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View Full Version : Deep River Books (formerly VMI Publishers) / Virtue Ministries, Inc.



Dancre
05-27-2004, 11:27 PM
www.vmipublishers.com/index.htm (http://www.vmipublishers.com/index.htm)

anyone ever heard of these people? i think they are a POD, but i'm not for sure.
thanks.

vstrauss
05-28-2004, 03:43 AM
It's a "partnership" (i.e., vanity) publisher. It requires authors to buy a large number of finished books.

- Victoria

Dancre
05-28-2004, 10:00 PM
Thanks, Victoria. I've been doing a bit of research myself. It seems these folks claim they can get the books into major books stores.


VMI's marketing partnerships represent over 50 years of marketing, sales, and distribution experience. Your book will be introduced to over 900 of the largest independent Christian retailers. Your book will also be exposed to the large Christian and secular retail chains such as Barnes & Noble, Family Christian Stores, The Parable Group, Borders, etc. In addition, your book will be introduced to the major Internet sites such as Amazon.com. We will also feature your book on the VMI website, and advertise your book through industry and trade catalogs.

well, i called major bookstores and they don't stock any of their books. can you please add these folks to your list on writer beward?

i'm also planning on sending dave a message too.
thanks

vstrauss
05-29-2004, 02:13 AM
They're added.

Note how carefully worded the paragraph you quoted is...they "introduce" and "expose" the book to retailers. They don't ever say it will be carried. This is like making a book "available" in bookstores--i.e., it doesn't mean what an inexperienced writer thinks it means.

- Victoria

MadScientistMatt
07-15-2005, 04:46 PM
Here we have an example of how a publisher may hide their fees.

Not to mention another example of a scammer who hides behind religion by targeting the Christian market and implying to be run on Christian principles. Apparently they have a slightly different interpretation of "Thou shalt not steal" and "Thou shalt not bear false witness."

NicoleJLeBoeuf
07-15-2005, 08:11 PM
(Bump post with name of publisher in it for searchable purposes.)

Ray's Dog
09-15-2005, 04:14 AM
Does anyone have any poop on this publisher? It's called VMI, Virtue Ministries Incorporated and is out of Oregon. Someone I know has been offered a contract by them. They require that she buy the first thousand books and sell them herself. According to them, it costs $20,000 to launch a new book and they work in a partnership with the author to promote the book...but she has to sell them out her trunk. What kind of promotion is that? Where is their risk? They do not pay any advance; she pays, from what I can figure, around $10,000 to get published. They handle the printing, the cover, the ISBN and legal stuff.

She's thrilled and I sure don't want to rain on her parade, but it looks to me like the deluge is going to come after these people get their hands on her money. Am I missing something here?

James D. Macdonald
09-15-2005, 04:21 AM
They require that she buy the first thousand books and sell them herself.


That's all you need to know.

It's a vanity press. Move along.

Ray's Dog
09-15-2005, 05:25 AM
That's all you need to know.

It's a vanity press. Move along.

That's what I figured. Now if we can just convince her that this is NOT a good deal. She's such a good soul. I hate to see her get taken.

Thanks for your help.

Bleak House Books
09-15-2005, 08:21 AM
That's what I figured. Now if we can just convince her that this is NOT a good deal. She's such a good soul. I hate to see her get taken.

Thanks for your help.

In addition to this site, there are plenty of books that you could point her to on the topic. Even the Writer's Digest Guide to Publishers gives a basic enough outline of how the publishing process should work.

For $10,000 she could pay a designer, get her own ISBN, print the books, and still have enough money to take a European vacation. It's not only bad, because of what Jim says, "money should flow towards the author." But it's bad because it's overpriced. It's almost like the "publisher" said, "Hell, if we're goin to scam people, we might as well go full out with it."

Stop her. Even if her feelings get hurt, it's better now, then later when $10,000 is gone, too.

underthecity
09-15-2005, 04:12 PM
Stop her. Even if her feelings get hurt, it's better now, then later when $10,000 is gone, too.
Definitely. If her book is good enough, she can surely find a commercial publisher who will pay her, then she really will be published. No stigma attached.

allen

aka eraser
09-15-2005, 05:53 PM
Point her to this thread for starters. Would she be excited if a company "hired" her and she had to pay them $10,000 for the privilege?

Ray's Dog
09-15-2005, 06:14 PM
For $10,000 she could pay a designer, get her own ISBN, print the books, and still have enough money to take a European vacation. It's not only bad, because of what Jim says, "money should flow towards the author." But it's bad because it's overpriced. It's almost like the "publisher" said, "Hell, if we're goin to scam people, we might as well go full out with it."

Stop her. Even if her feelings get hurt, it's better now, then later when $10,000 is gone, too.

You are so right. That's a big chunk of change and all you end up with is a trunk load of books you can't sell. Even if the book is good, it would be hard to sell them....from your trunk...one by one.

