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[Publisher] OpusExpo, Inc.

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ShannonC_77

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So, I was on Facebook today and saw a link leading to this site:

http://authors.opusexpo.com/index.html

Is anyone familiar with this company, and if so, what do you think of it?

I'm working on writing my own ebook at the moment (planning to have one of those sales letter type of sites), but am wondering if this might be a good way to go as well.
 

veinglory

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they look like a terrible option--I am on a iPhone now but can elaborate later, if nobody else gets to it first
 

ShannonC_77

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That sounds good - I'd appreciate it if you could expand more on it.
 

veinglory

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My concerns in rough order of importance:

The three named members of the board of directors lack publishing experience. E-book publishing is a highly competitive, crowded industry in which newcomers generally make out like dazed cod at an otter convention. http://authors.opusexpo.com/directors.html

They say: "The average author royalty rates these days is 8% to 10%, we offer 25%." Industry standard e-book royalties are 35%-45%. If they genuinely don’t know this fundamental fact (and are not making a deliberately misleading comparison to paperback royalty rates) the amount of research they have done on e-publishing must be virtually nil.

They pay no royalties at all on the first 25 copies sold. I would predict most of their books will not sell over 25 copies in the first year.

Their website is ridiculous, extremely slow loading and based on pictures without true text and so inaccessible to the visually disabled—who are a key market for e-books due to the ability to change fonts and use ‘reader’ software to dictate the prose from a digital format. It looks like the president made the website; that does not fill me with confidence. http://www.aaronshapland.com

They charge an unspecified fee for cover art and apparently mandate the use of one provider. That is they “can arrange” for Falaj design to do the cover—the president of Opus Expo and the owner of Falaj are both called Aaron Shapland. What a coincidence.

They chose a domain with ‘sex’ in it, which seems questionable

They say you “retain the rights to your work”. Well a minimum one year ebook contract takes some “rights” by definition (copyright being only one type of right). This suggests they have a shaky hold on the whole business of publishing e-books.

Need I say more?
 
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Mac H.

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Two more terrible things about Opus Expo:

1. They are PROUD of the fact that while normal publishers are picky, they publish 1/3rd of their slushpile. That is a very good reason why readers should avoid the brand-name.

2. Where do they sell the e-books ? The site 'www.opusexpo.com' redirects straight to the plea for authors but not to a single place to actually BUY any books. They claim to have published 1/3rd of their slushpile and they claim to sell the books on their site ... but have you seen any?

In fact, a search for [ ebook "opus expo" ] on google doesn't bring a SINGLE example of a book for sale ! Who on earth would go to a publisher who doesn't seem capable of selling books - even though (according to their website) they've been around since 2007?

Their inability to make books available for sale doesn't seem to stop them from claiming that they are the leaders in the digital revolution of publishing !!!

If they are the leaders I'd hate to see the companies at the tail end ...

My guess is that it is a guy and a couple of friends who want decided to follow the trend of ebooks but pretend to be leaders, complete with just naming themselves as 'the board of directors' ! (Did a tiny unknown startup really go to the expense of incorporating and becoming 'Opus Expo Inc' ? - if so, it certainly wasn't a Canadian Federal Incorporation).

Mind you, since there seems to be no reference to them on the web outside of the website and this thread and googling ["Opus Expo" ebook] doesn't even bring up THEIR OWN SITE it looks like it has been abandoned as a bad idea last year, and so this whole discussion is moot.

Mac
 
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veinglory

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Their absence from google is logical given that their site doesn't include the words 'opus expo', or indeed any words. Everything is done with picture files.
 

SKYwrite

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Sorry, I'm still finding my way around this site, hence the deleted post above me. :S Anyway...

The Opus Expo website is indeed in need of work, although it wasn't all too slow on my PC. It loads about as fast as this site, anyway. What kind of computer do you use?

Above, veinglory said that e-book royalties range from 35% - 45%. That's true, but let's be honest here - online publishers who offer those rates are incredibly sketchy (to say the least). Even Amazon now offers an e-publishing service with quite impressive royalty rates... However, Amazon, like most other e-publishers, has a non-existent "editing team." That means any Joe-blow can go ahead and "publish" their "book," and therefore not very many people buy their books. It's true - I can post my book on Amazon, and people can buy it as an e-book the very next day. Will I do that? Of course not.

If Opus Expo has a real, professional editing team, then wonderful - maybe these guys actually are different, and that would be a dream come true. But if not, then they're just another drop in the sea of internet entrepreneurs trying to make a living.

Also, I took a look at their board of directors, and it doesn't seem that those three people have any publishing experience. But, in all honesty, as a writer I'm more concerned about the person who is reviewing and editing my book, rather than the people who are on the company's administrative team. So my question is this - who are their editors?

