Author Topic: Ever heard of Olympia Publishers?  (Read 33513 times)

Offline Jackie C K

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Ever heard of Olympia Publishers?
« on: September 24, 2007, 08:38:30 AM »
Hi,
Anyone heard of this publishing house?  They've just asked for my full manuscript, which I sent them, but I was just wondering as my last request on this website about Athena Press gave me some VERY helpful information.

www.olympiapublishers.com

Thanks

Offline Symphony

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Re: Ever heard of Olympia Publishers?
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2007, 08:43:04 AM »
Hi there,

Well - they're self-publishers - vanity publishers, so beware. But you might like to read this thread from another forum and make up your own mind. Still 50/50 but at least you can go in with your eyes open.

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20613&highlight=Olympia+Publishers

Symphony

Offline Talisman

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Re: Ever heard of Olympia Publishers?
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2007, 11:39:00 AM »
There seems to be mixed messages there. When I typed the name into google I found an Australian publisher by that name and also ones in Arkanas, when I did another search though for the UK only I found an Olympia Publishing on the Isle of Wight that publishes erotica and caters for the fetish market ! I won't post the link here for obvious reasons but try that search for yourself and check to see if it is the same address - they are based in Ryde (no pun!) on the Isle of Wight.

The link you provided does look bonafide though and there is no mention of erotica on there - so maybe there are 2 companies with that name ? On the other hand, I did not see a mention of authors paying for publication, and Zoe seems to indicate that she paid quite dearly for their services in the link that Symophony provides. To be honest, you can get the same deal for a lot less than what she paid. I didn't pay half that ! I would talk to them and ask some serious questions before making any decision at all.   

June 
« Last Edit: September 24, 2007, 11:44:34 AM by Talisman »
I used to be an aetheist until I realised I was God
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Offline Jackie C K

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Re: Ever heard of Olympia Publishers?
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2007, 12:27:03 PM »
Hi,
So far, I've just sent off my full manuscript, but I had NO IDEA that they were vanity publishers, which is an important point for their website, I think.  This point about lying by omission seems important here.
Zoe Stead's had a good experience and that's good.  However, the point they were making about doing signing and approaching bookstores wouldn't work for me as I live in Germany, so that is a whole aspect of the experience which I would miss out on...

Damn!  It is always hopeful when someone asks to see the whole manuscript.  the thing that made me nervous was that the email was signed by the editor "team".  I had no contact name and that just made me wonder.  I had planned to ask for some advice from all of you before I sent it, but time had already gone by as things had been happening at this end adn I didn't want to delay any longer.  Wish I had now!

Anyway, will see what they say, now that I've sent it off.
Thanks a lot for your input though.

June, may I ask what led you to vanity publising in the first place?  I've tried every publisher in the Writers and Artists yearbook who would accept unsolicited submissions.  I then went to the October Buch Messe in Frankfurt, found a whole load of other publishers who were willing to let me submit to them.  I then went through the Writers and Artists yearbook/Agents and sent to EVERY agent in there.  I'm still waiting to hear from a few, but despite a few complimentary responses and close calls/short listing (or so they would let me believe), I've been rejected everywhere.
Either, at the end of all this, I can aim for vanity publishing, or I can shelve it and return to it in a few years when experience will have hopefully helped me improve my writing and then improve the novel.  I'm beginning to feel as though I need to look forward though and not back...  You can only get so many rejections before you can begin to believe that there really is no hope for a particular project.
June, who did you go to for vanity publishing, if you don't mind me asking?

MAy I also say, on a personal note, I am really quite pleased with  myself here.  I find this website quite intimidating as its just so huge.  It has so many members and I dont' have time to check it that regularly, so by the time i come back to it, there have been so many new messages.  I just can't keep up.  Anyway, this is the first time i've used it properly - done a search on the subject matter before posting a question and so on.
I just find it a marvellous tool, but a little scary...    :-\

Thanks again, perhaps I can let you know if I hear anything back from Olympia and what I decide to do...

Offline Talisman

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Re: Ever heard of Olympia Publishers?
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2007, 01:38:20 PM »
Wait and hear back from them by all means, as it may not be what it seems. From what this Zoe says though on the other site, it does sound suspicious, and a leter signed by 'the editing team' would I must admit, also raise alarm bells for me. Personally I would try and contact one or two of their authors and see what they have to say. 

