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woodtop255
03-22-2012, 08:24 PM
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:
http://curiosityquills.com/
I can't find a lot of outside information on them.

Unimportant
03-22-2012, 10:18 PM
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:
http://curiosityquills.com/
I can't find a lot of outside information on them.

It doesn't look like it. Maybe CQ needs their own thread?

CaoPaux
03-23-2012, 04:24 AM
Done. (Split from Malachite Quills Publishing.)

Unimportant
03-23-2012, 06:29 AM
Curiosity Quills appears to be a division of Whampa (http://www.smashwords.com/extreader/read/115816/1/the-megamillionaire-murders-family-cursemas), LLC (whatever that is?). The website is registered to Eugene Teplitsky, a computer scientist who appears to be the co-owner (http://www.linkedin.com/in/eteplitsky)of both Curiosity Quills Press and FX Instructor, a service provider (http://www.forexpros.com/education/fx-instructor/interviews/an-interview-with-fx-instructor-26438)for foreign currency traders. CQP's other co-owner (http://about.me/eugeneteplitsky)is his wife, Lisa Gus (http://tc-bookedup.blogspot.co.nz/p/about-me-my-reviews.html).

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 (http://www.normalwords.com/essay/rivers-of-milk-and-honey-and-jam-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?

AnneGlynn
05-13-2012, 04:03 AM
I'm bumping this in the hope that someone, somewhere, knows something about Curiosity Quills. Anyone?

Manuel Royal
05-13-2012, 06:19 AM
"Curiosity Quills" is a clever name, but nothing on the site (Curiosity Quills Press -- A Collective of Literary Marauders (http://curiosityquills.com/)) makes me want to submit to them.

Here's a bit from the page titled The Literary Marauder Manifesto (http://curiosityquills.com/the-literary-marauder-manifesto/):


The CQ mission is simple, like a 12-step program minus several of the more awkward steps:


Gather like-minded writers, illustrators, translators, editors, and more
Cross-promote, organize, and collaborate
Build traffic, handle SEO/SEM so authors don’t have to
Offer a la carte services to anyone interested
Offer publishing services to the creme de la creme of our contributors
Facilitate open sharing of knowledge and expertise
Learn, teach, and evolve into better, less jaded and overworked writers
Develop new ways for authors to be noticed, and new ways for readers to enjoy their books
????
Profit!

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.

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.)

JulianaHaygert
06-01-2012, 05:37 AM
bump?

Bibliophile8018
09-08-2012, 03:58 AM
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.

eternalised
09-08-2012, 11:40 AM
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.

KWade
09-12-2012, 12:01 AM
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.

Hi there. I work for Curiosity Quills and happen to be a published author. Just like you said, a lot of the staff is made up of our own authors. We're passionate and want to be involved, but we do have quite a few behind-the-scenes staff who do not write for us or anyone else.

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.

randyattwood
09-12-2012, 12:33 AM
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.

Filigree
09-12-2012, 12:47 AM
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.

MGraybosch
09-12-2012, 01:05 AM
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.

Bibliophile8018
09-12-2012, 05:16 AM
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 (http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2010/01/guest-blog-post-distributor-vs.html) 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.

Anthony Mathenia
09-12-2012, 08:29 AM
Hello Cooler.

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.

Terie
09-12-2012, 09:34 AM
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.

This is complete and utter rubbish. No author for a commercial publisher is ever contractually obligated to make comments on behalf of other authors' work. Period. The fact that you've stated such a bald untruth as a fact brings anything else you say into question.

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? :rolleyes:

AmySpitz
09-12-2012, 03:08 PM
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)

Terie
09-12-2012, 03:11 PM
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.

Why? In what way does defending yourself against comments that haven't been made make a positive contribution to the discussion? Does it occur to you that this smacks more of pot-stirring than of rationally discussing your publisher?

AmySpitz
09-12-2012, 03:33 PM
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.

shaldna
09-12-2012, 03:54 PM
Just like you said, a lot of the staff is made up of our own authors.

I get that this might work for you folks, but personally I feel that there is a huge potential for a massive conflict of interest in this situation.

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.



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.

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?



We do pay a Net Royalty, like you said, but we do not take out OUR costs.

Paying after taking out costs is what NET is. GROSS is when you pay before taking out your costs etc.



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.

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.

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.



