Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Raider Broadcasting Network Launched

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I came across this on the web today which as you can imagine was of great interest to me. Raider International Publishing have launched a podcasting network radio programme which will be hosted by Adam Salviani and feature interviews and reviews of writer's books. A writer's forum programme will also be featured, which will feature writer interaction and advise on writing to be published. It all starts from 15th January 2008.

The idea in itself is not new, see Global Talk Radio and Ron Pramschufer's WBJB publishing basic's radio podcasts. What is new, though, is that Raider are doing this in-house and the podcasts will be available through ITunes and other podcast outlets. See the accompanying link to follow programmes and dates.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

PODdy Mouth Post comment

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A few days ago I posted about a query on the excellent PODdy mouth blogsite regarding Raider Publishers. A follow up comment was later posted by "Wordsmith". I would like to take this opportunity to reply to the comments left.

"Wordsmith" wrote,

Mick, you should be more careful to find out the facts before you write things such as this. Do you just believe everything you read on the internet without checking it out for yourself first?! Surely this is the wise thing to do?You say the 'wonderful and decicated' man you mention is a 'champion' for author's rights BUT this man is a competitor of Diggory's so it is in his interest to diss their reputation! Also he makes some very dumb and also contradictory claims in his complaint. You can be sure that IF he had a case this would have been through the courts already. To date, Diggory have not been taken to court by anyone, (these facts are easily verifiable), far less had any judgment against them, so how could any author be 'screwed' over in the British law courts? It is just more lies by this so-called authors champion, very easy to say and to damage a company's reputaton, but impossible to actually backup! In fact easy to prove its a lie.It is very easy to cry 'wolf', but no proof has been provided anywhere he actually tells the truth on anything. In fact there is actually plenty of evidence he is talking nonsense. He claims he has a long list of authors but he has said that for many months and it is just what HE says. You believe him at your peril for he makes some really ludicrous claims such as them making secret isbns and so on. How can you even do this?!! It is impossible. I feel very sorry for Diggory Press.
January 15, 2008 8:11 AM

Thank you "Wordsmith" for your comments. Firstly, let me point out that I stand corrected. Currently, as of this month, no formal action by Stephen Manning of Checkpoint Press, by himself, or on behalf of any authors has reached the British courts as a class action against Diggory Press in the uk. However, what cannot be in dispute is that writers through a number of well know on-line forums have expressed complaints about their treatment by Diggory Press. Through 2007, and in particular on the BooksandTales POD writers forum, an unseemly tirade of exchanges ensued, with claims and counter-claims . Few casual forum visitors could possibly have avoided it. I have rightly edited my original posting, and this reflects the situation, that there remains questions about this whole affair, and any writer considering POD publishing would have reservations about placing their work with Diggory Press. Some writers may concur with "Wordsmith's" view that Stephen Manning has been unfair to Diggory. They may even feel that this view is the majority view. This is not entirely my view, by any means.

To any perspective POD author, who has carefully thought about publishing through the self-publishing/subsidy channel, they would probably be familiar with the Predators&Editors site and forum. This is a site which is well respected by writers who publish both through traditional channels and POD. Let me remind writers and "Wordsmith", that this site currently classifies DiggoryPress as "Not Recommended". Hmm...they must believe everything they read on the Internet too, like me, huh, "Wordsmith"?

Most writers who write and are published still have to hold down full time jobs. This is the honest reality of the field of writing. Most of them work for companies in many varying industries and services. Most of these companies in the normal course of business will have customers, some elated with the service they receive, some quietly satisfied, and there will be those in a natural minority who are not satisfied, perhaps they are even deeply unsatisfied and aggrieved. From Stephen Manning's input on his own site and various forums, I think its fair to say which category he would have an affinity with.

