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Recommended Publishers & Author Experiences

Posted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:23 pm
by John P. Moore
I believe that this topic will be useful to aspiring new authors. The recent bad experiences that a good friend had with a publisher in the UK point out the need for experienced authors to share their knowledge and provide some pointers to members of the forum who are planning to publish a book. Earlier this year I was disappointed with Fonthill Media in the UK after reading three of their recent publications. One publication suffered from such an extremely poor job of editing that it should never have been published in its current state. The photos in other books had a lower resolution than expected and I could see a noticeable difference when comparing the same photos in a different book published by Helion for the same author back in 2002. Several weeks ago I wrote to the management of Fonthill where I pointed out those deficiencies. In their response, Fonthill replied that there was no business case for making such improvements, even though in their advertising they stress that they publish quality books. Fonthill also pointed out that in the future they would be checking submitted manuscripts more closely before agreeing to publish them.

From what I have learned in recent years it would appear that most publishers do not put forth a great deal of effort when it comes to editing and the author’s skill with PhotoShop will largely determine the quality of the photos that are published. Do other people agree with this?

What terms have been included in your contracts with publishers such as copyrights, deadlines, royalties, right to approve final page layout and text before publication and cover images?

What have been your experiences with self-publishing, especially Lulu?

Thanks for taking the time to provide your input.


Re: Recommended Publishers & Author Experiences

Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:40 am
by panzermahn
Some of the following publishers of military history books which I owned and I really like for their quality (photos, papers, binding), presentation, editing are:

Helion Books (UK)
RZM Publishing (USA)
Tempus Publishing (UK - I believed they were bought by another publisher)
University Press of Kansas (USA - high quality academic studies but don't expect photo books like those from Helion or RZM)
Cambridge University Press (UK - high quality academic studies but don't expect photo books like those from Helion or RZM)
Osprey Publishing (UK - main publisher of multi-series militaria history)
Naval Institute Press (USA)

Just a note from a personal preference standpoint, I usually never like books with dust jackets because they deteriorate over time (especially at the edges or when you did not fit the dustjacket properly to the hard cover).

I like those hardcover books where their cover were directly printed on hard front and rear cover for small size books like how usually Helion did it for books like "For the Homeland" by Rudolf Pencz.

I just recently bought the Norwegian Volunteers of the Waffen SS by Brendan & Natedal and it is a big sized photobook with a thin dustjacket that sometime make it difficult to read the book and hold the dustjacket together without occasionally readjusting to fit into it. I hope Helion in future would considered printing book cover pages on the front and rear cover of the hardbacks.

Though I think for book collectors and history enthusiasts, the authors should consider carefully the quality of the hardback published by the publisher because some books (especially the photobooks) were intended to last long

Re: Recommended Publishers & Author Experiences

Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 5:36 pm
by Annelie

People who like to collect hard cover sought after books will pay more for the books with
dust jackets. I hope the practice continues.

Just a note to give you some help when reading with an Dust Jacket that most people
will remove the jacket will reading.

Re: Recommended Publishers & Author Experiences

Posted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 11:08 pm
by John P. Moore
I agree with Annelie when it comes to dust jacket covers. But I go one step further. For more than 25 years I have encased the paper dust jacket cover in a plastic mylar cover such as one often finds in libraries.