I was looking at their facebook page as well, and they say their "launch date" is coming this fall, so I suppose that explains why we can't find any of their e-books. ;)

Anywho, although this publisher seems to have its pros and cons, it's definitely interesting nonetheless. I have been trying to get my book published for the last three years (unsuccessfully), and it's driving me up the wall. If what Opus Expo is claiming is true, then I'll no doubt check into them.
 

veinglory

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Epublishers that are the top in their field, have full time pro editors, and are not at all sketchy offer 35-45%. It is industry standard royalty rate for ebooks. I am more concerned with the owners and administrators because their policies will determine sales. Most epublishers that sell well, sell the majority of their books from their own website. Ergo having a website that is not search engine optimised means you lose most of your potential sales right at the starting block.

If you have decided to epublish you book, start at the top. This is, to me, clearly the bottom. I do not know this people and have no malicious motive, this is simply the truth. Opus Expo is brand new without any track record and so no established readership, no identified niche and so low potential to create a dedicated readership in the already crowded ebook marketplace, without any obvious relevant experience, with very misleading if not straight out incorrect material on their website, charging fees and offering extremely low low royalties. I see nothing to suggest that they have employed good editors and so no reason to assume that they have.

There are epublishers out there with experienced owners, experienced editors, a track record of good business conduct and known sales volumes. I see no reason not to start with them.

And what claims to you want to know are true? If you want facts about epublishing try asking the experienced epublishers, editors and press owners on this very forum, or join an organisation like EPIC: http://www.epicauthors.com/

There are hundreds of epublishers out there and start-ups are a risky proposition in this area, even the best of them.
 
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Jersey Chick

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Also, I took a look at their board of directors, and it doesn't seem that those three people have any publishing experience. But, in all honesty, as a writer I'm more concerned about the person who is reviewing and editing my book, rather than the people who are on the company's administrative team. So my question is this - who are their editors?
While editors are definitely important, they aren't the ones who usually acquire the necessary distribution channels, either. I'd be equally concerned about that because all the editing in the world won't mean a thing if there is no distribution of the finished product.

Anywho, although this publisher seems to have its pros and cons, it's definitely interesting nonetheless. I have been trying to get my book published for the last three years (unsuccessfully), and it's driving me up the wall. If what Opus Expo is claiming is true, then I'll no doubt check into them.
I don't see any pros yet. That's not to say that there aren't any - but I don't see them. Check them out, but remember, being published badly can be worse than not being published at all (as our wise sage, Uncle Jim often points out.)

Anyway, :welcome:!
 

ShannonC_77

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Thanks for all the posts on this - and sorry it's taken so long to respond; I'm just seeing it all for the first time now.

Those are some really interesting points - particularly the fact the domain name has 'sex' in it. It seems like a fishy technique to try and SEO their site. Considering I saw the ad on Facebook though, I suppose this all isn't all that shocking.

I haven't been exposed a great deal to ebook publishing companies, mostly just people who self-publish their own site.

I did some work with the guy who runs this one: www.vincedelmontefitness.com and it's amazing the kind of sales he can get with it.

This is more along the lines of what I'm thinking about trying, but am wondering if going through a company might be better. Obviously the above example could be very hit or miss.
 

veinglory

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Going with a good epublisher can clearly be better. It can also be worse. What sales volume would you consider a bottom line requirement? 100 in the first year? 1000? 10000? Genre is also very important not only on whether to self-publish ir submit to an epress, but whether ebook format is a good idea at all relative to print.

If you go with an epublisher, go to the epublisher. The better ones don't need to do a lot of trawling for authors and so typically direct most of their efforts towards readers and let the authors come to them.
 

matdonna

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I only just discovered opus expo on Facebook now, though clearly it came up for other people there weeks ago. Strange. Thanks for the tip about 'sex' in their name.

I thought it was weird that they don't actually advertise any of their titles on their site. But I think they have changed some of their copy since people upthread visited-- check it out and see what you think. They even post a warning that the content of the page will change without notice. Way to inspire confidence, eh?

I am posting a link to this thread on my Facebook Warnings for WRiters group. And giving their ad a thumbs down click next time I see it.
 

veinglory

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Looks like they changed their mind about charging for cover art but the other silliness is still there--like comparing themselves to large commercial publishers not other epublishers (who frankly offer a better deal), like not paying royalties on the first 25 copies, like paying half the usual royalty rate.

They don't list any content yet, I assume, because they haven't actually launched yet.
 
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Soccer Mom

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I was looking at their facebook page as well, and they say their "launch date" is coming this fall, so I suppose that explains why we can't find any of their e-books. ;)

And yet here we are in March of the next year and now their site says they will launch in "early 2009."


Still no books.


Not only have they not yet published anything, they haven't even begun to list accepted works or promote them yet.
 

Unimportant

but appreciated anyway...
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The biggest sign a publisher is a scam is if they threaten lawsuits on anyone who says their website is ugly and that they appear to lack experience or credentials.
 

CaoPaux

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Their When page now states:
The public launch of the OpusExpo online store is coming in mid to late 2009.
 

CaoPaux

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Site is currently wonked, but was recently cached. Anyone have recent contact with them? I note the founder left Sept '10.
 

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