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Plain View Press

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

Sandra Gail

Has anyone worked with Plain View Press?
I queried to them (compatable mission statement, lovely covers) and received a request for a full. However, at that point, (it was not mentioned on the website,) they said that they work cooperatively and that authors have to find their own funding -- which are POD through Lightning Source.
Is this a "vanity" press. Something else? Are there other questions I should ask?
Thanks in advance, Sandra Gail
 

zizban

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If a publisher wants you to find your own funding it either means a) the publisher has no money to publish or market their books b) Is a vanity press. Either way, I'd stay away from them.
 

Savery

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Plain View Press offered to publish my ms. of 65 poems. Sounded good. Susan Bright, editor/publisher sent a contract and a "budget" of $1,190. No thank you. I can get a better subsidy publisher for less money if I want to go that route, and I don't. All comments welcome here. Please give a holler. I need help. Robert
 

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Thanks for that heads-up, Savery.

Have you looked into publishing your poems individually in magazines that are paying markets?
 

ania

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Do those "co-operative" presses pay royalties?
 

roseangel

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Do those "co-operative" presses pay royalties?

Does it matter?
They are asking for money from you in the first place, money should flow to the author, not from the author.
Right, Uncle Jim?
 

CaoPaux

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Do those "co-operative" presses pay royalties?
Usually, but the author needs to sit down and calculate how many books s/he must sell into order to break even. And consider how s/he will be able to sell that many books without any marketing support from the publisher.
 

ania

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Does it matter?
They are asking for money from you in the first place, money should flow to the author, not from the author.
Right, Uncle Jim?

It matterss because it is easier to dupe people if they do. Like, look, we need your assistance to publish, we are a cooperative after all and you will be our lovely member, AND you will be getting royalties quarterly, like a regular author!
 

ania

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Usually, but the author needs to sit down and calculate how many books s/he must sell into order to break even. And consider how s/he will be able to sell that many books without any marketing support from the publisher.

Yeah, this is what I thought. Thanks. This way it doesn't feel like a vanity press to some who like the idea of being in a cooperative, but in fact it is.
 

Momento Mori

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At the end of the day, the telling point is whether you can find this Press's books on the shelves of your local bookstore or whether you've heard of any of these authors generally - particularly on the poetry circuit, which tends to be close-knit with a lot of word-of-mouth about good places to submit to.

It sounds to me that this is a group of people who formed a co-operative because they shared political beliefs and have since expanded out. That doesn't mean that they're bad people or it's a bad idea (if you're in with the group and share their views then it may influence your decision), but if your aim is to make money from your work, then you shouldn't be asked to put up money up front especially if the royalty structure, lack of distribution, lack of marketing means that the only person who will be selling those books is you.

MM
 

plainviewpress

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Has anyone worked with Plain View Press?
I queried to them (compatable mission statement, lovely covers) and received a request for a full. However, at that point, (it was not mentioned on the website,) they said that they work cooperatively and that authors have to find their own funding -- which are POD through Lightning Source.
Is this a "vanity" press. Something else? Are there other questions I should ask?
Thanks in advance, Sandra Gail
Plain View Press is an indepndent, literary publishing house, 35 years old, has published many eminent writers in America and around the world. We are issue-based meaning we look for eloquent writing which explores important world issues -- gender, peace and justice, environmental sense, personal growth. Since most funding for literature in America and elsewhere is local or regional, we work with writers once we have accepted a manuscript, to find funding. We collaborate with our writers at every stage of production and distribution.

About making money -- one thing that makes us different from many publishers is that writers can sell their own books and keep all the income from those sales. In the publishing world where discounts are steep -- 55% when books go from our distributor to places like Amazon.com -- and costs are high for shipping, static for printing and returns from major retailers can freeze profits on a new title indefinately -- this is an inventive way to be sure writers can actually make money on their work. It gets everyone else out of the way.

Pls go to our website, write to me, look at our catalog if you have more questions.
 

M.R.J. Le Blanc

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So let me see if I understand this.....

Writer sells their book through you. Writer keeps sales. And you make your money from the funding that you're asking your writers to help you find? Why not just do what other publishers successfully do and sell a writer's book to the buying public?
 

plainviewpress

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These folks? http://www.plainviewpress.net/



What do they bring to the table that you couldn't get by going directly to Lightning Source yourself?

Keep looking.

This is an important question because it reveals a very deep misunderstanding of the difference between being part of a 35-year-old literary press and self publishing.

If a writer is facile with InDesign, can get thru about 20 pages of very technical instructions about how to set up files, transport them, set up a publisher account, etc. then -- yes you can do this yourself. We'd been publishing for 20 plus years before we started using Lightning Source as our printer and it took a fair amount of new learning to figure out the process, and continues to be a challenge to make beautiful books consistently with a medium that has specific limitations.

Still this process -- if you do it yourself -- leaves you with a self published book -- a pod book -- which lots of stores won't carry and which no one helps you move out into the world.

Plain View Press is a community of hundreds of writers all over the US and world who help each other set up events and who gather for local and regional fairs and events. The first step with us is editorial. Our standards are very high. We get as many as 5 queries a day and publish less than 60 titles a year.

And because we are independent of any one funding source or network of govt funding souces -- we are beholding to no one and can publish work that really speaks to the kind of changes that society must address for life to be sustained on the planet.

If readers have other questions about Plain View Press please to to our website: http://www.plainviewpress.net. You can email questions to me from there where I will see them more quickly since I don't come to this forum very often.

Susan Bright
 

jennontheisland

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And because we are independent of any one funding source or network of govt funding souces -- we are beholding to no one and can publish work that really speaks to the kind of changes that society must address for life to be sustained on the planet.
...

Susan Bright
Publishers get government funding? That's news to me.
 

M.R.J. Le Blanc

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A 35-year old literary press that needs funding to keep itself afloat as opposed to selling books to the public like other publishers have been doing for years?

Something's off here.
 

plainviewpress

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Plain View Press: An Independent Literary Publishing House

Please go to the Plain View Press website to learn more about our press and write to me from that website, since I don't come to this forum very often, if you have questions.

Contemporary literary publishing, we have been doing this for 35 years, has gone through many changes from the first Small Press Revolution in the sixties which was basically an open flood gate of poetry, protest writing, basically everything made possible by Xerox technology and those weird smelling ditto machines that are still used in come school settings. Suddenly, anyone could publish a book.

Plain View Press started in 1975 -- the name meaning that people could here tell the truth about their lives. It is a publishing house started and edited by a poet, me -- I have written 19 books of poetry. Our literary standards are high. We have published more than 300 books and the work therein of more than 400 writers. We are highly selective, publish about 60 books a year at the moment, and get between 3 and 5 queries a day.

A self published writer can be anyone who makes a xerox copy of their work, prints it out in chapbook form on a home printer, etc. This is someone who simply wants to share their work with friends. This is a personal action.

A vanity publisher is a business which charges a writer to make a book. This is a commercial venture. Vanity publishers don't have editorial standards. They don't usually (tho Xlibrs and IUniverse are exceptions) help a person distribute their work.

Plain View Press isn't a business it is a cultural phenomenon -- a movement, one that is highly literary, a gathering of artists and writers who create important and beautiful word.

I hope this helps clear up some of the questions I see here. I can't always figure out how to reply to individual posts -- so maybe this general one will help.

Onward
Susan Bright
 

KTC

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you're barking up the wrong tree here, susan. people here are too savvy.
 
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the addster

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But KTC, it's a cultural phenomenon, a movement,............wait a minute, isn't that a song from Flashdance? Or was that Fame? Or possibly on a Partridge Family album?
 

M.R.J. Le Blanc

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Susan, some choose to go the self-pub route after much research and are quite happy with the results. Some are savvy enough to make it work for them, some are niche writers. It's not always about 'someone who simply wants to share their work with friends'. Nice assumption, though.
 

plainviewpress

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For those who wonder how literary publishing has been funded in America, you can look at the National Endowment for The Arts, the National Endowment for the humanities, under "funding for literature", or look at CLMP's grantee list. Look at the arts organizations funded in your community. Check your local universities for literary mags. Every funding source has guidelines, mission statements. They rarely say -- "we want to publish literature that challenges the status quo." Private foundations sometimes will, like Puffin.

Literary presses that have survived in America have done so mainly thru public funding, or by attaching themselves to universities.

There is a good deal of misinformation on this list -- which I suppose is natural for this kind of forum -- but I hope most readers will accept my comments for what they are -- an attempt to clarify misunderstandings on the list.

We believe writers should learn about the world of publishing -- it's complex and changes fast. What we do is literary, issue based work -- a world away from commercial publishing -- which itself is wrought with huge changes in how they deal with literary writers, all writers. Random House has become one of the largest self publishers in the world -- I Universe. No standards. It's weird.

Our work travels around the world person to person, not as the result of advertising campaigns. Tho we do have a book at the moment on the 10 best list for both Publisher's Weekly and O. Magazine.


Many blessings
Susan Bright, poet/publisher
Plain View Press
 

Bubastes

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Please take another look at KTC's post. AW is not your typical writers' forum. The people here understand the publishing industry much better than I think you realize.
 

plainviewpress

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i haz gatsy pootz?????

this is the person concerned about spelling? this list is a trip.
 

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