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Thread: Quartet Press

  1. #1

  2. #2
    Cover Me! Lainey Bancroft's Avatar
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    Thanks for the interesting links, Para.

    Quartet certainly has their sh...tuff together better than a lot of 'publishers' who fling up a shiny new webbie outta the clear blue.

    This press is worthy of a one to watch label, and from what I've read on the site, a nice hit of humor accompanies the professionalism.

  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW MickRooney's Avatar
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    From Quartet Press website,

    "Our Mission:
    Publish stories that meet the following quality standards:

    Excellence in storytelling.
    Works that entertain and enrich the lives of our community of readers.
    Works that propel the stature and visibility of Quartet Press.
    Stories that embody what Quartet is all about: passion, authenticity, and originality.
    Works that increase the overall profitability of the Company.
    Our Values:

    A passion for high-quality works of romance (and beyond).
    An atmosphere of participation and cooperation among not only our authors — but also our READERS, and all who make up the bookish community.
    A commitment to the satisfaction of all stakeholders (owners, investors, readers, and authors).
    Uncompromising transparency, honesty and integrity.
    Open, candid, and clear communication.
    A commitment to increasing happiness and profitability through digital publishing of the highest quality books."


    FWIW

    I spent a little time this evening looking at the Quartet Press website. Author's should be aware that in times of recession, numerous new publishers spring up formed by ex-publishing house staff, redundant editors etc. While I certainly don't mean to place Quartet in this 'fly by night' bracket, authors should be tentative about new independent publishers. There are already a few in the pipeline this fall following the digital/ebook/POD business models - notably, Liz Calder's (ex Bloomsbury) boutique-styled Full Circle Editions and Colin Robinson and John Oakes who will soon be launching OR Books. All new publishers for a new 'digital' age.

    I do like Quartet's openness, but looking at the domain name and their website, what struck me was the sense I was browsing a blogsite rather than the corporate home of a new publisher. That of course may change, but its the feeling of liquidity and flexibility that could put both new and established authors off. Whether I am a new author or have built up a long standing in ebooks or print publishing in romance - I'm not sure I'm instilled with confidence in a publisher who gives off the air of a publisher borne of a half hour discussion over four bottles of bud in a NY bar.

    As a writer, I need a little more re-assurance than candid online debate on their 'terms of contract' before I'm going to commit a book to them.

    "Quartet Press is the love child of Kassia Krozser (our not-so-evil editorial genius and renowned proprietress of BookSquare.com); one Kirk Biglione (the techno-wizard behind the Quartet curtain, who in his spare time co-authors the fantastic Medialoper.com); Kat Meyer (Quartet’s Chief Marketeer and the wearied-but-optimistic veteran of more than a few regional, academic and trade book publishers); and the super secretive Mr. X, whose talents are simply too many to mention (don’t worry – you’ll hear more about him soon)."

    I think Kassia and the others are strong in endeavor and experience (can't speak for M. X!) but endeavor and experience also requires significant substance, and this was what I think was fundamentally missing from the website. What actually is their model of digital publishing? What are they offering authors? I suspect, but yes, I am only surmising on what I can go on, that the business publishing model is something similar to Drolliere Press, ebook led, but with the ultimate goal of print publication using POD means.

    Their main genre is romance, but again with a new publisher, I'd tend to allow the business and market dictate where the publisher should explore and develop, though I do note their suggestion that they may expand beyond romantic genres. In honesty, if you look hard enough, you will find some form of romance in many general fiction novels.

    Hey, wadda I know!

    I think for authors this is a case of wait and see, but above all I want Kassia and her publishers to succeed. We desperately need independent publishers at the moment in a world of magnolia publishing corporations!
    Last edited by MickRooney; 08-06-2009 at 05:02 AM.

  4. #4
    Cover Me! Lainey Bancroft's Avatar
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    All true, MickRooney (except, perhaps, for the half hour discussion over four bottles of bud in a NY bar.) I did get the sense there was more to the formation of this press than that.

    Hey, having been burned (am still smoldering, okay, so a little in flames) from a start-up with BIG plans, I'd be among the first to caution against chasing someone else's 'dream' with your hours of painstaking work, but comparatively speaking, these people do seem to have a better grasp of the biz than many.

  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW JanDarby's Avatar
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    The people behind the project are witty and engaging and smart and respectful, which is terribly appealing to writers. BUT, when I look at it from the reader's point of view (and readers, not writers, are their market), I'm just not sure what they're offering the READER that isn't already being offered.

    Given that there are, what, some 100+ new romance genre books (across the whole spectrum of subgenres), maybe more, available as ebooks EVERY SINGLE MONTH, for readers to choose from, and the average reader, even in romance, probably only reads, at most, 20 or 30 of them, why would readers choose Quartet's books over any of the others? The easy answer is that their books are going to be "better" than the others, but that doesnt' really tell me anything, and one person's "better" is another person's wallbanger.

