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On Prime Books

Michael Cisco, the author of the Traitor, has just written about his experience with Prime Books:

d) What was it you published again?

Prime's idea of publicity is sticking your book under a rock and informing the wind. You will have to do absolutely everything yourself. Blurbs, getting your text to reviewers, everything. Prime takes authors they believe are already being talked about precisely to as to avoid having to do publicity. I firmly believe Prime's neglect helped to scuttle my last TWO novels.

How many novels do you have to burn?

Prime is an attractive publisher for a variety of reasons, and I would advise any new writer to consider submitting material thereto, but do so forewarned and forearmed. You will not be told what is going on, your requests for information will be met with stalling, ignorance real or feigned, or - most often - silence. All the real legwork will be left to you. Payment will involve unnecessary headaches and a whole lot of waiting - if not outright defrauding (which has yet to be seen).

Sounds familiar, huh?

In fairness, I should point out that my payments from Prime came pretty quickly and easily, be it with short fiction or the novel. I whole McDonalds Meal could I buy with the cash, but cash it was, and I had no hassle.

However, based off my experience of a print run, then no print run, of the book being tossed out suddenly, of it having errors, of the drama, of the headache, and so on and so forth, which you can check by following the tag at the bottom of this post... however, based off all that, there's not a whole lot to disagree with in Cisco's post.

No doubt someone will be along shortly to set him 'straight', of course.

(In other news, I appear to have discovered a cold in the last thirty minutes.)



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Jul. 24th, 2008 07:37 am (UTC)
I questioned my payments because they were incomplete (for hardback sales only, not softback) and for the wrong time period and have been met with stony silence.
Jul. 24th, 2008 07:38 am (UTC)
to clarify that -- I only received payments for hardback sales. I received no payments for trade paperback sales.
(no subject) - brendanconnell.wordpress.com - Jul. 24th, 2008 08:32 am (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 24th, 2008 10:43 am (UTC)
i should take these things as warnings.
Jul. 24th, 2008 08:40 am (UTC)
I have received nothing: nada, zip, nowt. Actually, that's a fib: last month, I received a sales invoice for the September quarter of last year. This is the only sales record I've received for a book published in April of 2006. All emails I've sent asking for clarification of sales numbers, print runs, etc etc and so forth have been met with silence.

Lee Battersby
Jul. 24th, 2008 10:27 am (UTC)
You got Primed.
Jul. 25th, 2008 02:44 am (UTC)
Friends don't let friends do Prime.
Jul. 31st, 2010 09:20 am (UTC)
really cool logo. i love it.pay per head sportsbook
Jul. 28th, 2008 10:52 pm (UTC)
That sounds about right. I've discovered that the only way to get any kind of response out of Sean Wallace in a timely fashion is to threaten either public humiliation or physical violence, and sometimes both. Even then, he just lets loose one of his famed "Well, at least I'm trying!" non-apology apologies and goes right back on to his business. After all, watching him busy at work with either his "Hot Editors I'd Like To Pork" featurettes in Fantasy or the new Fantasy radio dramas instead of fulfilling his contractual obligations just proves that he's trying as hard as he can. Trying, masturbating, it's all the same thing, isn't it?
Jul. 24th, 2008 02:44 pm (UTC)
Well in the promotional stakes, they were very prompt in sending Black Sheep in for the World Fantasy Awards. Shame it wasn't fantasy, of course.
Jul. 24th, 2008 11:36 pm (UTC)
Some folks should pop on over to the original and share their tales there. I don't have any, myself, as I've never dealt with Prime... and based on what I'm reading, possibly never will.
Jul. 28th, 2008 10:56 pm (UTC)
Sadly, Ben, I had a contract for two books, and I didn't have the slightest problem with doing my own publicity. However, after being lied to at least four times about release dates, refusing to answer questions about buying promotional copies, and hearing from fans who were blown off when they tried to make pre-orders, I quit, too. Ten years ago, I would have come out to the last Readercon and beaten him with a big branch, but now I'm perfectly happy watching his little empire collapse around him. In another five years, he's going to have even less influence in the genre than Kristine Kathryn Rusch or Steve Brown of Science Fiction Eye, and that's what's going to kill him.
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