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Old 11-24-2013, 11:49 PM   #226
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Quote:
Originally Posted by traveo2343 View Post
I will be happy to send Review PDF's to you Old Hack, please email me directly at tgrundy@zharmae.com, I can also provide MOBI or EPUB versions if they are easier, simply detail your preferred review format in the email. I'm sorry to say that I'm not sure what your direct email is.
Sorry, I don't review books in digital format, only in print: I spend far too much time at my keyboard as it is. I will only work with print editions. If that's still acceptable let me know and I'll PM you my address.

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In terms of financial stability, as far as the human talent aspect we work diligently to source quality editors who are dedicated to growing with us. Which is an aspect of start-up culture that you will find with many new start-up companies. For all that we are, we are still a small business and we are very much a start-up business. I understand that many of our practices (including our operational model) are different from many of our peers, however most are fairly common aspects of working with a young start-up company. The realities of financing an operation as TZPP are incredible, and unfortunately sourcing capital for investment beyond my own assets and those of my family, is difficult as we are not a hi-tech company.
Inadequate capitalisation kills off a lot of new publishers. But I suspect that most of the ones which survive tend not to be the ones which pay their editors via royalties.

The problem with this model (and you're right: there are quite a few publishers which use it) is that it's difficult-to-impossible for the editors concerned to earn a decent payment for the work involved. They have three choices: they can continue spending their time editing the books in their care thoroughly and appropriately, and accept that they're going to earn just a few pennies per hour for this painstaking work; they can cut corners, and edit less carefully, so that their earnings per hour are more reasonable even though the books in their care are not edited as well as they should be; or they can stop working for the company concerned.

This leads to disgruntled staff members and authors, poorly-edited books, and a high turnover of staff, and it all shows itself in the sales the company enjoys.

You have a difficult road ahead of you, I'm afraid.
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Old 11-25-2013, 01:24 AM   #227
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Originally Posted by traveo2343 View Post
Hello Lane, I would like to apologize for the delayed response unfortunately when Suzanne retired and the transition between various editors over the last several months has settled, I did report that all work submitted prior to Labor Day which had now received a response due to lack of resources to respond was released back to the author. If you had submitted to us in April of 2013 it is now safe to say that one of my Editors either rejected your work, or as of Labor day it has been released back to you. I do wish you well in your continued publication of work.
Hi Travis, I actually submitted it in June of this year, before Labor Day, and am curious as to where you announced this info?
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Old 11-26-2013, 04:42 AM   #228
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Old Hack,

Please feel free to PM me your address and I will send you a few copies.

+++

Lane, I don't have a record of your every being submitted on our main submissions log. If you would please send me an email directly to tgrundy@zharmae.com I can certainly find out where your work is. If you submitted to James at Luthando Coeur, he has received nearly 100 submissions each month and still have work on his log from June that he has been working through. If you submitted to the main Zharmae imprint your work has been released back to you, otherwise Danielle would have been in touch if she was interested in picking up your work. If you have happened to submit to Porfirio Press during that time, they were one of the imprints which did suffer during Suzanne's transition.
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Old 12-28-2013, 03:13 AM   #229
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Any authors of Zharmae who would like to share their experience?
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Old 03-16-2014, 11:19 PM   #230
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Zharmae's Editorial Situation

Hey guys,

I'm a student in a creative writing program. I am interested in publishing. I recently applied to a publishing internship with Zharmae via Internships.com.

(I was stupid and did not notice that the internship was "virtual." In my defense, I had never heard of such a thing. Unpaid internships that involve actual in-person learning seem [almost!] justifiable, but a "virtual internship" looks like a scam for the acquisition of free labor from desperate college students anxious about entering a tough market.)

I've included a link to the Zharmae listing below. Feel free to take a screenshot and generally preserve for posterity, as the thing might expire soon.

http://www.internships.com/marketing/Publishers-Intern

I got a response back from them that was quite odd and felt a bit like a bait-and-switch. For some reason, the woman who responded wanted me to work with the editorial department, in an entirely different capacity and doing entirely different work from that described in the internship listing.

Much of my experience is in copyediting, so I can see why she got the idea that I might be a better fit there. Still, copyediting is not what I applied for.

I Googled Zharmae before responding, as one does, to take a look at the company's website and titles, such as Unashamed: A Memoir of how the closet can kiss my ass.

Wow! No.

I did a little more digging and found this discussion. And I thought I might give you all an update. Here goes:

It appears Zharmae has been unsuccessful in the quest to solicit an underpaid copyeditor via Craigslist. Instead, Zharmae is using internship websites to recruit desperate strangers to work for free. I fear that this strategy will not result in an improvement in the quality of work done by Zharmae's editorial department.

