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Guerrilla Independent

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

Curiouserncuriouser

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Hey guys! After spending some time on Reddit, I was redirected here.

There's a wealth of knowledge with some rather experienced minds on this forum, so I figured it'd be a good place to ask: What are your thoughts on http://www.guerrillaindependent.com/?

Full transparency - I just started working for these guys, but I'm here to openly and humbly listen to what you guys have to say. The folks on this board have seen publishers come and go, and know many a strength and weakness.

At current, the idea is to provide a comprehensive one-stop shop. All you need is to submit a manuscript, and the book is pretty much prepared for you (as an ebook, physical print, or both). Formatting, cover work and promotional gear are handled on Guerrilla's side, with the intent being to minimise the amount of work an author has to do after the draining experience of writing a whole book.

If possible, I'll see if there's anything I can convince the higher-ups to improve; the hope is that we'll be able to provide a service that authors such as you guys will actually want and find valuable. After all, if you're paying for something, you want it to be worth your hard-earned cash - so please let me know what you think.

Thanks in advance!
 

Billtrumpet25

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Hey guys! After spending some time on Reddit, I was redirected here.

There's a wealth of knowledge with some rather experienced minds on this forum, so I figured it'd be a good place to ask: What are your thoughts on http://www.guerrillaindependent.com/?

Full transparency - I just started working for these guys, but I'm here to openly and humbly listen to what you guys have to say. The folks on this board have seen publishers come and go, and know many a strength and weakness.

At current, the idea is to provide a comprehensive one-stop shop. All you need is to submit a manuscript, and the book is pretty much prepared for you (as an ebook, physical print, or both). Formatting, cover work and promotional gear are handled on Guerrilla's side, with the intent being to minimise the amount of work an author has to do after the draining experience of writing a whole book.

If possible, I'll see if there's anything I can convince the higher-ups to improve; the hope is that we'll be able to provide a service that authors such as you guys will actually want and find valuable. After all, if you're paying for something, you want it to be worth your hard-earned cash - so please let me know what you think.

Thanks in advance!

Welcome to AW! :)

Looking at the website, it appears Guerrilla is a vanity publisher. Beyond that, I've never heard of them before.
 

Curiouserncuriouser

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Thanks for the welcome Bill!

Yeah it's a brand-new publisher, but one that'll hopefully fill the gaps that other services have missed.

Is there anything about it that appeals to you, if you don't mind me asking?

Welcome to AW! :)

Looking at the website, it appears Guerrilla is a vanity publisher. Beyond that, I've never heard of them before.
 

eternalised

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With vanity publisher, we mean 'pay to play', as in, you have to pay in order to get your book published.

Which isn't always bad. Some folks prefer to pay just to get their book out there. Guerilla Independent is forward and open about their pricing, which is probably a bonus.

The pricing is steep though. What warrants $349 for "The Digital Pack"? That's basically just eBook conversion. You don't even get the book out to other retailers, like B&N, Koby, etc. while that's relatively easy. And why would you charge an additional $39 to send it out to each retailer? Self-publishers can upload their books for FREE on these various online retailers. I get charging a fee, sure, but $39 each is a steep price.

Your print costs are extraordinarily high as well. $536 for 50 copies, coming in at $10.72 a copy? I can print my books for a much cheaper price on Lulu or Createspace. What are you offering that they aren't? How is any author supposed to make profit on a book with $10 printing costs?
 

Curiouserncuriouser

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Thanks for explaining the term- was a little fuzzy on the vernacular!

And your feedback is exactly the kind that I need to hear. I'm totally fresh to all of this, so I'm still gauging how everything works. Even the bad. Heck, especially the bad!

I'll be bringing everything I glean here to the higher-ups, and have answers to those questions soon. It's just good to know the points that would be picked apart, and to hear what someone on the other side would be thinking. Thank you again :)

With vanity publisher, we mean 'pay to play', as in, you have to pay in order to get your book published.

Which isn't always bad. Some folks prefer to pay just to get their book out there. Guerilla Independent is forward and open about their pricing, which is probably a bonus.

