Novum publishers

Discussion in 'Publishing' started by jason lewis, Feb 24, 2015.

  1. Gawler

    Gawler Senior Member

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    The only one who benefits from the vanity publisher is the vanity publisher. They do not care if the author's book sells because they have already made their money. They prey on the gullible.
     
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  2. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

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    I agree with the sentiment but I think gullible is the wrong word. These companies are very clever and, as that ASA ruling laid out, often outright lie. When I began writing I didn't have a clue about how publishing worked, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. I joined writing communities and got my education so I didn't fall for vanity publishing, but I can see how it happens. A new writer with their precious first book submits to a publisher with a professional-looking website that claims they evaluate each manuscript carefully and only pick the best ones for publication. The publisher responds, dripping with compliments about the MS, and starts talking about fees as if it was totally normal and the way that every publisher does things. They promise brilliant sales, that you'll be the next J K Rowling, and all you need to do is share the initial costs of editing etc.

    I don't think you have to be particularly gullible to fall for that.
     
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  3. TopherT

    TopherT Member

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    Well, I didn't mean they were literally like assisted self publishers. Legit assisted self publishers can be helpful, these people are plain con artists.
     
  4. Sack-a-Doo!

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributor Contributor

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    Red flag #1
    Red flag #2

    Vanity press. No question about it.

    Any time any publisher, agent or management company asks you for money—and has a wonderful, glossy brochure to help convince you to sign with them—they are preying on you.

    Don't sign and definitely don't give them money, no matter how small the amount, not even 'matching funds.'

    My mother and my sister both fell for this (although my sister now seems to be wising up, although it's just about impossible to get Christian poetry published any other way) so I have a particularly personal hate on for these guys.
     
  5. Mike Kobernus

    Mike Kobernus Senior Member

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    This is a very good point. Quite a worry, now that you mention it.
     
  6. TopherT

    TopherT Member

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    So immoral, but I suppose all these people care about is making a fast buck, or in the case, a fast few thousand bucks.

    Technically it isn't breaking the law, because they are providing a service, but it's just a phishing scam with window dressing.
     
  7. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    It could be fraud, depending on how far they go.
     
  8. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributor Contributor

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    Figuring out the business model of a publisher can be enlightening to authors, and may help them steer clear of questionable situations.

    If it appears that a publisher's main revenue stream is derived from fees and services paid by authors, as opposed to earning revenue (profits) from sales of books it publishes, then the author considering that publisher might give some close look as to their expectations and what the publisher is actually offering. It may make sense, but it also may not, especially for the cost involved.

    Another concern is if a publisher accepts/publishes basically every work submitted to them, without a vetting/rejection process. And as I stated in a previous post in this thread, a publisher that charges fees for services, and then keeps a large portion of sales of the book, paying the author only a royalty...that isn't self-publishing, at least not in the sense that most writers look at it. Looking around and weighing/evaluating options for avenues for an author's work (that they spent a lot of time and energy on) to reach readers is worth the time and effort.

    There are definitely valid reasons for an author who intends to self-publish, paying for things like editing and cover art, etc. as it helps to ensure a quality product for potential readers, but shopping around getting references from editors and cover artists and someone who can do the layout for ebook and print book formats etc., can make a huge difference in what a self-publishing author pays out of pocket and the quality of the services that are paid for.
     
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  9. Mike Kobernus

    Mike Kobernus Senior Member

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    You said it, TWErvin2.....
    Hear, hear..
     
  10. John Marshall

    John Marshall New Member

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    Hi
    I recently got offered a contract with this company,they definitely charge for it. I submitted a children's book which was published previously by another company. They still asked for £2,995. That was their cheaper contract,I'd avoid them big time.
     
  11. galaxaura

    galaxaura New Member

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    Somehow I am overburdened with self-publishing, I must say. Since I wrote my book in German and English, I became aware of this publisher, which is apparently active in both German and English speaking countries. I definitely want to take use of services like editing and so on. I am well aware that this will cost something, whether it is self-publishing or with this publisher. I'm currently exploring which option is better for me. Assisted self-publishing actually sounds like something I would like to have.
     
