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Mystic Publishers / RMJ Publications / NewLink Publishing

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

Khazarkhum

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This is...I don't know what, frankly.

Maxwell Drake of ImagineInterprises claims to have been published by them. But when you explore their site, you find...this.http://www.rmjpublications.com/about/about.htm

That's so cute! I passed Latin, too. Yes, pretty much the entire site is in Latin.

And look at their snail mail address: 123 Main Street
City, ST 00000

I don't know if that's a placeholder from a template or more of their nonsense.
 

Khazarkhum

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What you see is the stream of text web designers use when they're testing a layout and they don't have actual content yet. It's called Lorem ipsum (for rather obvious reasons).

Ah! That explains that.

Still doesn't explain anything about the company, though.
 

victoriastrauss

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The short version: Mystic Publishers is a self-publishing service.

So it's not entirely surprising to find this, on RMJ Publications' homepage (my bolding):

At RMJ Publications our Goal Is to seek out new writers and through co operative publishing get their name and work out in front of the public.

"Co-operative publishing" is a euphemism for vanity publishing.

- Victoria
 

Feidb

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I have a short story in the anthology First Voyage, which is the first book by RMJ, and I didn't have to pay a dime. With vanity presses, I always thought you had to pay for everything.

I personally know the people behind RMJ, and it is not what I'd call a vanity press. They are just starting out and have not made outrageous promises as some other startup publishers have. They just need time to get things going. I haven't checked the web site in a while but I know they are rennovating it.

Give then time to get established.
 

Old Hack

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I have a short story in the anthology First Voyage, which is the first book by RMJ, and I didn't have to pay a dime. With vanity presses, I always thought you had to pay for everything.

Sorry, Feidb. I found this on their website:

The Basic Publishing Package is a one-stop, author-centered, manuscript-to-print bundle, designed to give authors the basic publishing services . . . . at a cost effective price!

That bit about the "cost effective price" makes it clear that they're charging to publish. They might not have charged you, but they're charging other people. And as far as I'm concerned, if a publisher charges anyone to publish them, then they're a vanity press.
 

Old Hack

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And here, under the title, "Overview of Services":

The Basic Publishing Package is a one-stop, author-centered, manuscript-to-ready-to-print bundle, designed to give authors the basic publishing services . . . . at a cost effective price! Are you new to the publishing world? Then this is the perfect package to walk you through the process from start to finish! (Printing fees depend on book size and initial order)

From the time you make the decision to contact Mystic Publishers to the moment you rip open that first box of books hot off the press, you’ll find the staff has only one goal here – delivering unparalleled service at an unheard of price, resulting in unbelievable client satisfaction!

Professional A la Carte Services provide authors with the opportunity to pick and choose exactly where they need help and when. Mystic Publishers contracts with a number of highly-skilled craftsmen (and craftswomen) that consistently exceed both our own high standards and that of our clients. Qualified, experienced professionals have been carefully scrutinized to offer our authors only the best of the best.

Basic Publishing Package: Fee: $595.00

Bolding mine. It's a vanity press. No doubt about it at all.
 

CaoPaux

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To clarify: Mystic is front-end vanity and RMJ is back-end.

RMJ Publications Offers:

Authors selected for this collection will have the opportunity to purchase books at $10.00 per copy. The retail price of this book will be set between $17.95 to $19.95 depending on the size of the book. Authors may sell their copies at the retail price to obtain their compensation.

RMJ Publications will place the collection online, with Amazon.com, and with selected distributors to generate book sales. A short author-supplied bio will be listed to recognize their contribution to the project. RMJ Publications will also handle coordinating distribution to other outlets.
 

Feidb

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I just talked to Jo Wilkins and she asked me to post her phone number here, so any of you that have questions or need an explanation of what they are about can call her and get the skinny.

It is: 1-866-869-7842.
 

Old Hack

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Feidb, Mystic and RMJ make it quite clear on their websites that they are pay-to-publish outfits, and therefore vanity publishers. I don't need to phone anyone to work that out.
 

