Goat Lips: Tales of a Lapsed Englishman!
It is exciting and affirming to have a second MDP book recognized for its merits. In May, Matthew Taylor was awarded the 2015 IPPY Gold Medal in Humor, currently one of the most nationally recognized book awards. On the coattails of this award Goat Lips also received recognition as a National Indie Excellence Awards finalist. We at Merry Dissonance Press are thrilled for Matthew and Goat Lips. As I stated in a recent interview, “I have to admit, I am not at all surprised. I see only GOLD ahead for Matthew. He is a storyteller extraordinaire, with an impeccable sense of timing and just the right amount of flair. These stories are entertaining and funny. Some even make you cry. I had the pleasure of working on this book during a personal health crisis, and I believe it even helped me in my healing process.”
This is a great book to read at the beach or by the pool, or sitting by a fire or propped up in bed. Warning: it will most definitely make you laugh, so you might want to warn any bystanders to cover their ears. As we all know, though, laughter is truly the best medicine, so let yourself be taken away into a world of deep belly laughter. Oh … and be sure to have a tissue or two available as well, because there are some extremely poignant moments contained in the pages of Goat Lips.
Matthew is a fantastic entertainer, storyteller, and storytelling coach. To learn more about him and his work, please visit his website at matthewtaylor.com. To get a copy of his book, visit Amazon or Barnes & Noble. And be sure to leave a review after you’ve read it! This is a book to be shared with as many people as possible.
“Wild at Heart” takes a silver medal in parenting/family!
… Wild at Heart!
“Wild at Heart” is a national book award recipient!
Wild at Heart has just received the Silver Medal in the parenting/family category of the Independent Publishers Living Now Awards. Being a book award recipient of a nationally acclaimed award is a huge accomplishment for first-time author Heather Kirby and for the first book produced and published by Merry Dissonance Press.
On the Living Now Book Awards website, they state, “Lifestyle publishing categories such as home, family, health and personal development are the fastest-growing segments of book publishing today, and the Living Now Book Awards help demonstrate the importance of these books to readers and their vitality in the marketplace.” On their “About the Awards” page, they explain, “The purpose of the Living Now Book Awards is to celebrate the innovation and creativity of newly published books that can help us improve the quality of our lives, from cooking and entertaining to fitness and travel. The Living Now award seal on a book’s cover will become a symbol that says, ‘This book will improve and enrich your life! Buy me today!'”
And that was precisely what motivated Heather to write Wild at Heart–to improve and enrich the lives of teenagers and their families. For years, she knew that her experiences as Dean of Students and as a therapist working directly with children, adolescents, and families–as well as her lifelong relationships with horses culminating in her equine coaching practice–had shown her the means for working with teenagers and their families. She saw that what she’d come to practice in her interactions could be applied successfully by anyone working with or living with teens.
Heather’s book is accessible, conversational, and at times humorous. It is filled with easy-to-apply, tried-and-true methods for engaging with adolescents and teens so that your relationships can be gratifying and meaningful. Through her innovative approach and her innate sensitivity, Heather shows readers how to apply strategies and principles that have proven effective with horses. She demonstrates that it is truly possible for adults to have collaborative relationships with their teens.
To get your copy of Heather’s book, please visit her website (where you can currently obtain an autographed copy) or go to Amazon or Barnes and Noble. E-Book versions are available through these booksellers as well. And, of course, you can always go to your local independent bookstore to order your copy!!
As I looked online for information and definitions regarding publishing options, I found that there is a lot of erroneous and/or confusing information floating around out there. Often, the author of the article has an obvious bias. Most people offer information to steer you in a specific direction. Here’s a brief recap of some of my findings thus far.
An article by Ginnie Weihardt that appeared on about.com stated the following:
“Definition: A vanity press is one option for writers who have not found a home for their work at a major press and do not have the means to entirely self-publish their book. A good vanity press will proofread and copyedit your manuscript, design a cover, print the book, and even provide some basic marketing services.
However, it is expensive to publish your book through a vanity press, and most authors do not recoup the expense. Nor will major publishing houses take your book more seriously as a result.”
TRADITIONAL PUBLISHING/SUBSIDY PUBLISHING
Another blog post (http://kristenstieffel.com) stated the following:
“Some people think so-called ‘traditional publishing’ is the only true publishing, and that any author who pays to publish their book is getting ripped off. Those folks will tell you that subsidy publishing is just a new name for the ol’ vanity press scam.
Subsidy publishing involves you hiring a company to print your book for you. Subsidy presses are generally very up front about this arrangement. They may provide the ISBN, which makes them your publisher as far as the record-keepers at Bowker are concerned. This may also be the case if you self-publish through Amazon or Smashwords. But the important thing is that you retain all rights to the book.
Her post goes on to state:
So this is an important distinction for authors to understand:
- Royalty press [traditional publishing]: pays the author for publication rights.
- Subsidy press: paid by the author for book production; author retains rights.
- Vanity press: paid by the author for book production and press retains rights.”
Although she makes a very definite distinction between a subsidy press and vanity press, I found other sites that stated a subsidy press is the same as a vanity press. According to one blog, www.theworldsgreatestbook.com, a subsidy publisher is synonymous with a vanity press. And this man’s take on either a subsidy publisher or vanity press was essentially “buyer beware.”
In the research I’ve done thus far, the bottom line seems to be not so much in the classification of the type of publisher, or how we label them, but what the breakdown is in what they offer, how much they do, and who pays for what. In other words, how invested is your publisher in your book?
WHO PAYS AND WHO TAKES THE MOST RISK?
Traditional publishers assume the risk of an author’s book by paying for all costs associated with its production and promotion, paying the author for their book as well. Traditional publishers therefore own the rights to the book as well as the book’s ISBN.
With vanity presses and subsidy presses, the author assumes most, if not all, of the financial risk for their book. Depending on the structure of such presses, the author may also give up a large percentage of their royalties (usually more than 50%) as well as ownership of certain elements of the book, such as the ISBN.
That leaves me wondering how to define Merry Dissonance Press. The Press is most definitely not a traditional publisher—we don’t pay the author for the publication of their book nor do we take over complete control of how the book will look and what it will say. If we look at the definitions of vanity and subsidy presses, the press doesn’t fall cleanly in either. The author pays for all costs of production and promotion; however, the press is involved every step of the way, including the initial marketing strategy and plan.
The Press does NOT collect royalties—in my opinion, taking at least 50% of an author’s profits is ABSURD! The author has already paid to create their book. The Press does own the ISBN; however, the author owns the copyright and is entitled to all net profits of each and every book sale. In this “hybrid” model, we share the risk of the book’s success. Of course, the author assumes more risk, but The Press is interested in bringing books into the marketplace that make us move beyond and challenge our current thinking, books that inspire us. Books that make noise.
Merry Dissonance Press’s reputation is at stake to bring to market quality books with a unique message that have been well-edited and well-designed. That takes time, dedication, and lots of HEART! And MDP wants its authors to be successful–personally, professionally and financially–when it comes to publishing their books. After two years in this industry, working in this way is what feels right to me—it’s the only way to do it and the reason Merry Dissonance Press is here!
Have you written and published a book? Which route did you choose? Are you happy with your choice? Why or why not? Let’s keep the conversation going…