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Anaphora Literary Press

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

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JinxVelox

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The thing I'm stuck on here is the part about the "non-exclusive" rights.

Once a book is published in one place, the author has used their first publication rights. Most publishers have no interest in re-publishing it. When a large publisher does want to pick up a book that was previously self-published or put out with a small press, it's usually because the book was wildly successful. You're discussing sales in the tens, which are numbers that will not get any of your authors any attention or interest from other publishers since they've already given you first shot at their story, and those first publication rights are gone. So the "non-exclusive rights" clause is hardly a reason to publish with Anaphora.
 

James D. Macdonald

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If you are publishing books you don't expect to sell well and are requiring those authors to make some sort of purchase just to keep your business open, that's no better than any of the vanity presses out there.

I think just about every publisher, from the very biggest, has acquired books that they don't expect to sell well, but acquired them because an editor fell in love with them, or the publisher thought that it would be important to publish those books anyway.

Usually they pay for these books out of the profits brought in by the best-sellers. (This is why the biggest presses are often the ones that bring out the quirkiest titles -- they can afford to.)

What is unusual in commercial presses is expecting the author to foot the bill by self-purchases.

Here, I think "not sell well" means "not sell at all."
 

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Discussion Continues...

Anaphora Literary Press has been nominated for national awards. Several of its titles have been reviewed in national publications. It has received press coverage in numerous newspapers, as can be seen on the “News Clippings” part of the Anaphora website. Anaphora authors have done readings with their books at hundreds of major bookstores, as you can see on the News: Book Signings page. By all known definitions of being an established press, Anaphora qualifies. Anaphora’s sales records are private because they include records for over 60 different authors, who might for various reasons not want to disclose this information. So, I’m not going to list the exact sales figures here. As I already said, some of the titles sell very well, and I’m still in business because Anaphora is profitable.

I register all of the books I publish with the Library of Congress through their LCCN system, and mail copies of all books and journal issues that I publish. I register copyrights for the journal issues directly with the Library. Because I do not ask writers to transfer “exclusive” rights to their books, I do not register the single-author books with the Library (which doesn’t allow non-exclusive publishers to register).

You mention my publication of Reverend Loveshade’s “Ek-Sen-Trik-Kuh Discordia.” I’m curious how you came across this information. Did you Google all of my authors? If not, it seems that Anaphora does get a lot of “press.” Yes, there were allegations that this work was plagiarized. Reverend Loveshade denied these allegations, but due to the fact that some proof of potential plagiarism was presented, I immediately took the book out of print, thereby resolving the issue with the concerned parties, or members of the Discordian organization that contacted me. In part, I took the book out of print because I was receiving harassing phone calls and emails with threat of harm via “discodian” jakes, and my phone was infected with a virus with a Discordian flavor. Due to this case, and because prior to it I did not want to involve myself with defending authors that might potentially be breaking the law in any way (would you?), it states in my contract that the publisher is not responsible for any laws the author might be breaking via the publication, including the insertion of obscenities into the book and plagiarism. It is likely that there is no bigger publisher in the US that hasn’t been accused of plagiarism at some point, and the way I resolved this case was the best possible scenario for all involved. Handling these types of legal issues is part of my job as the publisher of Anaphora, a job that’s handled by over a dozen lawyers at the big publishing houses. It is my goal to publish great works of fiction and non-fiction, and to do so lawfully and ethically.

If you are waiting to see if I’ll “stay in business,” let’s revisit this matter in 60 years – hopefully both this website and Anaphora will be around for the discussion.

As I mentioned earlier, I’m currently working on a critical book about the publishing industry, and very little “dirt” about the big publishers comes out into the open. So, I hope you will stay vigilant. As an author myself, I wish I knew which publishing companies can be trusted, so I don’t object to a discussion on any publisher. I just object to false statements being made regarding Anaphora in a public forum. So, I’m adding these comments to correct points that are erroneous.

If the question is, “Is Anaphora a ‘good option’ for an author?” Yes, it’s pretty good, and I’ve even published my own illustrated children’s book with Anaphora. If you are asking, is Anaphora the best publishing business in the world? Probably not. I mean, there publishers out there that have made billions of dollars over the last couple of centuries. I really don’t think I can compete with them after only 5.

At one point you recommend that I should seek financing to be able to do print-runs etc. Anaphora is a fun venture for me because I’m in complete creative and business control of the project. It’s completely independent from all outside funding (government or investment).

In the same spirit of liberalism and independence, I offer a clear choice to my readers if they want to be edited or not. While I could create a contract that would allow me to make any editing changes I want without the writer’s consent, this wouldn’t be appropriate unless the writer trusts my judgment and consents to editing. If there are writers out there that have a strong dislike for editing of all kinds, are you going to prevent them from being allowed to publish? I certainly won’t, if I think that their work is good enough to run as-is.

I was just reading a book about the publishing industry, “North American Romance Writers,” that Harlequin started expanding in the 1960s by buying re-print rights from the British company, Mills & Book, and printing their romances in North America, only much later, perhaps after their purchase of Silhouette Books in 1984 did Harlequin begin producing their own romance novels (2-5). This is an example how re-print rights can be significant in the publishing business. Only if an author has a non-exclusive contract can they re-sell their re-print or other types of printing rights elsewhere. There is absolutely nothing negative about a non-exclusive contract – it is completely positive for the authors.

Once again, you are mixing up what Anaphora is. As I said, Anaphora is not a printer; it is also not a distributor of books. Anaphora works with the best distributors in the business: Ingram, Coutts, Bowker, Baker & Taylor, Amazon, and a long list of other distribution channels. A good business model is one that focuses on achieving goals that can be met. If Anaphora spread too far into distributing the titles itself, it would be wasting resources that are needed for other projects. I do submit press releases to newswires, libraries, bookstores, and send review copies out, along with a long list of other tasks that any small to medium publisher could possibly achieve with their limited resources. I doubt there is a publisher out there that does more to help authors sell their books than Anaphora. So, you are fishing in the wrong lake, when you say that Anaphora fails to help writers sell their books; and at the same time you have to remember that Anaphora’s business is publishing, not distribution. To give you another example from my current research, when Harlequin finally began distributing their titles themselves in the 1970-1980s, they sold books at retail stores, and they still follow this approach, as it cuts down on their distribution costs. But distributing directly to retail stores means the printing of at least 25,000 copies, or typically at least 100,000, required by these stores because they have to be uniform throughout the system and have to buy at least a few copies of each title for each of their stores. This effort costs $100,000+ per title, and can result in incredible returns. If I put that much of my own money into a single title, or got a financer for the project, it would be a lunacy for Anaphora at this time. So, your suggestions are impractical and illogical. I have an economics degree, and have previously worked as a financial analyst and a CPA’s assistant. I’ve researched all available options, and I definitely would like to see the best possible sales for all Anaphora titles, and I’m doing my best in this regard. But there is huge jump between running a small to medium publishing company and a giant one, and I’m not at the edge of that leap yet. You mention “sales forces, teams of publicists” and contacts in the media. If I had to hire twenty salespeople, I wouldn’t be able to split profits with authors 50/50%, which is a part of my current contractual agreements. “Publicists” are hired by authors typically, or work directly with authors to find paying or free publicity gigs for them. Several of my authors have worked with publicists before, so if you look at it that way – I do have a team of publicists. I have a fantastic contact list for the media, and I regularly see notices regarding my releases in regional newspapers.

Yes, the catalog is free via a link from the Catalog page to the Box account. You can see information regarding Anaphora titles there, and you can examine my design ability on a color book. If somebody wants to buy a printed copy, they can buy it on Amazon.

Anybody that is currently not running a successful and profitable independent press can’t make conclusions regarding how a press should or can stay profitable. The goal is profitability via the best possible strategies to achieve such profitability. I have thoroughly evaluated my options and have made the choices that are of the most benefit for both Anaphora and my authors. Discount copies for authors are offered by all publishers. I do not require all authors to buy copies, more than half of my 60 prior publications were ones where the author didn’t buy any copies of their books. In some cases, the author wants to buy discount copies without prompting. In other cases, I like a book, but doubt it can be profitable enough for me to make an investment, so I ask authors to buy 40 copies at a discount price for their re-sale. You keep repeating that I’m not better than a vanity press, well I’ve heard from university publishers that have asked me to pay them $5,000 for publishing with them, so I’m sure that my deal is definitely better than a vanity press.

I haven’t had any titles that haven’t sold “at all.” The 40 copies purchase doesn’t seriously off-set the enormous costs in time and money that go into publishing a new book, and that is not what this is for. The copies purchase usually means that the writer will definitely do at least one, and sometimes a dozen readings to actively promote their book. I think all of my authors buy more copies after they get the 40, because their readings are successful and they sell all of their books. This creates an enormous amount of exposure for Anaphora and is a form of marketing.

I hope you will read my prior replies closely before sending additional questions because those reading are likely to get a sense of pointless repetition of circular questions on points I’ve already answered with incredible detail. I doubt any other publisher has been this helpful in providing exact replies to your concerns on this website. But, if I can be of any further help, I would be delighted to oblige. Cheers, Anna Faktorovich, Ph.D., Director, Anaphora Literary Press
 

FluffBunny

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At one point you recommend that I should seek financing to be able to do print-runs etc. Anaphora is a fun venture for me because I’m in complete creative and business control of the project. It’s completely independent from all outside funding (government or investment).

(bolding added) I have problems with the bolded above. While it may be a "fun venture" to you, it's my book on the line, not to mention the first rights.

