Is this company a part of Curiosity Quills? I haven't found a thread on them and was thinking of submitting to them. Here's their website:
I can't find a lot of outside information on them.
Read books by AWers!
Is this company a part of Curiosity Quills? I haven't found a thread on them and was thinking of submitting to them. Here's their website:
I can't find a lot of outside information on them.
Done. (Split from Malachite Quills Publishing.)
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
Curiosity Quills appears to be a division of Whampa, LLC (whatever that is?). The website is registered to Eugene Teplitsky, a computer scientist who appears to be the co-owner of both Curiosity Quills Press and FX Instructor, a service provider for foreign currency traders. CQP's other co-owner is his wife, Lisa Gus.
I can't find any evidence that Lisa or Eugene have any background or experience in the publishing industry. Unless she's this Lisa Gus, but I don't think so. (Eugene lists himself as living in the Washington DC area, Lisa says she lives in Devon, England, and the website is registered to an address in Delaware, so it's possible CQP is an international company?)
CQP calls itself a collective, which usually means a group of authors who collectively cover the costs and work of publishing their respective books. They seem to be into serialisation of novels.
Woodtop, what about them has made you want to submit to them? Have you read their books? Have you heard anything about their sales figures?
Last edited by Unimportant; 03-23-2012 at 07:07 AM.
I'm bumping this in the hope that someone, somewhere, knows something about Curiosity Quills. Anyone?
* * * *
My website? http://www.anneglynn.com/
Most weeks, I write about writing and romance, and writing romances. Most weeks. You have been warned.
"Curiosity Quills" is a clever name, but nothing on the site (Curiosity Quills Press -- A Collective of Literary Marauders) makes me want to submit to them.
Here's a bit from the page titled The Literary Marauder Manifesto:
Yes, they're using a joke from South Park in what should be a coherent description of an operating plan. It was funny on the cartoon show; not so much here.Originally Posted by Curiosity Quills Press
As far as I can tell, authors don't get paid anything, so I guess it's essentially a display site. I don't have a clear idea of what their "flexible array of quality premium services" are. (I do know that "quality" (when annoyingly used as an adjective) and "premium" are meaningless hype.)
I submitted to this "press" myself after being constantly e-stalked by Lisa Gus, one of the owners, and upon further investigation, decided against it. It was one of the most ludicrous "offers" I have ever received. There were several red flags:
1. Most of the "staff" seems to be made up of their own authors
2. Authors constantly blurb and review for each other; in some cases, the book's only reviews came from the book's "editor" (again another writer) or otherwise interested party
3. They pay no advance whatsoever
4. They don't work with a distributor, and have no physical presence in bookstores of any kind
5. They are not in Ingram's- when I asked, I was told they were "working on it"
6. The contract stated that they base their royalty payments on "net profit" after the press has deducted the costs of marketing, distribution, etc.
7. I was asked to publish my full-length novel as a serial first, for which I would be paid nothing but a percentage of the proceeds from a "donate" button on the site; only after the book had been completely serialized, which could take months, would they publish it as an e-book and eventually a soft cover novel via Lightning Source. They would also keep my novel archived as a serial on the site forever, so who would actually pay for it then?
8. When I objected, they actually suggested funding the publication of my novel through Kickstarter rather than use any of their own funds
9. As of this writing, the press has been in operation less than eight months, and as noted above, neither of the owners has any prior publishing experience
Needless to say, I ran, not walked, to the nearest exit.
Good for you, Bibliophile. Those are some serious red flags, and I'm glad you ran away from them as soon as possible - I would as well. I'm also very glad you took the time to come and tell us about your experience with this press. If a press e-stalks you, that's usually a bad sign from the start.
Visit my website.
Our authors do read each other's books. We're a pretty supportive community. Getting big name reviews on the book is difficult for any first time author, Independently published or Traditional. The only difference with Traditional is a lot of those authors are contractually obligated to make comments on behalf of other author's works. Curiosity Quills does not require that from anyone who writes under our banner. If you see a review, it is because that author felt compelled enough to write it.