However, we pay a significantly higher royalty rate than most traditional and indie publishers to make up the difference.

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.



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.

There's a difference between 'bashing' and asking questions and raising concerns based on the information which is publically available.


Hello Cooler.

Hello, and welcome.



Frankly their web site is leagues ahead of many comparable publishers.

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.




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? :rolleyes:

This was my first thought also. However, if, as said above, the authors also work for the company then they have a vested interest in defending it's name.



Why? In what way does defending yourself against comments that haven't been made make a positive contribution to the discussion? Does it occur to you that this smacks more of pot-stirring than of rationally discussing your publisher?

I think folks tend to react quite strongly when they find themselves being publically disscussed without their presence. I mean, look at how many seriously bad outbursts we've had in the past from 'professionals'. I'm hoping this thread doesn't end up that way.

PublicityPixie
09-12-2012, 07:53 PM
Greetings, Coolers,

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 :)

BlueThroneJeff
09-13-2012, 03:26 AM
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.

htrent
09-13-2012, 03:35 AM
Nice. "Us vs them."

Welcome to AW. Maybe hang around and see what the site's all about, *then* poke at us caged monkeys?

Stacia Kane
09-13-2012, 04:17 AM
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.


Ah, well then. I much prefer to write unoriginal books which have no literary merit whatsoever, and no readers have ever considered any of my books to be worth their time, so I guess CQP isn't for hacks like me.

BlueThroneJeff
09-13-2012, 06:31 AM
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.

veinglory
09-13-2012, 07:15 AM
Your intent was very clearly and explicitly to insult most of the people who have participated in this thread, and you have probably succeeded FWIW. If you actually do regret doing so, you can delete those comments.

AW is about getting books in the hands of a significant number readers, and that is the only "model" any publisher is measured against. Do let us know how that works out.

Unimportant
09-13-2012, 07:37 AM
My apologies. I see must have bruised some egos (not my intent), so I'll get to my point.

Jeff, perhaps you should read over your own post again:


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.

What you have said is that AW members who publish with large commercial presses are not writing original fiction worth a reader's time but, instead, are writing market-greased, unoriginal YA fantasy with no literary merit. This is an egregious insult to all those writers, and is wholly disrespectful.

Unimportant
09-13-2012, 07:43 AM
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.

Okay. I went to the site and clicked at random on a story. Here's the first 100 words. I've bolded in red the errors I spotted.

Once upon a time, a very long time ago, in the world of Thiside there lived the last of the great Sorcerers. As his inevitable death loomed ever closer he was wrought with despair. As the last of his line the sorcerer had yet to leave his mark on the world. Those that preceded him had created amazing things, built cities from an acorn, created new creatures and, in one unique case, invented the toilet seat (which was never utilized for it’s true purpose but was instead implemented for more practical application; stopping one’s buttocks from touching the distasteful rim ....

Right. Let's talk about the quality of their fiction, one aspect of which is the quality of their editing, shall we?

BenPanced
09-13-2012, 08:32 AM
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.


Ah, well then. I much prefer to write unoriginal books which have no literary merit whatsoever, and no readers have ever considered any of my books to be worth their time, so I guess CQP isn't for hacks like me.
Maybe you and I can go off in a corner by ourselves and talk about boys while we braid each other's hair and paint our toenails.

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.
One thing I couldn't find on their site that I'm not certain if it's been mentioned upthread (quick scan reveals it hasn't) is who are these people? I see a lot about the authors but nothing about the staff. Who are they? What experience do they bring to the table? Have they worked in publishing? A detailed "about us" listing the staff and mentioning their experience would certainly help build their case, especially since they're still a relatively new publisher.

Filigree
09-13-2012, 08:45 AM
Popcorn, anyone?

Honestly, I'm unlikely to ever sub anything to CQ, simply because I'm already familiar with the markets and contacts I need. I wouldn't call those markets 'literary' or 'legacy' publishing. They're a long way from the Big Six. They're not earning me any 'very nice deals'. They are earning more money than I expected, and getting me far more notice than I could as a self-published author or with an unknown new publisher.

I will be interested in seeing how CQ's experiment works over the next couple of years. If CQ books sell reasonably well and there's no odd business dealing, I might even recommend them to writers looking for a co-op model. However, I am going to wait out those two years, for these reasons:

1. Historically, many small presses have imploded within that time frame: from poor management, adverse market conditions, or diminishing capital reserves. It happens to even the savviest of business owners. Nothing to be ashamed about - unless the business starts trying to cheat its creditors and contractors to shore itself up.

