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Centum Press

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mrsmig

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Hi CaoPaux,

Do you have any information on an anthology publisher called Centum Press? Or know where I could find any? I went to Preditors and Editors and they didn't have anything. Anything will help me. Thank you.

I'm not the inestimable CaoPaux, but are you talking about this Centum Press? It's an imprint of Allegiant Publishing Group, and there's a somewhat new (and therefore a bit scanty) thread here about them and another of their imprints, Snow Leopard Publishing.

A quick look at the Centum website shows the usual new publisher's trumpeting of a publishing model that's supposed to be an improvement on "traditional" publishing. In this case, they proclaim that they ACTUALLY PAY ROYALTIES for stories in their anthologies! Imagine that! Something decent publishers have been doing for decades!

BUT WAIT! There's more! Like this tidbit from the website that explains how their model works:

Wondering how our model works? Each of our anthologies contains one hundred short stories or pieces of flash fiction, each of which is written by a different author. We don't have a preorder requirement, but our goal is that our authors will work together and with us to make each book a success.
So what does the royalty structure look like practically?

  • We'll give each author his or her own unique discount code for the books sold on our site and pay him or her 15% of the list price of each book on which his or her discount code was used.
  • We'll split up a 10% royalty among all of the authors who contributed to an anthology on the list price of books on which a discount code wasn't used and on the list price of books that weren't sold through our site.

Please note that each author's discount code is for ten percent so that his or her fans don't have to pay full price when purchasing from our website. We try to push sales to our website because both we and our authors will make more money from books sold through our site.


The whole Allegiant/Snow Leopard/Centum/WizardsKeepPublishing (yep, there's a fourth entity, apparently a recent aquisition) empire looks amateurish in the extreme. At Allegiant's main website, they express an interest in acquiring even more small publishing companies, although the actual publishing experience of Allegiant's two principals seems sketchy at best.

I'd keep well away.

ETA: I missed one more of Allegiant's imprints: Azure Spider Publications

So here's the breakdown of all Allegiant's imprints, from their website:

- Snow Leopard Publishing, which is its flagship imprint and which publishes all genres excepting erotica.
- Centum Press, which publishing anthologies to which one hundred authors contribute one short story or piece of flash fiction in exchange for real royalties rather than a small, flat fee.
- Wizards Keep Publishing, a fantasy, science fiction, and paranormal imprint that it acquired from Andretta and Jon Schellinger in early 2016.
- Azure Spider Pubications, an imprint that we partially acquired for Wizards Keep Publishing in April of 2016 that publishes epic speculative fiction. Wizards Keep Publishing co-owns Azure Spider Publications with founder Victoria Osborne.

Coincidentally, Ms. Osborne is the sole author listed with Azure Spider.

 
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Helix

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So -- if I've interpreted that correctly -- an author gets 15% of the list price if someone buys the anthology directly from Centrum using that author's code, while the other 99 authors get nothing from that sale.
+
0.1% of the list price of a book sold at another outlet

Yeah. That's enticing.
 

mrsmig

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So -- if I've interpreted that correctly -- an author gets 15% of the list price if someone buys the anthology directly from Centrum using that author's code, while the other 99 authors get nothing from that sale.
+
0.1% of the list price of a book sold at another outlet

Yeah. That's enticing.

The naivete is jaw-dropping.
 

James D. Macdonald

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Imagine doing the accounting.:scared:

I'm sure they have a computer program set up for doing that.

Here's how anthologies usually pay their authors:

An editor pops up who sells an anthology idea to a publisher. The publisher says, "Great idea!" and gives the editor an advance. The editor uses the advance to buy stories.

The editor turns in the anthology, it's published, goes on sale, and garners royalties in the usual way (15% of the cover price of each copy sold; when more royalties have been collected than the original advance, the overage goes to the editor).

When/if the anthology has earned out the editor gets a biannual/quarterly/whatever check. The editor keeps half (reward for the work of putting together the anthology). If an agent was involved the agent's percentage comes out of the editor's portion.