According to your LinkedIn profile, you have no previous experience working in publishing--is this correct?

For your convenience:

Tor/Forge/Orb/Tom Doherty Assoc. - http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=41615

Harlequin - http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=181804

I don't see anything currently for Disney, but that just means nobody's asked any questions about them yet. There are no "sacred cows" here. If someone has any questions about a publisher or has an experience (good or bad), with one, it ends up here. It's a section for writers to help other writers do their due diligence before signing a contract.

For future reference, if you're curious whether or not a particular publisher's also been through the mill here, check the sticky above - INDEX TO AGENTS, PUBLISHERS, AND OTHERS. Pay particular note to all the grayed-out names. Those are publishers that have gone under, frequently taking their authors' books with them. That would be the reason we do this.
 

Round Two

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Anaphora Literary Press has been nominated for national awards. Several of its titles have been reviewed in national publications. It has received press coverage in numerous newspapers, as can be seen on the “News Clippings” part of the Anaphora website.

I browsed the press clippings section and didn’t find any mention of national awards, though, admittedly, I quit looking after a few minutes and turned the search to Google. I see one mention of an award on Google for John Paul Jaramillo’s House of Order (Mariposa Award). Are there others I missed?

Though I saw the review of The Pennsylvania Literary Review from Library Journal, are there others? Have you ever received review/editorial coverage in the other publishing trade magazines—Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and/or Booklist? Any of the major daily newspapers of America like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, etc.? I saw the mention in smaller dailies like the Charleston area newspaper and the Amazon reviews you posted to your news section, but what about national media?
Anaphora authors have done readings with their books at hundreds of major bookstores, as you can see on the News: Book Signings page. By all known definitions of being an established press, Anaphora qualifies.
As you mentioned in your response to somebody else yesterday, bookstores are pretty eager to do signings with local authors. The hurdles for an author to get a signing in his/her hometown are pretty limited.
Anaphora’s sales records are private because they include records for over 60 different authors, who might for various reasons not want to disclose this information. So, I’m not going to list the exact sales figures here. As I already said, some of the titles sell very well, and I’m still in business because Anaphora is profitable.
I can totally understand not wanting to divulge the sales records of a particular author by name, but certainly you could give ballpark numbers of the sales history of your bestselling titles without mentioning authors or titles.

You mention my publication of Reverend Loveshade’s “Ek-Sen-Trik-Kuh Discordia.” I’m curious how you came across this information. Did you Google all of my authors? If not, it seems that Anaphora does get a lot of “press.”
I told you how I came across that information—you said to go to Amazon and search for “Anaphora,” I did, and I randomly clicked on titles. That was one of the titles I clicked on. The reviews are very divided between 5 star gushing praise and 1 star allegations of plagiarism. No Google necessary.
As I mentioned earlier, I’m currently working on a critical book about the publishing industry, and very little “dirt” about the big publishers comes out into the open. So, I hope you will stay vigilant. As an author myself, I wish I knew which publishing companies can be trusted, so I don’t object to a discussion on any publisher. I just object to false statements being made regarding Anaphora in a public forum. So, I’m adding these comments to correct points that are erroneous.

What access do you have to dirt about the big publishers? Who are your sources? Specifically, what are you labeling as a “false statement” about Anaphora on this forum?


If the question is, “Is Anaphora a ‘good option’ for an author?” Yes, it’s pretty good, and I’ve even published my own illustrated children’s book with Anaphora.
That you published your own book is not evidence that Anaphora is a good option for authors. I’m not saying it’s a negative thing or bad, simply saying it, as evidence of an author’s chance of success with a publishing company, is an irrelevant detail. Unless you are asserting that you had the option of publishing your book with a major publisher (had an offer to do so), but opted, instead, to publish it yourself.
If you are asking, is Anaphora the best publishing business in the world? Probably not. I mean, there publishers out there that have made billions of dollars over the last couple of centuries. I really don’t think I can compete with them after only 5.
It didn’t take them centuries to make billions. It’s an annual accomplishment.

In the same spirit of liberalism and independence, I offer a clear choice to my readers if they want to be edited or not. While I could create a contract that would allow me to make any editing changes I want without the writer’s consent, this wouldn’t be appropriate unless the writer trusts my judgment and consents to editing. If there are writers out there that have a strong dislike for editing of all kinds, are you going to prevent them from being allowed to publish? I certainly won’t, if I think that their work is good enough to run as-is.
Here’s where we’ll have to agree to disagree.

Your job as a publisher is to create the most market ready product you can. Readers expect that of publishers. They don’t want sloppy first drafts and you, as publisher, are the responsible adult in the room at the end of the day. In the same way you wouldn’t let a child eat pancakes and Snickers bars every meal because he wanted to, you are responsible for the authors and books you publish.

Writers who have a strong dislike for editing of all kinds aren’t professionals. And yes, I’m going to prevent them from being published by my company because my professional reputation is on the line and I realize that sloppy work damages the company’s reputation. This doesn’t seem like it should even be a disputed matter.

I was just reading a book about the publishing industry, “North American Romance Writers,” that Harlequin started expanding in the 1960s by buying re-print rights from the British company, Mills & Book, and printing their romances in North America, only much later, perhaps after their purchase of Silhouette Books in 1984 did Harlequin begin producing their own romance novels (2-5). This is an example how re-print rights can be significant in the publishing business. Only if an author has a non-exclusive contract can they re-sell their re-print or other types of printing rights elsewhere. There is absolutely nothing negative about a non-exclusive contract – it is completely positive for the authors.
This is wrong.

Book contracts have clauses that spell out the terms for rights reverting to authors (Reversion of Rights) based on a certain time period elapsing, the book being declared out of print, a minimum sales threshold, etc. The rights in question are NEVER non-exclusive. Once rights revert to an author, he/she is free to license those rights to another publisher (this will, again, be on an exclusive basis).

The situation you outlined above with Harlequin has nothing to do with a non-exclusive contract. No two versions of the same work in the same format in the same territory existed at the same time as active titles by different publishers.

Once again, you are mixing up what Anaphora is. As I said, Anaphora is not a printer; it is also not a distributor of books. Anaphora works with the best distributors in the business: Ingram, Coutts, Bowker, Baker & Taylor, Amazon, and a long list of other distribution channels.
The places you listed above are wholesalers and retailers, but they are not distributors. A distributor, like Consortium or PGW or IPG represents a publishing company with catalogs and a sales force to actively sell a publisher’s titles into retail and library markets. The companies you mentioned above simply list titles from essentially ALL publishers at this point and make them available to be ordered. They do not actively engage in sales, marketing, and promotion. They pick no favorites. They do not care about the quality of what is being offered. The term “distributor” is thrown around loosely, and in many cases what is actually being talked about are wholesalers. This is one of those cases.
A good business model is one that focuses on achieving goals that can be met. If Anaphora spread too far into distributing the titles itself, it would be wasting resources that are needed for other projects.
This seems shortsighted to me. Aren’t book sales the only thing that is going to keep the company afloat? Making sure books sell should be the priority, shouldn’t it? I’m not even sure what you mean by spreading too far into distributing titles. Can you clarify?
I do submit press releases to newswires, libraries, bookstores, and send review copies out, along with a long list of other tasks that any small to medium publisher could possibly achieve with their limited resources. I doubt there is a publisher out there that does more to help authors sell their books than Anaphora. So, you are fishing in the wrong lake, when you say that Anaphora fails to help writers sell their books; and at the same time you have to remember that Anaphora’s business is publishing, not distribution.
I’m sure you work hard. I can tell you are passionate about Anaphora. I applaud you for all of that. I’m sure most publishers feel like they are the one who works hardest for their authors. But, absent any actual sales numbers, it’s hard to assess the effectiveness of the hard work, and that’s really all that matters.
To give you another example from my current research, when Harlequin finally began distributing their titles themselves in the 1970-1980s, they sold books at retail stores, and they still follow this approach, as it cuts down on their distribution costs. But distributing directly to retail stores means the printing of at least 25,000 copies, or typically at least 100,000, required by these stores because they have to be uniform throughout the system and have to buy at least a few copies of each title for each of their stores. This effort costs $100,000+ per title, and can result in incredible returns. If I put that much of my own money into a single title, or got a financer for the project, it would be a lunacy for Anaphora at this time.
This simply isn’t true. These numbers are completely made up or misunderstood.

I know plenty of books published by small, mid, and larger publishers that are stocked in bookstores across the country (more heavily in some geographic areas than other) that have print runs that don’t come anywhere near what you’re saying above. I know publishers that work with actual distributors whose job it is to get books into the chain and independent bookstores who aren’t printing more than 4 or 5,000 copies of a title to achieve that widespread distribution.