What though led me to 'vanity publishing' is really very similar to your own story. After contacting agents and publishers from the Writers and Artists Yearbook (and other sources like the internet), and getting heaps of rejections, I started to research the industry and self publishing in particular in earnest. I like in the UK, whereas you are in Germany, but the principals are the same regardless. I used several books which I found very helpful - 2 by a lady called Jo Anthony - What do I have to get to get published and What do I have to do to sell a book, and Anna Crosbie's How to Publish Your own book (this one is brilliant). Basically there are 2 ways of doing it - short print run and print on demand (POD). Both have certain stigmas attached to them, but that is slowly changing as more and more people choose these routes.

Short print run though is where you are responsible for the whole thing - you do, or sub contract people to design the cover, do the internal layout etc, etc, regsiter the ISBN, send library copies off etc and commision a printer to do a set print run. You have to then store and market all the books yourself, being responsible for all forms of marketing, as well as setting up accounts with wholesalers etc and doing all the invoiving and fulfilment yourself.

I had neither the time nor the funds to do this, let alone the space to store huge amounts of books, so I chose POD. With POD the books are stored as a digital file at the printers headquarters (Lightning Source or Anthony Rowe for the UK) and the books are printed on demand quite literally as and when the orders come in. You do not then have to store any books yourself (although I always keep some to sell via my own website and at talks, book signings, book festivals etc).

Most POD authors do as I did - find a POD provider who oversees the whole process for you - for a fee of course (I paid around 1100). For this I got full bespoke cover design, proof reading and editing service, legal library deposits, ISBN registration, internal layout and formatting, uploading to amazon and publishers own site (as both an ebook and paperback) and most of the things in fact a mainstream publisher provides. Orders are filtered through the POD providder rather than through me, which leaves me free to concentrate on marketing. They do this in exchange for a percentage of the royalties which are split 60/40 in my favour, which means that I end up with around 2.50 a book - not a great deal, but more than I would have got from a mainstream publisher, whjo typically pays around 10 percent of the cover price (to me then 1.49).

There are certain obstacles though that POD authors face, mostly with regard to the supply chain. Namely that for the most part, such books are not available through wholesalers on sale or return. I though have been very lucky in that my publisher saw the efforts that I was putting in and so when I reported to him that many stores were refusing to order copies because of this, he asked the wholesaler to take the book on those terms. Since he did this, around 6 weeks ago, I have managed to sell over 120 books and got orders from almost 40 branches of Waterstones plus several Borders and independents as well. This though is very unusual and most POD authors do not have this level of success. My publisher does not do this for everyone either - only those who are prepared to do an awful lot of work in promoting themselves and their work.

The name of my publisher is then Authors OnLine Ltd, and they can be found at www.authorsonline.co.uk  The thing that attracted me to them was that everything is honest and upfront with all the information freely available on their site and in the literature that you can download from their site. Richard, who owns the company is very easy to talk to and gives no illusions to any of his authors as to what POD is about and what they can expect. There is total honesty all the way down the line and no sales patter, like you get from so many that I looked at.

Authors OnLine were in fact the first POD provider in the UK, and this year celebrate their 10th anniversary. They are also one of only 4 POD providers in the UK deemed worthy of a mention in this years Writers and Artists Yearbook on the page about 'vanity publishing'. Actually I hate this term, as it is so misleading. It is only vanity imo if the publisher fills your head with nonsense as to what you can expect, and Richard has never done that. If you trawl through the net you will not find one complaint about them, but nothing  but well deserved praise. I would highly recommend them and have already have done in fact to several friends both on and off the web !

You may also like to read an  article which is on my website, which gives more detail about my own particular journey and have a read of my blog as well. The link to my blog is in my signature but the direct link to that article is here http://www.juneaustin.co.uk/insidersguide.html

Hope this answers your questions anyway !

June   
« Last Edit: September 24, 2007, 01:44:48 PM by Talisman »
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Offline Jackie C K

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Re: Ever heard of Olympia Publishers?
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2007, 05:40:31 AM »
I went to the Frankfurt Buch Messe on Sunday of last week as I live nearby and felt quite defeated by the time i left.  It seemed as though the industry has changed entirely in the past year.  Last year, when I went, I got lots of business cards of publishers who were willing to let me send in their manuscripts, even though they would normally not accept unsolicited material.

This year, I would reckon on 80% of the stands being children's only or factual only.  Of the other 20%, most of htem were huge  monster companies like penguin, mcmillan, hodder, little brown, etc whose first question was "do you have an agent?"  Its a question I cannot win.  To say no sounds like I dont' realise or appreciate the importance of such a being.  To give the truthful answer of "I'm trying to get one" implies that they won't accept me.  Its true, but it doesn't sound good.  Of course, there are a few small publishers who seem interested and will let me submit, but they are normally after literary fiction in order to make a respectable name for themselves (so they can be noticed and bought up by one of the monsters as above).  I write commercial fiction.

