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Red Rose Publishing

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

Kensington

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When you get right down to it, you'd be as well to self publish -- at least that way you keep control of your title, and know how many copies sell, if any -- rather than tie yourself up for five years with a "publisher" like Red Rose, and have a hefty termination fee hanging over your head like the Sword of Damacles. Ditto for all the other small epublishers. They're a waste of time.
 

veinglory

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There are some outfits I would characterise as small epublishers that I would not categorise as a waste of time.
 

Ravenwing

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My experience with RRP has not been good. In fact, it's been awful. I signed with them back in August of 2009, and my book won't be released until July 2010. No edit or cover art has been done. When I saw the huge line up of "Coming Soons" every month, I tried to get out, but there's a kill fee of some two hundred dollars. And as if that isn't bad enough, this payoff must be sent by registered mail, along with a letter asking for your rights back.

When I continued to press for some kind of resolution Wendi -- who sounds like a hysterical hag -- accused me of harassment! (LOL) I'm going to take another dekko at the contract, no easy task it's about 11 pages long -- ever notice how scammers have overly long contracts? If it has a clause about the publisher terminating the contract if the author refuses to do an edit, etc. I'll be refusing to cooperate, and hoping to get out that way. Either way, I don't intend to be cooperative. It's tit for tat. They give me a hard time, they get it right back again in spades. I don't want my title released by them. I don't want anything to do with them. But I jolly well don't intend to give them as much as a nickel to get out. They're just greedy bums.

Cheers
 
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Stacia Kane

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My experience with RRP has not been good. In fact, it's been awful. I signed with them back in August of 2009, and my book won't be released until July 2010. No edit or cover art has been done. When I saw the huge line up of "Coming Soons" every month, I tried to get out, but there's a kill fee of some two hundred dollars. And as if that isn't bad enough, this payoff must be sent by registered mail, along with a letter asking for your rights back. I'm in Canada, and it costs close to twenty dollars to send a registered letter to the US. In other words, they make it as hard for authors as they can. They're an author mill, no doubt about it.

When I continued to press for some kind of resolution Wendi -- who sounds like a hysterical hag -- accused me of harassment! (LOL) I'm going to take another dekko at the contract, no easy task it's about 11 pages long -- ever notice how scammers have overly long contracts? If it has a clause about the publisher terminating the contract if the author refuses to do an edit, etc. I'll be refusing to cooperate, and hoping to get out that way. Either way, I don't intend to be cooperative. It's tit for tat. They give me a hard time, they get it right back again in spades. I don't want my title released by them. I don't want anything to do with them. But I jolly well don't intend to give them as much as a nickel to get out. They're just greedy bums.

Cheers

Oh, dear. I've been almost exactly where you are, and I'm so sorry; it sucks. (In my case there was no kill fee but I'd already invested so much of my own money in promo I figured better to try to recoup at least some of those costs; I didn't end up doing so, but that's why I didn't just cancel the contract right away.)

FWIW you *might* be able to fight the kill fee a bit if you haven't had edits or cover art yet, since at least part of that fee is supposed to cover those things. (Of course, remember, I am NOT a lawyer.) It's worth discussing with them, anyway. If they haven't yet paid for art/artist or editor, they technically (in my not-a-lawyer opinion) shouldn't be able to force you to pay them back for those things. You could email them and just suggest that it might be better for them to let you go now before they've outlaid any cash.

Probably won't work, but it won't hurt to try.

Good luck; again, sorry this happened to you. But next time, please do some serious research before you submit! :poke:
 

Terie

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When I continued to press for some kind of resolution Wendi -- who sounds like a hysterical hag -- accused me of harassment! (LOL) I'm going to take another dekko at the contract, no easy task it's about 11 pages long -- ever notice how scammers have overly long contracts? If it has a clause about the publisher terminating the contract if the author refuses to do an edit, etc.

While we appreciate your frustration, once again you're diving straight into name-calling. A lot of start-up micro-publishers aren't scammers, they're just clueless. The end results of both are equally bad for their authors, but there is still a world of difference in motivation between the scammers and those who are well-intentioned but inexperienced.

