone.

My experience - Seventeen years running publishing companies. Started two small publishing houses that I sold to larger publishing houses after building them, including one imprint that ended up with one of the Big Five. Old Hack can vouch for my track record.

The comment I made to you is that you can't produce a book (any product, really) that isn't up to market standard and expect to be graded on a curve because you're just starting out. I stand by that. Feel attacked if that makes you feel better, but the market itself is objective, and still isn't going to excuse sub-par products. And if you're basing your livelihood on those same products, you're playing a risky game that will not end well. Ever.

You understand why it hurts an author if his/her publisher has to reformat a book after it has already been released, right? You understand the association bookstores and readers make between authors and their books, I'm sure. You understand why protecting new authors from that kind of thing is constructive and how it helps keep authors from unnecessary risks.

WrdWvr
06-15-2017, 03:41 AM
I mean... I did, but I guess you ignored me. Though my response was mostly about your website and covers. Considering I have a graphic design background and have been creating websites since 1997 (yes, I started web design at 7) that's the only expertise I can give you. I have never worked as a publisher or editor, but I know about websites and I know about good design. And it's kind of common sense to add an 'About' page. Take it for what you will, but your website and the covers of your books are the front line of what anyone finds about your company and right now it's not great.

Thanks for the response. The about section of the webpage will be up soon - I appreciate that input. There are only four covers on the webpage - all were well received. If the conversation could be civil, I would happily ask for your professional opinion on how to improve them - but every comment I make here, even in explanation of something, gets turned back around.

WrdWvr
06-15-2017, 03:47 AM
My experience - Seventeen years running publishing companies. Started two small publishing houses that I sold to larger publishing houses after building them, including one imprint that ended up with one of the Big Five. Old Hack can vouch for my track record.

The comment I made to you is that you can't produce a book (any product, really) that isn't up to market standard and expect to be graded on a curve because you're just starting out. I stand by that. Feel attacked if that makes you feel better, but the market itself is objective, and still isn't going to excuse sub-par products. And if you're basing your livelihood on those same products, you're playing a risky game that will not end well. Ever.

You understand why it hurts an author if his/her publisher has to reformat a book after it has already been released, right? You understand the association bookstores and readers make between authors and their books, I'm sure. You understand why protecting new authors from that kind of thing is constructive and how it helps keep authors from unnecessary risks.

I do understand how authors are associated to their books. I appreciate your experience as well. I am not asking to be treated on a bell. The issue I had from the beginning is that someone had questions/concerns about my company. Instead of asking directly, they came here and started a thread asking for thoughts. Any professional would have approached the company in question and not pulled out comments such as in this thread. If they are so concerned for their friend - they should talk to them and express their opinion (for that is what it is). If they decide to go elsewhere, we would not hold them to the contract.

How is it acceptable to bring in my personal fb page? One has nothing to do with the other. That is where I brought up the attack mode this forum entered.

The question is - do you leave the vitriol standing or do you actually go back and look at those who have been deemed unworthy? I'm not looking for approval, just asking. It seems the only thing this thread has done is point how much of a disaster you consider my company. What exactly have any of you offered to help improve it (other than the about page)? Or are you only here to tear down?

Round Two
06-15-2017, 04:01 AM
The question is - do you leave the vitriol standing or do you actually go back and look at those who have been deemed unworthy? I'm not looking for approval, just asking. It seems the only thing this thread has done is point how much of a disaster you consider my company. What exactly have any of you offered to help improve it (other than the about page)? Or are you only here to tear down?

What am I offering to help improve your company? Nothing currently. If you want to pay me six figures, we can talk, though. Me making observations certainly doesn't necessitate that I do free work for you. Especially, because the particular issue the specific issue I brought up -- releasing an improperly formatted book into a marketplace that has standards--would require a time machine to fix at this point. I only asked why you would put out a book that wasn't going to meet consumer expectations.

cornflake
06-15-2017, 04:08 AM
I do understand how authors are associated to their books. I appreciate your experience as well. I am not asking to be treated on a bell. The issue I had from the beginning is that someone had questions/concerns about my company. Instead of asking directly, they came here and started a thread asking for thoughts. Any professional would have approached the company in question and not pulled out comments such as in this thread. If they are so concerned for their friend - they should talk to them and express their opinion (for that is what it is). If they decide to go elsewhere, we would not hold them to the contract.

How is it acceptable to bring in my personal fb page? One has nothing to do with the other. That is where I brought up the attack mode this forum entered.

The question is - do you leave the vitriol standing or do you actually go back and look at those who have been deemed unworthy? I'm not looking for approval, just asking. It seems the only thing this thread has done is point how much of a disaster you consider my company. What exactly have any of you offered to help improve it (other than the about page)? Or are you only here to tear down?

Your neighbour, Sue, who wants her house painted, signs a contract with a local painting company. If a mutual friend told you that the contract Sue signed seems concerning, because the pics of work they've done, posted on their webpage, look like crap, would you tell the friend that the best thing to do would be to call the painting company and ask them questions? Or, maybe, would you suggest asking around to see if anyone had experience with the company, looking at the houses in person, showing the website pics to other friends, etc.?

Professionals don't fuck around calling companies that seem sketchy to ask about the sketchiness. Why would they call the companies? What would anyone expect the people at the company to say but something positive? Due diligence involves actual sources, not biased ones. Your website and those unedited books with your company's name on them are actual sources of information.

I'm happy to help you edit, if you'd like. Contact me via PM for my rates.

WrdWvr
06-15-2017, 04:13 AM
What am I offering to help improve your company? Nothing currently. If you want to pay me six figures, we can talk, though. Me making observations certainly doesn't necessitate that I do free work for you. Especially, because the particular issue the specific issue I brought up -- releasing an improperly formatted book into a marketplace that has standards--would require a time machine to fix at this point. I only asked why you would put out a book that wasn't going to meet consumer expectations.

I'm not asking you to improve my company. It was a rhetorical question. I have 20 years experience running large businesses and that was before I joined the publishing industry. I asked if you only tear down something or if you actually offered constructive comments. Based on my financials, my business model is doing rather well.

The two books I was referring to are not substandard in their format. It was simply a comment.

Have a great night.

WrdWvr
06-15-2017, 04:19 AM
Your neighbour, Sue, who wants her house painted, signs a contract with a local painting company. If a mutual friend told you that the contract Sue signed seems concerning, because the pics of work they've done, posted on their webpage, look like crap, would you tell the friend that the best thing to do would be to call the painting company and ask them questions? Or, maybe, would you suggest asking around to see if anyone had experience with the company, looking at the houses in person, showing the website pics to other friends, etc.?

Professionals don't fuck around calling companies that seem sketchy to ask about the sketchiness. Why would they call the companies? What would anyone expect the people at the company to say but something positive? Due diligence involves actual sources, not biased ones. Your website and those unedited books with your company's name on them are actual sources of information.

I'm happy to help you edit, if you'd like. Contact me via PM for my rates.

Actually, I would express my concerns and suggest they ask questions. If I knew Sue was unaware of what to ask, I would offer suggestions on the type of questions to ask. She is afraid to burst their bubble, yet is willing to let them get in over their head (based on the earlier comments). Good friend.

Round Two
06-15-2017, 04:27 AM
I'm not asking you to improve my company. It was a rhetorical question. I have 20 years experience running large businesses and that was before I joined the publishing industry. I asked if you only tear down something or if you actually offered constructive comments. Based on my financials, my business model is doing rather well.

The two books I was referring to are not substandard in their format. It was simply a comment.

Have a great night.

Knowing what it takes to make money running a publishing company, I'm guessing we have radically different concepts of what "doing rather well" means. The formula involves a mixture of total number of titles available X number of units each book sells. You don't have many books out yet and I can see the sales ranks on Amazon. This isn't hard math to ballpark.

As far as the "substandard in their format" bit, this is from you, earlier in the thread "I do agree there are areas for improvement for both books - specifically with formatting. Both are in the process of being reformatted to give the content cleaner lines and improved appearance."

cornflake
06-15-2017, 04:28 AM
Actually, I would express my concerns and suggest they ask questions. If I knew Sue was unaware of what to ask, I would offer suggestions on the type of questions to ask. She is afraid to burst their bubble, yet is willing to let them get in over their head (based on the earlier comments). Good friend.

