Another Publisher to (Potentially) Beware of

Saw this on Craig’s List:

Stay Thirsty Publishing (http://www.staythirstypublishing.com), the digital book publishing division
of Stay Thirsty Media, Inc., a news and entertainment company with a global internet magazine
(http://www.staythirsty.com) seen in over 180 countries, seeks to sign two additional veteran authors
with new manuscripts for its Stay Thirsty Press imprint, and two debut or emerging authors with new
manuscripts and compelling personal stories for its Schiller & Wells, Ltd. imprint.

Please review our site, especially our ABOUT page (http://www.staythirstymedia.com/bookpublishing/html/about.html),
and email the first two chapters of your work, a brief synopsis and your resume to submissions@staythirstypublishing.com.
If we are interested, we will contact you.

To see some of our recent Amazon Best Sellers click this link: (http://www.staythirstymedia.com/201207-071/html/201207-best-sellers.html

At first, this may look like a legit opportunity from a young publisher.  But always be wary.  Because I’m what would be described as an ‘emerging’ author I would fall into the category for authors to submit to the Schiller & Wells, Ltd. Imprint.  Now that’s a nice, fancy name.  Sounds like it’s been around a hundred years, doesn’t it?  But they tell you right off the bat they got started in 2009.  No big deal, I’m certainly not implying young publishers can’t be straightforward in their dealings (I’m a young publisher as well).  But if you follow the links, you’ll wind up on a page where Stay Thirsty will inform you that “the risks of publishing debut or emerging writers are different from the risks associated with publishing veteran authors, Schiller & Wells, Ltd. authors are asked to take on a portion of the financial risk of publishing their book.”  This is one of those red flag situations that should be telling you the situation may not be as good as it originally sounded.  Now I do say ‘may’ simply because I don’t know enough about them to know for certain.  I would say this is not a very good model for attracting fresh young talent considering there are a great deal of publishers out there who don’t require anything from authors, financially. 

And to Stay Thirsty Publishing’s credit, for established authors, they state they will absorb all the cost of publishing a veteran author’s book.  According to them, their magazine is read in over 170 countries (180 according to the CL post) and depending on the traffic, a great deal of promo would be done in-house, ideally.  So if at least 1,000 people on average per country are reading their magazine, that’s easily 170,000 people who’d be seeing whatever kind of advertisement they’d be putting together for both veteran and emerging writers.  I have no idea if I’m being liberal or conservative with my numbers as I don’t know what kind of readership they have.  As of this posting, though, I’m waiting on a response as far as how much they expect unestablished authors to pay to assist in the publication of their own book.  This sticks in my craw for the simple fact I seriously doubt this is going to be a nominal amount and if it’s going to range into the hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars, there’s no reason not to go it alone and hire one’s own editor, cover illustrator, and use a service like Book Bub or some other means of inexpensive promotion.  Sure, 170,000 pairs of unique eyeballs is nice, but what’s the split so far as how much an author earns per book?  I requested the information on their contact page.  You can read what I wrote to them below:

 

Your Name: Gerald Rice

Your Email Address: Gerald.rice@xxxxx

Subject: Financial Risk?

Message: Hello, I am an emerging writer and I found your post on Craig’s List.  I’m currently working on a manuscript and I saw you are accepting submissions from authors.  I was reading on one of your pages that newer authors would be expected to bear part of the financial risk or publishing.  Could you tell me what this amount is?  Is it a percentage and if so, a percentage of what, exactly?  Thank you in advance.

 

Again, I can’t call Stay Thirsty Publishing a scam.  There is definitely a good likelihood it isn’t.  I simply don’t have the proper amount of information to say one way or the other.  All I have is my gut and an extreme dislike of the big boys (or at least bigger in this case) with their hands out to the little guys.  I would actually love for my gut to be wrong in this one.  I’ll freely admit my error in judgment and sing the praises of Stay Thirsty if it turns out everything is on the up-and-up.  I’ll keep you updated when I get a response.

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