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Olympia Publishers

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Writerbear

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Hi, I'm new here. I did scroll through the archives, but didn't find anything so far about Olympia Publishers. Not to be confused with Olympia Press (if you search on-line the other one will come up) and I did find one of their books for sale on amazon.co.uk after exhaustive searching...

But are they legit? Anyone know anything?

Thanks!
 

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They're not someone I've ever heard of, although I've been involved in UK publishing for about 18 years now. Olympia Publishing does not appear in my copy of the Writers' Handbook.


When someone else here asked about them (very recently--within the last week, I think) I had a bit of a Google and the only publications of theirs I could find were erotica, and a few mentions of them on a message board which dealt with stuff which seemed a bit hotter than mere erotica to me. And I'm not known for my prudishness....
 

Writerbear

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Que re Olympia Publishers

Ah, not to be confused with Olympia Press, who publishes the smut stuff.

Well, the problem is that part of their website is said to be under reconstruction, so there is no list of books or authors available. So I've done some web searches, and everything from traveling to Olympia in the US to Olympia Press to every publisher under the sun comes up. I was amazed to find anything doing that kind of search.

That' why I thought I'd ask - they aren't in my copy of the Writer's Handbook or Writer's Market, but they're listed on Firstwriter. That doesn't validate them as a publisher. The fact that I could find one of their books on Amazon seemed to suggest they were at least a legitimate publisher...but it never hurts to be careful in this day and age.
 

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All that being on Amazon means is that the book has an ISBN. And getting an ISBN means paying $250 for a block of ten numbers. The book doesn't need to exist to have an ISBN and be listed.
 

Writerbear

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Not exactly heartening, is it? Makes it hard to separate the wheat from the chaff.
 

VickyH

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http://www.olympiapublishers.com


I submitted a synposis to this company and was subsequently asked to submit the complete manuscript which I did. After 6 weeks I contacted them to see what the position was and received an email with an offer of a contract, conditional upon me paying them over £2000.00. Vanity publishing at it's worst. However there is no mention of this in the submission guidelines on their website.
 

ZoeStead

I'm impressed with Olympia Publishers

First of all, Olympia Publishers should NOT be mixed up with Olympia Press.

I have just had my first novel published by Olympia Publishers and they have been professional from the moment I submitted my synopsis to the second I recieved my actual books.

They have a proper marketing dept, have registered the ISBN, sent off review copies, talked to newspapers, websites, sent off copies to be kept by the British Library, everything. They did a thorough proofing which took some time (it was certainly no bodge job) and when I recieved my copies I was amazed at the quality.

The thing to remember is, they are not some giant publishing firm who will cater to your every whim. As a new young author, they took a chance on me and I have worked hard ALONGSIDE them to produce my book. Okay this means I have had to put in a bit of legwork myself, but I understand that to get out there and get noticed, that's something that has to be done.

Many famous authors have taken the subsidy route over the self publishing one, as so many out there ARE dodgy and just out for making a quick buck, but that is NOT the case with Olympia. The staff are friendly and helpful, and most of all HONEST. They negotiated on the contract and I got a good deal, especially with the royalties!

This is where you can easily work out if a publisher is not legit or not. If they hide things, don't send you a list of previous publications, have badly worded or confusing contarcts- none of which Olympia did. They showed me their previous book lists, were happy for me to phone them up and kept me well informed throughout the publishing process of exactly what stage my book was at.

Also, unlike most self publishing firms, I haven't been left with 500 books in my garage and a whole lot of marketing to do- that's their job and they are doing it well. All they have asked is for me to make general bookstore appearances, as most authors tend to do, and contact anyone I think will help with the sales of the book.

I will be stocked at Waterstones, Blackwells, Amazon (even the worldwide amazon sites) etc etc...

So I would 100% reccomend Olympia. They have been great to me, helpful, polite, professional and HONEST. My book looks good and I am really proud of what has been achieved.

I hope this clears some questions up.
If anyone wants to take a look, my book can be found at the link below.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/190551316X/?tag=absowrit-21
 

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I get flags on this.

3/ WHAT IS REQUIRED FOR A SUCCESSFUL BOOK

The Manuscript itself having been thoroughly copy edited, proofed and checked
Author participation in Promotion and Marketing (see also P & M SECTION)
Appropriate Classification for bookshop use, Amazon.co.uk, etc
An attractive, meaningful, well-designed book cover
Good production of the publication with
Eye-catching cover
Good blurb describing the book
Specialist input from the publisher to all the above

So who does all this? The author? The publisher? Amd what is "specialist input"?
 

victoriastrauss

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VickyH, I've sent you a private message.