We don't want to hurt her feelings, but it's sort of a 'friends don't let friends drive drunk' scenario, but a little more delicate than bopping someone over the head and taking their keys. It's her decision, but we're hoping she'll think and research more before she takes the plunge. This site has been mentioned. We've got our fingers crossed.

Thanks for your input.

Ray's Dog
09-15-2005, 06:23 PM
Definitely. If her book is good enough, she can surely find a commercial publisher who will pay her, then she really will be published. No stigma attached.

allen

This is a first novel and I think she has given up too soon with the reputable houses and agents. Like Uncle Jim says: "Send it out until hell won't have it." I don't think Lucifer has read it yet. She's a very good writer. She just hasn't found the right 'fit' yet.

Thanks, undercity. I feel sick about the whole thing. I want the best for her.

Ray's Dog
09-15-2005, 06:27 PM
Point her to this thread for starters. Would she be excited if a company "hired" her and she had to pay them $10,000 for the privilege?

We have mentioned this site and others that deal with 'bad' publishing deals. Whether she's read them or not, I don't know. Let's hope she does.

Good point about paying a company to hire you. I might use that somewhere down the line.

Thanks, aka eraser. I appreciate your input.

roach
09-15-2005, 08:42 PM
This is a first novel and I think she has given up too soon with the reputable houses and agents. Like Uncle Jim says: "Send it out until hell won't have it." I don't think Lucifer has read it yet. She's a very good writer. She just hasn't found the right 'fit' yet.

Thanks, undercity. I feel sick about the whole thing. I want the best for her.

Miss Snark (http://misssnark.blogspot.com/), a literary agent says you must collect 100 rejections. At that point you look back at your book and at the feedback you've collected and see where you need to improve the book. This is along the same line as Uncle Jim's advice, but with a concrete number for those writers who feel better about such things.

You also might want to ask your friend to go into the neighborhood big bookstore and look for books published by VMI. My guess is that she won't find any on the shelf. If the company can't/won't get their books on the shelf then readers won't get to read them. Ask her which she'd rather have, to be "published" or to be read. That just might help put things in perspective.

Good luck.

Ray's Dog
09-15-2005, 10:57 PM
Miss Snark (http://misssnark.blogspot.com/), a literary agent says you must collect 100 rejections. At that point you look back at your book and at the feedback you've collected and see where you need to improve the book. This is along the same line as Uncle Jim's advice, but with a concrete number for those writers who feel better about such things.

You also might want to ask your friend to go into the neighborhood big bookstore and look for books published by VMI. My guess is that she won't find any on the shelf. If the company can't/won't get their books on the shelf then readers won't get to read them. Ask her which she'd rather have, to be "published" or to be read. That just might help put things in perspective.

Good luck.

I LOVE Miss Snark! Such good practical advice...with a twist of humor on the side.

Giving advice to my friend has been sort of backdoor so far....diplomatic as possible. We're sort of seeding the ground for when she comes down off the high of thinking this is a 'good deal'. Your suggestion about going to bookstores and looking for a book published by VMI is a great idea. I'll pass that on...and around and see if we can shove it in the door. It's an important point.

Thanks.

book_maven
09-15-2005, 11:14 PM
I believe Uncle Jim once said he wrote his first novel at age 12 and published his first novel at age 35. Maybe this is worth bearing in mind.

James D. Macdonald
09-16-2005, 02:41 AM
It's true (though I did other things in the interim).

Also, you might consider pointing your friend to http://www.sfwa.org/beware/

Will your friend be happier with you if she sends $10K to these folks, finds out the hard way what it means, then finds out that you knew all along what was going to happen but didn't tell her?

Vomaxx
09-16-2005, 06:57 AM
I hope your friend has a closet big enough to store the 1,000 books. Has she told you how she plans to market them?

Ray's Dog
09-16-2005, 06:59 AM
Will your friend be happier with you if she sends $10K to these folks, finds out the hard way what it means, then finds out that you knew all along what was going to happen but didn't tell her?

A point that has been taken into great consideration. Unfortunately she's on a high right now and thinks she's done her homework. IOW, she ain't listening. I think we're going to have to get out the bullhorn. But in the end, it's her decision. Geez, I hate that. I keep screaming: "Don't do it!"

Thanks for the link. That's one another friend sent her. I hope she followed up. No word today.

Ray's Dog
09-16-2005, 07:05 AM
I hope your friend has a closet big enough to store the 1,000 books. Has she told you how she plans to market them?

The thought makes me want to get into a fetal position and weep. To answer your question: no. I get the impression that she thinks it'll be work, but not all that difficult.

CaoPaux
09-16-2005, 09:04 PM
http://www.vmipublishers.com/index.htm

FYI: VMI's imprints are: Musterion Press, Trusted Books, and Deep River Books.

Ray's Dog
09-16-2005, 11:07 PM
http://www.vmipublishers.com/index.htm

FYI: VMI's imprints are: Musterion Press, Trusted Books, and Deep River Books.