Thanks for reading!
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Old 03-16-2014, 11:33 PM   #231
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Educational requirements vs work requirements seem way off to me...
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:29 AM   #232
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I've chimed in before on this thread, because I've been watching them pretty closely ever since they bought a short from me (and paid as promised) and then showed great interest in my still in draft form novel. I didn't agree to a contract with them for said novel because as I mentioned before I want it to be a product I'm comfortable with going out to market before even really considering my options. To me, my book's not good enough yet to be out there.

Zharmae is on my high consider list of small publishers. I've actually done a fair share of research into small publishers whop publish F/SF since the last time I posted and I think I can give an informed opinion to compare to quite a few pretty reputable others at this point. I've kept really close tabs on them in particular because I'm intrigued. Something about them has felt *different* that other small presses and I've been dying to know why, and a lot like you guys, whether they're bad news, especially as they've shown so much interest in my baby I've dropped hundreds of hours into.

Since my last post I've:
1. Met the publisher, Travis Grundy in person.
2. Met one of their senior editors in person.
3. Followed their book sales and progressions, talked to a couple of their full novel authors.

What I found from meeting with them in person is that the proprietors are on the younger side from what I've seen in the publishing industry. This explains a lot of their social media presence, their willingness to participate in online forums such as this one, some of their learning mistakes in the business and also, which I find extremely intriguing -- their energy. They're aggressive. They want to go out there and take over the world of publishing, and they've got the energy to try as many avenues as possible. This means signing up a lot of authors, putting out a lot of books, pushing as hard as they can. Is it scary from the outside looking in? It can be. However, from the personal meetings, I trust that they're doing that and that there's not a bait and switch going on as implied/said here.

As I've mentioned before on the contract side: the ask for a lot is there. The reason is that they really want to try to push and market all these avenues if possible. I've also mentioned if you really just don't want something in the contract, they're easy to get to back off on non-standard provisions. As a writer, know your contracts going in. Know what you're willing to do and not. They're not pushy from what I've seen, and that's fair, business is business.

I've found that most small press doesn't give advances. Zharmae is on par or better on the royalty scale than most small presses. Nothing to say there really.

They are getting a lot of people to work on royalties or commissions. This is pretty standard in small press, and pretty standard as a start up business. Bottom line is, who could fund an operation putting out 50 books a year (their target is at least that from my understanding)? The only option otherwise would be to do it yourself, and if you've self-pubbed or run a small press, there's no way you could output that much solo. Only difference I see here is the scale of what they're doing. It's ambitious, it's energetic, harkening back to what i said above.

Is it a good job? Well, do you want experience in the field and do you want to just jump in and get your hands dirty? That's what's being offered, and I think pretty nakedly. Anyone getting into publishing, especially small press should know for sure this industry is hardly likely to make you a fortune. Some people dig that kind of experience, some people like more structured learning. That's an individual's call. Again, they're honest about what it means going in, so it's your choice on how you want to spend your time. I don't have any issues with that here as a small press start up. No one questions it when it's on a smaller scale and it's a circle of friends trying this. Good on them for expanding.

From the authors over there I talk to: They're happy. Most are newer authors, a couple have been around the block and are republishing out of print books with them, but they knew what they were going for going in. With a small press, a lot of what you get is what you push for sales wise. At least with the editor I met with in person, the authors I've talked to who have worked with this editor have the HIGHEST praises for that editor's work. I am pretty darn fond of the vast majority of their book covers too, they look sharp and poignant. Marketing seems to be working okay. I've seen a few books go close to the tops of their categories on amazon. I don't think they're in bookstores currently, but most small presses wouldn't be.

I'm confident in at least the following:
1. Zharmae isn't out there as a scam trying to screw authors or people working for them. It's pretty apparent what you'll get unless you've really done zero research on the industry at all.
2. Zharmae as a start up seems to be doing better than a lot of other start ups about the same age that I've seen. They have more product, they seem to know what they want to do vision wise.
3. They've got a lot of ideas. Maybe it is a throw against the wall and see what sticks mentality, but if they can sustain that, I think they'll do just fine.

Hope that helps!
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Old 03-18-2014, 01:18 PM   #233
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For me, the intangibles are nice but it comes down to facts. Being aggressive and hungry and wanting to conquer the world is great, but how does that translate to tangible results?

It comes down to a couple pretty basic questions for me.

