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Penumbra Publishing

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

veinglory

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"For instance, if your romance story does not end with two romantically involved main characters (a man and a woman) getting together ‘happily ever after’ or with the expectation of staying together in a committed relationship, then we will not list it as a romance when other categories such as women’s fiction or alternative lifestyle relationship stories might appear to be a better fit."

Urk.
 

Komnena

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Has anyone here ever had any dealings with Penumbra Publishing?
 

HapiSofi

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That is some truly bad typography on their book covers. They'd look 100% better if it were all changed to Helvetica or Gill Sans or Optima.

If Penumbra was started by a frustrated writer who couldn't get published, I'll bet one of the reasons for rejection was unnecessary exposition that ran way too long.
 

G. Applejack

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Bolding is mine.


I. PROFESSIONALISM: Authors may have many doubts, fears, and questions about publishing. We hope this information is of help, and are willing to answer via email other questions not covered here. We do not, however, give out personal background information or private phone numbers and other contact information of our staff and do not consider such requests a legitimate part of investigating our business for consideration as a potential publisher.


IF WE FEEL YOUR MANUSCRIPT IS ACCEPTABLE FOR PUBLISHING, you will receive an acceptance email with a request for a PAYPAL ACCOUNT email address for royalty payments and the last four digits of your SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER for tax reporting purposes.

Um, is that normal? I would feel very uncomfortable signing my name/social security to any contract where the other party feels they need to keep their name/identity hidden. This is a business transaction, not a super secret club.

And then the more cynical part of me wants to know why exactly they are not putting out their name and info. What are they hiding?
 

Terie

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...last four digits of your SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER for tax reporting purposes.

Um, is that normal? I would feel very uncomfortable signing my name/social security to any contract where the other party feels they need to keep their name/identity hidden. This is a business transaction, not a super secret club.

And then the more cynical part of me wants to know why exactly they are not putting out their name and info. What are they hiding?

It's 100% completely normal -- and actually required by law -- for a publisher to have a contracted writer's SSN/TIN for tax reporting purposes; they're required to report monies paid to writers to the IRS. Having the last four digits of an SSN/TIN is completely useless.
 

G. Applejack

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It's 100% completely normal -- and actually required by law -- for a publisher to have a contracted writer's SSN/TIN for tax reporting purposes; they're required to report monies paid to writers to the IRS. Having the last four digits of an SSN/TIN is completely useless.

Sorry, let me clarify. I don't find the SSN/TIN objectionable. It makes sense for tax purposes. What I find odd is that I would be expected to give out my most personal information and they won't even give out their first/last name.

Is that normal practice? Because if it is, my discomfort with the publishing industry just shot up, like, 1000%.
 
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PenumbraPublishing

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It's 100% completely normal -- and actually required by law -- for a publisher to have a contracted writer's SSN/TIN for tax reporting purposes; they're required to report monies paid to writers to the IRS. Having the last four digits of an SSN/TIN is completely useless.

In 2010 the IRS deemed that W2s sent for tax reporting purposes could legally contain just the last four digits of the Social Security Number. For protection of PII (personally identifiable information) transmitted electronically, we use only the last four digits of the SSN. It is useful for the intended purpose - income tax reporting of royalties paid.
 

PenumbraPublishing

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That is some truly bad typography on their book covers. They'd look 100% better if it were all changed to Helvetica or Gill Sans or Optima.

If Penumbra was started by a frustrated writer who couldn't get published, I'll bet one of the reasons for rejection was unnecessary exposition that ran way too long.

We would not find 'unnecessary exposition that ran way too long' if people didn't have all these darn questions...

The level of knowledge about publishing possessed by a given author can vary greatly. Unfortunately, a be-all-tell-all resource to answer most expected questions can get tedious in a hurry. Fortunately for you and many other authors, there's no need to wade throught that exposition because apparently you already know all that.

Thank you for the critique of our web site and services. We are always looking for ways to improve.
 

PenumbraPublishing

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Bolding is mine.


Um, is that normal? I would feel very uncomfortable signing my name/social security to any contract where the other party feels they need to keep their name/identity hidden. This is a business transaction, not a super secret club.

And then the more cynical part of me wants to know why exactly they are not putting out their name and info. What are they hiding?


