Publisher PR (how not to do it)--veinglory

Monday, November 03, 2008

The Absolute Write thread on Cacoethes Publishing gives some great examples for authors of how *not* to defend your epublisher. So I thought I would use this as a basis for discussing the issue. Many of us feel loyal to epublishers who treat us well. However many count 'accepting my manuscript and validating me as an author' to be sufficient for extreme faith and fidelity--others are more demanding and less ardent. In any case I would advise against the following strategies of online publisher endorsement:

#1 (Ad Hominem): "Amazing cynicism", "a person who uses his real name here about the children who hide behind the bushes and throw rocks at passing cars." , "...is your book done? Is it ready to go out?"

#1a (Ad Hominem with ego stroking): "potential bitter authors who are simply slandering the company, or who were rejected and have not gotten over it"

#1b (Ad Hominem with paranoia): "I think people reading this forum should stop and think about whether some bitter or disgruntled writer hasn't taken it upon themselves to start a little vendetta against the company here"

#2 (A press is good so long as there exists any press that is worse) "Let's face it, if you want your book on shelves of book sellers, everyone of the publishers talked about in this website will not be doing that for you."

#3 (Good girls don't say negative things in public) "why wouldn't you simply contact the publisher directly and talk to them about your concerns?"

#3a (Really good girls don't think negative thoughts at all) "I have faith in this new publisher", ?"I refuse to dwell on such negativity."

#4 (The company isn't mean, what else do you want?) "the company has been kind to me", "They are nice to me and I appreciate it - period."

So how do you show support for your publisher? I would suggest:

#1 Discuss the substance of what is being said and provide accurate information.

#2 Acknowledge the short-comings of small presses openly.

#3 Provide concrete examples of adequate or excellent publishing services that the press provided including editing, packaging in general and, of course, sales.

Contributors to this thread also state that Cacoethes is paying 30% royalties off net and that the author pays: paypal fees, set up fees and marketing fees. Cacoethes seems to have a 'non-disparagement' clause in their contract and one anonymous poster who claims to 'have a lot of information' about this company reports that Cacoethes are in the process of suing two authors for slander. Most of this information was provided by authors with the goal of making Cacoethes look better and to defend their reputation as an epublisher. I would question whether that was the outcome for the majority of readers.

11 comments:

ggymeta 2:38 PM  

Great advice all around.

I was reading along fine until you said THE AUTHOR PAYS. 0_o The minute I saw this, I choked--this is not a publisher, period. The author never pays money, ever. As someone who self-published and is published pro, it really annoys me to see this form of 'share-care' style of publishing. What does the pub offer really that you can't do yourself? IMHO, nothing.

The only thing an author should have to dole out with any smell press or ePub is 'sweat equity promotion' [in small presses catering to niche genres--this is just a fact of life]. Paypal fees? Set up fees? That's like a print publisher asking an Author to pay for the shipping cost every time a book sells on Amazon. Since this is eBooks we're talking about here, why can't paypal fees be passed off in the retail price?

December/Stacia 6:02 AM  

You forgot "Challenge the others in the thread to list their publishing credits, then when they do, ignore them and continue to talk about 'Anonymous bullies'." :-)

Jules Jones 2:31 PM  

Probably a good thing I was too tired to blog on Sunday when I saw the thread -- you're politer than I am.

It's moved on since then, but I did contemplate pointing out that *I* get 35% of cover on sales direct from the publisher, and 50% of their receipts from sales through distributors, and none of this nonsense about paying set-up and marketing fees for the privilege of being published.

Tuscan Capo 7:12 AM  

After a visit to their site, I think the worst promo they've got going is the name. Cacoethes sounds like an extinct fish you only hear about on TLC. Sorry to say, but I doubt I'll remember it when surfing the net to shop.

ciarcullen 6:33 PM  

It sounds dangerously close to a body part that I think is internal but may be external. Um, obviously didn't do well in anatomy and physiology.

I agree, Emily. Post with your name, with the facts, and let them stand. If one is going to accuse, let the accuser know who is doing the accusing. (Sorry, know there's a better way of saying that.) If you dislike the company enough to bash them, then don't hide. Cough up the goods and then get out. I STILL regret that I did not go public with my Triskelion experiences--the facts--when other authors were dying to get a book published there. Cause none of it will mean a thing to me, but it might to someone starting out. I'm a little tired, sorry for the rambling.

Anonymous,  3:00 PM  

High and mighty as usual, aren't you Emily. The gay porn thing really gives you cachet, doesn't it? What a queen of the glitterati you are. gay porn e-books and you act like some arbiter of taste and behavior.

Emily Veinglory: 3:19 PM  

What a wonderful case in point. And what a wonderful publisher Cacoethes has turned out to be....

Anonymous,  1:33 AM  

It's not the publisher you are attacking here, but fellow writers.

Emily Veinglory: 12:27 PM  

I am criticising their behavior. I think it warrants criticism. I am being a little glib in the process as it makes the message more entertaining to read and so more likely to be read and perhaps understood (whether the reader agrees of disagrees with my point). Reacting to any criticism with insulting ad hom attacks reflects a refusal to understand the point of view being presented. Which is: that publishers stand or fall on the ability to publish, and it is on that basis that they should be criticised and/or defended.

Anonymous,  1:37 PM  

maybe being insulted brings out the "glibness" in other people as well.

Bruce 1:38 PM  

Emily -- I read this and am left wondering where the substance to your suggestions is? I understand what you are trying to say here, but am left wondering what Cacoethes authors -- who have been terribly swindled, lied to and cheated -- could have possibly done differently?

While I understand their frustrations (first hand) I did not think that posting messages with opinions about the publisher or its authors was classy or called for. I have always tried to simply relate experiences in as subjective a manner as possible. What you've done here is passed judgment on how people have responded to comments that no one else can read. That message board on Absolute Write is replete with sarcasm, holier-than-thou speeches and flat out childish behavior.

Your readers here are being given short statements by authors to which you are passing your own judgment on and these statements are being taken out of context. It's as unfair of you to do a post such as this as it is for the authors to have posted what they posted about Cacoethes. You won't find anyone who has dealt with Cacoethes who has something nice to say about them but what has been going on is tantamount to a group of 12 year olds picking on the special ed kids.

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