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bohololita
08-07-2009, 07:12 PM
Checked the lists, but I didn't find anything on Cleis Press. Has anyone heard about this publishing company or worked with them?
I know they publishing GLBT, and I've read the submission guidelines.
I just want to make sure they are the real thing before I send them my entire manuscript.

mlhernandez
08-07-2009, 07:25 PM
Totally legit. They publish some fabulous stuff dealing with sexuality, erotica, GLBT issues, etc.

CaoPaux
08-07-2009, 07:29 PM
Adding link (generally not safe for work): http://www.cleispress.com/index.php

BenPanced
08-07-2009, 07:32 PM
Well-respected publisher in GLBT circles. I haven't worked with them, but I have a couple of the titles on my shelves. If your material fits their specs, go for it.

bohololita
08-07-2009, 09:14 PM
Thanks everyone for all the help!

Unimportant
08-08-2009, 01:29 AM
I had a story in a Cleis anthology and was very happy. Good communication, good editing, prompt payment, prompt delivery of contrib copies, and a very nice end product.

JanDarby
08-08-2009, 01:43 AM
Just so it doesn't get lost in translation -- while they're probably best known for glbt, the erotica they publish is wide-ranging, not exclusively glbt.

JD

brainstorm77
03-24-2010, 12:13 AM
I'm waiting to hear back on my short story sub to their upcoming anthology 'Quickies'. I got an email saying they'd get back to me soon. I'm wondering how long can I expect to wait?

mlhernandez
03-24-2010, 12:21 AM
If that's the Rachel Kramer Bussel antho I'm thinking of you'll probably hear something around October. That's what I have jotted down on my Call for Subs list so it must have been in the original call. I've worked with her three times over the last year and she's always kept to her deadlines for replies.

ETA: Yep. The original call states October 2010 for replies.

brainstorm77
03-24-2010, 12:50 AM
If that's the Rachel Kramer Bussel antho I'm thinking of you'll probably hear something around October. That's what I have jotted down on my Call for Subs list so it must have been in the original call. I've worked with her three times over the last year and she's always kept to her deadlines for replies.

ETA: Yep. The original call states October 2010 for replies.

Thanks :) much appreciated.

mlhernandez
03-24-2010, 01:20 AM
No problem!

Silver-Midnight
02-26-2012, 07:06 AM
Here's their Submission Guidelines : http://www.cleispress.com/features/submission.php


Their submission guidelines seem to really talk about gay and lesbian fiction though. I did some books posted that weren't that though.

KimJo
02-27-2012, 02:16 AM
I just had a short story published in a Cleis antho of "erotic romance for couples." Mine, and I believe all the stories in the antho, is hetero.

Silver-Midnight
02-27-2012, 04:43 AM
Interesting. Do they have a word count minimum, or does it depend on the anthology you submit to?

Filigree
02-27-2012, 06:44 AM
It depends on the anthology and the editor. I just sold an erotic fantasy story of around 4500 words to a Cleis collection, but the editor worked with me on cutting it down from 6K. If I hadn't shown I was willing to trim word count, my story probably wouldn't have made it in.

Silver-Midnight
02-27-2012, 08:10 AM
It depends on the anthology and the editor. I just sold an erotic fantasy story of around 4500 words to a Cleis collection, but the editor worked with me on cutting it down from 6K. If I hadn't shown I was willing to trim word count, my story probably wouldn't have made it in.

How did you learn about their Submission Call? Their site is a little harder for me to navigate.

Filigree
02-27-2012, 05:50 PM
I didn't even go to their site. A helpful AW member posted the call-for-entries on AW's 'Paying Markets' forum, and in the Erotic forum. From there I linked directly to the editor's site and read her guidelines. This was early last summer, so I had plenty of time to think up a m/m story and get it in a month before the Dec. 15 deadline. I'd had doubts about Cleis itself, but I'd read another of the editor's anthologies and loved it.

