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A Better Be Write Publisher Inc. / A-Argus Better Book Publishers

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Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

roncouch

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Seeing as how there's been no one who's surfaced to say they've recouped their fee, I want to know why you're even taking the trouble with these guys. Even if they're not asking money from you, they're asking money from others - and likely getting it. Which tells me they're incapable of operating like the commercial houses, and that's not someone you want handling your book.

Publishers pay you. Publishers invest in you. There's no reason for them to ever ask you for money, because they're more than capable of making it themselves. That's how they stay in business.

I certainly agree with you. It's little trouble to send stuff via e-mail. Thought I'd play along and let you all know what this place offers. There is no way I am paying one red cent to them or others.
 

delaneyh

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A Argus Better Book Publishers

My experience with this publisher has been terrible - somewhat of a bait and switch tactic to get a 'subsidy' fee up front. After this the publisher failed to send reports or roylaties for up to a year after the book cameout.

Anyone else out there have any input?
 

GothicKnight

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I read their press release, conveniently included in their email to me regarding my MS. I got the three possibilities others have received, namely they may not ask me for anything, they may charge me up to $1850, or they'll reject it outright. I would rather go unpublished than have to pay a publisher to get my novel out there. As has been stated by many here, no legitimate publisher charges the author anything for publication. They're not much better than PA, as far as I'm concerned.
 

BenPanced

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I read their press release, conveniently included in their email to me regarding my MS. I got the three possibilities others have received, namely they may not ask me for anything, they may charge me up to $1850, or they'll reject it outright. I would rather go unpublished than have to pay a publisher to get my novel out there. As has been stated by many here, no legitimate publisher charges the author anything for publication. They're not much better than PA, as far as I'm concerned.
:Clap:

The sting of another rejection letter is easier to cope with than the dread you feel when you realize you'll never see any results for that $1850.
 

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Hello. Last year, July 2009, I published my first novel with a-argus. What a mistake. Please, if you are considering doing business with this publisher, realize they are scam artists. They take your money, never send reports on the sales of your book--or better yet--they send bogus reports, and realize that you might never be paid one penny for your work--even if your book is selling! I have not been paid any royalties, and Mr. Connor does not return my emails. He is unprofessional and uncaring. Right now, several authors at Argus are filing complaints and even talking about hiring legal experts. Buyer Beware--do not do business with A-Argus Better Book Publishers!
 

victoriastrauss

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Data Writer Beware has recently gathered on Argus Enterprises and its owner, William J. Connor Jr.:

- The company includes a third publisher under its umbrella: A Book 4 You.

- Connor formerly was a tax preparer. In 2005, he was permanently enjoined from preparing tax returns, assisting with their preparation, or owning or working for a tax preparation business, because some of the returns he was filing were allegedly fraudulent.

The stipulated final injunction

The Dept. of Justice's press release

- Victoria
 

samsilly

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Ask Mr. Connor about this:
#457: 09-06-05 FEDERAL COURT BARS NORTH CAROLINA MAN FROM PREPARING TAX RETURNS FOR OTHERS
www.justice.gov
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Justice Department announced today that a North Carolina federal court has barred William Jackson Connor, Jr., of Kernersville, North Carolina, from preparing tax returns for others. In entering the permanent injunction order, Judge James A. Beaty, Jr. of the U.S. District C...

Crooked, crooked, crooked vanity publisher.
 

samsilly

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Liar, Liar

Someone is not telling the truth here. A-Argus is a vanity publisher--and a not very honest one too boot. Stay away from this publisher! I didn't and now I'm paying the price. They are a dishonest company to work with. I know from personal experience. My book came out one year ago and I haven't even received a verifiable sales report let alone any royalties.
 

Shrouded

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FYI
I just received an email from William J. Connor Jr. of A-Argus Publishing asking me for the status of my MS. He states there was some change in management and he was sorry for the delay in getting back to me. I found this odd considering I don't remember ever putting out an inquiry to him and my MS has been picked up and published by another publisher. Anyone have any idea of what is going on with this one?
 

