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Ridan Publishing

shaldna

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I disagree. Every business owner makes mistakes.

I agree. I don't think there's a single person who has not made a mistake. But if you want to be taken seriously in any business or job then you need to be able to seperate your personal opinions from your professional ones. There are times when I would love to shout and give out about something at work, but I don't because that's unprofessional, and no matter how bad a day I am having, I have to remember that it's MY professional integrity that I would be compromising if I acted like a jerk in a very public way.

In Robin's case she chose to rant about her ban to anyone and everyone who would listen, she wrote about it extensively on her blog and spoke about it in podcast interviews in other places.

Now, if that's how she reacts to getting herself banned at an internet site, which, at the end of the day isn't realyl that big a deal, then how would she react to a disagreement with an author, an agent or another publisher? Would she rant and bitch about it in public like she did over this, dragging someone else's name through the mud? As a professional I wouldn't want to deal with anyone who behaved like that. She's shown herself up and it reflects badly on her and her company, which is a shame because Ridan appeared to be doing very well.

If this is her standard behaviour then I, as an author, would seriously question if I wanted them to be the people I trusted with my career.
 

LIBGirl

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the favortism is what bothers me the most. I don't think I would want to have my books published by a press who's main focus is her husbands books. It makes it seem like everyone else associated with the press is just packaging.
 

profen4

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the favortism is what bothers me the most. I don't think I would want to have my books published by a press who's main focus is her husbands books. It makes it seem like everyone else associated with the press is just packaging.


Is it possible you’re looking at things with tunnel vision? It’s not as though Robin Sullivan is putting huge efforts into her husband’s books and they’re selling double digits. He sold over 60,000 copies of his books before the rights transferred to Orbit. His next book, according to the Amazon page, comes on the heels of the Orbit releases.

If you subtract the fact that Michael is Robin’s husband, does it still look like favoritism? I don’t think so. It looks like a press putting a concerted effort into one of their top producing authors. Also, it’s not like her other authors aren’t doing well. Many of them have sold tens of thousands of copies of their books. Robin is attracting big name authors which happens to be a great way to strengthen the “Ridan” name/brand. It’s a great business move (IMO).

This is the BR&BC thread. Ridan has not burned any authors. Their books are well produced. They get good reviews. They sell lots of copies. No author has been duped into signing a horrible contract (in fact, I’d argue that the Ridan contract is one of the most author friendly in the industry). If an author isn’t happy, they can leave at any time.

I get that there might be some animosity in AW about the situation surrounding the banning of Robin Sullivan (it sounds nefarious when I word it like that :p). I get that it might have been the topic de jour on a couple blogs a while back, but I think it was a non-event for most people. I love this forum, but the tone of some of the posts on here strike me as a bit confrontational. Needlessly confrontational. But then again, maybe I'm just being oversensitive. ;)
 
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shaldna

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The favouritism, or perception of it, doesn't really bother me. After all, the company was founded in order to publish Michael's books, and it's done that very well. It's all very open and upfront about it, it's not like it's a secret or anything and, as has been pointed out, his books are selling well. Well enough for him to be picked up by a major publishing house.

Now, what will be interesting to see is what happens now that Michael has essentially jumped ship.

In a perfect world Ridan would then focus more on it's other authors, but we shall see.
 

priceless1

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The favouritism, or perception of it, doesn't really bother me...It's all very open and upfront about it, it's not like it's a secret or anything...In a perfect world Ridan would then focus more on it's other authors, but we shall see.
You mean she's open about claiming that her main focus is marketing and promoting her husband's work and that of a couple other authors? What if you were one of those other authors? Would you be okay watching the majority of attention focused on a few authors?

I hate to bring up Kunati again, but that's exactly what happened there. It was a front for the publisher's own books. He hid behind all the authors he signed in order to make his company look legit with a full lineup. It didn't take too long before the authors noticed how he spent all his time and money promoting his own books, telling them his "fame" would trickle down to them. Of course, it never did.

Ridan has more than just the three or four authors whose sales she claims are selling like hotcakes. There's no way to prove those sales since she sells off the grid. I remain curious about those sales figures because there are too many things that simply don't add up. Regardless, I'd certainly be leery of any publisher whose foundation is based on one particular author because I'd worry about being a piece of furniture.
 

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Lynn, it might not be possible to check Ridan's sales figures since few of their sales are caught by Nielsen; but in the UK it's easy to get hold of a copy of a company's accounts, once they've been filed; and it's easy to look up a company and see when those accounts are due. A set of annual accounts would at least show us that Ridan is making money, and how much of it, which might set some minds to rest.
 

priceless1

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That's probably possible in the US - I have no idea. Thing is, will authors go to those lengths, or simply move on to another publisher? The reason I put it out there is that I don't know how they make these sales. So far, all we've heard is that Robin does a lot of social media, but she's not really forthcoming as to how those sales come about. I mean, 5k sales in a single month is really great. We've done this as well, but it's because our books were available in the bookstores.

I'm not saying it can't be done, but why isn't she more transparent with her marketing and promotion? Like I said, it's merely a spidey sense with me. Someone who's kicking tush with a book is more than happy to discuss how those sales came about. She isn't. Why? And dare I trust turning my book over to them?
 

shaldna

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I'm not saying it can't be done, but why isn't she more transparent with her marketing and promotion? Like I said, it's merely a spidey sense with me. Someone who's kicking tush with a book is more than happy to discuss how those sales came about. She isn't. Why? And dare I trust turning my book over to them?

