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[Publisher] Cyberwizard Productions

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narcher

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Anybody know anything about this outfit?

http://www.cyberwizardproductions.com/

They seem to publish print and ebooks, yet seem to have no bookstore distribution, nor any ebook distribution via Fictionwise and other places.
 

para

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I'd stay far away. I'm a bit disturbed by the fact they have a donate button on the main page but yet can afford to have a flash site.

Looking at the "Editors" not one of them lists editing experience. Having a love of reading and being a writer does not make you an editor. Looks like aspiring authors who couldn't get published so set up their own publishing house. I could be wrong.
 

Shade53

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I'm a little groggy this morning on medicine for allergies so forgive me if I'm not completely coherent. I just wanted to say that my short story collection was put out by this outfit and I've been nothing but pleased. As for not having any editorial experience, CW did Flashing Swords mag for a long time - that's how I first came in contact with her actually and my editor was an absolute stickler with me.

New but don't count them out - very good to work with.
 

crystalwizard

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Anybody know anything about this outfit?

http://www.cyberwizardproductions.com/

They seem to publish print and ebooks, yet seem to have no bookstore distribution, nor any ebook distribution via Fictionwise and other places.

no bookstore distribution? I assume you've gone into various bookstores and actually tried to order our books before making that statement?

We've got world-wide distribution.
 

para

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no bookstore distribution? I assume you've gone into various bookstores and actually tried to order our books before making that statement?

We've got world-wide distribution.
Being able to order a book in a bookstore is not the same thing as going into the bookstore and seeing it on the shelf.
 

M.R.J. Le Blanc

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no bookstore distribution? I assume you've gone into various bookstores and actually tried to order our books before making that statement?

We've got world-wide distribution.

Being able to order isn't the same as being avaliable on the shelf itself. No one's going to order a book they don't know about. If you can't get books on shelves, you don't have distribution as defined by most people here. You can order PA books through bookstores - doesn't mean they have the same distribution commercial houses have.
 

crystalwizard

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I'd stay far away.

Thanks a lot. Your entire reason for being suspicious is because I have a donate button, which allows people to enter the specific amount they need to send (in case they have a special discount for example) AND have a flash site.

I'll be more than happy to put you in touch with every single author and artist that work with me if you'd like.

I also run Abandoned Towers magazine
I'm also the review editor for SFReader.com

I'll be happy to put you in touch with several hundred people who will be more than happy to tell you what they think of me and my company if you would like.

My email address is on the Cyberwizards website
It's also on the Abandoned Towers website
You can also PM me on the SFReader forums.
you can PM me here too, if you want.

Or just post in this thread.


Looks like aspiring authors who couldn't get published so set up their own publishing house. I could be wrong.

And you are very, very wrong.

See what you get for assuming instead of doing serious research?
 

crystalwizard

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Being able to order isn't the same as being avaliable on the shelf itself. No one's going to order a book they don't know about. If you can't get books on shelves, you don't have distribution as defined by most people here. You can order PA books through bookstores - doesn't mean they have the same distribution commercial houses have.

Sitting on a shelf does not guarentee any sales. Bookstores, because you evidently aren't aware of this, don't leave books on the shelves very long. They send it back almost faster than it can be printed.

We do have our books in bookstores. Whether they are in the bookstore near you, I don't know.
 

crystalwizard

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maybe CW can clarify what they see as "distribution"...

Distribution means the same thing to just about everyone, or at least it should. It means that a bookstore CAN acquire a book for it's stores if it wants to. It means you can walk into any bookstore if you wish, and order that book. It does not mean that the book is automatically sitting on a shelf somewhere just waiting for you.

You know what strikes me most about the people on this forum? They're snarky. They're suspicious and from what I've seen, they're always ready to jump on the negative "accuse you of being a scam" bandwagon.

it's a sad, depressing thing, and one of the reasons I avoid this place.
 

Anna Magdalena

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I'd stay far away. I'm a bit disturbed by the fact they have a donate button on the main page but yet can afford to have a flash site.

Looking at the "Editors" not one of them lists editing experience. Having a love of reading and being a writer does not make you an editor. Looks like aspiring authors who couldn't get published so set up their own publishing house. I could be wrong.

I don't know anything about these people but it doesn't look like a 'flash' site to me. On the contrary. And what's wrong with a 'donate' button? That doesn't make them suspect. At least they're upfront about it.

They may be new and untried or even naive. You and I may not want to hand over our manuscripts to them but that in itself doesn't make them suspect. Unless anyone has any evidence of wrong doing or sharp practice, we should not wish them luck. They're going to need it.
 

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Sitting on a shelf does not guarentee any sales. Bookstores, because you evidently aren't aware of this, don't leave books on the shelves very long. They send it back almost faster than it can be printed.

We do have our books in bookstores. Whether they are in the bookstore near you, I don't know.

What does 'guarentee' sales?

And which bookstores?

And jumping wildly to your own defense isn't the best approach. Take it easy, CW, and explain professionally. With proper spelling as a bonus.
 

Bubastes

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They're suspicious and from what I've seen, they're always ready to jump on the negative "accuse you of being a scam" bandwagon.

