1. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    The hunt for publishers...

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Torana, Oct 12, 2008.

    I know how hard it can be to find the right publisher for your poetry/fiction/etc.

    I've spent the last 6 months searching the internet high and low for publishers in the horror genre, and believe me, it ain't easy at all. Many have closed their doors, others... are just simply impossible to get accepted with. It can be quite daunting!

    I see people constantly asking about how to find publishers all the time and many times, maia, TWErvin, and many other members have given links to possible places to begin searching.

    SO I decided that I would make a thread with some searches of publishers.

    Here is one I came across that I have rarely seen mentioned on this forum anyway.

    http://www.ralan.com/

    and another is:

    http://www.duotrope.com/

    They both give links to quite a few publishers and details about rate of pay, open and closed markets, what each market is after (horror/romance/sci fi/etc)

    Good luck and happy hunting!
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Wow duotrope is really helpful. Thanks a lot for the links.
     
  3. Shadow Dragon
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    Shadow Dragon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks for the links Torana. :)
     
  4. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    http://www.darkmarkets.com/

    that is another place I have come across. Though I've not spent much time looking through it as yet. But for those into horror, or dark writing, you may find something useful or even some good reading.
     
  5. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you follow this like to my website, I have listed 12 or 13 search sites.

    ervin-author.com Market Search Sites

    Also, my ervin-author.com Markets page offers links to fiction markets in many genres and lengths.

    There are also a couple of 'indirect' methods, such as going to the Absolute Write forum and check their writer beward thread (go to the index) and it will have a long list of publishers and agents discussed--both good and bad.

    Go to Preditors & Editors and click on publishers, and there is a list of recommended and those to be wary of. Both of the last two methods are not as efficient to find a publisher, but good to check up on one you may be selecting to submit to.

    Good luck.

    Terry
     
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  6. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hey Terry.

    Thank you for adding those links to the list.

    Torana
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    tor... i think it would be helpful if you noted up front that you're referring to magazine publishers here and not book publishers...
     
  8. Cody.Frais
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    Cody.Frais New Member

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    Ooh, this is a good page for a genre that I've been drawn to lately. I've been reading and now began writing some horror, so we shall see how it goes. Thank you for the post Torana, if I ever go deciding to look for a publisher for it, I will be looking to the ones that you listed!
     
  9. TwinPanther13
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    TwinPanther13 Contributing Member

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    Has anyone here ever heard of a publisher called Dorrance?
     
  10. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    the writers market 2009 is a good thing to read too
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    here's p&e's [ http://www.invirtuo.cc/prededitors/peba.htm ]listing... always check there first:

    Dorrance Publishing: Not recommended. A vanity and subsidy publisher.

    ...that means you pay them to publish your book...
     
  12. TwinPanther13
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    TwinPanther13 Contributing Member

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    I see. Thanks for the info. I know NaCL did it himself, but is it worth it to publish your own novel with someone like them?
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's never a good idea to use an out and out 'vanity' publisher, imo...

    if self-publish you must, it's best to find a good printer and have total control over the entire process, the quality of the physical book, etc....

    if you can't afford that, then i guess lulu would be your best bet, as they seem to be considered the best pod 'publisher'... in any case, you'd have to do all your own promo/marketing/distribution beyond the very minimal--if any--those outfits offer...

    and you'll most likely never make back your investment, much less see any profit...

    with non-fiction, the outcome isn't always so bleak, but with fiction, that's the sad facts of life, sorry to say...
     
  14. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    TwinPanther13,

    There is really no reason to go with a vanity publisher. Costs more, you get less. Some folks go with printers like lulu.com and there's nothing really wrong with that. Youl could probably break even, but you'd be very unlikely to reach very many people beyond your circle of family and friends. Maybe a dozen copies elsewhere, but in reality, odds are that's what you're looking at.

    Why are you seeking vanity and self publishing options? Have you exhausted all options for going with (submitting to) paying publishing houses?

    Terry
     
  15. TwinPanther13
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    TwinPanther13 Contributing Member

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    No TwErvin, they actually sent a letter to me in the mail requesting a manuscript. I thought that was weird so I was trying to get info on them
     
  16. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's not wierd, TwinPanther13, because you've gotten yourself onto a mailing list somewhere...maybe through a subscription to Writer's Digest or similar situation. If so, it won't be the last solicitation you receive for you to publish with someone.

    Unless you've made some sales with strong (and genreally growing) numbers, legitimate publishers won't be contacting you out of the blue.

    Terry
     
  17. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    too true!... if you're approached by a 'publisher' it's most likely a scam of one sort or another... legit agents/publishers do NOT approach unknown writers out of the blue...
     
