• We’re running on a new server at a new host with a new forum software called XenForo. Some things are different. Some things may not work as expected. I am working on it as fast as I can. Please be patient. Please read this post.
  • I'm going to be working on the forums for a while. Things may be wonky. I may turn the forums off without notice. Consider this a bit of a public beta test as we figure out the new software and make adjustments. But you've been much missed, and we can't wait to see you again!

Musa Publishing

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

BarbaraSheridan

*insert catchy phrase here*
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Dec 9, 2005
Messages
675
Reaction score
0
Location
Steeler Country
Website
www.barbarasheridan.com
Haven't seen these guys listed in the big sticky thread so I thought I'd post 'em up.


Musa Publishing
So far the site directs to their blog

In the Welcome to Musa post they say "The founders of Musa have worked in publishing for a long time. We are writers, editors, artists, designers, financial officers. We've seen the insides of the industry, both the good and the bad."

I didn't notice any"About Us" section though so, no idea of who the folks behind the company are.

The historical lover in me does like that they plan to fact check historical subs (as per their submission guidelines).
 

DreamWeaver

Shakespearean Fool
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Apr 11, 2005
Messages
2,916
Reaction score
0
At Musa Publishing, the author comes first. Period.

I'd feel more hopeful if the reader came first. Well, time will tell. It's a good sign that the blog is grammatically correct and reasonably well-written.
 

Unimportant

but appreciated anyway...
Super Member
Registered
Joined
May 8, 2005
Messages
5,644
Reaction score
0
Location
Aotearoa
They are, apparently, also starting a spec fic magazine ("Penumbra") paying pro rates.
 

mscelina

Teh doommobile, drivin' rite by you
Requiescat In Pace
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jan 18, 2007
Messages
20,006
Reaction score
0
Location
Going shopping with Soccer Mom and Bubastes for fu
Yes, they are.

Musa Submissions for novels, novellas and some short stories (which will be published alone as royalty-paying ebooks) can go to [email protected].

Submissions for Penumbra, the spec fic magazine paying pro rates need to go to [email protected].

The about page will be up soon, from what I understand, as will the websites for both the publisher and the magazine.
 

ShyWriter

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 21, 2011
Messages
95
Reaction score
0
Location
Getting Coffee
I can't find the names of anyone involved with the company on the website or blog which makes me very uncomfortable,
I kind of like to know who I'm sending my stuff to, ya know?
 

BarbaraSheridan

*insert catchy phrase here*
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Dec 9, 2005
Messages
675
Reaction score
0
Location
Steeler Country
Website
www.barbarasheridan.com
The bios are now on the website...

Unfortunately they don't really tell authors the facts we need to know--what is the hands on experience the folks in charge have.

I would assume the Financial Director will handle accounting and payment of royalties. I'd like to know they've been the bookkeeper/owner/partner in a successful business for X years or worked as a certified accountant.

The Promotions Director has a lot of fluff in her bio but only a vague line that concerns her new position with Musa: She is not new to the promotional world of publishing.

The Art Director gets the gold star from me. That bio is all about the experience that fits the job description. This is the model they should use to revamp the About Us page.

The Director of Editorial Production (can't we say simply Senior Editor? Editor-in-chief?) seems to have no practical training or experience as an editor for a publishing house.

I'm not trying to nitpick. You got a big brownie point from me for the historicals fact checking bit, but it's in everyone's best interests to showcase the publishing/real world training and experience that supports the new company.
 
Last edited:

mscelina

Teh doommobile, drivin' rite by you
Requiescat In Pace
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jan 18, 2007
Messages
20,006
Reaction score
0
Location
Going shopping with Soccer Mom and Bubastes for fu
No, you can nitpick--that's what you need to do. I don't mind at all. But to ease your minds a bit, after over a decade in the business as an editor, senior editor and managing editor, including building a historical imprint from the ground up and publishing over 40 well-researched, well-edited and well-written historical novels in the past year, on top of my editorial duties for the publisher as a whole, I have a little practical experience in the field of editing.