The pricing is steep though. What warrants $349 for "The Digital Pack"? That's basically just eBook conversion. You don't even get the book out to other retailers, like B&N, Koby, etc. while that's relatively easy. And why would you charge an additional $39 to send it out to each retailer? Self-publishers can upload their books for FREE on these various online retailers. I get charging a fee, sure, but $39 each is a steep price.

Your print costs are extraordinarily high as well. $536 for 50 copies, coming in at $10.72 a copy? I can print my books for a much cheaper price on Lulu or Createspace. What are you offering that they aren't? How is any author supposed to make profit on a book with $10 printing costs?
 

aliceshortcake

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Oh, dear. From GI's website:

We believe in the author. Why? Because, thriving in our Guerrilla midst, we have an army of authors. That's why we understand books are about an intimate relationship between your story and the reader. Therefore, we, as publisher, should have very little to do with it!

So that's why GI doesn't provide editing!

With this development [of printing] came the necessity, due to the cost involved in being printed and distributed, of publishers. But along with this amazing development came a down side. The sad truth was that the majority or authors will never become published... meaning their stories will never be heard.

There's a good reason for this - 90% of the stuff submitted to publishers doesn't approach publishable quality.

Many of the best selling stories of our time, were passed up by publishing houses around the world many many times before someone decided that this book would be marketable.

It would be helpful to know which titles GI is referring to (what are the odds that Gone With the Wind is one of them?) In any case, GI is missing the point - those books WERE eventually published, which is why they became bestsellers.

We say NO MORE to the tyranny of traditional publishing. NO MORE to publishing houses filled to the ceilings with manuscripts made from the blood sweat and tears of the unpublished author. Sorry to sound a little militant, but we're really passionate about this, especially when you consider the publishing game has fundamentally changed through the advent of technology.

Oh, ffs. Sorry to sound a little militant, but it doesn't matter if an unpublishable manuscript is heavily stained with the blood, sweat and tears of the writer - it's still unpublishable.

For the first time, ever in the history of our world, a story can now be spread, globally, quickly and with little cost. The power is now back with the story teller, the story and it's reader.

That's why we believe in you and your story...

No, GI doesn't believe in your story. I can see no indication that anyone at GI will actually read your story. There is no quality control and no editing - GI is merely handling chunks of text. Yes, thanks to digital technology anyone has the power to dump unedited slush into a file and on to Amazon, where it will languish unread because only the writer's friends and relations know it exists.


Because we believe if you write it, they should read it

If you write it, they should read it. And we believe they, the people, should decide if it's any good, not us.

Oh, come on - this is a blatant appeal to Special Little Snowflakedom.

Writer: "I went to all this trouble to write a book, therefore people SHOULD read it! And if they don't I'm going to hold my breath until I turn blue!"

Reader: "I just spent some of my hard-earned money on this GI book. It's full of typos, grammatical errors and plot holes. I won't risk buying another."

Seriously, what sort of writer would want to be published by an outfit that openly admits its books may not be any good? The desperate and poorly-informed, that's who.

We're not here to judge or decide if your book is good enough to be exposed to the masses.

That's not a selling point, it's a honking great problem - for the author. If the masses turn up their collective nose at your labour of love, the only person who'll be out of pocket is you.

We believe that a truly good book will always enjoy success.

Successful books tend to be ones that, having been sold to a publisher by an agent or picked out of the slush pile, have undergone quality control. They have also undergone a little thing called 'editing'. Very few of the submissions GI is likely to receive will be 'truly good'.

A book will find its intended audience.

Here's how GI will help your book find its intended audience:

Publishing with Guerrilla Independent gives you access to a huge range of marketing tools designed specifically for the publishing industry. Promote your labour of love digitally with blogs and author pages, via social media with book avatars and image galleries. Promote your books with postcards, posters, bookmarks and much much more.