Thank you, CaoPaux. I'll go now and check this out. I googled and I did an AOL search and came up empty. Guess I didn't put in the magic word. :>)

Thanks again!

jesustattoo
10-11-2005, 08:35 AM
VMi sells the books at a discount, so if the author sells them he makes a profit. Something to think about.

When a legit publisher offers a contract do they make the author buy a number of books as well? Help!!

roach
10-11-2005, 08:48 AM
When a legit publisher offers a contract do they make the author buy a number of books as well? Help!!

From what I have read here most commercial publishers give authors a fair number of copies of their own books, they can buy more at a steep discount but those books are only to be used for promotional purposes not for resale.

It's the writer's job to write the book and sell it to the publisher. It's the publisher's job to sell the book to the reading public. Writers are always welcome with promotion but they are not required to be salespeople.

James D. Macdonald
10-11-2005, 09:49 AM
When a legit publisher offers a contract do they make the author buy a number of books as well?

No.

It is in no way standard publishing practice to make authors buy their own books.

MadScientistMatt
10-11-2005, 04:40 PM
VMi sells the books at a discount, so if the author sells them he makes a profit. Something to think about.

The "discount" is still probably a substantial mark-up over what it actually costs the vanity publisher to make the book. Jaws recently made a handy printing cost estimator (http://www.authorslawyer.com/l-print0.shtml#estimator) to figure out how much the actual cost per book is. Vanity presses often charge considerably more.

And "If the author sells them" can be a pretty big if...


When a legit publisher offers a contract do they make the author buy a number of books as well? Help!!

No, never. Only a scam publisher would claim to be a publishing company and then insist the author buy a number of books.

That kind of pay to publish is not to be confused with a printing company, which simply is in the business of printing books, posters, and nearly anything else. Printers do not claim to be anything but what they are, and in fact many publishing houses contract with them to print their books. Teresa Neilson Hayden wrote a very useful guide to self publishing through a printing company. (http://www.sfwa.org/beware/selfpublishing.html) This is definitely not a scam, but it is also often a difficult way to sell books compared to having a commercial publisher use its marketing arm to get them into bookstores while you only have to worry about writing the sequel.

JennaGlatzer
10-11-2005, 05:02 PM
RD, I think it's great that you're trying to keep your friend out of harm's way. I know how delicate that can be... even with everything I do here, I still get all queasy when a friend announces to me that he/she got an offer from a vanity press or a scammy agent. I'm always uncomfortable trying to explain the facts because I know it's going to be a bummer no matter what-- and that my friend may do it anyway and think I'm just trying to rain on his or her parade.

But I think all of us who know better have a responsibility to try to warn our friends about these things.

aruna
10-11-2005, 05:12 PM
But I think all of us who know better have a responsibility to try to warn our friends about these things.

I was in such a situation last year, when a friend announced to me, with joy in her voice, that her son (9 yrs old) had one an "award" for his poetry. Apparently some "anthology" had invited schools to send in kids' poetry, and the "winners" would be published inan anthology. The "award" was a piece of paper saying he had won.

This little boy is a dear; he's almost deaf, had an abusive father, and struggles really hard. He was so proud of his "poetry award" and of "getting published"!

Sure enough, when the anthology was published the parents were encouraged to buy it for a ridiculous price. I tried to persuade my friend not to buy it, but it was too late. And of course there was the boy to think of; he was so proud of himself!
Aparently there are a few of these companies targeting British primary schools. The teachers don't know any better and let the kids enter; parents and kids love it when they win. I saw their promotional materials and felt sick.

DaveKuzminski
10-11-2005, 06:56 PM
Sounds like we need to find a way to inform teachers in all schools of these scams so they won't participate unknowingly. Perhaps the NEA in the US could be approached. Not sure about the organizations in other countries, but there must be some national organizations in those as well.

victoriastrauss
10-12-2005, 12:36 AM
Aparently there are a few of these companies targeting British primary schools. The teachers don't know any better and let the kids enter; parents and kids love it when they win. I saw their promotional materials and felt sick.Do you remember the name of the company? I'd be interested to know. There's a similar company that targets teachers and schools in the US.

- Victoria

elsid
08-25-2006, 08:04 AM
Just received an email from VMI about their interest in my manuscipt I had posted on 1st Edition. (ECPA) The water cooler was the first place I checked and learned just what I suspected. Thank you all for helping me make the decision not to contract with them.

victoriastrauss
08-25-2006, 06:22 PM
Just received an email from VMI about their interest in my manuscipt I had posted on 1st Edition. (ECPA)This is also an illustration of the problems with ECPA and similar fee-based "submission" services--not only do reputable publishers rarely (if ever) peruse them, they're a ready-made trolling ground for questionable publishers.

