This is an honest unpaid review of an uprising book publisher that caught my attention lately. Austin Macauley Publishers, a publishing company found in 2006 who has its offices in London, Cambridge, New York, Sharjah and they are also opening another office in Sydney.
Why write about Austin Macaulay Publishers
Before becoming a mom, I use to read a little more than I do know, and finishing one book per week during my commute times and bedtimes was the norm. I read all the time while on my maternity leave and finished two books a week. Interestingly, I promised my self once the baby is born I will buy him two books every month. I failed so badly at that, my saving grace is the total three books I received on my baby shower (have written a review on all three). The friend that gifted those three books (I don’t know what were her merits though) picked two books from Austin Macauley Publisher and one from another publisher called Little Bee. Ok, So, it happened that I read a couple of self-help books and motivational book from this very publishing company named Austin Macaulay Publishers.
For this reason, the name stuck in mind and when a friend asked for recommending a small publisher who will take her I thought of Austin Macauley Publishers automatically. They have some good children books and self-help books, don’t they? But before recommending to her I decided to do my research, and that’s where things got interesting …
Online reviews of Austin Macauley Publishers
Although I have had some decent books from Austin Macauley Publisher sitting on my bookshelf (and I am sure one is under my bed somewhere, and one I forgot at my doctor’s office – never got it back or finished it even), online reviews said otherwise. From (my own) reader’s perspective books were good quality but online reviews from the author’s point of view were mixed. While their own website and social media displayed happy authors, other places others were even called scammers. However, I found it hard to believe that scammers could function under the same name for so long and still grow into a company functioning worldwide with head offices in four major countries. So I decided to dig even deeper.
Austin Macauley Publishers has a YouTube channel of their own but there are other mentions of them on Youtube. There is one author (who use to self publish) C T Mitchell who said he has received a traditional contract form Austin Macauley Publishers (which by the way no scammer offers), and copy of the contract earned him a membership in The Crime Writer’s Association. The guy was really excited about it. The other YouTube channel named book reviews and more shared author Tim Wotton was awarded People’s Book award.
What Austin Macauley Does:
- They offer both traditional and contributory contracts
- They offer a chance to first-time authors
- They offer editorial services (I have read their books; I can tell that)
- They leave intellectual rights for the author (mentioned at the preface pages of books)
- They market books in a decent way (go through news and events of their website)
- Expanding and growing around the world (opening more and more offices in different countries)
What Austin Macauley Does not do:
- They Do Not take author’s money and vanish into thin air (obviously been around since 2006)
- Do not produce low-quality books
- Do not trick authors in giving more money later or giving up intellectual rights
- Do not waste energy in defaming the competitors
- Do not lie about being a traditional publishers
Let’s be honest and realistic, my friend is not a celebrity like Amy Fisher or Michelle Obama that her book will sell out just because of her name. She is the mother of a teenager, who has made time for writing first time after her college years. Provided she use to write for college magazine in her youth and wrote an article here and there between switching jobs, but that’s it! I haven’t read her manuscript, but what are the odds it will be next ‘Jurassic Park’ or ‘Harry Potter’. She has had collected her share of rejection letter by traditional publishers and that’s the reason she asked me about ‘small publishers’.
I will stand by my word and genuinely feel that Austin Macauley Publishers is doing a pretty decent job is seen as a small scale publisher who works to provide a chance to budding authors. They do a decent job at marketing if you do not compare them to big names like Penguin Random House, Harper Collins and Simon & Schuster. And they are not even claiming to be one of them for Heaven’s Sake!
Okaaay, they are not traditional publishers. It says on their website. They are very honest about being a hybrid publisher. Austin Macauley Publishers does offer traditional contracts but not that often. Sometimes or maybe in most cases, they ask the author to contribute money towards the book. But it’s business! If the book is not of merit and they feel like may not sell well, they will not offer a traditional contract! No one will! That’s simple.
However, there is a huge population of authors who can do well with a bit of grooming, but the most traditional publisher will not even touch their manuscript because they do not have a ‘merit’ as per ‘standards of traditional publishing company’. J. K. Rowling is one of such authors who was rejected a dozen times! Heaps of talented authors are rejected this way many of them never receiving an acceptance letter.
Also, do you know how picky the mainstream traditional publishers are? How many manuscripts a standard publisher rejects every month. Do you have any idea how many authors go to the route of self-publication after such rejections? And many of these authors could have done so much better if they have acquired services of a professional publisher who would have offered better marketing services.
So if someone is willing to offer the beginners a chance to compete in the market with professional marketing services, I think it’s great. To ask for a payment or contribution to such services is reasonable in my very humble opinion. If they are providing their authors with good marketing services and letting them keep the rights to intellectual property, which they do, I think it’s a fair deal. But of course, what do I know I am just a blogger writing things from home.
Final Word for Austin Macauley Publishers
I honestly thought that the negative reviews were implanted by competitors and rejects of the Austin Macauley Publishers. So I decided to tell my friend to send her manuscript to Austin Macauley Publishers, with the worst-case scenario, they will try to trick her in paying them some crazy amount which she can decline and move on to other publishers on her list. She did and surprise! surprise!
She got an answer from them in two weeks. They suggested a few changes to the plot line and agreed to offer her a traditional contract only if she agreed to the suggested changes. Although she was actually offered a traditional contract, the amount they were offering was not enough as per suggested by some authors on YouTube and my dear friend was not ready to make the changes suggested. Although it was totally her choice to make, (she declined their offer and moved on to self-publishing her books) but if I were her I would have taken the offer as a first-time author.