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Highland Press

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ccomer

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Why does anyone submit a work to a press that they don't know anything about?

I presume that your work is a romance, and that it's already been rejected by Harlequin?

I'll start from the bottom and go up.
1. No, I didn't inquire to Harlequin, because my book is too graphic in the sex.
2. Highland Press, I sent them three chapters after they received my query letter and said they are interested in reading more of my manuscript
3. I found their site, went to predators and found noting bad about them. plus their web page is very impressive. I thought this was a place I could get any other info on them.
4. define interested. okay, to me interested means they are interested in knowing more about my book when they ask for a partial after getting my query.
I know I am a greenhorn here. But I didn't think my one question on asking if anyone knew anything about Highland would having me feel stupid.
 

James D. Macdonald

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Graphic?

Harlequin publishes some spicy romances. So does Berkley. If you're talking romantica, why not Ellora's Cave?

Look, I'm sorry if my comment made you feel stupid. Here's the rule: Start at the top and work down.

Second rule: Don't go looking for reasons to scratch publishers off your list. Look for reasons to put them on your list. That means distribution, sales, reviews, awards.
 
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Sassenach

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Their sub guidelines say:

Highland Press is looking for outstanding manuscripts of all time genres—with the exception of erotica.
 

ChunkyC

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Highland Press is looking for outstanding manuscripts of all time genres—with the exception of erotica.
When I see a poorly written sentence like that on a publisher's website, it gives me pause. What the heck is "all time genres" supposed to mean? Is this the kind of editorial attention they are going to give to my book?

Jim's point about researching a publisher before submitting is very important. Check them out before sending off a query or sub. In this initial stage of researching publishers and agents, you want them to impress you. Only when you've determined that they are the kind of publisher you want to be associated with does it become time for you to impress them by sending them your query or sub.
 
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dolores haze

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most probably.

at this point I'm pretty well disillusioned against ALL small presses, epubs or not.

:(

I need a cuppa...


I just finished reading all the comments on the Dear Author link. Wow! Just...wow!

I'll take a cuppa, Sheryl. Actually, scratch that. I need something a whole lot stronger after that mess.

ccomer - I urge you to follow the link before you go any further with Highland Press.
 

victoriastrauss

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Wow, I hadn't seen the Dear Author discussion. The litany of problems--poor communication, lies, punishment of "problem" authors (i.e., authors who ask questions or try to stand up for themselves) is just so depressingly familiar.

When will writers get smart, and stop keeping these crappy amateur publishers in business?

- Victoria
 

Stacia Kane

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Wow, I hadn't seen the Dear Author discussion. The litany of problems--poor communication, lies, punishment of "problem" authors (i.e., authors who ask questions or try to stand up for themselves) is just so depressingly familiar.

When will writers get smart, and stop keeping these crappy amateur publishers in business?

- Victoria


I wish I knew.
 

Khazarkhum

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When newbie writers start taking their writing careers seriously and squelch the overwhelming desire to become a "published" author?

Plenty of 'newbie' writers take their work seriously. Many of them, in fact. It's not until they embark on the depressingly long & frustrating path to publication that problems arise.

When I started writing, there was nothing available outside of Writer's Market. Shocking as it may seem, a lot of writers still use it & Writer's Digest. They may also look online for publishers who might want their books. After querying & getting rejected by big houses, they start to look at the little ones.

That's where sharks like PA & failures like Highland find their victims: People who write, but have not yet found a publisher for their work. And if you are a writer, hunting for that elusive contract, you just might decide that these people are the answer to your dreams.

Sure, eventually the survivors come here. And I stress survivor because after a truly negative publishing experience it takes a lot to pick yourself back up & try again.

But to blame people for wanting to be published is cruel and not a little sanctimonious.
 

Sheryl Nantus

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one of the problems, as I see it, is that there's really no established body to keep writers appraised of what's Good and what's Not Good about small publishers.

sure, there's P&E - but after that there's no organization that I can think of that you can actually approach and ask if there's been any complaints about a small pub - usually the only time word gets out is AFTER there's been problems. Be it unpaid royalties, books hopelessly late on being released and authors being treated like irate children when they ask the simplest questions.

heck, if I didn't frequent some of the blogs I'd hear nothing about these presses - that and here, of course. And for the new author looking for a small press it's not going to be their first choice to hit the romance blogs and listen to the chatter.

you *can* take the business seriously and still end up with a bad publisher.

