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changemakers

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I just wanted to say hello, since I joined the forum. I've written a number of books with different publishers and have my own publishing company Changemakers Publishing. One of the reasons I was referred to this groups is I'm especially interested in scams and frauds, and have a couple of books on this topic -- Scammed with Skyhorse, Preventing Credit Card Fraud with Jen Grandohl Lee, published by Rowman, and Internet Book Piracy, published by Allworth Press. I'm thinking of doing another on the scams that affect writers.
 

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Hi! I see your company charges writers $240 to send out queries for them. That's a bit of a red flag to me, especially since it seems that all queries get blasted out to a single list of 300 agents. Is my understanding correct, or do you at least try to match a project with agents who successfully represent its particular genre?
 

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changemakers

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That is not my company anymore. I sold it last November to new owners. It was extremely successful. It's now called The Nudgeline (www.thenudgeline.com), and when I sold it, it had about 260 testimonials, and the agents contacted are a subset of a database of about 1500 agents. They are matched by keywords to agents who are interested in a particular topic, and about 90% of the clients get requests for materials; it has been going successfully since 2003. Anyway, my focus now is writing my own books, self-publishing books for clients, ghostwriting, writing scripts, and producing films (6 feature films, TV pilots, and documentaries with a team of producers/directors based in L.A. and New York, and I help clients with positioning, branding, publicity, and social media, working with a team of professionals. If you look me up on Amazon, you'll see over 150 books I have published. I'm a member of IBPA and BAIPA, which specialize in indie publishing.
 

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Hi! I see your company charges writers $240 to send out queries for them. That's a bit of a red flag to me, especially since it seems that all queries get blasted out to a single list of 300 agents. Is my understanding correct, or do you at least try to match a project with agents who successfully represent its particular genre?

I noticed that some of the testimonials were impressive, but I also saw quite a few authors who "signed" with vanity publishers. (Tate, iUniverse, etc.)
 

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Given agents' desires are not always outright stated, change often, and are inherently subjective, I fail to see how, using primarily keywords, a algorithmic bot is going to be able to replicate the kind of research an author could and should be doing into agents him or herself. Keyword searching for anything is a lot like going hunting with hand grenades. Yeah, you're gonna bag some birds but they're not going to be anything worth chirping about.
 

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I just wanted to say hello, since I joined the forum. I've written a number of books with different publishers and have my own publishing company Changemakers Publishing.


That is not my company anymore. I sold it last November to new owners. It was extremely successful. It's now called The Nudgeline (www.thenudgeline.com), and when I sold it, it had about 260 testimonials, and the agents contacted are a subset of a database of about 1500 agents.



First you say you own Changemakers Publishing, now you say you sold it and it's new name is The Nudgeline, yet both websites are active.
 

eqb

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Gini Graham Scott is listed on both sites, as well. On Changemakers, she's the founder. On Nudgeline, she's a "supporting writer."

Sounds like two sides of the same coin.
 

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Changemakers charges $380 to submit queries to both agents and publishers...which is a huge red flag in the commercial literature publishing world. Simultaneous subs to publishers and agents tends to make both publishers and agents cranky. Is it substantially different in the film industry?
 
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CaoPaux

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NudgeLine states it was previously named Publishers, Agents and Films, so I wager it used to be her previous venture, Publishers and Agents (thread), which she supposedly sold a few years ago. Which doesn't make Changemakers' services any less problematic.
 

changemakers

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I sold Publishers Agents and Films -- the service that sends out emails to clients. I only do some writing for them now. Some sales have been to major publishers over the years, including Random House, Simon & Schuster, AMACOM, Warner Books, ABC-Clio. A number of clients have used the service 5 or 6 times as they have written new books. One client got a $100,000 book sale as a result of a mailing. My own company is Changemakers Publishing and Writing and as I mentioned above, I write my own books and help people with self-publishing and ghostwriting.
I don't do any emails for clients anymore. The website is about 4 years old and I'm updating it now over the next 3 weeks.
I signed up here because I'm interested in doing a follow-up book on Scams and Frauds, including those affecting writers, after using one of these mailings before I sold the company to sell my book on scams to Skyhorse. I'm especially interested in learning more about recent experiences with Indie Writers Support.
 

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I signed up here because I'm interested in doing a follow-up book on Scams and Frauds, including those affecting writers, after using one of these mailings before I sold the company to sell my book on scams to Skyhorse. I'm especially interested in learning more about recent experiences with Indie Writers Support.

It might be worth noting that in the ParaDon thread*, otherwise people** might misinterpret your interest in Indie Writers Support.

*if you've already done that, my apologies

**like me!
 

changemakers

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I did check on the ParaDon thread, but it seemed to end in 2016, and I reviewed all of the older material. How would people misinterpret this. I'm not part of Indie Writers Support.
 

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I did check on the ParaDon thread, but it seemed to end in 2016, and I reviewed all of the older material. How would people misinterpret this. I'm not part of Indie Writers Support.

But you might want to become part of it. If you have a look through similar threads, you'll see desperate people willfully ignoring all the evidence of some publishers/agents being scammers and hoping that someone will post something favourable to support their decisions.

Also it's courteous to indicate that you're gathering information about people's experiences for a book.
 

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I sold Publishers Agents and Films -- the service that sends out emails to clients.

Help me understand here, because when I click on The Nudgeline, the link in your own post, I get taken to a site that offers to sell me mess emails to agents.
 

changemakers

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I did indicate in my introduction here that I might be doing a follow-up book on scams. Anyway, at this point, I just finished an article about the subject and what to do to avoid scams.
 

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I did check on the ParaDon thread, but it seemed to end in 2016, and I reviewed all of the older material. How would people misinterpret this. I'm not part of Indie Writers Support.

