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Hancock Press

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frosteeman

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Does anyone know anything about a literary Agency named HANCOCK PRESS? They are out of Ft. Smith, Arkansas. I went to their website and it seems professional enough. I've also searched the web for complaints and haven't found anything on them.

I was contacted by one of the literary agents who said one of their researchers found my book and brought it to him to check out. The agent that contacted me asked for a synopsis of the book and asked for any other titles that I may have completed but hasn't been published. I sent him the titles and synopses.

My contact said he is asking for the titles and synopses to sent to some of his company's editor and publishing contacts. He hasn't asked for any reading fees or fees of any type. My problem is I've been burnt before and am a little skeptical to thing my work just landed in a true lit agents lap.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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So are they an agency or a publisher? I can't tell. Their website states: "To date we have helped publish and market countless titles." The names of just a few of those countless titles (and their authors and houses) would be helpful. That, plus the fact you have to call an 800 number to find out the costs involved (since again, their website doesn't address this) gives me pause.

PS: they also seem chary about listing the names of their agents. Umm ... yeah.
 
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aliceshortcake

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Link: http://www.hancockpress.com/index.html#

Learn the industry SECRETS withheld by Publishing Companies to authors.

..."just give us a call NOW and we'll send you, completely free of charge, a set of STEAK KNIVES!"

That's what I hear in my head, anyway. The site is registered to one Wayne Hancock, who by an amazing coincidence is also a Hancock Press author:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1938366085/?tag=absowrit-21

The book was released in 2012 and has no Amazon ranking. If he can't sell his own book I wouldn't put much faith in his company's ability to sell anyone else's.
 

LittlePinto

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Huh.

The all-knowing Google spat out some additional links for me.

We have a memoir by Judith Oppenheimer and some children's books by Tami Holland Davis. We also have some sort of religious book by Morris Beal/Alfred C. Brooks. The number to call to order the books is the same as the number on the Hancock Press homepage for the "free consultation with [their] literary agents and book publicists."

And yet you can't seem to access the author/book pages from the homepage.

Also, checking the Amazon pages for the books linked above, the publisher is Hancock Press.

That's about the limit of my expertise in this area. I hope it helps.
 

aliceshortcake

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Judith Oppenheimer's book sounds like the sort of thing that, with some professional help, might have stood a chance of finding a commercial publisher. From an Amazon review:

Dr. Judy had an interesting life. Her autobiography would have benefitted from a good editor. Much of it seems like memoir writing from an adult education writing class.

With an Amazon ranking of 1,654,674 it's Hancock's bestseller.

The back cover copy of the religious book is pure word salad and has to be read to be believed:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/193836614X/?tag=absowrit-20

I dread to think what the book itself is like; evidently Hancock doesn't offer anything resembling real editing. The company should be ashamed of themselves for taking this man's money.

Also, and with respect, frosteeman, I think the reason Hancock contacted you is that your book has been published by both Xlibris and AuthorHouse. They probably assumed that you'd fall for their sales pitch.
 
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robjvargas

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aliceshortcake

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Plagiarism strikes again! Compare and contrast:

Hancock Press
Due to the overwhelming number of writers seeking a contract with a major publisher, editors cannot possibly keep up with the hundreds of unsolicited submissions that come in every week. This is why most major publishers do not accept submissions directly from authors who are seeking publication. Instead, they rely on a network of literary agents who understand the publishing business, have relationships with editors, and know the subject areas and types of books that specific editors are most likely to be interested in. Within each of the major publishing houses, there are dozens of editors, each with their own interests and "wish lists" for books. A literary agent is usually the most efficient way to find the right editor, and the right publisher, for your book. An agent can help you improve your book proposal, resulting in stronger offers from publishers, and consider publishers you may not have even thought of approaching.

Publishing is a very specialized field, and book contracts can be especially complicated. Just like you should never sign a business contract without a lawyer, I don't recommend you sign a book contract without a literary agent. A literary agent can help you secure a better deal by helping you to select the right publisher and negotiating improved contract terms that will protect your financial and intellectual property interests.