Use our ever expanding Book Marketing Library to learn how to leverage the tools available to you, through our site and others that we respect, to get the attention your book deserves. There's a Web Marketing Guide, Social Media Guides, and guides for doing it old school by hitting the streets.

How many times have we heard this? As for 'doing it old school by hitting the streets'...ye gods. And I hope those guide books are part of the publishing package and don't have to be bought separately.

Once you hit the go button, we will have your book up on Apple and Amazon within 3 weeks. And if you're in even more of a rush, you can select the 'expedite' option and we'll cut that back to 2 weeks!

Wow - instant gratification in action, but I don't know why we're expected to be impressed. It's not as if GI has to spend time on editing, cover design, ARCs etc.

Traditionally publishers and retailers take 90% of the sales, and 90% of the profits from any additional rights that are sold.

Could this be because...oh, I dunno...because real publishers take all the financial risk? And since when have retailers taken 90% of the profit?

So if your book is a smashing success and gets a movie deal, guess who owns those rights, your publisher, not you. But not with Guerrilla, you own your book, your copyright, your rights! You own it all. If it's a success you reap the rewards, not us.

We don't charge a royalty for publishing your book. We only charge a 7.5% admin fee on all purchased sold through our Guerrilla Independent account. This fee covers the costs of managing your book reports and transfer of funds.
http://www.guerrillaindependent.com/why

I'll leave this to the experts.
 
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Torgo

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Everything that Alice said.

Curiouser: this comes on like it's an alternative method of publishing books. But it doesn't actually appear to be what I'd call a publisher. It's a publishing services company - offering few actual services - with a whole lot of what I feel is misleading and partial rhetoric all over the site.
 

Marian Perera

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...the intent being to minimise the amount of work an author has to do after the draining experience of writing a whole book.

An even more draining experience, for me, would be paying $349 to get, among other things, "Conscription into the Guerilla Army". They don't even provide a cover.

The list of "10 reasons to publish with Guerilla" is pure vanity rhetoric, along with some things even most vanity publishers didn't think of, such as "story telling is the basis of human evolution".

If you write it, they should read it. <snip> We believe that a truly good book will always enjoy success. In these modern times, there are no limitations. A book will find its intended audience.<snip>

Publishing your book is only the first step. Don't assume that if you publish it, they will come... this isn't that type of field.
So if you write it, they should read it, and if it's good it will always be successful. But if you publish it, they won't necessarily come.

O-kay then.

Because you can pick a package that fits what you need, at a price that lets you quit your day job.
I'm not sure how spending money allows you to quit your day job. Unless you spend so much that you become homeless and have to go on Welfare, I suppose.

Because if 9 reasons weren't enough... Please enjoy this never before seen, all natural, salt reduced, energy saving, low GI, 99% fat free, genuine original fresh breath confidence 10th reason to publish with Guerrilla Independent. We make your dreams a reality.
Sorry, Curiouserncuriouser, but this is ridiculous. It makes me think of a flashy used-car salesman, trying to be breezy and jocular but just coming off as transparently hyperbolic, cliched and bombastic.
 

aliceshortcake

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I think the 'quit your day job' bit was supposed to be tongue-in-cheek, but the whole site is so ridiculously hyperbolic it didn't quite come across.

The moral of this thread seems to be "beware of cigar-smoking gorillas clutching giant pencils".
 

Terie

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The difference I've noticed between reputable publishing service providers and rampant vanity presses: the level of hyperbole. (Hint: Reputable publishing service providers don't use hyperbole. Vanity presses do.)
 

shaldna

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Thanks for explaining the term- was a little fuzzy on the vernacular!

Oh dear. That doesn't bode well for someone who wants me to trust them as a publisher.

Can I ask, do you, or any of the 'higher ups' have ANY experience in the publishing industry? Sales? Marketing? Design? Accountancy? Law? Any of the above? What about editing? Cover art? Proof reading? I mean, if you are expecting people to pay for those services then they had better be worth every penny - if an author is paying to have something edited then it must be perfect.