We also publish all of our books to NetGalley to obtain reviews as well.
We don't pay advances yet, but we are new and growing. Our house authors can look forward to advances on new works soon.
Curiosity Quills does work with a distributor. We are a part of Ingram, and we have staff members dedicated to contacting and providing stores with physical review copies. We start with bookstores local to our authors and then spread out. This takes time. As you mentioned, we are only ten months old.
We do pay a Net Royalty, like you said, but we do not take out OUR costs. This is similar to many other Independent publishers. So, whatever we receive from Ingram, Amazon, B&N, iTunes, etc, is what we pay the royalty percentage on. However, we pay a significantly higher royalty rate than most traditional and indie publishers to make up the difference.
We don't force any of our authors into serialization. Those who choose this route use it as a promotional tool. They understand they're relatively new and need a fan base, and readers are more likely to check out the author's work if the price speaks to them. We do then simultaneously publish to e-book and print. (The length of time between first serialization post and publishing is dependent upon the length of the novel.)
A lot of our authors like this option, but of course, it's not for everyone.
I can't speak on behalf of the Kickstarter option.
Curiosity Quills has been in operation for ten months or so, and we are growing daily. We've recently added new team members to our editing, proofreading, and illustrations departments.
We have a warm, friendly group of authors who are willing to work together to help achieve a common goal: obtain readers.
I think you ran from a very good thing.
But we each have to do what's best for us. I just hate to see you bashing our name. We are, after all, hoping to achieve the same goals.
My novel, "Blow Up the Roses," is soon the be published by Curiosity Quills and all my dealings with them have been open, fair and transparent. The process of developing cover art was excellent and cooperative. They will publish as ebook, POD and I'm excited about the marketing steps. I have 13 other works self-published on Amazon and Smashwords. I think more ereaders will be looking at houses like CQ because they provide a filter. Your work has to be accepted and they don't accept all submissions. They have never asked me for a cent. My contract gives them the right of first refusal on my next two offerings and I have submitted those works and I hope they accept them. The editor I have been working with lives in England and we have developed a good writer/editor relationship. I have no negatives to report.
KWade, thanks for coming to talk about Curiosity Quills Press. I wish the company well, and hope it can meet its ambitious goals.
You wrote: "The only difference with Traditional is a lot of those authors are contractually obligated to make comments on behalf of other author's works." I'm relatively new to publishing, digital or print, but I've never heard of a publisher demanding its authors to perform as sock-puppets for each other.
I've seen similar promotion efforts evolve out of social media by many authors sharing a press - but the press didn't ask for it as part of contract obligations.
It's been a long time since I posted here, but I thought I'd stick my head in even though my first book isn't published yet.
When Lisa Gus first contacted me about serializing Starbreaker through CQ, I myself was skeptical. The first thing I did was check the SFWA's Writer Beware page to see if they had any dirt on them, but found nothing.
I've been under contract with them for a year, after signing a contract to turn Starbreaker into a series of four books instead of one monstrous book, and Eugene and Lisa have dealt fairly with me. Their contracts come in reasonably plain English, they were very prompt about explaining provisions, and were willing to amend the contract to clarify language when I expressed concerns.
Moreover, they have not asked me for a cent, nor made any demands upon me concerning promoting other CQ authors's work.
Hi Krystal, glad to see a staff member step forward to answer questions. And good to see two of your soon-to-be published authors step forward as well. Feeling passionate about the people we work with is great, and there's a lot of passionate discussion around here. I sincerely wish CQP well, and hope in two year's time (the recommended time to wait and see if a new press goes belly-up or thrives), that you will have reached far beyond your expectations.
My experience with Curiosity Quills Press was not a positive one, and I have a right to express that, as you have a right to present your point of view. No "bashing" intended, merely to carry out the goal of this thread: to point out bewares, recommendations, and background checks. I'm glad you spoke out because, as we both pointed out, the press is new, and maybe there was just a rocky start or something.
You were not on staff when I was dealing with CQP, so I am unclear in what capacity you work with them. Perhaps things have changed. Do you have previous publishing experience? Have you acquired any staff with prior publishing credits to their names? If so, I would love to know in what capacity, and with whom you/they worked. That's an important consideration in deciding on a publisher.
