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May
6
2020

Published . . . Really? -- by Karen Klink

Oh, joy, my manuscript, Unspoken, has been accepted for publication! A first. Never happened before. I have been researching and writing this thing for over eight years and it's actually going to be published?

Scary.

Especially scary when the publisher sent me a 94-page "Author Handbook" of what to expect in the coming year.

Take a deep breath. Really. This shows how helpful they are. After all, She Writes Press was named 2019 Indie Publisher of the Year, so I am backed by the best. I have until fall of 2021 to get everything accomplished. Plus, my author friend, Ashley Sweeney, will be my buddy all the way, and she said She Writes did a wonderful job with her book, Eliza Waite.

I have my superb Critique Circle critters of Here We Stand to thank. Plus my ex, Fred, who was willing to go to East Texas and Louisiana and put up with my on-site research.

What will this journey to first publication be like? There are three pages of Table of Contents in that Handbook, and the main headings include: company overview, editorial, other author responsibilities, community, distribution and finances, marketing and publicity, resources, faqs, press style guide, publishing tersm, proofreading checklist, and sample corrections.

This gives you and idea of where we are going, if you want to go with me. If you want to know what She Writes Press is about, check out this Ted Talk from Brooke Warner, who began She Writes Press. I think you will find it fascinating:  Green-Light Revolution: Your Creative Life on Your Terms

 

Posted by Karen Klink 6 May at 02:00
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Responses to this blog

Amichelle 6 May at 15:17  
This is an uplifting message for writers and artists of all kinds. Unfortunately, as a reader, I've been burned so many times by subpar independent and self-published works that I turn to traditional publishers when I just don't feel like dealing with it... which is most of the time.
Fictiondog 6 May at 17:02  
I've been recommending SWP (although I have no personal experience) for a while, as an example of hybrid publishing. Hybrid requires the same amount of marketing work from the author as self-publishing does, but with the distribution channels of traditional publishing.

I've downloaded the Author's Handbook. It looks very useful for all authors; not the specific deadlines, of course, but thinking about Tip sheets, marketing strategies, and where to get a self-published book reviewed. Thanks for sharing.

Bibliophyl 6 May at 17:35  
The SWP website states their publishing package comes at a cost of $7900 (which does not include any ARCs or printed copies). I'm curious if people who publish with them feel they get a satisfactory return on investment. If I put that much money in, I'd want to at least break even in sales.
Veinglory 6 May at 18:04  
In my experience, this sort of press is more interested in whether they make a profit rather than whether the author does. It would certainly be worth asking them how many of their authors make a net profit, but don't expect them to answer.
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Glitterpen 6 May at 18:58  
Congratulations! That's great!
Marisaw 6 May at 22:59  
Fictiondog
I've been recommending SWP (although I have no personal experience) for a while, as an example of hybrid publishing. Hybrid requires the same amount of marketing work from the author as self-publishing does, but with the distribution channels of traditional publishing.
Does that mean they're able to get your book on the shelves in bricks-and-mortar bookstores?
Fictiondog 7 May at 02:06  
Marisaw
Fictiondog
I've been recommending SWP (although I have no personal experience) for a while, as an example of hybrid publishing. Hybrid requires the same amount of marketing work from the author as self-publishing does, but with the distribution channels of traditional publishing.
Does that mean they're able to get your book on the shelves in bricks-and-mortar bookstores?
As I understand it, yes. Your book is in the Ingram catalog which is where bricks and mortars order their books, and SheWrites Sales Reps pitch their books to indies.
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***Too philosophical for some.***

Marisaw 7 May at 02:13  
Fictiondog

Does that mean they're able to get your book on the shelves in bricks-and-mortar bookstores?
As I understand it, yes. Your book is in the Ingram catalog which is where bricks and mortars order their books, and SheWrites Sales Reps pitch their books to indies. Hmmm. I'm not sure that is the same thing, though. You can publish a book with a POD publisher, and it will be listed on the Barnes & Noble website and be available for a Barnes & Noble store to order in - but it won't be on the shelves.
Anmarie 7 May at 15:08  
That's wonderful. I'm really happy for you. Congratulations!
Fictiondog 7 May at 15:28  
Marisaw