When you add in the two years of managing editorial experience, including dealing with royalties, contracts, release schedules, editorial assignments, working with the art department to create an aesthetic to brand a line, dealing with an...ahem!...indifferent publisher and creating a management team to address the problems with a failing e-publisher, and then posting a 40% increase of sales in the first month, following that up with an additional 23% increase in sales in the following month et cetera and so forth I feel pretty confident that I *might* know what I'm doing. I certainly hope so.

However, that assessment is one for you and other authors to make independently. :) I will also state that the contract for Musa has been vetted by experienced individuals throughout the publishing industry--several of whom are regulars in this particular forum and other watchdog sites--in their roles as author advocates, agents, and attorneys to make certain we've created one of the most author friendly contracts available in small press.

We're trying to accomplish a lot in a short period of time. And as the webmistress didn't get my bio until this morning, I'm thinking that perhaps the placeholder statement might be taken as just that for the overnight hours. As you can imagine, with our ezine paying pro rates the submissions email has been my primary concern for the past week. Fortunately, I am currently winning the battle of the inbox, so I am coordinating the construction of our sites and information more aggressively.

We've been creating Musa slowly over the past month or so, intending to build and launch it properly once we felt our previous employer had been stablized and our replacements hired and trained. After a disastrous difference of business plans with the former press, we escalated our plans so we could provide a home for any author who might be stranded by that publisher. But our team is put together, we are completing our database and building our websites, we are ahead of schedule on our releases and for the inaugural issue of the ezine. Musa is starting out with an established team, including an interior book designer, that is focused upon providing the highest quality electronic product we can create while keeping the author informed and integrated into all the processes involved with their books. And while I feel confident that we have all the pieces in place, I would--as I have done previously in this forum with other fledgling publishers--state that a new small press is always a reason for concern for authors. That's why we are establishing a policy of full transparency for the writer--so they'll always know exactly where they, and we, stand and won't be trapped in a morass of uncertainty about the relative strengths or stability of their publisher.

I haven't spent years on my apprenticeship in B&BC for nothing. The most common mistakes of small publishers I've duly noted, and we made a concerted effort to address those issues at Musa BEFORE we set our business model. I intend to succeed, as does the rest of my team, at forging our own path around those pitfalls in advance. Hopefully, we'll soon be able to tell if we've done so.

Any other questions anyone has about Musa, I'll be happy to answer either here or privately off loop at editorATmusapublishing.com. Our blog is up, and we're adding pertinent information as we go. Including the bios on the About Page instead of placeholders. In the upcoming week, we expect to have a sample of our interior book design, sample book covers, contract information, further royalty guidelines and more added to the blog, as well as getting our database and websites live.

And we'll go from there.

Thanks, Barbara, for bringing these issues to B&BC. The one mistake I am determined NOT to make is the one most fledgling pubs make in here--getting defensive about questioning posts or being cute about what we're trying to do. I, personally, don't have time for that. I will always, however, find time to respond to questions in this thread.

Hope this helps--
 

BarbaraSheridan

*insert catchy phrase here*
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Dec 9, 2005
Messages
675
Reaction score
0
Location
Steeler Country
Website
www.barbarasheridan.com
Our blog is up, and we're adding pertinent information as we go. Including the bios on the About Page instead of placeholders. In the upcoming week, we expect to have a sample of our interior book design, sample book covers, contract information, further royalty guidelines and more added to the blog, as well as getting our database and websites live.

And we'll go from there.

I look forward to seeing the interior design samples. That's a fantastic idea and once you don't usually see. Good luck to you and the team and thank you for giving us more info. :)
 

mscelina

Teh doommobile, drivin' rite by you
Requiescat In Pace
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jan 18, 2007
Messages
20,006
Reaction score
0
Location
Going shopping with Soccer Mom and Bubastes for fu
No problem. Any time. :) Our interior book designer does beautiful work. The body of each book in PDF and print forms, will use Open Type, Pro Fonts--not a Word program--and will be typeset using InDesign. Our ebooks are not simply converted and then tweaked for formatting. They are typeset individually after the line edits.