Hancock Press has years of experience negotiating contracts with the major publishing houses, and we will bring this business experience to bear when working on your behalf. You can undermine your own financial and professional success by trying to negotiate a contract on your own.
http://www.hancockpress.com/submissions.html

Rick Broadhead & Associates:

Due to the overwhelming number of writers seeking a contract with a major publisher, editors cannot possibly keep up with the hundreds of unsolicited submissions that come in every week. This is why most major publishers do not accept submissions directly from authors who are seeking publication. Instead, they rely on a network of literary agents who understand the publishing business, have relationships with editors, and know the subject areas and types of books that specific editors are most likely to be interested in. Within each of the major publishing houses, there are dozens of editors, each with their own interests and "wish lists" for books. A literary agent is usually the most efficient way to find the right editor, and the right publisher, for your book. An agent can help you improve your book proposal, resulting in stronger offers from publishers, and consider publishers you may not have even thought of approaching.

Publishing is a very specialized field, and book contracts can be especially complicated. Just like you should never sign a business contract with a lawyer, I don't recommend you sign a book contract without a literary agent. A literary agent can help you secure a better deal by helping you to select the right publisher and negotiating improved contract terms that will protect your financial and intellectual property interests.

I have years of experience negotiating contracts with the major publishing houses, and I will bring this business experience to bear when working on your behalf. You can undermine your own financial and professional success by trying to negotiate a contract on your own. I've seen it happen many times. Often by the time I'm asked to become involved, it's too late.
http://www.rbaliterary.com/faq7.htm

Hancock Press:

Even if we are interested in the idea you're pitching, we have to believe that the editors we work with are also going be receptive to the idea. Because of the considerable amount of time required to shape an idea, pitch it to editors, and negotiate a contract, it's simply impossible for an agent to represent everything, even projects that are likely to result in an offer from a publisher.
http://www.hancockpress.com/submissions.html

From an article by Rick Broadhead on Neil Sagebiel's blog:

Even if I’m interested in the idea you’re pitching, I have to believe that the editors I work with are also going be receptive to the idea.

Because of the considerable amount of time required to shape an idea, pitch it to editors, and negotiate a contract, it’s simply impossible for an agent to represent everything, even projects that are likely to result in an offer from a publisher.
http://headlinesfromfloyd.com/category/nonfiction/page/2/

Hancock Press:

Publicity is, quite possibly, the most important factor contributing to a book's success. A well written book is important, but if no one knows about it, who will buy it? Publicity is all about letting people, outside your immediate family, find out about your book so that they will buy it. (Don't ever lose sight of the fact that selling your books is the point of the whole exercise. An appearance on Oprah that sells only 2 copies of your book might not be the best use of your time.)
http://www.hancockpress.com/publicists.html

Publishing Central article by Wendy J Woudstra:

Publicity is, quite possibly, the most important factor contributing to a book's success. A well written book is important, but if no one knows about it, who will buy it? Publicity is all about letting people, outside your immediate family, find out about your book so that they will buy it. (Don't ever lose sight of the fact that selling your books is the point of the whole exercise. An appearance on Oprah that sells only 2 copies of your book might not be the best use of your time.)
http://publishingcentral.com/articles/20030119-17-6d53.html/

No wonder the people at Hancock have to steal information from other websites...they don't know what they're doing:

Please complete the brief questionnaire below if you’d like us to consider working with you to market or publish a book. You don't need to have a completed manuscript to get started.
http://www.hancockpress.com/signup.html

This isn't just one to avoid, it's one to nuke from orbit, just in case!

ETA: Wayne Hancock is also the owner of Best Books Company Inc. of Fort Smith, Arizona, which is categorized as a wholesale book dealer established in 2008(http://www.manta.com/c/mt95tsf/best...BDpg.1&utm_referrer=https://www.google.co.uk/).
 
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aliceshortcake

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Holy gibberish, Batman! I've been puzzling over the first sentence in the back cover copy of the Hancock Press book The Choice is Yours:

Have you ever felt like dynasty is out of your control?

Then I compared it to the blurb on the author's website (provided by Hancock Press but not linked to their own site):

Have you ever felt like destiny is out of your control?

Ah, that makes much more sense. What a shame they used the wrong word ON THE BACK COVER OF THE ACTUAL BOOK.

