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Raular Publishing Services

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

Nandi

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What an annoying audio!!!

We are writers, for Pete's sake! Do they think we can't read?
 

Momento Mori

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There's a long list of red flags on the company's websites, but I'll summarise the main ones below.

For a company that claims to have staff with "a combined eighteen years in marketing and publishing" (a combined what being my first question) they seem to only make books available via websites, which suggests they don't have any in-store book distribution set up. Interestingly, despite that 18 years experience, they also claim to be understaffed, which suggests they started soliciting queries before they were properly equipped to:

From Raular's Submissions Page:
Unfortunately, this is because we are understaffed for the amount of queries that we are receiving. We are hoping this will change as we grow.

I'd also be concerned why, with their supposed 18 years in marketing and publishing, they're asking authors for their proposed marketing plans:

From Raular's Submissions Page: (BOLDING MIND)
Include a brief synopsis of the work and a short author bio, along with details of how you plan to promote your book once we publish it, in the body of the email.

and in fact seem to rely on their authors doing all of their own marketing:

From Raular's Submissions Page:
It is up to YOU, the author, to promote your book as much as possible by way of book signings, lectures, promotional materials, etc. After all, who knows your book better than you?

The sum total of their experience in marketing and publishing apparently only qualified them to:

From Raular's Submissions Page:
provide your book with its own extended webpage on our site and send out press releases to a targeted market.

These methods of marketing are about as effective as a chocolate teacup.

Then there's the fact that the prices they're charging for published books seem expensive to me and the covers aren't particularly inspiring either.

They don't seem particularly picky about what they're publishing, and I'm confused as to why they're taking on "drama" and "stage plays" which don't have much in the way of a reading market - particularly if the author hasn't been able to get them staged.

They've only been around since last year, which means they don't have much of a track record. In the current economic climate, you're better off waiting to see if they're still around in a few years time.

Then there's the fact that it looks like they're offering a contract model used by PA:

From Raular's Submissions Page:
If we offer you a publishing contract, we are committed to each other for 7 years.

And I wouldn't be happy to be published by a company that seems to see the contractual relationship as akin to their giving you orders and you obeying them:

From Raular's Submissions Page:
Therefore, we look for authors who are able to follow instruction to the letter to make sure that you will be a pleasure to work with for the length of the contract.

and which seems to be suggesting that it will 'blacklist' authors who do not submit queries in the manner prescribed:

From Raular's Submissions Page:
Wouldn't it be a shame to get put on the "can't follow instructions list' when your book may well have been accepted at a later date?

This makes them seem unprofessional as well:

From Raular's Submissions Page:
We feel that an author who sends their work without querying for permission is being
inconsiderate of the acquisiton department's time, which makes us question if we would like to be legally bound to an inconsiderate person for such a long time.

The clincher for me though that these people are clueless amateurs is the fact that they're also offering paid editing services (the charges for which are not displayed). In their submission guidelines they state that they'll only do "final copy editing", which they describe thus:

From Raular's Submissions Page:
This means that, should we publish it, we should have to do minimal editing of a few misplaced commas and periods.

If they were serious about making money from your book, they wouldn't need to be selling you their editing services. And it's laughable that the editing services will apparently be performed:

From Raular's Services Page:
provided by the staff of Raular Publishing (collectively) and we DO NOT provide our individual staff bios or resumes.

Would you want to pay money to someone who won't explain what their qualifications are to do the job you're asking them to perform? Surely they should be able to point to their 18 years of marketing and publishing experience to allay any concerns.

It really wouldn't surprise me if the 18 years experience in marketing and publishing for Raular's staff members comes from their experiences of being vanity and self-published.

MM
 

CaoPaux

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It really wouldn't surprise me if the 18 years experience in marketing and publishing for Raular's staff members comes from their experiences of being vanity and self-published.
Specifically, Lulu, the lot of 'em. :rolleyes:
 

justfran

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I just went under contract

I just signed a contract with Raular Publishing. They gave me a standard royalty schedule in my contract and did not ask me for any money to self publish. They are doing all of my editing and my cover art. I happen to like their cover art. I have talked to 3 different people in the company so far. They are small, but they are honest about that. So for, for me, it's working okay and I'm looking forward to seeing my book in print. I also connected with R. A. Lura personally and she has started to get fan mail from her books and is very happy with their marketing plan. They even advertised her book for 2 months on television in Binghamton, NY and Poughkeepsie, NY on Time Warner Cable, and that can be verified by anyone. It is also one of the reasons I submitted to them and signed on. I think you guys are being very negative about a company that hasn't been around long enough to really have earned the bad mouthing. You are assuming instead of experiencing. Or maybe you are their competition and want to scare people away? Or maybe they turned you down and you're mad? I don't know, but I think you are wrong to bash them this way. Wait a year and see what they do with themselves and their authors and then bash them. That's my opinion anyway. BTW.. I also found the voice on the website annoying too, but they took it off so that's cool.
 