I thought you were a new writer who was considering going with them. That's because the wording of the question is one I've seen many times. It's usually followed up with things like assuming it must be fine, because if it wasn't there would have been a more recent bad story. The publisher must have improved, because the editor sounded so enthusiastic about the book, so it must be for real. This forum is full of evil people wanting to say bad things about publishers because we're all failed writers, so none of those bad stories count anyway.

Someone who has just received a "yes" can be heavy on the denial and find any justification possible for why the scammer won't scam them. So when you ask that question, without saying it's just for research, people are going to be concerned that you're about to be the next victim.
 

changemakers

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I will have to check on that, since I'm updating my site, which hasn't been updated in a long time. I would include a link to The NudgeLine, which does do these emails, but they are targeted based on an agent's interest, and they do regular updates every month of their mailing list. They have continued to be very successful, with many repeat customers coming back when they have new books and they are affiliated now with several local organizations of writers who have used and recommended the service. But I'm not referring people to my own service, and if that's still there someplace, it needs to be updated.
 

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I did indicate in my introduction here that I might be doing a follow-up book on scams. Anyway, at this point, I just finished an article about the subject and what to do to avoid scams.
It might be a better idea to ask for this to be moved to Research, then. FWIW, Like Helix, I also read your intro as asking about a company you might want to submit to - I suppose that's because this thread more usually concerned with that kind of question.

If you think Research might fit better, ask a mod and they'll shift this (don't make a duplicate post, because that does something to the gears and we hear about it for days...)
 

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I think there's a little confusion in the thread because you were probably introducing yourself (maybe in Newbies?) and when folks asked about the publishing company you referenced in your OP, it was moved to BR&BC. This thread's probably going to continue to talk about your company, so I suggest reintroducing yourself and questions you might have about your writing (without just advertising it, of course) in a new thread. Also, other threads in this forum will give you information about other companies that you are researching. Feel free to bump those threads and ask for more recent info. Sometimes people don't realize there's a thread for companies they've had experience with until they're current. :Sun:
 

changemakers

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Thanks. I'll try that. Also, I noticed I'm listed with The Publishing Connection, and that isn't my company. I had a buyer briefly who called it that, and a last Nov. 2016 I sold my Publishers, Agents, and Films company to the new owners. Would the moderators correct that too? I how do I contact the moderators, since I'm new here. I don't do a lot of submitting to publishers anymore with some exceptions, since major publishers are now looking for people with major followings, who are famous, and the like, and if you are writing the kind of books I mainly write (business, self-help, inspiration, social issues, plus film scripts), it's a very hard sell. So I mostly publishing my own books and I help other people self-publish theirs and I'm active in various independent publisher association (IBPA and in the Bay Area, BAIPA), which are excellent organizations. BAIPA is mostly individuals who have published one or two books. They provide all kinds of workshops on publishing as well as marketing which I'm learning about. I don't believe in paying the very high charges of self-publishing companies charging thousands of dollars -- I even went to a couple of webinars of companies charging $20,000-35,000 to self-publish a book. There are however some legitimate hybrid publishers that are really sincere in what they do who are members of these organizations, and that is an alternative today for some writers. I haven't used one of these hybrid publishers myself though. Anyway, if you think I should ask a moderator to transfer this, how do I do so.
 

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Anyway, if you think I should ask a moderator to transfer this, how do I do so.
See the post above yours? Sage is a mod. Click on her name to send her a PM. Also - do check out the Newbie Guide To Absolute Write. It has great illustrations and loads of info. (I'm fibbing about the illustrations. :( )

ETA: BTW
since major publishers are now looking for people with major followings, who are famous, and the like,
that bit? That's not actually correct. Publishers are looking for books they can sell, and a new author is not at a disadvantage. (A known author with tiny sales is at a disadvatage, but horses and carts, yanno?)
 
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Aggy B.

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... major publishers are now looking for people with major followings, who are famous, and the like, and if you are writing the kind of books I mainly write (business, self-help, inspiration, social issues, plus film scripts), it's a very hard sell.

No. What might be a hard sell is a book on publishing "scams" when the author started a company that charged to submit MSs to editors/agents. Because that's a scam too, not a service.
 

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Thanks. I'll try that. Also, I noticed I'm listed with The Publishing Connection, and that isn't my company. I had a buyer briefly who called it that, and a last Nov. 2016 I sold my Publishers, Agents, and Films company to the new owners. Would the moderators correct that too? I how do I contact the moderators, since I'm new here. I don't do a lot of submitting to publishers anymore with some exceptions, since major publishers are now looking for people with major followings, who are famous, and the like, and if you are writing the kind of books I mainly write (business, self-help, inspiration, social issues, plus film scripts), it's a very hard sell. So I mostly publishing my own books and I help other people self-publish theirs and I'm active in various independent publisher association (IBPA and in the Bay Area, BAIPA), which are excellent organizations. BAIPA is mostly individuals who have published one or two books. They provide all kinds of workshops on publishing as well as marketing which I'm learning about. I don't believe in paying the very high charges of self-publishing companies charging thousands of dollars -- I even went to a couple of webinars of companies charging $20,000-35,000 to self-publish a book. There are however some legitimate hybrid publishers that are really sincere in what they do who are members of these organizations, and that is an alternative today for some writers. I haven't used one of these hybrid publishers myself though. Anyway, if you think I should ask a moderator to transfer this, how do I do so.

I'm the moderator of this particular forum. If/when you're able to clearly and coherently describe which company(ies) you own and/or are affiliated with -- and what services you do and do not charge authors for -- then we'll revisit how I Index you.

As for using AW to research for your book .... You'll need to talk to Mac, the board owner, about that.
 

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