Ayanna

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Was wondering if there was any new info on this publisher? Since they changed hands and stuff, didnt know it things got better or not.
 

aliceshortcake

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According to the website:

A-Better Be Write does not require nor do we accept financial participation by the Author

I'm not sure what you mean by the company changing hands, as Mr Connor is still listed as the Managing Editor. This would put me off, as would the fact the ABBW accepts virtually every genre. The books themselves are so expensive ($18.95 for a 42-page children's paperback book entitled Why Cody Can't Learn) they have to be POD. And the covers...dear God, the covers! Factor in blurbs like this for Charlie Ford Meets Secret Agent Man...

What's the worst that could happen? Charlie gets a job, working for Hollywood's top action hero, caring for his blatantly pretentious twelve year old daughter, Annabelle. A summer to be spent in Africa with dirt, a spoiled brat and bugs the size of her fist. Who knew that airplanes do get high-jacked and that Charlie tends to scream like a girl and pass out -- A lot! Come along for a wild adventure in which Charlie meets Secret Agent man. There's wildlife, bad dudes with guns and a hunky super spy to add to the excitement. It's unlike any summer vacation you've ever had.



...and you get the impression that the company probably shouldn't be at the top of anyone's list.
 

victoriastrauss

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I haven't gotten any complaints about this complex of publishers lately, but vanity publishers don't generally walk back from fees. They may have changed how they describe or categorize their fees, but I'm betting they still charge them.

- Victoria
 

Ayanna

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I have no fee for my book and they offered to get it out there. I have full say in my cover, which leads me to think they let the authors control them and they say yeah or no to them in the end. So I was just curious, also I get a good compensation, wont say how much but it is well worth it. Dont know how much to say or not because I dont want to be singled out, but I think they have changed.
 

Ayanna

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Oh I will say that if I went with their editors I would pay their editor fees, which I believe is fully understandable.
 

veinglory

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What is the bet that their "editor" charges $1850.

They are charging you fees. This sort of scam doesn't "get better". If you haven't signed anything, I would suggest not doing so--very strongly.

Looked at all these authors explaining how the publisher ripped them off. That should be warning enough.
 

BenPanced

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Or if they tell you you'll need to have your worked edited by Blah Editing Services before they'll publish your book, chances are Blah is part of their company or somebody's getting kickbacks.
 

victoriastrauss

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Oh I will say that if I went with their editors I would pay their editor fees, which I believe is fully understandable.

Bingo.

Reputable publishers don't charge for editing. Vanity publishers, on the other hand like to camouflage their charges by calling them something else.

- Victoria
 

Ayanna

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I am not being charged a dime by them. I did pay for my own editor, an old teacher, but nothing was paid to Argus. I got a great deal with them, and already am seeing a large interest in my book, and its not even released yet. I feel Argus is doing a great job, I have been so happy with them. I had worked with a larger publisher 10 years ago and was not happy, I would of basically sold all my book rights to them, and would of had no say in the cover or anything else. Argus is different I get say in EVERYTHING that goes on with my book. I have been in constant connections with them for the past year or so, and am extremely happy. I think just like anything else, you just need to find what fits and works for you. So those that dont feel that Argus is doing them good, then feel free to look elsewhere. Argus is giving me the chance to become something bigger and do go on to bigger things, I am very pleased with them!
 

aliceshortcake

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From the ABBW website:

Why should I choose ABBW?