Swordswoman

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Son of PA?

It's not only the contract duration that reminds me of PublishAmerica.

The big difference seems to be that at least these guys are upfront about the fact the books will be expensive, the author is expected to do all the marketing, there's no real editing (unless you pay for it) and they have a blacklist for naughty authors who won't follow orders.

While obviously honest = better, in some ways this seems to me more dangerous than PA, because anyone who signs up with them will have little or no legal redress. If they mess up the book and price it to make it unsaleable, they can say 'So? That's exactly what we said we'd do'.
 

M.R.J. Le Blanc

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justfran, you should look around these boards a bit before you post, to understand both why they're here and where a lot of them come from. Many posters here aren't just random people, or people who couldn't get published and are 'lashing out' (a common misconception). Many are published authors, and have been for years. A couple are editors. At least one for sure runs their own publishing company. Bottom line - they know what they're talking about. They know how the business is run, and know how to tell professionals from amateurs and/or folks just looking to take your money. If there are red flags about Raular or anyone else, you better believe they're going to get pointed out. Quite frankly Momento Mori makes some good points. Would you hire a contractor who refused to give you a list of references? Would you go see a doctor who's medical diplomas weren't displayed out in the open in his/her offices? I would hope not in either case. So what sense does it make to send your book into the hands of people who's qualifications you don't know? You and your book deserve to be published by folks who know what they're doing, and there's not a single legit publisher out there who hesitates to give info on their staff. Not a one.

This isn't about bashing. It's about keeping writers informed enough to make good decisions that won't screw them and their books over. Being unpublished is better than being published badly.
 

triceretops

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"From Raular's Submissions Page: (BOLDING MIND)
Include a brief synopsis of the work and a short author bio, along with details of how you plan to promote your book once we publish it, in the body of the email."


Damn near every POD operation that has started up is begining to use this as a mission statement. It translates to: We will do absolutely nothing for your book. You are our free sales forces. We sit back and number crunch while you bust your ass on your own time and dime. That's how we make our money. Oh, and yeah, better if you buy straight from us, in quantity, to have books on hand."

Stay far away.

The misuse of POD today is ruinous for any author. Especially an outfit who won't do a lick of promotion or marketing.

tri
 

Swordswoman

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Welcome!

Hello, justfran, and welcome to AW! :welcome:

It must have been very upsetting to sign with a publisher, then discover questions like these being asked about them. I quite understand your need to feel reassured, and would probably feel exactly the same.

Everyone here hopes it all works out well for you with this firm, and that it gives you what you hope to get from the experience. However, the purpose of this part of the site is to look into the businesses of the book world so we can help others steer clear of anything likely to lead to an unhappy or unproductive experience. What's happening here is not 'badmouthing' - it's a bunch of very experienced writers asking very sensible questions about a new company, and basing what they say entirely on what facts the company has offered about itself on its own website. No assumptions are being made at all.

As for being 'competition', I think it's rather unlikely. I learn from M.R.J. Le Blanc's post that someone on this board is a publisher, but I would rather doubt they're in anything like this kind of business. Most of us are simply writers, and would rather stick pins in our eyes than run something like Raular.

As for being 'jealous', that's certainly not the case. I'm new here myself so can't speak for the others, but I'm in the process of being published by a mainstream, traditional publisher (Penguin Group) who are paying me a lot of money for the privilege, and will do all the marketing my book needs.

I do understand why you might want to hit out like this, and no-one's blaming you for it. As I say, I do hope Raular works out for you, but if you look carefully at Momento Mori's very insightful post you will understand why we have reservations. It would be very helpful to us and to your fellow writers if you keep us posted with your experiences at this company, and let us know how it turns out for you.

Meanwhile, you're a writer, so you'll doubtless be getting on with your next book! Do look around the rest of this site - there are some very helpful forums on how to improve one's writing skills, and it's great to interact with other writers rather than work solely in isolation.

