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[Agency] AAA Books Unlimited

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

Branwyn

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There from Deerfield IL, and so far I can't find out anything about them. I suppose that's a good sign, I got their name from LMP. Checked P&E and they're not there. Anyone heard of them?

Thanks
 

James D. Macdonald

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"Not there" isn't necessarily a good sign. Publishers make things public. If they aren't in bookstores ....

There's an ADS Publisher near Deerfield, but no one listed as a publisher under any name at all in Deerfield.

There isn't anyone called AAA Books Unlimited on Amazon. Nothing from AAA Books Unlimited at abebooks.com

What does LMP say? Do they give an address, a phone number, any names?

[ETA}

Oh, I see! They aren't publishers, they're agents.

Sales to Random House, Berkley, Penguin ... that's real.
 
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Branwyn

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fiction query

I sent them a query for my fiction work ...this is part of the response...

Thank you for your query!

Your manuscript sounds interesting, but it is all in the writing. Especially, regarding fiction, which must be "pristine!"

Am I in the dark ages? I thought you sent a ms. If an agenct/publisher is interested they edit...you rewrite...they edit some more you rewrire some more and then viola! You're ready to be published...or maybe I'm in fantasyland.

So much to learn...
 

victoriastrauss

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I've gotten some complaints about AAA Books Unlimited's recommendation of paid editing services by a company called LaunchPad Media. Even though her name isn't used, I suspect it's actually Nancy Rosenfeld, AAA's owner, who runs the service (for instance, the writer testimonials on LaunchPad's website all seem to be from clients of Ms. Rosenfeld). I've also heard from writers who were pressured to accept contracts with a questionable print vanity publisher, Creative Arts Book Company (there's a warning about CAB on the Writer Alerts page of Writer Beware).

Ms. Rosenfeld does seem to have some legitimate sales, but very little that's recent, according to her website. Several of the more recent placements (2002 and after) are with vanity publisher CAB. She has also placed several books with Champion Press, which is the subject of a warning from the National Writers' Union.
Am I in the dark ages? I thought you sent a ms. If an agenct/publisher is interested they edit...you rewrite...they edit some more you rewrire some more and then viola! You're ready to be published...or maybe I'm in fantasyland.
You're not in fantasyland. You're being set up for a paid editing recommendation.

- Victoria
 
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sirensix

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Baywitch said:
Am I in the dark ages? I thought you sent a ms. If an agenct/publisher is interested they edit...you rewrite...they edit some more you rewrire some more and then viola! You're ready to be published...or maybe I'm in fantasyland.

So much to learn...

Editors are a lot less patient than they used to be. My understanding is, they pretty much don't accept anything unless it's within a few commas of being publishable. So don't send anything out unless you'd be happy to see it on shelves as-is!
 

Branwyn

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yikes

I went investigating today about editing and found it can be pricey. What 's a person to do that's on a strict budget? I guess pray to the publishing gods that they'll edit :-(
 

victoriastrauss

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Publishing house editors do edit. Manuscripts need to be finished and polished and in publishable shape, but they don't need to be perfect. The notion that mss. have to be perfect before an agent or publisher will consider them is a fiction spread by ignorant or dishonest freelance editors who want to pressure writers into using their services.

There's been much argument about independent editing here, and whether it's a good investment for unpublished writers. Suffice it to say that I've never used an independent editor, nor have 99% of the writers I know. And yes, my publishing house editor edits my manuscripts.

- Victoria
 

Branwyn

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Thanks Victoria....that puts my mind at ease. What you said about AAA sounds about right, being set up for costly editing. She (Ms. Rosenberg) requested a full proposal package.
Title Page
Table of Contents (for proposal)
About the Author

Synopsis
Outline/Character Bios
Market Analysis
Competition Section
Promotion Section
Chapter Outline
Auxiliary Materials (whatever applicable)
 

Branwyn

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I emailed AAA and asked about editing and guess what? They recommended Launch Pad Media.....I can use any editor of my own choosingof course, but that is who they recommend.Another one bites the dust....
 

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Don't understand

I don't really understand the issue.

Here is an agent - who has recommended an editor with whom they are comfortable. Provided AAA Books isn't receiving a kickback, and she states that they are not affiliated, why should this be a problem? Many agents don't edit. I accept that my books, even after the diligence of me, my friends and family need an edit ...