- Victoria

elsid
08-25-2006, 11:43 PM
Sounds to me like you're absolutely right, Victoria. That helps me not to make a decision to renew my subscription with them, Christian or not. Will not happen again. Thank you. By the way, does that go for InkTip as well? I here a lot of positive things about that particular site.

meangene01
06-16-2008, 07:43 PM
I was just offerd a "contract" by VMI and a few other "partner publishers" and based on what I'm reading here it looks like I will be passing on that "deal"...by deal I mean I shell out $9100 for 1000 books (which realistically I could sell pretty easily in a few months--trust me on this one). I was planning on signing the contract today and then I did one final google search and *BAM*, the absolutewrite forums saved me!

I did a few searches on Amazon, B&N and Borders websites and saw many VMI published titles for sale so they are being carried by the "big boys" to some degree. But the upfront cost seems a little backwards--guess it's time to start looking for an agent. Can someone point me to a good list on these forums?

meangene01
06-16-2008, 07:58 PM
Ok, I found some of the posts about agents and I'm digging through the different sites to find what I am looking for....

MadScientistMatt
06-17-2008, 04:26 AM
Congratulations on your escape! Real agents usually don't advertise to authors as they typically have enough submissions coming in as it is, so you need to do a little detective work to find out good ones. See if you can find books sort of like yours and find out what agent sold them. And good luck.

meangene01
06-17-2008, 06:49 AM
Thanks Matt. I have already written a query letter (thanks to the info on this site), submitted out to about 10 agents so far today, and have found something else to spend $9100 on.

russlhuizing
12-04-2008, 02:06 AM
VMI is saying that they are a subsidy publisher not a vanity publisher. I tend to lean towards what everyone is saying here - I don't see the risk on their part. But I'm confused about the difference between subsidy/vanity (even though I've read the definitions on this site). Help?

M.R.J. Le Blanc
12-04-2008, 02:16 AM
When a legit publisher offers a contract do they make the author buy a number of books as well? Help!!

NO!!!!!

Legit publishers NEVER ask you for money. EVER.

IceCreamEmpress
12-04-2008, 04:49 AM
I'm confused about the difference between subsidy/vanity

There really is none. People call themselves "subsidy publishers" and blather on about how they and the author are equal partners, and they invest too, blah, blah, blah. That might even be accurate.

But at the end of the day, the author's still paying the so-called publisher. Which makes them not a publisher, but a printing service. Now, that's what some people want, and more power to them. It's the people who don't realize that this so-called publisher isn't providing what actual publishers offer who are getting taken.

I haven't noticed a significant difference in cost to the author between the places that call themselves "subsidy" and the places that are less squeamish about the "vanity" designation.

victoriastrauss
12-04-2008, 05:02 AM
VMI is saying that they are a subsidy publisher not a vanity publisher. I tend to lean towards what everyone is saying here - I don't see the risk on their part. But I'm confused about the difference between subsidy/vanity (even though I've read the definitions on this site). Help?

In theory, there's a difference. With a vanity publisher, you not only pay 100% of the cost of publishing your book, but the publisher's overhead and profit as well. A subsidy publisher, by contrast, contributes something of value to the relationship--sharing the financial outlay, providing services above and beyond what your fee pays for. In other words, with vanity publishing you take on the full financial risk. With subsidy publishing, the risk is shared. Subsidy publishers are also more selective than vanity publishers, and make genuine attempts to market their books.

Remember, though, that I said "in theory." It's rare to encounter a true subsidy publisher these days. While many so-called subsidy publishers do use some elements of the classic subsidy model (retaining rights and paying royalties on sales), they are vanity publishers in all the ways that count--minimal selectivity, charging fees that cover all costs including overhead and profit, doing little in the way of meaningful distribution or marketing. This hybrid business model is actually the worst of both worlds, since it presents all the disadvantages of vanity publishing (a fat fee and little credibility) and none of the advantages* of subsidy publishing (actual cost sharing and genuine marketing).

Companies that call themselves subsidy publishers are likely to do so not because it truly describes their business model, but because it sounds nicer than "vanity publisher." Other euphemisms you may encounter: co-op publishing, partner publishing, author investments, collaborative publishing.

For a more detailed discussion of subsidy vs. vanity, see the Vanity and Subsidy Publishing (http://www.sfwa.org/beware/vanitypublishers.html) page of Writer Beware.

- Victoria

* "Advantage" being used here in a strictly relative sense.

lookinup
03-01-2009, 02:36 AM
This company has not disappointed my friend Beryl Taylor who is just releasing "Finding Dwain". Granted it's money up front. But she has found them to be responsive, professional, and pretty thorough I think. Her book is in the pre-sale process just now, and is due to be released on Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble June 1st.

Here is another quote from the VMI site:
" First, VMI's distribution starts with the great sales and marketing team at STL/FaithWorks (http://www.stl-distribution.com/meet_sales_team). Their marketing/sales team calls on the large Christian and secular retail chains such as Barnes & Noble, Family Christian Stores, LifeWay, Borders, Books-a-Million, and all other bookstore chains and "big box" retail outlets. They also provide your book to Amazon and other major book websites. In addition, they make sure your book is stocked at the wholesale distributors such as Ingram/Spring Arbor, Baker/Taylor, and Appalachian. In fact, we have our own full-time employee at Ingram, exclusively for FaithWorks books. (Click here to meet our great sales team! (http://www.vmipublishers.com/salesteam.htm))"

I can't speak from first-hand experience, only what I've observed - so far. They don't appear to hide what their doing - in fact the opposite is true, unlike your typical vanity publisher.