Hmmm. I'm not sure that is the same thing, though. You can publish a book with a POD publisher, and it will be listed on the Barnes & Noble website and be available for a Barnes & Noble store to order in - but it won't be on the shelves.
From the SheWrites website:

We have a whole team of reps who go out into the marketplace to sell books, not just to the big accounts (Amazon, B&N), but also to independent bookstores, libraries, online retailers, and specialty markets.

Beyond this, I cannot say. Nor do I take any stand recommending SheWrites. I only recommend that someone curious what hybrid publishing is research SheWrites, a respected hybrid publisher. Certainly the OP is happy with her choice.

I have no personal experience with SheWrites. I suspect that a dog, or male, or gender non-conforming author could get published through SheWrites, but its mission statement calls itself a publisher for women authors.


__________________
***Too philosophical for some.***

Attaree 7 May at 16:15  
Re: Shewrites. Has anyone checked out their publication list on Amazon to get an idea how well the books they publish are being accepted? I know we can't peg the numbers, but usually the book ranking has meaning compared to other books. It would be interesting to get some idea.

This morning I was paging through a 2017 (yes, 2017 no typo) issue of Reader's Digest featuring the winners of their annual indie book contest. Checking out those books, I was dismally disappointed with how they ranked in 2020 regarding Amazon numbers. One of their top picks shows only a couple of copies available at +$900.00 (again, no typo) so it's essentially not even on the market anymore. To be clear, none of these books selected by Writers Digest went through Shewrites.

I should check the books published by Shewrites to see how they're doing in comparison to the books selected by Writers Digest from the available pool of entries. I'm thinking it comes down to marketing plus the quality of the read. No marketing can kill a good book, but I don't think a good book can survive without some marketing. If Shewrites is providing an effective sales force reaching out to all channels, that would color the picture for me.
Veinglory 7 May at 16:38  
I would be very surprised if they have bookshelf orders (actually being stocked on shelf). This requires a deep retail discount and unlimited returns — they seem to offer neither. nBeing technically available will not result in orders if the can't get them cheap and return unsold copies.

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Fictiondog 7 May at 17:23  
Veinglory
I would be very surprised if they have bookshelf orders (actually being stocked on shelf). This requires a deep retail discount and unlimited returns — they seem to offer neither. nBeing technically available will not result in orders if the can't get them cheap and return unsold copies.
My guess is that the author bears these costs, as the author pays the printing fees.
__________________
***Too philosophical for some.***

Amichelle 7 May at 19:40  
I went to the She Writes 2017 catalog and looked up a sampling of their fiction offerings on Amazon. I don't know how reviews correlate to sales and/or what other platforms these books are offered on but reviews are anywhere from 0 to 100. My guess is the author is still doing most of the heavy lifting if they want sales.
Trevose 9 May at 00:08  
I searched on “she writes press” on Amazon US, in both the Kindle store and in the Book store. It returned a number of titles sorted by “featured” (whatever that means). I spot-checked about 10 of them and they were all published by “she writes press”, so it seems to have been pulling just books published by them.

