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Beautiful Trouble Publishing

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Silver-Midnight

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Momento Mori

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Silver-Midnight
They seem like a fairly good publisher. However, I wouldn't entirely know.

What makes you think that they're a good publisher? I'm not being snarky - genuinely curious as there are a lot of red flags on the site that point to inexperience.

Beautiful Trouble Website:
Beautiful Trouble Publishing, LLC is owned by two authors who wanted their own digs.

Looks like it started out as a self-publishing venture. There's nothing wrong with that at all, but I'd want to know (1) whether the two founders are still using the company to sell their own works (in which case, I'd want to know how they manage the potential conflict of interest) and (2) what their sales figures are like.

Beautiful Trouble Website:
The goal of Beautiful Trouble Publishing is to be recognized as a publisher not afraid to say yes to an unknown artist, author, or editor; or no to a well-known artist, a best-selling author, or a degreed-up editor.

I really wish I had a quid for every small publisher who said that they didn't want to say no to every unpublished writer in order to perpetrate the myth that commercial publishers refuse to take chances on debut authors when in fact they do so all the time.

Just because a commercial publiser didn't offer a deal to the people who started BeautifulTrouble, doesn't mean that they won't offer a deal to anyone else.

Beautiful Trouble Website: (BOLDING MINE)
Having experienced both the bitter and the sweet in the traditional publishing and e-publishing worlds, Jeanie and Jayha sat back and pondered their collection of "nos", "h*ll nos", and "you must be out of your freaking minds!" Having imaginations gone wild, run amok, and all of that, they concluded it would totally rock if someone founded a publishing company that says "yes, yes, yes, yes YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!" (sorry, got caught up for a minute) to better pay for authors, cover artists, and editors; "yes" to shorter turnaround times from acceptance of the manuscript to publication; and "yes" to more author autonomy regarding HER/HIS prose, HER/HIS characters, and whether or not to be locked into writing for a particular house. They wanted a company willing to say yes to the crazy, the quirky, and the ridiculous—before NY and LA signed off on it being "the next sure thing" or "the new black." They also wanted a company that shared their vision and would let them have their cake (yum, cake) and eat it too.

I'm all in favour of better pay for authors, cover artists and editors. The issue is that this takes money, so I'd want to know how well capitalised the company is to pay for that.

Shorter turnaround times means less time to build up attention for the book in terms of getting out review copies, promotional material etc.

Depending on what's meant by "author autonomy", this may not be in the best interests of the publisher - e.g. suppose you have an author who refuses to fix a glaring plot hole in the novel?

I've never heard of publishers locking in authors to write solely for their house - unless BeautifulTrouble are talking about 2 book/3 book deals when the house has sight of the author's next manuscript. This is usually in the author's best interests - particularly if they will be paid an advance - but even if the house passes, the author can still sell that manuscript elsewhere.

Beautiful Trouble Website: (BOLDING MINE)
Plus, stricter visa requirements and the lack of funds pretty much ruled out the conquer-their-way-into-power route.

Any company that talks about a lack of funds from the outset gets a big :0 from me. I'm also not sure what visa requirements have to do with setting up a business.

Publishing is a cash intensive business. You can burn through a lot of cash before you begin to see a return.

Beautiful Trouble Website:
Jeanie Johnson was dragged kicking and screaming into this business. Actually, she was dragged kicking and screaming into writing, which is ironic being that she is a filmmaker by trade and training (and a da*n good cook, although she hates to do it). Promises of a title, and a trip to Canada to see the polar bears made her stop her screaming, but it didn't do a da*n thing for the kicking…or the pouting. But being that she's the baby and Jayha's the momma, she is here.

I checked out her books on Amazon. I couldn't find any that were commercially published (although admittedly, she may have done so under a pseudonym) but did find an awful lot released through BeautifulTrouble or what look to be other self-publishing ventures (including Shara Azod and Lulu) and the reviews on a lot of them really weren't kind - citing cliched writing, plot holes and a host of other issues.

