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Safa Publishing / Modern Publish (Safa Shaqsy)

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

quianaa2001

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I honestly thought their website would be crappy but it's sleek looking. https://modernpublish.com/
She just posted on Twitter that their first book is out in paperback... [FONT=&quot]https://twitter.com/safashaqsy/status/1032253233870327808[/FONT]
 

mrsmig

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The splash page is showy, but the rest of the site looks pretty crappy (the small typeface is nearly unreadable, at least for my tired old eyes). And the only legitimate books they have for sale were written by the publisher. The other covers/titles are clearly placeholders.

I can only find the book referenced by quianaa2001 in Kindle format. It's not listed as available in paperback on Amazon (nor in any form at Barnes & Noble). I think that announcement is perhaps premature.

And of course, the book in question is...drumroll...written by the publisher.
 

VeryBigBeard

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Don't judge a publisher by its website.

It's kind of a professionalism thing. If a small publisher doesn't have a website--or more likely, it has one built in Wix and/or full of spelling mistakes--it's a red flag simply because it shows the business isn't professional or well-capitalized enough to hire out the web design.

But some perfectly legitimate publishers have websites that are, design-wise, inelegant. Samhain's (RIP) used to look kind of blockish and was always slow, but it was aimed at readers, had all the info it needed to have fairly accessibly, and was obviously updated and cared-for in a way that the Modern Publish website isn't.
 

gckatz

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Oof. Every slide on that splash screen is geared towards authors. One of them says "fiction stories." The first thing you see is "Get your books in the bestsellers' shelves." What the hell does that mean? Plus what's all this crap in the menu? M.C. Beaton? FaberShop? Costa First Novel Shortlist? It's like they lifted chunks of HTML from some other publisher's website without even changing the words so they make sense.

untitled_by_gckatz-dcliu02.png


I will also judge them for this:

Critics have been commenting on our staff who are not %100 white with perfect English. Our publishing company accepts diverse staff and writers, and non of them have to be perfect! We have different vision than yours, so let it be! #publishers #mswl #amreading #amwriting

https://twitter.com/safashaqsy/status/1034817803960901632

I am hiring you to PUBLISH MY BOOK. Which is made of words. Written in English. So yes, I want the staff who work for you (at least the ones who work with copy) to have perfect English. Is "It doesn't have to be perfect; it's fine if it's riddled with errors" going to be their attitude towards their books too?
 

ctripp

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Our publishing company accepts diverse staff and writers, and non of them have to be perfect!

gckatz, Oof is right! No publisher expects a writer to be perfect (that's why they HAVE editors) but all writers expect a publisher and their staff to be AS perfect as possible. How bizarre and unprofessional she even went there (race card) with this comment!
 

VeryBigBeard

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Yikes.

Sadly, I'm not totally surprised she went there, given some of the other issues with the company.

It should go with out saying that there are, of course, many non-white/diverse editors and publishing staff out there who are more than qualified to edit written English, including some for whom it's not a first language. Perhaps she should hire some of them. Except, my guess is paying a professional wage might be a problem, which means the company isn't helping marginalized editors at all, since part of "accepting" them is paying them.
 

ctripp

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Yes VBB, she is suggesting that being a writer/editor of colour, perhaps even with ESL, equals not having a command OF the English language. That only POC have less then perfect English (far from it) Which seems a far worse assumption then what she accuses her critics of.
I see from her tweets she struggles with English and that wouldn't mean a thing if she were in any other line of work, then "Publisher". On Goodreads the criticism's of her book/s are that of poor sentence structure/grammar/typo's. She may not deem the criticism fair but like it or not perfect English is expected in English books, funny that.

Honestly I would be very surprised that she has "staff" but going along with that for argument sake.
 

VeryBigBeard

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Yes VBB, she is suggesting that being a writer/editor of colour, perhaps even with ESL, equals not having a command OF the English language. That only POC have less then perfect English (far from it) Which seems a far worse assumption then what she accuses her critics of.
I see from her tweets she struggles with English and that wouldn't mean a thing if she were in any other line of work, then "Publisher". On Goodreads the criticism's of her book/s are that of poor sentence structure/grammar/typo's. She may not deem the criticism fair but like it or not perfect English is expected in English books, funny that.