Also, this came from the website and troubled me:

So if your book is a smashing success and gets a movie deal, guess who owns those rights, your publisher, not you. But not with Guerrilla, you own your book, your copyright, your rights! You own it all. If it's a success you reap the rewards, not us.

I'm not sure you know how rights work. Publishers only have the rights that authors sign to them.


We don't charge a royalty for publishing your book. We only charge a 7.5% admin fee on all purchased sold through our Guerrilla Independent account. This fee covers the costs of managing your book reports and transfer of funds.
http://www.guerrillaindependent.com/why

You don't charge a royalty? But I assume you take off costs, and then you take a further 7.5% out of the authors cut, or is that percentage taken off the top? And does this include books sold elsewhere such as Amazon?
 

Torgo

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You don't charge a royalty? But I assume you take off costs, and then you take a further 7.5% out of the authors cut, or is that percentage taken off the top? And does this include books sold elsewhere such as Amazon?

It seems like all they do is handle ebook conversion, an ISBN, and uploading to retailers - so presumably the costs involved are just what you pay up front. I can't imagine why you'd give them a cut of the back end (what are they doing to earn it?)
 

Marian Perera

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(what are they doing to earn it?)

Made me think of this:

Homer: Welcome to the internet, my friend, how can I help you?

Comic Book Guy : I'm interested in upgrading my twenty eight point eight
kilobaud internet connection to a one point five megabit
fibre-optic T-1 line. Will you be able to provide an IP
router that's compatible with my token ring ethernet LAN
configuration?

Homer: (after long pause) Can I have some money now?
 

Old Hack

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I'll add this press to the long list of those I won't submit to. They don't even seem to know how rights work, for goodness' sake.
 

James D. Macdonald

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Because we believe if you write it, they should read it

Believe what you will, but generations of high school teachers will tell you that no force on earth can make someone read a book they don't want to read.
 

FluffBunny

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Once you hit the go button, we will have your book up on Apple and Amazon within 3 weeks. And if you're in even more of a rush, you can select the 'expedite' option and we'll cut that back to 2 weeks!

Really? If you're working as an aggregator, you're not on Apple's approved list. Are you funneling works through Smashwords (an Apple-approved aggregator)? If so, why would I pay a middle-man when I can go through Smashwords myself? Or upload directly to Apple myself, for that matter.

2-3 weeks for it to appear on Amazon and Apple? I don't know what Amazon's timeline is like, but according to sources on iTunes support, uploads by the author are appearing in the iTunes store in as little as a few hours. You're charging me money and taking longer to do what I can do for myself and apparently charging me even more money to still take too long? Is there an added value I'm missing here?

And Uncle Jim is quite correct. If there were a way to force people to read books, neither SparkNotes nor Cliff Notes would be making as much money as they do. ;)
 
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AphraB

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After all, if you're paying for something, you want it to be worth your hard-earned cash - so please let me know what you think.

Curioserncurioser, there are some good stickies on this very board, including "How Publishing Really Works." You might want to look at that one and some others, and then request that the owners of your company take a look as well.
 

aliceshortcake

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Aha! A closer look at GI's website reveals that the company is based in Australia. No names are provided, but the Facebook button on GI's Pinterest page leads to one Leroy Woof and thence to Woof Creative Solutions:

WOOF Creative Solutions is an advertising, design, publications and multimedia agency with panache and an understanding of what makes your brand better. We work with a variety of industries, from fashion to engineering, from retail to wholesale. We work in both the digital and print worlds. And with everything we do, we THINK FIRST, understand, then create.

We work out of Collingood in a three-storey building. We play loud music (sorry neighbours), have lots of really really good coffee (thank God), play with cool toys (we're all big kids at heart) and you can find one of us here most hours of the day (and night)
Specialties
Marketing, Advertising, Brand Management, Design

Website: http://woof.com.au
http://www.linkedin.com/company/woof-creative-solutions

I couldn't find any info about Leroy Woof but the Creative Director at WCS appears to be Leonard Montagnana:
http://au.linkedin.com/pub/leonard-montagnana/25/307/6a8

I can't see much evidence of 'thinking first' in GI's sales pitch, and I'd love to know how the author is supposed to retain all rights. What about first publication rights, without which the book can't be published?