You will be very welcome.
 

MDLG

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raularpublishing comments

Hi everyone
I am new here, my first visit and just here
to speak about raular publishing
I am a fourteen time published author, in two languages, my latest
publication was published by raularpublishig
a publishing house that gives the opportunity to publish
new authors helping them putting their foot at the door
of sucess.
Many of us authors have no the means to pay up front
a publishing house for their services which are the same
as raular publishing render to their author, without the
up front cost. I am sure in the publicity critic render by this
board, I know that all serious and talented authors like all of you
knows that you have to walk the mile to get your work known
I am must sure the pinguin group asked their authors to be
available for signings and tv interviews and to inquired about
having their work sold.that is the success and accomplishments
of a good writer, that their work is known and is up to you, yes
it is up to you! no matter how much effort or how good your
publishing house want to sale your work if you are not available
and don't want to walk the mile you won't be sucessful, there are
millions of good writers and poets in the world. but famous a
very few. so I feel lucky to have my spiritual self help book
published by raularpublishers, which is now saling in Amazon,
Barnes and Nobles and almost all stores and librarys in USA
also in Europe as I do have a publicist in that part of the world.
publishing houses are not publicist or literary agents, I want to
make that clear. If your publishing house do that work, I am sure
they should be charging for the services and guess what?
it comes out of your royalty besides paying them to produce the book.
I do think raularpublishing is giving an opportunity to authors to
let their work to be known, and I do applaude them!
ah! in regards in been in facebook, I am there too, can look me up
also in good reads, author tree, open library and many other sites
and by the way the publishing house won't do your sites
to publicize your work you do it, about the 7 years contract
i wish they give me more years in order to have my book in print.
Do you know Mark Twain was a self published author.
Give raular a chance, they just started. thanks for reading me.
 
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veinglory

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I mean this well, but to represent your publisher in a positive light I would suggest some basic spellchecking and use of punctuation and the shift key. Also I would recommend reaching for arguments other than the fallacious assumption it is the norm for authors to pay, or that all authors promoting their work equates to all publishers offering a similar service (an author promoting a Penguin work might expect tens of thousands of sales, a similarly promoted Lulu book would only rarely sell over one thousand).

A more apt comparision might be--as you suggest you are self-publishing--what does Raular offer that Lulu doesn't?
 
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M.R.J. Le Blanc

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Yog's law - money flows to the author, not from the author. Publishers pay you, and assume the risk and responsibility of getting your book out to the paying public. Selling your book is how they make their money. If they're not doing that, you better take a good look at who's funding them - because it might just be you.
 

MDLG

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Hi

I am not representing my publisher I am just representing my work
published by raularpublishers,
I am not used to write on boards, and dont know how it works
your most sure used spell check .
Thanks.
In regards to lulu and raular you have to ask the publisher as
it is a very big different.

just want to be informative.
 

Swordswoman

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Hello, MDLG, and welcome to AW! :welcome:

I'm glad you're happy with your current situation, but think perhaps I ought to clarify a few things.

You mention

Many of us authors have no the means to pay up front
a publishing house for their services which are the same
as raular publishing render to their author, without the
up front cost.

I didn't have the means to pay to be published upfront either! But traditional publishing houses (eg HarperCollins, Random House, Penguin Group) don't require any money from you at all. On the contrary they pay you what can be very large amounts of money in order for them to publish your book. They edit your book substantially, then proof read it to ensure it's totally error-free, and they do this without charge. They spend money on the cover design of your book and again this service is free. Neither do they charge for marketing or anything else, and you also receive between 6 and 25 copies of your book free.
It is, however, very difficult to get a deal with a traditional publisher as the quality threshold is very high. You would typically need an agent first, and these too are hard to come by.

There are, however, so-called 'vanity publishers' (apologies for the derogatory name, I don't know if there's a better one in use), and many people choose to go this route instead. Lulu would be an example of such a company. These publishers make their money in one of two ways - either they charge you upfront (as Lulu does) or they price your books very high and require you to buy a great many yourself (as PublishAmerica effectively does). I think veinglory is right, and Raular falls into this category, so companies like Lulu are the ones you should be using for your comparisons.