2. Publishing is not a learn-as-you-go business. It's a contradictory, complicated, frustrating, illogical, exhilarating mess. It requires at least some familiarity, some kind of apprenticeship. I wouldn't send my artwork to a brand new gallery without doing a business and credit check on the owner/operators. I'm not going to send a mms to a publisher who hasn't proven they're worth more than glowing promises.

It may seem like all these AW folks are being utter meanies, but take a look through the failed publishers thread and you'll see why many of us are cautious about declarations of 'The Next Great Thing'.

I wish you well, though.

Terie
09-13-2012, 10:26 AM
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.

Could you please explain to us how CQP is an experimental venture? Especially in light of the fact that, so far, they appear to be doing exactly what hundreds of micropresses -- most of which have, unfortunately, failed -- before them have done? Explicit details about what they're doing differently would be relevant to this discussion.

Before you answer that, you might want to peruse the index of publisher threads (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=792) and read through some of the greyed-out threads. (The greyed-out threads are for publishers who have gone out of business, some with a bang but most with a whimper.)

Stacia Kane
09-13-2012, 02:59 PM
My apologies. I see must have bruised some egos (not my intent), so I'll get to my point.




You didn't bruise my ego. I simply took your statement at face value.


*grabs nail polish for night of fun with BenPanced*

PublicityPixie
09-13-2012, 03:05 PM
Humn. Well, thank you for the passionate support, Jeff, although I agree, your first post wasn't just 'able to be taken offensively', it was outright offensive. I think you'd do us both a favour if you hit the edit button and replaced it with "I was having a bad day and said some things I shouldn't, please ignore". I'm really glad you enjoy our books though, and look forward to your future support.

Filigree, I look forward to seeing you after those two years; I want to see how this experiment works out, too (and yes, it IS an experimental venture -- the focus on serial fiction, for instance, isn't standard practice, and there's a lot more in the works you'll see before the end of those two years).

I'll back out of this discussion now, as I'm not sure I'll be able to add anything much more. As Filigree pointed out, the real test of a new micropulisher is the test of time. If we're dead and gone in two years, you'll know you were right. If we keep on track, though, I think you'll see good things.

Anninyn
09-13-2012, 03:14 PM
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.

That is exactly what you are seeing. That, and the same concerns that are raised for every new publisher - including publishers started up by AW members. Check the Musa thread for that.


The fact that some authors may like CQP doesn't necessarily make them a good choice. What makes a publisher a good choice is their experience, their marketing, their business savvy and their ability to get books where they belong - in front of readers. While you're here, check out these links - they don't always follow the same pattern, but in a lot of them you'll see: New press claiming to do things differently, us applying questions, authors and owners coming in to defend press, then press folding, or worse, going down the scam press route. Not always, but often enough.

Blue Phi'er (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=53293&highlight=Blue+Phi%27er)
Asylett (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=61095)
Authors Ink (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=40725)
Bouncing Balls (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=66454)
Cacoethes
(http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=97595)Callio (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=48220)
Capri (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=45649)
(edited to include further links)

And dozens of other now defunct publishers that took their writers work with them when they folded. Some time reading through the grey links here (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=151224&postcount=3)would be very educational for all new board members - as would spending some time with the stickies. All those things are there for a reason.

And Aspen Mountain (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=69909) proves that it can happen to anyone.

Perhaps now you can see why we may come across as a little unaccomodating? Bitter experience. We want new publishers to succeed, as we want places to send our work, even though we are all (all 30,000 of us) derivative hacks.

As an unpublished writer, I want as many markets out there as possible that can publish my work and get it in front of readers. That's the important thing to me - getting it in front of readers.

shaldna
09-13-2012, 03:48 PM
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.

If that's the case then surely you can see why there are questions being raised?


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.

But by being unpulbished it would suggest that you lack experience of how the publishing industry works and what is good and bad practice. As such it makes it harder for inexperienced folk to see the concerns - this is why companies like Publish America still exist - they rely on inexperience authors who don't know any better.