Hope this helps. Just wanted to elaborate to pull this chain of comments a little bit the other way for balance. If I find out differently - I'll be back to write... ;)

Richard White
03-01-2009, 02:46 AM
A publisher that tells you up front that you're paying to have your book published = a vanity publisher.

A publisher that doesn't tell you up front that you're paying to have your book published = a vanity publisher with ethical issues

A publisher that doesn't tell you up front that you're paying to have your book published, but prices it so high that the author/friends/family are the only ones likely to buy the book = Publish America (but we have another thread for that).

BenPanced
03-01-2009, 05:30 AM
This company has not disappointed my friend Beryl Taylor who is just releasing "Finding Dwain". Granted it's money up front. But she has found them to be responsive, professional, and pretty thorough I think. Her book is in the pre-sale process just now, and is due to be released on Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble June 1st.

Here is another quote from the VMI site:
" First, VMI's distribution starts with the great sales and marketing team at STL/FaithWorks (http://www.stl-distribution.com/meet_sales_team). Their marketing/sales team calls on the large Christian and secular retail chains such as Barnes & Noble, Family Christian Stores, LifeWay, Borders, Books-a-Million, and all other bookstore chains and "big box" retail outlets. They also provide your book to Amazon and other major book websites. In addition, they make sure your book is stocked at the wholesale distributors such as Ingram/Spring Arbor, Baker/Taylor, and Appalachian. In fact, we have our own full-time employee at Ingram, exclusively for FaithWorks books. (Click here to meet our great sales team! (http://www.vmipublishers.com/salesteam.htm))"

I can't speak from first-hand experience, only what I've observed - so far. They don't appear to hide what their doing - in fact the opposite is true, unlike your typical vanity publisher.

Hope this helps. Just wanted to elaborate to pull this chain of comments a little bit the other way for balance. If I find out differently - I'll be back to write... ;)

Go to the physical bookstores. Barnes & Noble. Borders. Books-A-Million. Heck, check even Wal*Mart. Not the websites. The actual brick-and-mortar stores. Do you find other books on the shelves by this publisher?

IceCreamEmpress
03-01-2009, 07:47 AM
This company has not disappointed my friend Beryl Taylor who is just releasing "Finding Dwain". Granted it's money up front. But she has found them to be responsive, professional, and pretty thorough I think.

I hope it works out well for her! Vanity/subsidy publishing does work well for some people in some situations--basically, the situations where a) the author is pleased with the quality of the product; b) the author is using the publisher primarily as a printing and shipping service; and c) the author is ready to do the marketing and promotion herself or himself.

Of course the main thing is for the author to have appropriate expectations. Sounds like your friend does have some understanding of what vanity/subsidy publishing can and can't deliver, which augurs well. Although the "We'll distribute your book!" thing you cite might be a bit misleading. I go to a lot of bookstores, including CBA stores, all around the country, and I have never seen a book from this press.

victoriastrauss
03-01-2009, 10:17 PM
I hope it works out well for her! Vanity/subsidy publishing does work well for some people in some situations--basically, the situations where a) the author is pleased with the quality of the product; b) the author is using the publisher primarily as a printing and shipping service; and c) the author is ready to do the marketing and promotion herself or himself.

Or d) the author has a non-commercial reason for wanting bound books, such as creating a recipe book, or compiling a genealogy, or creating a memoir just for family members.

VMI does reveal on its website that authors have to buy their own books as a condition of publication. However, authors need to realize that arrangements like this can be FAR more expensive than using a straightforward self-publishing service. Bottom line: if you plan to pay to publish, it really behooves you to shop around.

BTW, I find VMI's Sales Team page (http://www.vmipublishers.com/salesteam.htm) a bit misleading. The implication is that VMI has its own sales team, but in fact they've just lifted bios (http://www.stl-publisherservices.com/prospective_client/) off the STL/Faithworks website (http://www.stl-distribution.com/).

- Victoria

springfield
03-30-2009, 11:40 PM
VMI just posted a page you may be interested in:

http://www.vmipublishers.com/bookssoldinstores.htm

By the way, I've seen VMI books in many bookstores, but of course I look for them (my father is Bill Carmichael). You should ask his authors what they think about VMI. Some have also had their books picked up for second/third runs by larger publishers as a result of the strong sales through VMI.

Anyway, I think this thread is misguided at best. Shame on you for including VMI in a 'scam' section in the same breath as Publish America.

Has anyone actually thought to invite Bill or one of the VMI sales team (yes, they are definitely part of the team) to post a statement here?