There are arguments for being POD, but “because I don’t want to print 25,000 copies” isn’t a valid one. There is such a huge middle ground being ignored in your argument.
So, your suggestions are impractical and illogical. I have an economics degree, and have previously worked as a financial analyst and a CPA’s assistant. I’ve researched all available options, and I definitely would like to see the best possible sales for all Anaphora titles, and I’m doing my best in this regard. But there is huge jump between running a small to medium publishing company and a giant one, and I’m not at the edge of that leap yet.
My suggestions aren’t impractical or illogical they are based in a decade+ long history of running independent publishing companies. I know many small and medium publishing companies who publish dozens of titles a year with print runs in the thousands and tens of thousands range. I know them personally and as a reader, I see them in places like The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and Esquire. I see them at trade shows like last week’s Book Expo America.
You mention “sales forces, teams of publicists” and contacts in the media. If I had to hire twenty salespeople, I wouldn’t be able to split profits with authors 50/50%, which is a part of my current contractual agreements. “Publicists” are hired by authors typically, or work directly with authors to find paying or free publicity gigs for them. Several of my authors have worked with publicists before, so if you look at it that way – I do have a team of publicists. I have a fantastic contact list for the media, and I regularly see notices regarding my releases in regional newspapers.
Why would you need to hire twenty? What about one? What about one that works on commission (because that’s how reps get paid)? Seeing notices of book releases in regional newspapers is one thing, but what about actual review and editorial coverage? That’s what sells books. Simply knowing something exists in a limited geographical region is no substitute for a ringing endorsement from an impartial source at a national media outlet. I can’t stress how important all of that is for selling a critical mass of books. Having a Rolodex of media contacts doesn’t mean much if they don’t know who you are/trust the quality of your works (goes back to the whole editing conversation)/give your books coverage.
Anybody that is currently not running a successful and profitable independent press can’t make conclusions regarding how a press should or can stay profitable.
I disagree with this. It’s perfectly possible to know what it requires to run a successful publishing company without actually being a publisher. A person may not know the ins and outs of the daily grind, but there are certainly objective metrics that can be used to make conclusions about profitability and sustainability.
 
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The Beginnings of a Free EBook on Independent Publishing

Dear Fluffy Bunny: Do you think you should perhaps use a different picture as your avatar if you are against publishers having “fun” with the books they publish?

My LinkedIn profile is a very short version of my very long CV. Would you like me to post my full 8-page CV here – if you insist, I will. Yes, I’ve worked for publishers like Tikkun Magazine and Bridgepoint Education before as a writer, editor, webmaster, etc. My sources don’t include these alone, but a long list of other publishers who have published my work, worked with me, and on whom I did primary and secondary source research for my upcoming book. I also have over 3 years of full-time college English teaching experience. And a long list of other publications, fellowships, and achievements that are not listed in LinkedIn.

Also to the Fluffy Bunny: Did I understand you correctly - you do “this” to help publishers go under? And nobody has asked you to do “this” to Disney yet?

I personally won at least two awards: the MLA Bibliography Fellowship and the Brown University Military Collection Fellowship. Yes, John Jaramillo is up for a national Latino award. Most national awards are awarded to the top couple dozen publishers, with only a few small presses snatching a couple of these honors. It’s up to the quality of each new Anaphora project if it will win awards. Anaphora titles have been regularly reviewed in Midwest Book Review, as well as in several other national and regional publications. That’s why small presses are called “small,” they are typically ignored my mass-media. New York Times doesn’t publicize new releases for titles that have under a 100,000 copy initial print run. If you run a small press, what is it, and please send a link to the last review the New York Times and the other publications you mentioned did reviews of your titles – I’m very curious to research why they might review one small press’s titles, but not another’s – if you are saying this is the case.

Accusations that “fun” is a bad thing and that it means that I don’t take my job as a publisher seriously from Fluffy Bunny is uncivil, malicious, and untrue. It is only one of the many false accusations I’m correcting in these replies.

I didn’t send the illustrated version of “The Sloths and I” to any other publishers, and decided to publish it myself. You are not disproving my assertion that if I think Anaphora is good enough for my own publications, then it is reasonable to conclude that I believe that it is a good press.

Most of the authors I’ve published so far are college professors. Some have a couple dozen years of high school teaching experience. A few are top lawyers and other professionals. Which of these do you think are “children” that I, as an adult, need to babysit, when it comes to deciding for them if they must be edited? So, if a Harvard JD, who is an associate in a law firm told you that she doesn’t want her project to be edited, even if you thought it was ready as-is, you wouldn’t publish her? I receive thousands of submissions per year, and I reject 95% of these submissions, and some just slip through who don’t want editing and that I think are good writers.

You don’t understand the term non-exclusive and your conclusion about the non-existence of non-exclusive contracts is completely erroneous. You haven’t been able to provide any examples or sources that would in any way support your erroneous position.

You also are clearly unfamiliar with all of the distributors I listed, and don’t understand what they do. Here is a quote from Coutts/ Ingram’s website: “Our full-service model is ideal for carefully selected publishers who may benefit from an exclusive distribution relationship that includes a full suite of services, from sales and marketing to royalty reporting, centralized contracting and billing, as well as inventory management.”

The numbers that I gave you regarding distribution to retail stores come from Davis Bunn, a best-selling author, who has sold over 6 million copies through these channels. You clearly have not researched the market closely enough to realize they are correct. Have you attempted to sell a title to Walmart? There is no significant difference between printing 5,000 and 25,000 copies of a book; it would be an enormous loss of funds if nearly all books don’t sell, and returns would still make a major economic impact on a publisher. Attempting more copies than are absolutely likely to sell is a foolish jump. A good business person has to know when to leap, when to job, and when to steadily walk forward. If you gave me your exact sales figures, and your exact distribution methods, I could make more specific comments regarding the difference between our approaches.

Are you trying to apply for a sales job with Anaphora? Why are you insisting that I should hire 1 salesperson for Anaphora. I’ve had people send unsolicited resumes to me to do fee-based design, editing, etc., but nobody has yet applied to do commissions-only book sales. Most libraries buy through distribution services like Coutts and Baker and Taylor. Books aren’t shoes. Do you have a commissions-only sales-person working for you? If so, do give me the details and I’d be delighted to give him a percentage of cold-calling to get buyers for books. I’m very curious to see what strategy he’ll take.

I’ve now written a long essay explaining my publishing processes. Are there still points that puzzle any of you? I can just start a free ebook on this forum – I guess I’ll start adding citations and detailed notes with sources to explain these concepts to you. Happy to help you understand the publishing business. Send questions if you have any.
 

Round Two

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Anaphora titles have been regularly reviewed in Midwest Book Review, as well as in several other national and regional publications.
The Midwest Book Review reviews many books, but it isn’t considered one of the top tier book review sources like the big four of Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Kirkus, or, Booklist. I went through the press clippings section of your website and didn’t see national publications. That’s not to say they aren’t there, I just didn’t see them. If I missed them, please feel free to point them out to me.
That’s why small presses are called “small,” they are typically ignored my mass-media. New York Times doesn’t publicize new releases for titles that have under a 100,000 copy initial print run. If you run a small press, what is it, and please send a link to the last review the New York Times and the other publications you mentioned did reviews of your titles – I’m very curious to research why they might review one small press’s titles, but not another’s – if you are saying this is the case.
Your claims about the New York Times are grossly inaccurate. I don’t know where you got the information you’re using, but it is demonstrably false.

Last Sunday’s New York Times Book Review included reviews of the following titles:

DARKNESS STICKS TO EVERYTHING: Collected and New Poems By Tom Hennen
Copper Canyon Press

AMERICAN DREAM MACHINE By Matthew Specktor
Tin House Books

CRAPALACHIA: A Biography of a Place By Scott McClanahan
Two Dollar Radio

That’s just last Sunday.

Three small houses. And I didn't even look through the site all that thoroughly because you can only click on ten reviews for free per month and I've already proven my point. For all I know there are even more small press titles featured in last Sunday's paper.

One of those publishers (Copper Canyon) is a non-profit whose books have won Pulitzer Prizes and National Book Awards.

Two Dollar Radio is run by a small team in Columbus, Ohio and list the following accomplishments on their website - "Two Dollar Radio-published books have been honored by the National Book Foundation, picked as 'Editors' Choice' selections by The New York Times Book Review, and made year-end best-of lists at O: The Oprah Magazine, NPR, Time Out New York, and The Believer. They've received praise from The Brooklyn Rail for publishing "some of the finest works of contemporary fiction in the past few years," and The Los Angeles Times for providing the industry with "an air of possibility, the belief that the future was very much in play." The Seattle Stranger envisioned them leading a "dream industry" out of the wreckage of corporate publishing."

And I’m willing to bet not one of those three books had a print run of 10,000 copies. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find any book reviewed in last Sunday’s Times that had a print run of 100,000 copies. If you think I’m wrong, point out the book.

If you page through Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Kirkus, and Booklist the review sections are filled with books from small presses, university presses. Get a free trial for Booklist’s website and look for yourself.

Here’s an article from Slate that explains how important these publications are - http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2003/09/book_report.html
 

faktorovich

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I don't see a question in your comments. Is it true that New York Times and other big reviewers review some titles from small publishers? The Library Journal review of my Pennsylvania Literary Journal, as well as Midwest and other Anaphora reviews prove that it's possible for a big publication to review a small press. Anaphora has grown steadily over the last 5 years. I take measured steps forward as I make progress in various areas. I'm sure that being accepted with a small publisher that only publishes a few titles per year and most of them are reviewed nationally is extremely difficult. It's pretty difficult to get published with Anaphora too. The "writer's market" is made up of writers, publishers and book consumers and they have to all find the best matches among the other groups for them. Anaphora's prior reviews, press mentions, book reading locations, and all other necessary information for writers to make the right decision for them are available on the Anaphora website. If a writer can do better, they should publish elsewhere. I'm sure that Anaphora is a great option for writers, and I work with a lot of happy writers that can confirm this belief. If the New York Times Review section is biased towards publishers with money and advertising space should probably be discussed in a thread dedicated to the New York Times.
 