1. What is the publisher's pedigree? What experience do they have in publishing? Where did they work at previously? Where did they intern? In my experience, the vast majority of successful start-up publishers come from established houses. If someone with zero or little experience in the industry and no track record all of a sudden decides to become a publisher, that's a red flag for me.

2. What are their sales? What is their distribution? Take a look at the books in their stable. What's the Amazon ranking? How many reviews? Can you find their books at Barnes & Noble? Are their books being reviewed by reputable bloggers/trade publications? If they want such high contract terms, they have to bring value.

At the end of the day, this is my career a publisher has in their hands. It's fine if they're just starting off. They might even become fantastic publishers, but I'd rather not be their guinea pig as they learn the ropes.
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:57 PM   #234
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Zharmae is on par or better on the royalty scale than most small presses.
No, it's not, because as has been repeatedly stated in this thread, it pays royalties on net profit: what remains after production costs have been deducted from the publisher's net income. Percentage by percentage, this works out to considerably less than royalties paid either on list (which, granted, is not all that common in the small press world) or on net income (which is what you're much more likely to find with a small press).

Net profit royalties are a way for a publisher to shift its own risk onto the author, and also a way for a publisher to pay its authors the least amount it can. Neither attitude, frankly, is what I'd want to see in a publisher I was considering submitting to.

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Old 03-18-2014, 09:40 PM   #235
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Fair enough, Wesley. Though if you've got stuff coming out from Angry Robot and Tor I'm going to venture to guess you wouldn't look at a Zharmae or any small press start up as it is. Yes, these guys are a start up. I don't have hard sales data either, since I don't work for them. Just posting as to my experience from meeting them.

As far as royalties/net profit and the like, I just checked with three of my other small press friends -- they do it on net as well, and someone who's really done a lot of the research in the industry told me that's normal. He told me to watch out because "net" needs to be clearly defined because there are a lot of traps with incomplete clauses. so if you're looking for a contract with them, make sure that's clearly defined is the best advice I can give there.
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Old 03-18-2014, 09:44 PM   #236
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Fair enough, Wesley. Though if you've got stuff coming out from Angry Robot and Tor I'm going to venture to guess you wouldn't look at a Zharmae or any small press start up as it is. Yes, these guys are a start up. I don't have hard sales data either, since I don't work for them. Just posting as to my experience from meeting them.

As far as royalties/net profit and the like, I just checked with three of my other small press friends -- they do it on net as well, and someone who's really done a lot of the research in the industry told me that's normal. He told me to watch out because "net" needs to be clearly defined because there are a lot of traps with incomplete clauses. so if you're looking for a contract with them, make sure that's clearly defined is the best advice I can give there.
Be really careful about 'net', yes.

Net of retailer discount is standard in the trade. This means if the retailer pays $5 for your book, which is then sold to the consumer for $10, then your royalty is calculated on the $5, not the $10. This is simple and clear and you know what you're getting.

Net profits is something entirely different. This means the publisher pays you a cut of the profit from each book sale, after whatever they have spent is recouped. This is murky, open-ended, and I would never sign a contract that pays royalties that way.
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:08 PM   #237
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Remember, the vast majority of all movies "aren't profitable." Obviously, it doesn't mean that people aren't making money hand over fist with them.

The reason why? Creative accounting and net profit.

Also, Otomo, I followed these rules before I had my first book deal. You don't need hard data. I just extrapolated from their Amazon rankings, reviews, and googled their books to see how many reviews they have.

I do agree that meeting and liking the publishers and editors is a big plus.
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:30 PM   #238
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Fair enough, Wesley. Though if you've got stuff coming out from Angry Robot and Tor I'm going to venture to guess you wouldn't look at a Zharmae or any small press start up as it is. Yes, these guys are a start up. I don't have hard sales data either, since I don't work for them. Just posting as to my experience from meeting them.

As far as royalties/net profit and the like, I just checked with three of my other small press friends -- they do it on net as well, and someone who's really done a lot of the research in the industry told me that's normal. He told me to watch out because "net" needs to be clearly defined because there are a lot of traps with incomplete clauses. so if you're looking for a contract with them, make sure that's clearly defined is the best advice I can give there.
Angry Robot, while no longer a start up, is still a young, small publishing company. Compare where it was at the age Zharmae is at right now. Look at the splash Angry Robot made on the scene when it opened from publishing industry trade publications and the genre media. Notice how there wasn't any "Well, we're just figuring it out" explanations at any point during their tenure.

Zharmae has already explained in this thread that they do NOT pay on Net receipts, but on a semi-complicated formula of "net." From earlier responses of theirs in this thread, they do what your friend told you to watch out for.
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