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Books to Believe In / Thornton Publishing

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

HapiSofi

Re: Hapi

Jim, you're right. Profitable Publishing isn't the Big Bad. It's the Typical Gormless. It's nowhere near as evil as PublishAmerica, or Commonwealth, or Sterling House, or any of the other glaringly wicked examples we could cite.

I wish I knew how many hapless writers were taken in by the professional villains, and how many get stuck blundering and fumbling along in no-hope publishing programs, wasting their efforts trying to sell books that are always going to be 10%-15% short of publishable, instead of setting that book aside and writing another, better one.

I was wrathful with Ms. Thornton when I realized that her basic assumptions about the way the world works don't assume it's possible that your publisher will pay you for the right to publish your books, and will pay other people to go out and sell the things. She should know better. She should really know better. At the same time, I find myself wondering how far you'd have travel up the advice tree to get from her ears, to the mouth of someone who knows jack about publishing.

There are even moments when I find myself thinking that an awful lot of decent but unlovable books get written every year, and why not make their authors happy by running off a few hundred copies? If the book is truly good, someone will notice. It could be that the process would take no longer than submissions do now.

I'm sure there's something the matter with that view, but right now I can't remember what it is.
 

James D Macdonald

Re: Hapi

If the book is truly good, someone will notice. It could be that the process would take no longer than submissions do now.

As you know, Bob, I read an awful lot of sample chapters from the Web. Some I try to steer to real editors.

One I still regret: A gent who wrote perfectly delightful stories. But he was looking for an "end run," a way to evade the gatekeepers -- even when I sent him the name of an editor in his genre who had bought first novels out of the slush in the past, and told him to mention my name in the cover letter, he wouldn't hear of it.

He went with PublishAmerica (it was called AmEricaHouse at the time, and all I knew about them was that there was a "Strongly not recommended" by their name at Preditors&Editors). I wrote, told him about what P&E said, and asked if it was too late to get out of their contract.

I guess that was when he cut me off his newsletter list. I suppose I could go look for his web page again.

-------------

A brief pause; I look at his web page. It's a ghost. No updates in a long time.

-------------


That was, I've since learned, back in the days when the AmEricaHouse contracts were for the duration of copyright.

That's a book that I'm sorry got away. It'll be off the market for a lot longer than the time submissions take.

--------------

Okay, I looked at his book on Amazon. Amazon sales rank 1,922,268. It's a $24.95 paperback for just under 300 pages (in other words, it's a normal novel length). Terrible cover.

Time out for some tooth-gnashing.

--------------

Writing is hard enough without having to push your way through barbed wire with concrete blocks tied to your boots. Sure, the naturals, the ones who wrote a dandy book first time out of the box, they might be found. What about the guys whose second book might have been good but who got tied in with some skanky place with the first book, the one that should have stayed in their desk drawer, ground down, spit out, and never returned to writing -- or if they did, didn't try to publish? What about them?

-------------

Here's a new year's resolution for all you editors out there. Put January aside to freakin' clear your slush pile. Send everyone who has a manuscript on your desk (or beside your desk, or stacked in boxes behind your desk) either a simple yes or no. If you don't have time to read it by Jan 31, send them a "no," and move on, and let them move on too.

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Yeah, I know you aren't administering the Slush Olympics. Unfortunately for all us writers out here, entering the Slush Olympics is the best thing we have going for us. You see the alternative? Writers love their books.

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Remember PA sneering at the writers who thought about actually getting published, "see you in two years"? You want to make Willem's words true or something?

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Vanity presses, scam presses, are getting the same sort of help from the major publishers that the Baptists give to the bootleggers.

==========

That's all for right now.
 

absolutewrite

Re: Hapi

Thanks to the two Kates-- first for the detective work (you saved me some time from having to pull up the exact same results for my local stores), and second for pointing out the "audience" to EJ. I suspect EJ thought I was being hopeful when I said I hold out for tens of thousands of dollars from publishers; I was not. I was stating a fact that has already happened, for me and for many others right here in this thread.

EJ, you're right: I'm not suggesting that everyone must follow my path. But I am strongly suggesting that if they're going to follow a path, mine is better than yours... no qualifiers needed. I make a living from my writing, I don't have to badger bookstore owners into stocking my titles, and thankfully, my knowledge of distribution/marketing is limited-- because my publishers take care of that. However, if you're honestly telling us that you think your books have acceptable bookstore presence, then my knowledge of distribution is a whole lot better than yours.
 