M.R.J. Le Blanc
03-31-2009, 12:06 AM
What's misguided is this, from their site:


And increasingly, publishers are unwilling to take any risks on new authors. This, of course, puts new authors at a big disadvantage.
and


While most major publishers will not take risks on new authors, we feel there are many writers who have something significant to say but for various reasons do not receive a contract from other full-service publishers.

Publishers take on new writers all the time. That's in part of how they stay in business. There are many reasons why one may not have gotten published, from not following submission guidelines to having a story that just isn't saleable. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: there is no entitlement in publishing. Just because you wrote a story, does not automatically mean it deserves to be published. Whether VMI has the ability to determine what can sell and what can't, I don't know. But requiring the author's help to sell those books is always a flag. If they can get your book into all these places, why on earth would they need any help from you?

waylander
03-31-2009, 12:28 AM
Anyway, I think this thread is misguided at best. Shame on you for including VMI in a 'scam' section in the same breath as Publish America.


If you bother to look around this section you'll find many agents and publishers are discussed here. A large number of them are completely legitimate and are recognised as such.

victoriastrauss
03-31-2009, 02:14 AM
VMI just posted a page you may be interested in:

http://www.vmipublishers.com/bookssoldinstores.htm

It's instructive that VMI would include such a page on its website. Commercial publishers don't have sections of their websites touting the presence of their books in stores--because that presence is assumed. The fact that VMI considers this newsworthy enough to highlight on its website is indirect proof of how unusual it must be.


By the way, I've seen VMI books in many bookstores, but of course I look for them (my father is Bill Carmichael). You should ask his authors what they think about VMI. Some have also had their books picked up for second/third runs by larger publishers as a result of the strong sales through VMI.Bill Carmichael, for those who don't know, is VMI's founder.

I'd be interested to know the names and titles for some of those books picked up by larger publishers.


Anyway, I think this thread is misguided at best. Shame on you for including VMI in a 'scam' section in the same breath as Publish America.This is not a "scam" section. It's Bewares and Background Check. Yes, PublishAmerica is here. So is Chronicle Books, Kensington, Penguin, HarperCollins, Ten Speed Press, and a host of other reputable commercial publishers.


Has anyone actually thought to invite Bill or one of the VMI sales team (yes, they are definitely part of the team) to post a statement here?They are most welcome to post a statement, if they wish.

Look what I just found: PartnerPublishers.com (http://www.partnerpublishers.com/), a subsidiary of VMI. How it works (http://www.partnerpublishers.com/howitworks.htm): writers submit to major Christian publishers. Major Christian publishers refer rejected writers to PartnerPublishers. PartnerPublishers offers writers a vanity publishing package (http://www.partnerpublishers.com/partnership.htm) requiring the author to order 1,000 or more copies of his/her book at a discount (http://www.partnerpublishers.com/discountschedule.htm) keyed to order quantity.

Here's (http://tinyurl.com/ct6zm7) PartnerPublishers' pitch to publishers. Send us your poor! Your tired! Your slush pile!

- Victoria

M.R.J. Le Blanc
03-31-2009, 02:42 AM
Look what I just found: PartnerPublishers.com (http://www.partnerpublishers.com/), a subsidiary of VMI. How it works (http://www.partnerpublishers.com/howitworks.htm): writers submit to major Christian publishers. Major Christian publishers refer rejected writers to PartnerPublishers. PartnerPublishers offers writers a vanity publishing package (http://www.partnerpublishers.com/partnership.htm) requiring the author to order 1,000 or more copies of his/her book at a discount (http://www.partnerpublishers.com/discountschedule.htm) keyed to order quantity.

Here's (http://tinyurl.com/ct6zm7) PartnerPublishers' pitch to publishers. Send us your poor! Your tired! Your slush pile!

- Victoria

.....and where have we seen this before?

I wouldn't be surprised if there was a financial kickback involved in there somewhere

springfield
04-02-2009, 03:42 AM
That's actually a really good point -- why would VMI publicize that fact? Perhaps because whenever you do a search for VMI Publishers, your water cooler comes up right underneath it with a link to the dreaded "Bewares" section. Color me skeptical, indeed.

But you are right, posting that page smacks of overreaction of an assumed fact. I asked his web guy to take it down, after he asked if he should put it up the other day. In re-reading some of these posts, I agree with a lot of it. But VMI is not underhanded or misleading at all. And while a lot of people don't think you should pay for editing/publishing at all, they're welcome to try sneaking through the slush pile on their own.

Anyway, I don't disagree with most of the concepts posted here. I still think prospective authors should contact any of his authors (who all paid VMI) to find out firsthand what they think.

To answer your question, Victoria, Abbie Smith's book: Keeping Your Faith in College was picked up for wide release at Multnomah Books (www.keepingyourfaith.com (http://www.keepingyourfaith.com)). I know there are others and I'm looking for them.