Regarding the above, let me draw "Wordsmith" to what I said in my original posting, in case he thinks I am unfairly taking sides, or foolishly jumping on an Internet victim bandwagon.
The reality I have found is that most authors who pay for a POD services get what they pay for, and if they complain afterwards, its usually because they went into the POD process naive and as author Mark Levine might say, didn't read "The Fine Print of Self Publishing".

Let me take this opportunity to set things clear and straight. I have never met Stephen Manning, though he has been a part of posting threads on forums that I have posted to. It is my opinion that Stephen Manning feels deeply aggrieved about his experience with Diggory Press and does believe he is championing other authors causes. As I have not met him, I do not know if some of his motivation is revenge, though I have seen countless blog postings and forum postings from aggrieved authors who have expressed exactly that feeling and motivation.

Quite frankly this whole business has taken up far too much time and bytes on the Internet over the past year, and as "Wordsmith" rightly pointed out in his comment, until and if an action ever comes about we can all hold our own opinions, as nothing will truly be proven as fact unless it lands in a court of law.

I would urge any perspective author to research any POD publisher they are submitting to and while you can be guided by the forums and other writers, it is you who will have to put things in perspective and decide what you are looking for from a publisher.

I have always stated that what appears on this blogsite are my views and opinions and I am happy to stand corrected. I would like my own right of reply in regards "Wordsmith's" comments.

To date, Chechpoint Press have listed a half dozen or so books, so I would not describe them as a competitor of Diggory. I'm sure they are quaking in the boots at the rise of the Manning empire.

I entirely agree regarding the ISBN issue. Having self published under my own publishing imprint, once assigned, ISBN's are simply not transferable. This is ludicrous as each ISBN is unique and identifies the publisher with the first few digits.

I don't do nicknames or pseudonyms, I express my opinions under my own name. While I may be critical, I will not engage in abuse or personally derisory remarks.

Let me leave you with "Wordsmith's" own words speaking about Stephen Manning on Emily Veinglory's blogsite some weeks ago regarding this very same issue in case there is any confusion as to where he stands;

The guy is obviously not right in the head, he makes some really ludicrous claims. I feel very sorry for Diggory Press. The guy has made similar complaints about other companies before, and seems to be a serial nightmare customer from hell. According to Diggory's website, they are not currently taking on any new projects as they are at full capacity, but their output continues nonetheless with their latest batch of books brought out in December.

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Publisher's Weekly Article - POD by Calvin Reid

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I came across an article this weekend in Publisher's Weekly about the whole POD printing process and how it is steadily becoming a real factor with publishers. Trawl through most POD self-publisher/subsidy publishers on the Internet and within a page or two of their sites they will pretty quickly expouse the "POD publishers are putting the fear of God into the traditional publishing industry". I don't happen to subscribe to this point of view, it's simply scare tactics on the part of the POD/subsidy publishers. Too many of them will ply the line that you don't stand a chance of getting published with a traditional/commercial publisher. Before I go on with this thread of thought, here is my emailed reply to Calvin Reid of Publisher's Weekly.

This is a tremendous article, Calvin. I recently listened to a podcast interview with CEO Kirby Best from Lightning Source recorded about 18 months ago. Even then he was adamant, that unless you wanted to take out a magnifying glass, it was virtually impossible to tell any difference with the offset printed book and the pod version. It's no longer an issue of quality but simply costing. It's difficult to know at this stage, even with other large pod printers starting to emerge, whether the overall pod print cost can get close enough to the offset costs. But as your article pointed out and the guys interviewed, it will never have to match the offset price because of the physical storage costs that go with offset printing. It seems to me at the moment, publishing houses who had their backs against the wall over the past five years, now see a real chance of survival, being able to re-issue back catalogue title they could previously never have afforded, and more importantly can invest in authors on their books with a smaller sales projection. I reckon when the 4 or 5 major publishing houses who seem to control most of the global market break ranks and properly embrace POD, the floodgates will really open.
Thanks again,

Mick Rooney

If you want to read the full article by Calvin, here is the link,

Now, back to my thread of thought. We're not all doomed and going to die if we choose to follow the traditional path of publishing our work as writers if we submit to a literary agency or go direct and try Random House, Collins Harvill, Bloomsbury or whoever we find suitable after carefully reading the Writers & Artists Yearbook.

