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Thread: Masque Books / Prime Books

  1. #1
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    Masque Books / Prime Books

    I've been following news for this new e-press and they look interesting. Prime Books has been around for over a decade, and now they're launching Masque as their e-book imprint with Paula Guran as the senior editor. Their first books came out this month and have received some buzz from various review sites, including Publishers Weekly.

    Link: http://masque-books.com/

  2. #2
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Hmmm, this looks interesting. I had the good fortune to talk to Paula at an event a few years back, and her passion and industry knowledge impressed me. I'll keep my eye on them.

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  3. #3
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    Paula is well-respected in the field. I also like that they pay an advance (even if it's a small one). I'm definitely keeping them in mind for any novellas.

  4. #4
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    IMHO, this is what digital presses and imprints should look like. Clear scope, professional look, named owner and editors with relevant experience.
    Emily Veinglory

  5. #5
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    It's nearly a textbook example. I see a track record, professional credits, good reviews, good covers, and clear genre mission statements.

    So, they're on my list.

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  6. #6
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    They bought my first novella (science fiction) a few months back; it's coming out in October. The advance is small, but it's a novella so I never expected much.

    I'm happy with them so far, but then this is my first book so I've never had any experience with anyone else to compare it to. I did submit another novella to them yesterday, so we'll see how it goes.

  7. #7
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    Their Call for Submissions is also very encouraging.

  8. #8
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    Based on the September issue of Locus, they are releasing three books a month, with their first print release coming out in December.

  9. #9
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    If the agent and I cannot get the big fantasy novel in front of the Big Five, this looks good.

    Look, a spec fiction publisher who actually appears in Locus!

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  10. #10
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    This is a new digital imprint, so it's rather in the field of MacMillan's Momentum, or Random's new and improved Hydra, or Harlequin's Digital First with the space opera and horror lines. Absolutely great to have Masque as a choice, no argument, but I wouldn't point to it as the logical layer below the Illuminati Lodge of the Number from Beyond Infinity. Rather, first there's an in-between layer of guys like Pyr, Baen, Darkfuse, (now) Crossed Genres, Necro Press, Journalstone, Allen & Unwin, Permuted, Spencer Hill... and then and only then does one reach the epub biggies and would-be biggies. And then the smallies. And then it's time for a writing technique overhaul
    Last edited by dondomat; 09-09-2013 at 06:39 AM.

  11. #11
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    If you're like me, though, and tend towards shorter works, digital is a wonderful thing. For novellas, digital tends to be my first choice, as it's a total waste of everyone's time to send my 30K of dulcet prose to the Illuminati Lodge () or even the smaller print presses, who often don't take anything that's not novel-sized.

    Now if I could only find an e-publisher that takes narrative collections of specfic poetry, I'd be set.

  12. #12
    paranormal erotic romance gingerwoman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dondomat View Post
    This is a new digital imprint, so it's rather in the field of MacMillan's Momentum, or Random's new and improved Hydra, or Harlequin's Digital First with the space opera and horror lines. Absolutely great to have Masque as a choice, no argument, but I wouldn't point to it as the logical layer below the Illuminati Lodge of the Number from Beyond Infinity. Rather, first there's an in-between layer of guys like Pyr, Baen, Darkfuse, (now) Crossed Genres, Necro Press, Journalstone, Allen & Unwin, Permuted, Spencer Hill... and then and only then does one reach the epub biggies and would-be biggies. And then the smallies. And then it's time for a writing technique overhaul
    Can you explain what you mean? Are you saying you think it is better or worse than Allen and Urwin, Jounralstone etc... I don't really understand you post I'm afraid. I'm very curious as to how the digital first lines of big publishers really end up working out for authors.
    Last edited by gingerwoman; 09-09-2013 at 10:02 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OJCade View Post
    They bought my first novella (science fiction) a few months back; it's coming out in October. The advance is small, but it's a novella so I never expected much.

    I'm happy with them so far, but then this is my first book so I've never had any experience with anyone else to compare it to. I did submit another novella to them yesterday, so we'll see how it goes.
    Congratulations! I agree, respectable and efficient digital publishers (fingers crossed that this is the case with Masque), are the natural market for novellas. Don't forget to brag in the brag section, when it comes out

    Gingerwoman, what I wrote was in response to Filigree
    If the agent and I cannot get the big fantasy novel in front of the Big Five, this looks good.
    and the essence of my response was that between the 'Big Five' and 'digital publishers' there's a middle layer of smaller publishers who could be tried first when working one's way down the ladder. Or tried simultaneously, guidelines permitting.

    Yes, I'm totally curious too, to see how the digital arms of the bigger publishers work out for their authors. I imagine them, best-case scenario, as a filter, which gradually lets in the better authors to join the crew of the publisher-mothership, while the rest will not be allowed to merge with the Illuminati hive-mind, and will be forced to look elsewhere for career growth.
    Last edited by dondomat; 09-09-2013 at 12:32 PM.