Now, I'm not saying that CQP is a bad press, but I am saying that there are legitimate concerns based on their business model, experience etc. If you choose to ignore those concerns then by all means that's you perogative. But for all those other folk, new and old and lurkers alike, it's important to raise potential issues. It doesn't mean anyone is bashing the press. It's a rational discussion about the merits or potential problems with a new publisher using unconventional methods that those of us with actual experience in the industry have seen fail over and over and over.

You should have a read of CathyC's post here on why publishers fail - http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=241409




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.

Thank you for clarifying.



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.

Except it wasn't 'bad press' - it was a question on a public message board for writers - as I'm sure you've seen when you read the posts here.

That said, the sudden creation of brand spanking new accounts here created solely for the purpose of posting on this thread is suspicious - it makes it seem like it's CQP doing it. I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that it's just 'passionate authors' - but those authors might want to realise how it looks to the common man reading this thread. Sometimes helping isn't really helping.



Curiosity Quills rocks. The "concerns" raised here remind me of the monkeys in a cage experiment.

Wow, you're very first post here is to insult people? Really?

The concerns raised her are legitimate concerns that would get raised about any other publisher. Trust me - just read some of the threads about the Big Six and even there you'll see concerns and issues getting raised.



Many of the folks who post here are either invested, or hope to invest, in the legacy publishing model.

And many of the folks here have self published, some have done both. What's your point here? Because it sounds like you are trying to say that the folks here are picking on a new publisher because they are what? Threatened?



Some of us are trying to write original fiction, not market-greased ya fantasy or sports novels, for example.

And again with the insults. It doesn't help your case.

The main rule we have here is Respect Your Fellow Writer - that means all writers, regardless of what they write or whether you think they are orginal or worthy enough to be called a writer.

For instance, I could just have easily said something like 'Some of us are trying to write something fun and entertaining, not over written, naval gazing pap.'

But I didn't. Because that would have been disrespectful.

Think about it.




My apologies. I see must have bruised some egos (not my intent), so I'll get to my point.

You didn't bruise egos, but you did insult an awful lot of people and a whole industry.




One thing I couldn't find on their site that I'm not certain if it's been mentioned upthread (quick scan reveals it hasn't) is who are these people? I see a lot about the authors but nothing about the staff. Who are they? What experience do they bring to the table? Have they worked in publishing? A detailed "about us" listing the staff and mentioning their experience would certainly help build their case, especially since they're still a relatively new publisher.

And again, this is something we see over and over again - usually when those folks don't have any experience.


Could you please explain to us how CQP is an experimental venture? Especially in light of the fact that, so far, they appear to be doing exactly what hundreds of micropresses -- most of which have, unfortunately, failed -- before them have done? Explicit details about what they're doing differently would be relevant to this discussion.

And again, I would direct folks to the link I posted above.

Stacia Kane
09-13-2012, 05:16 PM
Humn. Well, thank you for the passionate support, Jeff, although I agree, your first post wasn't just 'able to be taken offensively', it was outright offensive. I think you'd do us both a favour if you hit the edit button and replaced it with "I was having a bad day and said some things I shouldn't, please ignore". I'm really glad you enjoy our books though, and look forward to your future support.

Filigree, I look forward to seeing you after those two years; I want to see how this experiment works out, too (and yes, it IS an experimental venture -- the focus on serial fiction, for instance, isn't standard practice, and there's a lot more in the works you'll see before the end of those two years).

I'll back out of this discussion now, as I'm not sure I'll be able to add anything much more. As Filigree pointed out, the real test of a new micropulisher is the test of time. If we're dead and gone in two years, you'll know you were right. If we keep on track, though, I think you'll see good things.


Nice response, PP. Thanks for it.

Momento Mori
09-14-2012, 02:33 AM
BlueThroneJeff:
Many of the folks who post here are either invested, or hope to invest, in the legacy publishing model.

The legacy publishing model doesn't need authors to invest in it. The whole point of legacy (or as I prefer to term it, "commercial publishing") is that the publisher invests in you by paying you an advance up front and then paying you royalties once you hit a certain sales target.


BlueThroneJeff:
I see must have bruised some egos (not my intent), so I'll get to my point.

I'm sure that the thought of bruising egos must be very distressing to you, given that you expressed your fully thought-through opinions in such a conciliatory manner ...


BlueThroneJeff:
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.

The purpose of the Forum is to enable people to make informed decisions on what is best for them. As such it makes sense to compare going with an "experimental" publisher like SQP against a commercial publishing model because as an author, you need to work out which one gives you or is likely to give you the better immediate and long term rewards for your work.