:(
 

veinglory

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In terms of erotic romance epublishers there is my little organisation. ERECsite.com Highland isn't on our list because they aren't an erotic romance press.
 

Jersey Chick

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Part of the problem is also that there are certain organizations out there, who might have the ability to do something, but choose not to - such as RWA. When it comes to small presses and e-presses, RWA are too busy trying to find ways to keep the small-and -e- press authors from acheiving their PAN status and keep them out of the club just enough.

I don't know about the professional organizations in for genres, though.
 

AnneMarble

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Part of the problem is also that there are certain organizations out there, who might have the ability to do something, but choose not to - such as RWA. When it comes to small presses and e-presses, RWA are too busy trying to find ways to keep the small-and -e- press authors from acheiving their PAN status and keep them out of the club just enough.

I don't know about the professional organizations in for genres, though.
For e-publishers, there's EPIC, but a lot of people are frustrated with the organization. IIRC the main frustration seems to be that both publishers and authors are allowed to join as members, so that makes it unlikely they will report problems with publishers as those publishers are probably dues-paying members.
 

Jersey Chick

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I see a huge conflict of interest where EPIC is concerned regarding publishers and authors as members. I joined last year, in the wake of the whole RWA revision of "recognized" publisher status - but I don't know I'll be renewing my membership this year. Seems to me the only thing I get out of it is six million emails a day on their loops. And that's in addition to all of the other loops I belong to... :D

I've been reading the comments over at Dear Author re Highland - and all I can say is egads.
 

cethklein

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Why does anyone submit a work to a press that they don't know anything about?

I presume that your work is a romance, and that it's already been rejected by Harlequin?

Thank you so I'm not alone on this. Wouldn't it make more sense to ask about a publisher/agent's legitimacy BEFORE submitting to them? This forum is filled with "[insert publisher/agent] accepted my work, are they legit?"

Would you drink a big gulp of wine and THEN test it to see if it's poisoned?

And just for reference ccomer this isn't really directed at you, just a musing on people in general.
 

smlgr8

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Unfortunately I know the woman mentioned throughout the discussion on Dear Author from a RWA chapter. She was...interesting. Thankfully she left that chapter, but it's quite sad to see what's going on there.
 

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When will writers get smart, and stop keeping these crappy amateur publishers in business?
I don't see it happening anytime soon because they excel at one thing; preying upon the author's dire wish to be published. Their websites are filled with enticing morsels of entitlement, as in, "You deserve to be published, and we're here to give you your chance!" They pitch to the author's ego and give erroneous information like, "Why of course we have distribution! Ingram and Baker & Taylor distribute all our titles."

Sometimes their hearts are in the right place, but they know so little that they never see bankruptcy looming around the corner. They go down and take all their authors with them. And that is when you see the newest batch of converts flood to AW.

That's why I applaud Amazon's newest decision. I know I'm in the minority here and am prepared to weather the snowballs. But looking at it from my side of the desk, I see that they're trying to weed out all the skank publishers who don't deserve to be in business because of their inferior work. If they insist on remaining in business, they'll have to pay the price in order to remain on Amazon's good side. Many, like the small POD and large ones like PA, will refuse and their titles will no longer be available on Amazon. Is that such a bad thing? These POD's and vanity presses have ruined the book market, and something has to give. You have to be tough to be in this business, and you either do well enough to play the game properly, or you pay the price to play.
 
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cethklein

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You're not alone, I also agree with Amazon. It seems like a hard pill to swallow, I mean their new policy, but I think it's for the better and no one will benefit from it more in the long run than the authors themselves. It will force these so-called "publishers" out of business.

I also agree that these people prey on egos. The problem is there is a seemingly endless supply of "writers" to feed them. After all, there are a limited number of dedicated writers. But dedication and skill aren't things they care about. As long as you pay it doesn't matter how good you are.

In a perfect world, all writers would spend a solid week looknig over P&E before ever submitting but that won't happen. All anyone can do is try to educate as many people as possible.
 

Elizabeth George's book Write Away