I'm really excited about this particular part of our process; this isn't something my books ever had, and the difference in product is amazing. And, to be quite honest, it makes our books ready to go to print without additional work. By putting the work in from the get go, we've streamlined the process for ourselves and have created a higher quality product.

If we stay on schedule, and we're working ahead of schedule so I'm pretty optimistic, we'll have a sample book design for download on our website, which should go live in the next 24-48 hours.
 

happywritermom

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Oct 22, 2008
Messages
1,043
Reaction score
0
It sounds like an exciting endeavour. I wish you all the best and lots of success!
 

happywritermom

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Oct 22, 2008
Messages
1,043
Reaction score
0
Love your Royalties section, by the way. It's nice to have those comparisions and explanations all in one place.
 

mscelina

Teh doommobile, drivin' rite by you
Requiescat In Pace
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jan 18, 2007
Messages
20,006
Reaction score
0
Location
Going shopping with Soccer Mom and Bubastes for fu
We thought so. There's no reason for any publisher to be coy about what they're getting paid and how much goes to the author. Sure, an author can figure it out--and usually does after hard experience teaches them how to do it. But, we're not about any of that. Besides, an author with the ability to track sales can also see what marketing and promotional activities are working for them and what doesn't.

And if I know I'm getting a check for X amount in 45 days, then I can budget around that and my husband is happy. And I get my new boots. :)
 

mscelina

Teh doommobile, drivin' rite by you
Requiescat In Pace
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jan 18, 2007
Messages
20,006
Reaction score
0
Location
Going shopping with Soccer Mom and Bubastes for fu
We ask for the following:
  • Printed Trade Paperback (Perfect Bound) Edition
  • eBook Edition (readable-text digital format provided in electronic download, disk, CD/CD-ROM, E-Book Reader or similar media of presentation, excluding motion picture/television/video/DVD rights)
Any and all other unnamed rights remain with the Author.
for a period of 3 years, with a 90 day option to renew at the end of the contract period if the author and publisher agree.
 

Old Hack

Such a nasty woman
Super Moderator
Absolute Sage
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jun 12, 2005
Messages
22,454
Reaction score
0
Location
In chaos
Celina, I wonder if you made a mistake here:

We ask for the following:
  • Printed Trade Paperback (Perfect Bound) Edition
  • eBook Edition (readable-text digital format provided in electronic download, disk, CD/CD-ROM, E-Book Reader or similar media of presentation, excluding motion picture/television/video/DVD rights)
Any and all other unnamed rights remain with the Author.
for a period of 3 years, with a 90 day option to renew at the end of the contract period if the author and publisher agree.

Might it be possible that you meant this?

We ask for the following for a period of 3 years, with a 90 day option to renew at the end of the contract period if the author and publisher agree.:
  • Printed Trade Paperback (Perfect Bound) Edition
  • eBook Edition (readable-text digital format provided in electronic download, disk, CD/CD-ROM, E-Book Reader or similar media of presentation, excluding motion picture/television/video/DVD rights)
Any and all other unnamed rights remain with the Author.
 

Unimportant

but appreciated anyway...
Super Member
Registered
Joined
May 8, 2005
Messages
5,644
Reaction score
0
Location
Aotearoa
Just to clarify -- those are the rights Penumbra is buying for short fiction to be published in their ezine?
 

mscelina

Teh doommobile, drivin' rite by you
Requiescat In Pace
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jan 18, 2007
Messages
20,006
Reaction score
0
Location
Going shopping with Soccer Mom and Bubastes for fu
No. Those are for Musa Publishing.

Penumbra asks for six months exclusive rights for first electronic rights, non-exlusive archival rights, and optional rights for a Best of or year-end anthology or collection. Penumbra will look at *some* rights reverted material, but not that often.