A:











ABBW knows what an author wants:
  • To be treated like the artist they are.
  • To have queries answered as quickly as possible.
  • To learn if their manuscript has been accepted in a timely manner.
  • To have the publishing process explained so that new authors understand the time element involved once a manuscript has been accepted.
  • To keep communication lines open between publisher and author.
  • To be included on the ideas for the cover chosen, thus utilizing the creativity of both our graphics department and the authors.
  • To be equally and actively involved in the advertising, promotions and marketing of the book.
  • To become the next Top 10 author!
http://www.abetterbewrite.com/index.html

So...an author wants 'to be equally and actively involved in the advertising, promotions and marketing of the book'? Ayanna, I suspect that you're going to end up spending a lot more than a dime to market your book because your publisher won't be taking an equal or active part in the effort. Marketing a book is the publisher's job, not the author's.

As I mentioned earlier, the high prices of ABBW's books suggest that they are POD, which will rule out bookshop placement. I'd be interested to know how many bookstores have taken up the 'Bulk Books' offer:

Any of our below titles can be purchased in multiple quantities. For every purchase of 20 books, you will receive 1 free copy.

The offer of one free copy isn't going to tempt any bookstore if the books aren't heavily discounted and returnable. Even if the authors manage to talk their local bookstore into accepting a copy or two, the covers (author input or no) are horribly amateurish. If I actually saw one in a bookstore I'd immediately assume it was vanity/self-published and back away.

Another problem: most of the featured reviews lead to dead links, not that I've heard of any of the publications or websites in which they originally appeared (except the Midwest Book Review, which is a bit of a joke (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=205055):



Inside A HAunted Mind
ISBN: 0-9788985-0-8; ISBN# 978-0-9788985-0-2;
Author: K. Patrick Malone
Publisher: A Better Be Write Publishing
353 pages, Softcover $22.95


Chattanooga Free Times Press
First-time author serves up ghost story
By Christine Simmons
Staff Writer “This is a good, old-fashioned ghost story complete with an old, creepy house, spirits and flying furniture. Or is it? Could it be nothing more than the illusions of a haunted and disturbed mind? The reader will have to pay close attention to figure that out. . . Every relationship in the story is extremely detailed, from the police chief and his mother to his relationship with the old librarian, who wears a mysterious Mahjong tile bracelet. At times the vividly created characters wrap readers up in their stories and eventually they are all tied to a set of long-ago murders . . . overall a good read, especially for a first-time author . . . “

Reviews from a local newspaper don't count for much, especially when the book in question is by an unknown author and costs $22.95 (£14.28) in paperback. You can buy two bestsellers for the same price.

Argus is giving me the chance to become something bigger and do go on to bigger things, I am very pleased with them!

But you won't have a chance to go on to bigger things if potential readers don't see your book in bookstores or read worthwhile reviews. What are AABW's sales figures like? Are authors expected to buy copies of their books? Because I find it hard to believe that a company with AABW's dodgy history, owned by a man with Mr Connor's dodgy background, isn't charging clients somewhere along the line.
 
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Ayanna

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All I have to say is I hear nothing but negativity from everyone on here. No one is pointing anyone else in a "better" direction as you all state. I feel for what its worth and I will repeat, I HAVE NOT PAID A DIME. I do not work with William Connor, Im sure hes in the mess somewhere but not with me directly. But please if you dont have any actual help to offer or point others that are having issues in another direction, just stop downing them. And as I stated before they might not be your choice but they might fit for other people. Kinda like If the Shoe fits wear it, find what works, is all Im saying. And for me in my situation this fits atm. I get to go at my own pace, and get help when needed, Im not told what to do.
 

Katrina S. Forest

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I am not being charged a dime by them. I did pay for my own editor, an old teacher, but nothing was paid to Argus. I got a great deal with them, and already am seeing a large interest in my book, and its not even released yet. I feel Argus is doing a great job, I have been so happy with them. I had worked with a larger publisher 10 years ago and was not happy, I would of basically sold all my book rights to them, and would of had no say in the cover or anything else. Argus is different I get say in EVERYTHING that goes on with my book. I have been in constant connections with them for the past year or so, and am extremely happy. I think just like anything else, you just need to find what fits and works for you. So those that dont feel that Argus is doing them good, then feel free to look elsewhere. Argus is giving me the chance to become something bigger and do go on to bigger things, I am very pleased with them!