You also mention you work with a distributor. Merely being in Ingram's doesn't mean you have a distributor, nor does having people on your staff trying to get your books in brick-and-mortar stores. Many people new to publishing mistakenly conflate the two. A distributor takes up to 1/3 of profits in exchange for actively marketing your books for you, actually getting them into stores, and usually won't work with small or indie presses; Ingram's has the warehouse/catalog side, and the distributor (sales/publicity) side. Because you belong to one doesn't mean you belong to the other, as this post from Writer Beware points out. Again, CQP has changed since I was first approached, so maybe you have one now? What distributor do you work with again?
Another thing that concerned me about CQ, as I mentioned, was the overly aggressive pursuit of signing me. Lisa Gus not only constantly contacted me via all forms of social media I participate in, she also used my Twitter followers list and my Facebook friends list to cull authors to similarly approach. Many of them contacted me about this, and I had to explain I had no affiliation with CQ. Additionally, it's a good idea to check out CQ's current authors; follow their links and read up. Many of them talk about having been approached by CQ first, on their blogs and elsewhere. A press that approaches authors first is a big red flag. Not that it's always a bad thing, because sometimes authors really are "discovered," but it certainly invites further scrutiny. And when it happens a lot, as it does with CQ's authors, it's a definite red flag. Presses, even a small one, with a lot of sales and success rarely have the time to court authors. Usually it's the other way around. Look at websites for other small presses like Spencer Hill, Entangled, and even Noble- there is a big difference in how CQ's website is set up. There is no in-house store or other means of marketing to readers on the page. Instead, as was already pointed out, it appears to be some kind of display site.
I also never claimed I was told a serial was compulsory. It was strongly suggested, and when I denied that option, was steered towards Kickstarter instead of the company's own funds. I was not asked to pay out any of my own pocket, but for anyone not familiar with Kickstarter, it's a lot like being told to go have a fundraiser to publish your own book.
Additionally, I don't know of any houses that force their writers to blurb other writers in the same press. I'm kind of baffled because I've never heard that before. I would love to see some links or something on that, because if it's true, Writer Beware (and this forum) would be very interested.
Also, I encourage anyone with doubts to contact Writer Beware directly; they do not publicly put anyone on their "thumbs down" list unless they misrepresent themselves, charge fees, or otherwise set out to scam authors in some way. We're talking sins as egregious as PublishAmerica and Tate here, and I am certainly not putting CQ in that category. Victoria and Ann keep records of complaints and inquiries private, so it's possible there's information that's not been made public.
You mention generous royalty rates and forthcoming advances to house authors; do forthcoming advances include new authors too, or only authors already signed with CQP?
But really, the bottom line is about how many books a publisher can sell. I'm certainly not asking for your sales numbers in an open forum, but it is worthwhile to check out their books on Amazon, B&N, and other e-retailers. (We already know CQ does not have a brick-and-mortar presence.) How do they rank? Are they in the 20ks or higher? Is this a trend with most of their books? This can give writers a glimpse into the most important aspect of choosing a publisher: can they sell my book, and can I profit from it? Because no matter how generous the royalty rates are, if your book isn't selling, it's a generous cut of not much.
My novel Happiness: How to Find It is currently being published as a weekly serial by Curiosity Quills Press.
My experience so far has been positive. I pitched Happiness as a serial to CQ. As a newly published author I'm hoping to establish a readership in advance of the publication of my novel Paradise Earth. CQ allows me to expand on my reach, which is important to me, since on my own I had such a small niche to market to. I appreciate the enthusiasm of other CQ authors to help with promotion. No one has ever told me that I had to promote CQ authors, though I'm happy to do so when I can.
My contractual negotiations with CQ have been fair and open. Based on my conversations with other published authors, I believe my contract is comparable to other publishers of the size. While there was no advance, I also didn't have to put out any of my own money. I sincerely appreciate how artist-friendly CQ has been when it comes to editing and design.