What about editing? Cover art? Proof reading? I mean, if you are expecting people to pay for those services then they had better be worth every penny - if an author is paying to have something edited then it must be perfect.

Shaldna, there is no proof reading or editing. Writers simply upload their ms into GI's template exactly as they would with CreateSpace.

As you progress through each section of the form,it will get ticked off. Don't worry if your manuscript isn't 100% correct yet. You'll have the chance to re-upload it before you hit the GO button to publish your book.
http://www.guerrillaindependent.com/how

That's the closest writers will come to having their book edited - by doing it themselves. I don't think this company has the slightest inkling of what lurks within the slush pile and what they'll be releasing for the 'masses' to judge (after they've paid for unedited books). The form isn't the only thing that's going to be ticked off when unsuspecting readers discover that the novel upon which proud GI author Auntie Maureen lavished her blood, sweat and tears is an incoherent mess.

That's assuming that anyone can find Auntie Maureen's novel:

Not all promotion needs to be digital! Keep it old school and choose promo cards, post cards, bookstore window posters, in-store signing posters or street posters to draw attention to your new book. All available here, professionally designed and old school awesome!
http://www.guerrillaindependent.com/how

They forgot lollipop trees and customized M&Ms!
 
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FluffBunny

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Mr. Woof has a FB page set to "friends only"--no problem there and it's something more people should do. Woof Creative has a FB page with 2 posts on it--one from Oct. 9, 2012 and one a photo posted March 21, 2013, so not exactly creating a buzz.

Guerrilla has a FB page as well. Many more posts there, but most are of the, "Hey! Isn't this thing over here that has nothing to do with us in any way cool?" variety. They apparently also have a Tumblr page with, "neat writing tricks, infographics and quotes if that's your jam."

No apparent Twitter feeds from Mr. Woof, Woof Creative or Guerrilla as far as I can find. For all of the Woof Creative page being, "ISO 9000 Buzz-word Compliant" they have a strikingly small web presence.

ETA:
What about first publication rights, without which the book can't be published?

C'mon, Alice! Think outside the box! Maybe it's, "We believe so deeply that this book is the sole property of the author, that we won't even allow readers eyes or reviewers' pens to sully it." ;)
 
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Kaarl

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On a positive note the Gorilla looks boss ...

"We work out of Collingood in a three-storey building" = major selling point. I don't mess around with people in two-storey hovels. Take my money now !!!
 
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BenPanced

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And Uncle Jim is quite correct. If there were a way to force people to read books, neither SparkNotes nor Cliff Notes would be making as much money as they do. ;)
Sophomore year of high school. Moby Dick. 27 students. One copy of Cliffs Notes.:dire:
On a positive note the Gorilla looks boss ...

"We work out of Collingood in a three-storey building" = major selling point. I don't mess around with people in two-storey hovels. Take my money now !!!
But that just means they're that much further away from the ground floor and all the good coffee shops!

:nothing
 

aliceshortcake

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Yes, that extra storey makes all the difference.

That and the cool toys...
 

FluffBunny

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Sophomore year of high school. Moby Dick. 27 students. One copy of Cliffs Notes.:dire:

I have read Moby Dick. I knew Moby Dick and you, sir, are no...sorry. Channeling again. If there is an afterlife, I'm counting on having made it through Mr. Melville's opus to expiate several thousand sins. James Fenimore Cooper, on the other hand... I agree with Mr. Twain's assessment of Mr. Cooper's writing abilities.

Back on topic: Woof Creative Solutions is a registered company in Australia, having been formed in 2006. They created their FB page in 2012. I'm not finding much between those two dates.

Guerrilla Independent was registered in April 2012. Sadly, Australia doesn't record a registering party in their online records.
 
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aliceshortcake

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FluffBunny, the expression on your avatar's face just about sums up how I feel about Guerrilla Independent.
 

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