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The History Press

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

jimsmith1313

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Does anyone know anything about The History Press, based in Charleston, SC? Is it a Quality organization or is it a scam like PA?
 

PVish

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I know a person who used The History Press. His book was nicely done, although the editor did not want to use all the material he submitted. The History Press has a very narrow focus—local history of some sort. Royalties are paid on net, though.
 

jessicapenot

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History Press

I have published two books with History Press, Haunted North Alabama and Haunted Chattanooga. I find History Press very easy to work with. They send royalty checks in a timely fashion and they do an amazing job with PR. They set up book signings and other events and make it easy to sell your books. Their distribution is good and their editors are friendly and helpful. I have enjoyed working with History Press and hope to work with them again on another project in the future.
 

HistorySleuth

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History Press and royalties/distribution.

I'm going to try bumping this again since I received an email fron their NYS Editor. I don't normally respond to those, and even said so in my reply to her, but I've seen their books before like in a gift shop. They publish local history. It was directed to me and they knew I was a historian so I figured I'd ask a couple questions on how royalties were paid and if the actual books were in bookstores not just for ordering.

In a nut shell (and aside from offering to answer any other ques of mine) she answered the question basically: Books are physically in local chain bookstores like Barnes and Noble (so, a book on Wyoming County would be found in B&N's in and around Western NY) and royalties, She said they don't deduct anything before they begin to pay royalties. Authors make a percentage of what they take in on sales of the book, from the first copy on. They don't need to cover their expenses or costs for the book before they begin to pay royalties.

Does that seem pretty good?
 

JournoWriter

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It sounds like a non-advance-paying press, to me. Whether that's good or bad depends on your goals.

I haven't had any direct experience with them, but know someone who's had two books pubbed with them and has had no complaints. They sell fairly strongly locally. Main competitor in the local history field is probably Arcadia, which concentrates on historic photography; History Press books are more about the writing.
 

HistorySleuth

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Yes, no advance. In this case I don't think I'm worried about that as it is local niche history. (My other writing I'm perusing other avenues). Any complaints is what I was interested in, so good to hear your friend didn't have any. Thanks for chiming in JournoWriter.
 

underthecity

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I agree that they appear to be a direct competitor to Arcadia. And that Arcadia is focused on pictorial history while History Press is more about text and pictures. Plus their books are longer, too. I haven't heard any complaints about them myself. From I've seen at bookstores, they have decent book design and solid distribution, probably mostly regional I would guess.

I would suggest that you look at some History Press books in your area and look up the authors online and try contacting them. I've had people do that with me in the past and I've never had a problem with it.
 

HistorySleuth

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I think I will do exactly that underthecity. I was thinking that I was sure I'd seen their books before and finally remembered, in the Alamo gift shop when I went to visit my son. Could be OK for my local history niche writing. Thanks, :)
 

HistorySleuth

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Seems Arcadia purchased the History Press. Link to story.
History Press accepted my proposal for my local history book on Indian land title. So I'm waiting on the contract to see what it says.
 
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JournoWriter

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Wow - that's huge news. Both seem like solid publishers, and I know people published through both. Will be interesting to see how it shakes out for authors. I hope they retain both types of books.

Congratulations, HistorySleuth!
 

HistorySleuth

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Thanks Journo. Supposedly they will still be separate, business as usual, which will be good, but I can see how it would save them both combining catalogues and marketing and such.
 

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I've done several books with History Press and I've had a lot of trouble getting royalty payments from them, such as they are. They once claimed the check had been returned to them (they owed me about $1,000). They had my correct address and had no trouble mailing books when I ordered them. The only reason I caught them in a lie was that amazon gives us access to bookscan data. Now they are withholding reserves against returns for the second time on the same book. That editor was not being truthful when she told you you get royalties on the first copies -- they with hold reserves against returns on each book. I think they are very dodgy. I'm really fed up with them and don't trust anything they say.
 

HistorySleuth

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I will stay alerted to that and keep an eye. I negotiated a few changes to my contract which they were agreeable to with no problems. I'm just to the point where I'm editing my text and picking which pictures.
 

TrixieBelden

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How has your experience gone HistorySleuth? I just spoke with a gentleman this morning who referred me to his editor at History Press.I was trying to hunt down some info before I went any further with it but he does seem very happy. His book is being released in August.
 

HistorySleuth

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My book just released March 14th and so far it has been a good experience. They go line by line on edits. Then I have to approve or disapprove, depending, and send it back, a few back and forth really. Then they send it in PDF form with images inserted to make sure they are as close to the right spot of what I noted in the text. They do send a nice author guide so it tells you exactly house style etc.

So now I'm into the marketing phase and they are very on top of it. They have their own list of contacts plus ask for a list from the author of local places and newspapers they may not know about. There's a team really.