Honestly I would be very surprised that she has "staff" but going along with that for argument sake.

Well yeah, that's what I meant. I really dislike the idea that being a POC = not being proficient in English. It's just not true and it's not a stereotype needs fuelling.

I doubt she has "staff" as such, too, but I was trying to be charitable, since she claims "staff" in the tweet.

Maybe we ought to consider "claims staff but is obviously referring to self in third-person," or in fact any self-reference in third person at all, as a red flag for a publisher?

If you publish in a certain language, you aim to compete with other books in that language.

Basically, this.

It's business.
 

BenPanced

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Speaking as somebody who's worked for underfunded operations?

You shouldn't have opened in the first place. It doesn't matter how altruistic your goals are. If you don't have the funds in place when you open and/or are having continuing problems with cash flow, you shouldn't even be in business.

It'll end in tears.
 

Sage

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So all these calls for books on twitter, a weird contest for "immediate publication", requests on ASAWL, and complaints about complaints that her editing skills aren't up to par are all coming before she even has funding for her business?

The good news is that I now believe that her call for authors with disabilities was genuinely because she wanted to help them. But it doesn't lessen the fear that these authors, who might be the most vulnerable, might go with a company that, not only doesn't know how to edit a book, but has no finances available to actually publish them.
 

gckatz

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I've worked with publishers on crowdfunded projects before. The crucial distinction was that they were pitched as crowdfunded projects; the contributors knew exactly what the project was going to be, they were run by experienced crowdfunders with a good track record, and they had enough cash up front to pay the contributors even if the campaign failed.

This is...not that.

https://www.gofundme.com/publish-diverse-authors-books

This is a person who has apparently never even DONATED to a crowdfunding campaign, let alone run one. She has no track record whatsoever, and she's asking for FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS sight unseen.

And what is this money going to? Is it paying for printing? Paying authors' advances? Hiring staff? Renting office space? Publicity? Web design? Distribution costs? Is she just going to keep it as her salary?

The only information about the campaign is one paragraph about how she cares about diversity. Fine, but where's the schedule? The cost breakdown? Risks and challenges? DELIVERABLES? What do we actually get if this fundraiser succeeds? Does she publish one book? Ten? Hardbacks, paperbacks, audiobooks, or nothing but ebooks? $50,000 is not enough to run a publishing company--does she have another income source?

It does not surprise me that she hasn't been able to get a single donation in the first 8 hours.
 
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Gillhoughly

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At the bottom of the Go Fund Me page is an option where you can report on that campaign. I believe she has violated their rules by false information, or in this case no information at all. They allow only 40 characters to put forward your case, so get a shortened URL for this message thread to put in. If more than 1-2 people here report on the same GFM page, someone there might take notice.

I do not think she is trying to actively rob people, but it is clear she has no idea what the hell she is doing when it comes to publishing.

I can speculate that she hopes to make enough money to keep things afloat in her venture while providing herself with cushy living expenses. Had this been a Kickstarter campaign, she would have had to put up tangible percs for supporters, and gotten no money at all should it fall short of the goal.

But this is her taking advantage of newbie writers who don't know any better. Reminds me of a busted GFM campaign where they begged cash for medical bills, but the person behind it just wanted others to pay for her vacation. :rant:
 
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Sage

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On twitter, she claims she had funding already for those she's already offered publishing contracts to and requested books from, but she wants this funding to have more than a few authors a year. I pointed out that her authors would probably appreciate the focus on editing and marketing if she stuck to only those she could afford to publish. She liked that tweet, so maybe she's listening. Maybe.
 

gckatz

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Reporting is only for fraud. Cluelessly starting a project you have no idea how to run is not fraud. (Especially since she has no deliverables, so she can't fail to give her backers what she promised them, which is nothing.)
 

madjack

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I just saw something alarming by this publisher/person in the #MSWL hashtag, if you read the authors response to her latest tweet about being in the FACES OMAN magazine, the author is confused because a book cover with her name as the author is featured, but is sounds like he thought that was his cover? Not cool no matter the reason for it.
 

mrsmig

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The poor guy. The book in question is listed with his title and name on the Modern Publish website, but it looks like she took the cover art, slapped her name and another title on it, and claimed it as her own book in the article she tweeted about. No wonder the author is confused.
 

Elizabeth George's book Write Away