A commercial publisher (I assume that's what you mean by larger) tried to buy all rights to your book? I'd say you were smart not to go with whatever company that was, but I'm not sure it's reflective of how commercial publishers typically work. (More experienced members here will chime in, I'm sure.)

The question in any of these background check threads is always, "Is this a good place for authors to submit?" If people see a bunch of red flags, of course you're going to see those pointed out.

Look in threads for companies that people would recommend, and you'll see lots of positive comments, often followed by posts on how long it typically takes to hear back on a submission.

The positive/negative tone all depends on the company in question.
 

Filigree

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A very quick search on Alexa turned up this:

Statistics Summary for abetterbewrite.com
Abetterbewrite.com is ranked #16,359,056 in the world according to the three-month Alexa traffic rankings, and the site is based in the US. The site has been online for at least seven years.

Alexa Traffic Rank Reputation: (nothing listed)
16,359,056
Global Rank

6
Sites Linking In
(No reviews yet)

If I were shopping for a small publisher to give me international exposure, this ranking would not entice me. Esp. from a seven-year-old publisher. I have not looked yet at specific books from them on Amazon, so that would be next. Taken across a spectrum of books, very large Amazon rankings (in the millions) can indicate books that have only sold one or two copies. By extension, that can also hint that a publisher is not doing very much to market said books.

Ayanna, I wish you the best of your experience with this publisher, and hope I hear great things about your work. If the comments in this forum can seem really harsh, it's because AW members have seen too many publisher meltdowns over the years.
 

BenPanced

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Was wondering if there was any new info on this publisher? Since they changed hands and stuff, didnt know it things got better or not.

I have no fee for my book and they offered to get it out there. I have full say in my cover, which leads me to think they let the authors control them and they say yeah or no to them in the end. So I was just curious, also I get a good compensation, wont say how much but it is well worth it. Dont know how much to say or not because I dont want to be singled out, but I think they have changed.

Oh I will say that if I went with their editors I would pay their editor fees, which I believe is fully understandable.

I am not being charged a dime by them. I did pay for my own editor, an old teacher, but nothing was paid to Argus. I got a great deal with them, and already am seeing a large interest in my book, and its not even released yet. I feel Argus is doing a great job, I have been so happy with them. I had worked with a larger publisher 10 years ago and was not happy, I would of basically sold all my book rights to them, and would of had no say in the cover or anything else. Argus is different I get say in EVERYTHING that goes on with my book. I have been in constant connections with them for the past year or so, and am extremely happy. I think just like anything else, you just need to find what fits and works for you. So those that dont feel that Argus is doing them good, then feel free to look elsewhere. Argus is giving me the chance to become something bigger and do go on to bigger things, I am very pleased with them!

All I have to say is I hear nothing but negativity from everyone on here. No one is pointing anyone else in a "better" direction as you all state. I feel for what its worth and I will repeat, I HAVE NOT PAID A DIME. I do not work with William Connor, Im sure hes in the mess somewhere but not with me directly. But please if you dont have any actual help to offer or point others that are having issues in another direction, just stop downing them. And as I stated before they might not be your choice but they might fit for other people. Kinda like If the Shoe fits wear it, find what works, is all Im saying. And for me in my situation this fits atm. I get to go at my own pace, and get help when needed, Im not told what to do.
Thanks for that set-up. Ask us if there's any new information, quickly tell us you've already signed with them, complain when we give our impression based on past experience with other publishers. Typical.
 

Ayanna

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Yes I asked for current information, not repeated stuff or old stuff. Current, like the past year or so. I did research I contacted old and new authors, the old said it was awful but the current ones say that they have been treated very well. They were able to move on to other companies because they werent Newbies anymore. Im sorry Ben if you feel that way. This is not a flame board but a place to get opinions and help so please dont flame me for asking a simple question and hoping for help.