  14. #14
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    One of their first books, Ascension, released in July, is doing well enough to be released as a print edition in December. I note as well that the authors include pro authors as well as newcomers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OJCade View Post
    They bought my first novella (science fiction) a few months back; it's coming out in October. The advance is small, but it's a novella so I never expected much.

    I'm happy with them so far, but then this is my first book so I've never had any experience with anyone else to compare it to. I did submit another novella to them yesterday, so we'll see how it goes.
    What did you think of the contract? And how was the editing experience? (Feel free to private message if you'd rather.) I have yet to sign.
    Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at the moment. -- Robert Benchley

  16. #16
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    The contract seemed fair to me. No rights grab, a clear reversion policy and definition of "out of print", that sort of thing. I was happy to sign it "as is" and didn't feel the need to negotiate for anything to be changed.

    That being said, I've never signed a contract for anything other than a short story before, so I went through it very carefully and made sure I understood what was being said, but it was written clearly and didn't take much to nut out. This place was very helpful for that!

    I haven't seen any editing yet.

  17. #17
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    My fantasy novel Crowflight is being released from Masque this September and this far my experience has been overwhelmingly positive, though of course I haven't seen sales figures as yet. I love my cover art and the editors there have been great to work with. Small advance as noted above, but an advance is an advance and I feel even more confident knowing that the house has skin in the game right off the bat.

    The editing itself is also top notch - top notch in that my MS got sort of torn apart, which it badly needed. It was a much better book by the time we were finished.

    I should also note that to my knowledge, Ascension is getting a print release not because it's done well enough to warrant one right out of the gate but because it was already getting a print release with Prime to begin with. It may have done extremely well anyway; it's not my book so obviously I don't know. But I don't think it should be regarded as a Masque book that got a print release based on sales figures alone is the point.
    Last edited by Sunny Moraine; 09-15-2013 at 10:27 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunny Moraine View Post
    I should also note that to my knowledge, Ascension is getting a print release not because it's done well enough to warrant one right out of the gate but because it was already getting a print release with Prime to begin with. It may have done extremely well anyway; it's not my book so obviously I don't know. But I don't think it should be regarded as a Masque book that got a print release based on sales figures alone is the point.
    Ah, that is good to know.

    And thank you for the update on your experience so far.

  19. #19
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    The editing's done now. That's a relief! Never having done it before, I was expecting blood in the water - mine. But it really wasn't bad. Paula Guran's comments and suggested changes were clear and well explained, so I knew the reasoning behind them, and she picked up on some things that I'd totally missed. When I disagreed with one or two points, it was discussed fairly and reasonably.

    All in all, I think the manuscript's better for it. I'd say it was a positive experience.

  20. #20
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    I'm looking at Prime Books' About Page and see this:

    Rights
    Subsidiary rights for Prime Books are represented by Jennifer Jackson of the Donald Maass Literary Agency. If you have questions or inquiries please contact Jennifer Jackson: jjackson@maassagency.com.
    How does this work? Does Ms. Jackson represent the authors or the publisher? Both?

  21. #21
    Not as sweet as you think Aggy B.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Ming View Post
    I'm looking at Prime Books' About Page and see this:



    How does this work? Does Ms. Jackson represent the authors or the publisher? Both?
    I would guess Prime's contract acquires certain rights other than Print and Ms. Jackson would represent Prime in exploiting those rights. (Which should benefit the authors as well, if the contract is good, but she'd not be repping them directly.)

    So, if you wanted to make a movie from a book Prime published, you'd contact Ms. Jackson to see about optioning the work.

    Aggy, guessing - but in an educated way
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  22. #22
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    Looks like SF/Fantasy and horror (adult). No YA. Paula is tough and experienced, do doubt about. I had the misfortune of getting off on the wrong foot with her at one time and paid the price. It was over a confusing issue when she was at Juno.

    tri

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aggy B. View Post
    I would guess Prime's contract acquires certain rights other than Print and Ms. Jackson would represent Prime in exploiting those rights. (Which should benefit the authors as well, if the contract is good, but she'd not be repping them directly.)
    That's how that works, yes. That way you the author know they have the capability of exploiting those rights if they acquire them.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by triceretops View Post
    Looks like SF/Fantasy and horror (adult). No YA.
    That would be Prime Books. Masque accepts Romance as well as SF/F.

    http://masque-books.com/guidelines/

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunny Moraine View Post
    The editing itself is also top notch - top notch in that my MS got sort of torn apart, which it badly needed. It was a much better book by the time we were finished.
    Good to know. Thanks!
    Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at the moment. -- Robert Benchley

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