Round Two

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Most of the authors I’ve published so far are college professors. Some have a couple dozen years of high school teaching experience. A few are top lawyers and other professionals. Which of these do you think are “children” that I, as an adult, need to babysit, when it comes to deciding for them if they must be edited? So, if a Harvard JD, who is an associate in a law firm told you that she doesn’t want her project to be edited, even if you thought it was ready as-is, you wouldn’t publish her? I receive thousands of submissions per year, and I reject 95% of these submissions, and some just slip through who don’t want editing and that I think are good writers.
I’ve yet to meet an author who didn’t require at least nominal editing. And that decision, in my capacity as a publisher, has always been mine to make. I’ve published a variety of award winning, critically acclaimed, multi-published authors. Not once, ever, has one of them told me they weren’t going to be edited and that I should just put the book out because they said so. Do you do any copyediting in those cases when the author tells you they don’t want it to go the way it is?

You don’t understand the term non-exclusive and your conclusion about the non-existence of non-exclusive contracts is completely erroneous. You haven’t been able to provide any examples or sources that would in any way support your erroneous position.
First – this all stemmed from your misunderstanding of copyright and authors transferring it to publishers on a non-exclusive basis. Authors license print rights, dramatic rights, large print rights, audio rights, translation rights, etc. to a work that has been copyrighted. I’m still not sure you understand the difference.

Second – I am quite confident in my understanding of non-exclusive contracts. You show me just ONE example of two publishing companies licensing the same subsidiary rights for a title at the same time in a non-exclusive agreement and I will sing your praises. Just one. I can’t prove a negative, but if you’re confident in your understanding, you should have no problem in proving a real situation.

You also are clearly unfamiliar with all of the distributors I listed, and don’t understand what they do. Here is a quote from Coutts/ Ingram’s website: “Our full-service model is ideal for carefully selected publishers who may benefit from an exclusive distribution relationship that includes a full suite of services, from sales and marketing to royalty reporting, centralized contracting and billing, as well as inventory management.”
That’s exactly what it says. To the word.

And that is not the relationship you have with them.

You may have physical distribution (as outlined in their first section), but all that does is list your book in their database and if a library/retailer should hear about it through some other means (why publicity is important) and wants to order it, they can look in the Coutts/Ingram database and see the book. They order there, Coutts/Ingram fulfills the order by getting books from you.

This is wholly and completely different from the FULL-SERVICE model that you quoted. See how that includes sales, marketing, royalty reporting, etc.? Those are the services provided by the companies commonly referred to as “distributors” in the publishing industry.

You’ll note they say this about the FULL-SERVICE model “offers exclusive distribution to a carefully selected group of publishers" and then when listing their services it includes -- “Sales | Our sales force consists of national accounts representatives, field representatives, inside sales, specialty and gift sales, and a full team of commissioned sales representatives...”

Two different services being offered.

Now, before you tell me that you have the FULL-SERVICE relationship with Coutts/Ingram, here are some things to consider:

(1) It’s an exclusive relationship. You wouldn’t be able to have any other distributor. That part is right there in the quoted section you and I both referred to. You listed a variety of businesses, some of them wholesalers, some of them just regular retailers like Amazon, but you did not provide a list of distributors.

(2) Who is doing the selling? Commissioned sales reps. You’ve already said you don’t have commissioned sales reps working for you. These are the people you have sales meetings with, who work with you on making cover art market ready, who take your catalog into bookstores and libraries and, using their relationships they've established with buyers, present your list.

(3) Here is a list of distributors. Notice the absence of all the people you mentioned. Also notice the language surrounding Ingram. http://www.bookmarket.com/distributors.htm Now, it’s possible that you’re right and that I misunderstand what a distributor does. But then I guess a lot of other people in the publishing industry do, too. http://bookmarketingmaven.typepad.com/ezine/book-marketing-may-2010.html ; http://www.smerilloassociates.com/distributor_vs_wholesaler.php


The numbers that I gave you regarding distribution to retail stores come from Davis Bunn, a best-selling author, who has sold over 6 million copies through these channels. You clearly have not researched the market closely enough to realize they are correct. Have you attempted to sell a title to Walmart?

If you’re attributing this information to Davis Bunn – “. But distributing directly to retail stores means the printing of at least 25,000 copies, or typically at least 100,000, required by these stores because they have to be uniform throughout the system and have to buy at least a few copies of each title for each of their stores.”

And you’re suggesting that has anything to do with Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, independent bookstores, etc., Davis Bunn gave you poor information. I’ve never had a book in Walmart (not the first retail outlet I think of for books, especially not the more academic things you’re publishing), but I know people who have had books picked up by box stores and there weren’t 100,000 copy print runs involved.

There is no significant difference between printing 5,000 and 25,000 copies of a book; it would be an enormous loss of funds if nearly all books don’t sell, and returns would still make a major economic impact on a publisher.

This is so wrong to be laughable. I’ve printed 5,000 copies of plenty of titles. Never anything approaching 25,000. There is a huge difference. Are you also asserting that there’s hardly any difference between selling 500 copies of a book and selling 5,000 copies?

Are you trying to apply for a sales job with Anaphora? Why are you insisting that I should hire 1 salesperson for Anaphora. I’ve had people send unsolicited resumes to me to do fee-based design, editing, etc., but nobody has yet applied to do commissions-only book sales. Most libraries buy through distribution services like Coutts and Baker and Taylor. Books aren’t shoes. Do you have a commissions-only sales-person working for you? If so, do give me the details and I’d be delighted to give him a percentage of cold-calling to get buyers for books. I’m very curious to see what strategy he’ll take.

No, I’m not trying to apply for a job with Anaphora. I do just fine where I am. Not sure what you mean about “books aren’t shoes.” Yes, I work with commissioned sales rep groups. In the past, it was when my companies were DISTRIBUTED by National Book Network and then later Consortium Book Sales and Distribution.
 

Round Two

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I don't see a question in your comments. Is it true that New York Times and other big reviewers review some titles from small publishers? The Library Journal review of my Pennsylvania Literary Journal, as well as Midwest and other Anaphora reviews prove that it's possible for a big publication to review a small press. Anaphora has grown steadily over the last 5 years. I take measured steps forward as I make progress in various areas. I'm sure that being accepted with a small publisher that only publishes a few titles per year and most of them are reviewed nationally is extremely difficult. It's pretty difficult to get published with Anaphora too. The "writer's market" is made up of writers, publishers and book consumers and they have to all find the best matches among the other groups for them. Anaphora's prior reviews, press mentions, book reading locations, and all other necessary information for writers to make the right decision for them are available on the Anaphora website. If a writer can do better, they should publish elsewhere. I'm sure that Anaphora is a great option for writers, and I work with a lot of happy writers that can confirm this belief. If the New York Times Review section is biased towards publishers with money and advertising space should probably be discussed in a thread dedicated to the New York Times.

You said the New York Times didn't review small presses. I provided three examples from last week's Sunday Book Review that proved you wrong.

Midwest Book Review is not a big publication and is not anywhere near the same level as Library Journal. Library Journal is a major publication. None of the others in your press clippings section fall under the same designation.

It's good that you got the Pennsylvania Literary Journal mentioned in Library Journal. One of 60+ projects. Have you had anything else reviewed there?

Not sure where you're coming up with the bit about the New York Times Review section being biased towards publishers with money and advertising space when I just showed you three small presses who certainly did not pay to be reviewed there or take out ads in return for coverage.
 

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Concern about the Questioner's Biases

So, you are a competing publisher, and you are trying to prove that you are better than me. You have refused to give your name and which specific “small” publishing company that does 5,000 print runs all the time it is that you represent? In fact you state that you have several “companies.” Unless you are writing fiction, it isn’t legal to give false identifying information when making false and harassing statements regarding a publishing business in a public forum. Your opinions are biased, erroneous, and shouldn’t be believed. I, for one, have found several discrepancies in the information you provided regarding yourself – you’ve said that you are with a small publisher, but you’ve also said that you’ve published many award-winning authors – these two can’t go together. And until you explain who you are, I will not debate the matter of my publishing method further with you, as I believe it is obvious to the readers that you are not a reputable or a believable source. You are repeating the same questions just for the sake of carrying on an argument that has for a while now been resolved. I already closely described my editing method and policies. I already gave several lengthy examples of top publishers (Harlequin, EBSCO, ProQuest) that re-print books and use non-exclusive rights. Even if I wrote a best-selling book in these posts that proved with impeccable evidence every point I have been making, you would never sing my praises, because as you said, you are a competing publisher, and you think that writers should submit their work to you, rather than to me. It cannot be in your interest to stop insulting Anaphora and me personally. I do have a business relationship with Coutts. I print my books with Lighting Source, which is a part of Ingram, and Coutts is also a part of this corporation. They are engaged in actively and fully distributing my titles, and as part of their distribution they send the titles to Baker & Taylor, and the other distributors I listed. It doesn’t say in the paragraph I quoted that it is an exclusive service. A good distributor knows that one has to make the book available through several distribution sources. Yes, Coutts, Ingram and several of the other distributors that I use have a sales-force that actively sells my titles, which results is pretty good sales figures, which I referred to earlier. That’s why I explained earlier that hiring an in-house sales-person would be equivalent to switching to selling shoes instead of books. The information that I’m providing is exactly true and correct. At least one of the websites you provided is a broken page. Why are you so arrogant that you think your advice is better than Davis Bunn’s? If you explained exactly who you are and why you know more about marketing than a best-selling author, your comments might be slightly more believable. So, what you have now figured out about Anaphora is that it has a major distribution deal. It has been reviewed in national and regional journals. And that everything else on the website and that I’ve said is exactly true. Fantastic.
 

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^^Seriously?

Once again, a publisher who comes here to respond to our questions about their press and completely fails to provide any answers, listen to reason, and continues to hold on to what they believe is the truth, even though they've been proven wrong repeatedly.