From what I can parse of that, I guess we're just different.

If my friend said she was submitting to a publishing company that put out error-ridden books, I'd simply tell her to run away, not call the company to ask about all the errors.

Unimportant
06-15-2017, 04:35 AM
The issue I had from the beginning is that someone had questions/concerns about my company. Instead of asking directly, they came here and started a thread asking for thoughts. Any professional would have approached the company in question and not pulled out comments such as in this thread.
Well, no, not really. This forum has tens of thousands of members, nearly all of whom are professional (in the behavioral sense of the word), so it's standard practice here to start threads about publishers and ask "Hey, does anyone have experience or info about this press?" Take a look at this subforum -- it's a zillion miles long! And most threads have proven extremely useful. If you have time to spare, you can scroll through some and see how the experts here, like Old Hack, have time and time again predicted with perfect accuracy the implosion, downward spiral, or trajectory to success that presses experienced.

Unimportant
06-15-2017, 04:52 AM
From what I can parse of that, I guess we're just different.

If my friend said she was submitting to a publishing company that put out error-ridden books, I'd simply tell her to run away, not call the company to ask about all the errors.
Yep, that's my reaction too. If I check out a publisher and its website or published books have lots of typos and grammatical errors, I just hit the X button and move on.

So, if the owner of BTLP is looking for feedback, here's mine: Less than one minute on your website was enough to make me hit the X button and move on.

chompers
06-15-2017, 06:06 AM
It was suggested that newer publishers should have a few years under their belt before authors submit to them. That is a circular argument. A publisher can not get experience without authors to publish. If potential authors avoid newer presses based on this advice, the press will inevitably fail.


I understand the need to be cautious and pragmatic with new companies, but at the same time I've always felt it was a bit of a Catch-22. A person should wait for a few years to see how the company is doing before submitting. Let others test the waters? But the advice is telling everyone to not be the ones to try, but to wait it out. And yet if everybody is doing that, how is the company going to be able to prove themself? All companies need to start off somewhere, oui?

BenPanced
06-15-2017, 06:40 AM
I have 20 years experience running large businesses and that was before I joined the publishing industry.

It's probably been asked already, so I'll ask it again: but what sort of experience do you have running a publishing company? Having that much experience is certainly helpful but what have you done in the industry before that makes you qualified to operate this venture? These threads are loaded with companies that were started by people with extensive knowledge operating their own businesses but, in the end, that didn't help because without the experience that comes with working in and for publishers, the publishers folded.

That is what we're actually trying to prevent.

Believe it or not, we want your business to succeed. Really. Honestly and truly. With so many companies that go under during their first five years of operation, we honestly, truly, and really do want to see your business flourish. In the end, however, if your company fails, it's a long, ugly, complicated mess if it's not handled correctly; an author stands to lose a lot if something happens next week and you have to shutter the company's doors. Many, many people who have answered this thread have years of experience in the publishing industry in one form another; some are authors all the way up to editors and agents.

We're not pulling random scary stories and threats out of our asses just to piss you off and harangue you into taking your ball and going home. We are speaking from years of experience, based on what we've seen in other publishing firms and what we've seen happen in front of us. But in the end, you take whatever you decide from the advice that's being given. Up to you. Just understand, once again, we're actually trying to help.

Filigree
06-15-2017, 06:45 AM
I take chances on new presses when I know the people involved have experience in publishing and/or publishing related fields. They need to have professional formatting, covers, and marketing...as well as enough capital to weather the first couple of years. And even then they're a risky bet, because new presses can crash and burn very easily.

I feel for Wrd and Between The Lines, but publishing is a business. No one gets graded on a curve if you put products on public display, for sale.

WrdWvr
06-15-2017, 07:14 AM
It's probably been asked already, so I'll ask it again: but what sort of experience do you have running a publishing company? Having that much experience is certainly helpful but what have you done in the industry before that makes you qualified to operate this venture? These threads are loaded with companies that were started by people with extensive knowledge operating their own businesses but, in the end, that didn't help because without the experience that comes with working in and for publishers, the publishers folded.

That is what we're actually trying to prevent.

Believe it or not, we want your business to succeed. Really. Honestly and truly. With so many companies that go under during their first five years of operation, we honestly, truly, and really do want to see your business flourish. In the end, however, if your company fails, it's a long, ugly, complicated mess if it's not handled correctly; an author stands to lose a lot if something happens next week and you have to shutter the company's doors. Many, many people who have answered this thread have years of experience in the publishing industry in one form another; some are authors all the way up to editors and agents.

We're not pulling random scary stories and threats out of our asses just to piss you off and harangue you into taking your ball and going home. We are speaking from years of experience, based on what we've seen in other publishing firms and what we've seen happen in front of us. But in the end, you take whatever you decide from the advice that's being given. Up to you. Just understand, once again, we're actually trying to help.

Thank you - I honestly appreciate your response.

My experience feels like multiple lives lived simultaneously. Business wise, I've worked as an senior operations manager in the financial world, was a business manager for multiple small companies - creating budgets, business models, and running the day to day operations. In the publishing world, I started as an intern as a proofreader and editor at Bloomsbury. I worked for several smaller presses in the UK and US (editing and running daily operations). I worked with Oxford Uni Press with academic non-fiction editing.

I knew better than to start a business without having at least 2 years capital reserves.

Marian Perera
06-15-2017, 07:17 AM
The issue I had from the beginning is that someone had questions/concerns about my company. Instead of asking directly, they came here and started a thread asking for thoughts. Any professional would have approached the company in question and not pulled out comments such as in this thread.

I'm just curious. If I'm considering buying a new Toyota, would you consider it unprofessional of me to look at customer reports or independent publications which focus on cars? Is the only appropriate course of action to contact Toyota and ask their opinion of their own cars?

Marian Perera
06-15-2017, 07:30 AM
I understand the need to be cautious and pragmatic with new companies, but at the same time I've always felt it was a bit of a Catch-22. A person should wait for a few years to see how the company is doing before submitting. Let others test the waters? But the advice is telling everyone to not be the ones to try, but to wait it out. And yet if everybody is doing that, how is the company going to be able to prove themself? All companies need to start off somewhere, oui?

Mais oui. But not all starts are equal.

Del Rey (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judy-Lynn_del_Rey) was created by Judy Lynn Del Rey, an experienced editor, and Lester Del Rey, an established author.

Tor (http://www.locusmag.com/2003/Issue10/Doherty.html) was founded by Tom Doherty, who had a lot of background when it came to the industry. From the link: "He was a salesman for Pocket Books in 1959 when he met Ian Ballantine, who taught him about publishing. A variety of sales and publishing jobs later, Doherty became publisher of Ace in 1975, where he remained for five years until starting Tor Books in 1980."

DAW (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_A._Wollheim) - Donald A. Wollheim was an editor at Avon and Ace before he founded DAW Books in 1972.

If a press is founded by people with experience, and if the press looks professional from the start, there's less risk for writers. But a lot of presses these days aren't like this, and they implode. Advising writers to wait might seem unfair to the press, but I'd rather look out for writers.

As for how such new presses prove themselves, they can do that with the writers who want to take a risk, or who don't think it's a risk, or who aren't aware it's a risk. There will always be plenty of these.

Unimportant
06-15-2017, 07:36 AM
I understand the need to be cautious and pragmatic with new companies, but at the same time I've always felt it was a bit of a Catch-22. A person should wait for a few years to see how the company is doing before submitting. Let others test the waters? But the advice is telling everyone to not be the ones to try, but to wait it out. And yet if everybody is doing that, how is the company going to be able to prove themself? All companies need to start off somewhere, oui?
The presses I've watched start up and continue successfully have had a few things in common. First, they are run by people with sufficient industry experience that they can hit the ground running and put out a top notch product wrt editing, cover art, etc right from the first title. Second, they are run by people with sufficient industry ties that before they even open for business they can shoulder-tap some established authors and contract some books with them, so that the first titles the press releases are from known authors with a built in readership. Success then breeds success.

cornflake
06-15-2017, 07:55 AM
Thank you - I honestly appreciate your response.

