Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Poacher

Historical fiction can sell in today's market says Clare from California Times Publishing.

It can of course. Newcastlewest Books published historical fiction and we've found that it does indeed sell. Our authors took to writing historical fiction because they couldn't find it when they wanted to read it so they wrote their own, indicating a shortage of historical fiction titles.

So what Clare from California Times Publishing has observed is not new to us.

But she was not writing to one of our authors to share wisdom. She approached one of our authors in the hopes of poaching someone who was in need of...a publisher? Or is it a marketing offer? Clare read a summary of the book and would like a hard copy or a PDF.

If she wanted a copy for review we would be happy to send it off to her. Getting reviews is key to generating interest in a novel, which is why a cottage industry sprang up to provide positive reviews for the small houses that tend to be ignored by literary editors. So lucrative has that new industry become that Amazon is suing to put them out of business.

Clare's e-mail was short, without a sales pitch or the slightest suggestion of what she was about. Why would a publishing company approach an author whose book has already been published? You might conclude that Clare was representing a marketer, rather than a publisher.

As it turns out, California Times says it is a marketing and management agency, publishing books and then promoting them while paying the author only 15% in royalties.

They use some of that income to monitor author-related forums like Absolute Write, where they recently demanded that the forum moderator remove the thread that criticizes California Times Publishing for being a waste of an author's time.

Clearly, the book that Clare wants to poach is already published, with an ISBN and a cover and everything. So there is no need for her firm's publishing services. What else is left? Why, it would be marketing of course.

And the marketing package is a paid service.

It all comes together. Clare wants to poach a Newcastlewest Books author to sell a marketing package.

Our author is not interested.

No comments: