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Ant Colony Press

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

Pisco Sour

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I wrote some romance pitches for an author friend to participate in #kisspitch a few days ago and one of the fav's she got was from this press. Having had a look, my advice is to ignore their 'like', but I thought I'd check if anybody has experience with them on AW before I get back to her. There's no info about who runs this publisher on the 'About' page, just a bunch of stuff about how lovely it is to be part of a 'colony'...

http://www.antcolonypress.com/index.html
 

Iancahill

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FWIW, This is a new press that is an off-shoot of Felony Books, which is run by Jordan Belcher. Sarah, who is running this imprint with Jordan's wife Colette is new to indie publishing, but has been an author and in my writing group for years. It might seem green, but Jordan has done a great job building a roster with Felony and is definitely involved in the growth of Ant Colony. It's fair to be weary, but there are about 6 or 7 authors they are working with now to get books out and so far it has been a lot of fun!
 

Iancahill

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I wrote some romance pitches for an author friend to participate in #kisspitch a few days ago and one of the fav's she got was from this press. Having had a look, my advice is to ignore their 'like', but I thought I'd check if anybody has experience with them on AW before I get back to her. There's no info about who runs this publisher on the 'About' page, just a bunch of stuff about how lovely it is to be part of a 'colony'...

http://www.antcolonypress.com/index.html

Based on your comments here, Sarah has also updated the site to be more transparent. Hope that helps!
 

eqb

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FWIW, This is a new press that is an off-shoot of Felony Books, which is run by Jordan Belcher. Sarah, who is running this imprint with Jordan's wife Colette is new to indie publishing, but has been an author and in my writing group for years. It might seem green, but Jordan has done a great job building a roster with Felony and is definitely involved in the growth of Ant Colony. It's fair to be weary, but there are about 6 or 7 authors they are working with now to get books out and so far it has been a lot of fun!

Hi, Ian. Welcome to AW. I see you're an author with Ant Colony. Could you tell us a bit about the publisher? As in, what kind of royalties do they pay, what kind of distribution do they have, and what their editing and marketing are like?

Thanks.
 

Pisco Sour

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FWIW, This is a new press that is an off-shoot of Felony Books, which is run by Jordan Belcher. Sarah, who is running this imprint with Jordan's wife Colette is new to indie publishing, but has been an author and in my writing group for years. It might seem green, but Jordan has done a great job building a roster with Felony and is definitely involved in the growth of Ant Colony. It's fair to be weary, but there are about 6 or 7 authors they are working with now to get books out and so far it has been a lot of fun!

Hi there, and thanks for your input! I'll check the site later today, and let my friend know there's more info on there. I second EQB, below (can't do the multi-quote thingy) as to if you can give people more information on royalties, editing, distribution...

I do hope I don't sound harsh when I say I had huge concerns about this press when I saw the website. I'm sure everybody has good intentions, but if it turns out the principals don't have actual publishing experience beyond being authors themselves, I will continue to be worried.
 

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Hello everyone. My name is Sarah Bredeman, and I am co-founder of Ant Colony Press. I appreciate the concerns, and also your thoughtfulness to share those concerns here. I hope I can help clarify some of the questions that have been raised.

First and foremost, to answer eqb's questions posed to Ian- we pay out 40% royalties and have been focusing on wide distribution for both ebook an print (Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iBooks, etc., all through Draft2Digital. For print, we use one of a couple different POD distributors, depending on genre or size of the project, in addition to other factors). I'm not sure what you mean by what kind of editing we have. I do the bulk of the editing. You are more than welcome to read When Shadows Creep (the first release of which I edited) to see for yourself. If you're asking if we edit, then yes, we do. I tend to lean towards the Chicago Style Manual, but take into account the authors wishes, stylistic intentions, voice, and genre before I edit. Marketing? That's a tough one. It depends on the project and how involved the author is/wants to be.

As for Pico Sour's secondary concern about good intentions- that's fair. We're not for everyone by design. The authors who have signed contracts with us have had to lay a good bit of trust at our feet, and I take that very seriously. I am a student of the industry, and not just the craft of writing, and would say that I know a great deal about publishing small-- that is, Independent Publishing-- after my own failed attempts at finding an agent, then trying hard to do all of the work of self-publishing and finding that it was not only exhausting, but also extremely lonely. I prefer to keep it small (versus Big-6 or the agent-track) because I believe that the old school publishing track is futile, but I also know that you don't have to do it alone, and in fact, shouldn't. That's the entire idea behind Ant Colony Press; that those who make it "big" are the exception to the rule, not the rule, and you need a support system. On the other side of the coin, Jordan is in The Business of publishing and has been for many years after his own disastrous indie publishing experience (he had to buy back his rights, it's a story for another time).

If you'd like to speak more about our process, who we are, why we do this, how we came to be, etc., I'm more than happy to talk off forum. [email protected] attn: sarah
 
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eqb

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Hello everyone. My name is Sarah Bredeman, and I am co-founder of Ant Colony Press. I appreciate the concerns, and also your thoughtfulness to share those concerns here. I hope I can help clarify some of the questions that have been raised.

Hi, Sarah, and welcome.

