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[Publisher] Writers AMuse Me / WAMM

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

Al Stevens

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i don't have any money invested, if that is what you mean. i'm not a sock puppet, if that is what you mean. i have been posting on aw for five years.
Because you referred to the publisher in the first person, plural and because you previously presented a glowing review of your experience, that is exactly the impression you left me with, albeit unintentionally. Someone else made reference to the "we" and you did not respond, so I followed up. Your posting history has nothing to do with it.

As someone who has submitted to WAMM based partially on your report, I needed to know. That's what BRBC is all about.

Thanks for clearing it up. No offense intended, and I'm indeed sorry if offense was taken.
 
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Al Stevens

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FWIW, S6, the Show me the Way cover is the one I really like from the WAMM website. I asked myself, who leaves a bicycle in the middle of the road? Then I remembered almost running over my daughter's bike many years ago...
 

Al Stevens

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...i have had some feedback from readers on the website and have talked to a couple of the editors about possible changes. they were talking about hiring someone this spring to rework the site. i don't mind the website like it is and said so. i don't know what the other authors said. it seemed to be a group decision.
If they plan to sell and promote from their website, it definitely needs an overhaul. Customers' first impressions and all that.

(Please don't anyone look at mine for an example. It's DIY, and I am not a good graphics designer.)
 

shakeysix

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the bike is mine. like me, it's an antique. the picture was taken on the road next to my house in st. john, ks. that's a field of wheat stubble in the background. we--this time i mean my kid and i--are really new to this cover business but we're learning--s6
 

kaitie

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Were you required to supply your own cover? Most of the time, the publisher supplies the cover. And actually yours is one of the few I liked.
 

shakeysix

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no. they had someone on hand to do my cover but i have a daughter who wanted to try it. she submitted 3 --i think she calls them concepts-- and they picked the final one. when i signed on i asked if my kid could do my covers. they said okay with reservations. --s6
 

Al Stevens

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Did they do a spine and back cover to match?
 

shakeysix

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the back cover is the same color. so is the spine. the spine has the title. i have given several copies to the libraries in the area. they seem to be holding up well.

the second novel cover is my grand daughter's teddy bear perched in her bedroom window. it was taken in florida.

tomorrow i have to go to work. i'm a high school teacher. we are in the final two weeks of school. i will be too busy to post. remember, i'm not a sock puppet. i am a woman who must pound many, many spanish verbs into some very hard heads--s6
 

Al Stevens

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It's good to know they're flexible and willing to work with the author. Have a good day in school. Hammer on those hard heads.
 

Stew21

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Regarding LilyPu's question, I have no affiliation or "role" with this publisher other than being one of their authors. I was not a member of their writing group as Shakey was.
 

Stew21

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I agree. The 'two cowboys' cover also caught my eye as being out of scale. It looked as if the horses could as easily step off that cliff as step off a sidewalk curb.

My overall feel for this publisher is: Amateur. Their website, their covers, and after looking at a few first chapters from Amazon, their editing.

It's not the quality of the prose being discussed here, but I admire the loyalty shown from the deep benches. It's the quality of the publisher that's up for consideration. I can't tell half the writers from half the publishers. Comments like: We are new at this. We? As writer, or part-publisher? If posters can indicate what role they play in the publishing house, it'd be helpful. I'm neither published with Wamm, nor do I have any business affiliation with them, nor do I know any of their authors. I've looked at their website, their covers, and have read the first 5 chapters of some of their novels on Amazon.

Someone mentioned they had a WAMM book in hand and were "lookin' at a copy right now." Is that a print copy, or Kindle? In your opinion, how is the formatting, cover, print, editing? Is this publisher a good bet for literary fiction and/or genre writers? In your opinion?

I just came back to this because I thought you may have asked more questions I should answer, but in reading this, I see I don't need to answer much. I found much of this post condescending and harshly vague still.

I'm so glad you admire my loyalty. :rolleyes: thanks.

As I said, I'm an author, not part of the publishing side of anything. They are new, they are growing, they are staying within their means. They did not start this business with big capital. All I can tell you is to wait a year, which is the advice Jim and Old Hack have already given, so I'm unsure why I have to repeat it. They are new. They've only been doing this for a year. Wait a year and see how they look. They may still not be the publisher for you, which is fine too. It's a big industry. I will say that no matter your concerns about how they look to you, you cannot possibly doubt that they are an honest and well-intentioned publisher with straight-forward business practices.

I am curious how you say it's not the writing but the editing that you find amateur. Can you explain how the editing looks amateur (and as you stated, how that isn't a reflection on the writing)?

While you think about that, let me go on.

You commented once that the books I've sold are to friends and family. That's an assumption, and an unkind one, and you stated it as a fact (and untrue).

You said Unpublishable people started a company and brought their friends along and then friends of friends...assumption, unkind, stated as fact (and untrue).

Then there are the lovely vague digs like "atrocious" and "amateur".

Then the question regarding what our roles are in the publishing house. If you read this thread, then you know I'm just an author, as well as auntybug. Shakey already explained her relationship with them before you asked.