Therein is the first hurdle. You can submit direct to a publishers, or first try to get an established literary agent to take you on, and with an agent it is you they are taking on rather than just the book. Most published writers will be honest and tell you that it took them as long to get an agent to take them on as it did to finally get that elusive publishing contract. Like publishers, agents don't like authors sending out multiple submissions and letters of query, and most writing handbooks on the industry would strongly advise that you make it clear that you are courting other agencies/publishers at the same time. Sadly like old dusty, antiquated books on a shelf, the publishing world still has its hands firmly gripped on very old, dare I say, elitist ideas of their industry and etiquette. This process, if successful, can take many months at best, in reality, it can take many years of perseverance and rejection. The established editors and agents in the industry will tell you that if you are a good enough writer and persevere, eventually an agent/publisher will invest and take you on. I wholeheartedly agree with this view. But there is a caveat, coming in the form of a but...and here it is...

But many publisher's still live in the world of manual snail mail. Submissions if unsolicited without an agent cost the writer money to post, envelopes, nice folders, return postage, after all if you are submitting to a professional publisher, you want to make a proper, professional submission. If you follow the etiquette, it is one publisher at a time. It could be two months per publisher, with no guarantees at the end. Last time I went on the submission journey, I think it cost me not far off 1000 euro, about 1300 dollars in postage, print costs, folders etc and about 1 and half years of my life. In that time, I think I collected just 11 rejection letters! That's too much money and too few no's for that length of time.

I suppose what I am saying is that had I went down the POD/Subsidy path, I could have been published, learned a lot about the process, and ultimately discovered if that great american novel really was a stinker. As it happens, I went down the self-publishing road and set up my own publishing imprint and went on to publish five books. I learned a hell of a lot, probably more you might say than had I got that Random House contract!

I'm in the final stages of my next book and I decided months ago that I was giving the POD/subsidy option a very big hug. Thank you Mr Kirby Best!

Friday, 11 January 2008

A Word About The Links

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I thought I'd best start by directing you to some of the links on my blogsite. They are all sites I drop by most days and for aspiring authors navigating the world of independent and self publishing - they are pretty invaluable.

The two radio podcast sites feature lots of helpful author info, in particular Ron Pramschufer's WBJB which is packed with podcast covering everything from author marketing, print on demand publishing contracts with lots of interviews from the pod book industry. One real highlight which you shouldn't miss is the archived interview with the CEO of Lightening Source, a major us/uk printer used by probably at least 60% or more of POD publishers as well as many traditional publishing houses who are turning more and more to this technology. One amazing fact is that the nucleus of this print on demand method actually started out in the banking/finance industry to print out statements from the electronic software files. June Austin, from England, and author of "Genesis of Man" writes a very illuminating blogsite chronicling the trials and tribulations of a self published author. She's a regular visor and contributor to many of the pod forums. Best pod forum for me is the Booksandtales site.

I will be adding more links soon. Hope these are of some interest and help.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Welcome to the blogspot

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Hi, and welcome to my blogspot. I hope you will enjoy the journey. I have been writing fiction for more than twenty years and have self-published five books of fiction. My last book, Oceanic, was published way back in 2001. It seems so long ago! This year, though, Raider International Publishers will be publishing my newest book, provisionally titled, Trees. It's about a boy from a small village on the island of Cyprus growing into young manhood and his spiritual experiences and journeys along the way.

I intend using this blog not just to record the ups and downs of the book's publication, but also to discuss/record and share my opinions and passions, from independent/pod publishing, to sport, politics, all the things that help me write.

Enjoy, your comments are welome.

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