First and foremost, to answer eqb's questions posed to Ian- we pay out 40% royalties and have been focusing on wide distribution for both ebook an print (Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iBooks, etc., all through Draft2Digital. For print, we use one of a couple different POD distributors, depending on genre or size of the project, in addition to other factors).

Is the 40% calculated on net or cover price? And if it's on net, how do you define net?

Kindle, etc. aren't distributors, they're vendors. For the POD distributors, could you tell me one or two of those?

I'm not sure what you mean by what kind of editing we have. I do the bulk of the editing. You are more than welcome to read When Shadows Creep (the first release of which I edited) to see for yourself. If you're asking if we edit, then yes, we do. I tend to lean towards the Chicago Style Manual, but take into account the authors wishes, stylistic intentions, voice, and genre before I edit. Marketing? That's a tough one. It depends on the project and how involved the author is/wants to be.

Mostly, I meant, what are the usual stages for editing.

For example, my latest book with Harper Voyager went through two content/line editing passes with my editor, then a copyedit phase, then a proofreading phase with the galley pages. For the content edits, my editor sent me overall comments as well as line edits. The copyeditor did a thorough job with consistency and clarity, as well as grammar checking.

...I believe that the old school publishing track is futile, but I also know that you don't have to do it alone, and in fact, shouldn't.

Okay, this worries me. I've published with small and large presses, as well as self-publishing. I firmly believe that each has an important role, depending on what the author is looking for. But to call trade publishing "futile" is...well, not accurate. It's definitely not for everyone, or for every project, but it's still a viable choice for many authors, including new ones.
 

Pisco Sour

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Hi Sarah

Thanks for coming over and answering these questions. I have huge concerns, but I do wish you all the very best in this endeavour.
 

Iancahill

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Hi Sarah

Thanks for coming over and answering these questions. I have huge concerns, but I do wish you all the very best in this endeavour.

Thanks for engaging with us Pisco. We definitely know it is hard starting out and no matter what, a book is still an achievement regardless of how it is published.

I just hope that ACP doesn't come across as dishonest or bad business. I'm just trying to learn and grow and do what I love. Jordan was able to quit his day job and focus 100% on Felony Books and its authors. I think in a lot of ways he is a model for where Sarah and even me to some regard want to see Ant Colony. Maybe it doesn't fit a mold, maybe it feels wrong to more seasoned authors, but I'd like to think that we will maintain our transparency and integrity throughout the process. Hoping we can learn lessons from places like Jolly Fish, etc. who fell into some bad situations that caused a lot of anguish for their authors.

Anyways. I guess I am just trying to say thanks, its given us something to think about.
 

eqb

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Thanks for engaging with us Pisco. We definitely know it is hard starting out and no matter what, a book is still an achievement regardless of how it is published.

I just hope that ACP doesn't come across as dishonest or bad business. I'm just trying to learn and grow and do what I love. Jordan was able to quit his day job and focus 100% on Felony Books and its authors. I think in a lot of ways he is a model for where Sarah and even me to some regard want to see Ant Colony. Maybe it doesn't fit a mold, maybe it feels wrong to more seasoned authors, but I'd like to think that we will maintain our transparency and integrity throughout the process. Hoping we can learn lessons from places like Jolly Fish, etc. who fell into some bad situations that caused a lot of anguish for their authors.

Anyways. I guess I am just trying to say thanks, its given us something to think about.

Now that you're here, do take some time to explore the rest of the site. There are dozens of subforums for discussing writing, research, and publishing. AW also has a password-protected critique area. (You need 50 posts before you can request a critique there, but it's also useful to critique others' works, and read what others have to say. I've learned a lot that way.)
 

Arden

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Hmmmm... I'm trying to figure out what this kind of publisher/press would be called... a hybrid publisher? I'm getting that the editors aren't so much publishers as a group of well-meaning writers who take over the tasks associated with self-publishing for their authors and take 60% of the profits for their troubles. Is that about right or am I totally reading this wrong?

It seems to me that there might well be a niche for this -- especially for authors new to the self-publishing world.

For those who have been unable to find an agent, is this a good road to venture down?
 

Polenth

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Hmmmm... I'm trying to figure out what this kind of publisher/press would be called... a hybrid publisher? I'm getting that the editors aren't so much publishers as a group of well-meaning writers who take over the tasks associated with self-publishing for their authors and take 60% of the profits for their troubles. Is that about right or am I totally reading this wrong?

It seems to me that there might well be a niche for this -- especially for authors new to the self-publishing world.

For those who have been unable to find an agent, is this a good road to venture down?

There will always be authors willing to sign up to things like this, but that doesn't mean they're doing it because it's a good idea. A publisher like this does nothing that you couldn't do yourself. In return, you've given up the control you would have gotten as a self-publisher.

The end result is apparent in this forum. It isn't just one small press that failed. The majority of them fail. Most fail to sell decent quantities of books. Many fail in a way that causes a lot of problems for authors (missed payments, difficulties getting rights back, and so on). At a minimum, it's best to wait and see if a new press survives for the first few years. A better standard would be if they're actually thriving after that time.
 

Arden

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At a minimum, it's best to wait and see if a new press survives for the first few years. A better standard would be if they're actually thriving after that time.

Thank you. That sounds like very good advice.
 

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