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Rickshaw Publishing Ltd.

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

anneboleyn

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Was wondering what you guys make of Rickshaw Publishing:

http://www.rickshawpublishing.co.uk/

I have submitted three chapters and a synopsis some 6 weeks ago, but am disheartened a) by the fact I have yet to hear anything back, even from my message enquiring whether they have looked at my work yet and b) The fact neither the news page or forum has been updated for a year. Are these guys legit? They appear to be, but not impressed with the lack of updates and the spam flooding the forum...
 

CaoPaux

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Going by ...
Rickshaw Publishing currently seek fiction novels of any genre aimed at any age group. Novels submitted to us do not necessarily have to be completed: we are happy to hear from any writers with “Works In Progress” as well as those who have full drafts available
... alone, it's clear they mean well, but don't have a clue.
 

seun

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Can't say I've heard of them but what I can tell you is that six weeks is nothing. It's almost always way too early to expect to hear anything and it's definitely too early for you to be sending a follow up email.
 

Momento Mori

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Rickshaw Publishing Website:
Rickshaw Publishing is a new company

According to Companies House, Rickshaw Publishing Limited was incorporated in February 2009, so it isn't that new.

Rickshaw Publishing Website:
bring a fresh approach to the publishing industry, which we feel is excluding some new talent and being slow to create innovate marketing and publicity ideas.

:yawn:

This is the same old dribble that plenty of other small/start up publishers use. If Rickshaw is set up to create innovative and publicity ideas, then ask yourself how many of their books you've heard of.

Rickshaw Publishing Website:
The principle difference between Rickshaw and other publishing companies is that we are reviewing submissions for potential rather than simply whether they are already at a publishable standard.

Don't most commercial publishers acquire on potential? I know that many are delighted if your book is ready to go, but I equally know of authors who've sold their book and then done a load of editing rewrites on them as well.

Rickshaw Publishing Website:
We do not charge any fees at all for the editorial assistance we provide.

That's good. It would be better if there was information on the qualifications of those people providing editorial assistance and it would be great if Rickshaw was actually paying an advance for those books.

Rickshaw Publishing Website:
The reasoning behind this approach is that it takes a wide range of skills to produce a publishable novel. These include writing ability, plotting, character development etc, but also the ability to identify/consider the qualities that will result in sales, such as identification of the potential audience and marketability.

I don't understand why identification of the potential audience and marketability has anything to do with the author and the potential of their manuscript. Audience, sales and marketability is the publisher's job. They identify the markets, put together the product and sell it.

Rickshaw Publishing Website:
Currently, agents and publishers seem to expect finished manuscripts that excel in all of these areas.

Well duh. Of course agents and publishers want the best manuscripts they can get. That doesn't mean that they won't take a punt on something they think they can sell with rewrites, e.g. my agent and I have been working on the ending of my book for a while now with a view to sending it out to the market.

An author should always look to submit their best, polished work to an agent or publisher though because they can't count on that agent/publisher being willing to work with them.

Rickshaw Publishing Website:
We, as a publishing house, are very unusual in that we accept unsolicited submissions.

It's not that unusual. There are plenty of royalty-only paying publishers out there that accept unsolicited submissions. That's because they don't pay advances, which would make it worth their while to restrict their slush pile to agented queries.

Rickshaw Publishing Website:
Rickshaw Publishing currently seek fiction novels of any genre aimed at any age group.

Apart from the "fiction novel" howler, they're basically accepting anything and everything, which suggests they don't have a targeted marketing strategy and any marketing budget will be scattergunned over a wide area. That will prevent them (and in turn their authors) from gaining traction and reputation within particular genres.

How innovative.

It's also interesting that the most media attention they seem to have had for any of their titles is for COVERING MCKELLAN, which is a non-fiction book about Sir Ian McKellan's understudy and seems to have picked up mentions in The Telegraph and the Dail Mail. You'd think that the publisher would be looking to capitalise on that.

Rickshaw Publishing Website:
Novels submitted to us do not necessarily have to be completed: we are happy to hear from any writers with “Works In Progress” as well as those who have full drafts available.

Warning! Danger, Will Robinson!

In other news, the company only seems to have published 3 books since it opened. It talks about having picked up a YA book in February last year but it doesn't seem to have been published.

The blog's been dead since last August, as has the publisher's news page.

The company takes the benefit of a total exemption on Companies House, which means it's so small it doesn't have to submit audited accounts and which in turn suggests that it isn't making a lot from its publishing endeavours.

All in all, I'd suggest moving on.

MM
 

anneboleyn

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OK cheers everyone. Not hopeful about hearing anything back. I'm just so fed up of trying to battle my way into the fortress that is publishing and hoped these guys might be my way in. Seems unlikely.
 

aliceshortcake

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I've actually come across a copy of Covering McKellen...in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre shop.
 

Stacia Kane

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OK cheers everyone. Not hopeful about hearing anything back. I'm just so fed up of trying to battle my way into the fortress that is publishing and hoped these guys might be my way in. Seems unlikely.


Just as an aside, IMO there's no better place than AW for learning what you need to know/improving your work enough to help you win that battle! Once you have 50 posts (and so we've all gotten to know you a bit, and vice versa) you can post your query and/or a sample in Share Your Work for critique; we'd love to help you!
 

Momento Mori

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aliceshortcake:
I've actually come across a copy of Covering McKellen...in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre shop.

It looks like an interesting book to be fair, but I'm surprised that having had a reasonable success with it they're switching to fiction. You'd think they'd stick to what they're good at.

MM
 

LindsayM

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Momento Mori, have I mentioned lately that I love you? Your responses on this board are well-researched and on-point. This community owes you a medal for saving/informing so many of our new authors!
 

CaoPaux

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The latest News post (from Nov) makes it sound like they're winding down:

Dear all,

After 5 years, many thousands of submissions, numerous signed authors and several successfull publications, Rickshaw is no longer accepting unsolicited manuscripts.

Many thanks for sending us all your hard work over the years and apologies that we couldn't respond to each and every one of you in the depth we would have liked to.

If you haven't heard from us, please assume your submission has not been successful.

ETA: Yup. Site gone, last book pubbed (in '15), was Kindle edition of an earlier book ('13).
 
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