Those market-greased YA and sports novels you denigrate so freely are the same books that subsidise the publishing of more experimental literary fiction by commercial publishers. Literary fiction is not profitable. It tends to be very hit and miss because it's a harder market to pinpoint a readership for. Genre fiction, by contrast, is seen as a 'safer' bet because you have set venues and markets in which you can reach your target readers (e.g. conventions, genre blogs etc).

It's a relief that the authors and members of CQP staff who've been posting here have been more professional and courteous than you seem to be capable of. Friends like you are damaging to start-ups trying to establish themselves.

MM
Returning to her market-greased YA novel as it needs another basting.

BlueThroneJeff
09-14-2012, 06:45 AM
I'll concede that, in an effort to defend CQP, I was insulting. Accept my apologies and thank you all for the feedback.

Cheers.

Filigree
09-14-2012, 07:50 AM
Jeff, you're new, and I can see that you're sincere in your passionate defenses. It's okay. There are books within my favorite SF&F and Romance genres that I still don't get - but the market seems to. The big bestsellers help pay my royalties, though.

Filigree, a market-greased erotica writer.

BlueThroneJeff
09-14-2012, 06:20 PM
Filigree, I've been reading AW for years, but never felt the need to post (didn't want to get into a spat . . . oops!). I also know plenty about the publishing industry, so posting for the first time at AW does not make me "new," only new in posting to this small facet of the greater literary community.

AW is one fish in a sea of resources, and it's not for everyone. Those invested in using AW might see it differently. For me, it's expansive and offers lots of insight; I will continue to use it, though with a grain of salt.

AW is not the authority on writing, editing, and publishing, and shouldn't treated as such.

I've enjoyed the discussion. I wish you all well with your market-greased fiction (I kid, I kid). This will be my last post here (and reading of the thread), but thanks to all of you for your honesty. I wish you all well.

Cheers!

htrent
09-14-2012, 07:18 PM
I'm just curious. If you've been reading AW for years and understood the tone and workings of the place, why would you enter a thread with snark guns blazing and without an inkling your comment was offensive? Not that it would be CONSTRUED as offensive, but that it WAS?

Rule of thumb: you can't insult people then apologize for them being sensitive. That's being disingenuous.

Even if people agreed with you about CQP (and folks have already said there isn't enough information to make a long-term assessment about the publisher), tactless snark is a surefire way to annoy those of us who have very long memories.

BenPanced
09-14-2012, 07:30 PM
Filigree, I've been reading AW for years, but never felt the need to post (didn't want to get into a spat . . . oops!). I also know plenty about the publishing industry, so posting for the first time at AW does not make me "new," only new in posting to this small facet of the greater literary community.

AW is one fish in a sea of resources, and it's not for everyone. Those invested in using AW might see it differently. For me, it's expansive and offers lots of insight; I will continue to use it, though with a grain of salt.

AW is not the authority on writing, editing, and publishing, and shouldn't treated as such.

I've enjoyed the discussion. I wish you all well with your market-greased fiction (I kid, I kid). This will be my last post here (and reading of the thread), but thanks to all of you for your honesty. I wish you all well.

Cheers!
2.5/5.0

Considering much of the misinformation floating around online about publishing, AW is much more of an authority on the business than what I've seen. I'm incredibly biased about the information available here because without it and the people who offer it, I wouldn't be sitting here today with two published books to my credit.

Filigree
09-14-2012, 07:47 PM
Same here. I sold a story to an anthology based off a call-for-submissions I read about on AW first. I researched all the e-publishers I then queried for my debut novel, right here on AW first, and then in other online forums. I approached my agent based off PM conversations with some of her existing clients - again, here on AW. I share ideas, travails, and triumphs with some very smart and kind people on various AW forums.

Sure, it's not the only resource around, and I view *everything* I read with healthy skepticism. But as a tested resource, it's one of the best.

Momento Mori
09-14-2012, 11:12 PM
BlueThroneJeff:
I also know plenty about the publishing industry

Cool. Where does your knowledge about the industry come from? I ask because if you're concerned about AW not being an absolute reference guide (pun fully intended), then perhaps you can share alternative resources so people know where else to look.