Cleis' site is a little wonky. Most other erotic e-pubs will post their antho and short story calls in easily-accessed sections of their sites.

KimJo
02-27-2012, 06:37 PM
I found the submission call through a post on a romance forum, which the editor of the antho I'm in also belongs to. I think they also post calls on the ERWA website.

LindsayM
02-27-2012, 08:07 PM
Cleis is wonderful. I've personally only worked with their marketing team, but they're fabulous. I've actually reviewed a number of their books over at literallylesbian.com, and can tell you that Cleis is responsive and very proactive about publicizing their authors, and their books are always of the highest quality.

JanDarby
02-27-2012, 08:19 PM
I've sold stories to two of the Cleis Press anthologies, both to the same editor. My stories were hetero, but I believe there were LGBT stories in at least the first anthology (haven't received the contributor's copies of the second, so I don't know for sure).

I found the calls for submissions for both anthologies over at the Erotic Readers and Writers Association website, in the authors' resources area.

Unimportant
02-28-2012, 01:08 AM
I've sold stories to a few Cleis anthos. The editor was great, payment was prompt, cc's arrived on time. I'd happily work with them any time.

Maryn
08-03-2012, 11:48 PM
Does anyone have a turn-around time for Cleis on novels rather that short stories for anthologies?

I subbed late in April, and got a generic email saying they'd received it and asking for my patience. Stated response time then was 6 to 8 weeks. It's about 14 weeks now. Is that a 'no'?

Corollary question: Do they let you know you've been rejected?

Maryn, starting to feel antsy

Maryn
10-23-2012, 10:43 PM
While their website does not say any version of 'no response means no,' I'm now at six months and assuming rejection on that novel.

Maryn, with a sigh

Filigree
10-23-2012, 11:43 PM
Sad, but safe to assume, Maryn. Six months is either 'we aren't interested' or 'we lost the submission'. Consider them for other things. What other presses have you looked at for this piece?

Maryn
10-24-2012, 01:48 AM
Alyson, Bold Strokes' Liberty imprint, Kensington Aphrodesia (rejected); and MLR, for print.

I haven't explored the epubs much yet. They're overwhelmingly seeking romance, and this ain't it. Plus, and it makes me a fuddy-duddy (as if using that word didn't!), I wanted print.

So I have homework to do, I guess.

Maryn, who also needs to make dinner

JanDarby
10-24-2012, 06:02 AM
I think the uncertainty is one of the hardest things about a writing career. Even really basic stuff, like, "did they even receive it?" is never completely known. And then, did it get past an initial read, or did someone take one look at the first sentence, roll her eyes and stuff it into the recycling bin? (Not that they'd do that with your submission, Maryn, but it's what I start imagining if I think about my submissions too much.)

Wish I could shed some light on it, but my subs to Cleis were always to individual, independent editors, for specific calls, with clearly set timetables, and, with one exception, the editors always did respond within a week or two of the date in the schedule. But that's different from subbing directly to Cleis.

MumblingSage
05-30-2013, 10:48 PM
I was wondering if any authors who have already contracted on a Cleis anthology could share what the terms are (specifically how long the exclusive publication rights last). One anthology of theirs looks really good for my story, but it's a story I hope to reprint one day in a collection of connected pieces and I don't want to sign away rights for seven years or something (which I've seen).

Maddie
02-28-2014, 04:33 AM
I subbed a mss for an Erotic Romance novel on 2/18, and received an email confirmation from Brenda Knight today, 2/27, that the mss was being circulated amongst their editorial staff. I would absolutely love to sell a novel to Cleis, they're right up my alley, and though it doesn't really matter in this electronic age, for me, they are local (Berkeley, CA).

Maryn
02-28-2014, 06:50 PM
Still, Maddie, the idea of being able to meet your editor for coffee is a lovely thought. Best of luck!