Here is the data that came back…

Kindle Store:
Results: 103 ebooks (this is not the total, just the top titles I could survey)
Avg Sales Rank: 388,797
Avg Monthly Rev: $8
Avg Price: $1.75
Avg Number of Reviews: 72 (this seemed like a lot, but I've seen where these types of operations expect their authors to review n number of books they've previously published — so it is a 'ladder' not reciprocal, which keeps it from hitting Amazon's 'reciprocal reviews' tripwire)
Total Monthly Rev (for all titles combined): $863 (The 4 best selling titles accounted for about half)

Book Store:
Results: 108 books (this is not the total, just the top titles I could survey)
Avg Sales Rank: 1,094,969
Avg Monthly Rev: $139
Avg Price: $15.02
Avg Number of Reviews: 37
Total Monthly Rev (for all titles combined): $13,975 (The 5 best selling titles accounted for about half)

Keep in mind this data is just the Amazon US store. And this data makes assumptions about monthly revenue based on a snapshot of the current sales rank and price. It’s a swag. And keep in mind that this is revenue – not what the author gets. For the sake of discussion, assume the authors get half of these totals. SWP says they get 40% of author earnings for books and 20% for ebooks.

Additionally, book sales generally have about a year life. That is, after about a year sales trail off to a fraction of their highest point (even if the highest point was really low), so even the better selling books in these lists can't sustain for long.

A weird aspect I saw was that almost half of the titles that came back when I pulled the data have not been published yet (some won't publish until late this year), so a lot of the data is based on pre-publication sales. I'm not sure what to think of this.

What we can conclude from all this? Yes, they are a vanity press that makes most of their money off of what authors pay them to publish their books (this is not a pejorative statement). These titles are clearly not generating enough cashflow to pay even one full-time staff member. They make a modest amount of money from book sales, but it is pretty small.

We can also conclude that whatever services SWP provides and some writers have worked together to achieve some market success. On the other hand, based on this data, we can estimate that 99% of authors will never recover the $7,900 SWP charges, and probably half won't recover even $200 of it.
Attaree 9 May at 00:26  
Trevose, thanks so much for the survey.
Blandcorp 9 May at 15:16  
o_O is there a way to convert sales-rank to revenue for us normies doing a bit of improptu research on amazon? If so what is it, and how does it work?

Yes, I have seen websites that "convert" sales rank into actual copies sold, but AFAICT it's all based on guesstimation. How is this guesstimation arrived at?

Cheers.
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Trevose 9 May at 17:56  
It's a sloppy science at best.

Basically all the calculators take the sales rank AT THAT MOMENT from which they derive an approximation of how many units sold that equals. Then they multiply that number by the list price to make a wild ass guess about the revenue being generated which they then multiply again to get a monthly total.

Keep in mind this will only show a revenue estimate for one site (eg Amazon US) and either Kindle, paperback, or hardback. So if you want to see WW total, you have to add them all up (if you can find a tool that will even work on other sites — I've only seen tools for the US and UK Amazon markets). I don't know of any tool that calcs against audiobook sales, though there is probably one out there somewhere.

Of course, if there are price changes in play through a month, big advertising promos, etc., the answer such tools spit out get even more problematic.

And some of the tools can be fooled in at least one way; at the moment I have a credit for digital purchases on Amazon US, so whenever I look at an ebook right now it zeros out the price, so the tool I have calcs against a price of $0.00 even though the author actually has it listed at $2.99, for example.

I've tested it a number of times against my one novel on Amazon over the last several years, and I'd say the tool I have gets credit for being within a country mile, though it errors a little bit on the high side. For instance, it might say gross sales are $25 in a month when the total is really closer to $20. Of course, this is revenue, not what I actually get.

So...IMHO I see these tools as a swag, little more than a novelty for a specific title. Nothing more than that. For other things, like the analysis I did above on SWP, because it is more of avg of avgs, so to speak, it can be helpful even though lacking in absolute precision.
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Ammonite7 15 May at 18:03  

Ammonite7 15 May at 18:05  
Trevose, I hope you don't mind, but I have included your response on my WordPress blog to see if I can get any comments on it. I need to learn as much as I can about She Writes Press and I will also be asking Brooke Warner to respond, and am hoping she will. Thanks for your comments.
Trevose 15 May at 21:24  
Hey Karen, I don't have an issue with you doing so. There is some context between your original post here and what I posted that you might summarize by way of introducing what I wrote. Otherwise, I'm good with it. Please post the link here when you do so. I'll be curious to see what kind of response it gets.