    I also think that they over-estimate the reader's awareness of publishers and willingness to follow specific publishers, as opposed to authors. Before I started writing, I read bucketloads of books, and I had favorite authors and genres, but I couldn't tell you the names of ANY of the publishers. Why would readers of e-books go looking for exclusively epublished books, rather than, say, the electronic version of, say, a Nora Roberts book or their other favorite paper-and-e-published authors?

    JD

  6. #6
    ~writes for Him~ Robin Bayne's Avatar
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    There is an interview with them over at Dear Author.

  7. #7
    practical experience, FTW para's Avatar
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    MickRooney Mr X was revealed as Don Linn formerly of Taunton Press. It's in the Smartbitches article I linked at the top. ETA: http://www.publishersweekly.com/arti...html?rssid=192

    JanDarby I think I read probably on dearauthor that there were 400 new romances published every month, can't remember if that included epublishing.
    ETA linky and it doesn't include epubs: http://dearauthor.com/wordpress/2009...oks-published/

    I agree they are a wait and see as a writer, as a reader I don't see what they are offering that everyone else isn't offering.
    Last edited by para; 08-07-2009 at 02:07 AM.


  8. #8
    Cover Me! Lainey Bancroft's Avatar
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    We...ll, Quartet does appear to be padding the stable with knowledgeable industry professionals:

    http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/...d.php?t=152148

  9. #9
    the world is at my command jennontheisland's Avatar
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    Further commentary from Karen Scott:
    http://karenknowsbest.com/2009/08/18...-open-but-why/

    and Mrs. Giggles:
    http://mrsgiggles00.livejournal.com/...w=64518#t64518

    I tend to agree that they've made great moves in terms of aligning themselves with the Bitches and Dear Author. Add Angela James, a virtual face of epublishing, and they've got writers all a-twitter. They're doing a great job of attracting writers, but I see nothing really to draw readers.

    With no hint of what kind of books are to come on their site, rumours that the first releases will be e-prints of long ago NY releases, and nothing to separate them from most new epublishers (other than NY house experience) I'm waiting and seeing.
    You are more than welcome to take anything I say personally, whether it was intended that way or not.

    Eat This.

  10. #10
    Cover Me! Lainey Bancroft's Avatar
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    Thanks for the fresh links, JennOTI.

    I hadn't heard whispers about the first releases being old NY stuff.

    Will definitely be interesting to wait and see what and who they use to launch the site.

  11. #11
    practical experience, FTW mlhernandez's Avatar
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    I'm still confused as to whether they're paying on net (the way most epubbed writers understand it) or gross or some combination of the two. I've followed Kassia Kroszer's comments on Karen Scott's blog and still have no idea what the heck she's saying. Makes me feel rather lame since I somehow managed to read through my biochem and genetics tomes while at university without ever feeling this lost.

    Can anyone give me a clear answer? Do they pay on cover price for all sales through their website and then pay on the net receipts from third party distributors? Or net receipts on all their sales?

  12. #12
    practical experience, FTW
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlhernandez View Post
    I'm still confused as to whether they're paying on net (the way most epubbed writers understand it) or gross or some combination of the two. I've followed Kassia Kroszer's comments on Karen Scott's blog and still have no idea what the heck she's saying. Makes me feel rather lame since I somehow managed to read through my biochem and genetics tomes while at university without ever feeling this lost.

    Can anyone give me a clear answer? Do they pay on cover price for all sales through their website and then pay on the net receipts from third party distributors? Or net receipts on all their sales?
    The way I'm understanding it (which might very well be wrong since it is more than a little foggy) is they pay on gross on their site and gross minus etailer fees for offsite sales like FW or ARe. I think. I wonder what happens if they have a sale on their site like many epubs do from time to time.

  13. #13
    the world is at my command jennontheisland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fae Sutherland View Post
    The way I'm understanding it (which might very well be wrong since it is more than a little foggy) is they pay on gross on their site and gross minus etailer fees for offsite sales like FW or ARe. I think. I wonder what happens if they have a sale on their site like many epubs do from time to time.
    This is what I've come to understand from reading the explanations as well.

    Sale price minus fees = net.

    Sales from their site have 0% fees. So, if your book sells for $5.00, $5.00 - 0% = $5.00. This is a net amount.

    (yup, it's the same as gross, but since we did the calculation, it's called net. Isn't math fun.)
    You are more than welcome to take anything I say personally, whether it was intended that way or not.

    Eat This.

  14. #14
    practical experience, FTW mlhernandez's Avatar
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    OK. That makes sense. I think they'd be better served to use terms as most in the epubbing world understand them and not go into these long-winded explanations of accounting practices when we're essentially talking about the same thing. I get seriously twitchy when I see "net." Other authors I've spoken to feel the same way.

