Small Beer Press … Horizons!

Sun 22 Nov 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , , | 41 Comments | Posted by: Gavin

Opening up new horizons to all writers is where we are at! We understand that just over the horizon is where dreams are made! We are down with your writerly ambitions! We understand, as we is writers ourselves.

And, so, having no interest in the bottom line, after all we are publishers and everyone in publishing is in it for the art not the money, we are announcing the formation of a new, er, imprint? Vanity press? Bold, New, Shiny, Revolutionary, Don’t Watch Our Hands, Lots of Small Type in the Contract, Type of Publishing:

Easymark Books

We’re not interested in monetizing the slushpile, we’re interested in getting you to pay to publish it for our profit!*

  1. Let us help you get your book out to your real readership: your family and friends.
  2. See you book on bookshelves (if not in bookstores—see #1).
  3. For a mere $599 we will send you 5 copies of your book printed on our state of the art Print on Demand system. (Which sounds just like but isn’t, ok?) It will even have a color picture on the cover—with, and sit down because this is about to get awesome, Your Name Right There On the Cover!
  4. Our premium Marketing Fuss package includes faxes to people who don’t care as well as our ninja street team who will sneak your book into bookstores and, sometimes, even into the right section!
  5. In our super-premium “Booksellers” package—Usually $5 million, Today Only $2 million—we come to your town, open a bookshop, and stock your book. We will throw a launch party and have you do a reading and for a small additional fee we will throw in a couple of bottles of that sparkly Portuguese wine and some cubed cheese (which seem like such a good idea in the grocery store and look so sad on display) in the somewhat forlorn hope that people will come.
  6. Know nothing about publishing? Don’t worry, we’ll treat you right. Remember Yog’s Law and money. Then quickly forget it.

It is all about the dream!Become An Author

* This is an example of an unproofed sentence with a comma splice. If you pay for our Aspirational package (Usually $5,999, for this month only $1,995!) we will proof your book. Your unedited, uncopyedited, and unproofed sentences will become more like this:

We’re not interested in monetizing the slushpile. We’re interested in getting you to pay to publish it for our profit!*

* Or even this: We need to hit up the uninformed and rip them off before anyone else gets the idea.

And if Easymark isn’t for you, how about:

Upchuck Press

Because money, like beer, should always flow toward the writer. Unless we can get you to disgorge some first.

Become An Author


Here are some common questions we thought we’d answer ahead of time:

Is this program for me?


But I think my book could be a bestseller in this program.

It won’t.

Is this a vanity press?


Is this just a way to part the uninformed from their money?


Will my book sell? And if it does, will you publish it for reals?

No. Unless you buy a metric ton of it and sell it out the back of you car at flea markets. Which, as every writer knows, has in fact worked about three times in the last thirty years.

I have a lot of money and I want to write.

Hmm. Oddly enough those two things have nothing to do with one another.

Also, as to the latter: bum on the seat.

I don’t have quite as much money as that last questioner. Will you still publish my book?

Well, we have a super discount program where for $49 we read your manuscript and offer you more services for more money. How about that?

What is an “editorial review”?

One of our unpaid but enthusiastic interns will run spell chekc on your novel and recommend that you cut out most of the adverbs.

How will you publicize my book?

Well, it will be listed on our PaytoPlay website, not emailed to our email list, not mentioned on any of our websites, and not included in anything related to our press.

However, have you ever heard of “blogging”?

What price will my book be?

All our state of the art trade mass market paperback hardcovers are priced to sell at $22.89. You automatically get 5 free copies! (For the price of shipping.) In accordance with our publishing philosophy, author copies can be acquired at 200% of retail price. No royalty is paid on author copies.

Is this “the cynical use of a respected brand to legitimize a business model which has long been associated with predatory tactics, in the guise of inventing a shiny new business model for those brave enough to dream big. And pay through the nose, presumably“?

No! No. Er. Yes.

Will my book be a Small Beer Press book?

Are you daft? Of course not!


41 Responses to “Small Beer Press … Horizons!”

  1. uberVU - social comments on November 22nd, 2009 4:30 pm

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by mhartford: a refreshingly honest vanity press scam (satire via Small Beer Press)

  2. kate r on November 22nd, 2009 6:59 pm

    sign me up, stat.

  3. Flo Fitzpatrick on November 22nd, 2009 7:19 pm

    I’m glad the label was “Small Beer Press”

    If it had been “Supersized Beer Press” most of the brew would have spewed all over my screen and keyboard !

