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Waldorf Publishing

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

Maggie Maxwell

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Don't just check reviews, check their Amazon ranking. Reviews can be faked (and often are by shady publishers, encouraging their writers to review their "family members" because "they're not a business, they're a family"...). Sales can't. Anything above 1mil means almost non-existent sales. High hundred-thousands means maybe two or three sales a month, if that.

Also, there's a difference between being able to ORDER a book through a store and being able to buy it IN the store. If it's a vanity press (and if it's pay to pub, no matter what flair they put on it or if they call it "cooperative" or "investment", that's just business lingo to sound legit, it's still vanity), most likely someone can go into the store and say, "Can you get me a copy of Storm's Super Great Book?" The sales clerk will look it up in their system and say, "yes, we can," because it's easy to get on order lists. But if someone goes in and says, "Do you have a copy of Storm's Super Great Book?" the answer will be no, unequivocally. They don't keep them in stock to be ordered, because there's rarely anything for the store to benefit from having them in stock. High base prices, low discounts for the store, and nonexistent return policies mean they'll order as requested, but never keep it in stock unless the author brings copies in for them.

The long and the short of it is, they didn't read your book, they don't know how it stands up beyond four chapters. They just want your money. Your book doesn't matter to them at all.
 

Storm

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Fair play. It was all super shady to begin with. Sounded more like a sales pitch than anything. Little ironies-- she hadn't read the sample.

Not a single copy in B&N stock. Amazon sales are in the 1100s. Not great, but YA fantasy is oversaturated.

Very well. Dropping it. Back to the trenches. Thank you.
 

Richard White

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Something I've started incorporating into my Writer Beware talks:

There are hybrid authors (people who publish in the trades and also do self-publishing)

There are no hybrid publishers

If they're asking you to put up X amount of money or buy X amount of books, I can almost guarantee that covers all of their publishing costs and some profit for them before they print the first book.

Hybrid = stealth vanity press
 

Nic Schuck

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Hi,

New here. Found this thread and thought I could offer some insight since I've published two books with Waldorf. While they definitely offer the vanity option and I think any author who accepts that is foolish, they do also offer a traditional route. I didn't get any advance and only get 10% royalties on books sold. I decided to go with Waldorf as a resume builder of sorts. I'm hoping my first two books help build a readership while I continue working on the craft. It was a way for me to get my work out there without having to spend any money to do so. I've paid nothing to Waldorf and do receive royalty checks, although they are pretty small. I did work with a cover designer that Waldorf provided and I did go through three rounds of edits, also provided by Waldorf. No money came out of my pocket.

As for some of the book designs that others have called amateurish, the publisher, Barbara Terry does allow the author to have the final say, which I think would be more beneficial if she didn't, but it isn't my business. The editors are decent as far as line editing goes, but that is all you get. I have worked with one editor that offer structural advise, but very minimal and again, the author has the final say.

Now, here is where she makes money off of me: I buy discounted books from her to get placed in independent bookstores and to have on hand for book signings or to sell on my own. Buying books is not a requirement. I do so because I want to sell books. Nobody knows of me outside of my hometown. So when I travel and go inside a new book store, I like to introduce myself and try to set up a book signing. I offer it at no expense or risk to the book stores or places I do book signings. I usually do book signings at bars and surf shops. That's another story, but it works for me. So it does have vanity press options and is for some people. But for others, like myself, I feel it is a good option for me to try and build a readership.

Here are the book covers for my two books and you feel free to heckle or critique. I'm a writer and can handle rejection with the best of them. Nevermind. Couldn't figure out how to add an image, but I've included a link to my amazon page if you want to take a look, or buy the books. I'm not above shameless self-promoting.

https://www.amazon.com/Nic-Schuck/e/B01AFM1FM4/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
 
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frimble3

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I usually do book signings at bars and surf shops.
Judging by your books, those sound like venues that would do well for you, and I don't imagine they're on most book distributors' lists. Very creative, and I hope it goes well for you.
 

dave144

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It's been a while, do we have any more feedback on Waldorf from current or past writers, or any more insights?
 

Old Hack

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I assume they're still offering the vanity publishing option, which means they don't really have to make much of an effort to sell the books they publish. Bearing that in mind, I still wouldn't recommend them.
 

Nic Schuck

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I have two books published traditionally with Waldorf. I've spent zero dollars. I do purchase my own books at a discount to have on hand and to set up book signings and to have placed at small shops around town.

