Okay, you got me. I'm secretly the business founder who has taken a new persona to defend his scorned company.
Wait, no. I'm just a random guy who thought he'd try and get a word in edge-wise. And all my info comes from about three weeks of research (I'm not going to submit to a house without knowing them inside and out.)
With all due respect, highborn, three weeks' research is not very much.
Publishing is an odd, counterintuitive business, and people who don't have direct experience are very rarely equipped to start up their own publishing house no matter how much business experience they have: this is one of those big, obvious red flags that authors should look out for.
There's plenty of evidence that this is the case in this room: if you look in the index thread in Bewares, you'll see plenty of greyed-out threads which show that the publisher we discussed has now gone out of business. And many of those publishers were started off by really good people, who had high hopes and good intentions, but who just lacked the knowledge they required to make things work.
It's very sad; and it's even sadder when you realise that all the books that were signed up by the companies concerned are now assets of those companies, and are so tied up in administration and bankruptcy proceedings, and the authors have little hope of ever seeing their rights returned--and if they are returned, they have little hope of having the book published well anywhere else.
We're looking at AEC and considering if it's a good option for writers. Based on the current evidence, they're not. We're not trying to be mean to the people who work there: we're trying to look out for the writers who might sign their books over to them. That's all.
Perhaps when you know a bit more about publishing you might realise what's really at stake here, and what the true risks are; and then you might judge us less harshly.
I know I sound patronising and pompous, but I don't mean to: it's difficult to hit the right tone online. Please be assured that my intentions are good. And if you're wondering where on earth I get off telling you you don't know what you're talking about, then consider this: for every week of research you've done into this publishing house, I've worked in publishing for a decade.
Ah.My closest connection to the company is knowing one of their authors.
So you weren't being honest with us when you told us this:
P.S. I'm not affiliated with AEC in any way, but they're near the top of my list of indie publishers to submit to.
You do have an affiliation with AEC: they publish a friend of yours.
It's not an official term: it's a common one. It means that they didn't hide things.She told me she had a wonderful experience with them. The word "transparency" was used a lot, which I guess means they don't hide stuff? It was used again in this thread, so I'm guessing it's an official term.
But it's not necessarily an indication that one is working with a good publisher.
And with all due respect to your friend, her wonderful experience is not the evidence you need to know if this is a good publisher or not.
Things you should be considering: what does her book look like? Have you noticed many typos in it? Where is it for sale? How has her publisher marketed and promoted her book? How are her sales? Does the publisher pay promptly?
If her book looks amateurish or is full of typos, you should think again about working with this publishing house.
If they're telling her she has to do the marketing and promotion, walk away.
If her book is not available through all major channels, walk away.
And if her sales are poor, then you should RUN.
*boggle*I'm not the greatest at math, but if 40 or so people are discussing something and slip in a few biting remarks, I'd count that as around 100.