Now, from an author's POV, here are some reasons why I wouldn't submit to Anaphora, and things that, quite frankly worry me.

1) Authors can choose not to be edited. What? Huh? How? If you think that's standard practice, then you'll be the sole person thinking so. I don't care if your authors are academics, professors, lawyers, or God knows what, but everyone needs editing. Even if your book has been through various rounds of beta-readings, it still requires editing. This leads me to believe you're willing to publish sub-standard books.

2) Your covers. I took a look, and I'm not impressed. In fact, I'm a little underwhelmed. By the way, did you pay for the images you used? Because I've seen a few, like this one, that I recognize from on the internet, and I'm not sure if they're stock images.

3) Your website. Well, hello standard WordPress theme! I've no idea how many times I've seen Bueno used before, but at least never before as a theme for a publisher. If you can't afford to pay someone for a nice, professional webdesign for your website, or a tweaked custom WordPress theme, that doesn't inspire confidence in your company either.

4) Asking your authors to purchase 40 copies of their book if you think the book won't be profitable. Do you tell them this before the contract is signed, or afterward? This is a definite no-no for me. Actually reminds me of Publish America. A lot of vanity presses claim they're not vanity presses by using the same tactics. "Oh, we're not vanity! You won't have to pay to get your book published. But you have to buy a 100 copies after release." Right. Because that's not "having to pay to get your book published".

5) One man operation. I've seen several small presses with one person in charge of everything. They've started out great...and then everything went haywire. Take Ridan Publishing for example (you can look it up in the threads here). Everything was fine until the one person behind the publishing company fell ill. Delays with editing schedules, covers, publishing dates delayed for months, etc. What happens if you fall ill (and I certainly hope you don't, but unfortunately that could happen)? If there's no one there to pick up and continue the business, then your authors are facing the same delays and uncertainties.

Also, why are you so against hiring someone? I've seen plenty of artists work on commissions, or for small fees (like $100 for a book cover). From the look of Anaphora's covers, that wouldn't be a bad idea. I've seen plenty of editors for small presses work on commissions as well (they get a percentage of royalties then). If you could get people to do this for you, you could spend more of your time doing the actual publishing-side of things, and maybe promoting more books. Like, say, those authors you ask to buy 40 copies? If you could promote them to the point those 40 copies sold, without the author having to invest in their own work, that would definitely be worth it, don't you think?
 

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Faktorovich, let me introduce myself. While I use the name "Old Hack" here my real name is Jane Smith. I live in the UK but I have spent the last thirty years or so (has it really been so long?) working for publishing houses in the UK and the USA. The companies I've worked for include HarperCollins, HarperSanFrancisco, Chronicle Books and Ebury Press, but this is nowhere near a complete list. Most of my time in publishing has been spent as an editor, although I have also worked in sales, marketing, and production, so I do have a reasonably wide background in publishing.

I've noticed that you've contradicted yourself a few times in this thread: for example, first you said your writers had to register their own copyrights, then you said you did it for them. You also seem confused about how rights work, and the difference between copyright and publishing rights, and so on.

This does not make you or your publisher look good, especially not to those of us who have worked in publishing for a time, or who have taken the time to learn about how publishing works.

I've skimmed my way through your website and am astonished by some of the things you've included there. For example, your Intern Editing Guide. It's vague in the extreme, and doesn't provide anything like the help that interns require--and the fact that you allow your interns to edit the books you publish is extraordinary, especially when you say in that same guide that you might not be checking all their work.

A guide to your house style would be far more useful, as would an explanation of the different kinds of editing which are done (for example, structural editing, copy editing, proofreading).

So, you are a competing publisher, and you are trying to prove that you are better than me.

That's not what Round Two was doing at all. I thought his posts were thoughtful and well-informed, and very helpful with regard to our ongoing discussion. If you have a problem with any posts at AW, you can report the post to the moderators here (I'm one of those moderators) by clicking the red triangle in the offending post.

You have refused to give your name and which specific “small” publishing company that does 5,000 print runs all the time it is that you represent?

This doesn't make sense.

In fact you state that you have several “companies.” Unless you are writing fiction, it isn’t legal to give false identifying information when making false and harassing statements regarding a publishing business in a public forum.

I'm not sure your claim is correct, but even if it is, it's not applicable in this case as no one in this thread has made "false and harassing statements regarding a publishing business in a public forum".

Your opinions are biased, erroneous, and shouldn’t be believed. I, for one, have found several discrepancies in the information you provided regarding yourself – you’ve said that you are with a small publisher, but you’ve also said that you’ve published many award-winning authors – these two can’t go together.

Consider Salt Publishing, in the UK: it's one of the smallest publishers here, but it's published several award-winning authors. One of their titles was shortlisted for the Booker this year, which is the UK's biggest literary prize.

And until you explain who you are, I will not debate the matter of my publishing method further with you, as I believe it is obvious to the readers that you are not a reputable or a believable source.

Round Two seems very reputable and believable to me.

You are repeating the same questions just for the sake of carrying on an argument that has for a while now been resolved. I already closely described my editing method and policies. I already gave several lengthy examples of top publishers (Harlequin, EBSCO, ProQuest) that re-print books and use non-exclusive rights. Even if I wrote a best-selling book in these posts that proved with impeccable evidence every point I have been making, you would never sing my praises, because as you said, you are a competing publisher, and you think that writers should submit their work to you, rather than to me. It cannot be in your interest to stop insulting Anaphora and me personally.

Your attempts to discredit those who ask questions does not reflect well on you, I'm afraid. Especially as your comments here are so lacking in clarity.

I do have a business relationship with Coutts. I print my books with Lighting Source, which is a part of Ingram, and Coutts is also a part of this corporation. They are engaged in actively and fully distributing my titles, and as part of their distribution they send the titles to Baker & Taylor, and the other distributors I listed. It doesn’t say in the paragraph I quoted that it is an exclusive service. A good distributor knows that one has to make the book available through several distribution sources. Yes, Coutts, Ingram and several of the other distributors that I use have a sales-force that actively sells my titles, which results is pretty good sales figures, which I referred to earlier.

I'm not sure how printing your books through LSI provides you with a business relationship with Coutts, but there you go. I am confused by much of what you've said here.

Incidentally, what are your sales figures like? I don't expect precise figures, but a ball-park would be helpful.

That’s why I explained earlier that hiring an in-house sales-person would be equivalent to switching to selling shoes instead of books.

My bold. This is a ridiculous claim.

The information that I’m providing is exactly true and correct. At least one of the websites you provided is a broken page. Why are you so arrogant that you think your advice is better than Davis Bunn’s?

I've never heard of Davis Bunn.

If you explained exactly who you are and why you know more about marketing than a best-selling author, your comments might be slightly more believable.

I've won a couple of awards for the marketing campaigns I created and ran. But that's got nothing to do with Round Two's comments, which were relevant and correct.

So, what you have now figured out about Anaphora is that it has a major distribution deal. It has been reviewed in national and regional journals. And that everything else on the website and that I’ve said is exactly true. Fantastic.

And yet the Intern Editing Guide is on your website, and that's hugely flawed. As are other pages there.

In fact, you've made so many basic mistakes, both here and on your own website, that I am very doubtful of your capacity to publish anyone effectively.

For example, you've got a typo in the title of this book on Amazon. Based on the sample I saw when I clicked on the "look inside" feature, both the text and the illustrations in that book are well below-par, and those problems are exacerbated with forced rhymes and obvious errors in grammar and punctuation. For example,

I was so tired from all that running
That I lied down on a branch,
Covered with a leaf and a string,
And fell asleep like in a ranch.

If that's typical of the standard of books that you've published then I doubt very much that you're making sales that I would describe as acceptable, let alone good.

I'm sorry to be so critical. I don't mean to be hurtful; but the point of this room at AW is to look at all that publishers, agents and services can offer writers, and to analyse how useful--or not--these people and organisations might be to us. And based on your posts in this thread alone, then Anaphora is not one I'd even consider submitting to.
 

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Faktorovich, I can't help noticing that your own 32-page book The Sloths and I not only costs a whopping $21.32, it's reduced from $30.00! Are you expecting many sales at that price?

Originally Posted by faktorovich
I didn’t send the illustrated version of “The Sloths and I” to any other publishers, and decided to publish it myself. You are not disproving my assertion that if I think Anaphora is good enough for my own publications, then it is reasonable to conclude that I believe that it is a good press.

Yes - but is the book good enough to be accepted by a publisher who could sell it at a reasonable price and doesn't expect the author to buy 40 copies?

I'd also be interested to know if the disappearance of Reverend Loveshade's Ek-Sen-Trik-Kuh Discordia is due to the fact that it was plagiarized from the Discordia website.
 
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On Editing, Interns, Design, Webmastering, Sales Figures, Youthful Health, and Old Hacks

If the moderator of a forum is biased as well, there is no point of clicking on the bottom to complain about harassment. It is unfair for a moderator to express strong opinions against the topic of discussion without sufficient proof. I could quote spelling and grammatical errors I’ve found during my recent research from the top publishers in the US book market. I’m sure I’d find errors in your books, if I studied them long enough.

The point of these replies I’m posting here is to educate those curious about the publishing industry about concepts like copyrights and reprint rights that you guys clearly don’t understand, as you repeatedly keep asking me to explain them to you. I explained that there is a difference between copyrights registration and registering a new book with the Library of Congress for an identifying LCCN#, so that it can be shelved in libraries across America. I’m reading very closely everything that has been said in this forum so far, and so far I haven’t read anything that I either didn’t already know, or were erroneous and misleading statements. So, I’ve worked to correct these errors, rightfully so I believe. The person that’s being attacked by the mob, is usually the victim in a saga.