Given the minefield of traps, pitfalls, and scams out there for unsuspecting writers, I don't blame them for being suspicious.
 

Anna Magdalena

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Distribution means the same thing to just about everyone, or at least it should. It means that a bookstore CAN acquire a book for it's stores if it wants to. It means you can walk into any bookstore if you wish, and order that book. It does not mean that the book is automatically sitting on a shelf somewhere just waiting for you.

You know what strikes me most about the people on this forum? They're snarky. They're suspicious and from what I've seen, they're always ready to jump on the negative "accuse you of being a scam" bandwagon.

it's a sad, depressing thing, and one of the reasons I avoid this place.

Uh-oh, crystalwizard. You're making assumptions now. We're not snarky. We're cautious.

But, crystalwizard, 'distribution' in this case doesn't mean what you say. You mean your books have an ISBN and will appear on bookshop databases. Proper distribution means that you can sell--via a distributor--books direct to bookshops. If you're not selling directly to bookshops (not just through individual customer orders) then you haven't got distribution.

I am still prepared to give you the benefit of the doubt, but the more you protest, the more I begin to worry. Mainly because you're talking like an amateur or someone who doesn't really understand book publishing.

And no one is accusing you of being a scam. This thread is for anyone to ask about any publisher or agent. Many people have asked about some great examples. In those cases, when I know for a fact, they're good, I'm only too happy to say so.
 
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Distribution means the same thing to just about everyone, or at least it should. It means that a bookstore CAN acquire a book for it's stores if it wants to. It means you can walk into any bookstore if you wish, and order that book. It does not mean that the book is automatically sitting on a shelf somewhere just waiting for you.

Um, no. Distribution has a specific meaning within the publishing world: if a publisher has distribution in place, it means that the publisher has a wholesaler stocking its books and a sales team (on the road, and/or on a phone-line) actively selling those books into bookshops.

Any book with an ISBN on its cover can be ordered by a bookshop: but that is not the same as having distribution in place, and it certainly isn't going to result in as many sales as real bookshop placement. Because despite what some people say, most fiction titles are still sold through bookshops, not online (and you can check out the statistics at the Booksellers' Association website if you don't believe me--there's a lot to look through there). Readers prefer to pick books up, off those bookshop shelves, and look at them before paying their hard-earned money for them.
 

para

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Thanks a lot. Your entire reason for being suspicious is because I have a donate button, which allows people to enter the specific amount they need to send (in case they have a special discount for example) AND have a flash site.
I don't believe that I said I was suspicious of Cyberwizard. I would stay far away because I'm cautious of start up publishing companies that looking like they have been set up by a bunch of authors with no publishing experience. However I'll ask the question if you are a publishing company why are you soliciting donations?

I'll be more than happy to put you in touch with every single author and artist that work with me if you'd like.
No thanks. I'm not interested in submitting anything.

I also run Abandoned Towers magazine
A magazine with one issue.

I'm also the review editor for SFReader.com
So being a review editor qualifies you to run a publishing house?

I'll be happy to put you in touch with several hundred people who will be more than happy to tell you what they think of me and my company if you would like.
I'm not sure how that would help a writer who is deciding whether or not to submit to your company. Are these several hundred people writers who work for your company?


And you are very, very wrong.

See what you get for assuming instead of doing serious research?
From Cyberwizards site (non-flash) - there seems to be some cross over in editorial staff and authors.
Editorial Staff
Crystalwizard
Managing Editor
David M Pitchford
Copy Editor
Erin Bassett
Senior Editor

Danny Birt
Vivian Zabel
Rob Mancebo
Paul McDermott
Leo McCormick
Pat Hauldren

Authors
Laura Alton
Richard Berrigan
Michael Boatman
Danny Birt Events
C.E. Chaffin
Kendall Evans
Bryan Hitchcock
Dal Jeanis
David Kopaska-Merkel
Robert Koger
Robert Orme
Gary Petras
David M Pitchford
Siobhan M Pitchford
John Kilian
Kevin G. Summers
Sarah Wagner

There could be more than is at first apparent, as there may be some pen names in use. I find it interesting that the managing editor goes under a pseudonym.

I also note that they offer editing services.
 
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BenPanced

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Sitting on a shelf does not guarentee any sales.
Unfortunately, neither does having a website.
Bookstores, because you evidently aren't aware of this, don't leave books on the shelves very long. They send it back almost faster than it can be printed.
Preying on the fears of the inexperienced doesn't help, either.
Distribution means the same thing to just about everyone, or at least it should. It means that a bookstore CAN acquire a book for it's stores if it wants to. It means you can walk into any bookstore if you wish, and order that book. It does not mean that the book is automatically sitting on a shelf somewhere just waiting for you.
If I don't know the book exists, I wouldn't know I could order it from a bookstore. I had no clue Cyberwizard even existed until this thread appeared.

Who's your distributor, then?
 

victoriastrauss

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I've looked at both the flash and non-flash versions of the site, and there are differences in the staff and author lists--one or the other really needs updating. Plus, the flash site is glitchy, at least for me in Firefox--a number of the links don't work.

