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didi768
11-04-2004, 10:56 PM
Has anyone heard of this company? They have my husbands whole manuscript.

Thanks

vstrauss
11-05-2004, 12:02 AM
If this is Harbor House in Georgia, I've received reports that it offers pay-to-publish contracts--the author is asked to agree to buy large quantities of finished books.

If your husband does get an offer like this, would you please post here, or contact me at Writer Beware? beware@sfwa.org.

- Victoria

ramis
03-28-2005, 03:24 AM
Hi, has anyone dealth with Harbor House out of Augusta Georgia? There is a tag on Predators and Editors about poor contract for writers--has anyone had personal experience with them, good or bad? thanks.

Ed Williams
03-28-2005, 03:28 AM
...I'm from Georgia, my latest book was published by River City Publishing over in Montgomery. Re Harbor House, I have met several of the principles at various Southern book festivals over the past couple of years. Very nice, professional people. Have heard a little grumbling too about low or poor royalty payouts as well. I would advise you to be careful, message me privately for more info.

ramis
03-28-2005, 03:44 AM
thank you for responding so quickly. I will email you directly. Anyone else with info out there?

victoriastrauss
03-29-2005, 04:24 AM
Harbor House offers contracts that require authors to purchase large numbers of their finished books--several thousand dollars in expense. I've gotten several reports of this.

- Victoria

clara bow
03-29-2005, 10:44 AM
Hello, newbie here. I've been enjoying this site immensely for the past month, and this thread actually relates to my husband's situation. He recently received a publishing offer from Harbor House: a small but not unreasonable advance against a 7% royalty.

HH took six months to the day to review his manuscript. We are currently waiting for the contract.

Some healthy paranoia has kicked in as a result of some postings I found here regarding HH. The question seems to be is it a legit house, a vanity press, or maybe both?

Seems odd that a vanity press would wait six months to try and get our money.

Needless to say, we will be scrutinizing the contract with the proverbial fine-toothed comb. Any more info would of course be greatly appreciated.

James D. Macdonald
03-29-2005, 05:49 PM
If they require the author to purchase large numbers of their own books, they're a vanity press.

victoriastrauss
03-29-2005, 08:39 PM
Clara, I'll be interested to know what sort of offer your husband gets. The writers I've heard from have not been offered advances; they've been told their books are "risky" and that they need to help "minimize" the risk by agreeing to pre-purchase 1,000 copies of their books at a discount. I've long suspected that Harbor House does offer both vanity and conventional contracts (which would make it rather unusual; most publishers that offer vanity contracts just do vanity). Since an advance has been mentioned, I'm guessing that your husband will receive a conventional contract. 7% royalties sounds low, though--especially if it's 7% of net.

I think it would be well worth your while to have the contract vetted by an intellectual property lawyer with publishing experience (publishing contracts are very specialized documents, and an ordinary attorney probably won't be able to advise you properly). Even where they don't engage in shady practices, smaller publishers often have nonstandard contracts with undesirable terms.

- Victoria

clara bow
03-30-2005, 07:34 AM
Thank you, Victoria. My husband said he will definitely consider some kind of legal assistance. We really appreciate all of your input in what is emerging as a complicated decision.

Also, I forgot to mention that the book, if he signs the contract, will not be released until Spring 2007. In some ways, yes, this sounds like a lowball deal. However, considering my husband has never had anything published before, to us it will hopefully be worth having to pay the dues this way, so to speak. I suppose it helps that he has a screenplay currently in production; one en route to the same status; and we cowrote a book that is currently being considered by a very reputable lit agency (I take it a "second read" is a good thing?! ;)). So if HH's deal isn't the greatest, it's one of several projects on the burners.

One other question: Does HH's membership with SEBA mean anything, d'ya think? Needless to say, if there is any hint of us having to pay HH *any* amount of money to supplement costs, my husband said he will look elsewhere.

We will keep you posted regarding the contract.

cb

jacobnesau
03-30-2005, 11:41 PM
I have just received a contract from Harbor House, and the contract says nothing about the author being required to buy any amount of books. The contract also specifies a $500.00 advance and a 7% royalty on the retail price of the deluxe trade paperback edition. This is my second book contract, and, while I am certainly not a specialist in this area, the contract appeared to be on the level. The release date of my book isn't until Fall 2007. While I admit that this is a bit of a disappointment, there are other circumstances involved that make it worth the wait.