Maryn, who ain't meetin' nobody for nuthin'

StoryofWoe
11-05-2014, 09:23 PM
Thought this might be of interest to this thread:

Start Publishing Buys Cleis Press (Publishers Weekly Article, 11/4/14)

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/industry-deals/article/64604-start-publishing-buys-cleis-press.html

EvolvingK
11-06-2014, 07:14 PM
I was wondering if any authors who have already contracted on a Cleis anthology could share what the terms are (specifically how long the exclusive publication rights last). One anthology of theirs looks really good for my story, but it's a story I hope to reprint one day in a collection of connected pieces and I don't want to sign away rights for seven years or something (which I've seen).

This is old, clearly, but I wanted to put down here that in the antho I sold to at the beginning of the year, all granted rights were listed as non-exclusive in the contract. I assume the contract was boilerplate, it was with Kristina Wright who works with them frequently, and who I adore.

I am seriously concerned, though, about their sale, and what that will mean for them.

pugalicious
11-25-2014, 05:55 AM
Does anyone here have any experience with Cleis anthologies? I've sold a story to one, have signed a contract with the lovely editor, but have been holding off on announcing the sale because the editor has noted that final approval of the ToC still has to happen with Cleis (which is fine, and something I am used to from other anthologies). But the release date of the anthology is getting closer and closer, and I've heard nothing -- when I've followed up with the editor, they've also noted they are waiting for the very final stamp of approval. That said, the book is already available for pre-order on major sites. Should I assume all is well, but I'm never going to see galleys on this? If you've been in a Cleis anthology what was the final pre-publication process for you?

Clairels
11-25-2014, 06:51 AM
Cleis is publishing my memoir next year. While I don't have any experience with the Cleis anthologies, I can tell you that due to the recent sale of the publisher to Start, they've had to put a lot of things temporarily on hold while they hammer out the details.

DexyDoo
11-26-2014, 03:30 AM
Does anyone here have any experience with Cleis anthologies?

I sold a short to them last year for the Hungry for More anthology that came out in August this year. After signing the contract, it was a while before hearing anything else from the editor and you don't get paid until the book is actually published. However, they did pay and they did send me two contributors copies, I think, within a month of publication.

I did get word from the editor about promo stuff before the book was available for pre-order tho. Also, no galleys. At least, not for the one I'm in.

I have several shorts on submission with them right now and most are past the deadline given for a response, but that could have to do with Cleis being acquired by Start Publishing.

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/industry-deals/article/64604-start-publishing-buys-cleis-press.html

Aggy B.
11-30-2014, 06:20 AM
Just wanted to add that I never saw a galley on the short story I sold to one of their anthologies. Also received a note from the editor earlier today saying that payment would be made shortly (it's due out in December) - there had been a slight delay due to the sale of the company but everything is proceeding as it should.

EvolvingK
12-02-2014, 11:44 PM
Just agreeing with what others are saying; I have a story accepted for an antho that was scheduled out for spring, and might be slightly delayed; I haven't seen galleys for it. I believe it's the editor who handles that, rather than parceling it out to all the authors.

EvolvingK
03-05-2015, 05:08 AM
I'm hearing really horrible things about Cleis Press in the changeover to Start. Contracts being dropped, books not on sale and no one can explain why...no good. I'm just an author in an antho, but I am officially putting them on my "wait for things to settle" list before I sub towards them again.

Filigree
03-05-2015, 07:07 AM
Same here.

Clairels
03-05-2015, 11:47 PM
I'm hearing really horrible things about Cleis Press in the changeover to Start. Contracts being dropped, books not on sale and no one can explain why...no good. I'm just an author in an antho, but I am officially putting them on my "wait for things to settle" list before I sub towards them again.

Do you have any more details about this and who was affected? I signed a contract with Cleis in 2013 for a nonfiction book. I submitted the final draft in September 2014; the last I heard from Brenda is that wouldn't start reading it until December. It's now March, obviously, and I haven't heard anything. I won't receive the other half of my advance until that happens, and I don't have a firm release date yet, either.

