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Romance First Publishing

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

Dani

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So let me get this straight...

- They can't afford webhosting or a domain name, so they're using Blogger. Whereas both of these cost like $30-$40 a year.
- If they can't afford either of those, I doubt they can afford any editors, cover artists, proofreaders whatsoever.
- The fact that their covers look like they've been made by a three-year-old playing in Photoshop, shows that, in any case, they haven't hired a cover artist.
- The 'about me' page talks about this author/publisher person who has written a 'bestseller'. There's no mention of anyone else working for this company. No publicisits, no editors, nada.
- There are no buy links anywhere on the website. I don't think it's even possible to add a shop considering it's a blogger website, but they could at least link to Smashwords or Amazon.
- They have one of the most unprofessional websites I've ever seen. Surely, hiring a webdesigner can be expensive, but get webhosting, get a domain name, upload WordPress and buy a $35 WordPress theme. Set up an eCommerce plugin and you're ready to go. And if you can't do it yourself, hire someone to do it or ask a friend, or go read the tutorials. It's not that hard.
- All books in their 'Forbidden' series have the same cover image. Sure, I may be nitpicking, but I wouldn't be too happy with that as an author.
- Apparently on their 'FAQ' page turn-around time for submissions is 60-90 days including editing. Uhm, what?
- Also on their 'FAQ', they intend to make paperback versions of their books as well. :S
- They seem to have no Facebook page, Twitter, or any other social media except the GFC widget on their blog. At least, neither of those are mentioned on the blog.

Why on earth would ANYONE submit anything to them?

You got it in a nutshell. Oh, except the Wordpress theme. You can get free themes--even e-commerce ones. And many of the hosting sites give a free domain name with subscription to their hosting services. So...yeah. I'm perplexed.

Why on earth would ANYONE submit anything to them?

I've been trying to figure that out myself. And also trying to spread the word. I'm a little flabbergasted.

And, according to facebook, this publisher is affiliated with No Boundaries Press, whose submission page says the following (Yes, I copy pasted it. Yes the "publishing" site says this):
No Boundaries Press will be having special days that we will allow for pitches. Be watching our blog and Facebook locations for details. Please be certain to follow pitch guidelines when these opportunity’s are available.

I has screenshots because I know someone will think I'm putting them on if the publisher changes that.
 

Eriador117

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I really don't see what they are offering that an author couldn't do themselves via smashwords/amazon dtp etc. The site just screams 'unprofessional' and some of those covers, ugh! And how can a book be properly edited in 60-90 days?
 

michael_b

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So let me get this straight...

- All books in their 'Forbidden' series have the same cover image. Sure, I may be nitpicking, but I wouldn't be too happy with that as an author.

Okay, I'm not here defending the publisher, just making a point about cover art on series books.

A lot of houses do this with books involving the same characters or--sometimes--the same theme. It's most often done when shorter works--typically books published chapter by chapter--are involved. Paying $200+ for every cover when the story is short or even novella length would guarantee a loss, rather than a profit, especially with longer series that go over 3-5 books/episodes. It saves money. Incidentally it makes it much easier for readers to identify the books in a series because the connection is clearly visible. (It also helps when the publishers put the series name and number on each cover. Unfortunately, not all of them have done so.)
 

KimJo

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Yeah, on the subject of cover art, one of my romance publishers (MLR Press) does occasional short story/novella things that are part of a theme, for example Christmas/holidays, Valentine's Day, July 4, etc. Those stories are done by a number of different authors, but all have the same cover art; the only differences are the titles and authors' names (and the font of those might vary from book to book).
 

eternalised

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You're both right about that. I also didn't notice, up till now, that the books in question are 4k words short stories. I understand you can't do a different cover for every short story, although I highly doubt Romance First spends anywhere near $200 on their covers. My initial assumption was that these books were novels - and I, personally, would be anything but happy if my publisher gave the same cover to all my novels in a series. But for short stories, it's understandable of course.
 

sldanielson

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Hello...I thought i'd clear the rumors up about my publishing company. I read down to a lot of these posts....

1. yes, a lot of my books were self-published, it was a way to get the foot in the door. now, most of them are either taken by houses or are under the editing arm of my own company.