For example, I usually recommend that people go check out a book called MERCHANTS OF CULTURE by John Thompson, which takes a look at the last 50 years of the publishing industry and explains how modern publishing works. It was published in 2010, so it's not as hot on epublishing as it could be, but it's an accessible and informative guide to the industry for anyone wanting to know more.

Alternatively, I recommend that anyone interested in writing for the children's/YA market look into joining their local chapter of the SCBWI, which is a highly organised, highly knowledgeable resource for that sector and has excellent support networks for people working on their craft and those who are already published.

I agree that AW isn't the be-all-and-end-all, but it is a useful resource and plenty of people who have gone on to be successfully published have picked up a lot of useful industry and craft information and support from hanging out here, e.g. Erin Morgenstern.

MM

Jamiekswriter
09-15-2012, 12:36 AM
Filigree, a market-greased erotica writer.

market-greased erotica writer :partyguy:

michael_b
09-15-2012, 12:57 AM
Filigree, I look forward to seeing you after those two years; I want to see how this experiment works out, too (and yes, it IS an experimental venture -- the focus on serial fiction, for instance, isn't standard practice, and there's a lot more in the works you'll see before the end of those two years).

For the record you aren't as unique in publishing serialized fiction as you think. Many other indie epresses have been doing so for some time now. I've had serialized pieces coming out from various epresses since 2004. These stories weren't given away for free, they were ebooks readers paid to read.

Unimportant
09-15-2012, 01:40 AM
AW is one fish in a sea of resources, and it's not for everyone. Those invested in using AW might see it differently. For me, it's expansive and offers lots of insight; I will continue to use it, though with a grain of salt.
AW does have a good section on self-publishing, in case you haven't wandered through that section. Since you've self published (http://bluethrone.com/), I'm sure AW members would appreciate any contributions you could make to that section, and any tips or info you could share.

DrFaerieGodmother
11-25-2012, 06:37 PM
I was wondering if anyone has heard anything more about this publisher.

And thank you for the links to small presses, Anninyn. That was... eye opening.

SamanthaLehane
12-03-2012, 10:44 AM
To the authors who have free serials being published by CQP, have you seen more reviews or sales on your other works (or traffic to your blogs) from being featured on CQP? If the authors are getting good publicity then I can see how having a free serial featured on CQP would be beneficial.

Anthony Mathenia
02-28-2013, 10:59 PM
I published 'Happiness: How to Find It' as a free online serial with CQP. As a romance, it was an experimental novel for me and I decided to carry the experiment forward and publish it as online serial.

Having a weekly serial was a good way to self-promote. Every week I had an opportunity to engage my readers. I did pick up a good group of readers from the exercise. I even got some fan-art.

However I don't think it was very effective in getting those same readers to purchase my newest release 'Paradise Earth: Day Zero'. I don't have any direct data, I'm just going by how it feels.

One pet-peeve I had is that their online serials didn't really seem to have any kind of proofreading, like their normal releases. I was often horrified at some of mistakes that went through. Granted they were my mistakes, but it would have been nice to have another set of eyes on it.

All-in-all, I am pleased. I wasn't overly attached to 'Happiness' and quite frankly I don't think I would have tried to publish it otherwise. I would definitely considering doing another online serial again if the right project presented itself.

SamanthaLehane
03-04-2013, 10:18 PM
Thank you for your candid response, Anthony! I'm sure that will be useful information for other writers here.

GAdler
06-18-2013, 01:42 AM
Hi Everyone. I actually joined today in response to this thread. I will preface my statements here with the fact that I am a brand new, fresh out of the box, reeking of 'new writer smell' kind of author. I have somehow (and I do mean that, as I have NO CLUE where they came from) written four novels in the past year and finally submitted my first query to CQP this past April. I am not a published author in any form (unless you count Molecular and Cellular Neurosciences, but that is a far cry from the YA/NA genre I am going for) nor am I employed or connected to anyone at CQP. I simply found their website, did some reading and followed instructions. Within two weeks I had a request for more chapters and now, eight weeks later, I am being offered a set of edits along with a revise and resubmit. The feedback I have received from my contact has been brief but all of it has been honest, supportive and most importantly, genuine. I can't say much else as I JUST got the e-mail this past Friday and am waiting on the editorial notes, but so far my experience with CQ has been nothing short of everything I hoped it would be. I have no idea where this may end but I do know that even the few comments I have gotten back have helped me push through those days when I questioned what I was doing and what gave me the right to think that I could.