With regards to marketing, you say

I know that all serious and talented authors like all of you
knows that you have to walk the mile to get your work known
I am must sure the pinguin group asked their authors to be
available for signings and tv interviews and to inquired about
having their work sold.that is the success and accomplishments
of a good writer, that their work is known and is up to you, yes
it is up to you! no matter how much effort or how good your
publishing house want to sale your work if you are not available
and don't want to walk the mile you won't be sucessful

I think you're quite right that authors who are prepared to make themselves available for publicity are more likely to succeed than those who don't, but it is still virtually impossible for them to succeed without the support of their publisher. A traditional publisher will spend a great deal of money to market your book - they will arrange interviews for you, make up posters and displays, give you website coverage, do their best to get you reviews in quality publications, and buy space in the bookstores to get your book placed on that crucial table in the front. You do not pay for any of this - the publisher does it for you.

I don't know of any vanity publisher that does this, although there is a UK company called Matador, which I've heard can help with marketing for a relatively small fee, and there may be others - I don't know. More crucially, even if you do everything in your own power to market your book yourself, it won't do a lot of good unless your book is in bookstores - not 'available to order through' bookstores, but actually sitting there on the shelves, or better still on the tables. It is the publisher's job to get those books in there - it's something you won't be able to arrange yourself - and I don't know of a vanity publisher who can/has actually achieved this.

Also, to clarify,

publishing houses are not publicist or literary agents, I want to
make that clear. If your publishing house do that work, I am sure
they should be charging for the services and guess what?
it comes out of your royalty besides paying them to produce the book.

I'm sorry, MDLG, but that isn't true at all for traditional publishers. Nothing comes out of my royalties. On the contrary, if they don't sell enough to cover the cost of their upfront payment to me, I still get to keep it all, and it's the publisher who loses.

With vanity publishers, yes, I would guess you're right. The key here would be to 'shop around' and see which of them offers you the best deal financially, looking carefully at all the hidden extra costs (eg charging for editing or to file at Library of Congress) and what the cover price would be on your book (which you will need to buy yourself in order to sell). You would also want to look and see which publishers have the best professional reputation, as this will affect how booksellers see your books, and how successful you are likely to be in trying to persuade one to stock a copy of your book.

I do hope the deal you have works out to your satisfaction, and we'd love to know how it goes. If it works out well for you, do let us know how it happened, and if it doesn't, please tell us that too so we can help advise others on what to avoid. No-one here will be anything but supportive either way.
 

victoriastrauss

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They even advertised her book for 2 months on television in Binghamton, NY and Poughkeepsie, NY on Time Warner Cable, and that can be verified by anyone.

I used to live in Poughkeepsie. There's a Barnes & Noble in a mall outside of town, but other than that, it's a depressed, blighted city without a single bookstore. I can't help thinking that those advertising dollars could have been better spent. To put it mildly.

Raular also offers "partnership" publishing. Cost: $500.

- Victoria
 
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Phoenix Fury

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I shouldn't be, but I'm absolutely stunned that people continue to think that "traditional" (I really hate that term now) publishing requires money up front from authors, or takes money from the authors' royalties if the advance isn't earned out, or doesn't give new authors "a foot in the door."
Just amazing. I wonder if some people still believe the world is flat.
 

M.R.J. Le Blanc

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@Phoenix Fury: that's why I try to use the term commercial publishers instead.

@Swordswoman: Lulu is not a vanity, but a self-publisher. Vanity publishers tend to be shady about what they really are, and pass themselves off as something they're not. Lulu is very upfront about what it is, what it offers and what it doesn't. The only qualms I've ever seen with it is cost of having your book done, but hey you're not going to please everyone :). But it is considered one of the better sites to use if you decide to go the self-publishing route.
 

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I used to live in Poughkeepsie. There's a Barnes & Noble in a mall outside of town, but other than that, it's a depressed, blighted city without a single bookstore. I can't help thinking that those advertising dollars could have been better spent. To put it mildly.

Raular also offers "partnership" publishing. Cost: $500.

- Victoria

I actually do the majority of my book shopping at that B&N, and have never seen any books by Raular Publishing there. Hmmm, could it be because B&N doesn't stock vanity-published books?
 

M.R.J. Le Blanc

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I actually do the majority of my book shopping at that B&N, and have never seen any books by Raular Publishing there. Hmmm, could it be because B&N doesn't stock vanity-published books?

Quoted for value.

If you're looking at a publisher, and you don't see any books by them in any book store....what makes you think they're going to get YOURS there?
 

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I am posting this email that R. A. Lura sent to me (with permission) because I think you should see it.