I also find it interesting that the non-flash site states that "We edit our authors [sic] books for free, however we also offer editorial and ghost writing services to non-authors for reasonable fees", but the flash site doesn't have that statement. But even if a publisher builds a wall between its publishing services and its editing-for-hire services, the co-existence of an editing-for-hire service poses at least a potential conflict of interest.

I'm also concerned by the fact that most of the editors' writing resumes seem very thin. I'm not impugning their writing abilities, but I'm not seeing any pro publishing experience, and some don't seem to have published any book-length work at all. These are really not the kinds of qualifications you want to see in someone you're going to pay to edit your work, or to ghostwrite for you.

Last but not least, the owner and some of the editors are also published by the company, which is not the most professional of situations.

I'm sure that Cyberwizard Productions is enthusiastic and well-intentioned. The problem, as so often with small and micro-presses, is lack of experience.

- Victoria
 

para

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I don't know anything about these people but it doesn't look like a 'flash' site to me. On the contrary. And what's wrong with a 'donate' button? That doesn't make them suspect. At least they're upfront about it.

They may be new and untried or even naive. You and I may not want to hand over our manuscripts to them but that in itself doesn't make them suspect. Unless anyone has any evidence of wrong doing or sharp practice, we should not wish them luck. They're going to need it.
We must be looking at different sites then. When I clicked on the flash site link, it looked like flash to me. I heard that Flash is quite an expensive thing to add to a website. So my thought was if you've got enough money to be adding flash to your site, why do you need donations? If you're a business why are you soliciting donations? Its the kind off thing I see a lot on self-published authors websites. To me it smacks of unprofessional amateur and I wouldn't want to be associated with any company that has a donate button (for themselves) on their website. YMMV.

Anyway it was just a throwaway comment I'm not quite sure why some people appear to have latched onto it as the reason I wouldn't go anywhere near them. It isn't.

I must admit I'm quite impressed at the speed at which crystalwizard has popped up - 1h 13mins of a thread starting. Is this some kind of record?
 

Sheryl Nantus

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Which is NOT to say that any small press without a distributor is a scam. There are *many* small publishers out there who don't use a distributor due to the cost and just point to the fact that their books can be ordered from Baker & Taylor/Ingram's and Amazon.com as the extent of their distribution. They don't get their books into bookstores unless the author requests it and that's usually only done if the books are returnable; a financial risk for many small publishers.

HOWEVER, this sort of information is vital for authors to know before submitting. Without a distributor your sales are going to be severely limited and it's best to go into a relationship with a small publisher knowing exactly what sort of resources you're going to have to promote your book. If all you're going to have is word-of-mouth and a slot on a website it'll be a lot harder to generate sales than having it placed by a sales force on bookshelves across the country in bookstores that DON'T have to have it specially-ordered in by an individual who then has to wait for it to arrive and pay up-front.
 

veinglory

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It might be helpful to be specific rather than bat around defintions. My question regarding distribution would be are the books made available through Ingrams, with a deep discount and returnable? That, to my mind, makes them at least realistically "distribution ready" and is acheivable for a small press. I would also be interested in what is characterised as "alternative lifestyle" in the submission guidelines "We do not publish "alternate lifestyle" books, no matter how "G" rated the author may feel they are. There are plenty of publishers for such material. We aren't one of them."
 
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narcher

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Thank you all. I'll watch this one for a while and see what happens. Crystalwizard, good luck with your venture.
 

M.R.J. Le Blanc

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There are no guarantees in publishing. But there are probabilities. And probabilities state that you're going to see the majority of booksales from bookstores unless you're with a good epublisher. If I've never heard of your books, it means I've never heard of you. And if I've never heard of you, what makes you think I'm going to walk into a bookstore and see if any of your books are there?

And given how many bad apples are out there compared to the good ones, I think we have the right to be a little suspicious at the very least.
 

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We must be looking at different sites then. When I clicked on the flash site link, it looked like flash to me. I heard that Flash is quite an expensive thing to add to a website.

It's wordpress

The company that I pay for that site provides sites to other people. If you'd like one, it's fairly easy to contact them.
It's not expensive.
I'm not sure who told you that adding flash to a website is expensive, but that's not true either.


So my thought was if you've got enough money to be adding flash to your site, why do you need donations?

I don't NEED donations.

having a button that allows people to donate if they want does not mean it's a requirement.

If you're a business why are you soliciting donations?

I'm not. It's primary use is so that if someone needs to send an amount which isn't coded into a preset button on the site, they have a way to access a page and fill in the blank with their amount. You jump to an awful lot of conclusions without very much information to use as a spring board.


Anyway it was just a throwaway comment I'm not quite sure why some people appear to have latched onto it as the reason I wouldn't go anywhere near them. It isn't.

Maybe it has to do with the way you phrased the original comment?

I must admit I'm quite impressed at the speed at which crystalwizard has popped up - 1h 13mins of a thread starting. Is this some kind of record?


One of my authors took issue with your comments, which is the only reason I even knew about the thread. It's not like anyone bothered to contact me and ask questions or do any actual research. They just started posting negative untruths. Which is, from what I've seen (yeah, I do lurk, I've been around here a while) par for the course with this forum.
 

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