What attracted me to CQ initially was their web and social media presence. Frankly their web site is leagues ahead of many comparable publishers. I was also pleased by the covers of their publications, again better than many others. In dealing with them, CQ strikes me as progressive and forward thinking. I realize that a common writer's dream is to be in a bookstore. Honestly it doesn't really bother me that my book is not going to be covered in dust on the shelve of another book chain that is getting ready to be shuttered because the rest of the world has moved online.
As we move forward online, the digital slush-pile is going to be a challenge for authors. I'm happy that CQ is quickly establishing itself as a quality brand and I'm grateful to be associated with them.
Last edited by Anthony Mathenia; 09-12-2012 at 09:05 AM.
Further, it's not hard at all for a first-time author with an established commercial publisher to get big-name blurbs. If you go into a bookshop and pick up debut books, you'll often see big-name blurbs on them. For example, my very first book, published by a mid-size independent publisher, was blurbed by Robin Hobb.
And wow, look. All of a sudden a batch of brand new members who are also Curiousity Quills Press authors appear in defence of the publisher. How many times have we seen this before?
Hi! I'm a new member here. I became a member in order to defend Curiosity Quills. (grin)
No, really. Now that I've gotten that out of the way, I need to explain something.
I don't like e-books. I've never read them. I prefer paper...and yet, I signed with CQ. Why? Because I had this crazy idea to write a story with a mutant MC and tell it as a scrapbook, half graphic novel, half regular novel. Like X-Men meets Pirateology set in high school.
CQ is letting me do this. One after another, the regular publishers rejected me because they couldn't picture the formatting involved.
Eugene at CQ sees it as a challenge. I told him the Pirateology comment. He said "Great! That's pretty much what I'd imagined."
They're taking a risk on me, I'm taking one on them. I figure that works out all right. (grin)
I'll tell you one last thing, though. I've been on this site many times. I've always thought of it as a very reliable resource. I'm disappointed to see the CQ debate going on here. I'm no newbie, I know what I'm doing and I've been doing it for quite a few years now. Being unpublished prior to CQ doesn't mean I'm dumb and prone to making rash decisions, you know? I realize none of you said that, but I'm putting it out there anyway.
Sometimes you have to take a chance. I may have done that with CQ. They've certainly done it with me! I'm here for the ride, and I believe they are too. It's all good. (grin)
Really? I've never in my life been a pot-stirrer and I certainly had no intention of starting now. It's cool, dude. You do your thing, I'll do mine. I just wanted to say what my experience has been so far.
When the authors are running the show there is the potential for a lower quality product - people aren't often as critical of themselves or their friends as they could be, and when the person you are editing is going to be making decisions on your book, a lot of people would be worried about being harsh or truthful about the quality etc.
I'm not saying that's the case here, but it's a potential issue.
This is completely untrue. No author I know, including myself, has EVER been contractually obligated to review anything or provide a quote for anything. Can you tell me where you got this information from?Getting big name reviews on the book is difficult for any first time author, Independently published or Traditional. The only difference with Traditional is a lot of those authors are contractually obligated to make comments on behalf of other author's works.
Paying after taking out costs is what NET is. GROSS is when you pay before taking out your costs etc.We do pay a Net Royalty, like you said, but we do not take out OUR costs.
If you are paying based on the actual amount revieved then this would be paying on gross. If you were paying on the profit made that would be net.This is similar to many other Independent publishers. So, whatever we receive from Ingram, Amazon, B&N, iTunes, etc, is what we pay the royalty percentage on.
I'm slightly concerned that you don't appear to understand very basic business terms here, especially when it comes to money and paying other people - there's a huge difference between net and gross.
Based on what you just said above this statement makes absolutely no sense. Can you clarify your percentages and whether you are actually paying net and gross, because that makes a difference.However, we pay a significantly higher royalty rate than most traditional and indie publishers to make up the difference.
There's a difference between 'bashing' and asking questions and raising concerns based on the information which is publically available.But we each have to do what's best for us. I just hate to see you bashing our name. We are, after all, hoping to achieve the same goals.
