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FutureWord Publishing

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http://www.futureword.net/

This publisher was mentioned on one of my yahoo groups. There doesn't seem to be a lot of information about there. I find the website confusing.
 

Momento Mori

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So I checked out the Purple Dragon Fly Book Awards site, because FutureWord is advertising one of its authors as having won it and found this site:

http://www.fivestarpublications.com/bookcontest/pd_book_contest.html

Firstly, the award started in 2009 so there is little to no history there.

Secondly, the entrance fee is large ($45 to $50) yet the grand prize winner only gets a paltry $300. I trust that Future Word paid this fee for entry rather than the author, but it would be good to get clarification.

Thirdly, the whole purpose of setting up the award seems to be to promote books, which is fine but people buy books when they've heard of the award (e.g. Pulitzer, Booker, Blue Peter Book Award, Guardian Fiction Prize). An award that no one has heard of is unlikely to make much of an impact.

Fourthly, the award has 40 categories. That is way, way too many for it to be credible (and at $45 a pop for each category entered, what a good way for the award organisers to make money from authors).

Fifthly, it's run/sponsored by a publisher. That creates a conflict of interest.

Sixthly, I'm not clear on who the judges are, but the fact that you can apply to be a judge doesn't fill me with confidence. There are awards out there that are judged by readers and which have good reputations (e.g. the Blue Peter award), but most awards will have juries consisting of people with industry experience or some kind of celebrity or other credibility and the contest will be open up front about who those people are.

Seventhly, their judging criteris is supposed to reinforce its legitimacy but is really just weird.

So the fact that Future Word is using this as a promotional tool, smacks of a degree of cluelessness from the start.

Future Word Website:
A new horizon is dawning for our world of readers, and we work to achieve only the best in literature for children and young adults. We have adult fiction as well.

So they're focusing on children's, young adults and adult fiction (but adult fiction is an afterthought). That's not encouraging. Start ups are usually better off focusing on one particular type of fiction so they can concentrate marketing and distribution resources on that.

Future Word Website:
FutureWord's goal is to specialize in unique books that stimulate young readers' imagination.

Okay. So where does publishing adult fiction fit in with that goal? It sounds to me like they're confused as to what they want to do.

Future Word Website:
FutureWord Publishing embraces tomorrow today.

That's quite a trick. They must have a TARDIS.

Future Word Website:
We follow the new publishing model of growing royalty-paying, independent, small press. Rather, we use modern digital technologies in every digital format for instant distribution to consumers and bookstores.

There's nothing new about this model. It's been around for a number of years now and the reason why new publishers do it is because it reduces up front capital expenditure because the publisher isn't paying advances and it's not paying for offset runs and warehousing costs. It's in the publisher's interests to do that, not the author's.

Also, if the model is supposed to make it available in bookstores, they should be able to say which stores their books are stocked in. There isn't anything on the site to indicate that they have such distribution deals in place.

Future Word Website:
Our authors are unique and our illustrator is among the best.

Every author is unique, or else we'd all be writing exactly the same stuff.

Future Word Website:
Little Rockin" Roger and the Magic Glass Guitar won first place in Arts/music category of the Purple Draong fly Book Awards 2009-2010.

See my above comment on the value of this award.

Future Word Website:
Nicole Izmaylov is the winner for the 2010 Gaya Award for Georgia Author of the Year with Ronnie and BB.

Now this is an award that I have heard of, although it isn't a national award.

Future Word Website:
We are the first Independent publisher to receive recognition on an Internationally syndicated radio show; first Independent publisher to have an author nominated for a GAYA Award; first Independent publisher to produce a children's book with a musical score! Futureword is going places because our author's are going places!

It all turns on what Future Word means by "Independent publisher" but unless these 'milestones' have resulted in bigger sales, it's difficult to see the worth in mentioning it.

Future Word Website:
[FONT=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Bestselling Novel at FutureWord Number 1 "But Whether Men Do!" Has outsold any other Futureword books. It is now on sale at Amazon.com and most online retail stores.[/FONT]

So there's no instore placement, that automatically means the author can expect limited sales.

The fact that it's a bestseller only by comparison to other Future Word books (of which there seem to be a grand total of 7) isn't particularly impressive. In fact, it's a classic example of "bestseller" being used in a meaningless context that ultimately makes both publisher and author look a little desperate.

Future Word Website:
Identify your target market specifically. We want the age group. Is it targeted at males or females, Christian, or other? Do you have a marketing idea or plan of your own?

Yes, don't forget that marketing plan because you can bet Future Word probably won't have much in the way of ideas or ability.

Future Word Website:
E-mail proposals to the attention of Cheryl Haynes, Publisher. [email protected]

Cheryl Haynes (who also writes under Laurie Foston) is also one of the authors published by the company, which is never a good sign. I can't find any information on her publishing background pre this company that suggests relevant industry experience and a quick search on Amazon did reveal a book published with Tate (which has a vanity arm).

Personally, it's always a switch off when a publisher with its own domain name wants submissions to a freemail site.

All in all, there's nothing much to see here.

MM
 

WriterGal

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Hi all,

I submitted a picture book manuscript to FutureWord after a writer mentioned (on another board) that her manuscript had been accepted for publication, and that the publisher (Cheryl Haynes) was great.

I received a response within hours (red flad #1). Cheryl called me a few hours later and asked me to explain my story to her. (red flag #2). Although she said my story was well-written, she made several bizarre (in my opinion) remarks about it, that to me, said she either hadn't read it, or hadn't given it much focus or attention.

After talking with her, I researched the company and Cheryl Haynes. It looks like her previous work is all self-published (red-flag #3). I don't know if this is possible, and it is all speculation on my part, but I swear it looks like she just uses createspace or some other POD publisher to produce her work-although I'm not sure how she would pay an illustrator or stay in business this way.

I too thought the website was riddled with errors-there is even a typo for author Lisa Heil, that has her name spelled as Hell. The other picture books by FutureWord seem, well, forgive an amateur for saying so, but they seem very amateur.

I spoke to the writer whose work was accepted at FutureWord, and she said she was not asked for any money whatsoever, so I don't think they are a scam. But sales will likely be very low.

I withdrew my submission.

Anyway, just my two cents.
 
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CaoPaux

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No site or FB activity since '14, but did put out a couple books last year .... Anyone have recent contact?
 

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