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Roane Publishing

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Oldbrasscat

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http://www.roanepublishing.com/index.html Just opened to submissions last month and have two open calls for anthologies on their blog.

They say they pub romance, erotic romance, erotica and fantasy (but no scifi). The website claims a three week turnaround on submissions.

They also say that they are staffed by people with 10 years of publishing experience, but there's no list of staff yet.

Still a pretty skimpy web presence. Anyone know anything about them?
 

Torgo

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Website is registered to one Rebecca Hart. A Rebecca Brennan Hart, who is an author with companies like 'Inkspell' and 'Evernight', has 'liked' several posts on Roane's Facebook page. I wonder if she is the owner?
 

Rebecca Hart

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*winces, breathes heavily through teeth* Anyone can make a typo, but when it's clear nobody reread the text before it went live...

I am Rebecca Hart -- have been a "silent" member here on AW for some time. When I first heard this thread existed and I gave it a read, I decided I wouldn't even comment. So much negativity, I thought the best plan was to pretend I hadn't read it and move on with my life. Not everyone can be happy about everything, right?

But then I let it stew for a bit, and decided that if I was really taking this new venture seriously, I had to come and address a few of the concerns being put forth. I mean, as an author myself, I do understand. Completely. I've been screwed by pubs before, or believed the best about some in the biz only to learn later I was naive -- so why wouldn't I think others would also be wary... You should be.

So rather than look at this post as a big bash of a venture that is too new for anyone to form a valid opinion of, I thought it best to address the concerns mentioned in the thread.

1. Yes, Roane Publishing is my venture, so I am indeed the "owner".

2. Staff Lists are not complete, hence why there isnt a page or official staff list of some kind, though to be honest, I am not sure everyone who works with/for me will be listed anyway. Some prefer to remain anonymous for the purposes of advertising and work with me on the side or in addition to work they do for other publishers or websites, so prefer not to let their other "bosses" know they moonlight for someone else.

3. My daughter typed up my webpages and I hadn't had time with getting review blogs in line for promotions and going through the submissions we received so far to take the time to look for typos. So thanks for pointing them out so neatly so I could fix them today. That saved me some work :)

4. Working on the sample contract for potential authors to have a look at and I am hoping to have one on the site in by the end of this weekend.

5. I am a little confused why being author-centric makes an ePub a "MEH", but hey -- whatever works. You can't satisfy everyone in this world, and we certainly aren't forcing anyone to submit to us. We merely offer authors another alternative for their story submissions in the genres we hope to publish.

6. I dont even know what "pirate porn" is and I write erotica and erotic romance...am I missing a cool revenue stream? I am addicted to all things pirates...

I fully expect Roane Publishing to have to "prove" itself before it can earn the full trust of its contracted authors, or potential ones. To be completely honest, I am pleased as punch someone even noticed we are out here, even if you all are unsure if we are worth checking out.

It is my hope eventually you will be talking about what a great option we are rather than wondering what is up with the new kid on the block.

Best.
Rebecca Hart
 
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PortableHal

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I dont even know what "pirate porn" is and I write erotica and erotic romance...am I missing a cool revenue stream? I am addicted to all things pirates...

I think this is because your site has requested all stories contain a "bay boy" element. Bay boys might well be pirates (who would also be the "bad boys" that truly intrigue you).

Rebecca, glad you've posted. I'm certain many questions will soon follow.
 

Marian Perera

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When I first heard this thread existed and I gave it a read, I decided I wouldn't even comment. So much negativity,

You'd be surprised how many now-out-of-business small presses have complained about what they see as negativity and what we see as caution. Just two such examples: Cacoethes and Lionsong.

When you've seen a hundred such presses either implode or fade away, it's difficult to get all happy and rah-rah about the hundred and first that comes along.

3. My daughter typed up my webpages and I hadn't had time with getting review blogs in line for promotions and going through the submissions we received so far to take the time to look for typos. So thanks for pointing them out so neatly so I could fix them today. That saved me some work :)
You're welcome, but there are probably others we haven't pointed out. I hope you'll find time to proofread your website soon.

