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 Post subject: Dorrance Publishing
PostPosted: August 12th, 2004, 5:41 pm 
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Joined: August 12th, 2004, 4:24 pm
Posts: 3
Location: San Antonio, TX
Hello,
Last night I got an email from a man named Dave Hinote stating he represents Dorrance Publishing. I started to do a little internet reserach on Dorrance and found they are a publishing house that specializes in "Subsidy Publishing" meaning, from what I found out that I pay them fees to publish my work. Has anyone else found anything else negative on this firm?

Peg Whitham


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PostPosted: August 13th, 2004, 9:08 pm 
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Joined: August 1st, 2004, 3:15 pm
Posts: 264
Location: Pennsylvania
Dear Peg,

I suggest that you run like the wind from this company; they advertise in all the writing magazines and even some of the slick literary mags, such as the New Yorker, but they are a vanity press that comes with all the baggage that vanities seem to carry. I suggest that you Google "Dorrance" with "Warnings."

It sounds as if your gut is warning you to proceed with caution, and this is one time you should listen.

Good Luck with your publishing venture.

Jennifer

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Website: http://www.LiteraryAgentBlog.com
Blog for student writing: http://www.Publishes.us
http://www.itsJUSTwar.com


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 Post subject: Re: Dorrance Publisher
PostPosted: August 14th, 2004, 2:21 pm 
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Joined: April 16th, 2004, 2:16 pm
Posts: 16
Hi:

I did around 1997 during the winter I encountered being told the very same thing with a few poems that I had written. Although I hope it isn't true if you and along with me and others are told to pay a subsidy fee that they in turn say that haven't published your works if it is a entire manuscript or just a few sample pages. You should use caution with all publishers who you haven't paid but see your samples or maunscripts. Dorrance publishers was one of the very first publishers that did this.

Joan McKinley


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 Post subject: Dorrance Publishing
PostPosted: August 18th, 2004, 5:54 pm 
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Joined: October 30th, 2003, 12:39 am
Posts: 3
About 12 years ago I wrote a small novel--a novellette, they call it--entitled [i]The Hidden Scarlet Sin[/i]. It was a short novel, but I hoped at least one commercial publisher would accept it. None did. I saw an advertisement in a magazine from Dorrance Publishing which envited me to send in my manuscript. Their ad clearly stated that they are a subsidy publisher. I didn't know what that meant until I received one of their booklets explaining their business. They will publisher your book--FOR A FEE. However, I wasn't certain how big or small the fee would be. I figured around $100 or less.

Well, it turned out that your fee is based on the price of the book per the first 1,000 copies. My small book of only 56 pages was priced at $6.95 per copy. And the fee I had to pay was $6,900!!

I managed to get the book published through Dorrance Publishing's in-house financing. They do it through a local bank. Nevertheless, my book failed to sell more than 300 copies within three years. What a waste!

My advice is: never go with a subsidy publisher like Dorrance! You'll never succeed that way.

Barbara R.


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PostPosted: August 19th, 2004, 8:51 am 
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Joined: January 7th, 2004, 1:34 pm
Posts: 14
Location: Maryland
unlike some of the posters, i conducted research on this firm and asked them for a quote before deciding what to do...my tiny book of poems would have cost me about $7,000 for the first 1,000 copies.....

i turned them down, and yet they continued to send me email...after a rather harsh email reply i have been removed from their email lists.

DO NOT GET INVOLVED WITH THIS FIRM.


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PostPosted: August 25th, 2004, 3:45 pm 
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Joined: August 25th, 2004, 3:39 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Winooski, VT
Hi all,

I've also had a problem with Dorrance, but from my work as a book reviewer. I've finally gotten off of [i]most[/i] of Dorrance's mailing lists, but for some time they were sending me two to three books a day!

Their publicity mechanisms are horrible, especially considering that the review copies were paid for by the authors. I live in New York, yet they sent me books from Midwestern writers with a press release invariably titled "New Book from a Local Author!!!" On top of that, not a single book was appropriate for the areas I review (information that any respectable publicity department will find out before sending a book).

