Monday, July 9, 2012

FirstWind Publishing

This is a reposting of a thread, with some additions, that I started on Lit. Since not everyone reads the forums there, I decided to move it here as well. Recently, I was contacted through Lit's feedback/contact page with the following email:

Hi, I've been perusing some of your work on the site here, and wow! You really know what you are doing.

I represent an independent publishing consultancy firm, FirstWind Publishing. We have extremely powerful publishing strategies which, combined with the right author, are capable of generating astronomical sales figures on Amazon, B&N, and SmashWords.

I want to make an investment in you in the form of hiring an editor, format conversions, graphic design, promotion, and execution of my publishing strategy. I'll take care of everything so you can just focus on your writing.

Sound good? Get in touch with any questions you have. I look forward to hearing from you!


Adam Miller
Managing Partner, FirstWind Publishing
Granted, at first I was tickled pink; however, we all know the old saying: "If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is." So, after I did a tiny dance, I sat down with my good buddy Google to discover just what kind of publishing house FirstWind truly is.

The first thing that tipped me off was a distinct lack of internet presence. The publisher had no website that I could find, not even a free blogger style of site, and no Amazon presence. I did manage to find two sites that carried what I assumed to be their business model and I was unimpressed. They were both identical descriptions (not a problem) but one was at CraigsList and the other at a site called Booksie. What I read over at Booksie was definitely not the sort of publishing house I'd ever wish to use.

They are looking to glut the market with mediocre to good work, valuing speed and quantity over quality: I am looking for good writers who can produce good stories fast, not great authors who produce great stories slowly. [...] I can't stress enough the importance of being able to produce good content at a good pace. I'm not talking deadlines here, you just need to be able to keep good content coming in without huge gaps in production. The more stories I can get out there the more money we make, and there is nothing else required on your end except to keep creating easy-flowing, novel content.

They will not publish under your name or even your chosen pen name but under one they choose: The content will usually be out there under branded pen names, not under your real name. The titles will be reconfigured in most cases to generate maximum immediate interest.

Now, under this profile, there is nothing listed in the "Published Books" tab which makes me wonder just how he knows that he has "developed a skill for marketing and monetizing medium to high quality fiction (and some non-fiction)." If he's not published anything, then this is all theory, not fact. If he has published something, then list it.

I posted on Lit because it appears he's data-mining Lit authors. It is my guess that he's targeting those in the "Hall of Fame" segment as I know of a few other non-human authors who have received similar emails from this individual.

I am not discouraging anyone from utilizing this publisher if that is your desire but this is not someone I would ever dream of using.

I have also responded to his email with my concerns over copyright as well as pointing out that I didn't feel we were compatible. He did not respond.

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