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The Creative Arts Company / Vandermast Publications

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

Caleb

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Hello. I'm absolutely new here, found it while google-ing LOL. I was immediately attracted to this site because of the threads on PA. I'm very glad I got to read these posts as I was just about to submit my first manuscript to them. Thanks loads for the information and the warning!

To return the favour, I just got word from a mate of a publisher who will actually do returns for book stores and assisst writers in any way possible. I've viewed their website and I rather like it. I sent my manuscript to them.

Here's the link for anyone interested:

www.thecreativeartscompany.com

Caleb
 

veinglory

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They may 'do returns' but they combine publishing with paid editing and have a blanket requirement that submitting authors use a paid editing service before submitting. ("However, any manuscript accepted for publication will have to go through a proofreading/editing process prior to printing and publishing. Authors are not obligated to use our proofreading/editing services and are free to employ the services of any proofreading/editing service(s) of their choice.") This along with overall poor website grammar and presentation--and a lack of any books in the catalogue do not make a good first impression.
 

Caleb

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veinglory said:
They may 'do returns' but they combine publishing with paid editing and have a blanket requirement that submitting authors use a paid editing service before submitting. ("However, any manuscript accepted for publication will have to go through a proofreading/editing process prior to printing and publishing. Authors are not obligated to use our proofreading/editing services and are free to employ the services of any proofreading/editing service(s) of their choice.") This along with overall poor website grammar and presentation--and a lack of any books in the catalogue do not make a good first impression.


That's not what they mean at all. They require all manuscripts to be in "perfect" publishing condition before publishing. Although they offer proofreading/editing services, they don't MAKE you use them. As long as there are no errors, they don't give a care WHO proofreads/edits. Authors can do the work themselves or have someone else do it for them who will not charge. What they're interested in is publishing books without all sorts of mistakes in them. I highly appreciate THAT! As for the lack of any books in their catalogue, they ARE new and if you click on "book store" they admit they are new, etc. If authors wish to use them, they can. If they wish to use some other proofreading and editing service, they can. If they wish to do it themselves, they can do so, as well, is what it is. Just as long as all errors are corrected.

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veinglory

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Caleb said:
That's not what they mean at all.

It may not be what they mean but it's what they say--at length and going onto to say that using the in house paid editing service may be the quickest and "cheapest" option. Even with the best of intentions trying to sell editing services and be a 'real' publisher at the same time is an jarring combination.
 

Caleb

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It's not such a big deal, luv. We all make mistakes when writing...grammar, punctuation, etc. As long as these are corrected and the story flows, it's cool. Personally, I don't want my book to be full of errors once published. It makes me look like an illiterate idiot. I think I'll pass on it.

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veinglory

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Personally I self edit and have any remaining mistakes corrected by the in house editor, for free. It's part of what a publisher (c.f. a printer) does.
 

DaveKuzminski

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Remember, if their site is full of errors created by them, then how can they be expected to judge when a manuscript is error-free?
 

Caleb

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veinglory said:
It may not be what they mean but it's what they say--at length and going onto to say that using the in house paid editing service may be the quickest and "cheapest" option. Even with the best of intentions trying to sell editing services and be a 'real' publisher at the same time is an jarring combination.

I will contact them and make them aware that their "wording" may cause confusion. I don't know if they'll change it, but it's worth the try. I will stick with them regardless, as I don't see a problem. I've not had to spend a pence yet. If it gets ridiculous I'll let everyone know. But by their lengthy respond by e-mail to my submission, I won't have to spend anything. I'm planning on doing my own editing. When I informed them of it, they didn't give me any grief at all. All they said about this matter was "Make sure you read it once, twice, three times. Also, have a friend, etc. read it as well. Sometimes the small errors are missed...." Personally, I truly don't see a problem.

Caleb
 

veinglory

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I wish you the best of luck and sincerely hope I am being overly sceptical, but do let us know if you get the 'notification' mentioned below:

"However, any manuscript accepted for publication will have to go through a proofreading/editing process prior to printing and publishing. Authors are not obligated to use our proofreading/editing services and are free to employ the services of any proofreading/editing service(s) of their choice. Once a manuscript is accepted by Vandermast Publications, the author will be notified by e-mail and given instructions on how to proceed. At that time, we will request a proofread/edited copy of the manuscript for publication. If we are not satisfied with the copy submitted (if we find errors, etc.) we will not publish the manuscript at that time. The author will receive an e-mail with notification as to why it will not be published. The author is then encouraged to correct all errors and re-submit. Using our proofreading/editing services will make the publishing process quicker and at less expense to the author (unless the author is doing the proofreading/editing) as these services can be quite costly and we pride ourselves in offering these services at an extremely reasonable price. Before publication and printing, we will send a copy of the manuscript as it will look after publication to the author for inspection and approval. If any errors are found by the author on our behalf, the manuscript is then returned to us for further proofreading and editing corrections at no further expense to the author. We want your book to be as professional as possible so that when you submit your copies to agents/managers, they are not "filed" in the trash bin because of errors which they will not accept."