My experience feels like multiple lives lived simultaneously. Business wise, I've worked as an senior operations manager in the financial world, was a business manager for multiple small companies - creating budgets, business models, and running the day to day operations. In the publishing world, I started as an intern as a proofreader and editor at Bloomsbury. I worked for several smaller presses in the UK and US (editing and running daily operations). I worked with Oxford Uni Press with academic non-fiction editing.

I knew better than to start a business without having at least 2 years capital reserves.

I'm sorry, I don't understand the bolded.

Also, if you've worked as an editor, why not either edit the books yourself or hire an editor? You have to know how bad it looks to have error-filled titles under your company's name.

Old Hack
06-15-2017, 11:12 AM
Okay - let me make this clearer for all of you - no one we have published has EVER paid for any service we offer. If an author requests a sample edit (this is free) and we decide from that sample to make an offer, we do. If they opt to only use the editing services, then we move forward with that agreement, but if they decide to accept our offer to publish, then we complete a publishing agreement. No money is exchanged.

Two of the authors we are publishing this year started out this way.

Thank you for clearing that up. Much appreciated. I know I was banging on about it, but I have seen so many publishers weasel their way through getting authors to pay for their services that I feel it's important to know how things work.

You've published one anthology and two books by single authors so far. So are you telling me that you offered to publish those two books after having only read a sample they sent you for editing? Because if so, that's not good.


Like you I've been in the industry for a while - though you've got years on me. I respect your comments based on your experience and accept the changes that need to occur to the website. Funny thing is, it is based off a publishing template, but go figure. Thank you for that input. I started out as an intern for Bloomsbury, with several indie presses, and Oxford University Press. I have edited both fiction and academic non-fiction.

Publishing template? I don't understand.

I also am confused that you have interned for Bloomsbury and the UOP, because it is usual to remain in one genre when working in publishing; and it seems from your background that you live and work in the US, not in the UK.


While this has been lovely, I can see there is zero chance at having a professional conversation. What started out as someone deciding the press was unworthy, but didn't know how to tell their friend, has turned into vitriol. BLP does not scam anyone nor do we require any published author to pay for services (clients yes - though not sure how many times I need to explain that one point). We work to market each book published, but expect our authors to participate in their own marketing.

With the exception of one (Old Hack (btw - love the name)) - none of you have offered your own expertise or experience. You sit, in self-appointed judgement, of publishing companies. If a company has scammed or hurt authors, then go to it. If they are a vanity press, have a good time, but going after indie presses (not just this one) who do not meet YOUR idea of being worthy of existence need to be left to succeed or fail on their own. You claim to be protecting new authors, yet nothing you've said above (again, with the exception of one) offered anything constructive or demonstrated how any author is at risk.

I wish all of you success it whatever it is you choose to do. I would appreciate your leaving my business - my livelihood alone.

I see no vitriol here and if I did, I would stamp on it (and don't forget, you can report posts you feel are inappropriate by clicking on the little warning triangle on that particular post). What I do see is people asking tough but reasonable questions about a publishing house, and the principal of that publishing house responding with less than good grace.


I do understand how authors are associated to their books. I appreciate your experience as well. I am not asking to be treated on a bell. The issue I had from the beginning is that someone had questions/concerns about my company. Instead of asking directly, they came here and started a thread asking for thoughts. Any professional would have approached the company in question and not pulled out comments such as in this thread. If they are so concerned for their friend - they should talk to them and express their opinion (for that is what it is). If they decide to go elsewhere, we would not hold them to the contract.

If you want to employ someone, you ask others who have worked for them, or who have experience in their business, for references. That's what we're doing here.

There's little point asking a press if they're competent and reputable because they're all going to say that yes, they are. So asking you directly would not have been effective. Analysing the information we have on you has revealed a few things that we weren't sure of before. It's revealed that your editing is terrible, your covers are terrible, and your website is terrible; that you don't seem to have much experience in publishing; your books aren't selling well; and you don't respond well to being asked tough questions, which suggests you might be difficult to work with.


I'm not asking you to improve my company. It was a rhetorical question. I have 20 years experience running large businesses and that was before I joined the publishing industry. I asked if you only tear down something or if you actually offered constructive comments. Based on my financials, my business model is doing rather well.

So you worked for twenty years running large businesses, and then you started work in publishing, where you've been for fifteen years. That makes thirty five years, which is about the same amount of time I've been working. Which would make you about the same age as me. I'm 54. But you look a LOT younger than me in your Facebook profile. What moisturiser do you use?


My experience feels like multiple lives lived simultaneously. Business wise, I've worked as an senior operations manager in the financial world, was a business manager for multiple small companies - creating budgets, business models, and running the day to day operations. In the publishing world, I started as an intern as a proofreader and editor at Bloomsbury. I worked for several smaller presses in the UK and US (editing and running daily operations). I worked with Oxford Uni Press with academic non-fiction editing.

I knew better than to start a business without having at least 2 years capital reserves.

If you have worked in editing for Bloomsbury and the OUP (I've never heard of it referred to as Oxford Uni Press before, and the people I know who work there always include the "the") then you should know your stuff. So why have you published books which are in such dire need of a good editor? I am sorry to be so blunt: but I've read the first ten pages or so of each of the books you've published and they are all in need of a lot of work. I couldn't let books go out into the world in such poor shape.

WrdWvr
06-15-2017, 11:49 AM
Just to clear things up - I'm your age. Thanks for thinking so - the pic is a few years old.

I live in the US now, but did live in the UK for many years (the pic was taken at our house in Sheffield).

Thank you for you input. I wasn't suggesting they ask if I or anyone who works at BLP is competent. That would be ridiculous. There are questions such as how many books have you sold? What is your marketing strategy? Who do you sell through? Basic questions that any author should ask any potential publisher - no matter what is on their website.

Have a good night.

Old Hack
06-15-2017, 05:32 PM
Just to clear things up - I'm your age. Thanks for thinking so - the pic is a few years old.

I live in the US now, but did live in the UK for many years (the pic was taken at our house in Sheffield).

You wear your age much better than I do. Where did you live in Sheffield? I live there. It's a gorgeous day here today.

ETA: Sorry, posted too soon. It's a lovely place to live. But it's quite a way away from London, where Bloomsbury is, and from Oxford. You must have lived all over the UK, or had a rather long commute.

Richard White
06-15-2017, 06:09 PM
I understand the need to be cautious and pragmatic with new companies, but at the same time I've always felt it was a bit of a Catch-22. A person should wait for a few years to see how the company is doing before submitting. Let others test the waters? But the advice is telling everyone to not be the ones to try, but to wait it out. And yet if everybody is doing that, how is the company going to be able to prove themself? All companies need to start off somewhere, oui?

Chompers,

I don't presume to speak for everyone, but here's how I see it after all these years working with Writer Beware:

A new publisher should have experience in the publishing business. They should have worked with a company, even if it's a small one, and learned things like how to project sales, project costs (hiring editors, hiring cover artists, hiring marketing personnel), and seen how the business rises and falls.

A new publisher should be able to show their experience as well as the experience of those working beneath them. No, the publisher doesn't have to hire an all-star crew right off the bat, but they should have enough experienced people working for them to train up their less-experienced staff. Why would you let a new publisher LEARN the business with your book? If you spent years getting your book ready to go to press, shouldn't the press have years of experience to get your book out to the public? After all, who does the public remember if the book is not up to snuff - the publisher or the author?

A new publisher should have enough experience that they've developed a business plan and adhere to it when they get started.

A new publisher should be more than sufficiently capitalized before they ever let anyone know they're even thinking about opening their doors.

A new publisher (with sufficient experience) should have authors they've already worked with and know lined up and their books ready to go BEFORE they ever open their doors.

For example, a new publisher opened a couple of years ago - they'd been an editor at a big-5 publisher, so people already knew who they were - and they approached a specific writer's group for a very limited number of books. These writers knew, or knew people who knew, this new publisher. The books were written, edited, and prepped well before the publisher ever let the general public know they were going to be open for business, and when the first set of books came out, they'd been well-marketed, had great reviews weeks/months ahead of time, and the authors were ready to talk about them during the summer convention circuits. AND, they still only do a few books a year so they can ensure each gets the attention they need versus some publishers who dump 50-100 books out in a year and hope something sticks.