Marketing Specialist - does all the media out reach and emailed me who they contacted (radio, newspaper etc) She also sends out the review copies to their contacts and any I said I wanted to get a copy (in my case Native America newspapers and magazines were on my list.) And also sets up all the book signings and confirms those with me through email or phone. What ever store is hosting the signing gets sent a package with flyers, bookmarks, posters and the books well in advance.

Sales Specialists - contacts independent retailers the non-chain bookstores, gift shops, museums and sends info. See if they want any books (from their list and mine).

Field Sales Rep - physically comes out to my area, and in my case she will be hitting two areas of the state based on what my book is about. She brings books for those who set up signings, or pre-ordered, plus she has other of my books and hits all the extra places I had on my list. I know this is true because a couple of the stores emailed me with "your rep dropped off books today, look forward to the signing" kind of emails.

And totally another person - not sure of the title, does the chain stores like Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million (if there is any in your area). I don't mean just "available at" which they are online too but physically in the store. And also sets up the book signings for those places. Funny story that. The whole "upstate" NY can be confusing in the book title. They thought I was outside Albany. When the person doing the B & N stores called me I thought she said Pittsford, NY. I get the conformation email and it was Pittsfield, MA which is actually only 45 min from Albany. I'm in western NY. I sent them all a Cindy Map after that so they could see where I am and also circled the areas of the state I was Talking about. But hubby say go anyway, so we're going.

i had a mini update today on how many sold on Baker & Taylor and Ingram so far too. I was told I'll get a more official tally next week. Plus they will email me all the stores that are physically carrying the book on the shelf.

OK that was a bit long but I figured details would be helpful. And no I didn't pay for any publishing stuff. I did donate a few bucks to the historical places that let me use their photos because I'm not a slug and it's tough for them to stay a float.

i did negotiate my royalties up a bit, especially on the ebooks so will see how this all pans out. With this particular book, I'm more concerned that the information gets out to the public and Native American communities and this publisher had the reach I could never get by self publishing. But I still will self-publish some works because I really enjoy the process of that too.

whew!
 
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haunted

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Just a quick update on The History Press/Arcadia Publishing. I did a local history book with them and they are on it, as far as marketing approach, editing, book fairs, etc. I went into it a skeptic due to a few complaints I'd heard from other authors, but decided to approach it as a labor of love for my area history. I am pleasantly surprised--just got my first royalty statement, and found out my book is now available in a hard cover Library Edition. I can definitely recommend them at this point, 8 months post release. I plan on querying about doing another book.
 

boycerensberger

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Hi, Jessica.

Did The History Press insist that you buy several hundred copies of your books before they accepted your proposal? That's what's happening to me. I found someone who agreed to buy 200 copies, and the acquisitions editor is telling me that that may not be enough to satisfy their sales people.

They strike me as something closer to a vanity press than what I thought they were.

Boyce Rensberger
 

haunted

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Hi, Jessica.

Did The History Press insist that you buy several hundred copies of your books before they accepted your proposal? That's what's happening to me. I found someone who agreed to buy 200 copies, and the acquisitions editor is telling me that that may not be enough to satisfy their sales people.

They strike me as something closer to a vanity press than what I thought they were.

Boyce Rensberger

Hi, no I didn't buy any. Obviously, they want you to buy some, all publishers do. But I did set up many events where the host venue (library, local history museum, Victorian house tourist site, etc) bought books. They honestly are "on it" more so than many publishers. They now sell mine at my area grocery stores, and did a hard bound book of it too. I wouldn't hesitate to do another book with them. But if you aren't a speaker or ghost tour owner or something of that nature, you may have problems getting accepted. Because all in all, they want to sell books.
 

Thedrellum

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So, you didn't ask me, boycerensberger, but they're a vanity press if they are asking you to buy copies of your book. I wouldn't sign with them. They're putting all of the risk on you, where instead they shouldn't be offering to publish your book if they are not convinced they can make money from publishing it.
 

haunted

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All I can tell you is they didn't insist I buy any books. They asked if I planned to, and I said probably later. They also are great at marketing and they sent a ton of posters, and materials to give to any places that were stocking my book. I have eight books released with different publishers, and History press is the ONLY one who did all this. I was honestly shocked. They also paid me on time. So no, they are not a vanity press, but they usually won't even take on your book unless you already have a "presence" online and/or are a regional known person.

Hi, no I didn't buy any. Obviously, they want you to buy some, all publishers do. But I did set up many events where the host venue (library, local history museum, Victorian house tourist site, etc) bought books. They honestly are "on it" more so than many publishers. They now sell mine at my area grocery stores, and did a hard bound book of it too. I wouldn't hesitate to do another book with them. But if you aren't a speaker or ghost tour owner or something of that nature, you may have problems getting accepted. Because all in all, they want to sell books.
 

HistorySleuth

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I published with them in 2016. It's been ok. I did/do get Barnes & Noble exposure. And I can say my book is in over 50 University libraries which is good. Still had better royalties when I self published.
 

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