The AW Amazon Store
Buy books by AWers

 

Welcome to the AbsoluteWrite Water Cooler! Please read The Newbie Guide To Absolute Write

Results 1 to 24 of 24

Thread: [Publisher] Dark Quest Books

  1. #1
    writer/teacher JL_Benet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    206

    [Publisher] Dark Quest Books

    Anyone have any info, comments, concerns about Dark Quest Books?
    http://www.darkquestbooks.com/store/index.html

  2. #2
    haz a shiny new book cover Christine N.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Where the Wild Things Are
    Posts
    7,705
    They are a small press. Or a micro-press, if you like that better. I know the owner, and in fact am managing his slush pile for him at the moment. Speculative fiction only. Everything you expect with such an outfit - meaning don't expect bookstore placement.

    They are honest and not out to take anyone's money. Neal has been building this for awhile, and it came out of his RPG company.

    Before we get into debates on distribution, etc...

    This is a POD house, meaning they use digital printing for books. AFAIK, they don't have a distributor. Also AFAIK, they give a standard discount to booksellers and books are fully returnable. I've seen their product. Decent cover artists, good quality printing, very nice to hold. Don't expect huge sales, but they are nice people to work with.

    If you can live with all that comes along with such a publisher, they may be a good place for you to submit. If you really, really can't live without an advance and bookstore placement and everything that comes with a bigger publisher, then probably not. I say this to everyone who has issues with publishers like DQB. It's a matter of perspective. They don't sell books to their own authors, strive to sell to readers. They have editors and proofreaders and cover artists and all that stuff.

    (not that it's easy to get into a bookstore even if you are with a big publisher - I have two friends published with major presses, recently released, and neither book was in my local store. One of those authors had to go into their own local store and convince them to order the book! Being published with the Big Six does not automatically translate to shelf space. However, you do have a much better chance )
    Christine

    Young Adult Fantasy Author

    A CURSE OF ASH AND IRON: Coming Spring 2015 from Curiosity Quills Press

    "The Watchmaker's Ball" (short story), to be included in BEWARE THE LITTLE WHITE RABBIT (anthology), coming April 14 from Leap Books


    Represented by Jordy Albert of Booker Albert Literary

    I tweet

    Young Adult Authors You've Never Heard Of

  3. #3
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Coastal Desert
    Posts
    13,061
    Yet another POD house grown out of a self-publishing concern, but they're honest about it.

    Site's got some serious nav glitches, though.
    ICAO
    ---------
    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

  4. #4
    haz a shiny new book cover Christine N.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Where the Wild Things Are
    Posts
    7,705
    Yeah, I always have problems with the drop down menus. I keep forgetting to tell Neal about that.
    Christine

    Young Adult Fantasy Author

    A CURSE OF ASH AND IRON: Coming Spring 2015 from Curiosity Quills Press

    "The Watchmaker's Ball" (short story), to be included in BEWARE THE LITTLE WHITE RABBIT (anthology), coming April 14 from Leap Books


    Represented by Jordy Albert of Booker Albert Literary

    I tweet

    Young Adult Authors You've Never Heard Of

  5. #5
    been around a while Daddyo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Deep In The Heart of Texas
    Posts
    436
    I think that if a print on demand small publisher has a strong editorial staff, is selective towards quality submissions, and produces a handsome product, then they definitely offer a viable alternative to the big boys (or girls). Some of these publishers are remarkably hard working, honest people who are in it for more than just trying to make a buck--they are true believers. I corresponded with quite a few authors who are quite happy with these folks. They just have to roll up their sleeves and tote more of the promotional load.

  6. #6
    haz a shiny new book cover Christine N.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Where the Wild Things Are
    Posts
    7,705
    Exactly. You just have to understand exactly what's going to happen, and then decide if it's all right for you and your work.

    Some believe it's easier to get in at one of these little guys. Not the case with any of the micropresses I've worked with. Believe me, DQB is not a publisher that takes everything - I've sent out plenty of rejection letters. In fact, very few of the submissions that come get requests for pages. Out of 50 some subs, our readers requested 2 full manuscripts.
    Christine

    Young Adult Fantasy Author

    A CURSE OF ASH AND IRON: Coming Spring 2015 from Curiosity Quills Press

    "The Watchmaker's Ball" (short story), to be included in BEWARE THE LITTLE WHITE RABBIT (anthology), coming April 14 from Leap Books


    Represented by Jordy Albert of Booker Albert Literary

    I tweet

    Young Adult Authors You've Never Heard Of

  7. #7
    been around a while Daddyo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Deep In The Heart of Texas
    Posts
    436
    Yes, Christine, it seems that the quality small PoD publishers have to fight to overcome the stigma that they'll print anything and everything--with very little editing involved.

  8. #8
    writer/teacher JL_Benet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    206
    One of the Senior Editors, William Horner, is also the Editor in Chief of Fantasist Enterprises.
    http://www.fantasistent.com/about.html
    I know Mr. Horner from grad school at Seton Hill University. From my experiences, he seems like a great guy who knows well the issues which face micro-presses and knows how to work with and around these limitations.