Beyond expecting a big payment from authors, Dorrance also seems to waste the copies by sending them to completely inappropriate reviewers.

Jen[/i]


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 Post subject: Expensive Company
PostPosted: September 2nd, 2004, 7:03 pm 
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Joined: April 21st, 2004, 6:03 pm
Posts: 21
Location: New Zealand
I had a letter from them years ago with regard to a manuscript I sent them. It worked out to be more than $15.000 New Zealand dollars. I could have had it printed and distrubted by myself for a lot less than that and kept the profits. I'd avoid them like the plague.


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 Post subject: A Dorrance Author
PostPosted: September 16th, 2004, 2:47 pm 
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Joined: September 16th, 2004, 1:23 pm
Posts: 5
Location: ohio
Hello,

I am M. LaVora Perry. I am new to this forum. I published my first book with Dorrance. I am publishing my second book print on demand (POD) with Lightning Source (LS) and Lulu. LS for deals with booksellers, Lulu for online sales. My total initial costs for these services range from $0.00 (Lulu) to under $150.00 (LS)

If it weren't for their really high fees, I'd have to say my experience with Dorrance has been a positive one. However, subsidy publishing the way they do it is not recommended for anyone who cannot afford it. Period. And with LS and Lulu available today no one has to use these kinds of companies (companies that print large quantities of books upfront).

Last week when I walked into to a local Borders and an independent bookstore just to see if the bar code would scan, both managers told me to come back by with the book when its published. I did not expect to sell booksellers the Lulu book--the end-cost is too high for anything other than online sales. But even so, both shopkeepers said they'd take a greatly reduced discount and try carrying the book. I owe this to things 1.) the reputation I have with booksellers because of the quality of my first book and 2.) my 2nd book looks really good.

Although I am now using POD, Dorrance has reprinted my book 4 times already. With each reprint they send me 50 books free of shipping or any other costs. That's 200 books I have so far sold at full retail price while not paying any costs for them. I intend to continue this trend of reprinting and getting 50 free books indefinitely--as per the contract change that Dorrance agreed to per my request. Plus, I have received my quarterly royalty checks (40% of sales) on time ever since I completed the payment of my (high) fee. And I don't have to deal with fulfilling orders unless I choose to sell my book myself, which I can do at an 80% discount off retail (another detail I renegotiated). So when I do sell books myself, I earn a 80% royalty.

Hands down, the best thing about Dorrance is that once your fee is paid you don't have to pay for reprints. This feature is only valuable if you sell books. Per my request Dorrance has also agreed to send review copies of my book to anyone who contacts them directly for one. They do not charge me to send out these books. And review copies have led to sales.

If you are not willing to invest in having your book in salable condition (properly edited, proofed, etc.) and then promoting it vigorously once its published, then you should simply write for yourself. Because even if you land a major contract, a book that is not promoted by the author is most likely a book that does not sell to its full potential. There are exceptions, but they are rare. I know this from my own experience and from talking to many authors--both traditionally and self-published.

My book has not only been sold in several bookstores, but on Amazon.com, BN.com; it is in libraries and being used in schools in Zambia and by children's groups in Malaysia.

I won't go into further details here. I have written articles on these subjects. They are viewable at the links below. But I just wanted to say that book sales and credibility are phenomenon that an author can control. In most cases it just takes lots of hard work to have it your way.

The link to my POD article is here:

http://www.fortunechildbooks.com/pod.htm

And here is my article on Dorrance:

http://www.fortunechildbooks.com/debunk ... -myths.htm

LaVora

_________________
M. LaVora Perry, Author, Publisher, Web Designer
"Taneesha's Treasures of the Heart" / "Wu-lung & I-lung"
Profiled in the Original Marquis Who's Who in America®, 2005
Visit http://www.FortuneChildBooks.com/whoswho05.htm for information.


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 Post subject: Dorrance
PostPosted: September 17th, 2004, 2:05 am 
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Joined: August 1st, 2004, 3:15 pm
Posts: 264
Location: Pennsylvania
Mr/Ms Perry:

Are you a ringer?