Good luck to your husband, Clara Bow. Perhaps we will meet sometime as authors published by Harbor House.

clara bow
03-31-2005, 06:10 AM
Thanks and kudos, Jacob! Congratulations on your offer, and your kind words are much appreciated. Yes, maybe our paths will cross. My husband's contract will be in the mail soon. I'll keep a postin'!

clara bow
03-31-2005, 06:14 AM
btw, one of HH's current new authors has a website; it's www.thegreeterbook.com (http://www.thegreeterbook.com). She has a blog, and shares some of the experiences of going through the publishing process with them. Might yield folks some helpful information.

victoriastrauss
03-31-2005, 06:15 AM
So it looks as if Harbor House does offer both kinds of contracts. Very interesting.

- Victoria

jacobnesau
03-31-2005, 07:01 PM
Thanks, Clara. I'll check out that website.

ramis
04-02-2005, 09:16 PM
does anyone know of a good small press who might be interested in historical fiction from the Civil War era?

clara bow
04-02-2005, 09:44 PM
Harbor House is seeking submissions in this area:

http://www.harborhousebooks.com/guidelines.html

...but I'm not sure of how good they are. See the recent HH thread for more info. If my husband decides to publish his book with them, I can post more info about the process if it helps you decide. But I would think there would be a number of southern regional publishers that would be reputable. Maybe check the southeast booksellers association? http://www.sebaweb.org/

clara bow
04-02-2005, 09:46 PM
ha ha, oh yeah, you were already there! sorry. guess I need some more coffee.

clara bow
04-02-2005, 09:49 PM
maybe these folks:

http://www.blairpub.com/intro.htm

My husband submitted a nonfiction book to them. They seemed pretty professional so far as I could tell (and discriminating, heh, as the manu was rejected).

ramis
04-08-2005, 06:23 AM
thank you for your suggestions. :)

ScottAJohnson
04-16-2005, 12:28 AM
Couldn't help but log in about this one. I'm one of Harbor House's authors. Here's my experience coming with three books and a possible three more next year...
First, they've NEVER asked me to buy books, much less significant numbers, unless I was taking them to a convention to sell them myself. In fact, it was I who asked them about buying them.
Second, they offer an advance that is negotiable. $500 seems to be the norm, and from what I've heard, is not bad for a first-time author. Royalties are similarly negotiable.
They are not a vanity press.
They ask for author input on cover ideas (and will shoot down the bad ones) and hire good artists for their covers.
Downsides are, yes, the advance is a tad lower than I'd like, but as I'm still new, I'm willing to pay my dues (so to speak). Also, they expect you to do alot of your own promoting. Again, nothing to gripe about there, really.

Like I said, this is just my experiences with them. I've found them good to work with.
In case you're wondering, I'm the guy that wrote An American Haunting (see their website) and I have another fiction book, Deadlands, that is to be the first of their new BatWing press line. I also have a book of nonfiction/folklore coming out that is about real ghost stories called The Mayor's Guide to the Stately Ghosts of Augusta, which is the first of a series of books.
All that to say, they've never treated me like anything other than a professional.

Just my $.02, for what it's worth.

Scott A. Johnson
http://www.americanhorrorwriter.com
http://www.horrorchannel.com

clara bow
04-16-2005, 08:44 PM
Thanks, Scott! I had even asked my husband to contact you for information, so what a coincidence that you found your way here. HH indicated that my husband's horror book would be published under the Batwing imprint as well. Thank you so much for the reassuring comments. More and more we are convinced to go ahead and accept their offer. Maybe there's a possibility of the Batwing authors doing a promotional tour together.

Anyway, six weeks and counting since the initial email offer...still waiting for the contract.

ciao,

cb

ScottAJohnson
04-16-2005, 10:11 PM
Thanks, Scott! I had even asked my husband to contact you for information, so what a coincidence that you found your way here. HH indicated that my husband's horror book would be published under the Batwing imprint as well. Thank you so much for the reassuring comments. More and more we are convinced to go ahead and accept their offer. Maybe there's a possibility of the Batwing authors doing a promotional tour together.