They really are pushing their services which, even if they do not absolutely require them, puts me off. As for their editing service see a further example of their prose:

"Vandermast Publications will custom design all book covers for the uniqueness of each book at no expense to the author. Book covers can also be design by the authors themselves, or by someone they know with such artistic talent."
 

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Vandermast Publications recomends an editing service AFTER acceptance for publication. Either you go with theirs, or one of your choice, but they reserve the right to reject your edited manuscript. Therein lies the hammer over your head. All they have to do is reject it once or twice, which would compel you to use their service. Quite a nice bit of psychology going on here! In other words, your manuscript has been accepted for publication officially--you are so close you can taste it. Only the quality is not quite good enough yet, ACCORDING TO THEIR STANDARDS. Then AFTER this prerequisite editing, they go over the manuscript and send you the galleys for a final go-over. What? You mean they are actually editing NOW at the tail end--the thing that they're supposed to do anyway? What's this?

What does this =? It equals an editing service in the guise of a publisher.

We've seen this one before.

Tri
 

Christine N.

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Any publisher that wants an edited manuscript without having to do the work is nothing more than a printer. Lulu will do ya for that. Sorry, mate, but real publishers have in-house editors that edit for grammar AND content, as part of the publishing process, for which they PAY YOU, either advance or royalties or both.

Not trying to rain on your parade, but perhaps you should take a gander at one of the other stickied threads on this board... "How Real Publishing works" I think it's called. You'll know it when you see it. It's quite educational.
 

Caleb

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I've contacted Vandermast Publications and brought up the discussions here. I received a reply e-mail thanking me (and you, actually) for pointing out misunderstandings. They also informed me that they have made corrections to clarify their meanings and said if there are any other discrepancies found to please notify them at once and they will take care of it. I checked their website and they DID make corrections.

Christine N.: you did not "rain on my parade" mate. I am aware of how "real" publishers operate. However, I've submitted my materials to "real" publishers and all I have gotten were rude rejection letters. Rejection letters in themselves would not have bothered me, as everyone gets rejected at some point or another. It was the rudeness of it all. Basically, they don't want to publish me because I'm an "unknown." Their words, actually. So, Vandermast suits me fine for the time being, as they're not asking for money at all(see corrections on site), and I've got nothing to lose. I get my book published, sell some(hopefully many...lol), get some sort of following, and take it from there. Eventually, things do pick up. But if I don't ever get my manuscripts published, no one will ever know I exist. I have to begin somewhere! I am an optimist by nature, so I have no worries that I'll succeed one way or another as a writer. Will I be famous? Who knows? Will I make money from my writing? Absolutely. Will I reach "John Grisham" status? Again, who knows? Doesn't really matter. I'll take the ride and enjoy it, regardless. For now, I'll begin at this point and see where it leads me. Believe me, if they ever ask for money, I can always say "no" and go about my business. I'm not marrying Vandermast, I'm simply joining them a tad.

Caleb
 

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Caleb said:
However, I've submitted my materials to "real" publishers and all I have gotten were rude rejection letters. Rejection letters in themselves would not have bothered me, as everyone gets rejected at some point or another. It was the rudeness of it all. Basically, they don't want to publish me because I'm an "unknown." Their words, actually.
Could you post name of pub and the exact exchange, please? More often than not, what new writers consider rudeness is an unsubtle statement of "read our guidelines". If publishers are indeed responding rudely to an appropriate submission, then we need to know who/what for our files. Thanks.
 

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Caleb said:
ISo, Vandermast suits me fine for the time being, as they're not asking for money at all(see corrections on site), and I've got nothing to lose. I get my book published, sell some(hopefully many...lol), get some sort of following, and take it from there. Eventually, things do pick up. But if I don't ever get my manuscripts published, no one will ever know I exist.
If you publish with Vandermast, it's still likely no one will know you exist. Based on what I see at its website, I'm guessing that this publisher does little or nothing in the way of marketing or distribution--meaning that your book won't be advertised, reviewed in professional publications, or placed on bookstore shelves, all of which are essential for getting reader attention and selling in numbers. The promotional stuff you can do yourself--arranging signings, going to conventions, etc.--isn't a substitute. Also, because of the lack of a genuine editing process (copy editing/proofreading doesn't count), and probably a similar lack of rigorous selectivity in what they accept for publication, I very much doubt that a book from this publisher would be considered a professional writing credit. As with PublishAmerica, it's more or less like not publishing at all.

Also--all issues of editing schemes and exposure aside--it's risky to hook up with a new publisher before it has actually managed to put out any books. Internet-based publishers, which are often started by people who have no publishing experience, frequently go bust and vanish, often without ever publishing anything. It's a good idea to make sure the publisher you choose has proved itself able to take a book all the way through the production process. This also allows you to evaluate important things like physical quality, whether the cover designs are professional, and whether the prices are competitive.

