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Eggplant Literary Productions

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Aggy B.

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Eggplant Literary Productions

I know there's a thread for them in the Paying Markets forum which seems to be mostly full of love and positive things. Just wondering if anyone has anything else to add.

I received a contract offer from them yesterday for a novella.
 

Aggy B.

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Since it looks like there isn't much to say about them at this point, here is my data.

Submitted a novella (SF Western - 21k) on August 15th, 2013.
Received acceptance/contract on September 13th, 2013. (Signed contract September 15th, 2013)

It is (aside from the specific details like name, address, etc) the same as the sample contract they have on their website: $250 advance + 25% royalties on list price, two year contract for World English Electronic Rights with clear reversion clause.
 

seaaircarol

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Speculative fiction only, I see.
Not my genre, but way to go, Aggy!
 

MumblingSage

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Congrats, Argy! Keep us updated!

If I had a completed gen (non-romance) sci-fi or fantasy novella they would be at the top of the list for me to submit to right now. I like their editorial philosophy and their cover art, the two things I can readily judge from their website. And their Kickstarter for Spellbound was successful, which suggests strong support and/or some marketing reach.
 

Izz

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And their Kickstarter for Spellbound was successful, which suggests strong support and/or some marketing reach.
Neil Gaiman gave them a twitter shout-out, iirc, which to me says good things.
 

Aggy B.

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Just wanted to add that I emailed the signed PDF contract on September 15th and received my counter-signed hardcopy contract and advance check by September 20th.
 

dale hollin

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eggplant was the 1st choice for my novella. they rejected it, but it was a "good rejection", if there is such a thing. a critique detailed enough to where i could tell they read the whole thing. it was a reasonable one, too. i knew certain people would find the same problems with it she had. probably the best place i've heard of for an unsolicited or unagented novella to land, though. at least for the speculative genre. congrats.
 

roach

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It feels a bit weird posting here, but I thought I'd at least say, "Hi." If anyone has questions about Eggplant I can answer them here. Or via PM or e-mail or comment on Eggplant's website.
 

roach

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Ha! I just realized I should make it clear that I'm Raechel Henderson, the publisher/owner over at Eggplant Literary Productions.
 

SilverBirch

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I subbed my novella to ELP Dec. 13, received acceptance/contract offer 12/31, and returned the signed contracts 1/2/14. Like Aggy said, it's the same contract as the sample on their website. All of my emails with the editor have been very pleasant and straight-forward. I'll check back in here as things progress.
 

Jinsune

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I know this thread is a bit old, but I'm going to bump it up anyway.

I'm a bit curious about this having never published anything before, but does Eggplant Literary Productions help with advertising the works published, or is it all left up to the author?

I'd like to know before I submit anything so that I know what I'm getting into.

Update: I posted a question on their website about this and it got deleted. I'm not sure if it's just waiting to be approved (they sent me an automatic email saying I"ll be notified once it is) but that's been three days now. I'll wait and see what type of response I get.
 
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Jinsune

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Sorry for the double post. =_='

I just checked out Eggplant Literary Productions on Google, and I came across a few things that's got a few writers angry. I don't know all of the details myself since I'm still looking into it. There's some concern by writers of color/Kickstarter backers that the Spellbound magazines are not living up to the expectations of being diverse.

Since there's quite a few posts about this, I'm only going to quote a bit of one of them:

In July, 2013, Eggplant Literary Production (ELP) promised a diverse anthology, including being multicultural, about fairytales on a Kickstarter. From the Kickstarter description:
We want to publish fairy tales retold to include minority, LGBT, and disabled characters. We want to create stories that include the whole spectrum of humanity and make them truly universal.
I and many other PoC helped it fund.
After the Kickstarter ended, ELP’s submission guidelines dictated a particular set of fairytale formats, guided by the Aarne-Thompson Index (ATI)—a work which Thompson himself noted might as well be called ‘The Types of the Folk-Tales of Europe, West Asia, and the Lands Settled by these Peoples’, and did not cover the story-shapes of the rest of the world and parts of the world before they were colonized.
A commenter named Gus brought this up in the comment section of the submission guidelines:
Hi,
I’m seeing some issues with the idea of a “standard fairy tale” formatting, given that different cultures tell their fairy tales in different ways. How might that be handled?
To which ELP originally replied:
Hi Gus:
This project isn’t meant to be a multi-cultural fairy tale anthology, but fairy tales that are retold. That’s the reason for sticking to the standard fairy tale format.
Thanks!
ELP has since struck out this text and put in:
ETA: Submissions should follow the structure of the fairy tales they are retelling. They should not be short stories just using fairy tales as a jumping off point or for source material.
The comment thread goes further. You can see more in the comment section. For instance, here’s a snippet I’m not sure what to conclude about:
Last year, when I first made an explicit call for non-Western settings and characters for Spellbound, I received several submissions that took place in African countries and cultures. The only fantasy element of these stories were the appearance of ancestor spirits. Turning a culture’s belief system into a fantasy element bothered me.
I guess that means cultural stories centering around ancestral reverence aren’t valid jumping-off points for stories for this anthology because they aren’t really fairy-tales according to… somebody.
How about this:
Instead, imagine a collection of Grimm’s tales if the Grimm brothers had collected them from a world where POC, LGBT, and disabled peoples had equal representation in media and culture as white cis heterosexual males. What would these fairy tales look like in that light?
That sounds rather Euro-centric. Hell, it is Euro-centric.
There was another instance with ELP asking why a story with a WoC was in Europe rather than taking place "in her own country".
This was taken from http://fandomshatewomen.tumblr.com/tagged/eggplant-productions

