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Crushing Hearts & Black Butterfly Publishing / Hot Ink Books / Steamworks Ink

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

priceless1

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From their About page:
Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly will be the publisher that writers want. We will support our authors and readers and we will never let a great story go untold.
Geared toward writers rather than readers.
We are committed to promoting our writers by utilizing targeted marketing strategies and creative technologies (i.e. social networks, virtual tours and creative swag). We will bring solid stories with fresh voices to our readers, and offer AMAZING and VIVID cover art.
They mention everything but distribution, which makes me wonder how they plan on getting their books to market.
It is our goal to have Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing become known as the publisher who gives authors the support and resources they need
This is a non-statement because all good publishers support their authors and offer concrete resources - like distribution, marketing, and promotion. They don't offer any specifics.
 

Bicyclefish

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From their website:

Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing is an Independent Press launching in 2012. We are headed by the creative team of SJ Davis, A. L. Kay, and SK Whiteside, who are passionate about innovative storytelling and independent artists. We have experience on all sides of the literary industry so we understand that every story has an audience, and we look for those unique and captivating authors with voices to tell those stories.
The creative team mentioned appears to be mainly authors; I don't know what experience they have "on all sides of the literary industry", but I didn't dig too deeply. Others with more familiarity in the paranormal, urban fantasy, and gothic (which appears to be their genre) may recognize the names.

http://twitter.com/SKWhiteside
https://www.facebook.com/A.L.Kay.Author#!/A.L.Kay.Author?sk=info
http://www.facebook.com/sjdavis.writer#!/sjdavis.writer/info
 
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Momento Mori

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In addition to the excellent points raised by priceless1, I'd add the following:

Crushing Hearts & Black Butterfly Publishing Website:
We are committed to promoting our writers by utilizing targeted marketing strategies and creative technologies (i.e. social networks, virtual tours and creative swag). We will bring solid stories with fresh voices to our readers, and offer AMAZING and VIVID cover art.

I'd wait to see what those marketing strategies are or at least be provided with some details on how they see it working. All too often, when I see a publisher claiming to use social media and virtual tours, they're talking about setting up a Facebook page or Twitter account (to which writers inevitably have to point readers) and virtual blog tours are those that authors set up on each other's blogs. I'm not saying that this will be the case with this publisher, but it's something to be wary of.

Crushing Hearts & Black Butterfly Publishing Website:
If you enjoy dark paranormal thrillers, urban fantasy, or edgy YA, consider yourself at home.

The fact that they're specialising is a good sign, but those are all crowded markets so I'd be interested in knowing how they plan to tap into it and make themselves stand out. I will say that I quite like the covers for the authors they've listed though, which is a plus.

Crushing Hearts & Black Butterfly Publishing Website: (BOLDING MINE)
This anthology will pay NO royalties as a contract will state but you will retain the rights to your story. We also ask for exclusivity of the story for one year. Other rights we are requiring via contract are First Publishing Rights, the right to use the story for as long as there is demand for the book, the right to edit each story for missed or grammatical errors, and the right to use parts of the book and/or the author’s name for promotion. This would only be for the anthology and not any other books we may publish of yours. The author will receive two copies of the anthology, the PDF file, as well as a discount code for personal orders via Amazon.

All the things I've put in bold would get a loud "sod off" from me.

If you write short stories, there are better paying markets out there than this outfit - outfits that will put cash in your pocket (even if it's only a token sum) and give you full rights back at the end of the exclusivity period rather than hold on to them for as long as it (effectively) wants on a non-exclusive basis.

The main warning flag for me though is the fact that the website is a Weebly and one of the contact email addresses is on hotmail (i.e. free web based email). This suggests they don't have a lot of money to put into the business.

MM
 

Silverrosess

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Hm. Would you say it's not a legit place then?
 

Momento Mori

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KatieC
Hm. Would you say it's not a legit place then?

A publisher doesn't have to be a scam to be a bad idea. There are plenty of well-intentioned publishers that go under year on year due to inexperience, lack of money, lack of distribution, lack of marketing, lack of promotion etc etc etc.

MM
 

Silverrosess

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I'm not looking at their non-royality short stories, I'm looking at their paying open-call manuscripts. Or, I think they pay for a full MS.

By legit i mean not-a-scam.
 

Richard White

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Check out the gray links in the publisher's index.

Most of these companies were not scams.

However, most of them were organized by people with limited or no publishing experience. A large number of the gray links also took books with them when they folded, tying them up for a long time by not clearly returning the rights to the authors or simply disappearing and the authors never got their publishing rights back.

While there are some very good small presses, they'll have books already lined up before they start publishing. They will have distribution already lined up before they start publishing and their web sites will be aimed at readers, not writers.

If they're good, writers will find them. They won't have to go looking.
 

Unimportant

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I can't find anything on the website that states they would pay for full-length manuscripts; the fact that they do not pay for short stories, however, is not encouraging.

Given the huge number of established, well-paying e-presses out there that looking for paranormal manuscripts, it would seem logical to start at the top (Carina? Samhain? Loose ID? Ellora's Cave?) and work your way down. If at the very end you've been rejected by all those dozens of other presses and get to CH/BB on your list of places to submit to -- it's probably time to write a new book.
 

Momento Mori

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KatieC:
I'm not looking at their non-royality short stories, I'm looking at their paying open-call manuscripts. Or, I think they pay for a full MS.

I can't see anything on the website to suggest they pay for a full MS.

There are plenty of small publishers out there that will at the very least pay royalties for short stories - the fact that these guys aren't even though it seems (judging from the statement that they'll be listing on Amazon) that they plan to sell them, means that they're making money off other people's work and taking non-exclusive long term rights in the story.