    (Thanks for one great Not a Journal)

  4. Twitted by branflakez on November 22nd, 2009 8:56 pm

    […] This post was Twitted by branflakez […]

  5. Eirin on November 22nd, 2009 9:26 pm

    Lovely. Let me get my check-book. I’ll take two.

    What? You don’t sell beer?

  6. Gavin on November 22nd, 2009 10:09 pm

    Step right up, step right up! Beer, you say? Of course we do! You can sign up for the Joe Sixpack Special for just $2,500 (a month, on your credit card statement it will say Aruba Vacations, please ignore that) or the Cask Level where you buy the whole press!

  7. Polly on November 22nd, 2009 10:11 pm

    LMAO! You should be a writer! Oh, hang on…

  8. deborahb on November 22nd, 2009 10:16 pm

    Q. This sounds like a BRILLIANT idea! Is it?

    A. Thank-you for your enquiry. We have an exciting answer for you — for the low, low fee of $3,500.

  9. Gwenda on November 22nd, 2009 10:27 pm

    How much to be blurbed by Dan Brown?

  10. Bob on November 22nd, 2009 10:40 pm

    OK, so what’s the catch?

  11. Gavin on November 22nd, 2009 10:58 pm

    Dear Bob, thank you for my favorite comment. For Deb’s low, low fee we could tell you.

    Gwenda, once you have signed up for our Bestseller* Program we can let you know.

    * “Bestseller” is defined by SBP … Horizons to mean “in print (on demand).”

  12. Jackie Kessler on November 22nd, 2009 11:02 pm

    Finally, a place where Travis Tea can publish the long-awaited sequel to ATLANTA NIGHTS!

  13. Judy on November 22nd, 2009 11:14 pm

    Wow! You make me so happy!!!! I’ve been in this bizness for years and years and years and years and at last you give ne hoape that their is a future for a good writer like me to make a big splash and earn wat I no I must be worth. Take that, all you meen-minded little etidors who snubbed me. This is gonna show yous all.

  14. TdRamin on November 23rd, 2009 8:19 am

    I’m so stirred by your presentation I’m going to sit down and write a book and send it to you STAT! I can’t believe it’s this easy to be a published author and get on best seller lists and make millions of dollars. Where has my brain been all these years???

  15. David Harmon on November 23rd, 2009 8:32 am

    Just… Glorious. And Eeeevil. 🙂

  16. Maureen McHugh on November 23rd, 2009 10:13 am

    Do you have a program where I can have my book printed in hardback with a little ribbon for marking the place? It’s inspirational poetry.

  17. PussInBoots on November 23rd, 2009 10:42 am

    That sounds perfect for me. My grandma left me $6000 and her memoirs. (And while I wanted to publish them exactly as she wrote them, then I thought: elves.)

  18. Eirin on November 23rd, 2009 11:44 am

    <blockquoteThat sounds perfect for me. My grandma left me $6000 and her memoirs. (And while I wanted to publish them exactly as she wrote them, then I thought: elves.)

    Oddly, I want to read this.

  19. Pari Noskin Taichert on November 23rd, 2009 11:57 am

    Oh, thank you for this. I needed a little humor about the whole HQ idiocy after everything I’ve been reading . . .

    It’s kind of like those predatory loan places: Cash NOW! Debt for the rest of your life!

  20. Holly Black on November 23rd, 2009 1:10 pm

    Finally, a publishing company that’s doing away with those pesky “gatekeepers” who go around squashing dreams!

  21. Christiane France on November 23rd, 2009 1:32 pm

    Wow! If I’d known getting published could be this much fun, and so easy, too, I think I maybe might’ve waited a while.


  22. jane yolen on November 23rd, 2009 4:18 pm

    You can send all the books to me to blurb. I will become a blurb machine. I will turn out blurbs by the dozens. Nay, the hundreds. At $$15,000 a pop, I will never have to write another traditionally published book again in my life.


    P.S> For books I actually like, I could make that $5,000. A veritable steal.

  23. Pat Cadigan on November 23rd, 2009 4:35 pm

    Oh, jeez–this really IS awesome. But because I live in the UK, the difference in currencies means I won’t lose as much money as I would if I were a US mark. Is that OK? Maybe you should charge me more.

    Oh, I don’t care. Fleece me! Fleece me now!

  24. kate r on November 23rd, 2009 4:54 pm

    I think you might consider doing a sliding scale on the blurb trade, Jane Yolen. For a single generic quote, charge maybe 5K (“fresh new voice!”) for actual reference to the author’s work, another 10K. Then you don’t have to take up much time with the reading shtick.