Anyway, he must be doing something right: his own book, The Missionary, (www.missionarynovel.com (http://www.missionarynovel.com)) is selling very well (yes, also in stores), and is being shopped right now for movie rights.

As for Partner Publishers, 100% of the proceeds from that go to Professional Editor SANFORD COMMUNICATIONS (www.sanfordci.com (http://www.sanfordci.com)). That deal was struck so Bill could send authors who wanted to find a professional editing team without the appearance of 'double dipping' or the reprehensible act of requiring use of (*cough cough*) an editing team before publication.

"I wouldn't be surprised if there was a financial kickback involved in there somewhere"

That kind of comment is blatantly unfair. Please be fair, Ms. WoW. And if you wanted to get contacts at a real publishing house, we can help with that. No charges for the tip.

Thanks for listening, and I do respect the overall mission of the site. Bottom line? Authors who are skeptical should talk to people who have paid VMI.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
04-02-2009, 04:17 AM
It isn't unfair in the least. Why would a publisher recommend rejectees to a vanity house unless there was some kind of financial reward? Misinformation I suppose, but from all angles that I can see it doesn't reflect very well on them.

Point is, all those published authors out there, both by large and small houses? They didn't pay anything to get published except perhaps postage and printing. It's not a way of thinking, it's how the business works. Writers write a good story, and publishers pay those writers to publish that story. If there's an agent, he/she doesn't get paid until the author gets paid. I don't get why you think requiring an editing team before publication is reprehensible, because it isn't. Every house has an editing team of some size - it's a mark of a good publisher. It's editing before you get picked up by a publisher that would fall more under the reprehensible category, though that's too strong a word. Not really necessary, at least. Sneaking through the slushpile, as you put it, doesn't mean you're a better writer. It means you took a shortcut. A line comes to mind from J.R.R. Tolkien's books (paraphrasing because I don't want to go searching through my books): "shortcuts lead to longer delays". Taking a shortcut through the slushpile delays the honing of your craft. You bypass opportunities to improve because you couldn't be patient, and you really don't learn how to be a better writer and how to be objective of your own work. No, it's not easy to hear someone tell you something bad about your story or reject your story but because there are so many reasons why you get rejected it's worth listening to what agents and publishers are saying as to why they're rejecting it.

If someone wants to pay to publish fine, ultimately that's someone's choice. But if your story is good enough to get picked up by a commercial house who will pay you, isn't that the preferrable option? Of course it is! But you're never going to know unless you try. If they're happy fine, but with no disrespect meant to those authors how many of them thought this was how publishing works, as opposed to 'I've done my research on the industry, and I want to go this route anyway'? I'd wager very few.

carolsfitz
09-29-2009, 12:36 PM
I ran across this forum tonight and I need to respond to some of the blatant slams against VMI. Most of the criticism I've read in previous posts came from people who had probably not read (or understood) VMI's website, and definitely had not had personal contact with their people.

VMI is unique among publishers. It is a royalty publisher. But, it has one main difference--it caters to getting first-time authors ready for the big time. I read several posts that said if an author were really good enough to get published by a royalty publisher, then he or she would be able to find a publisher who would love their work and send them a contract. This view is very idealistic--especially in today's market. There are many unpublished authors out there who are better than some of the published ones, but whose work may be a little edgy, a little different, and no publisher right now is willing to take risks. Or, the new author's book has great potential market value, but needs more polishing than most publishers are willing to invest. This is where VMI shines. Yes, the new author must come up with part of the expense on the initial run, but that still costs much less than they would have had to pay on their own. And they end up with a high-quality product that has a chance of selling, not some schlocky self-published book from a "vanity publisher" who will publish almost anything as long as they get paid.

How do I know this? I've followed VMI for years. I was a beginning writer and VMI's approach was intriguing. When new authors want to get a book published, one of the best things they can do is meet publishers in person. A year ago, I was traveling through the Carmichaels' area and asked Bill if I could meet him. We both knew that my teacher resource book for helping teachers respond to struggling readers didn't fit in VMI's market niche, but Bill agreed to meet with me anyway. He was generous with his time and advice, and encouraged me to subcontract the publishing of my own book. I had never considered the possibility. Since then, I've met the Carmichaels two more times at conferences. They have been so supportive of my efforts--and they haven't received one dime from the time they spent with me. My book is now on the market and I credit Bill for giving me the push I needed. I wish my book had qualified for VMI because I've spent much more than VMI would have charged me.

So, all you people who are accusing VMI and the Carmichaels of preying on young authors for personal gain, get your facts straight. Just because VMI has a different approach, it doesn't mean they are a scam. They aren't for everyone, but they have given many people the break they needed.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
09-29-2009, 07:09 PM
If you're paying to be published (and I mean you in the general sense, not you in particular) you're vanity published. Plain and simple. Paint the horse any colour you'd like, it's still a horse. Maybe VMI didn't intend this, but that's what they are. Commercial publishers pay authors. Period. They don't ask their authors to pay anything. Why? Because they don't have to. Because they're making their money the way they're supposed to - by selling books to the public.

