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Meadowhawk Press

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ChaosTitan

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I searched the forums, but couldn't find anything on this publisher except two threads for open anthology submissions.

Meadowhawk Press has a pretty website and an impressive mission statement (speculative fiction, yay!), but they look new. Brand spanking new, with zero actual publications so far.

Does anyone know anything about this press? They make no mention of pay rates for novels, which makes me nervous (anthologies are a flat rate, plus a single author's copy).

Besides the obvious caveats in going with a brand new publisher, are their any marks in the plus column? Advantages in working with a first time publisher?
 

Christine N.

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I've looked at MeadowHawk. I would ask if their books are actually 'in stores' and not just orderable. It's a problem many small publishers have.

Just drop them an e-mail and see what they say. Most places won't lie to you.
 

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I agree with Christine about dropping them an e-mail inquiring about payments for novels (maybe see if you can get a sample contract to read over). But as pretty as the site is it's a bit worrying that they confuse Baker & Taylor and Ingram's as distributors. Those two companies will warehouse the books and fulfill orders but they won't be sending people out to sell the books to bookstores. I'd ask if Meadowhawk has a sales person.
 

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It does look nice, but then again it also looks a little scary. Maybe they are just brand spankin' new, and that's what has the antenna up ? I'd be curious to hear what they say, if you do email them. No harm in asking a question or two :)
 

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Wow, they work fast. A polite, speedy reply to my questions:

*We pay an advance on royalties to our authors, except for our current anthology which is a flat rate advance.

*We are currently reading for our first season of novels, and we are
ecstatic with the talent we are receiving--including authors who are
published by 'big houses' (but appreciate the creative freedom and
attention received from a small press).

*Royalty rates are commensurate with legitimate small press, and are
paid against the list price of the books (beware of publishers who quote you high royalty rates against 'net').

*We are currently talking to different distributors who specialize in
small presses. Whether we use one of them, or distribute through Ingram
you will be able to purchase our books in brick and mortar, as well as
at Amazon.com

Thoughts?
 

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Let 'em learn on other people's books. In a few years, if they're still around, you can think about submitting to them.
 

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I was curious and took a look.

Meadowhawk Press is looking for short stories about ordinary people (in our world as we know it, or in a world created by you) who cross paths with the extraordinary. The connection may be slight, or not. Let your characters tell the story for you.

Seems to me I read that paragraph during the last couple of days in connection with a publisher's contest. Sorry, can't remember where but someone else may know.
 

waylander

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Carmy said:
I was curious and took a look.

Meadowhawk Press is looking for short stories about ordinary people (in our world as we know it, or in a world created by you) who cross paths with the extraordinary. The connection may be slight, or not. Let your characters tell the story for you.

Seems to me I read that paragraph during the last couple of days in connection with a publisher's contest. Sorry, can't remember where but someone else may know.

In the Fantasy Anthologies thread in Sharing Leads right here on AW
 

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HapiSofi said:
Let 'em learn on other people's books. In a few years, if they're still around, you can think about submitting to them.
I agree. No matter how well-intentioned a brand new small press is, it's safest to wait until they've proved they can take books all the way through the production process. This also allows you to assess things like physical quality, whether they're taking steps to get their books reviewed in professional venues, what sort of publicity they're doing. Given the high rate of attrition among small publishers, many of which go out of business before ever actually publishing anything, it makes sense to take a "wait and see" approach.

- Victoria
 

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I found a small press in Oregon two years ago that I was pretty excited about subbing to when I was ready - then when I was ready, they'd vanished!
 

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victoriastrauss said:
I agree. No matter how well-intentioned a brand new small press is, it's safest to wait until they've proved they can take books all the way through the production process. This also allows you to assess things like physical quality, whether they're taking steps to get their books reviewed in professional venues, what sort of publicity they're doing. Given the high rate of attrition among small publishers, many of which go out of business before ever actually publishing anything, it makes sense to take a "wait and see" approach.

Really, one of the big NY houses would be better.