  12. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Novum are not a self publishing company - they are a notorious vanity publisher, do not touch them with a barge pole (likewise Austin Macauley)

    If you have the money to spend and need help with self publishing, i'd suggest looking at book baby... however note that you will really struggle to make your money back (especially on your first book)

    If you want to self publish profitably, you need to be able to do most things yourself, and target the money where it matters - book covers, editting, and arguably blurbs
     
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  13. tandem1

    tandem1 New Member

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    I actually don’t have a lot of experience in publishing books for the public, but I can totally see why authors get annoyed by self-publishing. I mean, if I was going to publish a book, I’d rather prefer any publisher than publishing it by my own. We are authors, we enjoy writing and want people make read our book – and enjoy reading it! But it can get pretty annoying if you have to act like a “company” on your own, without having any experience…which is indeed frustrating if you can’t do what you want anymore: writing…As well, as an author you always have to spend some money on your book for proofreading, marketing and so on, or isn’t that the case? Or would a publisher take a well-written manuscript (I mean the story itself) even if it contains a lot of grammatical, syntactical or orthographic errors? I’m in doubt of that…but again, I don’t have any experience with that, so I would be happy if somebody can tell me more about the process when you publish a book.

    @galaxaura, your project sounds really interesting. If you like, I can have an eye on your German text as I am a German native as well. :) I will start a conversation with you privately, because I want to ask you a few more things…and it’s easier to write in German. :-D

    @bigsoftmose, don’t you think it is way better if a publisher is working with you on your manuscript rather than if you have to find people for every “task” on its own, such as proofreading, editing, book cover, marketing, etc.?
     
  14. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I think proper trad publishing with a real publisher is a viable option... whether it's way better depends on the capability of your publisher and the fine detail of your contract.

    It is definitely not 'way better' to work with a vanity publisher who cares neither a jot nor tittle about the quality of your manuscript or whether it sells books because their business is charging authors to publish.

    In a traditional deal the publisher pays for the book to be produced (edited, proofed, cover), they also arrange for it to be placed into some brick and mortar stores, and to be available through trade catalogues like Gardiners for other stores to order if they wish. They pay for the formatting as an ebook and produce the sales page blurb and upload it to amazon and potentially other outlets. They may also pay an advance (this varies and for an unknown if they do the advance will be small.)

    For this they take the lions share of the royalty leaving you with 8-10% of print and 25-40% of ebook

    They may do some marketing but they also may not, that again varies company to company and contract to contract

    They do not charge the author a dime... or ask them to guarantee to but a certain number of books...
    if a publisher asks you for money, don't walk, run.

    The biggest issue however with a trad deal is getting accepted (or getting accepted by an agent in order to get accepted) - many authors will spend ages querying and never get an offer, irrespective of the quality of their book

    ---


    As a self publisher assuming you want a quality product you will need to pay for editing (£500-1000), proof reading (£100- 300) and a cover (£50-400)... you may also have to pay to format your book (£100 ish) unless you buy the software to do it yourself, and possibly for a sales blurb unless you are good at copywriting (£50-250)

    You will also have costs around an author website and an EMS (mailing lists) and sundry other things.

    Once you have your book you can upload it on amazon and wherever else you wish (kobo, nook, apple, google play and lots of smaller outlets)

    Getting your print book into bricks and mortar stores will be difficult, but you can get into the gardiners catalogue etc via ingram spark

    once your book is distributed you will need to advertise it via amazon, facebook, bookbub and various other options. There will be costs involved here, but ads should wash their own face (although you can lose money while you are learning)

    If you price between $2.99 and 9.99 you will keep 70% of your ebook royalty from amazon (the other outlets vary but 50-70% is a good ball park)

    using print on demand services like KDP Print or Ingram spark you will keep 60% of your print royalties minus printing costs... which depending on how you price generally comes out at a net of $2 a book (this is one reason why most self publishers make most of their money on ebooks)

    The major issue with self publishing is time... you're not just the author you're also the publisher, so you have to run the business if you want to sell books...