The other 50% goes to the authors in one of two ways (and which it was will have been spelled out in painful detail in the contracts between the authors and the editor). One way is this: Each author get's one share per story. So in an anthology with 100 authors, each would get 1% of the 50% that would be the authors' share. The other way is that the shares are split up by story length, so that if an author's story was 3% of the anthology's word-count, that author would get 3% of the authors' 50%, while another author whose story was 0.5% of the anthology's word-count would get 0.5% of the authors' 50%.

Centum's plan seems to be designed to screw authors. Not from malice, I'm sure, but rather from ignorance.
 
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Thank you for this! They invited me to consider submitting to them, but I've been burned one too many times to jump right on.
 

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I had a piece of flash fiction published in 100 Voices. I was new to publishing and had yet to get paid for a story, so I was excited at the time, but I wouldn't submit to them again. The piece was about 900 words. I ended up getting about $10 in royalties. Since then, I have been in anthologies that pay advances between $10 and $50. Only one has earned royalties beyond the advance. While its not bad for an early publication, or as a last resort for a story you would otherwise post on your blog or keep in your "trunk," I'd either stay away or think of them as a last resort.
 

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I, too, was among those who submitted stories for 100 Voices, Vol. 1 and the experience has been as bad as anything you can imagine. Centum did not even list the names of all contributing authors on Amazon in the book description, provide them with any acknowledgement on the cover, back page, nor even make a Table of Contents available on Amazon to peruse the names of authors and story titles.

There was ZERO publicity on Centum's website or elsewhere for anyone except one or two authors. Fearing my story might not be included, I was reluctant to press friends and family to buy the book without an ability to check first. As a result I haven't received a nickel in royalties because money is a direct return from the number of books sold using your account code. A friend told me he bought the book to support me but I hadn't given him the code to enter.

Compare that to a short story with cover art that I posted on Amazon as an in-joke for friends for two weeks and ended up selling a dozen copies (at 99-cents) to folks I didn't know in Denmark, France, and the UK.

The Centum website appears to be down and I have not received a response to my emails to clarify whether I can use a revised version of my short story in my own anthology. Centum demanded all publishing rights for the life of the copyright so I may be snookered from using my own story — ever.

Centum's contract did say that I could demand to see the accounting for royalties so I am making that request and when Centum fails to provide me with the details I will consider that a violation of the agreement and perhaps use that as a lever to pry the rights back to my short story.

From reading a couple of the reviews, I was further dismayed that Centum did not take the take the basic duties of a publisher seriously and some of the stories contain fundamental grammatical and spelling errors.

Do yourself a favour if you want to be published in some way. Post on Wattpad or gather friends and put your anthology together through Createspace or Nook Books.
 

cat_named_easter

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Well this has answered some of my questions...

I had a story published in 100 Voices Vol 2. The experience was generally fine for me. It was my first piece to get accepted anywhere and it was fun to see my name in print. Although... I was a little disappointed to see there were a couple of typos in the final book that somehow hadn't been picked up on (I wasn't sent a proof to read myself before printing). I ordered a whole load of copies for friends and family (who paid me) so brought in a bunch of sales. But after emails last September/October saying royalty payments were going to be dished out, I've never received anything despite my author code apparently being applied via all the copies I bulk-ordered. And I haven't had any other communication from them since. I don't really care too much as I'm sure my royalties wouldn't have amounted to much and, as I said, I was just happy to see my story in print. But meh. A shame to see it wasn't all that it initially seemed.
Also - now I notice their website has vanished so I'm guessing the whole thing just collapsed. Feel like I duped people I know into spending money.
 
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mrsmig

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Hmm. Centum's website is gone. So is the one for Snow Leopard Publishing, as well as the website for the Allegiant Publishing umbrella company. Wizard's Keep Publishing's free Wordpress site is still up, but doesn't appear to have been updated since 2016 (one of their last announcements was the acquisition of the company by Allegiant). Azure Spider is apparently still functioning after a fashion; they published a couple of books in the fall of 2017. The blurb for one on Amazon reads:

"For millennia beyond reckoning the Eaters of the Gods ruled over this sunless world, waging their wecret war on each other through their Chosen...

Now I'm going to be saying "waging their wecret war" all day long.
 

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