Zoe, there are many reasons why vanity publishing is not a good idea for a new writer looking to establish a career (you can find a full discussion of those reasons here.) If Olympia told you that it is, or tried to convince you that many well-known writers got their start this way (this is a standard ploy used by dishonest vanity publishers, by the way), I'm afraid that they sold you a bill of goods.

A vanity publisher that doesn't disclose on its website or in its promotional literature that authors have to pay for publication is not honest. If it lies (by omission) about this, how can you trust it to tell you the truth about other things?

One common way that dishonest vanity publishers mislead writers is by telling them their books will be available in major bookstores. However, they don't define what "available" actually means, in hopes that writers will assume it means their books will be stocked by those stores. It doesn't. "Available" just means "orderable." Major bookstores will be able to order your book if someone goes in and asks for it--but they won't put it on their shelves. You will not be stocked in Waterstones, etc. There are a number of reasons for this, including high cover prices (the print on demand process used by most vanity publishers forces higher-than-normal cover prices), nonreturnability (bookstores expect to be able to return books for full credit; vanity publishers rarely allow this), no pre-publication reviews (booksellers make decisions to buy in part based on favorable reviews in advance of publication; vanity publishers don't typically send out advance reading copies), little or no publicity (press releases and bulk email campaigns don't count), and the poor reputation of vanity publishers generally (since they accept books based not on quality, but on who is willing to pay).

Sorry to be blunt. A vanity publisher will as willingly accept a good book as a bad one, so this is not a comment on your skill as an author. However, for the reasons above, publishing with a vanity publisher does not provide a measure of your viability as an author. For that, you need to try to market your next novel to reputable agents and/or publishers that will pay you.

- Victoria
 

EngineerTiger

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Zoe, first of all, congratulations on a happy experience with your publisher.

Second, you mention having to do some legwork to help market your book. Did some of that "legwork" require any kind of financial support on your part (e.g., fees for evaluations, critiques, copying, paying an artist for the cover, etc.)?
 

ZoeStead

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Hookay :D
Let me do some explaining.

Victora: Olympia did not try and con me into going with them, or promice me that I would have an amazing career or anything of the sort. This book is a personal thing. I have done this for me, and if only one person (who isn't immediate family) ever buys it and says they like it, then I will be the happiest person alive, honestly. Of course, I would love some exposure as a writer, but I see that all as a bonus. Saying that, Olympia have been very good with the marketing, and I have already had a review and quote from Tom Holt, been featured on a number of websites, have been invited to attend signings and will be provided with posters, bookmarks and other promo materials for two exhibitions I am booked for in London and Bristol. Review copies have been sent out to newspapers, local interested parties, etc, so I'm pleased at the way this has gone so far. Still, my main point is that I'm 23, this is my first book and I actually have something - which I can hold- that I have created. For me, this is amazing, and I know there are thousands of writers out there already, but it is a special feeling, and for a first attempt, I'm quite pleased and happy that this is the end result.

I can only speak from my experiences and all I am saying is that Olympia have been very honest with me. It is down to the individual if they want to sign that contract, and for me, it suited me down to the ground. It was what I wanted. I was simply replying to a thread which asked for input, so I thought I would oblige. If someone doesn't like the way Olympia operate, the answer is simple, find someone else and don't sign anything.

However, thank you for your advice, I fully understand where you are coming from. You DO have to be careful with vainity publishers, I totally agree and your concern is very kind. I had my contract checked professionally, and I was never in any doubt of wording etc, and I would advise any author to make sure their contract is 100% legit too.
I don't quite know what else to say... It has been a positive experience for me, but I know that out there are companies who would use a new author and play up to their lack of experience. I recieved everything I wanted from this book deal, so I'm happy.
Thanks for taking the time to comment, it's much appreciated.


Engineer Tiger:
Thank you for your comment too :D

If you want to talk about my experiences in more detail, e-mail/pm me and I will be happy to oblige. As for the legwork, all I really had to do was provide a list of my own contacts, people who might be interested in review copies, so that my publisher could send them out. I am also helping with a bit of marketing by popping into local bookstores and libraries and making myself known, as a personal touch can help. As I said, this is all new to me, and Olympia is not like Penguin or Harper Collins and I knew from the start I wouldn't have thousands ploughed into my advertising, and I actually ENJOY going round and talking to people about my book and drumming up a bit more exposure in my local town.