JulieB
06-18-2013, 04:04 AM
Welcome to AW!

Please keep us updated. The more data points, the better.

TheOneTrueBen
07-04-2013, 11:45 AM
Okay, so it appears some authors with CQP have posted here and read this thread. One thing I haven't noted yet is anyone saying anything about whether or not they are getting PAID. Can any of the authors from CQP address this? I've noted a lot of very passionate defenses of this company...but no one has mentioned if they've received a royalty check. I think that alone would settle a lot of the questions about CQP. From a strictly neutral POV, I've also noted that no one has dropped any complaints about being charged large amounts of money for services that weren't provided, or many of the other shenanigans we've seen orchestrated by other less than stellar actors in the field. So, at the moment, we're seeing a company without much in the way of a proven record that has not presented itself as professionally as it could in a perfect world, nor has it been represented as well as it might by outside parties, none of which make it a scam press but neither have they completely dispersed these concerns.

So...has anyone been paid by CQP? Can anyone step in and say yes?

Christine N.
07-04-2013, 06:59 PM
They've requested chapters from me during Pitcharama, run by the Aussie owned and Read blog. One or more of the blog authors are published by them, I know Katie Teller is, she has books at other small presses too.

So far they're nice, but I have nothing to offer beyond that at this point. If I do, I will post more.

Fantasy_freak
08-03-2013, 02:22 AM
There are those associated with this company who don't want to poke their heads above the parapets, for fear of having it shot off.

All I can say is this company has a high staff turn over for a variety of reasons. They have also just had some of their authors break their contracts and walk.

I would suggest anyone thinking about signing with this company do their research. Look how their titles sell. Look at the reviews. For example, the ARC reviews on this CQ book are an eye opener:
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18174503-demon-s-veil

Speak to several of their authors, ask if they are happy with communication, book sales and payments - ask if anyone has received money yet! Plus make sure you ask for direct access to authors, don't let the company censor author emails.

Their acquisition editor has just started a vanity press service, sanctioned by Curiosity Quills, which opens a whole 'nother can of worms...

Scribe Publicity
08-08-2013, 08:21 AM
In regards to the uncalled for, and badly-researched accusation, regarding the Acquisitions Manager at CQ and some sort of nonsense about a 'vanity press'…

My name is Andrew Buckley, I am a published author with CQ with one book released and a second coming out this Fall (and yes, I've been paid). In January of this year I accepted the part time contract position of Acquisitions Manager for CQ which I still hold today. I manage the acquisitions department and work with upper management to ensure quality control and brand consistency.

In July of this year, utilizing my 7 year background in marketing and promotions, I launched my own company; Scribe Publicity. Scribe is first and foremost a publicity agency that is not connected to CQ in any way nor does it conflict with anything they do. CQ very kindly allowed me to post a promotional blog post on their main site when we launched but Scribe operates independently and already has a growing number of clients.

Scribe Publicity also employs a number of contractors ranging from editors, to cover artists, to filmmakers to whom we refer clients, if they are in need of such services. I can't state anymore clearly: we are not a publisher, we do not publish any work. We promote work for people. Scribe is a Literary Publicity company, as clearly stated on all our documentation and website (www.scribepublicity.com).

Now, kindly close your can of worms and do something constructive. Maybe write a book? And then when you're ready to promote it, please feel free to drop us a line :)

Round Two
08-08-2013, 09:30 AM
In regards to the uncalled for, and badly-researched accusation, regarding the Acquisitions Manager at CQ and some sort of nonsense about a 'vanity press'…

My name is Andrew Buckley, I am a published author with CQ with one book released and a second coming out this Fall (and yes, I've been paid). In January of this year I accepted the part time contract position of Acquisitions Manager for CQ which I still hold today. I manage the acquisitions department and work with upper management to ensure quality control and brand consistency.

In July of this year, utilizing my 7 year background in marketing and promotions, I launched my own company; Scribe Publicity. Scribe is first and foremost a publicity agency that is not connected to CQ in any way nor does it conflict with anything they do. CQ very kindly allowed me to post a promotional blog post on their main site when we launched but Scribe operates independently and already has a growing number of clients.