Unless you have evidence that an actual scam is being run, it's best not to fling that accusation around quite so blithely.
 

Stacia Kane

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While we appreciate your frustration, once again you're diving straight into name-calling. A lot of start-up micro-publishers aren't scammers, they're just clueless. The end results of both are equally bad for their authors, but there is still a world of difference in motivation between the scammers and those who are well-intentioned but inexperienced.

Unless you have evidence that an actual scam is being run, it's best not to fling that accusation around quite so blithely.


Doh. I breezed right over that part. Yes, again, let's keep the "scammer" accusations and personal comments off the forum, okay?
 

litgirl

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So how fast are e-books generally published (acceptance to publication?) Because 11 months from signing to release would be incredibly fast from a print publisher. (Not just for printing time, but also editing.) I know someone else who signed with them recently, and I don't know when her book is supposed to be released, but she recently got her editorial notes, and they're "real" (ie, not just moving commas but refining some of the structure of the story). Even though she has a really short turnaround time to do the edits in, it's still a time investment on the publisher's part (especially as they have more than one author to do this with, and have to balance their releases so that there's enough for variety but not so many that individual books get lost in the flood).

Small e-book publishers are absolutely not the kind of thing I'm looking for for many of the reasons brought out here, but I don't know that a one-year wait time is one of them? But I know that e-books are different from print, so it's a sincere question about what the expected time lag is between offer and release.

ETA: Ah, I see that you haven't done any edits, either. Now that's frustrating (although again, I don't know the schedule for things like this...)
 
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Ravenwing

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Re: the scammer thing

I agree that it's impossible to prove intent. PA, for instance, might have the noblest intentions. Still, if it walks like a duck... :)
 

kaitie

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PA is obviously a scam and everyone knows it. We have documented proof of it. Hundreds of pages of proof. Even if something might have a trait or two that resembles a scam, it isn't necessarily, and we should avoid using language like that unless we have documented evidence to support it. A kill fee alone is not necessarily proof of a scam, and the point is we need to be careful about bandying words like that around. A bad idea does not necessarily equate with a scam.

Why do I feel like we've already said that a time or three?
 

pagerette

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RED ROSE PUBLISHING - www.redrosepublishing.com/. ... August 2008 update: Another negative report of lost contracts, lost editing, lost release dates, nonresponse. A general impression not of malice but of chronic disorganization. December 2008 update: there was a problem, but it has been resolved. A head was offed. But some artists have not received statements or checks, with little or no response to queries, and there are reports of retaliation. February 2009 update: I received a report saying that Wendi Felter was not booted from Mardi Gras, but that there was a campaign there against her by Teresa Jacobs, who used something like 23 aliases, and Wendi finally cut her losses and left. At Red Rose she hired an Editor in Chief who was not up to the job, had to replace her, and since then things have improved. They are now going to print publication as well as electronic and have been swamped preparing books for print debuts. Another report says Red Rose is doing a good professional job. April 2009 update: But another report of retaliation with enough detail to be persuasive. I omit the detail for that reason. And another positive report from an author. Apparently opinions differ. June 2009 update: Wendi points out that authors can rip off publishers, as well as vice versa, and gave examples. Sometimes she has gone out of her way to help authors, and not had much thanks. Sigh. My normal stance is with authors, but Wendi has a point. September 2009 update: it continues. An author suffered bad editing by an editor who then disappeared without notice. A new editor had problems with both the manuscript and the prior editing, then claimed that requested changes had not been made, when they had been made. That editor, too moved on. In the end, correspondence about the manuscript was ignored, and the book was not published. Finally giving up, the author asked for reversion—and was threatened with contractual breach. In sum: bad editing followed by neglect and a threat. This suggests to me that there are problems that are not being properly addressed. October 2009 update: They have increased to six releases a week. That's a heavy schedule, and there is concern whether it will dilute the sales of individual titles. ...

http://www.hipiers.com/publishing.html#R1
 
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pagerette

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Okay, demanding that an author with no edit or cover art done, pay a hundred bucks to get out, when RRP's own contract, states otherwise, sounds downright "scammy" to moi. Ditto for the "traceable" mail thing. According to the RRP contract that's only supposed to be after the book has been published.