Trevose 16 May at 01:34  
So…not planning to get into a long discussion SWP the other day, I took a few mins to pull some data and share it. That led to another response and then another, and my post being reposted in the wild (which I’m still OK with). But it intrigued me enough that I watched (most) of the Ted talk and (most) of another video I found on YouTube:

Here are my take aways:

• They are a ‘hybrid’ press by the narrowest of margins. Short of them disclosing their financials, I’ll bet that less than 2% of their gross income comes from their writers’ royalties, so they are really not assuming any risk to their business if their writers’ books don’t sell. I suspect that they actually take a cut not because of the monetary value but because it allows them to pitch themselves as a ‘hybrid’ which nets them more appeal than it does money. (IMHO there is no such thing as a hybrid press, but that is a digression.)

• They are playing hard to the we-are-women-empowering-women sentiment. In the YouTube video at the link I posted above, she talks a lot about community and helping each other, supporting each others’ book signings, etc.

• They are also playing hard to us writers’ desire to have our work legitimatized by being published. See the last min of the Ted talk. As she says ‘don’t worry about the money.’ That is because she wants you to send your money to her to see your writing in print and she does not want you to complain later if your book does not sell. She will point out that they did a good job on the design, editing and production, and you will forever bask in the glory of being able to say you are ‘published’. Isn't that worth $10,000?

• In the YouTube video they also make clear their fee does not cover any printing or publicity – they have a partner company they guide you to that sells publicity packages for between $3,000 and $15,000, though you are free to go with someone else if you prefer. This firm is seemingly staffed by only women who are also pitching the same appeal of women-helping-women.

• Before anyone concludes I’m hating on SWPs… My sense is that of the vanity presses I have seen, they will give you the biggest bang for your buck. They seem to do a pretty good job delivering what you pay for. And for some writers, this model is perfectly OK. A friend of mine used a similar press to publish a book she hands out at seminars she hosts. She thinks the several thousand dollars she spent to get her book published was a great deal.

In sum, if you have $10,000 to spend on publishing and publicity, and then spend more to buy copies you plan to hustle yourself, SWP could be a very good way to go and a route you might find personally rewarding. From what I’ve seen, though, I continue to think you will do well to recover even $500 of that spend, which may be perfectly OK.

Personally, I would never go this route. I have no interest in going down the traditional publishing route again, and I know enough about self-publishing and managing contractors (two days ago I got my next-to-publish WIP back from an editor I found on Upwork) that I’m comfortable self-publishing rather than going the vanity press route. I harbor no expectations of making any meaningful amount of money from my published work, but I’m also not going to spend $10K to publish something.

Marisaw 16 May at 01:48  
@Trevose, I haven't watched the whole Ted talk, but my strong impression was that SWP is a printer that is shamelessly using the women's empowerment movement to exploit female writers. It's a win-win for them, because if you dare suggest that they're not genuine, you get accused of being anti women's empowerment.

They escape the vanity press label because they do vet novels for quality. That's something. But it doesn't change the fact that they're taking virtually no risk in publishing a novel.

I love the way they offer you a separate publicity package. That way, if you don't take the package and your book doesn't sell, they can say, "not our fault, we recommended the package". If you take the package and it still doesn't sell, the publicity company will probably say you didn't work hard enough.
Trevose 16 May at 02:07  
When one of my daughters was about 8 years old she told me she was not scared of monsters any more because when she saw one she could run away from it. I told her — as I've reminded all of my daughters as they have grown up — the most dangerous monsters are the attractive ones.

