Monday, 12 March 2012

How to piss me off. Instantly.

Yesterday evening, I had my pulse race through my body. Why? I was on Twitter and did ignore the one rule I'd made: look at people's time line! I thanked the person (a publishing company with at least two  offices) who had followed me and kindly retweeted one of my tweets. So, there I go, thank publishing company and follow. I have a friend who's trying to land a deal and whenever I see something fits, I'll send him the link with the words: this one maybe? He wants to be traditionally published in paperback. The following conversation happened between this 'publishing company' and me. And as you can see, I wasn't amused:

Me:  I love the Aussies and Kiwis, so you're more than welcome ;-) Do you publish paperbacks, too?
Me:  and why don't you have a website? Or if you have one, why don't you have a link to it?
(Then clicking the link in their profile, I was guided to their Amazon page. The pictures of the book, the author. Aha, I thought.)
Me:  or are you (insert name of promoted author/Amazon page).
Him:  Hi Stella. (Insert author name) here. I co-write novels with my son, (insert son's name). We both Kiwis. Our novels are in paperback & ebook
Me thinking: I knew it. Not a publishing company as advertised. Probably just an imprint to be able to be accepted by printers. Cheeky!
Him:  Will add you on Linked In also. We are various listings online for our literary and film careers, but no actual website..
Me (thinking): huh? No! I don't want to be linked to several websites, don't you dare! And a publishing company without a website, is more than suspicious to me.
Him:  Stella, if u have a Kindle reader, our historical novel (name of the book) is free until Monday night UKtime on Amazon
Me (thinking): I knew it! Fuck off, man! 
Me:  I react rather pissed off when one spams me like that. We only just met and you're trying to 'sell' me your book. Not good.
Him:  What?? You asked about where you can find more info (in serveral tweets) and I merely mentioned our book is now spam
Me (thinking): No, I didn't! Should have checked your time line and steered clear.
Me:  I asked if you do paperbacks because I thought you're a publisher and if you have a website.That's all.Hate historical fiction
Him (second attempt to 'sell' it to me):  If you do not wish to grab our book while it's free, then that's fine, take it or leave it. Otherwise, have a nice day.
Me:  Nope I don't want to grab it. I asked a few questions to clarify. Now I know you're an author who claims to be a publishing company

I still love Aussies and Kiwis, but not this one.
Looking at the time line, the author promotes the book like 24/7. Seriously. I'm not an angel when it comes to promotion and I've been all over the place, but this, I think, is the wrong way. I ask questions when I'm suspicious, and often I'm right to be so.


  1. I know, right?

    Ingram set the standard that anyone with less than 10 books under their belt is not considered a publishing company. While I don't understand why that's important, it seems to be the industry standard, and so I'd advise your friend that's interested in smaller presses to first check how many books a company has published and how well they are doing.

    I always grit my teeth when someone follows me and I follow back, only to be inundated with a ton of "buy my book!" direct messages. I've even had people mention my book in a tweet with their url attached thinking that I'll blindly retweet it. I now check all URL's before RT'ing.

    Twitter is sometimes a love/hate thing

    1. Hey, my favourite stalker ;-)

      You see, that's not the point. Every company has to start somewhere and when it's with one book they really believe in, then be it. I founded a publishing company last year -- mainly to secure the name -- so technically I'm the managing director of said registered company.
      I just don't like it when people try to force their books on to you after a short exchange and I didn't ask for their book, I asked for the link because I had a faint feeling there wasn't one. Once I'll go public with my company, be sure the link to the website will be up and running.

  2. Good discussion.

    BTW a majority of indian publishers have no website or'll have to mail them for their submission guidelines and in reply you'll get vague reply, like send your table of contents (As if they publish before hand) send one or two chapters (Variable minds). All pissing. And whether they will mail you or not is a matter of chance.


    1. Hello, funny man.

      Incidentally, I had a chat with another Indian author who said it's really difficult to publish in India. Since you both write in English, I would assume you're going to search for publishers in the UK or US.

      From publishers in the UK, US, OZ, NZ, etc. I would expect a website. Point is they just seem to be authors, not a 'regular' publishing house.