Why is a recommendation a death nell? I've been trying to get an agent too long to recommend turning one down out of hand.

My too cents.
 

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JackFred said:
Here is an agent - who has recommended an editor with whom they are comfortable. Provided AAA Books isn't receiving a kickback, and she states that they are not affiliated, why should this be a problem?
You missed Victoria's post (above in the thread) that stated:
I've gotten some complaints about AAA Books Unlimited's recommendation of paid editing services by a company called LaunchPad Media. Even though her name isn't used, I suspect it's actually Nancy Rosenfeld, AAA's owner, who runs the service (for instance, the writer testimonials on LaunchPad's website all seem to be from clients of Ms. Rosenfeld).

(Emphasis mine.)
 

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They acknowledge they work together, but they state that they are not affiliated. I actually tried to match their clients to authors, and they are not the same.

From the Launch Pad website - and note - these are published authors so clearly their editing can't be that bad. So ... 50% of Launch Pad book editing services are linked to AAA. See below for which ones.

I'm just saying, its tough enough without trashing agents that could be acceptable.
Dangerous Influence – William F. Amato - did not find on AAA Books website

Hard Candy – Charles Carroll - did find on AAA

Romancing Mommy: From Birth and Beyond – Joe Gumm - did find

No More Excuses! Breakthrough Thinking for Real Weight Loss – Susan Cantwell (partial edit) - did not find on AAA

Your Money And Your Health: How to Find Affordable, High Quality Healthcare – Jordan Braverman (partial edit & consultation) - did not find on AAA

The New Commandments – Steve Brody, Ph.D. (partial edit and consultation) - did find on AAA
 

DaveKuzminski

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Close associations such as those tend to have under-the-counter connections that aren't acknowledged. This is why legitimate businesses within the publishing industry try to distance themselves from making specific recommendations. When they do give recommendations, they try to list several known legitimate businesses so there's no impression of kickbacks or funneling.
 

Aconite

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JackFred said:
From the Launch Pad website - and note - these are published authors so clearly their editing can't be that bad.
That depends on who they're published by. There are scam publishers that will publish anything (Google "Atlanta Nights"), and self-publishing or vanity publishing "credits" are no guarantee of quality.
 

JackFred

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I see the issue, and the potential for conflict, but it becomes very difficult to differentiate.

Thanks for your responses, but there are even some well established agents, which offer both editing and agenting services under the same roof. The fact that an agent might also be a good editor is not beyond the realm of acceptability to me.
 

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JackFred said:
I see the issue, and the potential for conflict, but it becomes very difficult to differentiate.

Thanks for your responses, but there are even some well established agents, which offer both editing and agenting services under the same roof. The fact that an agent might also be a good editor is not beyond the realm of acceptability to me.
And we'll continue to warn against such operations because it is a conflict of interest. Furthermore, when a legitimate company does that it presents a precedent for scams to point to in proclaiming their own legitimacy when they're as crooked as can be found.
 

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Come on - pointing me to the Publish America spoof is a bit of a stretch and only serves to highlight my point. If we are going to convict an agency we should be certain they're worthy of that. There's a lot of books AAA has published. I agree the Creative Book and Champion Press publications are not encouraging, but random house, prima, prometheus - these are real and recent.

Don't see publish america everywhere. If I don't open my eyes to Tier 2 and Tier 3 agents, I don't think I'll ever see my novels in print.
 

Aconite

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JackFred said:
Come on - pointing me to the Publish America spoof is a bit of a stretch and only serves to highlight my point. If we are going to convict an agency we should be certain they're worthy of that. There's a lot of books AAA has published. I agree the Creative Book and Champion Press publications are not encouraging, but random house, prima, prometheus - these are real and recent.

Don't see publish america everywhere. If I don't open my eyes to Tier 2 and Tier 3 agents, I don't think I'll ever see my novels in print.
You said that the fact those authors who used the agency were published meant the agency must be good. I said that's not necessarily the case, and used Atlanta Nights as an example of why.
 

Branwyn

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Just to be clear, Ms. Rosenberg left it up to me as far as editing, she simply recommended LaunchPad.
One is then free to draw their own conclusion. I am by no means, trashing anyone. I don't know for certain who she's affiliated with or not.

I am learning as I go and the one thing I hear over and over(actually many things...)is there are agents that will edit and not charge. So, given the choice and my finances, I'd rather not pay.
 
