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GenZ Publishing

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pinkbowvintage

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Forgive me if this has been posted here before (I couldn't find a thread on it), but I came across this publisher recently and thought it deserved to be vetted by AW members in case some people Google it, as I found it quite jarring based on their website:

http://genzpublishing.org/

Apparently this pub was founded by teen "literary prodigy" Morissa Schwartz, who calls herself "the voice of Generation Z" (putting these phrases in quotes to cite the website, not to mock her). Her resume is impressive, including a role on an MTV show, but it's curious to me that she founded a publishing company at such a young age. She claims she wants to help underrepresented voices (teens, I assume) get published.

One of the red flags on the website was this knock against "traditional publishing" that felt manipulative:

Then, there is the traditional publisher route, but it is nearly impossible to be published without being established and having an agent. Even with that, publishers receive thousands of manuscripts per week and only dozens are published. Those who are lucky enough to be published, lack creative control and are subject to the publishers’ every vision.

Then there was this red flag:

GenZ™ is an innovative publisher for talented authors to have their work seen, recognized, and read by millions. Unlike most publishers who only publish established writers or those with a literary agent, we published based on the author’s talent and their book’s content. GenZ™ makes dreams come true.

Apparently they've been trying to raise money via an Indiegogo campaign, which I found a bit baffling: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/genz-the-future-of-publishing#/

So basically, I've found myself going down this rabbit hole that is the GenZ™ (yes, they hammer that trademark home on their site) Publishing website with a combination of fascination and bewilderment, and had to share it with you all.
 
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leifwright

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We help our authors to shape their work while they retain creative control

This says everything you need to know.

[FONT=Karla, sans-serif]A real publisher will not relinquish "creative control" to an author. It is their job to make sure things are as marketable as possible. They're putting up the money, which means they're in charge of what gets published.[/FONT]
 

BenPanced

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Morissa had her first national article published in Discovery Girls Magazine at age 12

According to their website, Discovery Girls is open to submissions from girls aged 8 to 12. Good to mention in a general bio, but it doesn't set her apart as a prodigy.

landed her first job as an adviser to Junior Scholastic Magazine at age 13

Couldn't find more information without subscribing or creating an account.

And it doesn't appear their physical books are available at brick and mortar B&N stores; you can order them through B&N, however.

One thing I've learned through AW: if they claim to be the future of publishing, they're probably not since what they're doing has already been done to varying degrees of success.
 
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James D. Macdonald

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Then, there is the traditional publisher route, but it is nearly impossible to be published without being established skilled and having an agent a well-written book. Even with that, publishers receive thousands of manuscripts per week and only dozens are published. Those who are lucky talented enough to be published, lack creative control and are subject to the publishers’ every vision get a reasonable advance, then get well edited, professional covers, wide distribution, publicity and marketing.
Fixed that for her.
 

Vandal

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The GenZ contract is not good. Here is some actual wording:

The Author’s fee is as follows. The Author does not pay any money to the Publisher. Publisher will pay on behalf of the Author for the editing, copyrighting, proofreading, formatting, cover design, marketing, printing, publishing fees, and all aspects of creating the said work/manuscript. The fee is capped at $2,500 (Two thousand five hundred dollars). This fee is recouped by the Publisher from the Author’s royalties in paragraph 2.


And this:

On publication, author agrees to purchase a minimum of 20 paperback copies of their published book.


Vanity, thy name is GenZ.
 

Thedrellum

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They just added me to a list on twitter, as a result of my #PitMad entry, I'm guessing. Might be their way of trying to get people to know about them on the sly without actually liking tweets.
 

WightCrow

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Does anyone have more updated information on GenZ? I just got a like from them during #DVPit so I checked out their site before coming here. I didn't see anything about paying for services, but I only did a quick scan so it is possible that I missed it--I looked during lunch and plan to do more in-depth research on them after work. However, if anyone here has had any experience with them, whether good or bad, I'd love to know more!
 

mrsmig

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Unless they've substantially changed their contract - see Post #7 above - this is a vanity press masquerading as a trade publisher. Their contract isn't going to be posted on their website, so this is going to be something you'd need to ask about.


Any time a company creams its operating and production costs off the author's cut of the royalties, it's a big, fat red flag. Authors who sign with companies like this will never see a dime.
 

WightCrow

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Unless they've substantially changed their contract - see Post #7 above - this is a vanity press masquerading as a trade publisher. Their contract isn't going to be posted on their website, so this is going to be something you'd need to ask about.


Any time a company creams its operating and production costs off the author's cut of the royalties, it's a big, fat red flag. Authors who sign with companies like this will never see a dime.

Yeah, that's what I figured...I was just hoping maybe they'd turned themselves around. Oh well, I'll stick to pitching to my list of reputable agents/publishers. Thanks!
 

anonymous132127

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Hi all, I wanted to drop my thoughts about GenZ Publishing here because most of the information out there is now several years old. So here's an updated PSA for everyone.

When I first considered signing with GenZ, I did my research. There's obviously some red flag stuff online, and I was aware of this. However:

1. The contract I received did NOT have a fee
2. The contract did NOT require the purchase any copies of my book
3. I contacted other authors and honestly, they had only positive things to say

On the surface, it looked like things had changed. I'm sure people have signed with them thinking the same.
Well, here's what I later found out:

1. That "fee" is waived when you sign with them for a series. It is still a thing for all other authors
2. The "creative control" they talk about? They really mean that. They do not employ editors. They contract to beta-readers. i.e. "creative control" = "self-edited"
3. They recently released a book with the incorrect file uploaded. One author's book was prematurely released with the cover of another author's book. Under their name. If that's not a copyright violation, I don't know what is.
4. Authors pay for marketing. That's right - your $2500 "author fee" does not include any marketing opportunities like book tours, sending ARCs to book bloggers etc.

Now, this is just one POV. There are authors published through GenZ who are happy with their experience. But know what you're getting going in.
 
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