In response to some of the writer’s concerns:

1. If a writer wants to be edited, I’m delighted to edit them and always do the final check and the major part of the editing myself (the interns just help out – I’ve had interns from Harvard, NYU grad school, and other Ivy League schools, so their ability to edit shouldn’t be disregarded either. I typically have 30 interns working with me in an average year cycle). The Intern Guide on the website is not current because I’ve created a 150+ page book “Book Production Guide,” on sale online, and which I email to all of my interns as a PDF, which gives details on my marketing, editing, design and other policies. I have a PhD in English, and I’ve been working as a college English professor for over 3 years, so if I do a close edit of a book, it becomes a great product.

2. Writers should always review a publisher’s covers to determine if they match their personal preferences. If you look over the 60+ books I designed so far and just don’t like them, you really shouldn’t submit your work to Anaphora, and move on with your research to other publishers. It would save me a lot of time in MS reviews if writers did do initial research. The cover you point to uses a classical public-domain image, which is credited inside the book and on the back cover, if you check on Amazon Look-Inside. I use a lot of public-domain images, and occasionally draw the images myself, or use other strategies. Occasionally I use cover art and interior illustrations and photographs by current artists, all of whom submit their work for free.

3. Anaphora’s website is designed by me. It is not a simple Bueno theme, as the background, foreground, logo and various other parts are entirely photographed, drawn, arranged and designed by me. I was certified as a webmaster at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and I know some HTML, but I chose to leave the framework of the theme because it works very well as-is, and I have a long list of other things to get done. Yes, I can do it all myself: design, marketing, editing, etc. – I don’t need to hire people to help me, and I couldn’t have started my own publishing business if I did hire somebody for each of the numerous tasks that have to get done for a publisher to launch and stay in operations. A business person has to make decisions about which costs are essential and which are luxurious and wasteful. If I threw my money away, I would be a terribly business person.

4. Most Anaphora titles sell over 40 books via distribution channels on their own. Some sell over 400 copies. As was discussed earlier in this exchange, my website states clearly that authors who cannot demonstrate that their book will sell at least 100 copies, are asked to buy 40 copies at a discount rate. Please read the earlier posts before repeating the same comment. Readers who read the string closely already understand that this is my policy, and can make a logical decision if they choose to submit to Anaphora or not, when it comes to this point. When you ignore the fact that these books are sold at 25% off with shipping included, you are deliberately misrepresenting the policy, as all major publishers allow writers to buy discount copies of their books, and the discount rate allows for re-sale at a profit for the author.

5. I’m 31 years old. Typically I swim or exercise for one hour every day. I’m in great physical shape. It’s unlikely that I’ll “fall ill” in the upcoming 60 years. Most of my relations live to be over 90.

6. I haven’t hired a “promoter” to “sell” my books because in my experience nobody is willing to sell books via cold-calls on a commissions-basis only. I’ve done commissions-sales jobs before, and I wouldn’t wish it upon one of my employees. I do sales myself, and have a good distribution mailing and email list for libraries and reviewers.

Dear Old Hack: Are you Sarah Jane Smith, the fictional character? That’s what a Google search turned up at the top of the page…

Readers will be able to judge whose attempts at “discrediting” are true and logical and who is in the wrong. I think I did a great job pointing out errors and biases that were clouding the judgment of the critic ridiculing my publishing business.

I can tell you that my profits, after royalty payments (50/50% split), from Anaphora are around $15,000 per year, which are a nice reward from all the hard work I put into this venture. What difference should this figure make to authors who are considering publishing with Anaphora? Will they make $1,000 a year in royalties? Perhaps. Does this lift the load of anticipation off your shoulders? If an author just wants to sell a bunch of copies and make a bunch of money, I would be delighted to help them.

Old Hack: Seriously, please don’t submit anything to Anaphora. I don’t like working with confrontational and insulting writers, and prefer to start business relationships on an optimistic note for both parties.
 

eternalised

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4. Most Anaphora titles sell over 40 books via distribution channels on their own. Some sell over 400 copies. As was discussed earlier in this exchange, my website states clearly that authors who cannot demonstrate that their book will sell at least 100 copies, are asked to buy 40 copies at a discount rate. Please read the earlier posts before repeating the same comment. Readers who read the string closely already understand that this is my policy, and can make a logical decision if they choose to submit to Anaphora or not, when it comes to this point. When you ignore the fact that these books are sold at 25% off with shipping included, you are deliberately misrepresenting the policy, as all major publishers allow writers to buy discount copies of their books, and the discount rate allows for re-sale at a profit for the author.


I'm not "deliberately misrepresenting the policy" you have. My publishers allow me to purchase copies at discount rate as well - but I don't have to. How is an author to SHOW they can sell 100 copies? That's not an author's job - but a publisher's job.

As for now, you don't do anything I couldn't do on my own with self-publishing, and it wouldn't cost me the $1000-$5000 you mentioned earlier. Finding an image on the internet (like you mentioned you do while creating cover art) in the free domain, and slamming text on it. That's something I can do in Photoshop in like, fifteen minutes. Then, since your books don't get edited, I can just as well self-publish without editing. You don't even do the marketing or try to sell the copies, based on your statement above - that's apparently on the author's head as well. You said it yourself: an author has to prove they can sell 100 copies, else they're asked to buy 40 copies. If your sales are as high as you want us to believe, then why even have this policy? If your confident you can sell so many copies on your own, why ask authors to come up with a plan to sell 100 or purchase the 40 copies instead? This makes absolutely no sense.

Now about your design - oh sure, I noticed you changed the background, etc. which is all pretty basic HTML, but that still doesn't make it confidence-inspiring. It's not a professional design. Anyone who knows WordPress sees right away it's a slightly modified theme. This doesn't exactly scream professionalism.

Also, you keep on pointing out that we "shouldn't repeat comments already mentioned". Since your answers so far have been either evasive or straight-on attacks, it was obviously something I still wanted a clear answer on. Trust me that I've read all the responses to this thread before posting.


5. I’m 31 years old. Typically I swim or exercise for one hour every day. I’m in great physical shape. It’s unlikely that I’ll “fall ill” in the upcoming 60 years. Most of my relations live to be over 90.


What kind of strange comment is this? Illness can't be predicted based on how old your relations are, or how much you exercise every day. It's completely random. And I sincerely hope you live to be over 90 as well, but that's something that just can't be predicted. What will you do if you DO become ill? Do you have a back up plan? Someone who can take over? THAT would be a more appropriate answer.

 

Stacia Kane

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I’m sure I’d find errors in your books, if I studied them long enough.

Please feel free; start with UNHOLY GHOSTS and read the whole series from there. I'm confident you won't find any typos or non-deliberate grammatical errors. Several other people and I spent a very long time working to eliminate those. I'm about to self-publish a novella and have spent upwards of forty-fifty hours of my time on making sure it too is typo-free, as well as having more than one other publishing professional (including a copyeditor) check it over as well. It's something of a sticking point/point of pride for me.

But you are aware that errors in a book are not always the fault of the author or editor? Sometimes errors are introduced in typesetting or printing, and it's not always easy to spot them. There's a big difference between a single error in a 100,000-word book which is professionally laid out and edited, and a couple of dozen errors in a book a quarter of the length.


The point of these replies I’m posting here is to educate those curious about the publishing industry about concepts like copyrights and reprint rights that you guys clearly don’t understand, as you repeatedly keep asking me to explain them to you.

No, we keep asking you to clarify your understanding of these, as it doesn't gibe with our knowledge and experience (or in some cases the actual facts, as with your information about Harlequin), and you've contradicted yourself on those subjects.


The person that’s being attacked by the mob, is usually the victim in a saga.

No one is attacking you. We're simply trying to understand. No one here is giggling at the idea of hurting you or insulting you. But we take this business seriously. We're discussing your business, not you personally; I'm sure you're a delightful person to meet and spend an evening with, but that doesn't mean your company is a good choice for writers.



I have a PhD in English, and I’ve been working as a college English professor for over 3 years, so if I do a close edit of a book, it becomes a great product.

Which style manual do you use?


I don’t need to hire people to help me, and I couldn’t have started my own publishing business if I did hire somebody for each of the numerous tasks that have to get done for a publisher to launch and stay in operations. A business person has to make decisions about which costs are essential and which are luxurious and wasteful. If I threw my money away, I would be a terribly business person.

Actually, every successful new publisher I can think of in the last ten years or so started out with employees, and enough money in investments or savings to pay those employees.

Lots of new publishers who failed, though, started out on a shoestring with no employees. If you look at the Index here, and all those publisher names in gray? I'd say at least 95% of those are one-person operations.

That isn't to say that your business will fail. I hope it doesn't. I'm just pointing out that not hiring people to do work that needs doing and starting out with no money isn't an automatic sign of high business acumen.


When you ignore the fact that these books are sold at 25% off with shipping included, you are deliberately misrepresenting the policy, as all major publishers allow writers to buy discount copies of their books, and the discount rate allows for re-sale at a profit for the author.

Eh...no. Yes, all major publishers allow authors to buy books at a discount rate, but most of them do not allow said author to then resell the copies at a profit to themselves. I am contractually bound from doing so, in fact, as is every other author I personally know. I know there are some situations with some types of books where it may be different, but "Buy copies and resell them" is not something generally permitted by major publishers. I gave them the exclusive rights to distribute and sell my books, see, so I cannot legally do that myself.