There is a simple reason for this. We get a lot of phishing, spamming, and other objectionable requests for personal information because we openly advertise contact information for authors who wish to contact us through the submission process. Unfortunately we also get a lot of submission contacts from people with an agenda other than getting their writing published. For instance, we've had people ask for an advance before the contract is even a consideration, simply because they are looking for money. And when we refuse to skype or talk on the phone about it, we receive threatening and psychotic responses. There are unfortunately a lot of people out there who live in a different reality, which makes ours difficult to deal with. If you look at any publisher site you will not find personal phone numbers and addresses of editors or other staff. Nobody gives out that kind of personal information ... for the same reasons listed above, to avoid needless harassment.
 

PenumbraPublishing

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Wow, did anyone read their entire first page? The part about POD and their reference to P&E is... *shakes head*

There were other things that just left me shaking my head in disbelief, but the POD part, whoa.

It is interesting to note that Silver Publishing, (your publisher apparently), started out as a paid-services publisher. (You can shake your head some more now.) They appear to be doing very well for themselves as part of a publishing distribution consortium.
 

thothguard51

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In 2010 the IRS deemed that W2s sent for tax reporting purposes could legally contain just the last four digits of the Social Security Number. For protection of PII (personally identifiable information) transmitted electronically, we use only the last four digits of the SSN. It is useful for the intended purpose - income tax reporting of royalties paid.

How does the last four digits identify a person when more than 1 person can have the last four digits?
 

thothguard51

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We would not find 'unnecessary exposition that ran way too long' if people didn't have all these darn questions...

This is an excuse.

The level of knowledge about publishing possessed by a given author can vary greatly. Unfortunately, a be-all-tell-all resource to answer most expected questions can get tedious in a hurry. Fortunately for you and many other authors, there's no need to wade throught that exposition because apparently you already know all that.

This is true. The level of knowledge will vary with different authors, just as it will between different editors and publishers. You might also want to use spell checker from time to time...

A writer who only has self publishing experience is going to have a different view of commercial publishing. The same can be said of a publisher or editor that has only worked in the self publishing or vanity industry. So what is the point?

As a representative of your publisher, I might suggest you keep in mind your snarkiness is not winning any support. Be polite and answer any questions that come along in a professional manner, unless you do not care about PP's image...
 

G. Applejack

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There is a simple reason for this. We get a lot of phishing, spamming, and other objectionable requests for personal information because we openly advertise contact information for authors who wish to contact us through the submission process. Unfortunately we also get a lot of submission contacts from people with an agenda other than getting their writing published. For instance, we've had people ask for an advance before the contract is even a consideration, simply because they are looking for money. And when we refuse to skype or talk on the phone about it, we receive threatening and psychotic responses. There are unfortunately a lot of people out there who live in a different reality, which makes ours difficult to deal with. If you look at any publisher site you will not find personal phone numbers and addresses of editors or other staff. Nobody gives out that kind of personal information ... for the same reasons listed above, to avoid needless harassment.


The impression I gained from your site is that you don't share who you are at all, but expect your authors to give out their personal info while signing a legal and binding contract. And I've seen many publishing sites with biographies -- first and last names along with a list of professional achievements. Ways to show that they are knowledgeable within the publishing industry.

Yes there are scammers and wackadoos all over the net, but if I were sign with you, for example, my name and short biography would be featured as an author along with my book. I would run the risk you feel you don't need to take.
 

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In 2010 the IRS deemed that W2s sent for tax reporting purposes could legally contain just the last four digits of the Social Security Number. For protection of PII (personally identifiable information) transmitted electronically, we use only the last four digits of the SSN. It is useful for the intended purpose - income tax reporting of royalties paid.

How does the last four digits identify a person when more than 1 person can have the last four digits?

Actually, that's a tad misleading. I work for an agency that uses Social Security numbers on documents it sends out and masks the first five digits for security purposes. Since these documents go out in window envelopes, the masking was put in place to prevent identity theft; let's face it, how many hundreds, if not thousands, of combinations are there for the first five digits left to guess if they're masked with asterisks? Whenever we get a phone call from somebody for research, we always ask for the full Social Security number. Our records have the full number recorded because it'd be too cumbersome to create a search based on the last four digits.
 
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thothguard51

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Same with where I work, we mask all but the last four digits and only a few in the company can pull up the full number for security reasons.

I also know from experience, you report using only the last four digits and the IRS can reject...
 

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