Jennifer

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Website: http://www.LiteraryAgentBlog.com
Blog for student writing: http://www.Publishes.us
http://www.itsJUSTwar.com


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 Post subject: Same Rule
PostPosted: September 17th, 2004, 6:39 am 
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Joined: September 8th, 2004, 12:20 pm
Posts: 49
Dorrance is yet another vanity press. The same rule applies to them as to any of the others: if you can't find any titles from this publisher already on the shelves of your local big bookstore, you're not interested in publishing with them.

The master rule is: Money flows toward the author.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: September 17th, 2004, 10:55 am 
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Joined: September 16th, 2004, 1:23 pm
Posts: 5
Location: ohio
Mr/Ms Perry:

Are you a ringer?

Jennifer
_________________
Author of
_Are You EVER Going to be Thin? (and other stories)_ Infinity Publishing
Website: www.JenniferSempleSiegel.com

I don't know what a ringer is. If it is a derogatory term, I am sorry you suspect that about me. Check out my Web site if you want to know more about me.

In any case, I saw information in this forum about Dorrance. It seemed that no one who posted the information had an experience with the company like the one I had. Most of the posters had no actual experience with the company. So I offered my very real view of the company based on my actual experience with them.

As I said, I will not use their services again (at their current cost), because I have found a much less expensive alternative. But I do not believe, based on my experience, that in a case like mine they are ripping me off. The fact is they have printed nearly 3 thousand copies of my book and will continue to print the book as long as people continue to buy it and I will have to pay no more for this service. I have also received royalty checks quarterly with detailed sales reports. My original contract was for semi-annual payment, but Dorrance agreed to quarterly when I requested it. Anyone who knows about printing can tell you that if my book continues to require reprinting (which I intend to ensure it will) in the long run my investment with Dorrance will pay off. Actually, it will pay off within the next year at the current rate of sales. After that, I begin to turn a profit (some of which will be used to promote both of my books).

Here is another fact that I did not mention in my original post. I shipped 125 books overseas. I paid for shipping and I paid my author's price for the books (80% discount as I mentioned previously). What was very high was the shipping cost. Against Dorrance's adviced I used the USPS and a shipper called AMES. Long story short, my books were lost. I waited months to receive refunds from the shippers as per the insurance I took out. I never got my refunds. This money was not owed to me by Dorrance, it was owed to me by the shippers that lost my books. My plan was to use the refund money to reship the books. I wanted to reship with UPS as Dorrance originally suggested, since UPS guarantees overseas shipments and the shippers I used don't. But since UPS costs twice as much as the other shippers, I'd need to come up with several hundred dollars after I got my refunds in order to reship. My refunds never came--something about the shippers needing proof that the books actually never arrived to their intended recipients. But to my surprise and delight Dorrance agreed to reship all 125 at no cost to me. To me there is no way I can classify the company as a rip off service. High priced, yes. Devious, no.

LaVora

_________________
M. LaVora Perry, Author, Publisher, Web Designer
"Taneesha's Treasures of the Heart" / "Wu-lung & I-lung"
Profiled in the Original Marquis Who's Who in America®, 2005
Visit http://www.FortuneChildBooks.com/whoswho05.htm for information.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: September 17th, 2004, 11:38 am 
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Joined: September 16th, 2004, 1:23 pm
Posts: 5
Location: ohio
Now I'm replying to these two other posts on this topic, then getting off line, because I am really procrastinating when I should be doing something else:

MESSAGE ONE
Hi all,

I've also had a problem with Dorrance, but from my work as a book reviewer. I've finally gotten off of [i]most[/i] of Dorrance's mailing lists, but for some time they were sending me two to three books a day!

Their publicity mechanisms are horrible, especially considering that the review copies were paid for by the authors. I live in New York, yet they sent me books from Midwestern writers with a press release invariably titled "New Book from a Local Author!!!" On top of that, not a single book was appropriate for the areas I review (information that any respectable publicity department will find out before sending a book).

Beyond expecting a big payment from authors, Dorrance also seems to waste the copies by sending them to completely inappropriate reviewers.