Anyway, six weeks and counting since the initial email offer...still waiting for the contract.

ciao,

cb

Six weeks, huh? If I were him, I'd either e-mail Carrie (Associate Publisher) or Randal (Head Honcho) directly. They can be slow at times. As for a BatWing Press author's tour, hell yeah! I'd talk to Carrie about it! At any rate, I'm in for that!
Thanks

clara bow
04-16-2005, 10:50 PM
He emailed them a couple weeks ago to check the status, and was promised an email by Crystal when they put it in the mail. I had read online that it can take up to three months to receive a contract, so we really can't grouse about 6 wks. Thanks for the heads up, though. The tour thingy would be cool, huh? We have family in friends up and down the East coast, some in Michigan and Texas, and in NC, VA, & SC. So the possiblities are there as far as making it cost effective as well. Of course, fyi, we're talking a good 2yrs away, unless HH miraculously publishes his book sooner. But it's something to think about. Let's keep in touch.

clara bow
04-16-2005, 10:53 PM
The tour thingy would be cool, huh? We have family in friends

lol, there was supposed to be an "and" in there.

jacobnesau
04-17-2005, 05:54 AM
Scott,

Thanks for weighing in on this one. It's nice to get some info from someone who's had more experience with this publisher.

Maybe I'll catch you sometime on our way down the Harbor House Road.

Karen Isaacson
author of Raisin' Brains: Surviving My Smart Family

victoriastrauss
04-18-2005, 09:01 PM
Not trying to beat a dead horse or anything...

It seems pretty well established now that Harbor House offers both advance-based and vanity-style contracts. (I have documentation of several of those vanity-style offers--the most recent one made just this past January--so this is not an unfounded allegation, and it is a current practice for this publisher).

I'd caution those of you who've received advance-based offers to think long and hard about what sort of publisher offers contracts that require authors to buy 1,000 copies of their own books at a discount of only 20%. Author costs, as quoted in the January offer, were nearly $20,000 for a hardcover, and around $13,500 for a trade paperback. This is more than four times the actual production cost of the books--far more expensive than even a reliable book manufacturer or short run printer. It is, not to mince words, a really bad deal, even if the books are nicely produced.

There are many, many small presses that don't feel the need to turn authors into customers in order to keep their businesses afloat.

- Victoria

ScottAJohnson
04-18-2005, 09:11 PM
That's as may be...All I can report on is my own experience about them.

Johanna
04-19-2005, 01:35 AM
Scott, what was the editing like? I don't know much about this House, but while running Harbor House through trusty old Google, I came upon some excerpts that were full of weird spelling and very bad grammar (there was one where the author kept switching between past and present tense, sometimes mid sentence).

ScottAJohnson
04-19-2005, 03:47 AM
Scott, what was the editing like? I don't know much about this House, but while running Harbor House through trusty old Google, I came upon some excerpts that were full of weird spelling and very bad grammar (there was one where the author kept switching between past and present tense, sometimes mid sentence).

Geez, hope that wasn't mine you found!:o
Their head editor is a woman named Crystal Wiggins. I didn't catch any errors in my book, but that's not saying very much. I admittedly don't have a good eye for editing errors in my own work. I know what I meant, dammit! I thought they did a good job, but I also submitted a few errors I found before press time. Which book was it with bad grammer, if you don't mind saying? Or you can private message me the title. I'll investigate.
Thanks

Kree Atv Khurz
04-19-2005, 05:59 AM
A very interesting thread here. Thanks to all of you who weighed in. I hope it ends happily for all. Sorry I don't have anything to add, but maybe I'll querry them if they consider memoir. Being 2 or 3 years out sounds rough, but I guess it's security of a sort.
Cheers, Kree

clara bow
04-19-2005, 08:24 AM
Just a li'l tidbit of info...not sure if it means anything:

http://www.onlineartacademy.com/portfolio/scott.html
Scott, check out the name of the protagonist...lol, any relation?

clara bow
04-19-2005, 08:58 AM
These are some links with references to HH somewhere on the page:

http://jeffbates.home.att.net/wpf/
http://www.augustalounge.com/livepages/230.shtml
http://www.uwec.edu/English/Graduate/gradnews.htm
http://www.grendelguy.com/editor.html
well, there are more links out there, but you get the picture.