Dear Old Hack: Are you Sarah Jane Smith, the fictional character? That’s what a Google search turned up at the top of the page…

1. Old Hack told you her name: Jane Smith. Not Sarah Jane, just Jane.

2. Your attempt to be clever here is not only not clever because it's clumsy (implying that OH isn't "important" enough to come up first in a Google search, as if a man named Don Corleone is a loser because Googling him turns up Godfather references before him), but it is especially not clever because Elisabeth Sladen, the actress who played Sarah Jane Smith, died not too long ago. She was one of the most beloved actresses ever playing one of the most beloved characters ever on a much-beloved and very long-running TV show. Quite frankly, this comment feels cruel to me, and tasteless.


Readers will be able to judge whose attempts at “discrediting” are true and logical and who is in the wrong. I think I did a great job pointing out errors and biases that were clouding the judgment of the critic ridiculing my publishing business.

No one is ridiculing your business, and I'm sure you do think you did a great job.


I can tell you that my profits, after royalty payments (50/50% split), from Anaphora are around $15,000 per year, which are a nice reward from all the hard work I put into this venture.

So your royalties are 50% of "profits?" I guess you mean net? What expenses are taken out of the gross to arrive at the "profits?"


As for the whole exclusive/non-exclusive: I've sold a few short stories with "non-exclusive" rights clauses. The difference is that the non-exclusive period comes after a period of exclusivity. It's never a case of "We'll publish it, and you can publish it too, the same day, if you want!" Not with any of the major houses to whom I've sold those stories, anyway. It's always a period of exclusivity followed, then, by non-exclusivity; i.e they have the exclusive right to publish it for X amount of time, and at the end of that time I am free to publish it myself in addition to their continuing to do so, or I can sell the reprint rights to another anthology if that anthology is willing to hold non-exclusive rights, or whatever (I could be mistaken but I believe many of those "Best of the Year" genre anthologies expect that the rights grant will be non-exclusive since the work is almost by definition already published elsewhere).

In my case I am considering bundling those shorts to which I hold non-exclusive rights, adding a new unpublished short, and selling them all together as a new anthology of my own. I can do that now that the rights are non-exclusive, but no publisher I can think of would allow me to do so the same day or the week after they release the story themselves. Why would they put their money into editing and designing and releasing the story if I'm going to swoop in and sell it directly? It's a recipe for disaster, and it opens the publisher up to all sorts of chicanery from unscrupulous authors (were I that sort of person--which I am not--what would stop me from refusing to accept edits, or giving the story a weird ending, or expanding it into a much better version, and then releasing it for the same or a lower price, thus completely undercutting the publisher and making them lose money?) For the safety of their business they can't allow me to publish my own version simultaneously with no exclusive period. I really urge you to rethink this (and as others have point out, authors doing their own ebook versions is a matter of which subrights you license, not of exclusive/non-exclusive).


I sincerely wish you the best of luck.
 
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justbishop

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I personally would not consider submitting my work to a publisher who MIGHT require me to purchase copies myself, regardless of the discount offered. Just sayin'.

And just being nit-picky, but WP design involves a lot more than simple HTML expertise. It relies heavily on CSS, PHP, and a working knowledge of SQL databases. And in this day and age, I would consider a professionally built website to be an absolute necessity for a small business, and well worth investing in.
 

AphraB

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Between the rudeness about Fluff Bunny's moniker, the bad joke about Old Hack's name, and the featured press release on the landing page of Anaphora Literary Press (I've read it three times to try and understand what the book is about), I think any new writer has all of the information he or she needs about this particular publisher.
 
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Old Hack

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If the moderator of a forum is biased as well, there is no point of clicking on the bottom to complain about harassment.

I'm a moderator at AW but I don't moderate this room, so your report wouldn't come to me.

I'd appreciate it if you'd explain how you think I'm biased here, and what form my bias takes, because I suspect you've misread me and I'd like the opportunity to clarify things. My intention is not to upset or sneer at you.

It is unfair for a moderator to express strong opinions against the topic of discussion without sufficient proof.
Please quote the comments I've made which you consider unfair. Give me a chance to apologise for mistakes I've made, and correct them--or to provide the proof you say is required.

I could quote spelling and grammatical errors I’ve found during my recent research from the top publishers in the US book market. I’m sure I’d find errors in your books, if I studied them long enough.
I'm sure you would too. Editors are only human, after all. But I'll bet there is a far less troubling ratio of words:errors in the books I've edited than in the books you've published--just as there is in the posts we make here.

The point of these replies I’m posting here is to educate those curious about the publishing industry about concepts like copyrights and reprint rights that you guys clearly don’t understand, as you repeatedly keep asking me to explain them to you. I explained that there is a difference between copyrights registration and registering a new book with the Library of Congress for an identifying LCCN#, so that it can be shelved in libraries across America. I’m reading very closely everything that has been said in this forum so far, and so far I haven’t read anything that I either didn’t already know, or were erroneous and misleading statements. So, I’ve worked to correct these errors, rightfully so I believe. The person that’s being attacked by the mob, is usually the victim in a saga.
But you haven't explained anything clearly; you've contradicted yourself; you're mistaken on several points; and you're taking offense where no offense is intended or due.

You've been asked some difficult questions which you've found difficult to respond to. We've highlighted your lack of knowledge, your poor editing, your odd interpretation of copyright, rights, publishing and other stuff, and that's made you uncomfortable. But that doesn't mean we're a mob, or that we're attacking you.

In response to some of the writer’s concerns:

1. If a writer wants to be edited, I’m delighted to edit them
I have never, ever worked at a publisher where editing was optional, depending on the whim of the author.

and always do the final check and the major part of the editing myself
But in the Intern Editing Guide which you have on your website, which I linked to earlier, you state this:

General Editing Advice: Keep in mind that I might not be reviewing all your edits after you make them – but the writer will – so only change things that have to be changed – and re-read sentences after you edit them.
How do you marry up these two conflicting statements?

(the interns just help out – I’ve had interns from Harvard, NYU grad school, and other Ivy League schools, so their ability to edit shouldn’t be disregarded either. I typically have 30 interns working with me in an average year cycle).
You run your business alone, but employ 30 interns a year? That's a huge number. How can you run your business while simultaneously training and guiding so many temporary employees?

Further, are you aware of the strict laws regarding intern employment? I've seen several small publishers fall foul of them over the years. You might want to check them out.

The Intern Guide on the website is not current because I’ve created a 150+ page book “Book Production Guide,” on sale online, and which I email to all of my interns as a PDF, which gives details on my marketing, editing, design and other policies.
It might not be your current edition, but it's on your website. And it is riddled with errors, both in fact and in style.

I have a PhD in English,
I passed my cycling proficiency test when I was at infant school. That did not qualify me to work as a cycling coach.

and I’ve been working as a college English professor for over 3 years,
"Professor" has a very specific meaning, and I often see it used to mean "lecturer" or "tutor". Based on a quick Google of your rather distinctive name, I wonder if you're also using it in this context. Could you clarify, please?

so if I do a close edit of a book, it becomes a great product.
Having a PhD in English literature and teaching English, whether literature or language, does not mean that you're automatically a good editor. Editing well is a very specific skill. And bearing in mind the numerous errors I've seen on your website and in your books, I suggest it's a skill you don't have.

2. Writers should always review a publisher’s covers to determine if they match their personal preferences.
Writers don't usually get approval on their book covers. But your point is a good one: when a publisher's covers look unprofessional it's usually a sign that the publisher is unprofessional in other areas too.

If you look over the 60+ books I designed so far and just don’t like them, you really shouldn’t submit your work to Anaphora, and move on with your research to other publishers.
I do not like the covers you have designed. They are amateurish in the extreme.

It would save me a lot of time in MS reviews if writers did do initial research. The cover you point to uses a classical public-domain image, which is credited inside the book and on the back cover, if you check on Amazon Look-Inside. I use a lot of public-domain images, and occasionally draw the images myself, or use other strategies.
I note that on the book I linked to in my previous post (called either "The Sloth And I" or "The Sloths And I"--you've used both variants several times, so it's difficult to be sure which is the correct title) you not only wrote and published the book, you also drew all the illustrations. The standard is not good, I'm afraid (and before you ask, I've worked on several illustrated books for children, and I trained as an illustrator and have won awards for my artwork, so I have some knowledge here).

Occasionally I use cover art and interior illustrations and photographs by current artists, all of whom submit their work for free.
I am troubled when I hear of publishers using artwork without paying for it. It's exploitative. I assume that you make money out of your books: why should the people who help create them not receive a fair wage for the work they do?

3. Anaphora’s website is designed by me. It is not a simple Bueno theme, as the background, foreground, logo and various other parts are entirely photographed, drawn, arranged and designed by me. I was certified as a webmaster at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and I know some HTML, but I chose to leave the framework of the theme because it works very well as-is, and I have a long list of other things to get done.
What you've done, then, is you've taken the Bueno theme and dropped your images into the boxes provided for backgrounds, headers and so on. That isn't the same thing as creating your own website, as you should know if you "know some HTML".

Yes, I can do it all myself: design, marketing, editing, etc. – I don’t need to hire people to help me,
You use artwork without paying for it, and depend on interns--who often work for free--to do your editing. Why hire people when you can get graduates to work for free?

and I couldn’t have started my own publishing business if I did hire somebody for each of the numerous tasks that have to get done for a publisher to launch and stay in operations. A business person has to make decisions about which costs are essential and which are luxurious and wasteful. If I threw my money away, I would be a terribly business person.
You don't have to throw money away to "be a terribly [sic] business person". All you need to do is throw yourself into a business you don't understand and have no real experience of.