Beautiful Trouble Website:
Jayha Leigh hates dragging her carcass to her "real" job. She jumped feet first into this one, only to find it is even more work than her real job. Still, there's just something about sitting behind a big desk talking to a fellow author on the speakerphone that makes her feel so Charlie's Angels-ish. Plus, she gets off seeing the title "President" by her name. While she wishes she had better credentials, she doesn't, so you'll just have to make do with her as she is.

Again, I can't find any commercially published titles - most of her releases seem to be through BeautifulTrouble.

Beautiful Trouble Website:
Q:In what formats do your books come?
A: While flashes are only offered in PDF format, most books come in three formats:

  • Adobe PDF (e-book)
  • HTML (e-book)
  • MobiPocket PDA (for Kindle)
  • Print (for some books)
When you click on the link to print, it takes you to Lulu. If that's how they're planning to release print books, then I'd want to keep back print rights for myself.

Beautiful Trouble Website:
While authors receive at least forty percent of the profit from the book (the split is evenly divided in the case of anthologies), cover artists are paid straight out for their work…so are editors (thus do not have to hope the book sells in order to be paid). As for authors, we only request your book for two years and we do not seek first rights of refusal.

40% on net seems to be in line with what a lot of electronic publishers are doing at the moment (although another poster with more romance ebook experience can give you more information on that). I'd want to know how net is calculated - usually it seems to be cover minus Amazon/third party retailer costs but it would be good to make sure.

A 2 year contract also isn't too bad but I'd want to know when they're committed to releasing the book and any applicable termination provisions - including whether you can terminate early if it's clear that they're not doing anything to sell it. It's worth checking whether there are automatic renewal provisions in the contract as well.

Beautiful Trouble Website:
You have a right to get paid as soon as possible. Because we are a new publisher and are only opening up submissions for a limited time during the 2010 year, we will not be overwhelmed with books and thus will make every attempt to have your book out within 90 days of receiving your signed contract.

They're conflating book release with payment, when the two aren't necessarily the same. Obviously, it can be good to have the book released as soon as possible but if there's been no build up to release in terms of promotion etc then it can hurt sales. Also, I'd want to know how often they pay royalties and whether they apply a de minimis level before payment is made.

MM
 

Silver-Midnight

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Wow. I didn't notice so many red flags on their site. I just thought they were a good publishers because some of the writers that I like have published with them. Granted, I didn't ask "Hey, what do you think of BeatifulTrouble Publishing?" but I didn't hear them complain or say "I wouldn't publish with them/I don't want to publish with them anymore" either.

And yes, I think they are still quite new to the publishing game.
 

Momento Mori

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Silver-Midnight:
I just thought they were a good publishers because some of the writers that I like have published with them. Granted, I didn't ask "Hey, what do you think of BeatifulTrouble Publishing?" but I didn't hear them complain or say "I wouldn't publish with them/I don't want to publish with them anymore" either.

It's always good to speak to existing authors to see what they think but I think it always does you good to be able to take a step back and really look at it objectively as well.

If you can ask existing authors questions then ask about things like what the editing process has been like and whether editorial comments have been structural or predominantly copyedits, whether there's been any delay in the release process, what the covers have been like, pricing of books, how much the author's had to do for themselves in terms of promotion and how much the publisher has done, what kind of distribution there is, how prompt they are in paying royalties, what kind of ballpark sales figures authors have had and whether sales have grown over the period or if they're tailing off.

The issue with new publishers is always capitalisation. So many go bust in the first 2 year that unless it's set up by an actual name in trade publishing (e.g. a former acquiring editor from a Big 6 publisher), it's usually better to let someone else be the guinea pig.

MM
 

veinglory

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If you want to know what an author you respect really thinks, it is wise to 1) check they are not a co-owner or staff, and 2) contact them by email rather than depend on public comments.
 

Silver-Midnight

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The issue with new publishers is always capitalisation. So many go bust in the first 2 year that unless it's set up by an actual name in trade publishing (e.g. a former acquiring editor from a Big 6 publisher), it's usually better to let someone else be the guinea pig.

So, do you think that it is better for newer writers, such as myself, try to establish with bigger publishers rather than ones just "coming out of the gate"? This is not including scamming places like Tate Publishing or PublishAmerica. I heard both of them are really bad.
 

