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Wandering Sage Publications (formerly Emerald Falcon Press)

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

M.R.J. Le Blanc

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...wow, that was mature.

Seriously, if you've spent more than five minutes around this site, you'd have known people ask hard questions. If you weren't comfortable with people questioning your info you shouldn't have offered. Honestly, anyone can claim anything online. So smart people question those claims. Can't take the heat? Get out of the kitchen.
 

victoriastrauss

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You are right. I made it all up. My work doesn't really have my picture on the back. I did not really write them, I am not touring with Peter Mayhew and he is NOT a character in my series, I do not work with any authors, one convention alone did not order 2k copies in my contract appearance guarantee, I do not have a contract with metamorph USA for cotume apparal and they do not order books for their shows either. I am not contracted with Roy C Booth to write an Abyss Walker trilogy, and I am not meeting with Roy and Brian Keene at the end of this month to pitch Brian with an Abyss Walker novel. I did not get writing help from Matt Stover, I did not get tips on POV and character building from Michael Stackpole, I have not been the guest at scores of conventions, Gen Con did not host the launch of "The Breach of Crowns," I do not have an artist team, I am not contracted with Game Club HG to produce a for profit fan site, I am not working on an aduio play of my series with Jeff Breslaur from Pixar, I do not have an agent, a booking agent and a publicist, and I am not working on projects with Chase Masterson and James Kerwin.

I didn't question any of these things, Shane.

My confusion is centered upon your statement that there was a 10,000 copy print run for your book, and it sold out in three weeks. This does not add up with having Lightning Source as your printer or with "hit and miss" bookstore placement. Is there something I'm missing here? If so, clarification would be welcome.

I have the greatest respect for motivated self-marketers who are able to get out there and successfully sell their books directly to the public. But I have to wonder--if you are the one doing most of the selling, if you provide the artwork and publicity, why do you need a publisher at all? Why not self-publish, control all aspects of the process, and keep 100% of the profits, instead of just a royalty?

I'm also confused by the fact that none of your books seem to be listed at either of the Wandering Sage websites.

Again--things aren't adding up for me, but I am open to correction.

- Victoria
 

J.D.74

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Wandering Sage Website Concerns

My main concern upon hitting that webpage is that it's awfully messy. Not to mention they seem to sell anything and EVERYTHING as well. Not just books.

and, frankly, considering the amount of merchandise sold on the site other than books, it's not out of the question to ask about what's going on.


Hello Sherly Nantus, my name is John Dexheimer and I am President of Wandering Sage Technologies, a division of Wandering Sage. I wanted to reply to your comment about our store website. You are right, www.wanderingsagebooks.com was the first launch of our online store. It is old, and yes, messy would be a good way to put it.

Currently we are working with new web developers to give that section of our website a complete overhaul. We will also be adding specific sections to the website for our Publications, Distribution, Graphic Novels, and our up and coming Technologies division.

In addition to working on a complete overhaul of our website, we are in the process of opening up our first retail store. We are just weeks away from opening the doors right now, and we have been working on this project for over a year now while continuing with our normal publishing business.

To your comment about selling everything and not just books. To expand as a company we sell various items such as swords from "Lord Of The Rings", to Dragon Wine Goblets and everything in between. Dave Barlow, CEO of Wandering Sage Bookstore and More LLC, and I, are avid fantasy and sci-fi fans. That is why we've chosen to sell various fantasy and sci-fi materials in addition to publishing we do.

However, going back to the website, I do agree with you in the aspect that it is old, and it is time to revamp it, and we are. I'm privy to the work that has been done on the new websites, and so far with what I've seen it is leagues ahead of what we have up there now. We hope to be able to publish the new website shortly after we open our new store.

Thank you Sheryl Nantus for your comments and opinions, without them we wouldn't know what needs to be fixed. Have a great week.

Sincerely
John Dexheimer
 

J.D.74

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Shane Moore's Rant

After going through and catching up on the thread tonight, and reading through Shane's rant, and some of the replies about it, I felt like I needed to comment about it, and to those detractors.

I would like to ask those who think of his posting as being "childish" or "immature" this question.

