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AEC Stellar Publishing

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

Unimportant

but appreciated anyway...
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All good points, but my main issue is that people are expressing an "unwarranted negativity" that is frankly vicious and unhelpful.
The point is, firstborn highborn, that it's not unwarranted. We can list hundreds of small presses who started out with good intentions, perhaps, but no experience or credentials....and who ended up tanking and taking all their authors down with them. I can't think offhand of a single publisher who started out with no experience or credentials and and who did remain successfully in business.

We don't have a bad attardattitude towards small or new presses -- quite the opposite. But we do offer our opinions honestly and openly, and what we're all saying is that this press does not look like a good choice for writers who aim to be commercially published. We say this solely with the aim of helping other writers.
 
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LindaJeanne

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Highborn,

Instead of critisizing us for scrutinizing whether thi ess is a god chice for authors, why don't you join the conversation by telling us why it IS a good choce?
 

Terie

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highborn

I'm the Admin of this server. I approved your membership. That meant Googling you.

I think you need to come clean here.

I also think you need to step back and consider how you're coming across.

You're not reading well; you're implying things that simply aren't true. And you're attacking a mod whose publishing credentials as an editor and an author are impeccable; I know because I've seen her work, and I know people she's worked with.

What are your editing credentials? What specifically is your connection with AEC Stellar Publishing?

Ahem. Highborn? Can we gather from your not answering this question that you actually are not, as you repeatedly claimed earlier, unaffiliated with this press?
 

Marian Perera

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If I felt this community needed to apply "cautious optimism" to all new presses run by inexperienced staff, I'd start a new thread to discuss why and how we could be more welcoming towards all such publishers.

I would not post in one specific thread, defending one particular press.

But that's just me.
 

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Ahem. Highborn? Can we gather from your not answering this question that you actually are not, as you repeatedly claimed earlier, unaffiliated with this press?

Highborn has requested, and been given, a self-ban from AW.

Therefore he is now unable to reply to AW Admin's comment or to yours, I'm afraid.
 

Medievalist

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WHY in the Sam Scratch do people pull this kind of stuff? Don't they know how easy it is to check? Do they really think they won't be found out? Incrediburgable.

I don't know.

I often approve new members and hope that they'll be real and honest and am then bitterly disappointed when they are less than that.
 

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Well, M (I sound like James Bond) you're doing the heavy lifting here, and a damned sight better than most of us could. With a place this size, the fact a ringer slips through every now and then is to be expected. Good onya! :D
 

AnneMarble

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Ahem. Highborn? Can we gather from your not answering this question that you actually are not, as you repeatedly claimed earlier, unaffiliated with this press?
Sigh. I'm not shocked, just annoyed. Here we go again. This sort of thing does not help the press. Here's a feather. Please knock me down with it.

P.S. I feel sorry for the few people who honestly defend a press they are not affiliated with, because everyone winds up suspecting them of being sock puppets.
 

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Maybe some day we'll have a FAQ for publishers which lists the questions about their business model, staff bios and experience, distribution, and everything else they are likely to be asked and what their answers mean for writers. Maybe if they knew what red flags writers see about so many young publishing houses, they'd be less defensive, prone to feign no connection when there is one, and instead learn what they must do to stay afloat.

Maryn, who maybe will wake up a size 6 one morning
 

Filigree

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And essays at Making Light, Hi Piers, Consumer Reports, and any number of other places. I suspect that any AW 'Publisher Introductions' forum would tend to be ported to TIO rather quickly, because of challenges by the unscrupulous and/or outraged. I can hope for more, but I know human nature.
 

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I am one of AEC Stellar Publishing's authors

Hi, I'm new to this forum. My urban fantasy novel, "The Obsidian Mirror," is slated to be released June 27 by AEC Stellar Publishing. They are not a vanity publisher, nor do they "just publish anything." They are trying to create a new kind of relationship with authors, more supportive and advisory than most, and they give the authors 50% royalties on book sales--unheard-of in convnetional publishing. The majority of their titles are SF/F, but they do have some thrillers and non-fiction. And they are trying to find new authors that they think have promise. (When submissions are open, anyway.)