AngelOnBoard

Been working...

Sorry I’ve been missing for a while, I’ve been working my publishing business, placing some last minute Christmas items with my authors, bookstores and retail customers. This too is how I make my living and have for quite a while and plan to for the foreseeable future! I thoroughly enjoy my job, my business, my customers, my authors, their messages and my life!

Forgive me for stepping on all the hugely published authors’ toes. When I was drug into this conversation, it was about a POD publisher gone bad that you had the audacity to compare me to with zero knowledge about me specifically! Pardon me for assuming that you might be authors who were struggling with getting your books into print.

I’ve met many authors since I finished my book in 1998 and I know of many different types of publishing and publishing contracts. But I’ve met a ton who commercially published first, then turned to self-publishing because they knew they could do a better job with their next book. That is a VERY common thread. Authors aren’t just disgruntled with their POD publishers, some are upset with their commercial publishers too and want a much more personal touch. I’m an author who created the publishing company I wished I could’ve found, because I listened to the authors that came before me!

Many of my books have sold thousands of copies and the many of the ones that are only in the hundreds, are barely out of the gates and will be in the thousands by the end of first quarter. Check out Spirit Dancer, check out Living Well With Chronic Pain. Yes, some of my books will not get there, but they’ve gotten to the readership that my authors wanted. A Boy, A Ship and A War has brought a bunch of WWII Pacific war vets back together. If he didn’t sell another book, he’d still be thrilled, but guess what, his books are still selling.

I’d like to clarify another label that has been slapped on me that is invalid. I’m not a POD printer. I take returns and I stand behind EVERY book I print and publish. I take advantage of the digital press and can print between 1 and 10,000 books at a time (I’ll outsource any larger orders that come in). But I stand behind every single book out there. That makes me different and I think, better than most of the subsidy presses out there. I called myself POD for a while, until I understood what it was synonymous with to the bookstores and that was ‘no returns.’ I take returns. Let me be absolutely clear on that and at least one of you owes me an apology for going off on that subject!

If you want to know how whose books were sold at the group signing last weekend go to www.bookstobelievein.com/Colorado Those authors close to me get some added benefits. Photos will post to the net after Christmastime.

You are all prejudiced against the way I do business, and there is no reasoning with prejudice. My way will never work for you and your way will not work for me. That’s okay – enjoy your life. If we all agreed, the world would be a boring place. But I’m not going to tell anyone that your path is wrong, it just isn’t for me. I’d appreciate the same consideration! I think your ‘moral duty’ is to make this world a better place through telling these people what TO DO, and stop dwelling in the negative, telling them what not to do, because that just leaves them as confused as they were before. Create a solution, quit dwelling on the problems.

But you guys missed the greatest part of my contract. I don’t take their rights. They can make money with their books and still shop it to publishers with an actual sales track record. Tell me what other publisher allows that! I want them to succeed – and in a big way – and I will not be an obstacle to that. I encourage them to do that, but most of my authors don’t, because they like where they are. Some do, get rejected again, and come back telling me how much they appreciate what I do for them.

I get most of my business through repeat authors and referrals from my authors or from my students who get to meet me first. Even if you scared off all the internet traffic, I’d still triple in size by the end of next year, not just in books, but in book sales (which I think will actually quintuple based on my projections).

I’m not pounding on bookstore’s doors. I teach my authors how to created a demand for the books. The bookstores call me to request catalogs. I really like that! They know the books they buy will sell, they also know they’ll be able to return them if they don’t. They like that business model.

I don’t want them to follow the path I’ve taken. I did a lot of things wrong. I’ve created a way for them to be successful, by applying my experience to the process. It is always evolving? Yes! But even my authors take separate paths, even the same author will do things differently from book to book – know why? They’ve learned from the prior experience what works for them or this book has a different demographic and they’re forced to change their approach to get it to their target audience. I’ll advise, but they control.

Do I still have things to learn? Of course! Do you? Why yes, you do too!

I’m glad that your books are on the bookstore shelves, but I want my books on my people’s bookshelves.

I need to get back to work. And my website, books, business and authors will be here next year and the year after that and the year after that…

Happy Holidays,
EJ
 

Stlight

Re: EJ returns

That is interesting that you take returns. Do you do this for all your authors? Is this included in their initial fee or does it cost them extra to have their books made "returnable" and if so, how much?
I only ask because I've found a number of subsidiary publishers do say their books are returnable, but in the end it turns out that an author's books are returnable if the author puts up several hundred for the service.

