If you go online and read reviews about Olympia Publishers, you will see many authors dissuading their fellow writers from transacting with the publisher. Some even labeled Olympia as a vanity press. But if you search on Amazon, you will find numerous books listed there that have Olympia marked as their publisher.
So, is Olympia a legitimate publishing outfit, or are the myriad of complaints correct? Is it just trying to scam authors out of their hard-earned money? In this article, we will go through everything you need to know about Olympia Publishers so that you can decide whether to work with them or not.
What is Olympia Publishers?
Authors trying to find information about Olympia may be getting very little information about this company. The main problem is that its name is often associated with other publishers such as Olympia Press or is written as Olympia Publishing. Another is because authors provide mixed reviews about this company.
Olympia Publishers is an independent publishing company that works with authors from all over the world and covers all genres of literature.
The company handles every task an author would require to get a book out and bought. This includes posting book trailers, working with their distribution network, and even managing book launches worldwide.
The company claims to work hand in hand with authors to give their work the best start. Olympia Publishers doesn’t just deal with printed materials. They also publish ebooks and audiobooks to address every reader’s content needs.
How To Contact Olympia Publishers
The company has been in existence for over a decade and is currently based in London.
2 Talis Street,
They also have locations in the US and India.
You can contact the London office through the landline number
+44 (0)203 719 5833.
However, if you are an author that is looking to submit your work, the company’s website has a “Submit Online” button that leads to a form where you can fill in the details of your book, including the title, genre, and word count.
You can attach a PDF or Word document copy of your completed manuscript and a synopsis using this form too. While submitting manuscripts to publishers is no longer practiced by numerous companies, authors in various forums attest that this is still a safe practice. If you are worried about your work being stolen, this should ease that.
Is Olympia Publishers a legitimate publishing company?
As far as many authors are concerned, Olympia Publishers are indeed a legitimate company. If you go to the Amazon UK website and search for this publisher, you will find over a dozen books available. Granted, none of the titles can be considered best-sellers, the fact that the company has listed books can be proof of its legitimacy.
Now, the problem arises when you look at the reviews and entries on forums regarding what the publisher offers authors. The main concern of many who post is that Olympia Publishers accept their submissions, but then it asks the authors to pay a contribution fee £2000 to be granted a contract.
If you ask experienced authors, they would say that you writers should not shell out anything to get their books published. That initial capital should be shouldered by the publishing house. Olympia explains its side by stating that what they are offering some authors is a hybrid contract.
What is a hybrid contract from Olympia Publishers?
According to Olympia Publishers, all the manuscripts that are submitted to the company are considered for what they call a traditional contract. What this means is that if the publisher deems the work to be financially viable, the company will offer to publish and market the book at no cost to the author.
However, if the publisher deems that the manuscript has some potential but is unsure of how it is going to be received by the readers, it offers the author a hybrid contract.
In this scenario, Olympia offers to publish the book, but the author is expected to pay a contribution. This amount will cover the fees for the initial production of the work.
The hybrid, or partnership contract, is what many warn their fellow authors against. These authors view this practice as a way to hide the fact that the company is a vanity press. As many claimed, paying the contribution fee makes the transaction self-publishing. And many self-publishing platforms can do that for free.
What are vanity press publishers?
Some authors and publishers look at vanity publishing as a scam to lure aspiring authors who are desperate to get their books published. Vanity press refers to publishers who charge their authors for their publishing service. It is opposite to what happens with traditional publishing.
Additionally, vanity presses often charge overpriced rates for mostly substandard service. And this often results in poor showing on book retailers. In the end, authors who deal with vanity presses are less likely to make sales because their books are not sale-ready.
Now when you look at how vanity presses operate, you will see some similarities in how Olympia Publishers transact with authors. Let’s say an author finishes his or her manuscript and wants it published. The first step is to send query letters to publishers or send copies of the manuscript to book agents.
Many will attest that authors pitching their work to publishers will most likely receive rejections. If you receive multiple rejections, your hope of getting your book published starts to wane.
All of a sudden, here comes a publisher that expresses interest in your work. Its approach is the same as that of a traditional publisher. Will you question it?
While the experienced author can easily spot a vanity press, most beginners would probably not realize what is happening until they’ve signed the contract.
What if you are told that you have to pay a certain amount to cover production costs like creating a cover design or editing? Most newbies will see this as a necessity to get the book out.
According to one forum comment, an author submitted their manuscript for a children’s book to Olympia Publishers. The publisher told the author that the book needed illustrations, so they started looking for illustrators.
The illustrators, in turn, warned them not to trasncat with the publisher as is it shouldn’t be the authors job to handle that.
This anonymous poster then went back and asked the Olympia staff about it. They were told that to get the book illustrated, the author has to pay the company for the service. Many replied that this is not the regular practice in getting a book published, whether it’s a children’s book or not. That is why the auhotr chose to find a different publisher.
How to Identify Vanity Press Publishers?
If you are an aspiring author and are new to publishing, it may be a little difficult to discern between a traditional publisher and a vanity press. In some situations, it can be like Olympia which offers some traditional contracts like a regular publishing company and some hybrid contracts like a vanity press.
The first thing to watch out for is upfront fees. If the publishing company is asking you to shoulder part of the production, does it automatically mean that it is a vanity press?
Not necessarily. There are indeed some hybrid publishers that do this. What you need to watch out for are companies that charge exorbitant fees.
Remember that a traditional publisher will pay you to get your book out and not the other way around. Check also if the publishing company also are asking to take a cut from the sales of your work. This is another red flag if you’ve already shouldered the cost of production.
Another thing to check is the services promised by the publisher. If the company is asking you to pay for services like editing, a reading fee, illustrating, layout, or uploading your work on ebook retailing platforms, it is best not to pursue a contract with it.
You also need to be wary of publishers who promise you access to major stores and ebook retailers. Most of the time, the most vanity presses can offer is for your book to be included in a catalog from those establishments.
What this means is that stores can order your books, not physically carry them.
As an inexperienced author that wants to get published, you need to be able to discern between a legitimate publisher and a vanity press.
Besides that, it might be helpful to note that the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America have tagged Olympia Publishers as a problematic company for receiving too many complaints.
So, is Olympia Publishers a legitimate publisher? The answer points to yes. They do have some books under their belt, and that can be proven by doing a quick search on Amazon.
Are they at least good at promoting these books? Not so much, given that none of the books are doing so well in terms of sales and ranking, according to one blog.
Is it a vanity press? Many authors claim it to be since it has practices that resemble how vanity presses operate. They may offer some authors traditional contracts, but for many who submit their manuscripts, they offer hybrid contracts that require several thousand dollars as author contribution.
So, in the end, it is still up to you to decide whether you are willing to take a risk and have your work published by this publishing company. It is also up to you if you are willing to pay the contribution amount that it asks for.