And even with all this, even well prepared publishers still go out of business within 2-5 years of opening their doors, just like every other small business. Markets change, unexpected expenses drain reserves, a frivolous lawsuit, illness/injury to key personnel within the small company, etc., none of these things are necessarily the fault of the publisher, but they can happen. The difference is, if the publisher is professional, if they have a contingency plan for if it doesn't work, then books get reverted their authors, monies owed get paid to the authors, and everyone moves on older but wiser. If the company is not well-organized and well-prepared BEFORE they open their door the first time, well, we have example after example in the grayed-out links in the index of publishers who started, flamed out, and disappeared taking hopes, dreams, and money with them in about two years time.

So, while you don't necessarily have to wait two years to see if a publisher is going to make it, you should be able to see specific signs right off the bat whether they have a chance of making it or not.

Thedrellum
06-15-2017, 08:17 PM
Just to clear things up - I'm your age. Thanks for thinking so - the pic is a few years old.

I live in the US now, but did live in the UK for many years (the pic was taken at our house in Sheffield).

Thank you for you input. I wasn't suggesting they ask if I or anyone who works at BLP is competent. That would be ridiculous. There are questions such as how many books have you sold? What is your marketing strategy? Who do you sell through? Basic questions that any author should ask any potential publisher - no matter what is on their website.

Have a good night.

So, questions:

1. How many books have you sold?

2. What is your marketing strategy?

3. Who do you sell through?

4. If you have two years' worth of capital, have you factored in hiring professional editors? Or someone to redesign your website?

C Alberts
06-15-2017, 10:13 PM
Some specific questions -

1 - Can the publisher address the glaring typos in the opening pages of their most recent book?

2 - Does the publisher have plans for bookstore distribution? As far as I can see, there is currently nothing in place. There is an email address on the website for bookstores and libraries to contact if they want info for 'special discounts'. Are these discounts industry standard (40%+ off list price, reasonable minimums, free shipping, returnable)?

WrdWvr
06-16-2017, 03:08 AM
You wear your age much better than I do. Where did you live in Sheffield? I live there. It's a gorgeous day here today.

ETA: Sorry, posted too soon. It's a lovely place to live. But it's quite a way away from London, where Bloomsbury is, and from Oxford. You must have lived all over the UK, or had a rather long commute.

We lived in Manor Top (Waltheof Road) - they were revitalizing the area and building some lovely two story flats. Though we were close to the tram lines to get into the city.

We have lived in London, Manchester, Sheffield, and Leicester. Bloomsbury was only for a little over a year while in London. Oxford was remote work - have to love the internet. Have been considering returning - depending on how things go immigration wise. :-)

WrdWvr
06-16-2017, 03:44 AM
Some specific questions -

1 - Can the publisher address the glaring typos in the opening pages of their most recent book?

2 - Does the publisher have plans for bookstore distribution? As far as I can see, there is currently nothing in place. There is an email address on the website for bookstores and libraries to contact if they want info for 'special discounts'. Are these discounts industry standard (40%+ off list price, reasonable minimums, free shipping, returnable)?

Yes, we do offer the industry standard to bookstores. We have multiple local shops (Twin Cities) that carry our books - based on the genre.

Authors are paid royalties based off list price and not selling price. Royalty percentage increases as sales do.

Authors receive a print run at time of release that does not impact their royalties (we cover this cost).

There are provisions within the publishing agreement allowing for the author to end the contract and covers any outstanding royalties if something were to happen. Having been screwed over as a young writer - I wanted to ensure any author we published would be protected.

Author's included in our anthologies retain their rights. The rights of authors who publish through us revert back to the author a year a day from publication.

This was started with a strong business model, 5+ years of capital, as well as additional capital to open a shop during the next 9-12 months.

Marketing: we utilize social media with a promotions company that includes a release blitz/blog tour. Books are listed with the IBPA catalogue, as well as included with various book fairs. The book fairs/expos are genre specific. Where possible, book signings are arranged local to the author.

Sales: The first book we published sold 200 copies - the author refused to do any marketing or engage with their readers beyond our own marketing. While we will work for our authors, their lack of engagement will impact sales. The anthology sold over 5000 copies. It performed better as a paperback sold through various expos and literary venues than it did digitally.

We added an editor and graphic designer to the team at the end of May.

I do know how easy it is for a business to go under - a single negative event can crumble everything. This business venture was not entered into on a whim. I do not take the future of the business nor the authors who do approach us lightly. The contract was tailored to ensure they are compensated no matter what happens. We have several markers to consider this a success - one is the ability to offer substantial advances to our authors.

I am sure, based on how things have gone, that what I've said above won't matter, but I've attempted to answer questions. Despite what any of you may think, I do appreciate feedback and have not closed my eyes to it.

Old Hack
06-16-2017, 10:10 AM
We lived in Manor Top (Waltheof Road) - they were revitalizing the area and building some lovely two story flats. Though we were close to the tram lines to get into the city.

You lived at Manor Top? Blimey. You must be hard. That area is notorious for its crime and anti-social behaviour. Until relatively recently you could buy houses there for under 2,000. Houses.


We have lived in London, Manchester, Sheffield, and Leicester. Bloomsbury was only for a little over a year while in London. Oxford was remote work - have to love the internet. Have been considering returning - depending on how things go immigration wise. :-)

I didn't realise the OUP used remote interns: I thought they only had their Summer Programme (http://global.oup.com/careers/Internship/). I'll speak to a friend about that.

Moving on, you're making sense with many of the things you're telling us about how your publishing business works. But that's not balanced out by what we can see for ourselves: your unattractive website, the poor design, the dreadful covers and editing, and so on. I wish it weren't so, but there you go.

mccardey
06-16-2017, 02:19 PM
I understand the need to be cautious and pragmatic with new companies, but at the same time I've always felt it was a bit of a Catch-22. A person should wait for a few years to see how the company is doing before submitting. Let others test the waters? But the advice is telling everyone to not be the ones to try, but to wait it out. And yet if everybody is doing that, how is the company going to be able to prove themself? All companies need to start off somewhere, oui?Try that with a doctor. Or a car mechanic. Shoot - try that in advertising, see how it works.

Professional, dude. It's a thing.

Marian Perera
06-16-2017, 06:17 PM
Try that with a doctor.

Heh. I always wonder if the "give publishers a chance" reasoning works when it comes to, say, surgery. Would people entrust their lives to a just-graduated medical student because all surgeons have to start off somewhere, and students need to prove themselves?

WrdWvr
06-16-2017, 07:16 PM
Some of the area was bad. The area we were in had new townhomes. We had things stolen from our garden she'd. Even took a fence panel off to steal the bile chained to it. Sadly, happened whole we were at Alderhey childrens in Liverpool with our son. Loved having a view of the ruins, though.

Still crazy through Oct with fireworks? Seemed they wanted to celebrate Guy with cannons.

I didn't intern with OUP, just Bloomsbury. I helped out with OUP while living in Leicester and only for a few months. The majority of my time was with small presses.

WrdWvr
06-16-2017, 07:18 PM
Heh. I always wonder if the "give publishers a chance" reasoning works when it comes to, say, surgery. Would people entrust their lives to a just-graduated medical student because all surgeons have to start off somewhere, and students need to prove themselves?

You do realize that once your under, you can have a first year surgical resident operating on you? An instructor is next to them, but it's how they learn. 😉

C Alberts
06-16-2017, 11:24 PM
Yes, we do offer the industry standard to bookstores. We have multiple local shops (Twin Cities) that carry our books - based on the genre...


I appreciate the reply, but you didn't quite answer any of my questions (perhaps you meant to quote a different post, as there was a lot of information in your reply that didn't pertain to what I asked which is why I only quoted your first sentence).

Again, do you have plans for bookstore distribution? Having some local shops carrying the books is not what is meant by distribution. Do those shops order the books from you? Or does the author have to buy and provide copies for those shops to carry them on consignment?

What are your discount terms directly to bookstores? Are they returnable for full credit? What is your minimum quantity/cost for free shipping to a store?

Your terms through Ingram are prohibitive. Given your small catalog, I'm sure you realize that most bookstores will not want to work directly with you. Even a small bookstore can have ten thousand different titles, and most shops prefer not to have another vendor for just a few books. If you want your books on shelves in stores, I would imagine you have a game plan for this.