    ----

    A typical vanity deal will be the worst of all worlds

    They will talk a great game about working with you, and hybrid models and various other puff...

    they will then charge you between $1500 and $10,000 for your 'share' of the risk, and sell you 'essential' services like editting' on top... they'll use the cheapest possible 'designers' (which is why so many vanity titles look horrible), and take only basic care with proofing and formatting.

    They may put the book on amazon (this varies) but are unlikely to put it else where... they'll do zero marketing unless you pay extra for it (They don't need to make sales they already have your money)

    Should you manage to make some sales, they will then add insult to injury by giving you royalties in the region of 10% minus, and in some cases taking the actual copyright

    at the end of the day you'll have spent way more than you would self publishing without receiving any of the benefits of a trad deal
    ----

    The TLDR version

    Trad = Can work well with patience and determination.
    Self = Can work well with patience and determination.
    Vanity = you may as well burn your money in the street
     
  15. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 Senior Member

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    Sounds like a variant of the "you've won the Mozambique state lottery" scam.
     
  16. galaxaura

    galaxaura New Member

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    How do you learn to do that? So far I lack the experience completely.

    Publishers probably don't. But I have seen a book published by self-publishing that was not proofread and was of poor quality. I would not want that for my book. It should be as good as possible! I'm open for suggestions on how I can achieve this.

    It would definitely be of importance to me that it is also a concern of a publisher, with whom I would possibly publish, to want to sell my book successfully.

    How is that actually with contracts? You probably get them in advance to look at them and check them? If a contract shows that for every book sold, not only a percentage goes to the author, but also to the publisher, can this be seen as a positive sign that the publisher is also interested in selling the book well?

    This sounds like a lot of small and large steps that still need to be done. I thought so already. Especially if I have to use the services for the German and English speaking markets, it will probably add up well in money and time.

    Is it possible to estimate in advance how much time and money you will need to publish a book (or more precisely two books)? Writing is a hobby for me that has accompanied me from childhood on, but I am very busy at work and have hardly any time for elaborate self-publishing.

    In principle, I do not think it is wrong to pay for services. But what would be the service that amazon would provide in order to retain 30% per book sold?
     
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  17. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Amazon are providing the platform and all the purchase processing etc.. also at the end of the day they have a massive market, and you're paying for access to it... you can just sell from your own website and use something like book funnel to deliver the ebooks, but given that 85% of the ebook market is via amazon you'd be turning your back on a hell of a lot of potential trade

    That said i'm not saying you should self publish ... its not for everyone and you may be more suited to the traditional route

    but regardless stay way way away from the vanities
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2020
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  18. galaxaura

    galaxaura New Member

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    The broad access to the market is of course one point. That's why I would like to offer my book on amazon. But I would be quite happy if it was not sold exclusively via this platform, but could also be available elsewhere. Of course I would also like to offer my book as an eBook, but preferably also as a printed book.

    I have been to bookstores in various countries and have always been well advised and received great tips. That's why I would like to see my book available in shops. It might also be presented at book fairs and so on.

    Which path I will take when publishing and what suits me best, I can't say yet. I don't have enough information about that yet and therefore I'm going to collect as many facts and opinions as possible.

    Have you already successfully published books written by you?
     
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  19. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    yes, i have 8 books out self published - 2 novellas and 6 full length novels.
     
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  20. Cdn Writer

    Cdn Writer Senior Member

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    I'm in agreement. I feel the writer's job is to write, and the publisher's job is to take care of everything else......isn't that why they get a cut of your profits?

    I'm wondering if there is something in between self publishing and traditional publishing, not a vanity publisher that could make a viable business? I think I threw out the idea earlier about a collective, I sort of thought of if there were 500 writers in a loose organization with a board of elected directors (from those 500 writers) that paid a $100 a year fee, they could collectively vote on submitted manuscripts and send them off to be published, collect a portion of the royalties...etc. I know people pointed out some problems with that model, like individual writers probably had a better chance of self publishing independently than by going through a collective voting process.

    Any other business models people can think of?
     