When you are passionate about something, is it wrong to get upset at someone that tries to tear it down?

You can try to hide behind the guise of saying "I'm just asking questions!" but there is a proper etiquette and tone to take, when engaging in a rational discussion. I am not going to point fingers and quote who said what. That's pointless. What I will say is after reading through every post in this forum, I can understand why Shane is upset.

When you truly believe in something, no matter what it is, you will get upset with someone comes at you with criticism. There are better ways of handling that criticism than throwing your hands up in the air, giving a scoff, and saying "To hell with it!", but that kind of reaction is not unfounded.

Shane knows that Wandering Sage is a real company, a company that is devoted to it's authors. And like him, some of the comments on this thread have upset me as well. But, as an executive within Wandering Sage, I will tell you, that we are open and willing to hear every, single, concern, or worry any of you have. If you have questions, please ask them. If you don't understand our sales history, we may be able to explain it to you, and we're happy too, really we are.

Shane is a good man, and a good writer in my own humble opinion. As Friedrich Nietzsche would say "Even the strongest have their moments of fatigue." Shane has been trying to defend the reputation of Wandering Sage. Some of you have continued to bombard him, (emails included), and even mildly called him a liar. So I do understand why Shane said what said in his last posting.

I ask those who read this thread to continue to ask your questions to us, we have nothing to hide. We are people just like you, and sometimes emotions do come into play, as they have with Shane. But please stop attacking the guy, and lets get back to why Wandering Sage is in the topic of "Bewares and Background Check". I do not believe we should be under that kind of title, but maybe some of you do, and I'd like to be given the chance to change your minds.

Thank you everyone.

Sincerely
John Dexheimer
 

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there is a proper etiquette and tone to take, when engaging in a rational discussion.

There sure is, and the moderators of this board decide what it is, not you.

lets get back to why Wandering Sage is in the topic of "Bewares and Background Check"

Because it's a publisher. Most of the world's biggest publishing companies and largest agencies have threads here, you know--this is a subforum for getting input about all publishers, literary agencies, and contests, not just shady ones.
 

M.R.J. Le Blanc

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I would like to ask those who think of his posting as being "childish" or "immature" this question.

When you are passionate about something, is it wrong to get upset at someone that tries to tear it down?

Not at all. But no one was tearing him down - Victoria was asking questions about how he managed it. If he chose to take that as an attack or 'tearing him down', well that is his issue. Not Victoria's, or anyone else. She was very civil. He acted like a child in response. You can't control others' actions but you can control your own. There was no excuse for his retaliation and if he felt he was being attacked, there are more graceful ways to bow out.

When you truly believe in something, no matter what it is, you will get upset with someone comes at you with criticism. There are better ways of handling that criticism than throwing your hands up in the air, giving a scoff, and saying "To hell with it!", but that kind of reaction is not unfounded.

Unfounded? Maybe not. Appropriate? Not in the least. One thing I've learned about the publishing game is that you need to grow a thick skin. Criticisms are going to happen. If someone can't handle them, perhaps they shouldn't be publishing their work (and for clarification, I'm not referring to Shane in particular here but anyone who feels that way).

Shane knows that Wandering Sage is a real company, a company that is devoted to it's authors. And like him, some of the comments on this thread have upset me as well. But, as an executive within Wandering Sage, I will tell you, that we are open and willing to hear every, single, concern, or worry any of you have. If you have questions, please ask them. If you don't understand our sales history, we may be able to explain it to you, and we're happy too, really we are.

The purpose of the B&BC forum is to get that history on publishers. If you look in past threads, input from the people in charge of those places is always welcomed. I have a feeling it's actually preferred, as opposed to just their authors. I do hope you do stick around even when hard questions get asked - it's nothing personal, it's about keeping authors safe and informed.

Shane is a good man, and a good writer in my own humble opinion. As Friedrich Nietzsche would say "Even the strongest have their moments of fatigue." Shane has been trying to defend the reputation of Wandering Sage. Some of you have continued to bombard him, (emails included), and even mildly called him a liar. So I do understand why Shane said what said in his last posting.