Thankfully I also have my agent helping me out. I realize the sale has complicated things immensely and I'm not to the point where I'm worried (yet), but I do want to find out as much as possible considering I'm not getting much in the way of information from Cleis, who seem a bit overwhelmed.

(On the other hand, their publicity people still seem to be doing a good job as I see reviews and write-ups fairly regularly).

EvolvingK
03-07-2015, 11:19 PM
Do you have any more details about this and who was affected?

Here's Violet Blue's post about Best Women's Erotica 2015 (http://www.tinynibbles.com/blogarchives/2015/02/to-all-the-authors-thank-you.html). There are a bunch more authors speaking up in the comments.

Alison Tyler's post about having 20 of her ebooks (http://alisontyler.blogspot.com/2015/02/spot-book-city-lights.html) pulled because of a contract issue.

I received word from an editor with whom I had contracted a short for an antho that Cleis would now not be moving forward with the antho, or two other anthologies that she'd contracted with them before the sale. She hasn't posted about it publicly anywhere, though.

Filigree
03-07-2015, 11:32 PM
Damn. I'm so glad now that I didn't jump to send stuff to other anthologies from Cleis. At one point, they had a strong rep, even if they never paid well.

EvolvingK
03-07-2015, 11:59 PM
Damn. I'm so glad now that I didn't jump to send stuff to other anthologies from Cleis. At one point, they had a strong rep, even if they never paid well.

Yup.

Can I just say that I'm fed up with erotic romance publishers behaving badly? I'm sure other publishers are, as well, and this is just confirmation bias, but...jeez.

Filigree
03-08-2015, 03:03 AM
It's depressing to watch the tally of viable erotic romance publishers devolve, self-destruct, or just never live up to early hype and promises.

EvolvingK
03-08-2015, 06:42 PM
It's depressing to watch the tally of viable erotic romance publishers devolve, self-destruct, or just never live up to early hype and promises.

Is it possible that this is because the "bigger" publishers have opened their eyes to the incredibly profitable market that exists for smutty romance, and so people who can get "better" deals either are doing that, or are s/ping because so many small presses still expect authors to do the lion's share of the marketing work?

Filigree
03-08-2015, 07:52 PM
Probably both.

Self-publishing took a huge bite out of the erotica and erotic romance markets. Now that smut seems to be going mainstream (I've actually seen some social indicators that it hasn't, not in the way or extent claimed by lots of pundits*), those little publishers no longer have an ocean of skilled, willing authors.

The small presses are counting on 1) ramping up quality or 2) on authors not doing market research, or being so intimidated/outraged by bigger imprints they'll happily drink the fruity beverage. Sadly, I see the latter response more often, usually couched in comforting phrases like 'we are all family' or 'we will help make your dreams come true.'

I subbed to a Cleis antho in late 2011 because I thought the concept was interesting. HBO's Game of Thrones was taking off. I believed a Cleis sale in erotic high fantasy might help balance my depressing history of sales to defunct or one-off presses and close-but-no-cigar contest standings (it did). I earned between $60 and $75 for it on a one-time payment, I'd actually have to check my contract for the exact amount. It was worth it.

In 2015, I'd wait and see if Start repairs the Cleis reputation before I queried them again.

* I'm on a tablet so I can't paste sources as easily. But in the last week I've read some articles about it. The written smut market is incredibly strong. The Fifty Shades movie opened well, but apparently lost box-office take the next week. The growing middle-class 'twee' movement appears to have elements of asexuality, if not outright fear of sexuality.

EvolvingK
03-09-2015, 02:00 AM
* I'm on a tablet so I can't paste sources as easily. But in the last week I've read some articles about it. The written smut market is incredibly strong. The Fifty Shades movie opened well, but apparently lost box-office take the next week. The growing middle-class 'twee' movement appears to have elements of asexuality, if not outright fear of sexuality.

I'd love to read more, when you somewhere you can paste links.

Filigree
03-09-2015, 09:14 AM
Okay, back on the desktop system, so it's linky time.