Jen[/i]
END MESSAGE ONE

MY REPLY

This is not just for Dorrance but for any author services company: Give the publisher a list of contacts. Don't rely on theirs at all. You have to do your research and you have to follow up. Using a company like Dorrance is basically self-publishing and having a management company as an auxillary provider of services. Don't think of them as a publisher, but as a company assisting you in your publication efforts. Also, my original fee paid for 75 review copies to the list of reviewers I compiled and sent to Dorrance. They have since sent at least 75 more copies to reviewers, schools, librarians and booksellers who, at my request, have directly contacted them for my book. In most cases these people followed up with orders. Dorrance doesn't charge me for these books at all. But I had to negotiate that with them. It's not in their standard contract. That's another thing--read your contract (from anybody) and remember that everything is negotiable.

END OF REPLY TO MESSAGE ONE

MESSAGE TWO

Dorrance is yet another vanity press. The same rule applies to them as to any of the others: if you can't find any titles from this publisher already on the shelves of your local big bookstore, you're not interested in publishing with them.

The master rule is: Money flows toward the author.

END OF MESSAGE TWO

My REPLY

>if you can't find any titles from this publisher already on the shelves of your local big >bookstore, you're not interested in publishing with them

My rule was, "Money will flow to me if I make it do so and I will get my book on bookshelve and into readers' hands." I didn't care whether other Dorrance titles were on bookshelves or not--mine was going to be. And it is. I must admit, I think Dorrance staff has been surprised at my success. But I didn't go into this to lose. So I am doing what's needed to achieve success. I treat Dorrance like a partner and I don't expect them to care more or work harder for my book than I do.

The fact is that if I am successful, it makes them look good and I remind them of this when I make special requests that bend their policies. This has been an effective strategy for me. Also as they see me do things that are atypical for their authors, or most non-traditionally published authors (like land an interview on National Public Radio), they become more agreeable to my requests.

Also, one of the major local booksellers in my town (Cleveland) said when she saw my publisher's name on the back of the book, "Oh, Dorrance, I know them. They're a good company." This was a real bookseller, not authors who have heard authors say what authors say booksellers say about vanity presses. This bookseller went on to offer me a nice endorsement that ended up on my book's 2nd printing and all the printings thereafter. My book and all Dorrance titles are also listed on Amazon and BN.com. My book is also in at least 3 local Borders at least one local B & N and in several bookstores nationwide. I know because, as I said, I get sales reports.

LaVora

_________________
M. LaVora Perry, Author, Publisher, Web Designer
"Taneesha's Treasures of the Heart" / "Wu-lung & I-lung"
Profiled in the Original Marquis Who's Who in America®, 2005
Visit http://www.FortuneChildBooks.com/whoswho05.htm for information.


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 Post subject: Re: A Dorrance Author
PostPosted: September 18th, 2004, 11:59 am 
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Joined: September 9th, 2004, 11:02 am
Posts: 51
mlavoraperry wrote:
If you are not willing to invest in having your book in salable condition (properly edited, proofed, etc.) and then promoting it vigorously once its published, then you should simply write for yourself. Because even if you land a major contract, a book that is not promoted by the author is most likely a book that does not sell to its full potential. There are exceptions, but they are rare. I know this from my own experience and from talking to many authors--both traditionally and self-published.

Personally, I think that if a writer would rather shell out money on having someone polish his/her manuscript for him/her, rather than developing his/her writing to a point where he/she can present a professional, salable and good story to a publisher (even if all you've got to work with is a typewriter and a cup of coffee), then that writer is better off writing for him/herself, because anything else will be an embarassment.

I can't imagine that an author would be able to carry the entire or even a quarter of the promotion-load, especially not in a country as large as the USA. Maybe for a local release, but certainly not if the publisher is interested in actually making money. To make money, promotion is essential. Promotion is not something publishers like to leave to people who do not have the proper training. Signings, launches and so on are pretty useless for a new writer, on the big scale. A famous writer benefits from signings, since it keeps him/her in touch with the fans and in the public eye--but a new writer is not going to see a lot of sales through signings. For someone who self-publishes, the face-to-face thing is probably essential, and it might be good to help as much as you can if you're published by a small press (but small-presses still do a lot of promotional work, especially "behind the scenes"), but signing with a large or medium-sized publisher means that you've got a marketing department behind you (and they might get testy if you try to do their job).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: September 19th, 2004, 10:33 pm 
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Joined: September 16th, 2004, 1:23 pm
Posts: 5
Location: ohio
Posted: Sat Sep 18, 2004 10:59 am Post subject: Re: A Dorrance Author