"Author may petition Publisher to terminate contract at any time but will be responsible for production costs for applicable cover art and editors, including Publishers initial investment a one hundred dollar minimum is the cost at the time of this contract. $50 for the cover art and $50 for the editors if pulled before published but after a cover and editing has been done. After publication there must be a 90 day request for termination letter received by traceable mail, registered, etc., if the book has been out more than 30 days equaling a total of 120 day minimum, with no cost incurred to the author."
 

Maud

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I am a Newbie on this Board and appreciate those who have posted sharing their views and experiences. Actually I fully understand Amazon rankings since I self-published my first novel, a futuristic political thriller called The Founding Five. It still sells a copy now and then, although overall sales have been very low and the ranking has ranged from 47,000 to 1.4 million over the years. Since I wrote this book, I've learned a great deal and may eventually do a rewrite. I still believe it's a great story, although I realize it needed a lot of work before it was ready to be submitted to agents and publishers. In addition, when I go back and look at my query letters, I am actually embarrassed. Still everyone has to start somewhere.

I tried for three years to find either an agent or publisher for Confessions of a Liberal Lover, but invariably the response came back that they were not interested in novellas only full length novels. That's why I decided to go the e-book route. Two publishers responded to my query, requested the manuscript and offered me a contract. I chose Red Rose for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you are right and there is no hope that the book will be a success, but I still consider this a step up from self-publishing and it has not cost me anything out of my own pocket.

I will be attending an Algonkian Writer Conference in San Francisco in May and taking along my new novel, A Monstrous Game. Hopefully through the conference I will gain additional insights and be able to network with those who can help me find an agent, assuming I receive some confirmation that the book is worthy of publication.

The bottom line, however, is that after twenty-plus years working in a career I hated, I am now doing what I love. It would be nice if many readers could enjoy the fruits of my labor, which would result in my achieving commerical success, but even if I don't, I still consider the time I spend writing a blessing.

Thanks again for sharing.
 

pagerette

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I really feel sorry for a new writer who encounters something like this with his first book. Oh my! It would be enough to put him off writing for good. Even for more seasoned writers, this type of thing leaves a bad taste. Sometimes you just wonder, what with the low returns most of the time, anyway, and all the hassles, what IS the point? Working at Wal Mart would give a better return for one's time and efforts.
 

kaitie

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Okay, demanding that an author with no edit or cover art done, pay a hundred bucks to get out, when RRP's own contract, states otherwise, sounds downright "scammy" to moi. Ditto for the "traceable" mail thing. According to the RRP contract that's only supposed to be after the book has been published.

"Author may petition Publisher to terminate contract at any time but will be responsible for production costs for applicable cover art and editors, including Publishers initial investment a one hundred dollar minimum is the cost at the time of this contract. $50 for the cover art and $50 for the editors if pulled before published but after a cover and editing has been done. After publication there must be a 90 day request for termination letter received by traceable mail, registered, etc., if the book has been out more than 30 days equaling a total of 120 day minimum, with no cost incurred to the author."

Okay, the part you just quoted says specifically that the person is paying "after a cover and editing has been done." How does that mean that you have to pay a hundred dollars even if neither are done when the statement in the quoted area says you have to pay if they were done?

I also don't think it's necessarily scammy to say that they want it done by registered mail. Why is that suspicious? Maybe I'm just missing something here, but it sounds to me like a cover your ass clause. I.e., you have confirmation of receipt and then an author can't come saying "Well, I sent you an email," or something like that.
 
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Ravenwing

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Okay, the part you just quoted says specifically that the person is paying "after a cover and editing has been done." How does that mean that you have to pay a hundred dollars even if neither are done when the statement in the quoted area says you have to pay if they were done?

.

Beats me. Looks like Wendi saw the opportunity to make a fast buck and went for it.
 