A while back I questioned her about her marketing, specifically about her website,which hadn;t been updated in 6months. She went on about how she marketed her books to a set audience and how that audience wasn't necessarily the reader in the general sense. I said that if she was a bit more general with her marketing that casual genre readers, like me, would actually hear about her books.

The upshot of this was that she did finally update Ridan's website, but she backdated entries so it wouldn't look like she'd had six months of total silence there. Not a good indication if you ask me.

She went on about how any thousands they were selling per title, per month, and while some of those numbers were high enough to rank, they still didn;t appear on any of the charts that I keep up to date with. In fact, had she not been on this site then I, despite being a sci-fi and fantasy reader and writer, would not have heard of any of her writers or her books.

And so, if she is, as she previously said, not marketing to the general reader (I asked her how much more successful she would be if she marketed in a way that meant less hardcore readers would hear of her, she basically told me that I wasn;t her target audience, which guaranteed that I won't ever buy a book published by her) then I'm curious as to what she is doing. I haven't seen anything from her either publicly or professionally regarding her books, so I really don't know who she is marketing to or how she is doing it, but, despite looking out for her, I havent't come across anything.
 

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I think you bring up a valid observation, Shaldna. You write in her genre, and yet you know nothing of them. Someone who claims to sell 5k units monthly for a few of her titles surely becomes a much bigger ping on everyone's radar screens.

I remember when we had our first best-selling book, agents came crawling out of the woodwork with their queries. They could verify the sales and knew we could sell books. That's usually how it works, and I can't help but have a few questions about someone whose sales I can't verify and who appears to not be on anyone's radar. Who's buying her books, and why isn't there more word-of-mouth discussion about the quality of their books?
 
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Saanen

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When I first started my book review blog, one of the earlier books I reviewed was the first in Michael Sullivan's series. I gave it a positive review but said it needed another editing pass. That was the edition published by Aspirations Media.

I got a comment on the review several months later from someone named Susan Parker, whose Blogger profile says she's an intern at Ridan but, now that I look at it, looks suspiciously like she's not a real person. You know. Anyway, she said the book had been picked up by Ridan and would be re-edited before its re-release.

Here's the URL for the review in question, if anyone's interested. It's from December of 2009.

Anyway, what is odd is that Ridan has never contacted me with information about any of their other books, including Michael Sullivan's, despite a positive review and my contact email being listed on the blog for publishers/authors. Even if Robin doesn't think my small blog is worth bothering with for sending ARCs, you'd think I would be on her list for direct marketing. I get an awful lot of that from other publishers and authors, but not a peep from Ridan. If she's not selling books to people like me, who's buying them?
 

Scribhneoir

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You mean she's open about claiming that her main focus is marketing and promoting her husband's work and that of a couple other authors? What if you were one of those other authors? Would you be okay watching the majority of attention focused on a few authors?

One thing I've always found peculiar is that Robin, owner of a small press, spends all her time on the Internet gushing about the glories of self-publishing. That would certainly cross Ridan off my list if I wrote SF/F. I would want a publisher who was giddy about the glories of going with a small press, not one who seemed to feel I was foolish for not going it on my own.

Because of this attitude, I've always had the impression that Ridan was all about Michael Sullivan's work, not about publishing SF/F books in general. If the other authors' sales are as great as claimed, that's wonderful, but I take Robin's assertions with a great deal of salt.
 

shaldna

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Because of this attitude, I've always had the impression that Ridan was all about Michael Sullivan's work, not about publishing SF/F books in general. If the other authors' sales are as great as claimed, that's wonderful, but I take Robin's assertions with a great deal of salt.

Initially the company was founded as a means to self publish Michael's books. It's since taken on other authors, but not many and generally it's Michael's books which are talked about a lot. Which I guess is great for Michael, but maybe would annoy an author who didn't feel that they were getting the same treatment.
 

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My seven book StarBridge series will be issued for the first time as e-editions (and later, print editions) by Ridan in November. You may be assured that I checked out Ridan's contract and sales figures exhaustively before I signed with them.

-Ann C. Crispin
 

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Thanks, AC. That's truly valuable info.
 

CaoPaux

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Excellent. Since the marketing and promotion should be in full swing by now, can you tell us what's being done for you?
 

AC Crispin

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Promotion

At this time, Ridan is still working on covers and final proofing of the books. However, they've been announced in a press release and Twitter feed by Ridan. You can check their website.

I've been promoting the re-release on my FB page, and will be blogging about the re-release and posting on my website as soon as I finish writing the last of the Author Afterwords. Each of my co-authors proofed his/her book after OCR'ing. I am now proofing each book as it is "translated" into e-book form, in addition to Ridan's proofreader (who seems quite competent, but of course she doesn't know my universe and its nomenclature the way I do).

After the last of the book production details are out of the way, I'll be discussing promotion more, including interviews with the StarBridge authors (and myself) that will be posted on both websites.

It's not like I was expecting Ridan to send me off touring around the country. In my entire career, Disney's the only company I've ever worked with that sent me out for a couple of short "tours" at their expense. Even the little bit of touring I did was fun, but tiring!

-Ann C. Crispin
 

shaldna

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One thing I will say is that Ridan have some gorgeous covers.
 

davidhburton

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My seven book StarBridge series will be issued for the first time as e-editions (and later, print editions) by Ridan in November. You may be assured that I checked out Ridan's contract and sales figures exhaustively before I signed with them.

-Ann C. Crispin

I have a lot of respect for Robin and Ridan. You're in great hands, Ann.
 

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My internet connection has been sketchy lately because we have snow here and it interferes with our satellite reception: but it seems ok right now. Except that I can't get the Ridan website to open. I've tried several pages and none will load. Is this just a problem for me, or is it more widespread?