HH sure seems to be keeping a low profile with the whole vanity press thing. Not that I doubt the reports here or anything, but it just seems strange that they don't advertise it more. Perhaps they are trying to move away from that? Or am I just being naive & hopeful because my husband's been out of work for two years (not for lack of trying), and I want him to get that chance to really kickstart his writing career. Because, thank goodness, he really can write. I don't want him to do anything else.

Oh, boo hoo. At least I still have a job I like in a crappy economy. Bright side, bright side!

Ugh, I need a good night's sleep.

ScottAJohnson
04-19-2005, 09:27 AM
Just a li'l tidbit of info...not sure if it means anything:

http://www.onlineartacademy.com/portfolio/scott.html
Scott, check out the name of the protagonist...lol, any relation?

:eek: :ROFL:
Too cool...There're at least five Scott Johnson's in my town alone! Wow...Now I'm off fighting aliens!

soloset
04-19-2005, 09:42 AM
Or am I just being naive & hopeful because my husband's been out of work for two years (not for lack of trying), and I want him to get that chance to really kickstart his writing career.

I don't know anything about Harbor House, but I do know that scammers prey on the hopeful and the naive and the uninformed. Which isn't to say don't be hopeful! Just don't sign anything until you're sure it's the right thing to do -- there are some sick puppies out there who don't see you as a person. They see you as a dollar sign.

Johanna
04-19-2005, 03:36 PM
Geez, hope that wasn't mine you found!:o
Their head editor is a woman named Crystal Wiggins. I didn't catch any errors in my book, but that's not saying very much. I admittedly don't have a good eye for editing errors in my own work. I know what I meant, dammit! I thought they did a good job, but I also submitted a few errors I found before press time. Which book was it with bad grammer, if you don't mind saying? Or you can private message me the title. I'll investigate.
Thanks

It wasn't yours. ;) The excerpt is here (http://www.drmecooper.com/TheGreeter121804%20chap1.pdf) (pdf file). Maybe they just put up a rough draft by mistake, but as you can see, that chapter doesn't look ready for publication, with the switches between past and present tense, the spelling errors, thecrun-on sentences and so on. On the other hand, from what I've heard, Wal-Mart is ordering it, so it must have passed some kind of test with them.

ScottAJohnson
04-19-2005, 05:18 PM
Oh! I know which book that is. Yes that is a preliminary editions (unedited, I believe). And I believe it'll be switched the the edited version once editing is complete, or once it hits the stands. If not, it should be.
Thanks

victoriastrauss
04-19-2005, 07:29 PM
It wasn't yours. ;) The excerpt is here (http://www.drmecooper.com/TheGreeter121804%20chap1.pdf) (pdf file). Maybe they just put up a rough draft by mistake, but as you can see, that chapter doesn't look ready for publication, with the switches between past and present tense, the spelling errors, thecrun-on sentences and so on. On the other hand, from what I've heard, Wal-Mart is ordering it, so it must have passed some kind of test with them.The book is about Wal-Mart, so that might explain the order (Wal-Mart is not known for stocking books from smaller publishers, or even books from smaller authors at major publishers).

The book (The Greeter by Mary Ellen Cooper) does seem to have been published--Amazon lists a pub date of April 1, and shows it as available to order. There's no sales rank. On B&N.com, it's listed as unavailable, with a pub date of March 2005.

I read through the excerpt, which appears to be totally unedited. I hope it is a rough draft (though I wonder why the author would post something that reflected so poorly on her writing skills). If it's not a rough draft, it doesn't reflect well on the publisher. At all.

- Victoria

Lauri B
04-19-2005, 08:09 PM
It wasn't yours. ;) The excerpt is here (http://www.drmecooper.com/TheGreeter121804%20chap1.pdf) (pdf file). Maybe they just put up a rough draft by mistake, but as you can see, that chapter doesn't look ready for publication, with the switches between past and present tense, the spelling errors, thecrun-on sentences and so on. On the other hand, from what I've heard, Wal-Mart is ordering it, so it must have passed some kind of test with them.