Ravenwing

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PA is obviously a scam and everyone knows it. We have documented proof of it. Hundreds of pages of proof.

It might be *obvious* -- if it walks like a duck, etc. -- but it's still not proven, and by that I mean a conviction in a court of law. And we judge as we find. One full year to get an ebook released is totally unreasonable and unheard of. Then trying to put the bite on for a hundred fast ones, when the RRP contract states the kill fee only applies after editing and artwork have been done...it doesn't look good, now does it? And what possible chance does your title have of making any money when RRP is releasing some 30 new titles a month?
 
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Stacia Kane

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It might be *obvious* -- if it walks like a duck, etc. -- but it's still not proven, and by that I mean a conviction in a court of law.

PA admitted under oath in their mediation hearing that their business plan consists of selling authors their own books. This means that any statement/claim they make which implies they want to sell books to readers, or that they do not expect authors to buy their own books, is a lie.

PA also claims on its site that they "want your book, not your money" and they don't charge authors. Plenty of documentation exists that they do in fact charge for editing, "expedited" service, etc.; that they introduce errors into books and then charge for their removal; that their "editing" is in fact nothing more than a Spell-checker; that their books are poor quality; that they lie to authors when, for example, bookstores claim the books are not returnable; and lately, that they have taken orders for books, and charged the authors' credit cards, but have not shipped the books. PA claims to not be a POD but is obviously POD. PA tries to charge authors for the "plates" used to print their books when in fact POD books are digitally printed and there are no plates.



One full year to get an ebook released is totally unreasonable and unheard of.

Well...it's unusual but not entirely unheard of, and not necessarily unreasonable. For a publisher as small as RR, yes, it's a lot harder to swallow. But for the Big Five, it's not at all out of the realm of possibility/acceptability.


Then trying to put the bite on for a hundred fast ones, when the RRP contract states the kill fee only applies after editing and artwork have been done...it doesn't look good, now does it? And what possible chance does your title have of making any money when RRP is releasing some 30 new titles a month?

I agree with you that the trying to force you to reimburse them for expenses they have not in fact incurred is totally unacceptable. I take it that you spoke to them, then, and said since they haven't done edits or a cover yet you expect them to let you out of your contract without the fee, and they said no?

And sadly, it's not the number of titles being released that's the problem. The Big Five release that many or more every month. The problem is RRP has no audience to support that many releases.
 

Ravenwing

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Don't the big four, or five, require a sort of committed romance and a HEA? I don't write that sort of story.
 

Stacia Kane

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Not really, no. EC has its Exotika imprint for non-romance/non-HEA erotica. I'm sure Samhain has something similar, and I can't recall offhand if it's LSB or Loose-id that doesn't generally require them or also has a specific imprint (I did an interview with both a few years back and remember one of them saying they especially liked non-traditional stories. I'm pretty sure it was Loose-id but again, I could be wrong.)
 

veinglory

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They are, however, pretty much on the erotica--romance continuim. So if your work is neither romance nor erotica...
 

Brindle Chase

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Ellora's Cave, Samhain, Loose-id, Liquid Silver. Sorry, I guess it's the Big Four, lol. I often see Amber Quill listed as a fifth, though.


Amber Quill is by invitation only, last time I checked, but I concur on the four. Siren/Bookstrand might fit in there, but I haven't been able to confirm solid numbers.
 

Kensington

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Amber Quill is by invitation only, last time I checked, but I concur on the four. Siren/Bookstrand might fit in there, but I haven't been able to confirm solid numbers.

I have one title with them. My royalties are about sixty dollars, every quarter. But I'm not doing any promoting. I've found them okay so far, except that their guidelines are very rigid. A bit like telling an artist he has to paint within a certain frame, and that the frame is more important than his creation. I backed out of a second contract with them for this reason. They wanted me to make changes, so that my story would fit one of their (arbitrary) themes. The contract is for five years. No mention of a kill fee. I'd post it here but it's 11 pages long. Bla bla bla. But if anyone is interested in any of the clauses, I can oblige with that.


Cheers
 

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