The Arts & Letters Daily essay (http://www.the-tls.co.uk/tls/public/article1520299.ece) about 'twee' that caught my eye. I don't agree with everything the writer says. But I do note that my own aversion to unremitting 'cute' and 'soft' showed up very early in my childhood, and certainly informs my reading and writing choices today.

An asexuality website (http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/29842-the-twee-renaissance/) that mentions twee.

A HuffPo aside (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/22/fifty-shades-of-grey-box-office_n_6730978.html) about second-week earnings of the Fifty Shades movie.

Another HuffPo piece (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/em-and-lo/how-will-fifty-shades-affect-young-womens-view-of-sex_b_6661112.html), published before the Fifty Shades movie released, with some interesting observations about what the movie (in contrast to the books) might do for young women's sexuality. The director apparently sparred with E.L. James during filming, to weight the power dynamic more in Ana's favor (true of real BDSM relationships, and sadly lacking in the books.)

From the vantage point of my late forties, I have seen how attitudes to actual adventure have changed over the years. Even with the AIDS scare, the mid-eighties were a wild time. But as employment patterns shifted, college costs and student debt rose, and real wage gains remained stagnant for most of the American working population, I noticed that my younger colleagues and friends were not cutting loose as much - if at all.

Their college focus was not about discovering themselves, but about getting high-enough-paying skills and degrees that they could pay off debt and have some security. They worried about dropping high-risk teen activities like skateboarding and surfing, because they recognized they were one medical emergency from bankruptcy. Many of them came to twee movements apparently out of a sense of safety, peace, and childhood nostalgia.

My ten or so friends who are really twee fall solidly into lower to upper middle-class upbringings. They tend not to read graphic erotica, or at least don't admit it. My friends who grew up in rougher areas, with more financial uncertainty, may be more open to sexuality, but they are just as focused on financial stability over random encounters in clubs.

These are great conditions for romance and sexual tension, for demisexual relationships, for asexual friendships - but completely opposite in worldview from raw erotica and the more graphic erotic romance stories.

Violet Blue and Allison Tyler, along with countless other fearless erotica and erotic romance writers, have been open and honest about sex writing and lifestyles. Cleis Press was one among many small publishers who forged respected markets out a genre 'ghetto' that many lit-fic and light romance publishers ignored or insulted.

But now Fifty Shades is just the most visible of properties bringing erotica and erotic romance to mainstream audiences. Like the gentrification of raunchy, seedy art neighborhoods, I worry that Big Five and intermediate publishers will push the small quirky presses aside. Or buy them out and give them the Disney focus group treatment, swabbing the grime off and making the leftovers palatable to wider markets.

But focus group readers in those more-polished markets may not know great erotica and erotic romance to begin with, so I'd side-eye publishers who rely too much on them.

Whether I seriously consider Cleis again depends on what Start does with the imprint in the next year.

Clairels
03-09-2015, 09:53 AM
Here's Violet Blue's post about Best Women's Erotica 2015 (http://www.tinynibbles.com/blogarchives/2015/02/to-all-the-authors-thank-you.html). There are a bunch more authors speaking up in the comments.

Alison Tyler's post about having 20 of her ebooks (http://alisontyler.blogspot.com/2015/02/spot-book-city-lights.html) pulled because of a contract issue.

I received word from an editor with whom I had contracted a short for an antho that Cleis would now not be moving forward with the antho, or two other anthologies that she'd contracted with them before the sale. She hasn't posted about it publicly anywhere, though.

Thanks for posting the links! There's some pretty scary stuff here from what I can tell, especially for the longtime Cleis antho editors, but on the other hand, who knows whether any of this will apply to my situation?

Like much of publishing these days, only time will tell.

thethinker42
03-09-2015, 06:53 PM
I don't want to get TOO far off topic, but...