They are new and still small, and few of the staff work full time. They do not have distribution other than online. They are very helpful with marketing, but they can't do the whole job, so authors (and here it's very much like working with a larger firm) have to do a lot of their own marketing. AEC Stellar provides guidance and help in self-marketing--especially in social media promotion. They do edit the manuscripts, but my advice would be to hire a professional editor before submitting, as they are not nearly as critical as I would be in performing that task.

I knew all this before signing with them. They are quite open about their policies and how they work. They accepted my manuscript for publication, and as a first-time author with no track record, this was a very big deal for me. Especially after all the casual rejections from other publishers--no surprise there, but not fun, nonetheless. I worked directly with the owner of AEC Stellar and I've been networking with the other authors, which they encourage.

I think I was incredibly lucky to find these guys. I hope they grow so they can take on even more promising new authors.
 

Michael Drakich

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AEC update

Hi, I'm new to this forum. My urban fantasy novel, "The Obsidian Mirror," is slated to be released June 27 by AEC Stellar Publishing. They are not a vanity publisher, nor do they "just publish anything." They are trying to create a new kind of relationship with authors, more supportive and advisory than most, and they give the authors 50% royalties on book sales--unheard-of in convnetional publishing. The majority of their titles are SF/F, but they do have some thrillers and non-fiction. And they are trying to find new authors that they think have promise. (When submissions are open, anyway.)

They are new and still small, and few of the staff work full time. They do not have distribution other than online. They are very helpful with marketing, but they can't do the whole job, so authors (and here it's very much like working with a larger firm) have to do a lot of their own marketing. AEC Stellar provides guidance and help in self-marketing--especially in social media promotion. They do edit the manuscripts, but my advice would be to hire a professional editor before submitting, as they are not nearly as critical as I would be in performing that task.

I knew all this before signing with them. They are quite open about their policies and how they work. They accepted my manuscript for publication, and as a first-time author with no track record, this was a very big deal for me. Especially after all the casual rejections from other publishers--no surprise there, but not fun, nonetheless. I worked directly with the owner of AEC Stellar and I've been networking with the other authors, which they encourage.

I think I was incredibly lucky to find these guys. I hope they grow so they can take on even more promising new authors.

Hello Mannegishi, As the original poster on this forum, I wish to thank you for coming forward with your details. The original intent was to try and garnish what are the factors in their program so that other authors can make valued decisions as whether to contact them.

You have provided some significant information, for which I laud you. Would you be kind enough to elaborate on a few of those details? For example, the 50% royalty, is that on print sale, ebooks sales, or both? As to what is required in your own marketing efforts, are there costs incurred or is it things that can be done without cost? I hope that you can appreciate that the question of out-of-pocket expenses is a very big one for many authors. They want to know if they will be subjugated to any such costs.

Once again, thank you for your coming forward.
 

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Hi, I'm new to this forum. My urban fantasy novel, "The Obsidian Mirror," is slated to be released June 27 by AEC Stellar Publishing.

I hope it does very well for you. Good luck!

They are not a vanity publisher, nor do they "just publish anything."

I can't find it now but I recall seeing that they charge for marketing advice, and for editing. If I've got that correct then they are a vanity publisher.

They are trying to create a new kind of relationship with authors, more supportive and advisory than most,

How do they provide this support and advice? And how does their support and advice exceed that which a good trade publisher provides?

and they give the authors 50% royalties on book sales--unheard-of in convnetional publishing.

It is not true that a 50% royalty is unheard of in trade publishing. Be aware also that a 50% royalty can work out to no money in your hand at all if it's based on a dubious definition of net.

They are new and still small, and few of the staff work full time. They do not have distribution other than online. They are very helpful with marketing, but they can't do the whole job, so authors (and here it's very much like working with a larger firm) have to do a lot of their own marketing.