I appreciate that you have questions about them, but you ask them in a way that makes people automatically defensive. I'm not sure what purpose that serves? Do you think you'll get a better answer, or an answer you can pick apart a littler more easily if you skew the questions to be not-quite-insults? I've seen you do this same thing in various other small publisher threads and I can't quite figure out what it is you're trying to gain and/or prove.

Just in case we are still missing it, I will say it all again. I am an author, I submitted to a publisher. The friend who told me to try them is someone who was published by a different publisher previously (one with a very good reputation), and she preferred WAMM. I knew that they were small and new, but I was comfortable with the risk. I am under no delusions about their reach and their capabilities, but I know they have potential and I'm happy to be along for the ride. They have a generous contract and royalties. They are making changes as they grow, and will continue to. Some of the comments here have been helpful for them and they will absolutely take them into consideration as they move forward. That's what new businesses do.

There was a comment about us not being able to get published other places. I did a reading and signing back in december for a women's group and they asked a lot of questions, one of them was about the benefits of going with a small publisher. Let me tell you what I told them. With agents and larger publishers, they have a bookshelf in a store to think of. If they don't see where that book sits on that shelf, they will turn down even the best written book - marketing is everything. A clear audience is everything. My book doesn't really have a clearly designated shelf. I had known for quite a while that if I really wanted this book to be published I would need a niche publisher. That's exactly what I got. My story has a ghost in it, who happens to be a literary icon, it also has a loanshark, a viet nam vet, it also has a main character going on a road trip to find his way in life. What shelf does it belong on? I had multiple agents tell me the writing was great and I have skill, but they couldn't take the book on. How does an agent "sell" a "not sure what shelf" book? It isn't really a "ghost story", it's not a suspense/thriller, it sort of blurs lines. A Small publisher like WAMM sees good writing and doesn't care about a bookshelf. My book can be quirky and genre-hopping all it wants. Their particular style or niche or level of "quirk" may not be what you are looking for in a publisher and that's fine. For me, I had known going in that it was going to take a small press to manage my book because no matter how well it's written a big publisher has to see the shelf.

So make of it what you will. I've given you everything I can about this publisher and my self with regards to my experience with them. I have been a member of AW for over 6 years, I've submitted to a lot of agents and publishers, I have learned a lot here. I'm not foolish and uneducated, I know the risk with a new business, I liked this publisher for this book. You can say "they're not for me" and that's fine, but they are for me. And yes, you've already said, you don't "know me from Adam", but lots of people here do.


eta: I also wanted to say that I have been a member of this community for over 6 years and a moderator for over 4 of those. You can think what you want about my book cover or how well (or not) that I write, but please know that I take this responsibility to this communinity very seriously and I would never mislead or lie to the writers here for this publisher or any other. You may not know me, but Mac does and my fellow mods do. You might question if I made a wise choice (I believe my choice was fine), but please don't try to make a judgment on my intentions; it doesn't make any of us look good and we all lose. I gain nothing by your going with this publisher or not, and I have absolutely no reason to puppet for someone to get you to like them. You can discuss this publisher all you want, but make no mistake that it is without doubt, I won't do anything in this forum to harm its writers. I've given a true account of my dealings with them.
 
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Al Stevens

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Not sure what is included in your etc, but cover design, editing, and layout are different disciplines. I wouldn't make that assumption until I had read a book or two edited by them. Particularly given what writers here have reported.
This was in response to a post that made assumptions about the editing based on the covers. I downloaded samples of three books. Report later...
 

LillyPu

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Regarding LilyPu's question, I have no affiliation or "role" with this publisher other than being one of their authors. I was not a member of their writing group as Shakey was.
I know, you already answered that many posts back. Oh, and it wasn't *your* loyalty I was referring to. Besides, loyalty to friends is human nature...

I think you've mistaken my questions. The last thing I wanted was to offend you... I've taken special care to make sure my comments and criticisms are about WAMM, and not to (or about) any of their authors.
 

Medievalist

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Someone mentioned they had a WAMM book in hand and were "lookin' at a copy right now." Is that a print copy, or Kindle? In your opinion, how is the formatting, cover, print, editing? Is this publisher a good bet for literary fiction and/or genre writers? In your opinion?

That would be me; odd that you can't be bothered to remember that, given our interactions in the past.

I have a print copy; I note ahead of time, that I'm thanked in the frontmatter--I hadn't known that at the time I posted, and honestly, it wouldn't make any difference. I should note I'm pretty picky, especially about typography. I've been sent a lot of self-published books that I couldn't read because of the typesetting. This isn't one of those.

This is a POD book. That means that the cover stock and paper stock, and even the text, all feel different to my touch. Most people aren't going to notice that since they're not production folk.

The typography is not terrible, nor is it exquisite. It's better than most POD books, and not as good as a book that was professionally designed and typeset by someone with years in the business.

The editing is tolerable. There are a few things I'd wince at, on cursory examination; things like TV's instead of TVs. Some places where the prose could be tightened.

I've already talked about their covers. I note that POD color values are odd; you really do have to design and execute prepress knowing that ahead of time.