Though this may be a bit overly dramatic in this case — I standby what I said above that SWP seems to give a credible return on your spend relative to other vanity presses — the principle is the same.
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Cwotus 16 May at 03:48  
Trevose
When one of my daughters was about 8 years old she told me she was not scared of monsters any more because when she saw one she could run away from it. I told her — as I've reminded all of my daughters as they have grown up — the most dangerous monsters are the attractive ones.
Exactly so. I recall trying to teach our young children about "stranger danger" back in the day. They didn't comprehend, they simply had no concept, that "stranger" didn't necessarily mean "the person looks odd or deformed or evil like the cartoon monsters they saw on television". "Stranger" didn't mean "someone who looks scary", necessarily.
Ammonite7 26 May at 22:56  
Trevose, I posted your entire post on my blog, and here is Brooke's response:

"This is a fascinating analysis given that it presumes that Amazon is the only retailer we sell to. Of course, it is not. Amazon accounts for about 40% of our sales. The other 60% comes from bookstores, specialty sales, direct sales, libraries, foreign sales, and elsewhere.



The number of assumptions this person makes is beyond me, honestly. It shows such a lack of understanding of the book marketplace that it’s almost astounding. To use means and averages in this way, and to include books that are pre-publication, obviously makes no sense. He’s basically asserting the final sales outcome based on data for books that haven’t been published yet. I appreciate how much work was put into the analysis, and yet the foundation is so faulty that it’s hard for me to detail all the things that are wrong with it.



But to start:
• Rank has little to do with actual sales. It represents click rate and doesn’t indicate how many actual “sell-through” copies an author gets.

• Average monthly revenue. Well, yes, if you’re including books that aren’t published yet, this number is going to be so off-base as to be meaningless.

• Average price: I don’t even understand this one. Our books sell for $16.95 (on average) and Amazon usually discounts by about 30%.

• Bookstore: I’m sorry, but what is this? Some sort of offshoot of Amazon?



So anyway, this sums up my feelings on an Amazon-only analysis of our program that has a huge reach beyond Amazon. Really interesting to me how myopic folks can be. In terms of “vanity,” it’s an outdated term. Vanity = service provider. We are not that. we are proudly hybrid: www.ibpa-online.org/page/hybridpublisher

I hope this helps."


Ammonite7 26 May at 23:09  
I don't know enough about publishing and all the rest to do it myself, which is why I am going with She Writes Press the first time around. My friend, Ashley Sweeney, said she got her money's worth publishing with them, and has just published her second book, Answer Creek, with She Writes Press, and received a review by Kirkus on the front cover. This seems like a pretty decent recommendation.
Blandcorp 26 May at 23:13  
I wonder if this is an "everyone must touch a hot stove once" kind of situation.

Cheers.
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Ammonite7 26 May at 23:14  
P.S.: Spark Press, a companion press to She Writes Press, publishes genre books and books by male authors. One major reason She Writes Press was begun was because so many female authors were ignored by the publishing business.
Blandcorp 26 May at 23:41  
Has that still been a thing in the past, I dunno, twenty years though? A healthy chunk, and apparently more than half, of the authors I would see in a bookstore are female. I could go googling if pressed, but I remember seeing a statistic that most people with power of decision in "old pub" (editors etc) are women. Also, one of the most lucrative genres is typically written by women (to the point where, allegedly, some male authors prefer to use a female-sounding pseudonym) for women readers. I speak of course of Romance here.

Likewise, once can do a little self-research on amazon best seller lists to catch the flavor of the day/week. Granted, this mixes old pub and indies and whatnot, but the same conclusion seems borne out from the top 100 publishers in genres such as, say, fantasy. Women authors are not a minority.

Finally, it's not like being a woman author is somehow not prestigious. Looking back at, say, the Hugos — awards in SF, allegedly a male-dominated field — one would see just how dominating the female representation in the awards is.

So if someone is selling you that they, as opposed to most anyone else, has your back as a woman author in 2020, they are by default being misleading of the facts on the ground.