    One of the other editors, Paul Barnett, appears to be pretty experienced in the realm of video game writing and designing.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Ba...game_designer)

    Joanna G. Hurley's resume can be found here:
    http://www.illuminated-editing.com/J...ley_Resume.pdf

    Neal Levin is the Acquisitions Editor. More info on him can be found here:
    http://www.neallevin.com/
    http://www.pen-paper.net/rpgdb.php?o...creatorid=5233
    http://www.linkedin.com/pub/neal-levin/15/415/36a
    http://www.poetryfoundation.org/arch...html?id=176557
    http://dqg-neal.livejournal.com/
    http://neallevin.wordpress.com/about/
    Last edited by JL_Benet; 07-14-2010 at 10:52 PM. Reason: add info for other editors

  9. #9
    Banned
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Somewhere between sanity and barking mad
    Posts
    1,622
    The concern I always have with any POD is money. It sounds as though Dark Quest has nice editing and cover design, but how are they going to stay in business without distribution - which, hopefully, equals sales? I've seen many promising PODs go out of business over the years because they can't get enough sales to remain in business. Accepting returns is mandatory these days, but it's a money pit that have killed many publishers - POD and mainstream.

    If an author is going to put their faith in a POD (or any publisher), they need to feel certain they're going to be around years from now because it's hard to sell a previously published book. A company whose books aren't getting store placement has a big hurdle to climb.

    They need to provide assurances they can get the job done.
    Last edited by priceless1; 07-15-2010 at 07:29 AM.

  10. #10
    been around a while Daddyo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Deep In The Heart of Texas
    Posts
    436
    Yeah, Priceless, it seems that lack of distribution to brick and mortar bookstores marks the biggest snag for POD publishers. Even with those distribution channels, the small publisher then has to hope that their distributor stays in business and doesn't leave them hanging out to dry.

  11. #11
    haz a shiny new book cover Christine N.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Where the Wild Things Are
    Posts
    7,705
    I have no idea how they do it, since I'm not privvy to such things. Yes, some POD's go out of business. Epublishers too - one I know didn't even make it to its first release before going belly up.

    I have contracts with two micro presses that are over 5 years old and show no signs of stopping. They pay on time and pay decent royalties. It's not a guarantee, but you should look at the track record of anyone you submit to. DQB is new, but not right out of the box new. They've been publishing gaming manual for years and just recently added books, true. But they are growing and things are working. *shrug*
    Christine

    Young Adult Fantasy Author

    A CURSE OF ASH AND IRON: Coming Spring 2015 from Curiosity Quills Press

    "The Watchmaker's Ball" (short story), to be included in BEWARE THE LITTLE WHITE RABBIT (anthology), coming April 14 from Leap Books


    Represented by Jordy Albert of Booker Albert Literary

    I tweet

    Young Adult Authors You've Never Heard Of

  12. #12
    Banned
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Somewhere between sanity and barking mad
    Posts
    1,622
    Quote Originally Posted by Daddyo View Post
    Yeah, Priceless, it seems that lack of distribution to brick and mortar bookstores marks the biggest snag for POD publishers. Even with those distribution channels, the small publisher then has to hope that their distributor stays in business and doesn't leave them hanging out to dry.
    True enough. However, a publisher can always get a new distributor. It's a royal pain, but it can be done.

  13. #13
    Dark Lord
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    111
    I just received a request for a full from them, so it appears I made it past the initial slush. Seems they might be pretty backed up at the moment though, as there there has been about 1 - 2 months between each of their replies (initial query and chapters + synopsis).

    I haven't found any negatives about them and honestly, I'm fine with a small press. I'm not really looking for fame or fortune, but at the same time I feel my book is compelling enough to sell as well.

  14. #14
    practical experience, FTW Matthew Warner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Staunton, VA
    Posts
    209
    Quote Originally Posted by JL_Benet View Post
    Neal Levin is the Acquisitions Editor. More info on him can be found here:
    http://www.neallevin.com/
    Are you sure that first link is for the same Neal Levin? The neallevin.com one is a cartoonist in Michigan. The Dark Quest editor is in New Jersey.

  15. #15
    I checked the web site just curious about their potential interest in science fiction and found one thing odd about the books. They show four science fiction books. In the caption and cover, one gives the author name (by X) and the other three give the caption/credit to "Edited by X." That's a bit odd to me.

    FWIW, I recently had a blog post related to the general topic of price comparison - small press vs. large and the main place small presses can compete are in E-books. Note at the end a link to Harper Collins who recently shut down their E-bookstore.

    http://writersinprogresswip.blogspot...ntage-and.html
    Trying to get back into the game.

    http://writersinprogresswip.blogspot.com/

  16. #16
    Fear no darkness. Ulee_Lhea's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Shadow of the Rockies
    Posts
    325

    Editing concerns

    Here is a cover blurb from a 2011 Dark Quest book on Amazon.