Not every publisher wants or needs extensive bookstore distribution depending on their goals, genre, etc, so it is okay if you don't have such intentions, but a clear answer would be much appreciated.

Are you willing to address the major typos in the recent book you published? You've mentioned that you've hired an editor, but that isn't really an answer, and it isn't clear that you even recognize the problem (unless I missed something in an earlier post in which case I apologize - I know you addressed issues with the books you put out last year, but there is one that just released a couple of weeks ago with major issues just in the first few pages and I don't see a straight answer about that).

Old Hack
06-17-2017, 12:45 AM
Some of the area was bad. The area we were in had new townhomes. We had things stolen from our garden she'd. Even took a fence panel off to steal the bile chained to it. Sadly, happened whole we were at Alderhey childrens in Liverpool with our son. Loved having a view of the ruins, though.

There isn't a single corner of Manor Top that I'd consider living in, and I've almost lived in Tottenham. As I said, you must be very hard to have lived there. Really. A few years ago it was decided that fire engines could only go to Manor Top with a police escort, because of the violence the fire fighters encountered when they went to help there. It's one of the UK's gun-crime hotspots, the police station closed because of the threats and violence, and crime levels there are through the roof.

I'm so sorry your son was ill. That must have been a very difficult time for you, especially with all the travelling you must have had to do. It's odd that you went to Alder Hey when Sheffield has its own children's hospital, which is counted as one of the best in the country. I know some specialists are better than others, so understand you might have decided to be referred there but still. It's such a long way away, especially when Sheffield Children's Hospital is so great. My children were both born with disabilities and they have had excellent, world-leading treatment at SCH. I will always be grateful for it.


Still crazy through Oct with fireworks? Seemed they wanted to celebrate Guy with cannons.

I think those fireworks were vehicles. Just saying.


I didn't intern with OUP, just Bloomsbury. I helped out with OUP while living in Leicester and only for a few months. The majority of my time was with small presses.

But in an earlier post you wrote this:


I started out as an intern for Bloomsbury, with several indie presses, and Oxford University Press. I have edited both fiction and academic non-fiction.

You said you started out as an intern at Bloomsbury, several indie presses, and the OUP. But now you're saying you didn't. I don't understand.


I appreciate the reply, but you didn't quite answer any of my questions (perhaps you meant to quote a different post, as there was a lot of information in your reply that didn't pertain to what I asked which is why I only quoted your first sentence).

Again, do you have plans for bookstore distribution? Having some local shops carrying the books is not what is meant by distribution. Do those shops order the books from you? Or does the author have to buy and provide copies for those shops to carry them on consignment?

I know you weren't asking me, but let me answer anyway.

Publishers with only three or four books out, and sales figures as low as have been quoted in this thread, won't find it easy to get good distributors willing to work with them no matter what their intentions are. Distributors want to know that the publishers they work with have a schedule of great books ahead of them, all published to high standards, and with good marketing support. It's hard to be sure that this is the case, so they expect their publishers to have a history of great books, good production values, and high sales. At this time, BTL has none of these things, so they are extremely unlikely to have access to full distribution.


Are you willing to address the major typos in the recent book you published? You've mentioned that you've hired an editor, but that isn't really an answer, and it isn't clear that you even recognize the problem (unless I missed something in an earlier post in which case I apologize - I know you addressed issues with the books you put out last year, but there is one that just released a couple of weeks ago with major issues just in the first few pages and I don't see a straight answer about that).

Once books are published it's really too late to change them. The damage has already been done. And yes, I've seen those major issues and I am still wincing when I think of it. Which is why I wonder what WrdWvr's experience in publishing is, as I doubt it was as an editor.

C Alberts
06-17-2017, 02:01 AM
I know you weren't asking me, but let me answer anyway.

Publishers with only three or four books out, and sales figures as low as have been quoted in this thread, won't find it easy to get good distributors willing to work with them no matter what their intentions are. Distributors want to know that the publishers they work with have a schedule of great books ahead of them, all published to high standards, and with good marketing support. It's hard to be sure that this is the case, so they expect their publishers to have a history of great books, good production values, and high sales. At this time, BTL has none of these things, so they are extremely unlikely to have access to full distribution.

All of this is true. Tiny presses, even new ones with very few titles, can get distribution (through IPS or SPD or IPG, for example) but as you say they do need well-produced books, timely ARCs and other marketing, and a schedule of upcoming releases. But I'm asking these questions of the publisher to try to suss out if she understands how distribution works. I'm assuming given the types of books they are publishing (quality aside) that bookstore distribution is not a priority but I want to know if she will say as much because authors will want to know this. She has referenced getting their books into local shops, but that doesn't mean much of anything. As it is, they don't even offer standard terms through Ingram (I checked - all have a prohibitively short discount, and 2 of 3 titles are listed as nonreturnable).



Once books are published it's really too late to change them. The damage has already been done. And yes, I've seen those major issues and I am still wincing when I think of it. Which is why I wonder what WrdWvr's experience in publishing is, as I doubt it was as an editor.

Also true. I wonder the same thing, and I find it very troubling that the closest she has come to addressing it is saying that they recently hired an editor. If she has worked as an editor and proofreader then I wonder where her standards are and how that book made it to press as it is.

I'm also mildly horrified that, in her response to me, she referenced an author's refusal to do marketing as a reason for sales of only 200 copies. But that leads to another whole set of questions and I'm trying to keep things simple and specific to see if I get straight answers.

chompers
06-17-2017, 02:40 AM
Try that with a doctor. Or a car mechanic. Shoot - try that in advertising, see how it works.

Professional, dude. It's a thing.Having a skillset and opening up a new business is not the same. You need the skillset to be able to not fail, but companies usually need time to build up their clientele.

Thanks to all who explained it. I understand it a bit better now.

WrdWvr
06-17-2017, 03:09 AM
I'm not sure why anything is listed as non-returnable with Ingram - I've not listed the company or books with them. Interesting...

Bookstores - buy directly from us (for now). Books get listed in IBPA's catalogue and through showcased at various book expo/events. Yes, we offer the industry standard of 40% off list, with the ability to return for full credit. We won't charge for shipping on orders of less than 10. We pay return shipping.

Yes, the catalogue is small and we are working to grow it. I refuse to push out a dozen books a year simply to create a larger catalogue. Eventually, we would like to expand distribution beyond the handful of local stores. For now, we focus on building the catalogue.

For the recent release, yes that book will be addressed as well. Hence the new editor - the one responsible for that book was let go. The company started with three - I focused on the building the business network. I have experience as an editor - but that consistently seems be confused here. I started as an intern with Bloomsbury, as a proofreader, years ago while living in London. I have over the years worked with several small publishing houses in both the US and UK (remotely). This is while living in Manchester and Sheffield. When we moved to Leicester, I edited for students' dissertations. It was at that time I worked a couple of months with OUP. I wanted to bring in an editor with more experience, which happened only a few weeks ago. Ultimately, it's on me, because it's my name and money that is attached to this business.

As for the author who's book didn't perform as well as was hoped - she left marketing to us and refused to engage with readers to any degree. It doesn't mean we left it to the side - we have continued to market it. It was one example, our other books are selling.

WrdWvr
06-17-2017, 03:21 AM
There isn't a single corner of Manor Top that I'd consider living in, and I've almost lived in Tottenham. As I said, you must be very hard to have lived there. Really. A few years ago it was decided that fire engines could only go to Manor Top with a police escort, because of the violence the fire fighters encountered when they went to help there. It's one of the UK's gun-crime hotspots, the police station closed because of the threats and violence, and crime levels there are through the roof.

Wow. When we moved to the area - from Manchester - no one shared its reputation with us. The town homes were brand new and that section looked really nice, but over the year we were there, we discovered looks can be deceiving.


I'm so sorry your son was ill. That must have been a very difficult time for you, especially with all the travelling you must have had to do. It's odd that you went to Alder Hey when Sheffield has its own children's hospital, which is counted as one of the best in the country. I know some specialists are better than others, so understand you might have decided to be referred there but still. It's such a long way away, especially when Sheffield Children's Hospital is so great. My children were both born with disabilities and they have had excellent, world-leading treatment at SCH. I will always be grateful for it.