As a business practice, it makes perfect sense and it's perfectly legitimate. For authors, it sucks.

Now, if they're doing that for short stories, what is there to suggest that they're going to give fair terms for a full length manuscript?

Ultimately, it's up to you, KatieC. You won't be the first person who's come to this site to get advice on a start-up, had a lot of people tell them to wait as it may not be a good idea and then decided to give them a chance anyway because hey, at least it means you're published by someone and if you do decide to go with them then I genuinely hope that it works out for you.

However there's a long list of publishers on this site who've gone under, taking rights with them and leaving authors in limbo for those manuscripts (at best) and completely costing them any chance of commercial publication (at worst).

Like I said, something doesn't have to be a scam to be a bad idea.

MM
 

Fallen

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Any idea what it says in red beneath 'hot Ink Press'? I can't read it.
 

Silverrosess

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I was actually with crushing hearts for a while. They ended up putting out an unedited version of my YA fiction novel. The organization was VERY unprofessional, and I left the company. I wouldn't suggest CHBB or Hot Ink to anyone.
 

folieadeux

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CH/BB

If you look at the books that are available from CH/BB and Hot Ink on Amazon and check out their reviews, it seems like they are having a lot of quality control issues.

On Ember by Madison Daniel: "I just couldn't bring myself to ignore. all. the unnecessary. periods. And grammatical errors."

On Reign of Blood by Alexia Purdy: "Also towards the final quarter of the book, the writing sort of devolved, (I think that Ms. Purdy is a great story teller, but got rushed at the end)so maybe didn't get the proofreading needed."

On Court Danger by Elizabeth A. Lance: "It was hard to follow the extremely boring dialogue because it was not formatted properly..."

On Bottom Feeders by Armada West: "The main problem is that the book is riddled with far more grammar errors and inconsistencies than should be allowed. To be blunt, the editor needs to take another look through every page. In some cases words are switched around or completely missing; spellcheck can't catch everything."

On My Everything by Khelsey Jackson: "the spelling and grammatical errors were PAINFUL. At the beginning of the book it gave credit to an editor. There is NO WAY this book was edited or proof read. Ever."

One book actually has *11!!* one star reviews out of 27 total.

Also a lot of books being published by the same authors. I think someone else said it best earlier.

From their About page:
Geared toward writers rather than readers.

I mean, it seems as though they are picking up some decent work but then are just not following through.

And something I noticed as I was going through looking for examples, A LOT of the reviews are posted by the same people. If you look at the previous reviews by these people, they are ALL five stars for the books printed by CH/BB and Hot Ink. To top it off, comments back to the low-rating reviews get responses from those same people and they're pretty aggressive sometimes. Only a couple times did the author respond graciously at the criticism.

Seems like a lot of tom foolery going on.
 

aliceshortcake

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Oh, dearie me. Here's an example of Hot Ink's editing (I'm assuming there was some editing because it's credited to S J Davis):

Jennifer shakes her head and walks to the bar. She is going to need something strong to get through the night. She knows that she doesn't look back but compared to Meg she is a fly on the wall.

Were it not for the fact that this odd statement is followed by a description of the heroine's appearance I wouldn't have known that the author meant "doesn't look bad". No competent editor would have allowed this to slip through.

She looks to her right, and there is a man in a flashy name brand suite sitting next to her. He is breath-taking beautiful. His hair falls to the middle of his neck, and it looks dark. She can't see what color is eyes are, but she has a feeling they are dark like is hair.

"It is the only think that I know I like."

This man is sex in a suite.

:Jaw:

And these are just the worst examples from the first two pages! I can't believe this is anything other than a straightforward text dump. Hot Ink should be ashamed of themselves.
 
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Broadswordbabe

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Sex in a suite? Hotel suite or velour living-room suite?
Yeesh. That's some spectacularly bad editing. And/or spectacularly incompetent writing that didn't get picked up by the editor. Just in those two short sections I spotted several...infelicities of language and at least six actual mistakes.
 

writeontime

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"sex in a suite"? Oh no.
My headache just got worse.
 

justbishop

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The main warning flag for me though is the fact that the website is a Weebly and one of the contact email addresses is on hotmail (i.e. free web based email). This suggests they don't have a lot of money to put into the business.

MM

The bolded puts me off when any publisher does it (and not just on Weebly, I also do not consider a business using a Wordpress.com or Blogger site in any way to be professional).

To give everyone an idea of the meager amount of money it takes to set up a proper website:

$8-10/year domain registration
$5-10/month for real web hosting

An insane amount of webhosts provide one click automatic installation of the Wordpress package, which allows you to have a completely self-contained (i.e. not connected to wp.com in any way) Wordpress driven site. Barring that, there are loads of people willing to install WP for cheap (I used to charge about $20).

If you absolutely could not find a suitable free theme within the Wordpress.org theme repository of thousands of themes, a decent commercial one can be had for virtually ANY budget (I'm positive I could find one selling for $5-10 all the way up to $100+).

Hiring a designer to make color changes (if needed) to your chosen theme also need not be costly. I used to charge about $50 to go through a CSS file and redo the colors.

DaFont.com has tons of free for commercial use fonts that would make great professional logos, a service I would charge $25-50 for.

E-commerce systems are a bit more involved, but since my expertise lies in self-hosted Wordpress, I'll say there are several great shopping cart plugins available. Eshop is a free one, and Shopp costs less than $100.

So if a publisher cannot spare about $100 for a simple start up website, I doubt their seriousness.
 

Elizabeth George's book Write Away