Feidb

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To me, a vanity publisher is different from a self-publisher because a vanity press will print any old crap you turn in, regardless of quality, besides the fact you have to pay for everything.

As for self-publishing, though you still have to pay for most of it, at least a good self-publishing house will at least put a little effort into the quality of the work, as with editing, printing, etc.

I know it's a fine line but...

I am NEVER going to pay to get published, and I didn't have to with RMJ.

However, for some, self-publishing may be the way to go. They just need to make sure the company they are paying is doing it right. I don't belive a vanity publisher would do that.

Maybe I'm wrong, but that's how I see things.
 

victoriastrauss

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Even if there's some attention to quality (and many vanity publishers do make this claim), odds are the bar is still set way too low to ensure consistent quality overall. So that's really not a point in their favor, IMO.

- Victoria
 

CaoPaux

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M'kay...Mystic Publishers' site is gone, and RMJ's site now says it's "the new arm of NewLink Publishing", which I presume is this: http://www.newlinkpublishing.com/Default.aspx

RMJ's site is also still mostly place-holder text, but states they will open for submissions June 2010.

We shall see.
 

lee5

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Jo Wilkins???

Has Anyone ever heard of Jo Wilkins?
I met her at a book fair here in Tucson and she offered to look over my kids book but I'm having trouble following up with her.
The following is her e-mail address, maybe it is familiar to someone.

[email protected]


Any input would be appreciated

Lee
 

MysteryRiter

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Is this the same publisher? <snipped>
 
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HistorySleuth

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They're not a commercial publisher. It's a vanity press. You can read their contract at their website, http://mysticpublishers.com (like in the email you cited.) You pay them to print your books, plus their "package" fee. So despite their "if we accept your manuscript" crap, obviously they are going to take anything, since you pay them. I'm glad you came to AW first before agreeing to anything. Your manuscript deserves better ... like a publisher paying you. :)

I see for example one of their packages:
Mystic Publishers basic publishing package includes:
1. Formatting manuscript (MS) into print ready document
2. Supplying the MS with its own ISBN number and graphic for cover
3. Obtaining Copyright from Library of Congress for MS
4. Transmission of author supplied cover art to printer
5. Up to three (3) galleys in either electronic, CD, or hard copy (paper)
6. Free posting on Mystic Publishers website as a new release
7. Listing with Bowker
8. Quotes from 2 printers for comparison
9. Instructions for listing on Amazon or with the distributor of your choice.
Fee: $625.00
Mystic Publishers basic publicity packages include:
1. Mystic Publishers will help the author create personalized postcards, bookmarks,
press releases, and other creative ideas to publicize your book and announce its release
(generated by our staff graphic artist and saved in PDF format for you to print.)
2. Instructions on how to secure book signing events
Fee: $255.00
(See a la carte pricing for reorder pricing of publicity items)
I'm sure others will be along to pick apart the "contract." (My mouse seems to be frozen so I can't click back to the website.)
 
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Momento Mori

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HistorySleuth:
You can read their contract at their website, http://mysticpublishers.com (like in the email you cited.)

The contract's little more than an order form really, but there are a number of red flags (above and beyond the fact that they're out and out charging you for publishing services of little discernible value):

Mystic Publishing Contract:
All rights to the aforementioned manuscript are retained by the author.

Someone qualified in Nevada/US law will be able to clarify, but if you're entering into a contract to publish, you have to grant the publisher some kind of right to publish (usually an exclusive licence).

There's no time limit on the contract or an option to terminate and the way I read it, once you sign it you're stuck with it as there's no cooling off period.

Seems to me that you basically pay anything up to $2000 for the privilege of having a measly 150 books sitting in your garage. Not a great deal IMO.

If you're interested in self publishing, CreateSpace or Lulu give you more control for less money.

MM
 

CaoPaux

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M'kay, Mystic Publishers site is back, but has been stripped of most pages. RMJ Publications is gone. NewLink remains, un-updated.