I can see where some of you are coming from and I understand the purpose of this forum is to forewarn authors. But, I think it might be helpful if you have them re-check their website periodically. Raular did a recent face lift to their site and eliminated the voice but also they no longer offer extra services so they can not be considered a self publishing company. They are a start up publishing company and as with all start up companies, there will be things that could be better and are evaluated and shifted as they grow and get more experience. This probably wouldn't be the type of publisher that someone who has the credentials to get picked up by Penguin or other established publishers would go to, but for someone who has been rejected repeatedly and is trying to get their foot in the door, then it might be worth getting your feet wet by giving them a try. As for their "rules" for submission, they make it clear that they are seeking up and coming authors - which means new authors who don't know how to submit properly. They aren't seasoned like many of the writers on this forum. From the way the website reads, they aren't even looking for seasoned authors, they're looking for new, up and coming authors. I have to ask if anyone has written Raular directly with any of their comments or complaints to see what their response might be? Anyway... as for me... I am one of their first authors. I feel lucky to have had 2 books published by them and 2 more under contract to be written. They insist that I send a plan on how I would be helping with the marketing, which is basically an agreement to be available for signings and what groups I may know to help promote it, etc. But, they put a television ad on for 2 months in the areas that one of my novels featured and paid for that themselves, I had nothing to do with it, and they also have done a lot of other promoting for my work that I have not had to pay for. I have looked on the web and find my book is available not only in amazon and bn.com but in Powells and in some stores Australia, etc. I also got several offers for book signings from stores as a result of their promotions (one being B&N in the an area that my book features), and I have been offered a foreign publishing contract with a publisher in Portugal. They also turned my book into Kindle and offer it through their own website in the paperback, hardcover and e-book format with a link to the kindle for the consumer. It appears to me like they have done a lot to promote me and make my books as easy to buy as possible. I know they had me sign a few books. One was for a reader who was a fan and the others were for contest give away. I did not pay for those books and I did not generate the contests. These are efforts that have been done by Raular. Maybe it is because I have not been published by any of the big publishers, like some of the authors on the forum, but I think that for such a new publisher, they are doing a good job and I'm sure that as they grow, they will learn and do even better. So, my suggestion is that the established authors continue to go to Penguin, etc., but also keep an eye on Raular to see its growth and progression and watch to see how its authors are doing. It seems to me like the authors who have been published are all very happy with the contract, service and treatment that they've gotten. If this forum feels it needs to continue to speculate on the company for the sake of the writers, then that's fine..since that is the purpose of this forum. But I think they should have all of the facts and not just some select outdated material (that someone took a lot of time to copy and paste) as their format. I think the fact that the few authors who have been published are happy should be worth something. Maybe they should email the authors and get their viewpoint one on their experiences? Each author is provided with extended pages that give details about the books their bios and contact information on them. As for the person who lived in Poughkeepsie and feels that there is only one book store, I am familiar with the area and know of more than just a Barnes & Noble, in fact - Borders is also on the same stretch a few miles away, but since it is a global market, it really shouldn't matter how many brick and mortar bookstores there are in an area since there are plenty of ways to reach a reader via the internet, which they managed to do. I don't think Raular feels their money was poorly spent. I know I'm pleased with the results. And also, I think that the fact that they were even brave enough to start a publishing company in an economy like there is right now is commendable. Now, I'm sure that if you post this, there will be loads of feedback on my comments and they have the right, but I probably won't respond to any more of your emails about the forum as I don't want to get into a debate about my decision to take a chance on a new publisher and I'm swamped with my writing right now and can't take a lot of time for sites such as these at the present. Maybe in the future, when my schedule slows down I can participate, as I can see the value in participating intelligently. Although there are a few 'petty' comments in the mix, it seems like a good forum. I would hate to see any new author miss out on the opportunity to be published and established because they were misinformed or had outdated information from writers who have had no real interaction with the company. Most of them seem rational and mature and serious about their craft and just looking for facts and trying to help. That's a good thing. I know that you can't please everyone and someone will find always manage to find something in a posting to turn into a negative, and you can't stop that. If the people in this forum have managed to turn you away from being published by Raular, then use the clause they put in your contract for you to cancel before the time runs out. I'd feel bad if that happened though. Me personally... I think they're worth giving a shot and never mind what these people are saying... unless they have a better offer for you.
Happy writing!
 

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