It's pretty much right on target for a tiny indie press, and better than some. It's much better than the average self-published POD book.
 
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Stew21

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Thanks for the appraisal, Lisa. Your opinion means a lot. :)

We noticed prior to printing (at the point we printed bookmarks) that we had some odd coloring for the cover and worked to correct it prior to going to print. It was a successful change on the bookmarks but the covers are still a bit dark.



Also, LillyPu, I missed one of your early questions about authors knowing so much about their publisher's business. I don't know all the ins and outs of their business, but because they are a small indie, we do work very closely with them and perhaps are a bit more involved in some of the daily workings. This is my first published novel so I can't say how it is with other publishers. I, for one, appreciate their transparency with their authors.
 
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Mclesh

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Just thought I'd add my recent experience with WAMM. (I have no affiliation with them whatsoever.)

I entered their recent Hook, Line, No Stinker contest on a whim for my MG book. The idea was to enter your book's first line and also a one-sentence hook. To my surprise, I placed second. I received a friendly email notification from the editor the Monday after the contest's cutoff. We corresponded, and within a few hours I had 50 bucks in my PayPal account. I also received the book of my choice in the format of my choice. I chose As I Wander Through The Book Of Life (WAMM editor David Smith's book of poetry), and I'm enjoying it. I've found no errors so far, and it has a nice layout for an ereader. In my case, I'm reading the pdf version.

David also offered to crit a chapter of my book. Since I'd just received and signed a contract offer a couple of days before finding out I'd won the contest, I informed him that book was no longer available and he offered to crit a chapter from any WIP.

That's my experience, for what it's worth.

And, Trish, your book sounds great!
 

LillyPu

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I appreciate that you have questions about them, but you ask them in a way that makes people automatically defensive. I'm not sure what purpose that serves? Do you think you'll get a better answer, or an answer you can pick apart a littler more easily if you skew the questions to be not-quite-insults? I've seen you do this same thing in various other small publisher threads and I can't quite figure out what it is you're trying to gain and/or prove.
I hadn't noticed I did this...

I've only participated in a few of these background threads. Unbeknownst to me, they involved long-standing members. I'll try not to make the same mistake again. Thanks for the warning. :)
 

LillyPu

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That would be me; odd that you can't be bothered to remember that, given our interactions in the past.
What interactions in the past? Is that a tactic to take the conversation away from WAMM? Its viability as a good publisher for aspiring writers?
 

mscelina

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What interactions in the past? Is that a tactic to take the conversation away from WAMM? Its viability as a good publisher for aspiring writers?

You know what?

I'm not a moderator at AW. I should just let the mods take care of you instead of sticking my nose into the conversation. But--no one ever called me smart.

You quite obviously don't have a rat's ass of a clue what you're doing here. Why in the HELL would Medi need to divert the conversation away from this publisher--in the publisher's thread? That's just (pardon me) not very bright. Here's what you need to know: you asked questions about this publisher; an author who is also a moderator and very well-respected for her forthrightness and objective viewpoints answered your questions based upon her experience with the publisher. You then proceeded to reply to her rudely and very condescendingly--including making suppositions about this publisher that as far as I can tell you do not have the background or experience to support. Then, not content with that, you went FURTHER and challenged a mod whose integrity and honesty are almost without peer on this board.

Look, if you don't want to submit to WAMM, that's your call. I have a feeling they'll be just as happy without you--maybe more so. But at the very least, you need to learn to respect your fellow writer--and might want to consider maintaining that respect with moderators. You know--in case you want to continue to post on this forum.

Just sayin'. You seem determined to chew your leg off as opposed to putting your foot in your mouth.
 

Medievalist

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What interactions in the past? Is that a tactic to take the conversation away from WAMM? Its viability as a good publisher for aspiring writers?

How terribly disingenuous. Here's a sample:

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7061315&postcount=137

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7030212&postcount=691

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7030720&postcount=697

It makes me wonder what, exactly, your real agenda is, having again perused your post history.
 

Al Stevens

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One of the three WAMM book samples I downloaded is a delight. That would be Shakey's work. I just purchased the e-book.

The other two have writing, flow, and editorial problems ranging from minor to major. Three books might be too small a sample, and bear in mind that these comments are based on downloaded Kindle samples. But it's what we have to go on. I should have done this research first. Lesson learned.

I was considering a withdrawal of my submission, but I had promised a week with two days to go, so I decided to wait. At about that time, the big R came in. The coincidence of that timing made me smile. :)
 

MacAllister

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LillyPu will be taking a seven day break from posting, for general incivility.
 

Stacia Kane

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I know it's beating a dead horse to some extent, but I just can't resist pointing out the irony here:


I hadn't noticed I did this...

I'll try not to make the same mistake again. Thanks for the warning. :)

Followed three minutes later by:

What interactions in the past? Is that a tactic to take the conversation away from WAMM? Its viability as a good publisher for aspiring writers?


Just in case Lilly still isn't sure, on her return, what was so objectionable about her behavior.
 

Elizabeth George's book Write Away