Johanna,
Where did you hear Wal-Mart was ordering this book? It would be pretty unusual for them to order from a small publisher.

ScottAJohnson
04-19-2005, 09:29 PM
Harbor House mentioned it on their website, as did Publisher's Weekly in an article in Harbor House, in which they name the publisher one of the top 15 small presses.
Incidentally, I don't know if I'm correct or not, but it seems to me that I remember another sale to WalMart from them, a biography of Al Paccino. Don't quote me on that one though...

SGMwriter
05-19-2005, 07:26 PM
Say, anyone published with Harbor House in Georgia? I had an ms with them (which they requested to read) for about 8 months and finally received an answer on it in Feb. Guess what? They didn't want to publish it--it wasn't good enough for their list. Fine. I've been rejected before. HOWEVER, if I PRE-PURCHASED 1,000 copies of my book at a 20% discount ($24.95 cover price hardcover w/discount $19,960 or $16.95 cover price paperback w/discount $13,560) l could sell the books to friends, collegues, family, libraries and keep all the money I made from those sales, AND on the remainder of the print run that HH would sell to the national market I would receive 30% royalties. They didn't specify how many additional copies they would print beyond the 1,000. And of course they didn't offer advise on where I was to store 1,000 copies of the book. I don't mind being rejected, but I hate being insulted. I did something I've never done before, I wrote back to a publisher who's rejected my work. If you want to know what I wrote, in case you find yourself in the same situation with them or someone else, contact me. Needless to say, I didn't burn this bridge, I blew it up. Beware. HH DOES offer conventional contracts, but it does NOT list itself as a self-publishing or vanity press.

Aconite
05-19-2005, 07:48 PM
SGMwriter, do you know about resources like Preditors and Editors http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors, Writer Beware http://www.writerbeware.com, and the AW's Index to Agents, Publishers, and Others http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10305 ? You can research publishers and agents there. For example, HH's P&E listing says: Harbor House: Poor contract. Not recommended.

You can help these places make accurate information available, too. Write to them and tell them what you posted here.

SGMwriter
05-20-2005, 12:58 AM
...about p & e and the other places. I submitted to HH because I had a friend who was published through them, and the publisher himself asked me for my ms. It's a shame that HH has to resort to trying to squeeze money out of authors instead of publishing good books. I have a friend who published with them...the book is very professionally done. My friend actually received an advance for the book and did some publisher-arranged publicity things, including a book signing at a "coming out" in Atlanta. The book is not carried in any stores up here (Long Island) but I ordered through Borders and got it in 3 days.

SGMwriter
05-20-2005, 04:06 AM
...and have heard from another author friend of mine who was at a bookfair in Atlanta that HH had pedalled some of its other books and they weren't so well edited. But you are right, any publisher who makes an author buy his or her book is a vanity publisher regardless of whether or not it offers standard contracts.

ScottAJohnson
05-20-2005, 06:13 PM
I've been working with Harbor House for two years now. They published my first novel, they have my second and third books going out this year. They have NEVER asked me to purchase books as a requirement of publication. I have bought books from them to sell at conventions, but it was never a requirement. In addition, my books have been available at brick and mortor bookstores all accross the US. My conclusion?
They are not a vanity press. They've rejected at least one manuscript from me, which, now that I look back at it, was deserved. I don't know about your own experiences, but I do know about the experiences of myself and the other writers listed on their website. We've never been treated like that. Never. Take it for what it's worth, but that's my experience with them.

maestrowork
05-20-2005, 07:32 PM
It's interesting that they would offer both types of contracts, and arguably running both "tradtional" and "vanity press" publishing... interesting.

Now, to the person who was offered the "buy 1000 at 20% discount" deal, run away. You'll be better off using something like Lulu if you're going to print your own books and sell them yourself. Better yet, send the book out again. There are other publishers out there.

James D. Macdonald
11-23-2005, 07:40 AM
clara bow said:


If anyone still cares, despite having received interest in publishing one of his manuscripts, my husband has not heard a word from Harbor House in over six months. We are assuming they lost interest, or the contract, or something.