Perhaps, but it shouldn't be up to Shane or any of your authors to defend you. I can certainly understand the feeling, don't get me wrong. But I would hope that neither you nor any good company would be counting on their clients to defend everytime someone questions you. However, if you're going to accuse people of bombarding Shane by email, you better be ready to back that up either by posting them here or sending them privately to a mod. No one was calling him a liar; what was said was that the numbers weren't adding according to the usual ways books are sold. He was asked to clarify; he took it personally. His issue.

I ask those who read this thread to continue to ask your questions to us, we have nothing to hide. We are people just like you, and sometimes emotions do come into play, as they have with Shane. But please stop attacking the guy, and lets get back to why Wandering Sage is in the topic of "Bewares and Background Check". I do not believe we should be under that kind of title, but maybe some of you do, and I'd like to be given the chance to change your minds.

Well, the thread will stay here. Both legitimate companies, amateurs and scammers all have a thread in this forum. It's about having a place to find information. Think about all those jobs that subject potential employees to a background check. No one takes that personally, and no one worries about it (except those who have an unsavoury background). No one's insinuating that you're a scammer by putting your company here; it's about getting info in order to make that determination. It's about keeping people informed. That's all. Just like IceCreamEmpress said, there are all sorts of legitimate companies in this section. Being here doesn't automatically mean a black mark.

I do sincerely hope you'll stick around (I only say that because there have been other publishers who say so, then turn tail when hard questions come up). It says a lot for those that do, and it's the best way to 'convince' us as you say that you are legitimate.
 

J.D.74

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M.R.J. Le Blanc Reply

There sure is, and the moderators of this board decide what it is, not you.

Thank you.


But no one was tearing him down - Victoria was asking questions about how he managed it. If he chose to take that as an attack or 'tearing him down', well that is his issue.

Agreed, it is his issue. I was only trying to explain that some of things said may have been taken the wrong way, and that emotions become involved. Please do not judge Shane as a whole, based upon that single posting of his.


Unfounded? Maybe not. Appropriate? Not in the least.

I agree again, and that is what I said in my post even. But like so many people in life when emotions are thrown in, logic and rational usually go right out the window. I think that is what happened in this case.


Perhaps, but it shouldn't be up to Shane or any of your authors to defend you. I can certainly understand the feeling, don't get me wrong. But I would hope that neither you nor any good company would be counting on their clients to defend everytime someone questions you.

Shane came to this board and this thread all on his own. Neither Dave or I even knew about this thread about us until it was already underway. We did did not ask Shane to 'defend' our company, he choose to on his own. And I thank him for doing so. Now that we are aware of this thread and the discussion about us, we will gladly answer any questions presented to us. I personaly would ask any of my clients, friends, or customers, to tell me about any bad or damaging rumors, comments, ect, in regards to our company so we can challenge them correctly. But everyone has free will, and Shane felt that needed to say a few things. Not everything said to him was bad, there were good emails sent to him, thanking him and such. We are here to help resolve any outstanding concerns anyone my have about Wandering Sage.


However, if you're going to accuse people of bombarding Shane by email, you better be ready to back that up either by posting them here or sending them privately to a mod.

That kind of a hard thing to do and it's also opening a can of worms which is not my intent either. If we were to start posting emails sent to Shane, someone could easily say "I didn't write that." There is no way for us to certify to the board (or mod) what was said to him. But really, that is still off the topic and I think the better thing to do would be to disregard those communications and move on to a better subject of discussion. Things were said, emotions ran a little over, it happens. I'm ready to move past it and get back on point.


No one was calling him a liar;

Correct, no one bold faced said "Shane, you're a liar." My point was, with how some of the comments were worded, it appeared that way. Text on a fourm does not convey tone of voice, or body language, two very important things we use to determine the valitity of a persons's statement. The persons's mood when reading comments about him on a forum, is a large variable as well. Too many times, things can be taken out of context. I think this is what happened in Shane's regard, he read something, had an emotional reaction it, and went off! It doesn't make it right, but it does happen. That's my point. I hope he will come back to the forum and continue the discussion with us, I've asked him too.


