8 May 2014

Dear Non-US Authors: Why You Should be Aware of Partridge's Expansion to Singapore and Africa

From Writer Beware:
Author Solutions Inc. Expands "Partridge" Brand to Singapore and Africa
On April 30, Author Solutions Inc. (currently the subject of a class action lawsuit by authors who allege, among other things, breach of contract and unjust enrichment) announced expansion of its Partridge brand to South Africa and surrounding nations with Partridge Africa. 
This follows expansion in March to the Malaysia region with Partridge Singapore. Both new ventures are being launched in "partnership" with Penguin Random House's subsidiaries in those countries, and both--while not promising any crossover--heavily leverage the PRH connection. 
I blogged last year about Partridge India, the first of the Partridge ventures. Since that time, Writer Beware has received complaints from Partridge authors who've had problems with quality and service, similar to those experienced by authors with other ASI brands. Some of those complaints can be seen in the comments on my post.
Link back to Writer Beware.

Dear Non-US Authors
I’m bookmarking this from Writer Beware because it’s a piece of news that hits close to home.

Just a bit about my writing experience: I’m a Singaporean author and have books and a number of short stories with US publishers. I’ve been sending my work to US markets for close to a decade. I keep myself informed about the publishing industry through sites like Writer Beware, Absolute Write and Preditors and Editors.

First time Singaporean authors, or even authors in Asia or Africa where Partridge is planning on doing its expansion may not have access to, or are not aware that these resources exist in the first place.

Doing your legwork and research on potential publishers you want to submit to has become an ingrained habit for most writers. Most, but not all. Unless you live in a place like Singapore where the publishing scene is non-existent and so, access to information is limited.

I say this from a practical and observant perspective and not with any particular malice.

When I say ‘publishing scene’, I mean your book is open to the worldwide market and not restrained to a particular region. I have nothing and have no experience with Author Solutions Inc. or Partridge, but many authors worldwide do.

There would be no long debates, opinions or arguments from me.

The situation with Partridge Singapore may be different from Partridge India or the complaints with Author Solutions (which you can both read at Writer Beware and Absolute Write Forums). 

Yeah, circumstances may be different. 

For all we know, Partridge Singapore will genuinely help budding Asian authors, but it doesn’t hurt to be aware of the background of that specific service/ publisher you’re planning to submit your work to. Know your options.

Before I submit my MS to any publisher, I do my research. It’s not that hard. It’s as easy as typing a ‘[publisher name] complaints’ on Google, doing a quick search on Preditors and Editors and Absolute Write’s Bewares, Recommendations & Background Check. You can do your extensive research such as contacting other authors about their particular experience with so and so publisher later.

For some, this small step doesn’t even cross their mind. To them, the excitement of getting published for the first time, for seeing that door of opportunity opened for the first time trumps everything else.

All that matters is getting their work out there, where the rest of the world can see it. Afterall, Patridge Singapore is launched “in ‘partnership’ with Penguin Random House's subsidiaries in those two countries” according to Writer Beware.

I know the feeling. I’ve been there. When I was new at writing, I was disappointed with the fact that there were seemingly limited opportunities for non-US authors to showcase their work, but there are always other options. Very few Singaporean writers seem to know this though, but not alot. I know a few who've decided to take on the self-publishing route, but very few submit to traditional international publishers. 

The main purpose of this post is simply to inform.

Sometimes its just a matter of remembering two things: 
1) Never drop your guard and 
2) Godammit! Do your research.

Copyright © 2019 Angelique Voisen