I guess it all depends what you want. I did the cover illustration for my book, but they would have designed it had I not been artistically minded. They did all the layout and text and copyediting etc themselves. I got sent my m/s four times to check it was all okay, and got plenty of chances to change anything I didn't like, and add my own input, so I guess that was good too.

I hope that answers a few questions. Anything else, message me, and I will do my best to help.


Zizban:
All I can sugegst is give Olympia a phone call.
Talk to one of their staff about your concerns, I am sure you will get some answers and then you can make your own choices about them :D

I really hope that helps everyone.
Whatever choices you make, be sensible- that's my only additional advice.

Zoe
-x-
 

VickyH

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Zoe,

May I ask, did Olympia ask you for money up front, as they did me? £2,400.00 is a lot of money by anyone's standard, especially if you don't get to see the contract first. Olympia gave me a time period in which to respond to their letter, and handover the cash. It was at that stage I would have received the contract. Having worked in the legal profession for a number of years, I took my own advice and declined as handing over money before you read the fine print, is exceedingly risky.
 

Momento Mori

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Hi, ZoeStead - I have a couple of questions, if you wouldn't mind answering it here. How did you find Olympia Publishing? I've done a Google search but can only find a listing for their stand at the London Book Fair (I'm presuming that's one of the exhibitions you're attending - if so, good luck it's a bear pit there!) and they don't seem to have a huge web presence. I'm not saying that's automatically a bad thing, but given that some of the other posters here have said that Olympia isn't listed in the usual handbooks, I'm just curious.

Also (and I'm not attacking or rushing to judgment) - did you try other publishers beforehand? What was it about Olympic that stuck out from the other avenues available? I'm just curious as to whether you'd given the agent/big commercial publisher route a try first.

MM
 

ZoeStead

Ah

Hey VickyH,

I would have done exactly the same.
That sounds nothing like my experience!!!

I was able to look over the contract, had as much time as I wanted to, to decide what I wanted to do, was sent a breakdown of the publishing process and had lots of my questions explained via letter and over the phone. I was also sent a list of other publications they had produced so I could see if I liked the look of their other books.

I never felt under any pressure at all, and as for contracts, as I said, I got it looked over, and also rang Olympia up on a few points which they happily explained and clarified. There were no demands for money in exhange for contracts. That would have been red flags all the way for me!

I am not one for discussing finance openly and I do not know if Olympia has different ways of dealing with different types of books, so instead of me saying something that may not be their policy, my best suggestion would be for anyone else to ring up. Find out persoanlly what they can offer you.

Obviously you were sensible, I certainly would never have signed up for anything like that either! My contarct was signed about a year ago now...maybe things have changed since then. I can only, and honestly, tell you what happened to me. It might be different now. :S

Zoe
-x-
 

ZoeStead

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Eeep!
I've started off a long thread it seems. All I wanted to do was say I had a good publishing experience and now I've opened a whole new can of worms lol!

Momento Mori:
Yeah I did the publisher and agent thing for about two years- it took me 11 months to recieve a reply from Harper Collins regarding my three chapters and synopsis, which is understandable as they have many many people sending them things, but it can be a bit dishearteneing. Still I kept going, and then found Olympia because I was told about them by a friend. I did look in the Writers and Artists Handbook and you're right, they aren't in there, so I wrote a letter to them, asking about them and if they'd be interested if I sent some things in for them to take a look at. It was really that simple. I worked in a Bookstore at the time, and I was able to find out a bit more about them. They seemed helpful, friendly and open, so that's why I stuck with them, to be honest.

There are quite a few publishers with the name Olympia, and I don't know if it's them at the book fair, I don't think it is, as Olympia Publishing House is someone completely different!
If you want their website it's here: www.olympiapublishers.com
They keep putting new stuff up all the time, so I don't think it's quite finished yet. Anyway, hope that helps!

Zoe
-x-
 

slowjames

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My dealings with them were like Vicky's, ie after telling me they liked the book, they asked for £3200 as an "author contribution"...we never communicated again. You can self-publish for £500 these days if what you want is your book in print...
 

Vikibee

I just had a brief encounter with Olympia Publishers. I wouldnt trust them.
 

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