From their website, it looks like they've been around since 2009, but they don't seem to have many books available--three, I think (the "books" page was pretty messed up in Firefox, with text overlaid on other text, so I may be counting two books as one) with another forthcoming.
I don't see any information about their experience in publishing/editing. The main page says they're looking for a publicist, which I suppose is a good sign, although it would be a better sign if their main page was displaying books people might want to buy.
Phoenix Yard Books are a reputable, genuine, conventional publisher of books for children and YA. By 'conventional' I mean that they are not a vanity press or a self-publishing firm and they do not take money from their authors. I am one of their authors (pen-name Rosalie Warren) and my book is due to be published on March 21st 2011.
I submitted my manuscript to them in late 2009, it was accepted two months later and I signed a contract with them (which I'd had vetted and approved by the Society of Authors), received a fair advance, and since then have been working with an excellent editor on bringing my book, Coping with Chloe, up to the standard required for publication. My experience of Phoenix Yard is that they are highly professional in every respect. I am not new to being published - this is my third published novel, my first two being for adults and both conventionally published, too.
I am, however, new to writing for the children's market, and I accept that you folks here (and perhaps others) may question my judgment and perhaps think I have been in some way 'taken in'. Let me therefore address some of the points raised above.
I have visited Phoenix Yard and can confirm that it is a delightful, inspirational and well-equipped premises and certainly not the the cut-price garden-shed type of place that someone hinted at above.
Perhaps if I mention that one of Phoenix Yard's authors, Geraldine McCaughrean, is an established author of children's books - she has been writing them for 25 years and won many prizes (you can look her up). I happen to know that she is represented by David Higham, one of the largest and most highly respected agencies in the UK.
I do not presume that anyone would want to buy a book of mine - though I would hope so. I have no doubt whatsoever that many people would want to buy a book of Geraldine's, and will do so.
It's not unreasonable that a publisher who starts up in 2009 should have their first books published 18 months later, in 2011. I'm assuming you know how long it takes to have a book accepted and prepared for publication and then to go through copy-editing, proof-reading and everything else?
I should add that I'm impressed by their publicity and marketing strategies, too - and yes, they have employed a publicist and she's very good.
Judging a publisher by the fact that your emails bounced back (could this just posssibly have been the fault of some computer system somewhere, rather than Phoenix Yard?) seems rather hasty, to say the least. And do many other commissioning editors list their CVs and professional backgrounds on the publishers' website?
I know unpleasant spats occur from time to time on this forum, as on others, and I do not wish to be part of one. I have told you what I know and will now leave quietly.
I have just signed my second contract with Phoenix Yard Books, this time for a series aimed at 7-9 year-olds, about a boy and his robot.
Phoenix Yard have proved their worth, as far as I'm concerned. I've found them to be an excellent publisher, in all respects - supportive, friendly, enthusiastic and professional. Their editorial standards are high and they are quickly gaining a reputation for slightly quirky and delightful children's books, beautifully produced and illustrated. They have published books by well-known, prizewinning children's author Geraldine McCaughrean and a translation by Daniel Hahn. Their books are getting excellent reviews in the press and, even more importantly, from young readers. Not sure whether I can post links on here, but if it works, you can see some of the reviews I've had for 'Coping with Chloe' on Phoenix Yard's website at
So yes, they're great. I think Absolute Write does a very useful job of drawing attention to less than perfect publishers and agents - but there's no need to beware of this one. They still have an open submissions policy - see their website for details.
And no - no one asked me to write this - I'm doing it because I want to.
Sales figures not available yet, but I'm told they are respectable, though not amazing. Amazon.co.uk ranking currently around 20,000, which bears this out. I'm not going to make my fortune with this one unless it starts winning prizes or some other weird things happen, but I'm quite happy.
On Amazon.com Book Source is credited as the publisher--they might want to get onto that as this data will get proliferated by anyone using Amazon as a source for book data. Amazon know only the data inputted into their system which is ultimately under the control of the publisher.