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It's always best to aim high -- that's where more money and more readers are. If all the big established pubs reject your manuscript, you can try the smaller pubs after. And by then, some time will have passed during which you can see how those newer small pubs fared; you won't be the guinea pig anymore.
 

Nexus

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On an interesting note (perhaps only to me), I read their name as "BeautifulPeople Publishing" several times over before getting it right (Little dislexic here).

Felt immediately disenfranchised (just kidding). :)
 

Silver-Midnight

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It's always best to aim high -- that's where more money and more readers are. If all the big established pubs reject your manuscript, you can try the smaller pubs after. And by then, some time will have passed during which you can see how those newer small pubs fared; you won't be the guinea pig anymore.

Okay. Thank you.
 
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veinglory

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I think maybe you should start a thread about how to find a publisher in the relevant genre room rather than spread it across various publisher-specific threads?
 

Momento Mori

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Silver-Midnight:
So, do you think that it is better for newer writers, such as myself, try to establish with bigger publishers rather than ones just "coming out of the gate"?

I'll add my yes to the others you've received. Depending on the genre you're writing in, my opinion is that it's worthwhile trying to get an agent first because they can be invaluable in helping you to build a career.

MM
 

Silver-Midnight

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I'll add my yes to the others you've received. Depending on the genre you're writing in, my opinion is that it's worthwhile trying to get an agent first because they can be invaluable in helping you to build a career.

MM

I don't really think I can afford an agent at this point in time honestly. However, I have been looking at other publishers.
 

amergina

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Don't you have to pay an agent for their services at some point?

Yes. Their payment is a 15% commission on an author's advances and royalties for the works represented.

But they don't get paid until you get paid. And quite often, agents can get a better deal with a publisher than an author can on his or her own.
 

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Don't you have to pay an agent for their services at some point?
As Amergina already mentioned, your agent is paid 15% out of your advance and earned royalties. My biggest concern is that you know so little about the industry and that makes you vulnerable to making unwise decisions. AW is fabulous at helping new authors learn how publishing really works, and I urge you - for your own good - to not worry about querying right now.

Learn the ropes so you feel confident in your decisions. It's like buying a car - you don't just walk out and buy anything that you bump up against. Rather, you research to become knowledgeable in cars so you know which car best fits your needs. Publishing is no different. Take your time - it's the difference between being well-published and living a nightmare.
 

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Yes. Their payment is a 15% commission on an author's advances and royalties for the works represented.

But they don't get paid until you get paid. And quite often, agents can get a better deal with a publisher than an author can on his or her own.

So, I don't pay them up front. They just take some of the profit for my sales. Again, I'm thoroughly new to knowledge about publishing, and thank you all for helping and your comments.
 

Silver-Midnight

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My biggest concern is that you know so little about the industry and that makes you vulnerable to making unwise decisions. AW is fabulous at helping new authors learn how publishing really works, and I urge you - for your own good - to not worry about querying right now.

Yeah. I'm pretty much going to live on the forums until I learn enough, because right now I know nothing. I'm learning something new everyday.
 

amergina

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So, I don't pay them up front. They just take some of the profit for my sales. Again, I'm thoroughly new to knowledge about publishing, and thank you all for helping and your comments.

Correct. Any agent that asks for money up front is not a credible literary agent.

I'd recommend Old Hack's website for lots of info about how publishing really works:

http://howpublishingreallyworks.com/

It's aptly named. :D
 

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Yeah. I'm pretty much going to live on the forums until I learn enough, because right now I know nothing. I'm learning something new everyday.
Good for you. A lot of us have blogs that deal with how publishing works. I second Hackie's blog as being an excellent guide to how the industry works. And I'd be remiss if I didn't toot my own horn, only because our blog is geared to helping authors see how people think on the other side of the desk.

Also make sure to bookmark Vic Strauss and Ann Crispin's blog Writer Beware
 

Silver-Midnight

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Good for you. A lot of us have blogs that deal with how publishing works. I second Hackie's blog as being an excellent guide to how the industry works. And I'd be remiss if I didn't toot my own horn, only because our blog is geared to helping authors see how people think on the other side of the desk.

Also make sure to bookmark Vic Strauss and Ann Crispin's blog Writer Beware


Thank you.
 

NicoleJLeBoeuf

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