That being said, I would not recommend Waldorf if your main goal is to make money. I make very little as far as my royalty statements go. There is no marketing budget. Waldorf sends out books to review sites, but that's about it. I signed with Waldorf because I thought it would be a good way to start building my readership without spending money. I'm hoping with my third book to use that as a resume builder to approach literary agents again. I was tired of wasting time on literary agent rejections and wanted to keep writing. It was difficult to do both so I chose to publish in order to keep writing. I didn't want to self-publish because I didn't want to spend money on something that I knew may not make back my investment since I had zero readership. Hope that makes sense.

I would never encourage a vanity press, which Waldorf does offer. If a writer decides to go that route, why should Waldorf not accept it? That's on the writer. But I'm more than happy that Waldorf was willing to fund the publication of my first two books.

When I finish my third one, I'll see if I get a literary agent. I've set my limit to 150 rejections. If I don't get one then I'll probably see if Waldorf is willing to publish that one as well or I may look into self-publishing at that point since I have started to build a small readership.

Hope this helps.
 

VeryBigBeard

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Often times what happens is a writer, often young, starts to write his or her first MS without any real eye to publication. As they move along the process, friends start saying "hey, you should try and publish this".

At which point, this being 2019, people Google "book publishing" and something like Waldorf or any of the myriad other vanity options comes up.

Should they have done the research? Yeah, absolutely. Should the read everything twice before signing anything? Of course. Are there people who, despite claiming to have done these things, having asked here, having had friends yell "Nooooooo!!!!!!" as they teeter on the cliff edge, then decide to jump right off anyway? Yeah.

But there are also a lot of first-timers who don't know any better and have no real way to know any better because, outside places like AW, Writer Beware, and the like, there's really no centralized process or authority for learning how to submit a MS for publication. People tend to find this place after they've lost the rights to their project without quite even knowing what that means.

So if a thread like this can, combined with AW's natural Google-juice, help a couple first-timers make a more informed decision, then I think that's a good thing.
 

Old Hack

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I signed with Waldorf because I thought it would be a good way to start building my readership without spending money. I'm hoping with my third book to use that as a resume builder to approach literary agents again.

[snipped]

I would never encourage a vanity press, which Waldorf does offer. If a writer decides to go that route, why should Waldorf not accept it? That's on the writer. But I'm more than happy that Waldorf was willing to fund the publication of my first two books.

Being published with Waldorf isn't going to help you find a good agent or a good publisher for your subsequent books. It's a vanity press. However, if it were just a small press rather than a vanity press, you'd need your books to have sold in significant numbers to build enough of a readership to impress an agent or publisher. Sales of 10,000 is a good place to be, more would be better. But really, unless you're a celebrity or a very well established author the only thing agents and publishers look at is the book before them. That's what matters.
 

Polenth

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When I finish my third one, I'll see if I get a literary agent. I've set my limit to 150 rejections. If I don't get one then I'll probably see if Waldorf is willing to publish that one as well or I may look into self-publishing at that point since I have started to build a small readership.

Nothing you've said so far suggests the publisher had anything to do with your small readership. You're selling books because you've put in the work to sell them, which you could have done with self-publishing and kept more of the profits.
 

Nic Schuck

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Nothing you've said so far suggests the publisher had anything to do with your small readership. You're selling books because you've put in the work to sell them, which you could have done with self-publishing and kept more of the profits.

You are absolutely correct. My only reasoning behind sticking with them is that I don't spend any money to get a book published. If I self-publish I have to spend my own money and hope I sell enough to break even and maybe make a profit. Going with Waldorf, I make a profit with the first sale, even if it's an extremely small amount. I guess what it comes down to is if I want to risk spending my money up front or if I'm okay with having someone else pay for the publishing while I keep focusing on writing. For instance, how much does it cost to get a book turned into an audio version? Waldorf paid for that, not me.

But as for sales, I'm pretty sure I'm responsible for the small amount I've sold more so than Waldorf.
 

Nic Schuck

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Being published with Waldorf isn't going to help you find a good agent or a good publisher for your subsequent books. It's a vanity press. However, if it were just a small press rather than a vanity press, you'd need your books to have sold in significant numbers to build enough of a readership to impress an agent or publisher. Sales of 10,000 is a good place to be, more would be better. But really, unless you're a celebrity or a very well established author the only thing agents and publishers look at is the book before them. That's what matters.

Thanks for this info. I'm trying every avenue I can to make it work. Only thing I haven't tried yet is spending my own money.
 

Elizabeth George's book Write Away