From the vantage point of my late forties, I have seen how attitudes to actual adventure have changed over the years. Even with the AIDS scare, the mid-eighties were a wild time. But as employment patterns shifted, college costs and student debt rose, and real wage gains remained stagnant for most of the American working population, I noticed that my younger colleagues and friends were not cutting loose as much - if at all.

Their college focus was not about discovering themselves, but about getting high-enough-paying skills and degrees that they could pay off debt and have some security. They worried about dropping high-risk teen activities like skateboarding and surfing, because they recognized they were one medical emergency from bankruptcy. Many of them came to twee movements apparently out of a sense of safety, peace, and childhood nostalgia.

...it may also be that from the vantage point of your late forties, you're not seeing it up close and personal anymore. Or it may just be that you and I have run in very different circles because of our geographic differences.

Because for this mid-thirty-something, I agree with your economic observations, but not the cultural ones. Not even a little. Yes, there is a sense of "OMG I need to get a job in a field that will make decent money," but that's hardly stopping anyone from partying, risk-taking, and adventures. If anything, they might curtail some things because of money (going out boozing is expensive), but I can honestly say I've never known anyone who gave up skateboarding (or anything like it) because they were one medical emergency away from bankruptcy. That includes the younger generation in the military. They know full well that doing something stupid or getting hurt can end their military career -- leaving them in a world of financial hurt -- but that's not exactly stopping them.

As for not being as sexually wild and adventurous? Oh lord. No. Spend a little time on Tinder, and then tell me people aren't as wild and adventurous as they used to be. If anything, people are more careful (condoms, etc), and they tend to be more discreet because camera phones and social media have the potential to ruin a career. And getting involved in some wilder, more adventurous things (kink, multiple partners, what have you)...I'd be willing to bet that stuff is on the rise because people have more access to information about it, and can access partners more discreetly. Which also means it's kept more on the down-low (see above about camera phones).

Yeah, people are more concerned with securing their futures than they used to be, and for good reason. But you and I must live in very, very different worlds, because I am NOT seeing the same things you are.

Filigree
03-09-2015, 09:49 PM
I see a bit in AZ from the ASU crowd (though they party less than they did even ten years ago), and the $30K-a-year-millionaires keeping up appearances in Scottsdale. But my vocational school friends are much less physically adventurous than I'd expect. But a number of them read lots of kink. :Shrug:

EvolvingK
03-11-2015, 03:31 AM
Thank you for the links.

I hear you on the frustration of losing the smaller, quirkier imprints. I always felt like I could send my f/f stories to Cleis, and they would be treated read and respected. Circlet has a similar reputation, but their niche is sort of a step to the left with its interest in spec fic. I'm interested in Strange Flesh, but I haven't had time to get anything together to send them.

I still have one story in an antho that did NOT get canceled, so I'll be interested to see what happens with that. For a data point, the story in the antho that did get canceled was a kind of techno age m/f/f, and the one in the upcoming antho is a pretty basic m/f story.

So, we'll see what we see.

Clairels
04-02-2015, 08:58 PM
For those curious about what's going on at Cleis, this is straight from the horse's mouth. My agent had a conversation with Brenda this morning. When they were bought by Start, it resulted in some staff leaving (they didn’t like the unknown, apparently) and some staff not “making the cut,” so they are down from a staff of 10 to 6. They hope to hire new staff over the next few months.

Brenda still has three books still waiting for edits, including mine. She's hoping her assistant can help her out by reading them first, but even that might take a while.

EvolvingK
05-19-2015, 08:16 PM
Brenda Knight just resigned with no notice. (http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/people/article/66674-cleis-press-publisher-resigns.html)

NinjaFingers
05-19-2015, 08:21 PM
I actually have some knowledge as to what happened, but I don't have permission to release it. Suffice to say that she had a good reason.

Maryn
05-19-2015, 09:52 PM
I read elsewhere that much of the remaining Cleis staff also took flight. See the story at Publishers Lunch (http://lunch.publishersmarketplace.com/2015/05/people-etc-369/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter).

I'm quite interested in what went on, and I can only hope that at some point in the future it will go public.

