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Thread: This is nothing like an official FAQ

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  1. #11
    Hagiographically Advantaged AW Moderator HapiSofi's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
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    2,093
    Q. What do you think of Waterboard Books?

    A. Never heard of 'em.

    Q. They say they're a premium publishing company.

    A. Cool!

    Q. It's a good sign?

    A. No, it's a terrible sign. What's cool is that it's a new euphemism. Ann and Victoria can add Premium to the same list as Vanity, Subsidy, Joint Venture, Hybrid, Cost-Shared, Author Participation, Entrepreneurial, Co-Publishing, Pre-Publishing, Self-Publishing Services, and sometimes Boutique. They all mean the same thing: you pay to get published.

    Q. Bad idea?

    A. Very bad idea. Don't do it.

    Q. Okay, how about Smuckers Books? They seem kind of staid and respectable.

    A. Basic test: Have you gone to your local Bins & Nobble bookstore to see whether any of Smuckers' titles were on the shelves there?

    Q. Yes.

    A. A miracle!

    Q. No. Someone here ordered me to do it.

    A. Oh, well. Doesn't matter whose idea it was; the point is that you checked. So, were any of Smuckers' titles on the shelves?

    Q. No.

    A. Then don't submit your book to them.

    Q. But they say they have national distribution! Ingram, the largest distributor in the United States, stocks their books!

    A. Sweetie, if you were publishing your text by tattooing it onto live depilated gerbils, Ingram would keep a few of them in stock -- assuming the gerbils had ISBNs. It means nothing.

    Q. It says right here on the Smuckers website that their books are available at bookstores all over the country.

    A. What that means is that someone who already wants your book -- which if it's fiction means one of your friends or relatives, and probably means the same if it's nonfiction -- can go to the bookstore, order the book, pay for it in advance, and come back and pick it up at a later date. That's why Ingram keeps a couple of copies of everything: in case someone does a special order.

    Q. Oh, well. At least we're guaranteed to sell a few copies to Ingram.

    A. Nope. Ingram doesn't buy copies; it has them on credit from the publishers. All distributors do that. It's the other reason Ingram is willing to stock two or three copies of everything.

    Q. That's all very interesting. Let's get back to my book.

    A. You must be an author.

    Q. Look. This publisher. Smuckers Books. Should I go with them?

    A. Mercy, no. Did you somehow miss that point? If Smuckers isn't getting other authors' books onto the bookstore shelves, they won't do it with yours either. Don't cherish hopes that with your book things will turn out differently.

    Q. What happens to the hypothetical tattooed gerbils?

    A. Never ask a question unless you're sure you want to know the answer.
    Last edited by HapiSofi; 06-28-2016 at 01:15 AM. Reason: added "hybrid" and sometimes "boutique"
    Winner of the Best Drycleaner on the Block Award.

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