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  21. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin We may just go where no-one's been.... Contributor

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    Own your own storefront, supply lines, and distribution. Theoretically, an author could buy a book store, sell their own books, sell books of friends/associates/whomever and take a cut, handle all their own production (buy a printing "press" or whatever they use to print books these days), and essentially own/control all aspects of the business.

    Of course, like 99% of all business models, it falls apart as soon as you consider the money involved.

    And then there's the age old question of all economics: "Why would anyone willfully pay money for that?"
     
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  22. tandem1

    tandem1 New Member

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    Hey! I hope you are all doing great! Really interesting answers in here!


    bigsoftmoose, how long would it take more or less to find a publisher, what would you say? And I wouldn’t put all vanity publishers in the same box…okay, I don’t have a lot of experience, but I guess there are also good ones out there! I mean, I can totally understand why this sort of publishers exists, because how would you start being a publisher from scratch? This all takes time and funds, and I think if authors still keep some responsibility in their hands, the quality of the book will improve as well since THEY decide what the publish! …furthermore, I can’t imagine that publishers would publish a really boring story even though they get money for that…they also have an image (to loose) and of course they want to make it better each time they can (so that really depends on each book!). And what if you just want to be an author and don’t want to run your own business (which is sometimes annoying)?

    Another question that I have in mind (similar to galaxaura): If your book is sold, how much percentage of the profit will you get? Is this always differently calculated, depending on your publisher? Do you get more when self-publishing your book? And may I ask you which of your books was the most successful? Have you already tried to find a publisher with one of these books (or if you self-published them, it’s already too “late” to find a publisher?)


    galaxaura, I don’t understand why people would publish (!) their book when it’s not even proofread! This is what I mean when I talk about the image…you can do whatever you want (if you work for your own) but if you publish a book with a lot of errors AND you want to be a professional author one day, you ruin your image yourself…and if a shitty book is published by a (vanity) publisher, their imagine will be ruined as well…so that’s why I think that publishers of course do care who they select and who not! That also goes for vanity publishers, I guess?!


    Cdn Writer, that’s a cool idea! A friend actually told me that sometimes there are kind of “competitions” and the winner will get some financial aid to publish his/her book…which is really great, in my opinion…:) this could be another method when you wish to publish your book…


    Homer Potvin, if you have to do all that, you are not able to write anymore, I think! :D This sounds like it’s super time consuming and you probably need a lot of money to start such a business…you better get some experience before and if you feel like you can be (even more) successful, go for your business (but maybe post-corona ;-))
     
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  23. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    There's no such thing as a good vanity publisher ... its an oxymoron, like a good burglar... good service companies exist (as with say bookbaby) but they aren't pretending to be something they're not.

    i self publish so i'm not the right person to answer how long it could take to get a trad deal - but i'd speculate anywhere between 6 month and never

    in terms of percentages in a trad deal you usually get between 8 and 10% of print and 10-40% of ebook... self publishing varies between market places... on amazon you get 70% of ebook if you price between $2.99 and $9.99 outside of that its 35%. for print on kdp print you get 60% minus print costs
     
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  24. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    i'm just going to leave this here
     
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  25. galaxaura

    galaxaura New Member

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    Wow, that's impressive! I would be happy if I had the time to write so many books. And I must say that I also revised my manuscript very often until I was satisfied. I have tried translating it into English, but I lack the wordplay that native speakers often have.

    How many years have you been working on your project?

    I do think there are different models. As far as I have been informed, I think that novum publishing could be a kind of intermediate thing. A German newspaper recently published an article in which the company's history of more than 20 years was pointed out, and many authors have already made experiences with the publisher. I will probably try to get in contact and ask them to send me a model contract. Afterwards one is always smarter and I don't have any time pressure to sign something quickly.

    Yes, that's true. I wonder if it could be different in a fictional or real society?

    You mean, like crowdfunding? You present your idea and try to reach a large group of people. And then you hope to convince enough people to participate financially with an extract? And if the project is successful, everyone gets a signed first edition or something like that?

    I agree with you that you should play with your cards on the table. But I think, once you have a contract in front of you, you don't sign it immediately. I always read contracts carefully first and, if necessary, consult a lawyer to find out whether signing is in my interest. Or not.
     
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