The NHS. We were living in Manchester when they decided he needed open heart surgery. We explained that we were moving and they tried to get us into Leeds (they never mentioned Sheffield). No go and we ended up in Liverpool.

Based on what you say about the area, maybe it was cars. It felt like a war zone. We have restrictions on decibel levels in the states.

I explained the experience a bit more in the previous post.

I realize asking this will open up a can of worms, but how is it we have listings on Ingram when I haven't submitted anything to them - especially with terms/discounts? I get it if the purpose of the thread is for me to be on the bottom of a dog pile, but I would appreciate knowing so I can get it fixed.

C Alberts
06-17-2017, 03:32 AM
I'm not sure why anything is listed as non-returnable with Ingram - I've not listed the company or books with them. Interesting...

Do you use Ingram's POD service, Lightning Source, for printing? That would probably do it. POD through CreateSpace can include an Ingram listing as well, I think.

Edited to also ask - So it seems like the answer is no, in terms of working with real distribution channels, then?

mccardey
06-17-2017, 03:45 AM
Having a skillset and opening up a new business is not the same. You need the skillset to be able to not fail, but companies usually need time to build up their clientele.

Thanks to all who explained it. I understand it a bit better now.I started an advertising company many years ago. You don't get lenient treatment from your clients because you're new - trust me on that. Part of building a new company is making it as strong as possible before you open for business - which is why one has soft openings: to sort out the bugs before you begin. You don't sort them out on someone else's dime - that's just not how it works.

ETA: It's also why you start networking early - before the opening - to get all your ducks in line. Hanging a shingle before you have some confidence that your contacts are going to be calling is not a good idea.

WrdWvr
06-17-2017, 04:03 AM
Thank you for the response - yes, these first three books were published via createspace. Not sure why they would list them with such prohibitive terms. Beyond book quality - I wouldn't order books for a shop based on that.

The only distribution - beyond createspace has been IBPAs catalogue, book expos, and my contacting local shops. There is a definite need in this area.

C Alberts
06-17-2017, 04:22 AM
Thank you for the response - yes, these first three books were published via createspace. Not sure why they would list them with such prohibitive terms. Beyond book quality - I wouldn't order books for a shop based on that.


Regarding CreateSpace - if they listed it with Ingram, you should know that and it is troublesome to me that you don't know what your printer is doing with your books. Terms can vary based on the publisher's decision (whether it is self-published or through a publisher, like you, who uses their POD service). Ingram takes a cut, the bookstore discount is the difference.




The only distribution - beyond createspace has been IBPAs catalogue, book expos, and my contacting local shops. There is a definite need in this area.

None of that is what we mean by distribution, and again, it is troublesome to me that you don't know that. Your first 'need' in this area is learning how small, indie press books get distributed.

WrdWvr
06-17-2017, 04:55 AM
Regarding CreateSpace - if they listed it with Ingram, you should know that and it is troublesome to me that you don't know what your printer is doing with your books. Terms can vary based on the publisher's decision (whether it is self-published or through a publisher, like you, who uses their POD service). Ingram takes a cut, the bookstore discount is the difference.

That CreateSpace listed it (with terms) on Ingram without notice is not something I could have know they would do (it's not given in their terms of service). We listed with Amazon first because of it's large customer base.

My apologies, my response was based on what we've actively been doing. I have contacted two distributors - BookBaby and IPG and am awaiting replies. Once a relationship is established, then we will shift away from CreateSpace.

Thank you for your help.

C Alberts
06-17-2017, 05:22 AM
That CreateSpace listed it (with terms) on Ingram without notice is not something I could have know they would do (it's not given in their terms of service). We listed with Amazon first because of it's large customer base.

My apologies, my response was based on what we've actively been doing. I have contacted two distributors - BookBaby and IPG and am awaiting replies. Once a relationship is established, then we will shift away from CreateSpace.

Thank you for your help.

It must be an error, then, but CreateSpace's "Expanded Distribution" program includes Ingram. I'm amazed that they would cover the cost of it for you if you didn't sign up for it. If I were you I'd make sure you are getting paid for any related sales.

Also, BookBaby is not a distributor to bookstores (if they claim to be, they are surely not effective), neither is CreateSpace. They are POD services. IPG is a great distributor for small, indie presses from around the world. I believe their POD option is just as a back-up but they require off-set print runs as well (unless this has changed recently). Best of luck getting into their system - if you do, bookstores will at least see what you have to offer.

I want to add that I'm not trying to harangue you or anything, but I do think you have many misconceptions about how to get books into stores. If it is truly your goal, I suggest doing a lot more research about what bookstore distribution is. It is a completely different thing than online sales platform distribution. It is also different from wholesale (eg Ingram, Baker and Taylor).

Not all genres and types of books need full distribution to bookstores, but if you want it you have to do it right. And you have to know how to answer honestly if authors ask you about it because there is nothing worse than misleading your authors. That's what everyone in this forum is trying to prevent.

WrdWvr
06-17-2017, 05:39 AM
Also, BookBaby is not a distributor to bookstores (if they claim to be, they are surely not effective), neither is CreateSpace. They are POD services. IPG is a great distributor for small, indie presses from around the world. I believe their POD option is just as a back-up but they require off-set print runs as well (unless this has changed recently). Best of luck getting into their system - if you do, bookstores will at least see what you have to offer.

I want to add that I'm not trying to harangue you or anything, but I do think you have many misconceptions about how to get books into stores. If it is truly your goal, I suggest doing a lot more research about what bookstore distribution is. It is a completely different thing than online sales platform distribution. It is also different from wholesale (eg Ingram, Baker and Taylor).

Not all genres and types of books need full distribution to bookstores, but if you want it you have to do it right. And you have to know how to answer honestly if authors ask you about it because there is nothing worse than misleading your authors. That's what everyone in this forum is trying to prevent.

Thank you - all of you, for the honest feedback, comments, and questions. I did not go into this with the intention of misleading anyone - especially authors who are at risk to being scammed. Obviously, working with publishing companies hasn't help in giving the foundation I thought it had. The doors opened with the support of another, but they did not live up to their claimed experience. I've brought on an editor, who has the experience needed to improve quality.

Also, thank you for the heads up about BookBaby - the person I've been speaking with did present themselves as distributors to bookstores. POD is not the go to in the future. It's not cost effective nor is it a good direction for our authors.

Marian Perera
06-17-2017, 07:51 AM
You do realize that once your you're under, you can have a first year surgical resident operating on you? An instructor is next to them, but it's how they learn. 

You can, but does the prospect of a student operating on them fill patients with confidence?

And if only all startup publishers had experienced instructors next to them.

Old Hack
06-17-2017, 09:31 AM
I'm not sure why anything is listed as non-returnable with Ingram - I've not listed the company or books with them. Interesting...

You don't have to actively list anything with Ingram. They'll include just about anything with an ISBN in their catalogues.


Bookstores - buy directly from us (for now). Books get listed in IBPA's catalogue and through showcased at various book expo/events. Yes, we offer the industry standard of 40% off list, with the ability to return for full credit. We won't charge for shipping on orders of less than 10. We pay return shipping.


In trade publishing terms, "distribution" means having your books represented by a distributor. They carry stocks of your books, they sell them at a good discount, fully returnable, and--most importantly--there will be some sort of sales effort happening for your books, selling them into book shops and other retailers. They handle all order-processing for you, both in and out.

You don't have this, therefore you don't have distribution. That you don't understand this, when you're a publisher, is a big worry. And 40% is not the industry standard.


For the recent release, yes that book will be addressed as well. Hence the new editor - the one responsible for that book was let go. The company started with three - I focused on the building the business network. I have experience as an editor - but that consistently seems be confused here. I started as an intern with Bloomsbury, as a proofreader, years ago while living in London. I have over the years worked with several small publishing houses in both the US and UK (remotely). This is while living in Manchester and Sheffield. When we moved to Leicester, I edited for students' dissertations. It was at that time I worked a couple of months with OUP. I wanted to bring in an editor with more experience, which happened only a few weeks ago. Ultimately, it's on me, because it's my name and money that is attached to this business.

I am really uncomfortable here.

I am very surprised that Bloomsbury employed an intern specifically to be a proofreader. That's not how interning usually works in publishing: it's usually a general position, with interns assisting in all sorts of departments and with all sorts of tasks.