Just thought I'd let y'all know.

victoriastrauss said:


Clara, information I've received recently suggests that Harbor House is having staff and distribution problems, and the resulting upheavals have disrupted its schedule.

- Victoria

clara bow said:


Well, now, there ya go. I had a feeling it had to be something like that. Thanks for the info!

CaoPaux
02-14-2007, 09:25 PM
FYI - This publisher has received "two thumbs down" from Writer Beware:

http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2007/02/happy-valentines-day-from-writer-beware.html

DanielKoehler
05-10-2007, 10:51 PM
How did your husband's 2005 book contract with Harbor House turn out, Clara?

They requested my MS in March 2007 and I haven't heard yea or nay yet. I'm as of yet unpublished, so I am still hopeful; they have a pretty good sized catalog for a ten-year old firm.

Best, Daniel

calendula-witch
02-02-2008, 05:27 AM
Is there any update on this thread? They've requested my manuscript this week. Thanks!

DanielKoehler
02-02-2008, 05:40 AM
Dear Calendula,

They requested my 85,000 word suspense novel, "The Sleeping Cab" back in 4/07 and I heard back from Randall Floyd 10/07 saying they liked it but would pass on it because they were overbooked with 1st time authors on the 2008 calendar. Nice note.

They seem quite legit and professional; there was no attempt to get me to self-publish (which I would refuse to do anyway because I believe SP is a scarlet letter an author wears that implies: "not ready for prime time")

The good news is Victoria Skurnick, former Book-of-the-Month Club honcho (now at Levine-Greenberg Lit Agents in NYC) requested the MS 11/07 and am expecting word from her any day now.

Bottom line: Harbor House is legit, in my opinion, and have a nice little catalog of authors.

Good Luck, Daniel Koehler
Little Rock, AR

victoriastrauss
02-02-2008, 05:44 AM
The most recent Harbor House documentation I've received (from January 2008) requests that the writer trim his book to "no more than 300 pages" and "agree to pre-purchase a minimum of 700 copies of your book at a 20% discount."

For a trade paperback selling at $16.95, this would work out to an "author investment" of $9,492.

With some publishers that require pre-purchases, the author's copies are the only ones ever printed.

- Victoria

DanielKoehler
02-02-2008, 05:50 AM
If that's true, then I stand corrected. Victoria has been dubious of them from the outset, and since I never went to contract, I gotta defer to VS about the merits of HH.

BTW, Victoria, what was the source of your Jan 08 info?

best, Daniel

calendula-witch
02-02-2008, 08:38 AM
Thanks! Well, I'll go ahead and send my mss (because I've already printed the darn thing out) but I will not do any pre-purchasing of copies, so...I may be out paper, ink, and postage. They did mention, in the letter, no more than "300 book pages," which I don't know what that means in mss. pages. I've got 80,000 words, so that's probably fine. They also asked for my marketing ideas.

I'll report back on whatever happens next...though it sounds like it may be some months. That's okay--I've got other irons in the fire.

Congrats & best wishes, Daniel, on the request from Victoria Skurnick! Boy this is a hard process. :-)

DanielKoehler
02-02-2008, 05:55 PM
Dear Calendula,

That's a good strategy now that you're aware of the possible contingencies. One thing I found out is that they don't respond to follow-up emails.

Do you have a web site? If so, I'd like to scan it. I'm at www.danielkoehler.bizland.com (http://www.danielkoehler.bizland.com)

All the best, Daniel

victoriastrauss
02-02-2008, 07:13 PM
BTW, Victoria, what was the source of your Jan 08 info?
The same as my other documentation on Harbor House (which, by the way, goes back to 2001)--an author who got the vanity publishing offer, and sent me Harbor House's letter.

Through 2005, I was hearing about traditional publishing offers with a small advance, as well as vanity publishing offers, but for the last couple of years I've only heard about vanity offers. Based on this and on what I've been told by former employees of the company, I suspect that it's vanity-only these days.

It's worth noting that nowhere on Harbor House's website is there any mention of the pre-purchase requirement. Authors who query Harbor House do so in the assumption that it's a reputable independent publisher. This is, at the very least, misleading.