Oh, and I see that Mr Hancock is also the author of Don't Publish That Book Until You Read This!, published by his own company last year:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1938366247/?tag=absowrit-20

From the back cover:

With "Don't Publish That Book", Hancock has taken the mystery out of self publishing. He describes, step-by-step how he published his 7 successful novels, the mistakes he made along the way, and how to avoid them. His tips in this succinct narrative could save the average author thousands of dollars.

The book has no Amazon ranking or reviews. There's no Look Inside Feature either, which is frustrating as I would have liked to do a Google search for the contents.
 
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aliceshortcake

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It must be a sort of stationary Tardis - there's room for a wholesale book business in there too!

Ooh, more plagiarism:

Hancock Press:
Publishing a book is an art that includes knowing how to maneuver the publishing process to your advantage. Getting a publisher to approve your manuscript takes know-how, determination – and a little bit of luck.

Knowing how to submit your manuscript is a key publishing whether your work will ever see the light of day at a bookstore.
http://www.hancockpress.com/

Publishing Central:
Publishing a book is an art that includes knowing how to maneuver the publishing process to your advantage. Getting a publisher to approve your manuscript takes know-how, determination – and a little bit of luck.

Knowing how to submit your manuscript is a key factor in whether your work will ever see the light of day at a bookstore.
http://publishingcentral.com/articles/20061129-87-9e1e.html/

Compared to this shameless theft, Firefly and Wisp's purloining of Tor's FAQ page was innocence itself. Mr Hancock - or his tiny team of agents and publicists - didn't even notice that they'd missed some words out of the last sentence. If you're going to plagiarize, Mr Hancock, at least cut and paste properly!

ETA - but wait, there's more! Hancock's entire site is a patchwork quilt of plagiarism.

Hancock Press:

Our extensive media contacts and book marketing expertise enable authors to maximize their exposure in a marketplace where public recognition is a key element of success.

Hancock Press provides personalized attention to authors, offering book publicity strategies custom-tailored for each book. Closely working one-on-one with authors and publishers, we are always there to answer any questions they may have and to facilitate media events.

Book publicity campaigns commonly include national and local radio and television, author tours, newspaper and magazine feature coverage, review coverage, Internet publicity, press releases and media kits.
http://www.hancockpress.com/publicists.html

Susan Schwartzman Public Relations:
Her extensive media contacts and book marketing expertise enable authors to maximize their exposure in a marketplace where public recognition is a key element of success.
She provides personalized attention to authors, offering book publicity strategies custom-tailored for each book. Closely working one-on-one with authors and publishers, she is always there to answer any questions they may have and to facilitate media events.

Book publicity campaigns commonly include national and local radio and television, author tours, newspaper and magazine feature coverage, review coverage, Internet publicity, press releases and media kits.
http://www.susanschwartzmanpublicity.com/
 
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Lena Hillbrand

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Holy gibberish, Batman! I've been puzzling over the first sentence in the back cover copy of the Hancock Press book The Choice is Yours:



Then I compared it to the blurb on the author's website (provided by Hancock Press but not linked to their own site):



Ah, that makes much more sense. What a shame they used the wrong word ON THE BACK COVER OF THE ACTUAL BOOK.

Too funny! I laughed out loud when I read this. Oh man...
 

Helix

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When I went to the Hancock Press link given above, I get a 'we're redesigning the site' message. So I perused the cached versions instead.

I also found this site for Hancock Press.

We are a reputable team of Literary Agents and Book Publicists devoted to helping authors and aspiring writers compete more effectively and efficiently in today's market.

Our mission is to provide authors with a reasonable and practical alternative to the costly services of self-publishing companies. With more than 20 years of experience in the traditional and self-publishing industry, we provide a wealth of experience and expertise to our clients.

To date we have helped publish and market more than 10,000 titles.
10,000! Ten thousand!! In fact, more than ten thousand!!!

And this from the submissions page:

Hancock Press will represent you and your book and give you guidance and support through the literary labyrinth. As Literary Agents, we will find Traditional Publishing Companies for our authors. Hancock Press will evaluate your manuscript and provide editorial services before your manuscript will be pitched to 500+ publishers .