Well, the thread will stay here. Both legitimate companies, amateurs and scammers all have a thread in this forum. It's about having a place to find information. No one's insinuating that you're a scammer by putting your company here; it's about getting info in order to make that determination. It's about keeping people informed. That's all. Just like IceCreamEmpress said, there are all sorts of legitimate companies in this section. Being here doesn't automatically mean a black mark.

Okay, I understand. That was one of my concerns. I'm new to this fourm and have yet to fully understand how everything works. The last thing I want is for anyone to think that Wandering Sage is some kind of scam simply because of threads position on the forum. That was my worry, thank you for putting it at ease.


I do sincerely hope you'll stick around (I only say that because there have been other publishers who say so, then turn tail when hard questions come up). It says a lot for those that do, and it's the best way to 'convince' us as you say that you are legitimate.

Thank you, and we will. We are still a small company in the grand schem of things, and we understand how important it is to have a positive public image and good relations with our clients and authors. As always, Dave and I are happy to address any concerns anyone may have. We strive to remain polite and professional at all times, even when hard nosed questions are asked of us. But we are still human, and make mistakes.

I thank you M.R.J. Le Blanc for the stimulating reply to my post, it's been enjoyable replying to you. Rarely do I find mature people engaged in a good discussion such as this one.

I wish to move past the post made by Shane, I think all has been said about it that needs to be said. I've said it a few times, but I do mean it, if anyone on this forum has any concerns about Wandering Sage and the publishing that we do, please ask.

John Dexheimer
 

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To begin: Who are your distributors?

No, Baker & Taylor and Ingrams are not distributors.
 

J.D.74

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I apologize for the delay in reply to your questions. I've spoken with Dave about your questions, and he does intend to reply. However right the majority of the time that he has available to him is being spent working on our store. I'll remind him again that he need to reply to everyone.

John
 

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Stacia Kane

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That kind of a hard thing to do and it's also opening a can of worms which is not my intent either. If we were to start posting emails sent to Shane, someone could easily say "I didn't write that." There is no way for us to certify to the board (or mod) what was said to him. But really, that is still off the topic and I think the better thing to do would be to disregard those communications and move on to a better subject of discussion. Things were said, emotions ran a little over, it happens. I'm ready to move past it and get back on point.

John Dexheimer

I'm not trying to re-open a can of worms here, just clarifying something for you and anyone else who might see this or find themselves in a similar situation. You don't need to post emails. You can forward them to a moderator, complete with ISP; that is how things are certified. The mods then check that ISP against those of the members. It's not a He-said/She-said; it's actual proof.

I would imagine anyone seeing this--again, this isn't directed specifically at you, Mr. Dexheimer--is online and has enough web savvy to at least know what an ISP is and how they can be used.
 

J.D.74

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You don't need to post emails. You can forward them to a moderator, complete with ISP; that is how things are certified.

True to a point, but even forwarding those emails, it's still quite easy if you have the knowledge, to go in and alter those emails to contain things that the email did not originally contain. Being a computer tech myself, I know this, emails are not certifiable without a digital signature and encryption.

I've talked to Shane, and really, he's not going to come back to this post, and he is the one with those emails, so, it is simply not going to happen. It's not a really big deal either about what was said and by whom. Things were said and feelings were hurt, it happens to all of us, even me.

Also on the note of answering the questions about distributors, I mentioned the thread to Dave the other day as a reminder, with everything he is doing it continues to slip his mind. Again, our main focus right now is getting the store open, and it looks like that will happen sometime next week. After that happens, Dave will have much more time and he should be able to remember to come back here and post for everyone.

I'm not at all knowledgeable about the work he does with the publishing side of the company, but when I did mention to him the question about the distributors, he had a funny/confused look on his face when I told him that about the CaoPaux saying Baker & Taylor and Ingrams are not distributors. He said the yes they are. But again, I cannot answer those questions. If you have a technical question, no problem, but questions like that are best answered by him.

Please be patient, as you have been, Dave will get to this thread in time.

Thank you.