Oh, sorry, you can't get in there without a top agent?

Well, get a good agent.

Oh, you tried that already?

Well, then, one of the established and respected small presses.

Oh, can't get a foot in the door there, either? In fact, most of them are now closed to submissions for the next six months?

Now it's time for someone to chime in and chant that circular mantra that all good books get published, and, by definition, if your book isn't getting published that's because it isn't good enough. (When you try to refute this--for example, by citing Knowles' classic A Separate Peace, which was turned down everywhere in the US and eventually found a publisher in the UK--these folks will reply, yes, but it did get published. It's impossible to argue with circular logic.) Therefore, it's time to rework your novel, or spiff up your query letter, or...

Certainly waiting and seeing is a good policy, especially if you have a book where you think you have plenty of other options. On the other hand:

Slushpile: I recently read a claim (inaccurate, I believe) that you self-published A Time to Kill. Can you please set the record straight on how your novel came to be published by Wynwood Press?

Grisham: Wynwood Press was a new, small unknown publishing company in New York in 1989. Everybody else had passed on A Time to Kill, Wynwood Press took the gamble. Printed 5,000 hardback copies, and we couldn’t give them away. Wynwood later went bankrupt, or out of business.

Now, you can read that as an attack on going with a small, start-up press, or as an endorsement. It was certainly a deal Grisham was happy to take at the time.

In hindsight, one can say, "But he should have waited, published the blockbuster The Firm, and then sold A Time to Kill." Sure, but there was no real reason to believe The Firm was going to create such fireworks:

Grisham: A bootlegged copy of the manuscript of The Firm was misappropriated from some unknown place in New York, either the offices of a publisher or an agent. It surfaced in Hollywood, where some guy ran 25 copies, said he was my agent, and sent them to all of the major production companies. He got nervous when they started making offers. At some point he called my agent in New York, and the rest is history. It was an unbelievably lucky break, and I had nothing to do with it.

My point is, a good book that can't get published isn't that valuable of a resource. I would have been disinclined to take my debut novel to a start-up press, but I'm not sure it's always such a terrible idea if the other option is letting it sit in a drawer.
 

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I don't think you can compare the publishing scene in 1989 with what it is today. There's a big difference to how much time and capital it took to set up a small press 18 years ago and these days. I think the pertinent point in Victoria's post is:

Given the high rate of attrition among small publishers, many of which go out of business before ever actually publishing anything, it makes sense to take a "wait and see" approach.

(Emphasis mine.)

Wynwood at least had the captial to publish 5,000 hard cover copies. Just casually browsing the B&B forum will turn up several publishers that imploded because the owners didn't have a solid business plan and the money to actually produce POD books, let alone offset print 5,000 hard covers.
 

Popeyesays

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UrsusMinor said:
Really, one of the big NY houses would be better.

Oh, sorry, you can't get in there without a top agent?

Well, get a good agent.

Oh, you tried that already?

Well, then, one of the established and respected small presses.

Oh, can't get a foot in the door there, either? In fact, most of them are now closed to submissions for the next six months?

Now it's time for someone to chime in and chant that circular mantra that all good books get published, and, by definition, if your book isn't getting published that's because it isn't good enough. (When you try to refute this--for example, by citing Knowles' classic A Separate Peace, which was turned down everywhere in the US and eventually found a publisher in the UK--these folks will reply, yes, but it did get published. It's impossible to argue with circular logic.) Therefore, it's time to rework your novel, or spiff up your query letter, or...

Certainly waiting and seeing is a good policy, especially if you have a book where you think you have plenty of other options. On the other hand:

Slushpile: I recently read a claim (inaccurate, I believe) that you self-published A Time to Kill. Can you please set the record straight on how your novel came to be published by Wynwood Press?

Grisham: Wynwood Press was a new, small unknown publishing company in New York in 1989. Everybody else had passed on A Time to Kill, Wynwood Press took the gamble. Printed 5,000 hardback copies, and we couldn’t give them away. Wynwood later went bankrupt, or out of business.