Then you may wish to note that I've just been on there and the site was all over the place with random spacings and strange formatting that made it all but unreadable - headings had dropped down over images, everything was sort of scrambled. I don't know if that's on their end or mine, I'll check on my other computer when I get home.Frankly their web site is leagues ahead of many comparable publishers.
TORCHWOOD - where the slash is canon
Yes, I read Twilight. Yes, I hate it. No, I don't have to give you a reason why.
Here be snark : www.clairewriteswords.wordpress.com
I thought I'd de-lurk, make an account, and give my 5 cents.
My name is Verity Linden, and I work for CQ, and for the record, I am not an author. People have raised some interesting points.
Shaldna, to clarify, yes we pay based on gross income, as received by ourselves. What started out as an attempt to clarify (for instance, in some cases we ship books ourselves, at which point we DO deduct shipping) turned into a massive confusion of terms. In plain English, royalties are paid out of what we receive from retailers / distributors / etc, and all marketing costs, cover art, editing etc are covered by CQ. Given that if we really were operating on a 'until we recoup our costs you get nothing' basis, that would be a red flag the size of a continent, I understand why we were being picked up on this. Krystal is involved in CQ as an acquisitions editor and operations director (arranging internal processes etc) and doesn't deal directly with the financial side, so again, sorry for the confusion.
In answer to whether having some of the authors on staff causes conflict of interest; it's possible, and so is managed carefully. For instance, no one DOES edit the work of someone who will have decision-making power over their books. Most authors that work with us are either helping with social media, or doing research on events etc. Of the management team, only one is also an author. Of the editing team, two are. They're the minority.
As to some of our authors coming to talk to you, someone from this forum contacted CQ and said 'you're getting some bad press here, I like your stuff so thought I'd give you a heads up', so yes, it got around our author community. I don't think it's either weird or damning that people passionate about a press would want to come tell their experiences. Oh! And to answer the other thought -- no, with the exception of Krystal (who identified herself as staff), none of the CQ authors who've added their 5c are staff in any capacity.
I hope this helps at least a little! There are a lot of predatory, money-clawing cowboys calling themselves publishers out there and hoping for a quick buck by charging for cover design, editing etc, so it makes sense to be headachy and skeptical, and I understand why you'd ask these things. We're a 10 month old small publisher, trying to do things a bit differently with a website that focuses on building a community rather than being a store front, and making a big deal of free serials (If you're interested, Tuesday Serial posted my article on the subject here -- http://tuesdayserial.com/?p=2871), so on paper we throw up a lot of the 'warning flags'. For instance, when we first started, we did indeed approach authors we liked, as who would sub to a publisher who'd never put out a book? At the very start, we reached out to people we liked. That's getting very rare now as we build more of a presence.
The important part is that everyone involved is genuine and passionate about what they do, and has no interest in taking advantage of anyone's dreams, and month by month we get better established. Get to know the authors and the team, and that'll become clear.
Thanks for reading
Curiosity Quills rocks. The "concerns" raised here remind me of the monkeys in a cage experiment. Many of the folks who post here are either invested, or hope to invest, in the legacy publishing model.
Some of us are trying to write original fiction, not market-greased ya fantasy or sports novels, for example.
Publishers like CQP offer some hope to those want to sell books based on literary merit rather than conforming to a broken system.
Curiosity quills is doing something original and worth the readers time.
Nice. "Us vs them."
Welcome to AW. Maybe hang around and see what the site's all about, *then* poke at us caged monkeys?
My apologies. I see must have bruised some egos (not my intent), so I'll get to my point.
I do not work for CQ or write for them. I am merely lending my own thoughts, as an actual reader of their fiction, since the bulk of the criticism is based on comparing them to traditional publishing models rather than the experimental venture that they are.
I am a writer and I am sympathetic with what they are doing, so I'd just like to see some honest discussion out there about CQP's methods and, of course, the quality of their fiction.
Some authors are going to like CQP and shouldn't be scared away out of hand (See, I know what AW is all about after all!) I just wanted to put in my two-cents--sorry for the snark.