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Kingston Publishing Company

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

Lorelai Watson

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What do we know AbsoluteWrite community? So far, here's what I know:

I know these guys must be rather new and very small. They don't seem to have very many titles out and few authors, and as a matter of fact, both members of the staff are also publishing their own books. While I haven't yet gotten to read the book I downloaded from one of their authors, I do like the quality of the covers the on-staff designer has created. I was offered a contract with them, which looks very fair and pretty awesome. Here are a couple of things that give me pause, and I was wondering what you guys thought.

- BIGGEST issue: Within exactly forty-seven minutes of submitting, I got a contract offer. Maybe I'm just that damn good (no), but even my not-so-publishing-savvy brain is saying there's no way they made a proper decision in less than an hour on my 104k manuscript. Maybe they read excerpts and thought it was okay enough to work with. I don't know. What do y'all think? (I'm insecure and need the validation that someone actually wants my book, not pad their author list.)

- They're literally working out of a house. Personally, it doesn't bother me. Everyone's got to start somewhere. I just don't want my first-ever publisher dropping me months later because a home-based venture failed. Plenty of larger publishing houses have failed.
 
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mrsmig

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Well, whoever edited that website doesn't know how to use apostrophes properly.

If I was offered a contract within an hour of submitting my manuscript, I would run far, far away.
 

lizmonster

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If I was offered a contract within an hour of submitting my manuscript, I would run far, far away.

I have to agree this is a red flag. Of course we all want our work to be desired, but I'd be leery that any place willing to commit to pubbing my work when they haven't thoroughly read it isn't going to be investing that much.

Another red flag, for me at least, is the use of "other publishers are mean!" as a selling point. It smacks of emotional manipulation. A solid publisher shouldn't have to manipulate me into working for them. They should be writing me a check, and they should be publishing me well enough that we both make money.

In your shoes I'd be asking what they could do for me that I couldn't do for myself. And I'd get that contract checked out with a microscope.

Of course you want someone to love your work. I have no doubt your work is lovable! But don't sell it short by jumping without looking.
 

Sage

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As someone who was offered representation by an agent who clearly didn't read my book (I had suspicions based on speed of reply), I say that if you feel like there isn't a good chance that they read your novel, don't go with them. Even if they were an established publishing house with no other red flags, it is hard to believe that they read enough of your book to know if they really like it. Said agent referenced items in my book that were in the first few chapters and covered by the query, but nothing beyond my initial querying materials when offering. When returning 2 weeks later, after "rereading," he wanted me to gut my book, removing out the main love interest altogether (in a book with "love" in the title, that would basically be THE book). This house might truly end up loving your book, but at this time, they can't say that. Think of when the last time you read a 100K book in 47 minutes. I was lucky that signing with that agent did me no harm except waste my time. Signing with a publisher gives up your first publication rights. Make sure they're a good publisher and that they aren't going to harm your book.
 

Sage

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They are offering "traditional" publisher services as well as self-publishing assistance services.
 

Davy The First

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Seems to be a new scam model on the go lately - the sorta legit scam artist. As long as they can also provide the 'traditional' services, they are covered - by law - but not by the likes of P&Ed.

A contract to publish offered in 50 mins in response to a 1k short story submission would make me a little nervous, nevermind 100k.
 

Gillhoughly

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The only reason to reply to a submission in so short a time is to send a rejection mail. I can read 1-5 pages and know if the writer has something unpublishable. Ditto for my agent. If it's good, I'm going to read ALL of it before asking for more. Too many times the writer perfected the first pages only to drop the ball later.

They say there is no cost by publishing through them, but I would not trust any of that. They're offering plenty of packages for self-publishing and that's all stuff you can do for yourself.

Picked a writer at random and read a sample on Amazon. RUN AWAY. There is no significant editing and it is through Kingston. First page FAIL!

If you want a legit, advance-paying publisher who can get you into stores, go into a bookstore, look up books similar to yours, and note the publisher's name. You will not find Kingston there.
 
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Lorelai Watson

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This is exactly what I was thinking. I don't want to give up an opportunity, but I also don't want to sign with the first person to make an offer for the wrong reasons.
 

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