This is on their submission page as of this posting date:
"Is Publishing Right for You ?
By submitting to Silver Leaf Books, you are hoping to have us sign you as an author, publish your books, and provide you with a royalty for the sales of your books. Since the cost associated with the publication process is ours, there is a fairly lengthy application and review for consideration of each and every title that comes in. We look not only for good writing, a good storyline, and a marketable idea, but also for the right author (outlook and persistence).
If you are looking to just publish your book without going through the review process, to maintain 100% control over your project, receive all revenues and not just a royalty, and do it all yourself with some help, then Silver Leaf Books is not for you. However, if this is the model you desire, then we would recommend visiting our sister-company, Creative Strategists for a quote to help your book get in print. Creative Strategists provides you with quality service and a professional product.
If publishing is right for you, please select the appropriate link for submission guidelines..."
There is just something that didn't sound quite right about all that. Is publishing right for me? If it wasn't, I wouldn't be spending hours researching the appropriate markets.
This sounds like it is specifically targeting writers who haven't been in the submitting stage very long. This is targeting writers who really have no clue (yet) that submitting is a marathon and takes time, care, and patience. This is targeting writers who have the unfounded notion that by publishing traditionally, they will lose rights to their work and it will spiral away from them. In other words, it sounds as though they are trying to discourage writers from submitting the traditional route while promoting their self publishing company.
Is it common for a traditional press to own a self-publishing company?
Common? Maybe. There are a number of companies out there who have both but most remain separate for good reason. They have enough sense not to mix one with the other and they keep marketing for one another separated, too, as well it should be. It's understandable in a time of economic downturn to expand on services in order to offset the tremendous cost of traditional publishing. But it is simply bad business to use one to promote the other.
It's really insulting to a writer who is seriously researching markets for their work to come across something like this. Furthermore, it is discouraging to a newer writer, who goes ahead and submits to them, only to have a rejection come back... with an offer to publish under their self-publishing company. If that isn't sketchy, I don't know what is.
It's my advice that you need to be aware of companies such as this. This is no better than a vanity press taking your submission and saying "Congrats! Your story has been selected for upcoming publication! Now all you have to do is buy the anthology it will be published in!" Um, no thanks.
Asking writers to submit while pushing these services onto them might initially seem like a good idea (to them and an inexperienced writer) but in the end, experienced writers will see the shadiness in this.
Here is the Silver Leaf site. For additional reading, here is a thread on Absolute Write Forums about Silver Leaf. In a related topic, I found this article on Suite 101 about the differences between self publishing, vanity, and subsidiary publishing. I get the terms confused myself sometimes so this was a good read for me. Maybe it will be for you, too.
Taking a moment to make a final thought here, I realize that I have a lot of beginners who read my advice. So here's the ultimate advice. If you are going the traditional publishing route, stand firm in that. If any agent or publisher tries to get you to pay for anything, always approach with heavy caution. And don't let these "professionals" tell you that your work isn't up to industry standards and you'd be better off self-publishing at "Insert name of company here". Chances are, they are being paid to refer you and had no interest in ethically representing or publishing your work in the first place. When in doubt, ask on a writer's forum or throw me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peace, happiness, and determination,