- Victoria
 

Caleb

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I've been doing some reading, and I've noticed that there is something negative said about most publishers. My question: which publishers ARE any good? Am I correct in thinking most, if not all of you are published writers? If so, with whom are any of you who care to answer published? If you're unhappy with most publishers....in particular Publish America.....and you're published, there HAS to be at least ONE publisher whom most of you agree is good enough to consider. I'd appreciate if someone would PLEASE tell me who that may be? Who ARE you published with, if none others are any good? Thanks for any answers posted.:D

Caleb
 

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Caleb, where have you been doing your reading? If it's been on watchdog sites, then of course you'll be reading about the publishers that are problematic, because that's what those sites are for.

There is not "something negative said about most publishers." There is very little that's negative said about most of the publishers of the books you see in bookstores, for example. And complaints along the lines of, "Well, I would have liked them to go with different copy on the flyleaf" are a far cry from, "Well, they charged me $6000 for editing."

Finding out which publishers the authors on this site have published with is as simple as typing their names in the Amazon search field.
 

Caleb

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Aconite said:
Finding out which publishers the authors on this site have published with is as simple as typing their names in the Amazon search field.


I was hoping some brave soul would out and out say. Right, no problem. Just asking. Thanks :)

Caleb
 

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Caleb, one suggestion has been made on (rough guess) half of the threads on this forum, as the way to find a good, reputable publisher:
Go to a bookshop, look at the books that are similar to the books you're writing. Note the names of the publishers. The fact that you can find the books on shelves for sale is the big thing that separates scammers and clueless from real commercial publishers.
(I started with my own bookshelves, but bookshops give a wider selection)
Now, take the publishers' names and google their websites. If the website is primarily about selling books to readers (and not services to writers), they're even more likely to be legit. You'll probably have to hunt around to find their submission guidelines, because, being legit, they get a lot of submissions that aren't suitable for their lines, and they want you to have to work a bit, and learn about them while you do it.
You'll find that probably over 50% of the publishers do not accept unagented submissions, so then you get to start reading up on agents.
Also, check out the stickies on this forum, the one on How Real Publishing Works, and the one on Avoiding Scammers. Both will arm you well for your search.
My own research on publishers has been for the fantasy genre, and without knowing your genre(s), I'd hesitate to post my list. Might not help at all.
-Barbara
 

Caleb

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Thank you very much for a thorough reply, batgirl. I truly appreciate it. luv :D


Caleb
 

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Caleb said:
I was hoping some brave soul would out and out say. Right, no problem. Just asking. Thanks :)

Caleb

OK, here:

Victoria Strauss: Eos
A.C. Crispin: Eos, Ace
James D. MacDonald: Tor
Jenna Glatzer: Nomad Press, Andrews McMeel Publishing

Those aren't even all of these individuals' publishers.

Just to give you a recent example that sticks in my mind: I've seen Ann's (Crispin) most recent book face out in the new releases section of one of my B&N's. We don't even live in the same state. That's because her publisher makes sure her books are available for me to see, no matter what bookstore I'm in. If I'd never heard of her, never seen her name on the Internet even once in my life, I would still be able to buy her books if I was browsing my local Borders.
 

Kasey Mackenzie

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Just gonna toss out names off the top of my head, some of these may be imprints under the same major publishing company:

Del Rey, Bantam, Random House, DAW, Harlequin, Spectra, Baen, HarperCollins...

And those are just a few of the reputable publishers out there.
 

Jennifer Robins

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jenrob

There was a Creative Arts in California who went belly up after riping off many of us. I lost $8,400 to them and they never did file a bankruptcy They were a vanity press, run By a Don Ellis. This one is in New Jersey but I wonder if it's the same people?

Jennifer Robins
 

JerseyGirl1962

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Jennifer Robins said:
There was a Creative Arts in California who went belly up after riping off many of us. I lost $8,400 to them and they never did file a bankruptcy They were a vanity press, run By a Don Ellis. This one is in New Jersey but I wonder if it's the same people?

Jennifer Robins

Jennifer,

I'm confused. :Huh:

I checked The Creative Arts Company website and their sister site, The Literary Creations, and I didn't see New Jersey mentioned anywhere. In fact, I didn't see any sort of physical address; one of their email addresses has the "uk" thingy at the end, so I'm assuming they're somewhere in the U.K.

Are you talking about the vanity press you mentioned or---?

~Nancy
 

veinglory

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In addition to the members listed above many of us are published by reputable but much smaller presses and epublishers. So I am contrasting my perceptions of what this place seems to be offering with my experiences of what my publishers are offering. I tend to notice apparent differences such as pushing for paid editing rather than all editing being offered in house for free. Other than money, the main benefit my publishers have offered is the chance to work with experienced editors.

I am satisfied with my own publishers including Chippewa Publishing, Loose Id and Torquere. I don't assume every writer should aim straight for a major publisher (although if the writing is good enough I imagine they should!) but I think that even small presses should be chosen because they will makes sales and help me develop as a writer. If I am mistinterpreting what this press is offering then I hope they will keep this exchange in mind when next updating their website. These forums are an area for honest discussion and I aim to only pipe up when I have a reasonable basis for my comments.
 

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Keep in mind that scammers often choose names similar to those of legitimate, reputable companies in order to confuse and deceive would-be clients. Check identifying information carefully, and note the details.
 

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