Cheers.
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Marisaw 26 May at 23:53  
Ammonite7
I don't know enough about publishing and all the rest to do it myself, which is why I am going with She Writes Press the first time around. My friend, Ashley Sweeney, said she got her money's worth publishing with them, and has just published her second book, Answer Creek, with She Writes Press, and received a review by Kirkus on the front cover. This seems like a pretty decent recommendation.
When I pick up a book and the only review is by Kirkus, I put it back. I've learned not to trust Kirkus reviews.

I suggest you ask your friend exactly what she means by "getting her money's worth", because different people want different things from the publishing experience - her goals may not be the same as yours.
Trevose 27 May at 00:09  
I'm not surprised by her response. She was certainly not going to say "Oh, you're right."

First, let me recap what I did say. I said I was not hating on SWP. And I said that they seem to provide a better bang for one's buck than many vanity presses. And I said that some writers have clearly achieved some level of success with them. I also highlight a friend of mine who used a similar press and was very happy with her outcome.

As to her comments:

1) He "shows such a lack of understanding of the book marketplace that it’s almost astounding." I've self-published one short novel. Other than the editing, I did it all myself - cover, formatting (in both ebook and paperback), advertising, giveaways for reviews, figured out audiobooks and managed the development of one of those, etc. I've sold about 4.2K copies. I'll bet a case of cheap wine that is more than 90% of her authors sell. Given this, I would argue that I've got a pretty good sense of what is going on. So she is wrong on this one.

2) He "presumes that Amazon is the only retailer we sell to." I made no assumption that Amazon was the only place they sell to. In fact, I called out clearly that not only did I only look at Amazon, I looked only at Amazon US. She is wrong on this one.

3) "I appreciate how much work was put into the analysis, and yet the foundation is so faulty that it’s hard for me to detail all the things that are wrong with it." It took about 4 minutes using a Chrome extension called KindleSpy. And as I said in many ways and many times, the date was limited and suspect in various ways and should be viewed as a "sloppy science". But for the dataset I looked at (Amazon US) with the qualifiers I provided, I stand by what I said and the conclusions I shared. I suppose if I wanted to spend 30 mins with the tool and Excel I could parse it more finely and limit it to only books that have been published. She won't like what I would report, though.

4) "Rank has little to do with actual sales. It represents click rate and doesn’t indicate how many actual “sell-through” copies an author gets." She and I may have to agree to disagree on this one. But even if rank is tied to clicks and not directly to sales (which I really doubt and is at odds with everyone I know who tracks such things), clicks will correlate with sales (unless she is suggesting that books with high sales get few clicks or books with high clicks get few sales...both of which are obviously wrong).

5) And, yes, her firm is a Vanity press. As she defined it: "Vanity = service provider." You are certainly getting something for the $10K you are giving her.

Feel free to forward this to her. If you do, ask her this: Will you have your CPA certify what % of your gross income comes from book royalties and share that publicly to prove how much of a hybrid press you are? I'll bet another case of cheap wine that she won't share that info and if she did, it would be single digits at best.

Again...all said... I'm not dishing on them. They are what they are and she is doing what she is supposed to do, which is generate a client list. For some writers, it will be a fulfilling, positive relationship.
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Trevose 27 May at 00:12  
"When I pick up a book and the only review is by Kirkus, I put it back. I've learned not to trust Kirkus reviews."

Kirkus sells their reviews. It's a mystery to me why that is not a violation of Amazon's terms.

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Marisaw 27 May at 00:42  
Ammonite7
I don't know enough about publishing and all the rest to do it myself, which is why I am going with She Writes Press the first time around.
Before you commit to SWP, I suggest getting quotes from companies like DIY Publishing. They're based in New Zealand but they offer an international service. I'm sure there are equivalent services elsewhere in the world. They will guide you through all the stuff you don't understand, and/or do some of it for you.

You don't have to use them, of course, but you owe it to yourself to be fully informed as to what alternative services would cost you.

I agree that female authors are not under-represented in published fiction these days. Non-fiction may be a different story, and that may be what sparked SWP's original idea. But to suggest it's also true in fiction is nothing more than a cynical marketing ploy, IMO. I wouldn't use SWP on principle for that reason alone.