I'm not really sure what to make of all this. Does anyone else know more about this situation?
 
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Aggy B.

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I know this thread is a bit old, but I'm going to bump it up anyway.

I'm a bit curious about this having never published anything before, but does Eggplant Literary Productions help with advertising the works published, or is it all left up to the author?

I'd like to know before I submit anything so that I know what I'm getting into.

Update: I posted a question on their website about this and it got deleted. I'm not sure if it's just waiting to be approved (they sent me an automatic email saying I"ll be notified once it is) but that's been three days now. I'll wait and see what type of response I get.

Eggplant sends out ARCs, provides postcards/bookstubs for promo, and seems fairly active in their regional convention scene - in addition to promoting through their Facebook/Twitter/website. I can't say I've seen any paid advertisements for their books.

I'm waiting on the sales figures for the first half of the year, but it does seem that sales are low. Then again, I'm not sure of figures from a comparable publisher (electronic, spec-fic oriented, small pub) so this may just be typical of the market.

As far as the other issue with Spellbound and Spindles, there's this from the Eggplant Website - http://eggplantproductions.com/spellbound-spindles-final-submissions-log/

It is important to note that even a publisher that is trying for diversity is dependent on what is submitted. If the only stories of publishable quality are NOT diverse, they can't do anything about that. If authors are upset about a lack of diversity the best thing they can do is write and submit more.
 

Polenth

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As far as the other issue with Spellbound and Spindles, there's this from the Eggplant Website - http://eggplantproductions.com/spellbound-spindles-final-submissions-log/

It is important to note that even a publisher that is trying for diversity is dependent on what is submitted. If the only stories of publishable quality are NOT diverse, they can't do anything about that. If authors are upset about a lack of diversity the best thing they can do is write and submit more.

That wasn't the issue raised. It was that the Kickstarter suggested it'd have stories from around the world, in a multicultural fairytales way. But the submission guidelines restricted what was a fairytale to a Eurocentric concept, and they wanted stories told like a European fairytale (described as 'standard' fairytale format). When asked about it, they said it wasn't intended to be multicultural and they weren't catering to people of colour. In other words, they weren't saying it lacked diversity because they couldn't find the authors. That lack was built into their submission guidelines, and justified as okay because that was the plan all along.

The upset here is that people funded the Kickstarter believing the anthologies were going take a multicultural view (rather than other cultures as a veneer). Only to find out that was never the intention. It was advertised as one thing to get funding, then switched afterwards. That's why people are unhappy.

It might be some of the stories in the book are genuinely multicultural, but that'd more be a happy accident than the purposeful intent of the editor. It's been made clear that was never a priority or aim, even though it appeared to be during the Kickstarter.

Personally, I thought the descriptions were dubious from the start, and sounded like the editors didn't know a whole lot about diversity issues. Having a vague notion that diversity is good just isn't enough when it comes to editing. Sometimes I hate being right, but I'm glad I avoided the mess.
 

Jinsune

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The fact that they aren't refunding the Kickstarters' money says a lot about the editors and the publishing press as a whole too. I'm not really sure how many backers is considered a lot by Kickstarter standards, but they had over 300 and collected quite a bit of money.

I found their Kickstarter page: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1367572146/spellbound-and-spindles-fairy-tale-anthologies

I can understand why the donators thought the magazine was going to be diverse since one of the paragraphs mentioned diversity/the retelling of fairytales to include people of color, they're showing artwork featuring people of color on the video before you hit play, etc.
 
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