Maryn

Filigree
05-19-2015, 10:51 PM
It may or may not reach public notice. All I know are rumors I can't confirm. Until I can, or see more data, I won't be submitting to any Start imprint this year.

EvolvingK
05-20-2015, 12:08 AM
I actually have some knowledge as to what happened, but I don't have permission to release it. Suffice to say that she had a good reason.

I don't doubt it for a second. My only contact with Cleis is through anthology editors, but I've been unimpressed with what I heard. I've heard enough about Ms. Knight's professionalism and awesomeness that I do not doubt it was with very good reason.

Clairels
05-20-2015, 09:29 PM
I actually have some knowledge as to what happened, but I don't have permission to release it. Suffice to say that she had a good reason.



NinjaFingers, any chance you can PM me? As a Cleis author whose book is stuck in limbo already, this news is pretty nerve-wracking. My agent is on it and she's also been in touch with Start, but my psychological health would thank you for every piece of information I could get. :) Filigree, the same goes for you. Please?

Clairels
05-22-2015, 09:25 PM
Job posting for a new publisher on PW: http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/jobzone/details/index.html?record=1310

Press release on the 35th anniversary (and that doesn't mention Brenda): https://twitter.com/MarkPritchard/status/601791956193161217/photo/1

Filigree
05-23-2015, 05:52 AM
Ouch.

Clairels
06-05-2015, 02:43 AM
Karen Thomas, formerly of Grand Central and Kensington, has been named publisher. (http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/publisher-news/article/67015-karen-thomas-named-cleis-publisher-company-moving-to-jersey.html)

They're also closing their San Francisco offices and moving to New Jersey. They say it won't create delays in the publishing schedule, but I'm dubious.

Alan Yee
06-08-2015, 07:11 AM
I hope things don't change for the worse without Brenda Knight. Cleis Press's books dominate the very small LGBT sections of both my local Barnes & Noble stores. I really like their erotica anthologies and hope to be published in one of them some day.

marielong
11-17-2015, 06:22 PM
Any latest news on this publisher? Any problems or issues?

Clairels
11-21-2015, 08:06 AM
Any latest news on this publisher? Any problems or issues?

Yes--for me at least. My nonfiction manuscript, which Cleis acquired in 2013 and that I submitted in full in fall 2014, (not a typo), has been sitting on the editor's desk since then. I still don't have a release date, nor have I received the second half of my advance. It was only a month or so ago when she finally got her assistant to read it. The last I heard, she said she'd have it read "by Thanksgiving." We're five days away, and I have little to no confidence that she'll keep her promise. In fact, I'm pretty sure everybody in the publishing industry is already on vacation until New Year's.

CaoPaux
03-20-2016, 05:47 AM
Updating URL: http://cleispress.com/

Filigree
03-20-2016, 10:04 AM
Any news, Clairels?

Clairels
04-05-2016, 04:51 AM
Any news, Clairels?

I appreciate your concern, Filigree! I'm afraid there's not a whole lot positive to report. It's now five months since my agent has heard anything from Karen, the editor at Cleis despite monthly emails politely haranguing her to give us an update.


Today my agent Anna wrote and said that in my contract, the clause stipulates that the manuscript must be published within 18 months of delivery (not acceptance) of the manuscript. My agent wrote: "That would mean they have to publish by November 19, 2016, which is not going to happen. They could claim that the sale of the company to Start Media was some sort of “disaster” and that they have until May 19, 2018 to publish."


So what does this mean? I can try to get out of the contract (which I don't want to, because it would leave me without a publisher) or I could make idle threats of termination in hopes that will spur Karen to get moving.

This all assumes Karen will not just continue to pretend I don't exist, which seems the far likelier possibility.

Filigree
04-05-2016, 03:34 PM
Ugh. No communication and chronic delays? Sorry to hear that, Clairels, not only for your sake but for all of us who've loved Cleis Press over the years. I know a couple of editors and agents who refuse to work with them now. I've heard from some other authors who claim to have mms in the same limbo. I will not be submitting work to Cleis or Start in the future, unless or until this unprofessional behavior changes.