Trevose 28 May at 00:17  
I'm going to grind on this one more time after doing a bit of research and making an interesting discovery...

Keep in mind, Brooke said: "...we are proudly hybrid: www.ibpa-online.org/page/hybridpublisher."

So I went to that site. Here is the criteria listed:

* Define a mission and vision for its publishing program.
* Vet submissions.
* Publish under its own imprint(s) and ISBNs.
* Publish to industry standards
* Ensure editorial, design, and production quality.
* Pursue and manage a range of publishing rights.
* Provide distribution services.
* Demonstrate respectable sales.
* Pay authors a higher-than-standard royalty.

Some of them have expanded definitions.

IMHO it is all largely meaningless and unenforceable against any legal standard and/or is a service available through Amazon. I'd like to know if they have ever kicked out a vendor for not meeting these standards?

In any event, it made me curious as to who was behind this operation? So I clicked on the About page, "Board of Directors".

...wait for it...

Guess who is the chair of the board with her picture at the top of the page? Go figure.

I have a problem with her response to me as quoted above: That she directed the reader to the IBPA site as the source of standards for independent publishing without disclosing that she is the chairperson of the board, that she has a material role in what those rules are.

Because I'm a business guy and I'm always curious about how companies actually make money, I started clicking through their site, starting with "membership".

They have several kinds of membership that range from $109 to $139 for individuals. There are a LOT of benefits listed. Here are just a few:

* Benjamin Franklin book award. Of course, it costs $229 to enter your book in the contest, but only $95 if you are a member.
* Opportunity to buy reviews for your book from Clarion and Bluelink (via the free magazine subscription you get to Foreword Reviews) — $499
* About 50 more discounts for everything from Dell computers to FEDEX to every other affiliate they could find that is loosely related to writing and publishing (and that you can probably get from somewhere else).

...I counted over 50 instances of $ signs and % signs (as in "10% off with your membership" if you bought something else) on their membership benefits page.

My other problem is with IBPA itself. I'm sure there is some goodness in there somewhere, and I'm sure someone feels like they got a good return on their investment, but as you flip through their pages (I looked at many of them), it is thick will calls for you to part with your money. In sum, it looks like a scheme designed to take advantage of people's desire to be a successful writer to get them to part with their money. Reminds me of AMWAY.

Speaking broadly, everyone on this site needs to remember that we all share a fantasy of becoming an acclaimed and well-paid writer. It is a powerful fantasy that many, many vendors want to take advantage of by getting you to part with your money for their services. We are targets. Some vendors are more credible than others. It is smart to do extensive research. Be attentive to how eager they are to get your money, how often they tout other vendors from which they get money for handing you off (affiliates), especially if they don't disclose upfront what they are doing.

One of the things I most value about this site, in contrast, is that though it charges a modest fee it is not scammy, ad-loaded, and affiliate-touting. It could be, but the owner made the decision not to go that route (thank you).
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Ammonite7 7 Jun at 19:06  
I have been a member of Critique Circle for well over ten years and joining is one of the best things I have ever done. You guys are top notch.

I received an eight-page contract from She Writes Press which took me over a week to read and understand.

I also bought a book by Colleen M. Story titled Writer Get Noticed!, wherein she urged the reader to write a journal getting to the core about why you want to write and be published.

After searching both, I came to the realization that I do not want to publish with She Writes Press. The contract made it abundantly clear that they are concerned with making money, and they could care less about my novel. I take all the risks; they take none. They say I will make more money from royalties than I would with other publishers, after they get their net profits. But, wow, are their net profits covered.

Most importantly, I do not expect to make a lot of money with my book. I am more concerned with getting what it says out there. I want an agent and a publisher, who believes in it. Who is willing to put their money where their mouth is. Even if I don't get as much in royalties.

My novel is about equality for all. That is most important to me.

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