Curious
Stlight
 

AngelOnBoard

This is why I do what I do...

Hi EJ, one of my critique members sent this to me.
It's very interesting and just proves we're on the
right track. You might want to share it with your
other authors :).

www.metrowestdailynews.co...leid=84518

This article was sent to me by one of my up-and-coming authors who within less than one year has gotten two titles in print with me. The royalties she has seen has already surpassed what most first and second time authors would get in an advance check and we're just barely starting with her titles!

By the way, whoever went off on the 'return policy' issue - didn't bother to check. I offer a full return policy, which actually removes me from the POD category. I used to embrace that label, but the policies of the larger POD houses have created stigmas that don't apply to the way my publishing house works. So, I take advantage of the digital press, but I'm not a POD publisher.

Enjoy your days, I have to get back to work.

EJ
 

AngelOnBoard

Re: EJ returns

You guys are so synical and scared. I stand behind 100% of the books I publish. There are no extra fees and it doesn't cost the author extra.

There are some real pirates out there if that is what you're experiencing. I've always taken the returns because the people whom I respect in business have drilled that into my head. A business with integrity stands behind their product.

Authors can print from 1 to infinity copies with me. It doesn't take a quantity print to get special treatment. They get 10 free books and if they don't have extra money, I get them to sell those 10 and come back after they've kept that money aside to print 25, then 50, etc... Everyone that doesn't quit - will see their projects move from the red to the black with my company! Yes, everyone.

EJ
 

Whachawant

Re: This is why I do what I do...

I teach my authors how to created a demand for the books.

---Editing?---

Authors can print from 1 to infinity copies with me. It doesn't take a quantity print to get special treatment. They get 10 free books and if they don't have extra money, I get them to sell those 10 and come back after they've kept that money aside to print 25, then 50, etc... bla bla bla

---Slow down EJ... you're starting to sound like P.A. Your explanations are probably justified to you, I am a little undecided (not meant as an insult)---

You're spending way to much time on the board defending yourself and not enough time on " ...your website, books, authors...". Take your time.. and hey, prove us all wrong.
 

Beth Bernobich

Re: This is why I do what I do...

(This message was left blank)
 

vstrauss

Re: Been working...

>>I don’t take their rights. They can make money with their books and still shop it to publishers with an actual sales track record. Tell me what other publisher allows that!<<

Tell me what (commercial) publisher would need to allow it.

If you're talking about fee-based POD publishers, most of the bigger companies have non-exclusive contracts that allow it.

- Victoria
 

DaveKuzminski

Re: EJ returns

EJ, I'm not cynical or scared. In fact, your site should now be listed on P&E. You can find the listing on both the New page and on the Books (P) page. The URL for P&E is anotherealm.com/prededitors in case you want to take a look.
 

AngelOnBoard

Re: This is why I do what I do...

I'm sure you never made a typo in an e-mail - pardon me! May those who've never sinned cast the first stone!

But you're right, I'm spending way too much time here.

I'm done.

I don't need to prove anyone wrong - that is a massive waste of time.

You guys are hugely prejudiced over the practices of some of the publisher and there's no way you'll ever believe anything I say because you're so jaded. I thought talking to you would at least tone you down - and it has, but you're still coming at me with all your barrels blazing because you're pissed at the process. I don't feel the need to take the heat anymore.

Oh and about authors royalty checks - sorry that's classified information, unless of course, you'd be willing to tell me how much you make. But then again, I still wouldn't tell you specifics out of respect for my authors.

Good luck with all your projects. Watch for mine on Oprah!

EJ www.angelonboard.com
 

Dhewco

Oprah?

>Good luck with all your projects. Watch for mine on Oprah>


This is a bit much! I'm thinking more like Springer or Povich, if they had a book club.


LOL. Actually, I'm only saying that because I don't think I've EVER seen a POD or a pay published book presented on Oprah.

Your authors could be fine talents, but I still don't believe she'd give them the time of day.

David
 

James D Macdonald

Re: Oprah?

LOL. Actually, I'm only saying that because I don't think I've EVER seen a POD or a pay published book presented on Oprah.

Whazzername, the Long Island Lolita, had her book out from iUniverse, and she was on Oprah.
 

Dhewco

Amy Fisher?

Are you talking about Amy Fisher? I'm sorry, but she doesn't really count. She was already famous before the book. I believe Oprah had her on because of her name. If Joe Q. was POD published, I really doubt he'd be on, no matter what it's about.