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

mlavoraperry wrote:
If you are not willing to invest in having your book in salable condition (properly edited, proofed, etc.) and then promoting it vigorously once its published, then you should simply write for yourself. Because even if you land a major contract, a book that is not promoted by the author is most likely a book that does not sell to its full potential. There are exceptions, but they are rare. I know this from my own experience and from talking to many authors--both traditionally and self-published.


Personally, I think that if a writer would rather shell out money on having someone polish his/her manuscript for him/her, rather than developing his/her writing to a point where he/she can present a professional, salable and good story to a publisher (even if all you've got to work with is a typewriter and a cup of coffee), then that writer is better off writing for him/herself, because anything else will be an embarassment.

I can't imagine that an author would be able to carry the entire or even a quarter of the promotion-load, especially not in a country as large as the USA. Maybe for a local release, but certainly not if the publisher is interested in actually making money. To make money, promotion is essential. Promotion is not something publishers like to leave to people who do not have the proper training. Signings, launches and so on are pretty useless for a new writer, on the big scale. A famous writer benefits from signings, since it keeps him/her in touch with the fans and in the public eye--but a new writer is not going to see a lot of sales through signings. For someone who self-publishes, the face-to-face thing is probably essential, and it might be good to help as much as you can if you're published by a small press (but small-presses still do a lot of promotional work, especially "behind the scenes"), but signing with a large or medium-sized publisher means that you've got a marketing department behind you (and they might get testy if you try to do their job).

LAVORA'S REPLY

I have spoken with enough published authors of all types and editors to know that publishers today do not expend unlimited resources on promoting books. Many traditionally published authors have said that the publicity department of major houses has about 2 weeks to invest in a single new book's promotion, then the author is on her or his own. These are not my words, but those of published authors I've spoken to on several occaisions. In the majority of cases successful authors self-promote, or pay an agency to do so. This is what they themselves tell me time and again.

As far as shelling out money for an editor, I did not mention money. What I did mention is that most books need editing. Most authors cannot self-edit nor self-proof their own work. There are always exceptions, but for the most part an objective eye is an necessity. Again, many published authors have testified to this. One needn't always pay money for a professional editor and proof-reader. There are creative ways to obtain these services if you develop contacts within the writing community.

LaVora

_________________
M. LaVora Perry, Author, Publisher, Web Designer
"Taneesha's Treasures of the Heart" / "Wu-lung & I-lung"
Profiled in the Original Marquis Who's Who in America®, 2005
Visit http://www.FortuneChildBooks.com/whoswho05.htm for information.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: September 20th, 2004, 10:52 am 
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Joined: September 9th, 2004, 11:02 am
Posts: 51
I'm sorry, but if you're going to make claims like that you're going to have to back them up with names, at least if you expect anyone to believe you.

A book published by a traditional publisher will have a promotion budget (usually negotionable). For some it may not be large. But the publisher won't abandon the author and book. Once the book is out, it needs to be hyped and promoted if it's going to sell well. The publisher has to take advantage of every chance they get to promote. For a publisher, especially a small press, the only way to make money on a book is by selling copies (and not to the author). I'm not saying the author shouldn't be involved, but they should not have to do all the work. The publisher has paid you to publisher your book, you have given them a good product. They have a responsibility for it. If you have to do all the work for them (write the book, edit the book, promote the book), then you might as well selfpublish, becasue all they're doing is profiting from your hard work!

Maybe it's different in America, but I have never encountered an author who did most of the promotion, not even first-time authors.

As for editing, that's why they call editors "editors". They buy the ms, then they edit. I don't see why you should involve a second editor. I can understand going to groups like Critters, or asking a friend to read it over or something, but ultimately it has to be your "voice" and your work that is sent off the the publisher, don't you think?


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