It's not true that authors with good publishers have to do their own marketing. If it were true, how would foreign and translation editions ever sell?

AEC Stellar provides guidance and help in self-marketing--especially in social media promotion. They do edit the manuscripts, but my advice would be to hire a professional editor before submitting, as they are not nearly as critical as I would be in performing that task.

So they don't market or promote your book for you, and they don't edit books very well either. Nor do they have full distribution.

Are you sure that they are "more supportive and advisory than most"? Because at the moment they're looking pretty ropey to me.

I knew all this before signing with them. They are quite open about their policies and how they work. They accepted my manuscript for publication, and as a first-time author with no track record, this was a very big deal for me.

New writers with no track records get picked up by big trade publishers all the time. All you need is a good book.

Especially after all the casual rejections from other publishers--no surprise there, but not fun, nonetheless. I worked directly with the owner of AEC Stellar and I've been networking with the other authors, which they encourage.

Networking with other authors is fun but it won't sell books. Why do they not encourage you to reach out to your potential readers instead?

I think I was incredibly lucky to find these guys. I hope they grow so they can take on even more promising new authors.

I wish them the best too, but I see a lot of problems here.
 

LindaJeanne

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Manesgishi,

Thanks for stopping by to share your experience!

Is that 50% of cover price, of net receipts, or of net profit? Because it makes a huge difference.
 

TheDancingWriter

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I hope it does very well for you. Good luck!



I can't find it now but I recall seeing that they charge for marketing advice, and for editing. If I've got that correct then they are a vanity publisher.



How do they provide this support and advice? And how does their support and advice exceed that which a good trade publisher provides?



It is not true that a 50% royalty is unheard of in trade publishing. Be aware also that a 50% royalty can work out to no money in your hand at all if it's based on a dubious definition of net.



It's not true that authors with good publishers have to do their own marketing. If it were true, how would foreign and translation editions ever sell?



So they don't market or promote your book for you, and they don't edit books very well either. Nor do they have full distribution.

Are you sure that they are "more supportive and advisory than most"? Because at the moment they're looking pretty ropey to me.



New writers with no track records get picked up by big trade publishers all the time. All you need is a good book.



Networking with other authors is fun but it won't sell books. Why do they not encourage you to reach out to your potential readers instead?



I wish them the best too, but I see a lot of problems here.

I'll answer a few of these.

They don't charge for marketing advice or editing. I inevitably had to get a publicist (who was actually on the editorial staff of my literary magazine the entire time, but that's a different story) to promote my book for me, because I just can't maintain my platform, not when I have a life outside of writing and promoting. The publisher still does promote our books to a certain extent. We can submit posts, like blog posts and interviews and what not, to their website, and they'll display these on the front page of the website. They claim it gets thousands of views. I'm not going to comment on that because I really don't know.

We receive weekly e-mails about platform building, but it's more or less the same stuff, so I've just begun ignoring it all. Some advice includes reaching out to bloggers as a way of networking, reviewing each other's work (really?), or contacting the Amazon top 100 reviewers (really???).

As for the 50%, I can tell you I receive more money than books sold. My monthly royalty statements show me that, as well as my royalty checks.

You're right. We shouldn't do our own marketing. There is a big difference between marketing and promoting, though, and even big-time authors like John Green, Anne Rice, and what not still have to promote. This is why a lot of authors, even traditional ones, end up paying for a publicist. When I was researching publicists, I found a lot of bestsellers with traditional houses were with some publicists I was considering--until I found out the prices they charged. So I have a publicist who takes care of interviews, guest posts, reaching out to libraries/bookstores, and all of that stuff for me, which I wish AEC would do, but they gave up on the idea of putting our books in bookstores and libraries, which is infuriating, because I was promised that in the beginning. Instead my readers have had to order my book through their libraries and get it stocked in their bookstores themselves. I just maintain 2 blogs, a monthly newsletter, Twitter, and that's about it. I want to get back to my Youtube channel, because it's just fun, but, well, some things in life take priority over other things. I also have a website I update occasionally.