The full 'Tradpub Program' costs $9,499. It includes 'representation', submission of MS and query letter to > 500 publishers, interior layout and cover design. Yeah, I know.
 

aliceshortcake

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HancockPress.com is under construction. For infromation regarding Hancock Press please call our toll free number 1-800-511-7320.
This website is undergoing design upgrades. We will be back on December 1, 2014. We are sorry for the inconvenience.
http://www.hancockpress.com/

I look forward to reading more infromation about Hancock Press in December. Evidently they regret, not only the inconvenience, but being caught out in industrial-strength plagiarism.

As for those 500-plus publishers, I don't suppose it matters that no single book can possibly fit the specifications of all of them. No doubt everyone desperate enough to submit to these jokers will end up being accepted by Hancock Press' publishing arm - for a fee, of course!

Bearing in mind the fact that the founder of Hancock Press is 88, I think the most dignified thing would be to take down the website completely, return his authors' rights and stop pretending to be a publisher/agent.

ETA: Hancock Press can be also be found on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9koX6ng7RRZLUyKQxsPZUQ

Have a look at this one for an AuthorHouse book:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcltyHTTq9Q

135,000 views and 16 comments (although the most recent post claims that they are paid for), yet the paperback edition of the book has an Amazon ranking of 6,950,576. Proof that clicks on YouTube or author websites don't equal sales.

Most of the trailers are for books published by Xlibris and Strategic. Presumably the authors, having being ripped off once, paid for Hancock's services as a publicist.

I see that Hancock's $9,499 'TradPub Program' includes 30 'free' paperbacks which, given the dubious value of the company's services, will probably end up costing the author about $316 each. We're also given the prices of other packages:

* Submission of Manuscript and Query Letters to 500 Traditional Publishers - $1,499
* Submission of Manuscript and Query Letters to 300 Traditional Publishers - $999
* Submission of Manuscript and Query Letters to 100 Traditional Publishers - $699
http://hancockpress.atspace.cc/submissions.html

What's the betting that most, if not all, of these scattershot submissions will be instantly deleted or shredded by an intern because they haven't followed the publisher's guidelines?
 
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Old Hack

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I love this thread. Heh.
 

aliceshortcake

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*puts ear close to the screen to hear Old Hack rubbing her hands and chortling*
 

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"Every insight you have had is put in to your face"
"The illusion of money, and the delusions of God."

God's delusions trouble me.
frown.gif
 
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Filigree

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Both the main Hancock Press sites -- hancockpress.com and hancockpress.atspace.cc -- are now down.

But it has been immortalized here, for anyone to see. So now when Hancock reinvents itself - maybe a little savvier, maybe not - curious authors can see what came before.
 

frosteeman

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First let me thank all of you for the time you took to delve into Hancock Press while trying to help me out. This is the reason that I won't do anything in the future without talking to you good people in the community. Burn me once, Burn me twice, Burn me thrice, isn't happening. The first red flag was being contacted out of the blue by a "literary agent" without me sending any queries, just to good to be true, I knew it and that's why I came to Absolute. If there agent representative contacts me for my manuscripts I will agree to send them if he buys my ocean front property in Scottsdale, AZ.

Again, Thanks to all.
 

CaoPaux

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Reappeared, natch. Has at least dropped "literary agents" in favor of Literary Advisors.
 

PVish

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What the heck does this word salad in their "Your legacy begins here" on the "About Us" section even mean?
We are a group of publicists, marketing analysts, editors, literary agents, media and network consultants, who work on behalf of authors to advertise new books -- whether printed on paper or sold digitally. We serve as the backbone in everything; from helping build author bios and websites to organizing book tours, arranging for media interviews and scheduling authors on radio and television shows.
We are an independent platform that recognizes the importance of a well-rounded approach in publication all the way to what navigates a steadfast marketing campaign. Over the years, our straightforward manner in completing a strategic research and market-awareness campaign allows us to gain a wealthy knowledge which opens a gateway of possibilities to our authors.


We provide FREE consultancy from our literary advisors on how to be creative in taking that competitive edge in marketing and keep them abreast on publishing trends.

Anybody care to translate?
 

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