You said earlier you interned there as an editor, but an editor is not the same as a proofreader, and people who have done those jobs understand that.

I see so many errors in your posts here that I don't see how you could have ever worked as an editor or a proofreader. You just don't seem to have an instinct for the work. For example, you wrote "I edited for students' dissertations". That says the students' dissertations employed you, not that you worked on the dissertations. And it's not usual for dissertations to be edited by a freelance: you'd need specialist knowledge in the subject concerned to do the job properly; students can't usually afford the cost of it; and it's just not really done here, in my experience (which admittedly, is small in this area).


As for the author who's book didn't perform as well as was hoped - she left marketing to us and refused to engage with readers to any degree. It doesn't mean we left it to the side - we have continued to market it. It was one example, our other books are selling.

Having a writer refuse to engage with readers isn't the best situation for a publisher to be in, but it shouldn't affect sales to the extent that you've suggested. Consider the success of Steig Larsson, for example. He couldn't engage with his readers when he was published because he was dead. And yet his books have sold very well indeed.


I realize asking this will open up a can of worms, but how is it we have listings on Ingram when I haven't submitted anything to them - especially with terms/discounts? I get it if the purpose of the thread is for me to be on the bottom of a dog pile, but I would appreciate knowing so I can get it fixed.
All I can see is a reasonable, and not particularly robust, discussion of your publishing business, and the problems we see with it. But if you consider any posts here to be inappropriate, report them. It's more professional and useful than carping about it in-thread.


That CreateSpace listed it (with terms) on Ingram without notice is not something I could have know they would do (it's not given in their terms of service). We listed with Amazon first because of it's large customer base.

As I said earlier, Ingram will list almost anything with an ISBN. Of course it's something you should have known about. It's standard. It makes me wonder how many other publishing-related things you don't realise.


My apologies, my response was based on what we've actively been doing. I have contacted two distributors - BookBaby and IPG and am awaiting replies. Once a relationship is established, then we will shift away from CreateSpace.

BookBaby is not a distributor.

IPG is not likely to work with you, based on the number of books you've published and the quantities you've sold. See their website, here (http://www.ipgbook.com/prospective-publishers-pages-190.php):


Start-up publishers and smaller publishers (ie. with fewer than 10 titles) who are looking for distribution services can visit Small Press United

Once you've published a sufficient number of titles you'll need to show a strong sales record and a coherent marketing plan to get a full-service distributor interested in working with you. You'll also have to hold stocks of your books, and that means using offset printing rather than digital.


Thank you - all of you, for the honest feedback, comments, and questions. I did not go into this with the intention of misleading anyone - especially authors who are at risk to being scammed. Obviously, working with publishing companies hasn't help in giving the foundation I thought it had. The doors opened with the support of another, but they did not live up to their claimed experience. I've brought on an editor, who has the experience needed to improve quality.

My bold.

I'm not sure what that highlighted sentence is meant to mean. And your writing is full of problems like this.

I don't mean to be nasty here, but I simply don't see how you can charge anyone for editing services when your own writing is so poor.

It's good that you've employed an editor: but you don't seem to know even the basics of how publishing works, and that's going to cause problems throughout your business.


Also, thank you for the heads up about BookBaby - the person I've been speaking with did present themselves as distributors to bookstores. POD is not the go to in the future. It's not cost effective nor is it a good direction for our authors.

BookBaby does present itself as a distributor. See here (https://support.bookbaby.com/hc/en-us/articles/206285227-How-does-printed-book-distribution-work-):


How does printed book distribution work?
Add POD distribution to any bulk printing order of 25 or more books.


Upload your cover and text PDF files.
Enter the retail price of your book. This is the price that your title will sell for in the retail stores.
Complete POD distribution survey. This is where you will provide us with the details of your book including your author bio, title description and metadata.
BookBaby prepares your files for print and sets up your title in our distribution system.
In about 3-4 weeks your titles will begin to appear for ordering at online retailers and to our wholesale distribution network.
Retailers order your title.
BookBaby prints the books to the demand of the retailer and fulfills the order back to the retailer who turns around and fulfills the order to their buyer.
Payment is received from the retailers and added to your BookBaby distribution account.

I agree with you that they present themselves as a distributor, but that doesn't mean they are a distributor, and once again your lack of understanding is the problem here. People who know trade publishing understand what "distribution" means, and would see immediately that what BookBaby offers is not full distribution.

Again, I'm sorry to be so blunt. I don't doubt your good intentions, or your passion for the work. But I am very concerned by your lack of knowledge and understanding of how publishing works. It will have a direct impact on the books you publish, which will have an impact on those writers' careers. Please: step back. Learn more before you publish anything else.

Harlequin
06-17-2017, 12:54 PM
But you *have* published someone you're editing so I dunno why you say you don't.

I don't care how "well-received" your covers are by the authors--they are categorically poor, for many reasons :/ Not all writers have an eye for that but surely a publisher should.


Freelance editing re student stuff is very common if you were (for example) working for an essay mill which also offers editing.

The purpose of the thread isn't to put you at the bottom of a dogpile. A quick skim through this forum will illustrate that. Undergoing a little scrutiny when you're asking people to entrust you with their MS is not being mean.

WrdWvr
06-17-2017, 09:57 PM
But you *have* published someone you're editing so I dunno why you say you don't.

I don't care how "well-received" your covers are by the authors--they are categorically poor, for many reasons :/ Not all writers have an eye for that but surely a publisher should.


Freelance editing re student stuff is very common if you were (for example) working for an essay mill which also offers editing.

The purpose of the thread isn't to put you at the bottom of a dogpile. A quick skim through this forum will illustrate that. Undergoing a little scrutiny when you're asking people to entrust you with their MS is not being mean.

The "well-received" comment was based on reader reception and not the authors sole opinion. I've seen covers as avatars in this thread that were poorly done, but they aren't publishing with me, so I left it alone. When selling through an expo, the cover is what gets a buyer's/reader's attention.

No author, we have published, as ever paid for editing. One book came to us as an editing client. Based on the first chapter (the length of our sample edit), we invited them to submit the full manuscript for consideration.

Okay, it seems I have to spell things out in finite detail. Bloomsbury - I was brought in as an intern. The majority of my time was as a proofreader, but helped out where ever I was needed. The dissertation and thesis editing was at the University of Leicester. This was for the Ancient History and Archaeology department, though I have helped at other universities where my husband was taking a degree. I was completing my B.A in English while in Leicester and now am finishing my MFA.

I agree, a little scrutiny when entrusting anyone with your work is important. This thread started because you wanted to check out a company a friend of yours was signing with. Based on the timing, I know which author you were speaking about. They asked fantastic questions and I answered them to their satisfaction. I've known publishers who ignore their authors - often communication is negligible. No one in this company will lie to an author to get them to sign, nor will they ignore questions or concerns.

cornflake
06-17-2017, 10:06 PM
That Bloomsbury would let interns proof their mss is deeply concerning.

AW Admin
06-17-2017, 10:13 PM
The dissertation and thesis editing was at the University of Leicester. This was for the Ancient History and Archaeology department, though I have helped at other universities where my husband was taking a degree. I was completing my B.A in English while in Leicester and now am finishing my MFA.

Are you saying you worked for the department of Ancient History and Archaeology at Leicester, and that you proofed dissertations for the department?

WrdWvr
06-17-2017, 10:46 PM
Are you saying you worked for the department of Ancient History and Archaeology at Leicester, and that you proofed dissertations for the department?

No, I did not work for the department as an employee. My husband did his Ph.D in the department. The dissertations I worked on were from students in that department.

mccardey
06-18-2017, 02:25 AM
No, I did not work for the department as an employee. My husband did his Ph.D in the department. The dissertations I worked on were from students in that department.
I think the issue is that with the best will in the world you've oversold your credentials a little. It's a thing that is almost expected in some fields, but is going to be red flag on red flag in this thread - because one of the biggest dangers for new writers lies in getting tangled up with too-new or too-untested or terribly undersupported or - in some cases - absolutely scammy publishing houses.

It's terrific that you're here to listen and respond, because it shows that you don't have bad intent. You just might not have a product to sell yet.

ETA: It was really smart of you to limit your first year output to two books - a lot of new publishers die on the hill of Too Big Too Fast and of course they take writers down with them. It's the writers who pay the biggest price when this goes up in flames.

