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[Publisher] Cedar Fort, Inc.

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Becky Black

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Just for info:

I saw in a thread on the NaNoWriMo boards that someone at least claiming to represent this publisher has been approaching NaNo participants though the PM system on that site, asking to see more of their novels. If the person really does represent Cedar Fort then this seems like a pretty odd way for a legitimate publisher to behave.

The thread about it is here: http://nanowrimo.org/forums/novel-draft-aftercare/threads/159320
 

Donna Pudick

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FYI: If you publish more than one book with this company, according to their contract, they can deduct losses on your older books from the royalties on your new books, and they do it. They calculate royalties per author, not per book. It's legal, and they are non-negotiable on this issue. When Gloria questioned them about it, they hung up on her.

They also have a tendency to contact agented authors on the sly, after publishing the first book, asking them for a second book, without going through the agent.
 
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MorganS

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I got a contract from them and I'm really excited about it! Living in Utah, I see their books everywhere. I know their contracts might not be the best, but they have great distribution. And for me, it's never been about money, but continuing to learn and grow and progress on this epic writing journey.

I hope they'll work with my agent. I think it would be an honor to work with them!
 

Zionide

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They didn't drop the author because he was gay. They knew he was gay when they signed him. There was a disagreement on the author bio, tempers flared on both sides, and the contract was dropped. I've read the email chain and think they could have worked things out if everyone had kept a level head. Neither side was willing to budge. They are a small company that relies on getting their books in local bookstores and Cedar Fort was concerned the wording in the bio would make these bookstores refuse to carry the book. (They published The Reluctant Blogger which has a gay character positively portrayed in it. They aren't bad people.)

Oh, really? Good people scream at their business associates about their genitalia? Only one side here had tempers flare, and it wasn't the author; he was remarkably collected given Cedar Fort's lack of professionalism (also mentioned by other posters here) and downright offensive treatment. At least the attention got the author a much better deal from a MUCH better publisher.

Still, I can't imagine why anyone would be interested in working with someone who behaves in this manner, no matter how desperate one is to be published.
 

Sage

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Got a #pitmad request from them for a Christmas novel. Christmas novels are pretty hard to sell anywhere, so that was a pleasant surprise. Was afraid that despite being a Christmas novel, it'd be too secular for them, but now I don't think that's necessarily problem.

Not so sure about submitting, though, after reading this thread. There are positives and negatives here :\
 

tomfoolery

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How did you make out with your contract and your book with them?
 

Sage

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Do you have details about why, MaryH?
 

Sage

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Got an e-mail from Cedar Fort today, "Re: publishing your book." It was a mass e-mail sent to anyone who submitted to them in the past 2 years (ETA: Although the e-mail says "couple years" it clearly goes back further than that, since my #Pitmad hit for them was back in 2015). Lo and behold, although they passed on your manuscript, they're willing to help you self-publish it "affordably" through their "imprint" Bridgewood Publishing. Sounds like they've gone the vanity publishing route.

I think the subject of the e-mail is particularly cruel, as it appears to be a response to an e-mail the author sent out, and it's perfectly likely that many authors would be still subbing a novel to publishers and would get their hopes up.
 
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Sage

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Cedar Fort has no mention of Bridgewood Publishing on their website, nor can I find any other information on it. The only place this person is listed as being an employee is on Linked In and in her Facebook profile. So I've sent a message to Cedar Fort even verifying the existence of this self-publishing imprint. I don't know how else this person would have gotten e-mails of authors who had submitted to them before, but the whole thing is very odd
 

Sage

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More information.

I received an answer from the same person (but in response to my e-mail through the "contact us" form on CF's website, so I'm more confident it's legitimately from the publisher). According to her, they are working on the website for this new venture, which is why there's no mention of it on the company's website yet.

She also gave me a pricing list. $3500 minimum is what they're asking for a 60k or less book; more expensive if the book is bigger. What strikes me as most interesting is that they're marketing specifically as "self-publishing." My knowledge of vanity publishing is that usually they pretend that you're getting a real publisher, just paying them instead of them paying you. This one is saying, "Yes, you're self-publishing, but we'll give you all these things for your money, including getting to say you're part of our imprint."
 