It's a pity, because the Cleis imprint as a whole is selling well. The bottleneck has to be with the new Cleis management.

Clairels
04-05-2016, 08:48 PM
Ugh. No communication and chronic delays? Sorry to hear that, Clairels, not only for your sake but for all of us who've loved Cleis Press over the years. I know a couple of editors and agents who refuse to work with them now. I've heard from some other authors who claim to have mms in the same limbo. I will not be submitting work to Cleis or Start in the future, unless or until this unprofessional behavior changes.

It's a pity, because the Cleis imprint as a whole is selling well. The bottleneck has to be with the new Cleis management.

I wouldn't recommend anyone to submit to them at this point. I wouldn't wish this state of limbo on any writer. Straight up rejection would be a pleasure in comparison.:(

Clairels
04-13-2016, 06:11 AM
I finally heard from Karen today. They're dumping my book and letting me keep the advance I was already paid. In one sense I'm relieved by the end of this nightmare, but it sure would have been nice to know this a year earlier, during which time I could have been working to find another publisher.

I guess it's time to change my signature.

I would still not recommend anyone submit to Cleis. There are clearly problems there and I can't guarantee you will be treated with the respect you deserve.

Aquamarine
09-16-2016, 11:24 PM
Any more updates on Cleis? I submitted a m/m menage novel to them recently, but before I saw these updates.

WriterBoyDaniel
05-08-2017, 02:44 PM
Anymore news on Cleis, I would like to submit to them at some point but not been able to find any recent or updated info. any help would be fab.

Zombie Fraggle
05-08-2017, 09:50 PM
Their contract isn't good, and it's completely non-negotiable. Even non-exclusive rights grabs can be bad. Theirs includes audio rights, reprints, TV and movie rights, and basically every media format under the sun in perpetuity for that one-time payment. I would love to see Victoria Strauss break it down. They post the contract with their calls for submissions on the ERWA website (http://www.erotica-readers.com/call-for-submissions/cleis-press-erotic-teasers-anthology-working-title/), along with a warning: ("If your story is accepted, you will need to sign a contract agreeing to the non-negotiable contract terms below in order for your story to be published in the anthology. If you are unwilling to sign this contract, DO NOT SUBMIT to this anthology."

They are reprinting old titles that have fallen out of print, such as this one (coming out on 30 May 2017: https://www.amazon.com/Best-Erotica-2000-Travers-Scott-ebook/dp/B01DRX1KVO/) and this 2002 title (https://www.amazon.com/Best-Womens-Erotica-2002-eBook-ebook/dp/B01DRX8ZZI) that was reprinted on 18 October 2016.

At least they're paying better than the token $25 - $50 they used to offer. However, even that comes with a catch: "VI. PAYMENT Author shall receive PAYMENT LISTED ABOVE to be paid by Author within 90 days of publication of the Book."

Ninety days, seriously? If a publisher can't pay me for a one-off at the time of contract signing, I don't submit work to them. Anything else doesn't speak well for the publisher's solvency. And that wording for item VI says the authors pay themselves. WTF?

It makes me sad to say so, but I've not been a fan of Cleis for a long time. A prolific anthology editor currently working/freelancing for Cleis, while working/freelancing for a now-defunct competitor of Cleis, accepted a story I submitted for a "best of" gay erotica anthology. I decided I could do better than the $25 they offered me, so I did not sign the contract mailed to me. Almost a year passed, and I had sold the story to another publisher. Cleis published the story anyway. I had to pay back the money the other publisher paid me for the story because first rights had already been used, and their volume hadn't yet gone to press so they could still yank it.

Also, I'm not sure what Cleis was thinking when they put a famous drag queen (who does not identify as trans) on the cover of an explicitly heterosexual collection of short stories featuring dominant women and submissive men. :Shrug: