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What's the Best Publisher sans agent?2875

Student jmolan private msg quote post Address this user
Does anyone here use a regular publisher? I'm being approached by an outfit that checks out OK on the web, and I'm trying to weigh the plusses and minuses. This is the initial offer. Do I need an agent (oh thats so fun to ask) Or?
We distribute to:

• Online stores
• E-book retailers
• Libraries • Schools
• Universities
• Local niche retailers
• Big chains
• Little chains
• Indie bookstores

To coincide with our distribution efforts, we do a wide array of marketing
and promotion around each title we distribute. These include such things
as in-store retail advertising, on-line promotions, book signings,
interviews and reviews, etc. We distribute books in various formats as
eBooks, paperback, hardback, and audiobooks. The percentages vary based on
the format of the book. For example, eBooks would pay you 40%, audiobooks
25%, paperback 15%, and hardback 20%.

Let me know if you have any questions.
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Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
@jmolan I suppose they charge you for their services, too.

I have a friend who is friends with Simon of Simon & Shuster.

Simon says, (go ahead and laugh) .. "Why would anybody ask a traditional publisher any more? Traditional publishers take so much of your skin and still make you do all the work."

Self publish and POD.
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Member Summerbay private msg quote post Address this user
@jmolan What is the company? If you're being given the hard sell, back away. Unless you want to keep paying and paying.

The distribution and marketing may be worthwhile but you're going to pay for it either up front or in your royalties.
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Teacher SusanDay private msg quote post Address this user
I know authors who have lost control over their book. They haven't been given a PDF to share and have to ask permission to write blog posts.

Traditional publishers don't ask for any money up front either.

Have you researched vanity publishers?

Every author has access to those markets you have listed via CreateSpace, but it's still impossible to get found.
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Student jmolan private msg quote post Address this user
The publisher is Beacon. https://www.beaconpublishinggroup.com all I've done so far is scan the internet and did not find any red flags. I am in no hurry, and they are not pushing. I accidentally put them off for two months. When they ask if I was interested I said "Hey, it's about time and money, will it save me time, give me more money? or both?
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Member gspieler private msg quote post Address this user
@jmolan- I was published by Macmillan/St. Martin's Press. Also, I had an agent to help negotiate the deal. Here is what I have experienced:

Of course I didn't pay anything, however, I was given an advance which I had to "pay back" through sales. They also did a lot of marketing for me that I could not have done as they have deep contacts.

The downside is that I didn't see any money until the advance was paid back. I also lost a lot through "used book" sales that do not go against my advance. And, it appeared that used books showed up very, very fast online. The problem, of course is why would anyone pay $25 for a new book when they can get the same book for $10 or less.

Finally, after 8 years, my book is no longer in print. Just the ebook is available via Macmillan, however, there are plenty of used books online. The problem is bookstores don't want to order any new books left because they can't return them if they don't sell, which is to say my book is no longer available in bookstores.

The other side of this is that Macmillan has a deal with the libraries and universities, so my book got into libraries all over the world and most college and universities in the US, which would not have happened if I self-published.

Bottom line, commercial publishers have a lot of clout to get your book out there. I would suggest getting an agent or an attorney to negotiate for you. For me, I don't know what I don't know and would not have negotiated in my best interest.
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Member julesthoughts private msg quote post Address this user
I am published by Black Rose Writing which is a small indie publisher in Texas. They do not pay advances and I had control over the important aspects of the book such as how much I was willing to discount the book to the major distributor of all published works (Ingram) and have been allowed to do additional marketing (I pay for it of course)with no interference from them. They also offer, to all their authors, additional discounted services from groups such as NetGalley, Kirkus Reviews, Edelweiss, etc. if you wish to keep your book face out there. They have a standard royalty which is paid twice a year and the CEO has been great about answering all my questions and giving advice. There is no publisher who is well loved by any writer. They like all writers have flaws. It's up to you to decide what you can live with. My book is sold worldwide which it would not be if I had chosen to self-publish. Through BRW I have become connected to a freelance editor with more than 25 years experience who has also ghostwritten bestsellers. He knows what needs to be fixed to make a piece more marketable. I asked him about agents. His advice was agents really aren't needed anymore. There are too many publishing houses who prefer not to deal with them. They are now necessary for the big five but that's all. If you are looking there is a website called AllAuthors.com where you can shotgun blast your piece to several publishing houses at the same time. They'll match you to ones who use them of course but it's a fast and easy way to try to get bites from publishing houses. Be careful though there are some vanity publishers who lurk on that site but All Authors will give you a description of the house and tell you if they are vanity. It's a tough call but there is no one right way to publish anymore.
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Member Summerbay private msg quote post Address this user
@jmolan Are you looking to publish your book, or looking for marketing and promotion? Or both? They can be done separately, and as you most likely know, most authors have to do their own promo these days regardless of where they've published.
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Member Summerbay private msg quote post Address this user
@gspieler Did going this way make economic sense for you? Did you make decent money?
Post 9 IP   flag post
Member gspieler private msg quote post Address this user
@Summerbay- I had a particular circumstance that really required a mainstream commercial publisher. My book, non-fiction, and written using the creative non-fiction genre, had to do with a lot of political activity in San Francisco in the 70's. It involved the Secret Service, FBI, San Francisco police, the SLA, Patty Hearst kidnapping and the US Senate.

