2.02.2006

Pound Sterling

Earlier this morning a Snarkling asked about writing clips. Contained in her post is this:


You never know when you're going to stumble over the next hot product or crafter, so when a woman joined me on my bench in the shade, I introduced myself and said hello. She introduced herself, and we asked each other what we were doing here. She said, "I'm with Sterling Publishing. I'm trolling for writers and trends."


Which prompted Dave, the ever watchful P&E guy (one of the true good guys of this biz) to say:

Um, Door Number Three?Check on the references first before you send. Make sure you haven't hooked up with a fee charger or someone worse. You could wake up in a tub of ice with a kidney or manuscript missing and your gin pail empty.



Because of course Dave has probably heard one gazillion complaints about SterlingHouse Publishers and rightfully does not have anything "sterling" to say about them over at P&E


However, Sterling Publishers is a pretty well known and respected publisher. Here's their website


You think it's a coincidence that they use a version of a successful well respected name?
Nope, me either. All the more reason to double check everything.

15 comments:

Justin R. Buchbinder said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mark Terry said...

Sterling House is a little scary. They look at your work, say they're interested, the editor wants to talk to you. They set up a phone interview and she does this lovely sales pitch about what they can do for you. She made a comment about "minimum number of copies" or something along those lines, and I kept trying to pin her down on that and what she meant, and she said if I was interested they would send me a contract (red alert! If they want their foot in the door before they discuss it, be warned!). I said okay and they sent it. You had to buy something like 5000 copies. They were a vanity publisher. Period.

Best,
Mark Terry
www.mark-terry.com

Dave Kuzminski said...

Yes, and I'm used to writers saying it was "Such-and-such Press" when it should have been "Such-and-such Publishing" that they meant. Only one word difference, but oh what a difference that can make.

By the way, writers, if you ever ask about an agent or publisher, it helps if you mention where you got the name from. That makes it easier for others to give you information on the correct business.

Alli said...

A special thanks to Dave Kuzminksi (MR P&E) and also Miss Snark and Killer Yap for keeping an eye out for scammers in this biz. The services you offer out of the goodness of your hearts are much appreciated. We salute you with a bottomless gin pail!

Anonymous said...

Speaking of which, Dave, have you ever heard anything about 3Sides Literary Agency, formerly 3Sides Publishing?

Catullus said...

Miss Snark must surely be aware that Sterling Publishers (the better known and well respected of the two) is not without controversy of its own. Note the single line in their History, nicely underplayed, that they are owned by B&N, the retail 900 pound gorilla. "Hey, Random House, we think your new cookbook idea is so right for our superstores that we're going to have Sterling rip it off!" It's not just the big guys, but some really nice small houses that are getting locked out of the B&N chain because Sterling already covers the topic, or soon will. Many independent booksellers are reluctant to stock Sterling books, feeling they're adding profit to B&N. Agents and authors placing books with Sterling should wonder to what degree they are signing up with an in-house press.

Miss Snark said...

Actually, I had forgotten about that part although it's very true. They're not high on my list of people to send things to.

Elektra said...

Catullus--dicesne Latinam?

Anonymous said...
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Dave Kuzminski said...

No complaints about them as a publisher. They're too new as an agency for any complaints or track record. For now, I have to wonder whether they can make a go of it as an agency since I don't know how much contact they have with publishers within the industry. What will be important is whether they can make a sale within the first six months of agenting. If so, then they could be quite viable.

Catullus said...

Elektra,

A Greek speaks Latin? Something to be happy about, but mourning becomes you.

Perhaps you know my most famous poem, Odi et Amo. People think it's about my ex-girlfriend but it's really about publishing. Most authors think it nails their relationship with their agents...

Elektra said...

Yes, well, I've had plenty of time for learning languges, what with no family to bother me and all. They really were a bore.

My favourite of yours is the one--I'd have to look it up for the title---where you threaten to publish poems about the guy who stole your napkin.

Anonymous said...

I tried the link to Sterling Publishers, but it didn't work. Am I doing something wrong?

Miss Snark said...

It works fine for me.
I double and triple checked cause Im a total nitwit about links.

Anonymous said...

Sterling link didn't work for me either. :-(