Welcome to the Dragon's Pen, the blog of an aspiring kiwi author ... chatting about reading, writing, querying and publishing

Monday, October 12, 2009

Shooting Star Stories: A few Words from the Editor

Well, I was wondering what to blog about today when I received a comment on last month's post about Shooting Star Stories (the new childrens publisher) from their editor, the lovely Camilla Jones. So, rather than leave it there, where most of you would be more than likely to miss it, I thought I'd put it up in a post of its own for you all to see.

If after reading Camilla letter you're keen to join me on the growing list of eager writers banging on the door of Shooting Star Stories feel free to contact her.

Here's what she had to say:

Hi Ruth!

A friend sent through an email this morning mentioning she'd seen our company on your blog - so for your sake and those that read your blog I thought I'd get in contact as I'm the Head Editor for Shooting Star Stories.

Basically, yes it's a scary process submitting your work to people you don't know and whenever anyone is wary with us, we fully encourage them to hang fire and send a sample of work when our site is up and running (scheduled for early 2010).

When you're a new company and you have a brilliant idea for delivery (ours is software based) you are wary yourself as a company with regards to protecting your own IP. That's why we don't have a huge amount of info on the internet about the delivery method etc. This will come online closer to our launch date, when we can safeguard against any copy cats.

The company was started by myself (a full-time writer/ex-advertising copywriter) that wanted to sell my own work and found that in reality, I wasn't going to see much return on my effort with a traditional publisher. I started putting the wheels in motion to sell my work online, recruited the help of some good friends who were editors and had worked in the publishing industry, and all of a sudden, friends and family wanted me to help them sell their children's books TOO!

The idea has grown and grown, and we thought, "I bet there are a million authors out there that don't know where to start in the whole process of getting published and want some decent return for their work." So we published an ad on seek and the response has been phenomenal - we receive over 100 submissions a DAY!

So, as you can imagine, we've got a bit of a backlog. What we ARE trying to do though is manage people's expectations with regular email contact as to what stage in the process they're up to and also provide feedback where we can.
In-depth feedback for everyone is unfortunately not possible, but we try to give as much help as we can.

Anyway - just thought I'd send you this so that if any of your readers also are interested, they'll have some info too.

Best of luck with the process and as with all our applications, we'll respond personally to you.

Happy writing and have a great day!

Camilla Jones
Shoooting Star Stories
email me @: editor@shootingstarstories.com


  1. For all of this googling to make vague public posts about the company, nothing more since... as if the idea has been and gone - I don't think they got it off the ground. What a shame.

  2. Thanks for your comment Anonymous.

    As far as I am aware they are still taking submissions. I had a nice rejection from them in late December or early January.

    The email I received implied that they were still in business and busy.

    But yes, there's very little information out there for writers who are interested in being potential clients of Shooting Star Stories(most of it appears to be here).

  3. I was not rejected but have not heard from the editor for several months. I wonder whether the new deals struck with existing publishers for e-readers have caused a rethink by this group.

  4. That's disappointing Anonymous.

    I emailed them a few weeks ago and asked them to please let people know what was going on (one way or the other)and suggested they leave a message to that effect here. But there has been no response thus far.

  5. Since my earlier postings I have put on my detective hat. The suggestion by another contributor that there is no address is wrong. Shooting Star Stories is registered in Queensland as a business name to Camilla Elizabeth Jones. The business address is given as unit 2/3 Crimson Court Miami Qld 4220. Its Registered No is BN21353190. This is all a matter of public record. I would not jump to conclusions. They may have stalled due to the e reader deals with existing publishers, or because of intrinsic difficulties with a website of this nature or for many other reasons, including costings. I am a little surprised that she did not elect to use a company to provide her with some protection against claims. Of course this does not mean that she is a real person, but there is a fair chance that she is and has simply met some delay. Emails to her do not bounce.

  6. "Emails to her don't bounce." That may be true, but they don't get responses either. One simple email to all correspondents would clear things up but there hasn't been one. I agree with annonymous. There has been an absence of openness and honesty from the beginning. She has done everything to earn everybodies' distrust. That's not the behaviour of somebody genuinely setting up a business.

  7. If someone lives near Miami Qld they could knock on the door and see if the SSS address is genuine. If the address is fake, then the matter should be reported in an endeavour to protect our manuscripts. We can all write to that address and see if the mail is returned as 'left address' or 'not known at address'.
    Frankly we are always vulnerable when we submit our manuscripts to any company. We don't know how they select their professional readers. I prefer to think she bit off more than she could chew and is embarrassed to admit it, but then I like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt until I know the facts. Someone is obviously clearing out her email or her box would by now be full.

  8. I am very concerned that nobody seems to have any idea what is happening with the Shooting Star business. We were requested to provide a sample of our work, also CV and Bio. This includes a lot of personal information that could be used to assist identity fraud. This may sound extreme, but I am sure I'm not the only writer who is analytical by nature. It would be great to see these concerns negated by Shooting Star with some information.

  9. From Anonymous to Anonymous. I was dealing directly with the editor. Although I was not rejected, I provided no bio or CV and she didn't ask me for them, although she asked for a few changes to my manuscript. Clearly they were not particularly significant to her. I hope that helps to set your mind at rest on that issue.

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