  25. Julia Sullivan on November 23rd, 2009 5:13 pm

    That’ll show all those haters who don’t understand the Brave New World of Publishing!

    Also, Barnum was wrong: at today’s rate of population growth, there’s one born every half-second.

  26. Janet Reid on November 23rd, 2009 5:38 pm

    oh nooo!

    My career goal – rejecting every single great novel – is being thwarted! If all those authors no longer need to query agents to get published, what ever shall I do?

    Oh I know! I’ll publish a novel!

    Professional discount available?

  27. LMAO. Too funny « Trivial Pursuits on November 23rd, 2009 8:15 pm

    […] Wanna know why… go read. See. Enjoy.   […]

  28. Doug Hulick on November 23rd, 2009 10:08 pm

    D’oh! And here I just sent in my contract to a publishing house this week. If only I had known about your offer, I could have saved that $1.90 on postage and put it towards this fantabulous offer instead! I wonder if it’s too late to hunt down the mailman and get my mail back???

  29. Gregory Frost on November 23rd, 2009 10:57 pm

    Yes, you too can become a useful piece of furniture disguised as an ambulatory annoyance. Here for example is an excerpt from a real, honest-to-Baby Jesus piece of fiction suitable for Easymark (courtesy of True Facts):

    “Then it’s hopest,” Dad said. “You mean hopless,” my mother said. “And it’s not hopless!”

    If you can write with this kind of extraordinary ear for dialogue, you, too, can enroll in the Famous Monsters of Filml…er, Easymark Book pkging prgrm.

  30. Gavin on November 24th, 2009 12:06 am

    Maureen, I don’t quite know how to say this to you, but we actually paid you (and more royalties are heading your way!) a couple of years ago to allow us to publish your collection.

    And, if you remember, even funnier, sort of, given your comment, we simultaneously published a beautiful limited edition hardcover, which included a few of your poems.

    And, it had a ribbon.

  31. Gavin on November 24th, 2009 12:07 am

    PussInBoots, meet Eirin; Eirin, PussInBoots.

    Also, $6K is almost enough for our Fantasy Fantas(t)ick program, which for a low fee … etc., etc. …

  32. Gavin on November 24th, 2009 12:08 am

    Squash is nice. Squashed dreams are not nice! We are all about the nice. And the cold hard cash. Which is, of course, why we are in publishing.

  33. Gavin on November 24th, 2009 12:10 am

    Pat, since the exchange rate is basically $1 = 1 pound, just look at those prices as equivalents. We do have a Professional Rate where, if you’ve been published before, we charge you even more just to rub it in.

  34. Gavin on November 24th, 2009 12:11 am

    Psst., Jane, as soon as we line up a few more suckers we’ll send you a check for $15K for the first Harlequin, I mean Small Beer, Horizons title.

  35. Gavin on November 24th, 2009 12:13 am

    Janet, for a mere 50% above our base prices you can get a cool 33% discount. But don’t spread it around, ok?

  36. Jed on November 24th, 2009 3:30 am

    On behalf of gatekeepers everywhere, I demand a retraction! Why, this new imprint will ruin us! It will destroy our livelihoods, not to mention keep us from cackling evilly to ourselves as we think fondly of all the genius writers who we’re preventing from getting published!

    I’m going to call all my gatekeeper friends and we’ll go on strike. That’ll show you! So there!

  37. Jed on November 24th, 2009 3:31 am

    PS: I laughed out loud at this:

    >Is this program for me?

    I want to adopt that as my motto. Useful in all sorts of situations!

  38. What’s HER Problem??! « Polish Athena on November 24th, 2009 10:25 am

    […] Ok, this is just hilarious: Small Beer Press – Horizons! […]

  39. mary kennedy on November 24th, 2009 4:38 pm

    This is hysterical, love this. As George Burns said, “you can fool some of the people some of the time, and usually that’s enough.”

  40. Kelly McClymer's Blog » My, How This Business Has Not Changed — Crunching Numbers on Self/Vanity Publishing on November 26th, 2009 7:44 am

    […] a funnier take, try this take on reading between the lines of Vanity Press hype. It’s almost like you can hear Billy […]

  41. Get the word out-vanity presses, assisted self pub, etc. « Trivial Pursuits on December 13th, 2009 10:46 am

    […] Easymark Books (a humorous look) […]

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