John
 

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Ingram iPage doesn't show WSB as having a distributor.
when I did mention to him the question about the distributors, he had a funny/confused look on his face when I told him that about the CaoPaux saying Baker & Taylor and Ingrams are not distributors. He said the yes they are.
John, Dave, B&T, and Ingram are warehouse distributors, meaning they fulfill orders placed by libraries and bookstores. They don't have a sales team going out to pitch your lineup. Without an independent distributor selling your books to the genre buyers, your hopes of getting your books stocked aren't very good - especially in this economic climate.
 

victoriastrauss

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I'm not at all knowledgeable about the work he does with the publishing side of the company, but when I did mention to him the question about the distributors, he had a funny/confused look on his face when I told him that about the CaoPaux saying Baker & Taylor and Ingrams are not distributors. He said the yes they are.

That's an instructive response, IMO. The difference between a wholesaler (Ingram) and a distributor (a company like Independent Publishers Group) is a basic piece of publishing knowledge. Certainly it's something an experienced publisher should be aware of.

- Victoria
 

Sheryl Nantus

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I'm not at all knowledgeable about the work he does with the publishing side of the company, but when I did mention to him the question about the distributors, he had a funny/confused look on his face when I told him that about the CaoPaux saying Baker & Taylor and Ingrams are not distributors. He said the yes they are. But again, I cannot answer those questions. If you have a technical question, no problem, but questions like that are best answered by him.

the fact that he has no idea what a distributor is and is NOT should be a major red flag.

in a nutshell - Baker & Taylor and Ingram's are warehousers that send your book to a store IF ASKED TO DO SO. If you ask at your local bookstore for a copy of *** the computer will send the order to their warehouse and they will mail a copy to the bookstore and then it gets to you. IF YOU ASK.

a distributor will SELL your book to the bookstores using a sales force and active promotional techniques so that you don't have to go to the Customer Desk and ask for it to be ordered it. That's how books appear on the tables and shelves of the bookstore - because a salesperson has convinced the buyers a few levels above the local manager that your book is good enough and popular enough to be carried in more than one store in more than one area. That's how you get your book in more than just the local stores where you've asked and pleaded for the manager to order in a few copies to see if they sell.

without a distributor your sales are going to be basically confined to word-of-mouth and whoever trips across your website. That and whatever stores you visit to harass/ask to put your book in. And that's if it's returnable, which is another whole problem.

if Dave doesn't know the difference, then there's a HUGE problem here.

and if your bookstore doesn't intend to do any distribution then it should be upfront about it and not delude any potential authors who think that they're going to trip into their local stores and see their book on the shelf. Without them putting it there, that is.
 

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John, Dave, B&T, and Ingram are warehouse distributors, meaning they fulfill orders placed by libraries and bookstores. They don't have a sales team going out to pitch your lineup.

I don't have any experience in these matters, and I'm not published at all, but I've been following this thread and some things seem to stand out to me within the context. At the very least, it will be apparent that I need clarification on some of what has been said in order to fully understand what's happening here.

I couldn't find anything about a sales team, but when I looked up Baker and Taylor, this is what I found on their "History" page:

"Baker & Taylor is a leading full-line distributor of books, videos, and music products to libraries, retailers, and other resellers. Baker & Taylor has been in business for over 176 years and has developed long-term relationships with major suppliers, including book publishers, movie studios, and music labels, shipping more than 1 million unique ISBNs (SKUs) annually. Baker & Taylor maintains one of the largest combined in-stock book, video, and music inventories in the United States, with approximately 385,000 titles in inventory and over 1.5 million titles available for order."

From what it says here, they are a distributor. Please help us all to understand what you mean by "distributor" and how it differs from what Baker and Taylor say they do.

Also, Sheryl Nantus said:

...the fact that he has no idea what a distributor is and is NOT should be a major red flag.

When, from the context of John's messages, it seems to me that he says he doesn't handle the publishing side of the company. There are others who do. Why should we expect him to know anything about something that isn't actually in his job description?

On the other hand, at this point I feel the need to ask John this: If you don't handle the publishing side, why are you responding here instead of someone who does? It would make more sense, I think...

Finally, I had a look at Wandering Sage's web site. After reading Stacia Kane's blog posts "Find the Right Publisher, Parts 1-3," except for the fact that WS has other things besides books, they seem to do everything right according to this article. They do at least look good on the surface. Do they really have all these "red flags" that everyone seems to be pointing out here, or should we give them a little more time to build a track record?