When new authors want to get a book published, the best thing they can do is write a really good book. Publishers WILL pick up a story if they believe it'll sell. That's not idealistic, that's reality.

Calla Lily
09-29-2009, 07:22 PM
If you're paying to be published (and I mean you in the general sense, not you in particular) you're vanity published. Plain and simple. Paint the horse any colour you'd like, it's still a horse. Maybe VMI didn't intend this, but that's what they are. Commercial publishers pay authors. Period. They don't ask their authors to pay anything. Why? Because they don't have to. Because they're making their money the way they're supposed to - by selling books to the public.

When new authors want to get a book published, the best thing they can do is write a really good book. Publishers WILL pick up a story if they believe it'll sell. That's not idealistic, that's reality.

QFT. Thank you.

James D. Macdonald
09-29-2009, 07:32 PM
And while a lot of people don't think you should pay for editing/publishing at all, they're welcome to try sneaking through the slush pile on their own.

Let me flat-out say it: No author should ever pay for editing or publishing.

veinglory
09-29-2009, 08:19 PM
This thread does Google well. So those with positive information might want to present is positively rather than launching a "counter-attack".

michael_b
09-09-2010, 03:28 AM
They look to be a pay to play Christian pub.

CaoPaux
01-26-2012, 07:29 AM
Updating link: http://www.vmipublishers.com/VMI_Publishers/Welcome.html

Writer-2-Author
02-29-2012, 06:32 AM
I submitted my ms to this contest and received this letter today. What do you all think???

I wanted to be the first to Congratulate you! Your manuscript received “Honorable Mention” in the 2011-12 Deep River Books Writer’s Contest. And while you did not win first place, “Honorable Mention” is a significant achievement when you consider there were over 400 contest entries. You are to be applauded for what you have accomplished.

As you know, Deep River Books is a full-service partner publisher. Our goal is to publish the best manuscripts from new authors, and we certainly feel yours could fit into that category. Due to the high score your manuscript achieved by our judges, I would like to send your manuscript through our regular editorial review process for possible publishing by Deep River Books.

If your book were to be selected by our editorial review board, we would make it a “Feature Title” which includes media coverage and an invitation to be a featured author signing books at our booth during next year's International Christian Retail Show where over 10,000 people, including many bookstore owners/buyers attend. It would also be a featured title at the Deep River Books website.

And because of the “Honorable Mention” status in the contest, we plan to offer you a $500 discount off our standard partnership program as an added incentive, if your book is selected by our in-house editorial team for publication.

But first, if you have not done so already, there is a detailed explanation about how the partnership works at our website, www.deepriverbooks.com (http://www.deepriverbooks.com/), that I would invite you to review, which answers most questions about how our publishing partnership program works. If you click the box “Getting Published” it will guide you through a few pages with the details. I would also be happy to set up a time to speak by phone if you have more questions.

After you read the “Getting Published” material at our website, please send me an email reply indicating whether or not you feel a Deep River Books partnership could work for you, if selected for publication by our editorial review team. Once I hear back in the affirmative, I will forward your manuscript to the editorial team for their final review and approval.


I do hope we can form a partnership that will allow your book to be one of Deep River Books’ featured titles in the coming year. Of course, you are under no obligation to publish your book with us and, either way, it was a joy to read your manuscript and I thank you for entering it in our writer’s contest. The contest results and announcement of the winners is posted at our website www.deepriverbooks.com/contest.html. (http://www.deepriverbooks.com/contest.html)

Regards,
William Carmichael, Publisher
Deep River Books

Unimportant
02-29-2012, 06:48 AM
Noting that VMI Publishers has changed its name (http://www.vmipublishers.com/VMI_Publishers/Welcome.html)to Deep River Books (and is still a vanity press, despite claiming otherwise, as they require their authors to purchase a minimum of 1000 copies of their own book).

A $500 discount isn't a lot considering that you'll have to spend a minimum of $9000 buying copies of your book. If a book is good enough to be published and sell thousands of copies, it's good enough to be published with a commercial rather than a vanity press. I think you should shop around for a better publisher.

Stacia Kane
02-29-2012, 03:00 PM
I notice that the "Honorable Mentions" are not listed on their website, which means every single non-winning entry could have gotten that same email. (I'm not saying they did, just that it's certainly a possibility.) There's no way of checking that.

Writer-2-Author
02-29-2012, 07:48 PM
I notice that the "Honorable Mentions" are not listed on their website, which means every single non-winning entry could have gotten that same email. (I'm not saying they did, just that it's certainly a possibility.) There's no way of checking that.

I was actually thinking the same thing. I'll let this one go. Thanks to all of you!

Cathy C
02-29-2012, 08:34 PM
Deep River Books is a full-service partner publisher

Read as: pay to play

CaoPaux
03-24-2016, 11:38 PM
Updating URL: http://deepriverbooks.com/