It just made me feel as though perhaps self-publishing is becoming a growing business because so few of us are given a chance by other means...

I'm just saying, I've not ruled anything out.  :-\


Offline Talisman

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Re: Ever heard of Olympia Publishers?
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2007, 05:04:14 AM »
I entirely agree Jacko, this is precisely the reason why so many authors do now turn to self publishing, in particularl POD. It is an easy and affordable way to get into print, and while you do have to share a certain proportion of royalties with the POD provider in return for using their account with wholesalers etc, you still get a higher percentage than you would get from a commercial publisher, when you work out the sums. I think mine works out at something like 17 percent, higher than that for sales to America, where the book is not on sale or return (different wholesalers).

Authors are tired of slogging their guts out though to pay someone else, and are taking back their own power. The industry I feel is going to be forced to maoe drastic changes in the way the supply chain in run if they want to survive and remain competitive.
 
June

 
I used to be an aetheist until I realised I was God
www.juneaustin.co.uk
http://juneaustin.blogspot.com/
http://conversationswithpod.blogspot.com/ - helping POD authors publicise their work

Offline Jackie C K

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Re: Ever heard of Olympia Publishers?
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2007, 07:08:30 AM »
I agree - change is coming and is also due.  Despite having noticed such a huge difference in the presented industry in Frankfurt since last year, I still dont' think the change will take place soon though - perhaps in a few years.
Besides, I still have a soft spot for publishers.  They are largely dependent on getting stuff from agents, some publishers have told me is often not what they want.  I also think they are victims of the high street stores - particularly Waterstones.  Its a case of, if they get a book of theirs in the Waterstones front stands, then they're going to make some money on it.  Otherwise, everything's a risk.
So, where will the change come?  Will Waterstones be prepared to take a step or will the publishers just have to suck it up?

Offline Talisman

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Re: Ever heard of Olympia Publishers?
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2007, 08:06:01 AM »
I agree entirely with all of this - is it ate store level that the change most needs to take place. There is no longer any value placed on the written word. It all started to go downhill after the abolition of the net book price agreement. The publishers warned that it would lead to dominance by mass market paperbacks and other such stuff, and the independents would begin to go out of business, but the Government in their wisdom went with it anyway. Everything the publishers said would happen has happened and more !

Go into your average high street chain book store and what do you see? Displays dominated by mass market paperbacks and celebrity memoirs and cook books, all heavily discounted. It is ultiamtely the author who pays for this - since it means there is less money to go round, and the publishers are less likely to take chances with unknown authors without a proven sales record, especially those without an agent. They turn instead then to self publishing, only to find that the chains won't stock their books without sale or return and ever higher disocunts, and the independents who traditionally would have stocked them have been driven out of business, unable to compete.

One Borders branch that I spoke to demanded a 60 percent discount before they would even consider my book - this comes on top of the 15 percent that the wholesaler takes as well. It costs me 4.10 to print each copy of my book, and when I buy them myself I do that for print cost plus 25 percent of cover price - 7.82 - at that sort of discount then I would be making a loss rather than a profit, if I was to supply them direct. Richard, who runs my publishing company would not even entertain the idea of such a high discount - Gardners already buy them for 55 percent off - 15 percent for them and 40 percent for the shop, and that is bad enough combined with sale or return.

A small but nevertheless significant number of shops though sitll tell me they will not order my book (even one copy) as it is too much of risk, even on sale or return. I can't see that though - if and when they sell copies they make 6, if they don't sell it, they can send it back. I on the other hand earn 2.50 a copy after five years of work - this is 50p per year per book sold ! and I am the one who has the pick up the bill if and when the books come flooding back - me, not them. Richard and I then are the ones taking all the risk not them !

In American 40 percent of the books sold on amazon.com are from small indepedent publishers and self published authors who are not stocked in shops - this for me speaks volumes. 10 percent of Barnes and Noble income comes from books bought online instead of in stores - and bear in mind that they have over 500 stores. The internet then is where the real opportunity lies for self published authors - although having said that they still demand the same high discounts. The difference is though you know the books will not come winging back, as they have already been sold !

