Happily ever after?

Happily ever after?

We’re hoping that we can, with this post, help put some minds to rest. Now, before anyone starts to hover angrily over their keyboard about to write a response, please, we simply beg that you start looking at us with an open mind.

Here are some common misconceptions, followed by our responses. We have tidied up the language used by some people...

Where do you have offices? Are you working in a virtual office?

No, we are working in a real office. Once we get a moment, we’ll put a few pictures up. We have offices in London, Cambridge, and New York, and we will be officially opening our Sharjah office in September. We’ve also got plans to open an office in Australia towards the end of the year.

We are not hiding where we work. People asking why they cannot come up to our London office for a wander is simple; The first reason is security – nowadays, random people cannot walk into anywhere they want to like in the good ol’ days before London was victim to terrorist attacks. The second reason is that it’s an office, not a walking tour venue.

If you want a meeting, do let us know and we’ll be happy to accommodate this for you.

Do you offer traditional contracts? You’re a vanity publisher!

*sigh*

Not that we haven’t cleared this up time and time again, but yes, we do. We are a hybrid publisher, which means that we offer both traditional and partnership contracts. You can click here to learn more about the hybrid publishing concept.

Do you advertise your authors? I see nothing!

Please, take a minute to have a look at our social media feeds, our news page and our events page. We are spending every moment trying to advertise our authors’ books and their success. At the time of posting this, we are running a couple of competitions on our Facebook page. One is giving away a few of our summer reads. Another one gives you the chance to win a traditional contract, so have a look at our blog to see how to enter.

Do you advertise for authors? REAL PUBLISHERS DON’T DO THIS!

Yes, we do. Like so many other companies in the world, we advertise. We have a company authors love to work with, and we love to be the ones to bring you the best books. Self-publishing service Matador advertises too. To those who say that other publishers don’t advertise, that is because they only accept work from agents. Therefore, advertising to the general public would be a waste of funds. That makes sense, no?

Writer Beware say you’re evil and I believe them!

Ah yes, Writer Beware and the SFWA, a group we’ve repeatedly tried to directly contact to clear up their accusations. Please have a look at our page here which happily lists the very many cases of the SFWA being sexist, racist, guilty of promoting rape culture, supporting paedophilia and their trusted lawyer fond of breaking the law. It’s a fun read.

Also, frankly, we don't care what they think about us. We're more than happy not have their custom. What an ache that would be!

You shouldn’t pay publishers, it’s just wrong.

Yes, the hybrid publishing concept. This model has been around for decades; it’s not new. If you shouldn’t pay to publish your work, then what is self-publishing?

Self-publishing is paying for services to have your book produced, edited, designed and more. So, not actually that different from what we are doing with our partnership contracts. The huge key difference is that we’ll help you market your book, organise printing, that sort of thing.

Also, a quick side-note, there are primarily traditional publishers who have offered contributory contracts before.

You trick and swindle authors.

Now, some people seem to be under the impression that we are holding a non-metaphorical gun to authors’ heads to force them to sign our contract. This is a little bit more than an exaggeration, as we send it by post, and ammo-free, answer any questions they have about the publishing industry and encourage them to have a look through our website. We also happily encourage them to take it to their solicitor. Much like any other contract you will sign in life, read through it. If you’re happy, sign it. If you’re not, don’t.

Authors hate you!

Well, that’s not true. It’s far from true. We compiled a small list of some of the great comments we’ve received from authors. You can find it here. If you also take time to have a look through a lot of the reviews on Facebook and Google, you will see those happy authors saying how much they like us.

What about the comments from previous employees?

Why not listen to our current employees and what they have to say? Click here. You can even see a recent post made on Facebook by our Digital Marketing Manager Sammi and what she says about what it’s like to work here.

Online anonymity means people can literally say what they want, to who they want, when they want. It’d be a very different state of affairs if people actually had to take responsibility for what they said and if they were upfront enough to state who they were, so we can at least respond professionally and with the full facts.

If you’re really ever in doubt about how happy or unhappy we are here, then give us a call and talk to us!

You don’t care about authors

If we didn’t care, why would we work with the author long after publication? Why would we help secure events, signings, appearances in the media? Why would we promote the authors online and why would we possibly encourage people to meet these authors and buy their book? Once more, I direct you to the lovely post with comments from our authors, so click here.

You’re a waste of money

Hold on, time to whip out the calculator. Contracts are dependent on length, illustrations needed etc., but the average contract amount is around £2000. Yes, we’re not ones to hide how much we charge. Now, if we talk to Orna Ross, Head of the Alliance of Independent authors, she says that self-publishing should cost between £1500 to £5000. Therefore, anything in between is certainly a good offer, no matter where it’s coming from.

For a company to professionally publish a book, including all overhead and the initial print run, the whole process actually costs about £10,000. So, we are not only giving you a price which is on the bottom end of self-publishing costs (plus you get more like a dedicated team, marketing, printing etc.) but we are actually putting in a lot more than you are.

If we didn’t think your book would sell, we wouldn’t offer you a contract, simple as.

You’re providing authors with false hope.

Are we? Are we really? Firstly, please have a look at our piece about the realities of the book world by clicking here. The next thing to consider is this, random, anonymous commenter who is certain the ins and outs of publishing, is that if you ask us, we will tell you the same thing. We will tell you that the publishing world is huge, and that becoming a success is very, very difficult. With the number of books being published a day, it’s truly a fight to get on the shelves. It might be a depressing thing to hear, but that’s the way it is.

To authors, if you are writing for nothing but a quick buck, if you are writing for nothing but fame, then you’re doing it for the wrong reasons.

Imagine you are interviewing for a job. Imagine you are entering a new industry. With no experience, no proven track record, you cannot become the financial director straight away just because you’ve handled your own finances well, for example. You couldn’t become HR Manager just because you give good advice. We think you get our point…
You have to work your way to the top – you really have to be that one in a million to defy the odds.

Now, whilst all this above is very negative, here are the questions that you really should be asking:

  1. Do you help to get my books into the hands of readers?   Yes
  2. Will you edit, produce, design, and market my book with me?   Yes
  3. Will you value me as one of your authors?   Yes
  4. Will I definitely make money?   No

We’ve already used the entry-level job analogy, but that small explanation doesn’t quite cut it. If you want to be an author, not only are you entering a tough industry, but you have to work so incredibly hard to be recognised. Leaving your book to be noticed is not going to work. Even with a lot of sales, it’s not a guaranteed money-maker. What will drive your success is writing a lot more and continuing to market yourself online and helping to organise events.

It’s a long struggle, and every successful author will know the pain of trying to make a name for themselves. It’s the reason why so many authors are not an author full-time. But, if you are able to allow yourself to be a full-time author, then treat it as a job, treat it as your 40-hour week, as it’s the only way you can give yourself a chance. But remember, you are at an entry level position.

This really is imperative, as there have been a few authors of ours have been published, then complained after two weeks as to why they weren’t a best-seller. This is not how the publishing world works. You might think you’ve written the best book ever. You may very well be right, but you still need to put the work in so that people do start to realise your talent. We’ll work tirelessly with you to help more people see your talent too.

If you’re an author, write because it’s something you love. Don’t write for an income. Don’t sign with any publisher if that’s what you’re expecting.

Austin Macauley has not always been quite as open and honest as we are now, but it’s something we are working very hard on. We are proud of what we’ve evolved into and we are happy to see where our success takes us. I did mention at the start of this, but I will say again – please keep an open mind and look at the evidence, what we’ve done, and how amazing our authors are. That is the true judge of our company.

After all, if your book can start new chapters, why can’t we?...

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