LizzieBoo

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That's vanity publishing (we'll publish you, but you gotta pay. No self-respecting self-publishing company would ask for money from you. They only profit when you profit. I'm a hybrid author--with two small presses and have self-published two books.) What a shame. I've submitted to Cedar Fort. Curious to see what happens.
 

EMaree

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My knowledge of vanity publishing is that usually they pretend that you're getting a real publisher, just paying them instead of them paying you. This one is saying, "Yes, you're self-publishing, but we'll give you all these things for your money, including getting to say you're part of our imprint."

I've seen things like this increasingly on a few writing Facebook groups. In a similar way to how most vanity publishers prey on people who want to be published by a "real publisher", some vanity pubs are positioning themselves as "self publishers" to prey on people who've heard self-publishing is the hot new thing and the best way to get your book out there.

These organisations calling themselves self-publishers always fail to mention that most self-publishers do all of this themselves, for a far, far cheaper price. Not every writer understands that self-publishing doesn't usually involve any sort of publishing company presence.

Just like always, they're preying on people who don't have the knowledge and experience to recognise their BS. Ugh, it's just skeeviness all the way down. :(

How disappointing to see a publisher with a decent start and good distribution go all to pot like this.
 
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triceretops

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Yah. Bad small press publishing can be ruinous to your career. If it's a mom and pop sized business, it's way too easy to dig into the royalty bank when emergencies come up or the temptation is just tool great. To their ilk, publishing is not a love or dedication. It's a fun venture for extra cash.
 

LaraWrites

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Hello fellow writers!
I decided to share my experience with Cedar Fort here with the sole hope that it educates and warns a few of you.
I was positively delighted when offered a contract with Cedar Fort. I find them to be a very good publisher with good distribution (for their print books anyway). My work was signed to be published both electronically and in print and I was happy to sign with them and excited at the opportunity to join their team of writers.
I worked with my point of contact on producing marketing materials and filling out cover art forms and all that good stuff when I got an email from them about Bridgewood Publishing. I asked about it and was told that that email was meant only for writers who had submitted and were not offered publishing contracts. I did find it to be unfortunate that a traditional publisher like them had opened up a vanity press subsidiary but I didn't worry too much about it.
I met with the marketing manager and even got a first mock up for the book cover which of course was a very exciting time. I did a local radio interview to advertise my forthcoming work.
Six months after signing the contract with them and doing everything they asked me to do, I got an email from Cedar Fort letting me know that they had overbooked their catalog and would no longer be able to offer me publication. They dropped my book, cancelled my contract, and returned all rights to me. The end.
It's taken me a few months to process this mentally seeing as we had signed a contract and I believe that what they did to me was unethical and illegal, but since I am unagented I had no idea how to proceed. While I really wanted to publish with them, it made me less enthralled to publish with a company that dropped me due to an overbooking error on their part.
I feel they are going through a rough patch financially which I suspect is a very challenging thing for them, but for my part, I was very disappointed with how they handled me. I wish they had better communication with me and that they hadn't let their mistake end in sabotaging my contract.
I'm definitely not telling any of you to NOT publish with them. As I've said, I would have loved to publish with them and see my books in print in stores around Utah. But I also felt a responsibility to share my experience even if it is an outlier for them to drop already contracted books.

I wish you all the best of luck in publishing and hope that you can have great experiences with this publisher since I believe they have some great people working there.
 

veinglory

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Wow. That's sounds like an emotional roller coaster. I would suggest sharing the contract with an appropriate person, like maybe Victoria Strauss at Writer Beware -- her email can be found here: https://www.sfwa.org/other-resources/for-authors/writer-beware/

She might be able to give you an idea whether you have any recourse under the contract. Or if it is a purely 'at will' contract she can warn others about it.

On the up side, Cedar Fort for all their issues does know a good book when they see it, so I bet you can find another great publisher for it -- one that will treat you better.
 
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