2. yes, our front page was a blog, because a new company doesn't have much $. We have some funds now and it shows in our brand new website.

3. yes, we have a staff. currently we have two cover artists, and editor-in-chief, a webdesigner, and three editors.

The company is 18 months old, but WE have made great strides in it and have accepted wonderful authors to our fold. I hope that you will check into the real situation now and not the old.
 

sldanielson

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Eternalised:

Allow me to address your items as well:

1. we couldn't afford anything at first, no. Now we can. Now we have a website, a blog, a facebook fan page, and twitter.
2. we have a staff of 6 people right now...2 cover artists, 3 editors, and an editor in chief.
3. we do have a cover artist, and I disagree with the assertion they were made by a 3-yr-old.
4. the bestseller claim comes from All Romance and Amazon, on making it to the genre bestseller lists, which are true.
5. buy links are on the website itself, and also on the blog for the amazon, smashwords, and all romance links.
6. the website issue has been taken care of, and its MUCH better. It took a lot of effort to get it to where it is now and we are proud of it.
7. The Forbidden series (no longer at RFP) the author chose the cover to be the same.
8. Our current turnaround time is roughly 5-6 months.
9. Yes, paperbacks are made if enough copies are sold to warrant the cost of production.
10. We have a facebook page, twitter, etc as I've mentioned.

We are a small, growing company that's doing our best. It has been a rough road; but we are making great strides in that direction.
 

michael_b

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Wow, no money? That does not inspire confidence. Sorry, but this is a tough business and starting out without funds isn't a smart choice.

How do you intend to pay for good cover art which starts out at $25 for simple photo manipulation and goes up into the hundreds of dollars for good hand drawn art? Yes, I see you have in house artists, but they still need to be paid the going rates for their work. Sometimes you do not recoup the cost of covers much less editing because a book simply fails to sell as anticipated.

How do you intend to keep the ball rolling if sales--which are always low for a new publisher--don't take off?

Then there are ongoing expenses such as website payments, cart fees, ISBNs--if you plan to use them--and the other costs of doing business like promotion and advertising.
 

gingerwoman

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Yeah, on the subject of cover art, one of my romance publishers (MLR Press) does occasional short story/novella things that are part of a theme, for example Christmas/holidays, Valentine's Day, July 4, etc. Those stories are done by a number of different authors, but all have the same cover art; the only differences are the titles and authors' names (and the font of those might vary from book to book).
Ellora's Cave does this as well for quickes.(Their shortest books)
 

girlyswot

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Banners!

That made me laugh and want to pinch their cheeks. Just like in fandom, right? I'm going to guess that's how this started and that's where these authors are from. Even if it's not all p2p, it's just got that feel written all over it.

I would invest a few hard-earned dollars in an automatic redirect from the old blog to the new website, without making people click through that intermediate site.
 

TuckerMcCallahan

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Going, Going, Gone!

While I'm sure it won't come as any surprise to the people who posted to this thread, I figured it was - for posterity's sake - worth mentioning that RFP will cease to exist as of July 1, 2015. This is kind of amusing, since this company has been without an editor-in-chief for all of 2014 and to the best of my knowledge only released two titles this entire year - both of which were owed on contracts signed at its inception. While those two novels were moderately successful, that was due entirely to the tireless work of the authors, both of whom are multi-published elsewhere with large fan followings. Essentially, they could've self-pubbed and done as well as they did.

All this said, I'd like to state (since I can't change the fact that my name is permanently associated with this entity) that I thoroughly enjoyed working with every single author I had the privilege of coming into contact with through RFP. They were all talented, inspiring, and hard-working. I hope when their rights revert they take them to reputable, professional publishing houses and try again.

For myself, I'm counting this as an important learning experience. I will never, EVER again accept any kind of editing job payable by royalty only, and I advise any other editors to RUN, not walk, from any contract that doesn't pay you for your work and/or time up front.

No amount of experience or networking is worth the aggravation of editing book after book and not even being able to buy a McDonald's value meal with your "paycheck."

That's all. Rant complete. Have a lovely Samhain, all!

~Tux
 

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