As I said, I'm not experienced with this, I'm just pointing out what I've noticed from the context of the discussion, so I'm obviously going to miss things of which many of you here have more knowledge.

EDIT: I haven't mentioned anything said by Author Shane Moore. It does seem that one or two of those questions haven't been clarified, but I'm not concerned with that here. I'm just looking at the rest of the discussion with John and what has been pointed to as "red flags" by others outside of Shane's posts.
 
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"Baker & Taylor is a leading full-line distributor of books, videos, and music products to libraries, retailers, and other resellers. Baker & Taylor has been in business for over 176 years and has developed long-term relationships with major suppliers, including book publishers, movie studios, and music labels, shipping more than 1 million unique ISBNs (SKUs) annually. Baker & Taylor maintains one of the largest combined in-stock book, video, and music inventories in the United States, with approximately 385,000 titles in inventory and over 1.5 million titles available for order."

From what it says here, they are a distributor. Please help us all to understand what you mean by "distributor" and how it differs from what Baker and Taylor say they do.
Michael, as I already said, the difference is that B&T fulfills orders - meaning they are a warehouse distributor - to libraries, retailers and other resellers. They do not have sales teams who represent any specific publisher. That is what independent distributors such as Midpoint, BluSky Media Group, IPG, Diamond, etc. do. There is a world of difference. The former is a database and warehouse fulfillment center for the trade, the other gets the books on the shelves.

I had a look at Wandering Sage's web site... They do at least look good on the surface. Do they really have all these "red flags" that everyone seems to be pointing out here, or should we give them a little more time to build a track record?
By your own admission you aren't experienced with this, so it goes to reason that you might take into account the opinions of those who do have experience in this. The fact that this company has no distribution, nor do they appear to realize they don't have distribution leads me to wonder what else they don't know. Seems to me that an author willing to place their book into the hands of those who appear to know so little is awfully trusting. Why take the risk when there are so many solid publishers, yanno?
 

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On the other hand, at this point I feel the need to ask John this: If you don't handle the publishing side, why are you responding here instead of someone who does? It would make more sense, I think...

The answer to that is quite simple. Dave is a busy, busy man. Everyday he wakes up with a full plate, and he does not even have the weekends off. I try to help him when and where I can. This is one of those places. I just got off the phone with him 5 minutes ago, and reminded him again about the forum, and he's kicking himself pretty good for not remember to come answer everyone's questions.

Being a part of Wandering Sage, it is my duty, to help maintain the integrity and reputation of the company. That is why I come here, I check the forum everyday for new responses. While I cannot answer direct questions posed here about what the publishing side of the company does, it is still my job to come here and say at the very least "We here your questions, we are not deaf, and we will answer them in time."

Dave understands how important it is to address your concerns. But, currently, there are more important things that we have to do right now. The forum is low on the priority list. I have explained some of those things that are more important in hopes that you can understand that right now we're all pretty busy.

We have not forgotten about you, and we do want to answer your questions. I am not as busy as Dave is on a daily basis. That is how I am able to find time here and there, to come to the forum and check up on it. Dave sadly, is running from one job to another right now, trying to get as much work completed in a given day that he can.

I will not go into detail as to what Dave's day encompasses, but I can say he gets home late, works late into the night, finds a few hours of sleep (Less than 6 normally) and wakes early up to do it all over again. If I can help him out by coming to this forum and posting a reply here or there, and that helps him, I'm happy to do so.

I'm going to try and call him later tonight once he gets home, to remind him again, to find an hour to come here and catch up on all the discussions and to give a reply. I know all of you have been waiting for a long time to get some answers. I thank you for being patient, and I ask that everyone hold on just a little bit longer.

Thank you.

John
 

Sheryl Nantus

Holding out for a Superhero...
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I should point out that this is another huge problem with small presses.

With only one or two people running the show, and usually part-time on the side, there's plenty of delays in getting anything done.

Like, say... publishing your book.

This isn't to say that anyone running a micropress/small press needs to quit their job and work at it full-time, but it's sort of common sense that when it's not their first job it's not going to be their first priority.