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victoriastrauss

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JackFred said:
From the Launch Pad website - and note - these are published authors so clearly their editing can't be that bad. So ... 50% of Launch Pad book editing services are linked to AAA. See below for which ones.
When an editing service is getting 50% of its clients from a single literary agency, it's pretty suggestive, in my experience. However, it's more than 50%. Jordan Braverman does seem to be an AAA client--see the Coming Soon page of the AAA website.

Also, through the magic of Google cacheing, have a look at this page, formerly on the Launch Pad Media website but no longer available, in which the relationship with AAA is acknowledged. Note also this page, which used to be on the AAA website but has been gone for a while, recommending Launch Pad.

As for the authors currently listed on the Launch Pad website...yes, they have books. But William F. Amato is pubbed by Xlibris, a POD vanity publisher. Charles Carroll is pubbed by Champion Press, a publisher about which there are multiple complaints and warnings. Ditto for Joe Gumm, Susan Cantwell, and Steve Brody. The only author with a reputable commercial publisher is Jordan Braverman (Prometheus).

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0738829900/honeychurchAAA consistently refers writers to the same editing service. It has placed clients with no fewer than three vanity presses (Creative Arts, Pelican Publishing, and University Press of America) and one questionable publisher, Champion. In fact, of the 21 books listed on AAA's Coming Soon page, 13 are with Champion. Even without the vanity publishers and the editing referrals, that would be cause for concern, because it's not a diversified track record. Ideally, an agent won't just have a track record with commercial publishers, it will have a track record with a sizeable number of different commercial publishers.

- Victoria
 

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Hello, Branwyn.
You have not mentioned if you have asked at least three friends or relatives to read your work. If you haven't, do it. Choose the three smartest or most honest you can find. Don't pick ones who are afraid to p__ you off and will just gush over anything to make you happy. Ask them if it needs editing. If even one says 'yes', ask about the specifics. If you agree that some polish is needed, pay an editor. Don't choose the one recommended by the agent because there are dozens of great editors. Then, submit the edited work. Why not make simultaneous submissions to ten agents? How did you choose this agency? Were they recommended by someone? My first submission was turned down by 13 of 14 agents. I know of a NYTimes Best Selling author whose fabulous book was turned down by ten agents before the eleventh agent said 'yes'. You only have to find one who can do the job for you.
 

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JackFred said:
They acknowledge they work together, but they state that they are not affiliated.
Not affiliated !!!??

Check out the 'whois' record for the domain:

Domain Name: aaabooksunlimited.com
Registrar: AAAQ.COM
Whois Server: whois.aaaq.com
Referral URL: http://www.aaaq.com
Name Server: a.dns.hostway.net
Name Server: b.dns.hostway.net
Status: ACTIVE
Updated Date: 2005-11-19
Creation Date: 2003-11-20
Expiration Date: 2006-11-20

Registrant:
AAA Books Unlimited
Nancy Rosenfeld [email protected]
88 Greenbriar East Drive

Deerfield, IL 60015
US
847-945-0315 Fax: 847-444-1220

Administrative Contact:
Launch Pad Media [email protected]
1006 North Blvd. #6

Oak Park, IL 60301
US
708-705-7271 Fax: 253-399-1814

Technical Contact:
Administrator DNS [email protected]
1 N State Street
12th Floor
Chicago, IL 60602
US
312-236-2132 Fax: 312-236-1958

Billing Contact:
Nancy Rosenfeld [email protected]
88 Greenbriar East Drive

Deerfield, IL 60015
US
847-945-0315 Fax: 847-444-1220
======================================================================
Found aaabooksunlimited.com Tue Oct 03 02:44:41 PDT 2006
======================================================================
In other words - the administrator of the domain 'aaabooksunlimited' is ... 'launchpadmedia.com'

In summary:
1. 'AAA Books Unlimited' seem to refer everyone to a specific editing service ('Launch Pad Media'), which they claim to be not affiliated with.
2. However a search of the domain records reveals that 'AAA Books Unlimited' is, in fact, administered by... 'Launch Pad Media'

Also, how on earth does an agent make a living by getting their clients to publish with a vanity press?
Their 15% of the deal would cost them - not make them money !!

Mac
(PS: Go to http://who.godaddy.com/whois.aspx?domain=aaabooksunlimited.com&prog_id=godaddy if you want to verify it for yourself ...)
 
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