Without the stamp of legitimacy and credibility from such a large house, people could have accused me of being some crazy conspiracy nut job as there were lots of incidents that were very unflattering to the US government agencies. I wanted someone like my agent and publisher to vet my sources. Going it alone could have been very costly to have to defend my research and reputation.

Macmillan had me vet all my sources before they offered me a contract, and then they had three lawyers going over every single word. I was thrilled.

Everything passed their review and not one person has challenged anything I said, which was major relief for me. I do think that because the book has proven to be accurate, and controversial, the screenwriters are confident in the information and will make for a more interesting movie.
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Member gspieler private msg quote post Address this user
@Summerday-Money? What money. No, I did not do well using a commercial publisher. I would have done much better with more control, but as I said in the previous note, it was not about money for me as much as the credibility factor for my book. I do think that today, using smaller publishers, self-publishing etc is a better way to go.
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Student jmolan private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Summerbay
@jmolan Are you looking to publish your book, or looking for marketing and promotion? Or both? They can be done separately, and as you most likely know, most authors have to do their own promo these days regardless of where they've published.
I have been approached by Beacon for the first book I wrote. I self published it through Creatspace, it launched middle of last Sept. One side of me said "All I have to do write, they can take care of all the marketing." But I realize that is true only for the big guys now.
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Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
@gspieler well, once the screenwriters get a hold of it, all that vetting goes out the window.

"Based on a true story."

UNless it's a documentary.
Post 13 IP   flag post
Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
"But I realize that is true only for the big guys now."

It's not even true of the big guys.

It's true of the big guys for the established authors or sure fire interest.
Post 14 IP   flag post
Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
@gspieler

Well ... your story is not finished, is it?

It may not have been worth it ... yet. If/when the movie comes thru ... and we expect it to, then you'll surely have a different answer to the money question.
Post 15 IP   flag post
Member gspieler private msg quote post Address this user
@Belew: You are very funny. Here is how it goes for most authors. We are responsible for cashing the check. I really don't care that I didn't make a lot of money on the book. It has served me very well. I learned early on not to expect to get rich writing a book...for most of us. We'll see what happens.

In terms of the movie stuff, I had excellent representation. My agent has a contract with a major entertainment law firm in Los Angeles. I had the good fortune of them representing me and negotiating the contract with the screenwriters lawyer. Good thing cause I know nothing about that world. I was well taken care of. The option contract took nine months to negotiate and it cost me pennies.

Now, in terms of the credits, the contract reads as follows: Either. 1. Based on the book Taking Aim at the President: The Remarkable Story of the Woman Who Shot at Gerald Ford by Geri Spieler.

or. 2. Inspired by the book, Taking Aim at the President: The Remarkable Story of the Woman Who Shot at Gerald Ford.

So do I care about either one more than the other? No. I've already had a conversation with the writers and I love their approach. Frankly, trying to turn the book as written into a movie is a lousy idea. It wouldn't work. It would be a disaster. Their approach makes the most sense and will work really well.

Not sure what you mean by "my story?" However, was all this worth it? You bet. Big time. I loved researching the book. The writing was difficult, but I learned a ton. I got a lot of publicity from writing the book. I had a national book tour with newspapers, radio, and TV.

Re making money on the book when the movie comes out, presumably so. Macmillan is waiting for the right time to reissue Taking Aim as a paperback.
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