WrdWvr
06-18-2017, 06:26 AM
I think the issue is that with the best will in the world you've oversold your credentials a little. It's a thing that is almost expected in some fields, but is going to be red flag on red flag in this thread - because one of the biggest dangers for new writers lies in getting tangled up with too-new or too-untested or terribly undersupported or - in some cases - absolutely scammy publishing houses.

It's terrific that you're here to listen and respond, because it shows that you don't have bad intent. You just might not have a product to sell yet.

ETA: It was really smart of you to limit your first year output to two books - a lot of new publishers die on the hill of Too Big Too Fast and of course they take writers down with them. It's the writers who pay the biggest price when this goes up in flames.


Thank you.

zmethos
09-13-2017, 03:12 AM
Anyone heard from this publisher lately? I had a short story accepted to an upcoming anthology, and the email said they'd send a contract in August, but nothing. And now their site is apparently on perpetual "maintenance" and no one has responded to my email.

EMaree
09-13-2017, 02:57 PM
Anyone heard from this publisher lately? I had a short story accepted to an upcoming anthology, and the email said they'd send a contract in August, but nothing. And now their site is apparently on perpetual "maintenance" and no one has responded to my email.

Chase them directly. I thought the site-under-maintenance would mean they're disappearing, but a quick look at the owner's Facebook page shows they are active and promoting new releases (https://www.facebook.com/cherie.macenka?lst=100017378947691%3A1000000349652 95%3A1497461687). R34pers of S0uls and M4g (https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0759XTZPY?tag=geolinker-21)1c* comes out on the 29th September by Between the Lines, and they're running a campaign where preorder profits go to help the JJ Watts Foundation with Hurricane Harvey recovery (https://www.facebook.com/cherie.macenka/posts/1741835609160921). This, though well-intentioned I'm sure, sits poorly with me.

They are active, and have no excuse not to respond to a polite enquiry about the contract status.

*Title altered to avoid the author getting Google alerts, I don't wish for them to be unfairly included in a discussion about their publisher (and I don't believe the pre-order campaign choices should reflect on them personally, only the publisher).

WrdWvr
09-20-2017, 09:38 AM
Chase them directly. I thought the site-under-maintenance would mean they're disappearing, but a quick look at the owner's Facebook page shows they are active and promoting new releases (https://www.facebook.com/cherie.macenka?lst=100017378947691%3A1000000349652 95%3A1497461687). R34pers of S0uls and M4g (https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0759XTZPY?tag=geolinker-21)1c* comes out on the 29th September by Between the Lines, and they're running a campaign where preorder profits go to help the JJ Watts Foundation with Hurricane Harvey recovery (https://www.facebook.com/cherie.macenka/posts/1741835609160921). This, though well-intentioned I'm sure, sits poorly with me.

They are active, and have no excuse not to respond to a polite enquiry about the contract status.

*Title altered to avoid the author getting Google alerts, I don't wish for them to be unfairly included in a discussion about their publisher (and I don't believe the pre-order campaign choices should reflect on them personally, only the publisher).

Hi,

Yes, we are very active and appreciate that the donation post "sits poorly with you," but it was a request from the author (a native Texan with friends in the Houston area) to donate his royalties. We joined him in this endeavor. What about the donation doesn't sits poorly?

All emails or Facebook messages are responded to within 24 hours. There was, unfortunately, a short delay in sending out the contracts, due to the personal impact of Irma, but no emails went unanswered. The anthology is alive and well, contracts sent and looking forward to sending the amazing authors their copies in November.

EMaree
09-20-2017, 02:23 PM
Yes, we are very active and appreciate that the donation post "sits poorly with you," but it was a request from the author (a native Texan with friends in the Houston area) to donate his royalties. We joined him in this endeavor. What about the donation doesn't sits poorly?

In my previous post, I said: This, though well-intentioned I'm sure, sits poorly with me.

I am not doubting the good intentions of either yourself or your author, but using a national disaster to incentivize people to preorder a book... is still using a national disaster to incentivize people to buy your book. Good intentions do not change the fact that a disaster is being leveraged to gain sales.

Please understand that, as a reader, it is my right to find certain subjects distasteful when I'm being given a sales pitch for a book. This is not intended to disparage you or your author.

Now that I understand the background of the request, which wasn't in the Facebook sales pitch, it certainly feels more reasonable.

zmethos
09-20-2017, 05:44 PM
I just wanted to update and say they did send the contract and apologized for the delay; one of the ladies had been evacuated due to Hurricane Irma. They've been perfectly lovely to work with, and I'm looking forward to seeing the anthology.

PrettyAgro
04-09-2019, 01:49 AM
I sure wish I'd found this site and thread 2 years ago. I was published by this company and YES I did pay for editing and NO I did not get a refund. My relationship has just gone to hell with these people due to them lecturing me on a personal matter and nothing to do with my books or publishing. Completely unprofessional. But anyway, I'm positive you're all talking about my book as it was the first one they published. They are trying to tell me it was a different book but the time lines don't match up. According to this thread my book was not edited professionally like I had paid for and is some what ruined now. Can you please verify which books you were talking about with the poor titles and covers?
I'm now heart broken over what's happened.
If it's mine she's talking about where the author "refused" to engage with the public I was recovering from breast cancer and then Guillian Barre Syndrome.

PrettyAgro
04-11-2019, 07:18 AM
If they pay for editing and THEN you decide to publish them, do you refund them the money they paid for editing?

How many of the authors you've published have first paid you for editing and then become authors you publish?

And you've not yet told us what your publishing credentials are. Who have you edited for? Where have you worked? What's your expertise?

I paid for editing and did not get refunded. The offer to publish was made before editing had even been finished.

Earthling
04-11-2019, 03:49 PM
Sorry to hear about your poor experience with this company, PrettyAgro. :(

Do you have a rights reversion clause in your contract?

I hope this hasn't put you off writing. There are much better publishers out there who will sell good books in good numbers.

PrettyAgro
04-12-2019, 03:17 AM
Thank you Earthling :)
I'm now concerned that I might not be able to come back from the damage they've done, putting my book out not polished.

What is right's reversion? I don't think I do.

mrsmig
04-12-2019, 04:22 AM
Reversion of rights refers to the time at which the publisher no longer owns the rights to your book. In most cases, this happens at the end of the author's contract with the publisher. However, if the publisher fails to comply with the terms of the contract, an author can request reversion of her rights before that time.

So here's what to do. First, look in your contract (you do have a contract, don't you?) for the termination date of your contract with the publisher. If that date has passed, then it shouldn't be a problem to get your rights reverted. If that date is still in the future, or worse, there is no termination date on your contract, then you'll need to look for language dealing with what happens if either party fails to comply with the terms of the contract. That's usually where you'll find a reversion clause. If there's no reversion clause (and this has been known to happen, particularly with small publishers who don't know what they're doing), then you'll need to contact the publisher and ask for a reversion of your rights.

I suggest you read this article on the Writer Beware blog: How to Request Rights Reversion from Your Publisher. (https://accrispin.blogspot.com/2014/10/how-to-request-rights-reversion-from.html) It'll walk you through the process.

Good luck.

PrettyAgro
04-12-2019, 08:46 AM
Reversion of rights refers to the time at which the publisher no longer owns the rights to your book. In most cases, this happens at the end of the author's contract with the publisher. However, if the publisher fails to comply with the terms of the contract, an author can request reversion of her rights before that time.

So here's what to do. First, look in your contract (you do have a contract, don't you?) for the termination date of your contract with the publisher. If that date has passed, then it shouldn't be a problem to get your rights reverted. If that date is still in the future, or worse, there is no termination date on your contract, then you'll need to look for language dealing with what happens if either party fails to comply with the terms of the contract. That's usually where you'll find a reversion clause. If there's no reversion clause (and this has been known to happen, particularly with small publishers who don't know what they're doing), then you'll need to contact the publisher and ask for a reversion of your rights.

I suggest you read this article on the Writer Beware blog: How to Request Rights Reversion from Your Publisher. (https://accrispin.blogspot.com/2014/10/how-to-request-rights-reversion-from.html) It'll walk you through the process.

Good luck.

Thank you so much :)