5. I am a little confused why being author-centric makes an ePub a "MEH"
Because publishers attract their customers via their websites. If their customers are readers, the website tends to appeal to readers. If their customers are authors, the website tends to appeal to authors.

I fully expect Roane Publishing to have to "prove" itself before it can earn the full trust of its contracted authors, or potential ones.
You're right to have that expectation. There are boards where someone can say, "I'm a brand-new publisher" and be greeted with fist-pumping cheers. This isn't one of them, because, as I said, we've seen how badly that kind of venture can turn out and we try to keep writers safe.

Good luck to you!
 

MumblingSage

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My daughter typed up my webpages and I hadn't had time with getting review blogs in line for promotions and going through the submissions we received so far to take the time to look for typos. So thanks for pointing them out so neatly so I could fix them today. That saved me some work

I understand you're very busy starting a new venture, and as I said, typos happen. But honestly? The website interested customers will be go to when they want to check out your books, and the guidelines authors will read when deciding whether to submit to you, has to showcase your professionalism. If you haven't had time to look over the text of your website, save it in a draft form or Word document until you've had time to reread it. But posting it without checking at all, when you have nothing except the content of your site to speak for you, seems dangerously careless.

This goes for all websites, by the way--I've gotten very frustrated with some blogs and websites in my professional field that could have benefited from a closer reread or two--but doubly so for websites of businesses that make their living by the written word.
 

Rebecca Hart

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Agreed, Mumbling Sage.

I didn't mention the daughter as a means to excuse anything (she feels poorly enough about it already), merely to explain the reason it existed. We are about as spanking new as it gets, so are evolving and adding information at a rapid pace, and it is my personal failing for allowing any text to go live without putting eyeballs on it first.

Life is full of little lessons.

Typos do happen, and as a means to keep the problem from popping up again, I have placed the additions to the website into draft formats so I can have a look at the new pages and additions before they go live.

I'm hoping that will solve that particular issue going forward.

For any who are interested in checking it out, I have added a sample author contract to the website in an effort to remain "transparent".
 

waylander

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Rebecca, if you have been lurking here for a while you will have seen other new publishers get asked the same questions as you are being asked. You will have seen some go up in flames at the 'negativity' they interpret from the questions. Please don't follow them in the mistakes they made. We want you to succeed, we want another trustworthy publisher that we can send our works to. But we want that publisher to get our books in front of the book-buying public and then pay us the royalties that have been earned.
There's a lot of information in the archive threads here, an awful lot of examples of how not to do it. Please read them, please succeed, and believe that we want you succeed.
 

Rebecca Hart

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Sure I have. Plenty of them. I've worked with some on both sides of the coin, and as I stated in my very first post, completely understand and expect a "due diligence" approach to Roane Publishing.

I don't take personally any of the comments made in this thread. Quite the opposite. I have made a point to try to address some of the base concerns made in the comments in a professional and polite manner.

It's my hope that not lurking or hiding in the shadows only shows a good faith desire to be both forthcoming and attentive to the "questions" and concerns raised here, and proactive in correcting shortcomings or failings (perceived or real) as they come up.
 
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EvolvingK

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I wanted to post here about the experience I had with Roane Publishing back in the beginning of the year (before I learned about Absolute Write and the water cooler, sadly).

I submitted to one of their anthologies, and got accepted. I'd had some hesitation before I submitted--their previous anthologies on Amazon had no reviews, and the website was not awesome, but I thought I'd give it a go.

The contract didn't look awesome. I've been published in anthos put out by Circlet Press and Cleis, so I am used to getting a set payment for my story; I didn't love the idea of a profit share instead, but okay. I noticed the kill fees that were laid out--one for editing, and separate one for the cover--but didn't realize how much trouble they would cause me.

I should note that the cover was already designed when submissions were requested, and was part of the call.