4. Most Anaphora titles sell over 40 books via distribution channels on their own. Some sell over 400 copies. As was discussed earlier in this exchange, my website states clearly that authors who cannot demonstrate that their book will sell at least 100 copies, are asked to buy 40 copies at a discount rate.
Christ on a bike.

Excuse me, but really? Most of your books sell over 40 copies? That's pitifully low. Couple it with your requirement that authors buy 40 copies for themselves and we can all see where you earn your money: by selling books to the authors you publish.

You know what that makes you? A vanity publisher.

Please read the earlier posts before repeating the same comment. Readers who read the string closely already understand that this is my policy, and can make a logical decision if they choose to submit to Anaphora or not, when it comes to this point. When you ignore the fact that these books are sold at 25% off with shipping included, you are deliberately misrepresenting the policy, as all major publishers allow writers to buy discount copies of their books, and the discount rate allows for re-sale at a profit for the author.
I can buy my books direct from my publishers at around 45% off cover price, shipping included. However, there are clauses in all of my contracts forbidding me to sell them on.

5. I’m 31 years old. Typically I swim or exercise for one hour every day. I’m in great physical shape. It’s unlikely that I’ll “fall ill” in the upcoming 60 years. Most of my relations live to be over 90.
Excellent! Does your exercise regime or the longevity of your relatives also protect you from accidents and emergency?

6. I haven’t hired a “promoter” to “sell” my books because in my experience nobody is willing to sell books via cold-calls on a commissions-basis only. I’ve done commissions-sales jobs before, and I wouldn’t wish it upon one of my employees. I do sales myself, and have a good distribution mailing and email list for libraries and reviewers.
In an earlier comment, I think you said you had full distribution. If that's the case, then you'd have a sales team working on selling your titles, but now you say you don't. Which one is it?

Dear Old Hack: Are you Sarah Jane Smith, the fictional character? That’s what a Google search turned up at the top of the page…
Are you Mickey Mouse?

FFS.

Readers will be able to judge whose attempts at “discrediting” are true and logical and who is in the wrong. I think I did a great job pointing out errors and biases that were clouding the judgment of the critic ridiculing my publishing business.
Where's the ridicule, Anna? Quote the specific phrases you're referring to, please, so that the mods can deal with the offending people.

I can tell you that my profits, after royalty payments (50/50% split), from Anaphora are around $15,000 per year, which are a nice reward from all the hard work I put into this venture. What difference should this figure make to authors who are considering publishing with Anaphora? Will they make $1,000 a year in royalties? Perhaps. Does this lift the load of anticipation off your shoulders? If an author just wants to sell a bunch of copies and make a bunch of money, I would be delighted to help them.
If you pay royalties based on profits then your authors could find themselves earning no royalties at all no matter how many copies their books sell.

Old Hack: Seriously, please don’t submit anything to Anaphora. I don’t like working with confrontational and insulting writers, and prefer to start business relationships on an optimistic note for both parties.
Don't worry, there's no chance at all that I would submit my work to you.
 

Calla Lily

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When a publisher isn't professional, contradicts themselves, and uses obfuscating language...

Run. Run far, run fast, and don't look back.

Money flows toward the author.--Yog's Law.
 

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Anna, you say you have a PhD in English. Might I ask from where you received this PhD?

Also, you say you're a college professor, but you state elsewhere that you have "three years of college teaching experience." That does not necessarily mean you're a professor - it could mean you're a part-time lecturer or an adjunct.

And, if I'm not mistaken, that was at a community college? Not that there's anything wrong with that - I'm just trying to get a handle on what makes up your credentials, especially when you say that you have the chops to both write, edit (or not edit, depending upon author preference), and run a publishing company.

I'm wondering if you're engaging in a wee bit of puffery when it comes to your academic credentials because there is a huge difference between a professor, an associate or assistant professor, and a part-time lecturer. I know this because I am a part-time lecturer myself, working more than 40 hours a week teaching at multiple universities. I hold a Masters degree in writing, but again...that doesn't make me a good editor. In fact, I'm a terrible editor which is why I turn to the publisher for help in making my work the best it can be.

I'm wondering if your colleagues who have published through you are also part-time lecturers? Or are they full-time faculty members? Because most of the professors I know are too busy trying to get published in peer-reviewed journals to pursue small presses.

I know you want your company to be a success - that's great and you should work hard at it - but you can't misrepresent yourself and expect people who know better because they've been in the publishing business for decades to fall for it.
 
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FluffBunny

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Dear Fluffy Bunny: Do you think you should perhaps use a different picture as your avatar if you are against publishers having “fun” with the books they publish?

My avatar, besides being a picture of my pet, is a visual representation of “me” on a writing/social forum. While I try to maintain a reasonably professional demeanor (respecting my fellow author, no personal attacks, etc.), it’s not my business. Your statement was placed on the website that represents you both as a publisher and your business itself.

My LinkedIn profile is a very short version of my very long CV. Would you like me to post my full 8-page CV here – if you insist, I will. Yes, I’ve worked for publishers like Tikkun Magazine and Bridgepoint Education before as a writer, editor, webmaster, etc. My sources don’t include these alone, but a long list of other publishers who have published my work, worked with me, and on whom I did primary and secondary source research for my upcoming book. I also have over 3 years of full-time college English teaching experience. And a long list of other publications, fellowships, and achievements that are not listed in LinkedIn.

Thank you for that information. The only Bridgepoint Education I can locate http://www.bridgepointeducation.com doesn’t appear to be a publisher--it appears to be a combination of use-analytics and a way for educators to build personalized, multi-media content for students, optimized for tablet use. Is this the correct organization? May I ask what position(s) you held at Tikkun and Bridepoint?"

Also to the Fluffy Bunny: Did I understand you correctly - you do “this” to help publishers go under? And nobody has asked you to do “this” to Disney yet?

“This” would be taking a look at a company from all sides to assist authors in deciding whether or not a publisher/agent/other is right for them. I'm sorry if that wasn't clear. If anyone has had a good experience with a publisher/agent/other, they are encouraged to post that as well. If you take the time to read a thread or twelve here, you will find numerous threads full of people happy with their experience with those publishers/agents/other. There are threads where publishers have stepped in and answered questions in a professional manner. There are also threads where publishers stepped in and did not.

Anaphora titles have been regularly reviewed in Midwest Book Review, as well as in several other national and regional publications. That’s why small presses are called “small,” they are typically ignored my mass-media. New York Times doesn’t publicize new releases for titles that have under a 100,000 copy initial print run. If you run a small press, what is it, and please send a link to the last review the New York Times and the other publications you mentioned did reviews of your titles – I’m very curious to research why they might review one small press’s titles, but not another’s – if you are saying this is the case.

According to the New York Times - http://www.nytimes.com/content/help/site/books/books.html

All publishers are welcome to send material for review consideration, but please be aware that we review only a very small percentage of the books we receive and the odds against a given book receiving a review are long indeed. So before you send galleys or books you should familiarize yourself with the kinds of books we do and do not review.

For example, we only review books published in the United States and available through general-interest bookstores.

I would imagine that distribution is the problem for many “small publishers”. If they don’t have proper distribution set up, if they don’t offer discounts to retailers or take returns, they’re not going to be in “general-interest bookstores”.

According to that bastion of knowledge, Wikipedia, “Each week the NYTBR receives 750 to 1000 books from authors and publishers in the mail, of which 20 to 30 are chosen for review.” Since their source was Inside the New York Times Book Review--Editor Sam Tanenhaus and Staff, a documentary, I’ll believe them in this case. The odds are not particularly good for any book. Even authors with a large following aren’t guaranteed a review. A search for reviews on Charlaine Harris, for example, turns up a single, one-paragraph “mini-review” of Sweet and Deadly published by Houghton Mifflin. Her “Sookie Stackhouse” series was printed by Ace, an imprint of the Penguin Group and none of those books have been reviewed by the NYTBR. Neither popularity nor a "Big Five" publishing house appear to be a guarantee of a review.


Accusations that “fun” is a bad thing and that it means that I don’t take my job as a publisher seriously from Fluffy Bunny is uncivil, malicious, and untrue. It is only one of the many false accusations I’m correcting in these replies.

“Fun” in a person is fine. A business responsible for publishing, marketing and selling a book long-labored over describing what they do as a “fun venture” comes across as frivolous. I’m sorry you can’t see that. It implies that this is something undertaken out of frivolity or boredom or just for kicks, not a business. You? You do not get to tell me how your words impact me. Pointing out the impact that your own words have is not “uncivil, malicious, and untrue”, it’s telling you how those words sound to me and, perhaps, others. If you were running pell-mell for a cliff’s edge and I shouted, “Look out, damn it! There’s an edge 30 feet in front of you!!”, would you shout back that it was only 25 feet in front of you, I swore and I yelled at you therefore I was “uncivil, malicious and untrue”?

I will leave points regarding contract language and distribution to those that are intimately familiar with those things. There are those here who are.

In summation: telling you the impact words on your website have on me is not uncivil. Asking you about your experience in publishing is not uncivil. Linking you to 2 out of the 3 publishers you asked about here is not uncivil. People asking you questions, questioning your business and/or its practices is not attacking you. I can’t attack you--I know nothing about you other than what I’ve read here, on your site and on LinkedIn. Bonus pro-tip: while snark might be fleetingly satisfying, it honestly doesn’t come across as professional.
 
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