  18. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    TP - The pure self publishing route is very difficult and expensive. I do speak from experience. Here are my numbers as of today:

    Cost: $7,400 (includes business start up costs as well as the direct cost of "building" 1000 books.) Much of this cost is for infrastructure and one-time expenses. In the future, I figure it will cost me around $3 per paperback book in hard cost and books can sell profitably in the current distribution system for under $8-9 each...very competitive pricing that is impossible to achieve through vanity press or print-on-demand sources.

    Sales to date: 246 books have sold through direct sales, emails and my website. They were all discounted to approx $10 each, generating gross revenue of $2460. In most cases, shipping costs were passed along to the customer but I also "comp-ed" some of the shipping costs myself. Net revenues are around $2000.

    After my national distribution system is in place, I plan to give away another 100 books free to reviewers and people who are "centers-of-influence" within my intended buyer demographic.

    Special Problems/Lessons:

    1) The private editor I hired to proof the book did a very poor job. She has since admitted that she was distracted at the time by other life issues and she apologized for the things she missed. She refunded over $400 from the payment I made to her, but I still have to suffer through the first 1000 books with some frustrating errors that should never have made it into print. I am considering "eating" the initial printing and spending the money for a second printing. Of course, that means there is no way I can make a profit on the "first" 1000 books. Shame on ME for trusting her and not doing a final edit myself. IMPORTANT LESSON #1.

    2) Marketing a book is far more difficult than writing it...surprise! The nationwide distribution system is difficult to penetrate and costly...it takes 40% to the book stores and another 10-15% to the wholesale distributors and it takes at least 4 to 6 months just to get approved in their systems.

    On advice from a book marketing consultant, I stopped all efforts to market my book about two months ago. I canceled two book signings in locally owned book stores and rescheduled a visit to a book club until after the first of the year. The marketing consultant said I should not do anything to build excitement about the story until the distribution system is established and stocked. He explained that you only get one chance to make a sale. If the potential customer tries to find your book and it is not available, then the customer will move on to the next book. You lose two ways: you miss a sale, and you miss out on word-of-mouth...which is really the life blood of successful book promotions.

    Now for the good news.

    I got a letter TODAY from Barnes & Noble. They reviewed my book and they have authorized their "buyer" to place an initial order for my book. I still have some hoops to jump through as they want me to contract with one of only nine distributors that they use. In the letter, they instructed me to let whichever distributor I choose know that they are waiting to place an order. I also talked with the local B&N store manager and she said as soon as I am in the system, she'd be happy to sponsor a book signing.

    This is the national distribution system I have been waiting for. I am also waiting to hear from Borders, Amazon.com and a couple others...the waiting part sucks! Don't they know I'm excited? LOL

    OVERVIEW: I have built businesses before. I presently own two, with annual budgets of over one million dollars a year, so the cost of setting up my little publishing company is not a significant expense to me. However, if you can't afford to risk a little less than $10,000 with no guarantee of profits, then this self publishing choice is NOT the way to go. Even if you can afford the financial start-up cost, the damn process is so time consuming it might never be worth the monetary investment. I won't have an answer to that question for several more years as I plan to finish what I started. I can't help thinking about one other point. I am working on two other manuscripts that I am certain I could have finished with the time I have invested in this adventure. Now, I have discovered another "publishing" question - one I did not even know existed before beginning this project - do I want to be a "publisher" or an "author"?
     
  19. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    salty...
    sounds like so far, you're eating a $5,400 loss on that book... do you expect to ever make it up, even with b/n distribution?... and if so, how long do you see it taking to break even?...

    and is that contract with their distributor gonna cost you any upfront money?
     
  20. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    As this self-publishing thing evolves, I've discovered that it's not really as much of a question about writing (or getting "published") as it is about running a business. There is so much time demanded to develop and promote a book that I don't feel like a writer any more. I feel like business manager. I plan to give this 2 1/2 more years to see how it turns out.

    As far as the current book and profitability, I am confident of selling the rest of the first 1000 within the next 6 months. Local response has been excellent...one small coffee shop where college kids hang out called me to request a supply of the books to sell at their cash register. This is how many of those first books have been sold. I'm giving these local vendors the same "discount" as was required by B&N (40%) and they are happy to make $5 on the sale of each paperback...in fact they actively promote the book. I got this idea from a guerrilla marketing book and have been placing small book displays in coffee shops, waiting areas at car washes, the lounge at a private airport...any place where people hang out and read. It's worked, although I stopped expanding those resources until the national distribution is in place...like I said, I'm not a writer right now, I'm a stinkin business manager!
     

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