- Victoria

calendula-witch
02-02-2008, 08:13 PM
Victoria,

Yes, I've looked at the website very carefully, and there's no hint of any vanity-related nonsense. I queried them because I found them in Writers Market--I'm looking at small publishers for my "hippie horror" novel because I think it's a bit out of the mainstream and NY agents haven't bitten for it. Alas. Thank you for providing this service! There's so many people out there looking to make a buck off of eager/desperate/unsuspecting writers.

Daniel--yes, I do have a website: www.shannonpage.net. I'll check yours out. Thanks!

calendula-witch
02-23-2008, 08:18 AM
Update: Got a rejection in the mail today. Friendly, encouraging, hand-signed: "...while there is much we like about this concept, I'm afraid we'll have to pass at this time...this seems to be a good story, and I'm sure you'll find the right home for it if you keep trying."

A p.s.: "You might want to consider Savannah River Press, one of our imprints for new and emerging authors. If SRP agreed to publish your work, you would be required to purchase a certain number of copies in exchange for a rather high royalty rate."

Richard White
02-23-2008, 10:58 AM
Ah, sounds like the old Libros International/Wild Cherry publishing bait and switch.

"You're not quite ready for the big times, kid, but we have this opportunity you shouldn't pass on . . . "

calendula-witch
02-23-2008, 09:07 PM
Yep. I shall be passing on this opportunity, and filing the letter in my big ole binder of rejections. :-)

triceretops
02-23-2008, 11:14 PM
Text book bait and switch.

Tri

victoriastrauss
02-24-2008, 02:44 AM
Calendula-witch, will you send me a copy of the letter for my files? My snail mail address is PO Box 1216, Amherst MA 01004. If you'd like to fax, contact me at beware@sfwa.org, and I'll give you the number. Thanks!

- Victoria

Richard White
02-24-2008, 11:55 PM
Writer Beware has blogged about the bait and switch phenomena.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the post, either here or there.

MLS859
02-25-2008, 07:17 PM
Harbor House requested my manuscript in April, 2007. Because the website said it could take up to 36 weeks to hear from them, I waited patiently. When the 36 weeks were up (in mid-January, 2008), I contacted them and asked for the status of my novel -- I received a reply which said the novel was still under consideration. Yesterday, I received a letter which said they "really liked my novel and it had strong potential" but they could not offer me a standard contract. However, Harbor House's imprint, BatWing Press, could still offer a chance to see my book in print. Yes, all for buying 700 copies. I am quite disturbed about this after doing a bit of research and finding this thread and other not-so-good things about Harbor House. I did not do much research ahead of time because, quite frankly, I live in the same town as Harbor House and hoped that we would make a good fit. Now, I'm debating whether to call them, write a letter or just show up at the front door (which I will do eventually to pick up my manuscript) and say, "thanks but no thanks".

Lynn

Soccer Mom
02-25-2008, 07:31 PM
Savannah River Press? Batwing Press? How many vanity arms does this publisher have? It sounds like quite the octopus.

CaoPaux
02-25-2008, 11:06 PM
Funny thing is, there's no mention of a "Savannah River Press" imprint on their website.

MLS859
02-25-2008, 11:15 PM
On the letterhead, there is "Harbor House" at the top but, underneath, it has Savannah River Press, Batwing Press and Angel Wing Press.

Lynn

CaoPaux
02-25-2008, 11:23 PM
On the letterhead, there is "Harbor House" at the top but, underneath, it has Savannah River Press, Batwing Press and Angel Wing Press.

LynnIiiinteresting...I get one hit off Google, on some sort of business-name listing that one has to register to view. Must be a very new imprint. (Cuz it couldn't be they're trying to keep it off the radar, right? Right?)

MLS859
02-26-2008, 04:43 PM
My research continues...

I've gotten in touch with a local author who had a book published by Harbor House. I told him my story and said, at the end of my e-mail, that I understood if this was something he didn't want to discuss since he might have an ongoing relationship with HH. The basic response I received was this:

"I no longer have a relationship with HH …except through our lawyers. My lawyer has seen to it that the rights to my book are now owned by me again, not HH and the paperback and foreign publication will be by a new publisher as will my future books."