    The cover copy is ... troubling. It's riddled with grammatical errors and basic writing mistakes.

    I don't mean to pick on the authors. The stories within might very well be amazing.

    Just thinking that for those considering submission to Dark Quest in the future, the editorial does not inspire confidence.
    Last edited by Ulee_Lhea; 03-25-2011 at 06:38 PM. Reason: Linked to more permanent source




  17. #17
    Horror Man seun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    uk
    Posts
    9,714
    For anyone thinking of subbing to Dark Quest, I have a story.

    Last year, I sent the first few chapters of my ms; they asked for another few, then the full which I sent in November. I was told they had another couple of books to read before mine but they'd get back to me. At the beginning of Feb, I received an email with a contract attached. The email came from Neil Levin who said they hadn't had a reply to their offer so he was checking to see if I'd received it. I hadn't. The last I'd heard was the 'we'll get back to you' in November.

    Never having seen a contract before, I asked a fellow AW'er to go over it which she did and pointed out a number of issues with it. For example, clause two went from section C to F. No sign of D and E. The reversion of rights and copyright issues were very vague. I replied to DQ and asked if we could go over these issues. No reply. I sent a reminder a couple of weeks later. Nothing.

    This morning, I emailed Mr Levin to withdraw my ms. I know how slowly this business moves, but to not get anything in the way of reply doesn't fill me with confidence. If they aren't willing to even talk about the contract let alone rectify it, well, they're not the publishers for me and I'm obviously not the writer for them.

  18. #18
    haz a shiny new book cover Christine N.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Where the Wild Things Are
    Posts
    7,705
    I will tell you that Neal was recently ill. And that sometimes things do fall through the spam filter (because he's found queries in there and who knows how they got there.)

    He should have gotten back to you about that, but not being sure of the exact timing, I know he was on vacation late last year, and then recently sick, so perhaps you just missed each other.

    I'm sorry you withdrew your ms., but you have to do what you feel is right for you and your story.
    Christine

    Young Adult Fantasy Author

    A CURSE OF ASH AND IRON: Coming Spring 2015 from Curiosity Quills Press

    "The Watchmaker's Ball" (short story), to be included in BEWARE THE LITTLE WHITE RABBIT (anthology), coming April 14 from Leap Books


    Represented by Jordy Albert of Booker Albert Literary

    I tweet

    Young Adult Authors You've Never Heard Of

  19. #19
    Horror Man seun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    uk
    Posts
    9,714
    Christine, sorry to hear Mr Levin has been ill, but as you say, I have to do what's right for my work.

  20. #20
    haz a shiny new book cover Christine N.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Where the Wild Things Are
    Posts
    7,705
    Oh, absolutely, and I hope you find the perfect home for it!
    Christine

    Young Adult Fantasy Author

    A CURSE OF ASH AND IRON: Coming Spring 2015 from Curiosity Quills Press

    "The Watchmaker's Ball" (short story), to be included in BEWARE THE LITTLE WHITE RABBIT (anthology), coming April 14 from Leap Books


    Represented by Jordy Albert of Booker Albert Literary

    I tweet

    Young Adult Authors You've Never Heard Of

  21. #21
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    In a van down by the river
    Posts
    13,508
    Just received a request for 3 chapters from an H. MacNeal. Found the request in my spam box, of all places and I'm glad I went through it before deleting the entire thing.

    We'll see what we see here. Eyes wide open on this one.

    Tri

  22. #22
    practical experience, FTW MicheleLee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    208
    I had a story in the anthology Dark Futures and while the contract said I would be paid within 30 days of publication (which was Oct/Nov of 2010) I have sent repeated emails and the editor has sent repeated emails to the publisher and I still haven't been paid. It took me four months to get my comp copies (also contracted to be within 30 days) and in the end the editor gave me one out of his own pocket (and has also offered to pay me himself, but it's not his responsibility).

    Since March my emails have gone unanswered. I know I'm not alone either as several other involved people never got paid, had to fight for payment or are missing payment from other anthologies. I'd avoid this publisher for now.
    My Webpage
    Monster Librarian YA Editor

    Coming soon~~>Wolf Heart-Where the wild things are...

    Deepdale Acres Romances #1 & #2<~~Now Available

  23. #23
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    1
    Agreed. Apparently, they only pay with excuses. I did some research online and turns out many of their authors are waiting months, and years for: emails, payments, contracts, and their writing to be published. P&E says to avoid them. I wish I had.

  24. #24
    Banned
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Somewhere between sanity and barking mad
    Posts
    1,622
    This goes back to my earlier comment in this thread about financing. Because PoDs don't have distribution, they rarely make enough money to keep the lights on and end up going out of business, or not paying their authors.

    It's a nice idea...small press trying to do right for authors, but it's a business model designed to fail unless they choose authors who are willing to buy their own books and sell like crazy. There simply isn't any other way for them to make money. And it's always the author who ends up eating it.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Custom Search