Just my two cents.


David
 

James D Macdonald

Re: Been working...

They can make money with their books and still shop it to publishers with an actual sales track record. Tell me what other publisher allows that!

Two that allow it are iUniverse and AuthorHouse.
 

Kate St Amour

Re: Oprah?

"Whazzername, the Long Island Lolita, had her book out from iUniverse, and she was on Oprah"

Amy Fisher. Not only did I grow up near Amy, but her books (as opposed to my PA book) can be found at my local Borders here in the DC suburbs and they are available for order.

~Kate
 

maestrowork

Re: Oprah?

Amy is a rare case since she's a celebrity, and her book has built-in publicity because of her sensational background.

iUniverse does produce some books that sell so well they eventually went on store shelves or got picked up by a traditional publisher. But for every 1 of these books, there are tens of thousand that didn't make it.
 

AngelOnBoard

Just curious -

Since none of you ever did business with me - and now you've catagorized me as a 'predator' - at what point does Freedom of speech become defamation of character?

I think Mr. MacDonald should be very interested in that answer.

Don't worry though, I'll get back to you on that. I'll ask my authors, there are lawyers among them.

If you haven't done business with me - you don't know me. If you had and had a gripe - that'd be different, but this business has gone way too far. Whoever posted that erroneous and inflamatory 'predator' remark post better go unpost it!
 

AnneMarble

Re: Just curious -

Since none of you ever did business with me - and now you've catagorized me as a 'predator' - at what point does Freedom of speech become defamation of character?

Did you go to Dave's site and read the entry? It does not classify you as a predator at all. The entry for your site says:
"Profitable Publishing: a subsidy publisher. A Division of Thornton Publishing." It also includes a link to your site. You can see it on the listing of publishers starting with the letter P at www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/pebp.htm. You are listed on the same page as publishers ranging from Penguin (one of the nation's biggest publishers) to Prentice Hall (a major publisher of nonfiction and text books).

Also, you are not listed as one of the "Not recommended" publishers.

Before you become upset at being listed on the Preditors and Editors site, you have to understand what it actually is. You can read more at www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/pubabout.htm. As it states on this page, it is a database listing publishers, editing services, magazines, etc. It is called "Preditors and Editors" because it does include warnings about some publishers (such as PublishAmerica). But many authors use it as a source to find publishers, whether they're looking for a regular publisher or a subsidy publishing service.

Oh, and if you want to list your site on a list of publishers, you might want to contact Piers Anthony, the author who created this list of Internet publishers. He's very fair -- most people on this board would say he's too fair as he lists vanity publishers without having an issue with their fees. :rolleyes He includes information like how much they charge (if there's a fee), what they publish, and reports from authors, both happy and upset. I guess you can ask to get listed just by clicking the "Email Us" link at the top of the page. I'm planning to submit a couple of e-publishers (non-vanity) I came across recently.
 

James D Macdonald

Re: Just curious -

I think Mr. MacDonald should be very interested in that answer.

What exactly do you mean by that, Angel?
 

maestrowork

Re: Just curious -

Someone still don't understand the "threatening" thing...
 

AngelOnBoard

Re: Just curious -

Do you think this has been fair to me AT ALL?

You picked my company out of thousands of other ones on the net and turned tons of people against me - saying I was worse than one you were really mad at. You got a bunch of people on your bandwagon and I've been nothing but maligned ever since.

Are you proud of this? Are you sorry?

What? You need to put a stop to this nonsense.

I stand behind my business, my practice, my authors, my books and my vision. If you don't share it that is fine, but you've got absolutely no business downing it, because you have absolutely no reference point with me or my business specifically!

So please admit, that you just don't know what it would be like to do business with me, because you NEVER have and maybe, just maybe, there is a subsidy publisher out there who might be different, dare I say better, than the others you've dealt with!

I want you to publically say that! I need you to get that makinglight woman to say the same thing!

EJ - don't call me Angel, I'm not an Angel, I write about them.
 

James D Macdonald

Re: Just curious -

Do you think this has been fair to me AT ALL?

I think I've been as fair to you as you deserve.

Perhaps fairer.

Count your blessings.
 

AngelOnBoard

Re: Just curious -

So, you're not sorry and you are proud of maligning someone you've never met, done business with or know anything about. Wow! Amazing. Predatory.

Bye!
 

Elizabeth George's book Write Away