Monday, December 24, 2007

What About Stop Signs?--veinglory

The recent discussion has made me think that perhaps red flags are not the most important issues in publishing. For a start some are clearly quite subjective, such as bad covers, POD fees and how/if owners should publish through their own press.

What is less debatable is the matter of stop signs. So perhaps it is more helpful to replace the current 'smoke' and 'not recommended' tags with 'flags' that specify what is being flagged, and 'stop signs' but again specifying the reason. In which case it makes sense to start with the stop signs as the more serious issues.

If I look at the current list the 'not recommended' presses are ABCD (reported non-payment), LA Media (reported non-payment under a previous publisher name), Ocean's Mist (confusion surrounding possible closure) and Silk's Vault (reported non-payment).

So at this point the EREC stop signs seem to be:
1) reported non-payment and
2) high risk of closure/bankruptcy.

Based on this is it time to ease up on Ocean's Mist which seems to have stayed open and kept on releasing books? Are there any other conditions that should be an absolute stop sign, before moving on to less serious issues?


Teddy Pig said...

I think the biggest issues I see is to break from the non-standards based EPIC model.

One: Label on your list there, very clearly, every ePublisher who charges for any printing or other service. I mean flat out, any fees.

Stop there, and if so then find a real honest Vanity Press and purchase all your editing and royalty free photo covers and layout as such to meet your standards and not the standards of fee charging fools who also want most of the royalties for doing nothing. Sell it on Lulu.

Profit if you are any good.

Then take all the rest of that list left and here will not be as many representing mostly real honest to god ePublishers trying to meet the high standards of say a Loose-Id or a Samhain or a Ellora's Cave (We know who they are.) and grade them on the typical.

Website, covers, writers experiences with them etc.

Viola! Honesty! finally, without all the static of who's not quite has bad as PublishAmerica. Who cares? In my world if you are a little dirty you are dirty.

Anybody who actually claims to be what they really are should be listed. I am sure there are honest Vanity Presses providing viable and affordable services.

veinglory said...

Because of the time involved I am going to have to gradually introduce coding specific information on the listings. I was thinking of starting with fees and royalties on net. These are fully objective matters and so it shouldn't be any issue to tag the listing with them. Of course in many cases it isn't stated clearly one way or the other so I will need some input. I was also thinking 'open 1 year or less' might be a useful tag.

Hmm, 'tag'. I'm liking that better than flag. Sound more 'just the facts, maam'

Teddy Pig said...

Well I just think you have to label the apples and oranges and list them separately.

If you have to pay fess for editing or cover or printing then you head directly into Vanity Press where only giving the writer 35-40% after they pay for the actual services then needs to be compared against someone simply paying for the whole thing themselves and getting all the profit.

While the oranges pay for all the publishers standard services and then you compare based on royalty, sales, packaging and promotion.

Does that make sense? Because it is what has been forming in my opinion on Whiskey Creek and the like. If you start falling into the Vanity Press apples category then you need to be compared to other apples.

The oranges or regular legit ePubs should be kept separately and judged according to their following a higher set of standards and taking much bigger risks.

With plain labels you start to provide a viable service that I have not seen provided.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Teddy Em. You have to seperate the ones that charge fees from the ones that dont, and then compare each list to their competition.

Then base your tags or stop signs on what the authors say, royalties, rights, and so on.