June   
« Last Edit: October 19, 2007, 08:08:10 AM by Talisman »
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Offline Jackie C K

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Re: Ever heard of Olympia Publishers?
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2007, 06:58:50 AM »
So what is the best way to go?  As far as I can see there are several options:
1. find a publisher to publish your book and pay you for it  :D
2. find an agent to find a publisher to publish your book and pay you for it  ;D
3. self publish through a company like Olympia publishers who will typeset it, design it and so on
4. self publish yourself finding all the individual people you need to make this happen
5. publish on the internet from a website where the first chapter is free or something and then people have to pay to download the rest of the novel.

Actually, through this website, I got a personal message to this affect of someone wanting to set up a website doing exactly this (nr. 5).  Eventually, I turned them down for now - I want to see how their site goes, but I also heard that a publisher will not touch something you've written if its been on the internet (is this true??? or, more to the point, in this current climate we could ask, is that relevant anymore...).  I'm beginning to wonder, from what you've written, if the internet publishing idea isn't the best option to save in copies no-one needs and presentation and so on (I'm not sure what occurs with publishing on the internet, BTW).  Alternatively, perhaps the best of both worlds, publish the first chapter and then people can either buy a hard copy (if you've self-published already) or download the rest of the book - I mean, if its self-published, there is no concern with first publishing rights or anything so, in theory, the book could be available in both mediums.  Couldn't it?

I got another rejection today.  I'm just wanting to explore my options a bit and wondering what is really worth it.  I believe the book is good, as good as, and in some cases better than some of what is already published out there.  I don't think anyone is willing to take a chance on it and that could be because its commercial fiction, there is nothing literary about it, but I love it....

Offline Talisman

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Re: Ever heard of Olympia Publishers?
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2007, 06:01:24 PM »
It all depends on your finances, and how much time and effort you can put into promoting your book. Personally I wouldn't consider publishing online as it is not secure enough and people always expect to get information that is published that way for free - meaning that you are not that likely to earn anything. I would continue sending to agents/publishers while exploring self publishing options. Short print run can be a better option if you plan to hand sell or get into a lot of the smaller stores bypassing the wholesalers, but you have to have the time to do this and the space to store books, envelopes, bubble wrap etc.

POD was for me the only choice, as I did not have this space. There are good and bad things about it, and like I said, it depends on your objectives and to some extent the type of book you have written. Some types of books are easier to hand sell than others - childrens for example or pocket sized books of quotations etc.

Have a read of this and make up your mind and also have a look at my blog (in my signature), where I write about what being a POD author really entails (bloody hard work). 

http://www.juneaustin.co.uk/writestuff.html
I used to be an aetheist until I realised I was God
www.juneaustin.co.uk
http://juneaustin.blogspot.com/
http://conversationswithpod.blogspot.com/ - helping POD authors publicise their work

Offline Jackie C K

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Re: Ever heard of Olympia Publishers?
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2007, 05:44:29 AM »
Hi,
Would you believe, I've just received a rejection from Olympia publishers!  Have to say I wasn't expecting that as they are a self-publishing company of sorts!  I accept that they would only want their name associated with decent publications, which I guess mine isn't, in their eyes.  I mean, you can't comment, you haven't seen the book, but I'm generally getting very favourable rejection letters and being recommended or passed on to other publishers who they think will be interested.  I was short listed with a few of the publishers/agents I've approached and all this has kind of reinforced my opinion that the book is good...
I know its all a bit subjective and I shouldn't worry about it, but I just wasn't expecting that.
Bit blue now...

With regards the self publishing idea - I live in Germany.  It isnt' as though I can go to many small booksellers in the area and ask them if they will sell it for me.  I would be relying heavily on a trip back to england or amazon or something...

Offline Talisman

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Re: Ever heard of Olympia Publishers?
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2007, 06:10:05 AM »
There must be English language sections in German book shops though - there are in most countries - take your point though.

Weird about Olympia - maybe we all misjudged them ! Still it solves the problem of whether they are okay or not - if they are not interested anyway it no longer matters !

June
   
I used to be an aetheist until I realised I was God
www.juneaustin.co.uk
http://juneaustin.blogspot.com/
http://conversationswithpod.blogspot.com/ - helping POD authors publicise their work

Offline Jackie C K

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Re: Ever heard of Olympia Publishers?
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2007, 06:19:20 AM »
I guess each cloud has its silver... blah blah blah....
Its still a rejection though, isn't it.

Still, as I sit on this bed (I broke my ankle last week, I'm not normally this lazy) being fed sultanas by my two year old boy (who's being really quite generous with them), life isn't all bad  :D

Thank God for children!