Now, you can read that as an attack on going with a small, start-up press, or as an endorsement. It was certainly a deal Grisham was happy to take at the time.

In hindsight, one can say, "But he should have waited, published the blockbuster The Firm, and then sold A Time to Kill." Sure, but there was no real reason to believe The Firm was going to create such fireworks:

Grisham: A bootlegged copy of the manuscript of The Firm was misappropriated from some unknown place in New York, either the offices of a publisher or an agent. It surfaced in Hollywood, where some guy ran 25 copies, said he was my agent, and sent them to all of the major production companies. He got nervous when they started making offers. At some point he called my agent in New York, and the rest is history. It was an unbelievably lucky break, and I had nothing to do with it.

My point is, a good book that can't get published isn't that valuable of a resource. I would have been disinclined to take my debut novel to a start-up press, but I'm not sure it's always such a terrible idea if the other option is letting it sit in a drawer.

I sold to a small, even micro-publisher and the company flushed the toilet once too often and went under. They did so before my book came out, so there really was nothing lost in the process. The book is being looked at by two other small houses right now, and if I get an offer that is reasonable in tone, I'll probably do it. Why? Because most small publishers are closed to submissions these days, many have been for more than a year. Right now about two thirds of those houses are not accepting submissions.

Yes, a publishable book WILL find a publisher. There's only one way to ensure that it won't and that is to not submit.

To continue submitting means you have to take some chances along the way.

Regards,
Scott
 

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UrsusMinor said:
My point is, a good book that can't get published isn't that valuable of a resource. I would have been disinclined to take my debut novel to a start-up press, but I'm not sure it's always such a terrible idea if the other option is letting it sit in a drawer.
And if the startup press goes bust before publishing it, it'll go right back into the drawer--with the added possibility that it may be a while before you can take it out again, because the publisher vanished without giving you a reversion letter.

From a writer's perspective, it just makes good business sense to make sure that a publisher is actually able to publish before sending in a manuscript. You seem to have interpreted my comment as yet another snooty Big Publishing Is Better piece of propaganda, but it was simply intended to remind people that there's a high failure rate among new small presses, and that a cautious approach now can avoid grief later on.

- Victoria
 

Popeyesays

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victoriastrauss said:
And if the startup press goes bust before publishing it, it'll go right back into the drawer--with the added possibility that it may be a while before you can take it out again, because the publisher vanished without giving you a reversion letter.

From a writer's perspective, it just makes good business sense to make sure that a publisher is actually able to publish before sending in a manuscript. You seem to have interpreted my comment as yet another snooty Big Publishing Is Better piece of propaganda, but it was simply intended to remind people that there's a high failure rate among new small presses, and that a cautious approach now can avoid grief later on.

- Victoria

There certainly is, and I got a chunk taken out of my butt in the process. Best I can tell, the advice Victoria offers is very sound. The choices are fewer now than they were, and if that is as true as it appears to be, then one must investigate very thoroughly any choice one is offered. And if that is also true, then one must be willing to experiment with different methods. Some will be terribly bad, but that doesn't mean that another won't be offer different opportunities. The only constant is constant change after all, one must stay nible to stay on one's feet.

Regards,
Scott
 

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victoriastrauss said:
And if the startup press goes bust before publishing it, it'll go right back into the drawer--with the added possibility that it may be a while before you can take it out again, because the publisher vanished without giving you a reversion letter.

If there are people out there facing this choice:

Should I go with a well-established press, or bet on an unknown?

then I'd certainly advise them to settle on the former.

If, on the other hand, the choice is:

Should I go with a start-up press, or leave my book unpublished?

then I would say the answer is not quite as clear.
 

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roach said:
I don't think you can compare the publishing scene in 1989 with what it is today...Wynwood at least had the captial to publish 5,000 hard cover copies. Just casually browsing the B&B forum will turn up several publishers that imploded because the owners didn't have a solid business plan and the money to actually produce POD books, let alone offset print 5,000 hard covers.