  15. #15
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Indeed. It may just depend on how you define the words. but it pays to conform to how the words are used by the group you are talking to.
    Emily Veinglory

  16. #16
    So many ideas, never enough time. michael_b's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jennontheisland View Post
    This is what I've come to understand from reading the explanations as well.

    Sale price minus fees = net.

    Sales from their site have 0% fees. So, if your book sells for $5.00, $5.00 - 0% = $5.00. This is a net amount.

    (yup, it's the same as gross, but since we did the calculation, it's called net. Isn't math fun.)
    Actually there are fees involved even from a publisher's website because they have to have some type of merchant account. Even if it's Paypal the merchant service takes a small fee, usually based on a percentage of the total sale.
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  17. #17
    the world is at my command jennontheisland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael_b View Post
    Actually there are fees involved even from a publisher's website because they have to have some type of merchant account. Even if it's Paypal the merchant service takes a small fee, usually based on a percentage of the total sale.
    Agreed. That is one of the things about their definition that concerns me.

    So far, they've insisted that 'net' from the publisher site will be the same as 'gross,' but the wording leaves that open for them to change in the future.
    You are more than welcome to take anything I say personally, whether it was intended that way or not.

    Eat This.

  18. #18
    haz a shiny new book cover Christine N.'s Avatar
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    I have one publisher that pays on "Gross Receipts". So they pay on what they get from the seller, NOT the cover price. Basically net.

    Many small presses pay this way, instead of on cover price. It's become the new norm, unfortunately.
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  19. #19
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Well, pretty much all epublishers half the royalties they pay in distributed copies, to acount for the 50% cut to the distibutor. But is this is the only exception from gross it is generally specified in the contract as the sole exception rather than venturing into the gray area of net.
    Emily Veinglory

  20. #20
    practical experience, FTW para's Avatar
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    Discussion on Mrs Giggles blog
    Discussion on Karen Scott's blog
    Staff from the press have replied to points on both these discussions

    Quartet Press is seeking editors
    Quartet Press contract editorial positions

    Itís that time!

    Quartet Press is currently seeking contractors for our content editor and copy editor positions.

    At this time we are searching for individuals with editorial skills interested in working on one to four releases a month as an editor in all genres of romance, womenís fiction, YA, science fiction, fantasy and urban fantasy. Preference for both positions is given to non-authors or to writers not actively seeking publication/pursuing a career in writing, but authors will be considered as well. We are especially seeking editors with interest in working with non-erotic genres such as romantic suspense, historical romance and fantasy, though editors will be asked to acquire and edit across the romance and fantasy genres.

    Duties include but are not limited to reading and responding to submissions, contracting books, editing and finalizing manuscripts, communicating with authors, final line editors, other content editors and Quartet press partners about various things such as cover art, excerpts, blurbs, promotion and more. Training and ongoing support will be provided to editorial staff at Quartet Press.

    Content editorsí compensation is per word as well as royalty-based pay on ebooks and print books. Residuals are paid quarterly on all of an editorís backlist. Copy editorsí compensation is per word. Per word compensation for both content editors and copy editors is paid immediately upon receipt of an invoice and completed manuscript.

    Interested applicants should email Angela James at jobs@quartetpress.com with an email containing pertinent experience and qualifications, as well as specifying which position you are applying for.

    *permission to forward granted*


  21. #21
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    Just announced: Quartet Press is shutting down.

    http://quartetpress.com/blog/about-q...ish-community/
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  22. #22
    practical experience, FTW para's Avatar
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    To Our Friends in the Bookish Community

    Written by Kat Meyer

    For a variety of reasons large and small, Quartet Press has decided to discontinue operations. Sometimes, even with the best of intentions, a hard-working team, and the support of the community, things just don’t work out. This is one of those times. It’s disappointing to all of us, but it’s reality and we will all move on.

    We are truly grateful to all of you who have wished us well.Your support and enthusiasm for our venture was humbling, and we hope you will not see our company’s disbanding as an indication that any of us doubt the viability of digital publishing. Far to the contrary — if nothing else, we have learned that the future of digital publishing, while overwhelmingly complex, will be bright indeed, and we will each be working toward that bright future via our individual efforts.
    WTH?


  23. #23
    Peter Steele <3 ChrisKelly331's Avatar
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    wow! I am very surprised it seemed like they were running a very tight ship.

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  24. #24
    This is probably the most left-field announcement I've ever seen out of publishing. What in the world happened? There are already shockwaves spreading through the digital publishing community - and poor Angela James. Man. That has to hurt so much.

    I'll be watching here and hoping someone has more on this. It's just nuts.

  25. #25
    Bemused Girl nkkingston's Avatar
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    They honestly didn't look too good to be true; with the experience at the helm and the pull of Angela James on new authors it really looked like it was going somewhere.

    At the very least, it'd be a lesson in start-ups to know what the heck went wrong!

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