Lynn

Soccer Mom
02-26-2008, 07:20 PM
My research continues...

I've gotten in touch with a local author who had a book published by Harbor House. I told him my story and said, at the end of my e-mail, that I understood if this was something he didn't want to discuss since he might have an ongoing relationship with HH. The basic response I received was this:

"I no longer have a relationship with HH …except through our lawyers. My lawyer has seen to it that the rights to my book are now owned by me again, not HH and the paperback and foreign publication will be by a new publisher as will my future books."

Lynn





Ouch! Nothing says "I :heart: my publisher like having your lawyers involved.

victoriastrauss
02-26-2008, 08:04 PM
Reminding everyone that Writer Beware collects complaints and documentation on questionable publishers, agents, and others....we encourage anyone who has had an experience with Harbor House, good or bad, to contact us at beware@sfwa.org.

Thanks!

- Victoria

MLS859
02-26-2008, 11:19 PM
I had already sent an e-mail to that addy -- to ask if you wanted a copy of the letter? I'd be glad to send you one.

Lynn

MLS859
02-27-2008, 08:07 PM
I spoke on the phone to the author who I mentioned before and he basically said, "if it was between working with HH or not being published, he wouldn't publish".

Lynn

chinatown
05-28-2008, 02:26 AM
I've had personal experience with them. I DO NOT recommend them. I wish I had known then what I know now.

CaoPaux
11-11-2008, 12:35 AM
FYI - Harbor House is closing: http://shocklinesforum.yuku.com/topic/7947/t/Bad-News-for-Me-and-My-Books.html

Updated link for Harbor: http://www.harborhousebooks.com/index.shtml

IceCreamEmpress
11-11-2008, 02:46 AM
Someone on the Shocklines thread said "Oh, those rights will presumably revert to you." NO! If a publisher you're working with ever goes out of business, it's vitally important to get a written release of rights from them. Don't presume or assume anything.

MLS859
02-06-2009, 09:42 PM
This is interesting news, since I'm in the same town and have heard no mention of this (not that I would have necessarily but I'd be surprised if it wasn't mentioned in the newspaper, etc.)

After I got the letter offering to publish my book as long as I would buy 700 copies, etc, I actually marched right up to Mr. Floyd at a school function (his son and my daughter are at the same school). I wasn't ugly -- because that's not my style and there was no cause for it -- but I did tell him I wasn't quite ready to give up on "regular" publishing. He didn't seem to take offense -- he remembered my story -- told me enough details that I knew he had read it -- or either had talked to someone about it extensively. He told me it was too long -- but I had suggested, in my "marketing ideas" that the book could be split into two parts -- and he told me that this would work well. He also told me that my novel had a lot of potential -- but, I'm not sure what that meant, considering.

ScottAJohnson
02-21-2009, 01:22 AM
Well, Knowing now what I know and having had my eyes opened, I feel lucky to have gotten what I got out of them. And they're closed now, and I'm looking for a new more reputable publisher.

victoriastrauss
02-21-2009, 02:02 AM
Scott, are you sure they're closed? I've gotten conflicting reports.

- Victoria

ScottAJohnson
02-21-2009, 02:09 AM
I got a letter from his lawyer about a month ago telling me that 1) they're closing shop and 2) all my books' copyrights belong to me now. Glad of that. Randal (owner) is filing for bankruptcy, and is (according to him) getting out of the publishing business.

victoriastrauss
02-21-2009, 03:22 AM
Scott, can you send me a copy of the letter so I can close my file on this publisher? Contact me at beware@sfwa.org. Thanks.

Glad he returned your rights. Not all writers caught in a publishing house failure are so lucky.

- Victoria

ScottAJohnson
02-21-2009, 07:11 AM
Victoria -
Sure thing. Let me get settled (I just moved and my scanner is still in a box somewhere) and I'll get it to you.

Filigree
09-07-2013, 08:33 PM
This may or may not be the same publisher, but I have some outside info indicating they are (still, or again) in business.

victoriastrauss
09-08-2013, 05:36 AM
Can you share? PM me or email: beware [at] sfwa.org. Thanks.

- Victoria