The choices aren't 1) blindly sign up with the first new publiisher you notice OR 2) avoid any new publisher.

Believe it or not, not every new publisher out there is going POD. Some are still going offset and hardcover--yes, just like in 1989!--and the economics dictates runs on the order of several thousand copies. This is one of the factors someone might consider in deciding whether to go with a small start-up press. There are many others.

I don't disagree with cautioning people about the downsides of going with a start-up press, but I think that advising everyone that no one should ever go with a start-up press until the press has become established is like saying to agents that they should never take on an unpublished author. If no one ever gives a start-up press their first book, then there will never again be a new press.
 

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Popeyesays said:
Yes, a publishable book WILL find a publisher

Sigh.

This is no offense to you personally--in fact, I'm not even sure you mean what's usually meant by it in these parts--but I am so tired of this preposterous and circular argument that I'm going to start a thread on it over in Writing Novels--after which I will probably be flamed right off these boards.

The funny thing is, I almost never hear this except at AbsoluteWrite. Agents, editors, plenty of established and high-profile novelists all disagree, and claim there are many fine books, even great books, that have fallen through the publishing industry's cracks.

But here at AbsoluteWrite, good always prevails--and when it doesn't, well, it must not have been good after all, right? Otherwise it would have prevailed, right?
 
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Popeyesays

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UrsusMinor said:
Sigh.

This is no offense to you personally--in fact, I'm not even sure you mean what's usually meant by it in these parts--but I am so tired of this preposterous and circular argument that I'm going to start a thread on it over in Writing Novels--after which I will probably be flamed right off these boards.

The funny thing is, I almost never hear this except at AbsoluteWrite. Agents, editors, plenty of established and high-profile novelists all disagree, and claim there are many fine books, even great books, that have fallen through the publishing industry's cracks.

But here at AbsoluteWrite, good always prevails--and when it doesn't, well, it must not have been good after all, right? Otherwise it would have prevailed, right?

I mean it differently than I have often heard it, for sure. I still believe it valid. It may require taking a less than optimum offer in the end.

It also might be that my first novel isn't as publishable as I might like to think, of course. The only way to fail in the end is to quit trying. The only thing worse than failing in the end is not to keep working on other projects. So hang in there in both sense of the phrase.

Regards,
Scott
 

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My basis, when looking at small publishers is generally do they have the ability to get my book on store shelves? If so, which ones?

That's key to me. I may be old fashioned, but I still don't quite see ebooks as counting, likewise a lot of POD stuff (I know, I know all the statistics for ebook publishers. Like I said, old fashioned.)

I'm not sure why we're getting heated over this, I don't see where it's worth getting grumpy or put out about. With a small publisher, I think I would demand a great deal more communication between myself and the publisher. I wouldn't just send my novel off blindly and do nothing beyond that. A dialogue is important.

As for All Good Books Find Homes...well, I suppose I mostly agree, but I'm mostly an optimist. If you write a book which is good and publishable (oddly enough, not always the same thing) then evne if all the big publishers turn it down, there are little publishers, there are independent publishers, and there are agents. That's a huge list of people to submit to, and a huge list of people who will then submit your book to other people. Statistically, it's more probable you can SELL a good and publishable book than not.
 

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They are actually publishing one of my YA novels. I do believe mine will be their first book out (hopefully in stores and libraries.) They seem honest and sincere. I have at least two SF books coming this year from more established publishers; but this was a fantasy book and neither of the publishers I deal with wanted to deal with it. So I figured, it's worth giving MH a shot. I took a chance on a small publisher with one of my humor books and it sold 10,000 copies in one year. (Of course another one didn't do so well.)

I'll let you know how this turns out. I don't mind being a “pioneer” even if I have to take an arrow or two.

So far they have accepted feedback from my agent without complaint. They pay a decent advance. They sent me a really nice Holiday present. They understand how the process works. They seem to have some capitial behind them to make it work.

Yes, it may not work out, but it won't be for lack of their trying. I also tend to be an optomist.
 
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