Sunday, September 16, 2007

Stardust Press -- veinglory

StarDust Press will be closing.

November 27, 2006 -- September 30, 2007


Thanks to Moondancer for providing confirmation in the form of an email from the publisher, Raine.

On the matter of a ten-day-old epress circling the orphaned writers to the point of soliciting them via Moondancer's blog--my skepticism is predictable. I will do a full review of Eternal next week but until then I hope authors cast adrift by the failure one new, small epress might think twice before going straight to another without having a good look around first. I would note a few red flags, Eternal charge for POD and the website has a few issues. The mention of "unique anti-piracy measures" makes me wonder if they use reader-unpopular DRM ebook formats?


Moondancer said...

I have been an author with Stardust press since I won 2nd place with Bloodstained Innocence in their Creatures of Darkness contest. Until I read the SDP chat this morning I didn’t even know about the supposed close. An author mentioned seeing a post from the head editor about the closing, and I have asked to be directed to that message since I never received it. I’ll keep folks posted.

Moondancer Drake

Moondancer said...

Okay, I got the facts on SDP and it's too much to post here. You are invited to my blog to read what happened for yourself :)

Celia Kyle said...


Just a note: Eternal is using freewebs to host their website.

Now, I have nothing against individuals looking to reduce their costs, etc. Heck, I give space to authors so they don't have to bother with the initial cost of reliable hosting and I usually design their sites for nothing, but a business should purchase their space.

What they have done is purchased their domain name and set it up to redirect and mask the fact that freewebs is hosting their site. You can see for yourself here:

Again, it's all good if a new author does this, they're just starting out. But a publisher? Makes me nervous...

If you hover your mouse pointer over the word "Excellence" in the header image, you can see that it links to the freewebs space.

veinglory said...

...and why the Australian domain name--I see nothing to suggest they are Australian so is this to save a 3-4 dollars over the .com?

Celia Kyle said...

Basically, not including the cost of site design, they paid $10 to set up the website. Heck, maybe less if they went to They offer .com's with anonymous registration, forwarding, and masking for $5.95.

veinglory said...

Actually now that I look at it Julie A. D'Arcy does seem to be an Aussie--so that may be a suspicion too far ;)

Moondancer said...

When you do your review of Eternal Press please email me ( so I can see it. If I find it well researched and fair (which compared to most of you other pub reviews I assume it will be), than I would be glad to link it to my blog.

Like I said before, I am all for well thought out research. Someone might need to explain the wed domain reference thing cause that sort of lost me. Miss Moon is not very techo savvy I'm afraid.

I myself was devistated by the loss of SDP, and authors must protect themselves. Thank you for going though the work to put information out there for authors searching.

Moondancer said...

Oops for got to ask, what are DRM ebook formats?

Oh, and I remember reading somewhere about EP authors being asked to pay printer set up cost, but to some who are used to epubs doing no print at all that once time cost might not seem to bad. I don't know.

I admit I really like the idea of holding my book in my hand and having something to sign, but ebook are easy for people who don't want to have to pay the heavy postage I see nowadays. So I will admit both ebook and print have thier place.

I'm torn on the idea of them charging authors that fee personally. Does anyone know if other ebook/print pubs charge anything for the first print set up or just EP? I am curious about that. If it's not standard or even a common practice, then yes it does seem odd.

As far as the Austrailian thing, well I didn't find out until after I went to mail my contract that Stardust was stationed in Singapore. Is it common now for epubs to be located in other countrys?

(sorry for two posts, my little one distracted me and I forgot these two questions. Thanks for offering a foron to discuss these things.)

veinglory said...

Relatively few epublisher are based outside the US. Total-E-bound, for example, is in the UK. Generally it is not important except when it comes to pricing where exchange rates and different market expectations may come into play. Unlike some major US epresses most presses based in other countries will have effortless methods for international payment set up for their authors. It is only important for paperbacks in terms of where they are printed and shipped from. I would expect a US printer to be used for maximum appeal to the large US market.

Re: POD charging. Most epublishers that provide POD do so without charge (e.g. Samhain). Making a book, like making an ebook, strikes me as a publisher cost unless an open subsidy/vanoty model is in use. They only reason to charge a fee is the expectation the books profits will not cover the costs of production--which is not encouraging. A few others do charge authors for POD (e.g. Whiskey Creek Press $90) but this is contraversial and general not seen favorably by author-advocates. For any POD I would want to know which printer was being used and whether bookstore distribution would be possible (e.g. size of discount, returns policy). The answer is almost always that distribtuion in store will not be possible. In which case the sales will probably be lower for print than ebook form.

I also prefer print books but in most cases I would rather make $1000 from an ebook at a larger epress that $100 from an e/POD at a very small or new press. There are exception where I have taken more of a risk to see how it went, for charity anthologies etc.

All just my .02c

veinglory said...

Lest i sound to negative--Eternal Press is run by named, pictured people with some relevant experience. Which puts them a step up on a lot of the competition and much easier to research.

And re DRM, these are moethods used to make books harder to pirate such as passwords, inability to duplicate etc. they have a way of inhibiting access by the legal reader and tend to do little to slow down pirates. DRM tech beyond simple locking of pdfs isn't ready for commercial use IMHO--it costs too much in lost sales. it is not clear exactly what is mean by Eternal, however. it may just be the usual countermeasures?

Celia Kyle said...

Re Domains:

When you are ready for a web presence, you have one of two options. 1) Put your site up on a free web space. 2) Buy hosting for roughly $100/yr.

Either option is okay, but if you go with a free site, your web address ends up being something like Which isn't very professional looking, is it?

What do you do if you want free space with a professional/normal web address? You purchase the domain (or web address) name and then you can have the people where you bought the name from "point" it at your free, yucky looking address.

Well, that solves the problem of readers/purchasers typing in and getting to the right place, but then they see the yucky web address. Blah.

How to fix that? Some domain sellers offer what's called masking. So, when someone types in, it tricks your browser and says "Yeah, I know they're at, but I want you to display in the address bar instead."

And your browser does it, cause it does what it's told to do.

Like I said, there's nothing wrong with doing something like this for a writer. When you're just starting out, hosting and domain names are an expense and some people don't want to shell out the cash when they don't know if this is something they'll be in for the long haul. I host a few writers who have ugly addresses from me but purchased their domain name, redirected and masked it so readers are none the wiser.

Godaddy is where my few hostees purchased their domains and they offer masking. So, in essence, they got a free site where when a reader types in their name and adds .com, they get directed to the site, but the address bar still says Not which is what their REAL address is.

Personally, I don't feel comfortable with a pub who didn't lay out the $100 for hosting. But that's just me. The only reason I even figured it out was b/c the site looked similar to a Wordpress theme I had seen and I was looking for some credit to the original designer or a Wordpress icon. When you hover over Excellence, you can see that it links to the freewebs homepage where their site is hosted.

My $20, cause I got wordy...

veinglory said...

p.s. that's

Anonymous said...

I noticed Eternal has on sale the novel Prairie Peace by Ginger Simpson, which I copy edited when it was with Wings Press. However, Wings still shows it for sale!

veinglory said...

How odd. But the author is announcing "Coming soon, a new and improved version of Prairie Peace from Eternal Press!"

So I can only assume rights have reverted to her and been re-sold.