They do encourage us to reach out to our potential readers by seeking out those who may be interested in the genre and the market our books are in. I've found mine on Twitter and Tumblr: teens. On Tumblr, I encourage them to send me questions about anything they have, writing-related or not. On Twitter, I just casually talk to them, perhaps about their favorite books or whatever.

As for the not editing books well, I'm not quite sure where you're getting your opinion of this from. I've got great reviews for my book, and so do a few other authors--unless this is with the newer books, when the founder decided to step away. In which case, I haven't read those ones, so you may not be wrong. After all, I did say the quality of the company started to slip when the founder stepped away. But no complaints about the editing for my first book. Some reviewers with self-published books will say, "The editing wasn't that great, but the story was, so no complaints there!" Haven't had that. May not mean much, but books are meant more for readers and not editors after the book's been published, so it's the reader's opinion at the end of the day that matters. *shrugs* If a book is selling, a book is selling.

Their website leaves much to be desired, though, with little to no information for authors wanting to submit to them. They did have a full roster this year, but I have no idea about next. All I know is my sequel will have a release some time in 2015.
 

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They don't charge anything.

On the very first page of this thread the founder of the publisher said that AEC would sometimes charge its authors for various publishing services.

While sales have been decent for my book, I'm not happy with them anymore, simply because the founder stepped away. Content edits for When Stars Die's sequel were great, but copy edits, and this is probably my fault for not really looking since there weren't a whole lot of comments, were horrendous. In fact, the proofreader had to undo a lot of errors the copy editor made--and so did I! I know my way around the grammar-go-round, so I know there are no rules that exists that say you should put a comma in bizarre places where she put commas. I know I didn't put those commas there, either.

That's really not good.

They don't charge for marketing advice or editing.

They might not have charged you but judging from the founder's comments on this thread's first page, they are prepared to, and they don't understand the differences between trade and vanity publishing.

You're right. We shouldn't do our own marketing. There is a big difference between marketing and promoting, though, and even big-time authors like John Green, Anne Rice, and what not still have to promote. This is why a lot of authors, even traditional ones, end up paying for a publicist.

Not all writers promote their own books. Many don't do any promotional activities at all--I think we discussed this earlier in the thread. Publishers don't usually require it, especially if the author has a good reason for not wanting or not liking to promote.

When I was researching publicists, I found a lot of bestsellers with traditional houses were with some publicists I was considering--until I found out the prices they charged. So I have a publicist who takes care of interviews, guest posts, reaching out to libraries/bookstores, and all of that stuff for me, which I wish AEC would do, but they gave up on the idea of putting our books in bookstores and libraries, which is infuriating, because I was promised that in the beginning.

Good publicists are expensive. But if your books aren't easily available from bookshops--by which I mean on the shelves and ready to go--when your publicity is happening, you will not be able to exploit the opportunities that publicity creates for you.

As for the not editing books well, I'm not quite sure where you're getting your opinion of this from.

A paragraph or two ago you commented on how poor the copy edits were on your novel.

I've looked at a couple of AEC's novels and the editing is not good, I'm afraid.

but books are meant more for readers and not editors after the book's been published, so it's the reader's opinion at the end of the day that matters. *shrugs* If a book is selling, a book is selling.

An editor works to make a book better, so its readers will enjoy it more. I'm not sure your analogy works.

How many copies has your book sold so far? I'd be interested to know.
 

aliceshortcake

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Some reviewers with self-published books will say, "The editing wasn't that great, but the story was, so no complaints there!" Haven't had that. May not mean much, but books are meant more for readers and not editors after the book's been published, so it's the reader's opinion at the end of the day that matters. *shrugs* If a book is selling, a book is selling.

I don't understand this at all. If I buy a book I expect it to have been edited to a professional standard - however good the story may be I can't enjoy it if I have to overlook wrongly used words, incorrect spelling or wonky punctuation. And if a book is very poorly edited I'll avoid both the author and the publisher in future.
 

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