I got back my first pass edit and was shocked. Again, I'm not stranger to editing, but I'm more used to seeing "This paragraph is inconsistent for x reasons, fix it," whereas what I got back was the editor rewriting my story.

I argued several of the changes, and on some, the editor was willing to make changes, but on some others, she rudely informed me that I knew nothing about publishing, and needed to follow "house style", which was the first I'd heard of a house style guide.

I protested to the acquiring editor I'd originally spoken to, and she told me she didn't see the problem, and that she could take over my editing if I wanted, or I could work with the editor I had.

At that point, I lost my temper and requested my rights back. I started googling the company, found this thread, and realized that Rebecca Hart was the editor I'd been working with. A little research acquainted me with her writing style, and unsurprisingly, my story had been edited to look just like that.

The acquiring editor send my contract termination request to the "company owner" with no acknowledgment that this was the editor I'd been working with, and I got back an email asking me for the kill fee.

I challenged the kill fee, stating that the cover had already been designed, and therefore in no way could I be held liable for it, and the editing was substandard and not professional, and did not meet the contract definition of what was supposed to be provided. (The last one was a long shot, I admit). I also said, quite plainly, that while it was absolutely within their rights to publish the story without my okay--I'd signed the contract, after all--it would really just be better for all of us to walk away from this.

The message I got back from Rebecca acknowledged the termination of my contract because she "Frankly, could not be bothered to care."

I was seriously unimpressed, and would warn friends away from further calls with the company.
 
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LindaJeanne

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informed me that I knew nothing about publishing, and needed to follow "house style", which was the first I'd heard of a house style guide.

Um, someone who knows more can correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that "house style guides" were exclusively the domain of non-fiction, which is a very different animal than fiction.

Sorry you had such a rough experience. An editor re-writing your work, instead of pointing out what you need to fix, seems very odd to me.
 

EvolvingK

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Ellora's Cave apparently has one as well, but at least it was a document that I was given and told to read over and be prepared to discuss if my story was dramatically different. The short version is that I love semi-colons and took the time to use them properly; because of people who tend not to use them properly, it seems like a lot of people have a bias against them.

Other than that, EC's was more or less how to properly use an em dash, whether or not you could start sentences with dashes or ellipses, stuff like that.
 

amergina

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Um, someone who knows more can correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that "house style guides" were exclusively the domain of non-fiction, which is a very different animal than fiction.

Sorry you had such a rough experience. An editor re-writing your work, instead of pointing out what you need to fix, seems very odd to me.

There are house style guides in fiction. Generally, they're things related to spelling, whether to use an oxford comma, certain word usage... things like that. One house I publish with generally uses CoMS as their base, plus a few house-specific things. (Like using the first spelling of a word as defined by M-W, so all my instances of dreamt became dreamed.)

But certainly my work was never rewritten to someone else's writing style.
 

veinglory

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What is meh is that most publishers' webpages are aimed at readers because that is where the money comes from--with a side area for authors. And saying you let you daughter put web content live without checking it confirms the impression being made by a page full of types. That is: not professional.

Amateur/one person publishers have a role in the industry, but it is generally a small niche at best and these are the publisher mostly likely not to last beyond a few years. Our "negativity" about this kind of publisher is more statistical than personal.
 

Kastil

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I've worked with publishers that have style guides that dealt with more than punctuation. Each house is different.

That being said, I've worked with Roane for an anthology (bad boys wanted) and had no issues. My editor--who was also Rebecca--did not try to change any of my voice and I had a house atyle guide to work with. Again, every publisher I work with is has differed in preference.

We have more reviews on that anthology than some of my standalones with other companies as well.

I have an historical western I'm polishing to send to them as well.

We all have bad experiences with publishers. Mine, in particular, was with a company that folded who wanted me to sign my rights away to my novels or pay for them as they were closing up. I never received any owed royalties either.

In the end, I believe there two sides to every story. This is mine.