Scribe Publicity also employs a number of contractors ranging from editors, to cover artists, to filmmakers to whom we refer clients, if they are in need of such services. I can't state anymore clearly: we are not a publisher, we do not publish any work. We promote work for people. Scribe is a Literary Publicity company, as clearly stated on all our documentation and website (www.scribepublicity.com).

Now, kindly close your can of worms and do something constructive. Maybe write a book? And then when you're ready to promote it, please feel free to drop us a line :)

Can you give a little more information about Scribe? What sort of media placements have you been able to secure? You mention NetGalley in the review section, do you currently have an account there or are you expecting authors to pick up the cost? What do you mean when you say you're going to send review copies to online bookstores for reviews? You've got a typo-- it should be "Publishers" Weekly. You didn't include Booklist in the list of publications you were sending to, what was the rationale behind the decision to exclude the fourth of the Big Four publishing trade reviewers?

Scribe Publicity
08-09-2013, 01:52 AM
Can you give a little more information about Scribe? What sort of media placements have you been able to secure? You mention NetGalley in the review section, do you currently have an account there or are you expecting authors to pick up the cost? What do you mean when you say you're going to send review copies to online bookstores for reviews? You've got a typo-- it should be "Publishers" Weekly. You didn't include Booklist in the list of publications you were sending to, what was the rationale behind the decision to exclude the fourth of the Big Four publishing trade reviewers?

In answer to your questions:
As we're a month old we haven't yet had a call from current clients for specific media placements. Due to my background in marketing and promotions I'm well versed in media placement, processes, and avenues. I look forward to working on media placements for our clients in the future. The cost of posting to a site like Netgalley is factored into the overall publicity cost. We don't send review copies to bookstores. We send them to reviewers who we then ask to post their reviews to online bookstores. Thanks, I've fixed the typo. The list is an example and not to be taken as an absolute. Booklist is also a site we take under consideration.

Hope this helps clarify things. I joined Absolute Write only to settle any false claims or accusations of conflicts of interest with CQ. I do find this site to be a little pretentious and I've noticed a number of trolls living under various bridges. I encourage and welcome all questions about Scribe and the services we offer. If there are any other questions please feel free to email me directly at info@scribepublicity.com

evilrooster
08-09-2013, 04:27 AM
I do find this site to be a little pretentious and I've noticed a number of trolls living under various bridges.

Out of curiosity, is this how you do publicity for your clients?

I have never seen someone come onto an online community, call it names, and have it come out well. It doesn't lend the name-caller credibility, or win them points with community members. It's rather like coming to someone's house and making slighting comments about the drapes.

Now, perhaps you do better by your clients than you've done by yourself thus far. I do hope so.

GAdler
08-09-2013, 03:12 PM
One step closer...

I have an update to the post I made in June.

I received the notes from CQ and they were amazing! The editor made four clear and concise suggestions that made my novel that much stronger. Along with the notes came more praise for my work, which is something that I am willing to bet few of us hear very often, along with a willingness and desire to keep working with it (yet another rarity, based on the research I have done). This is my first novel and my first publisher, so I can't compare my experience with CQ to any other publishing house, but I can say that I have never felt anything but support for my work. That alone makes me sit with baited breath every morning when I check my email for CQ's decision.

Krista G.
08-09-2013, 10:43 PM
One step closer...

I have an update to the post I made in June.

I received the notes from CQ and they were amazing! The editor made four clear and concise suggestions that made my novel that much stronger. Along with the notes came more praise for my work, which is something that I am willing to bet few of us hear very often, along with a willingness and desire to keep working with it (yet another rarity, based on the research I have done). This is my first novel and my first publisher, so I can't compare my experience with CQ to any other publishing house, but I can say that I have never felt anything but support for my work. That alone makes me sit with baited breath every morning when I check my email for CQ's decision.

Hi, GAdler! I have no connection to Curiosity Quills--in fact, I've never even submitted to them--so take this as one observer's possibly unfounded opinion. I just noticed you were new, to Absolute Write and to writing, so I thought I'd throw my two cents in and urge caution. It's wonderful that CQ has been supportive of you and your work; that's encouraging. But just remember to keep your wits about you.

I've been hanging around these forums for somewhere around four years, and I've seen a lot of writers burned by publishing start-ups, even the ones that had only the best of intentions. (If you want to see just how badly things can turn out, check out Iconic Publishing's thread (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=232072).) CQ may be doing everything right, may be offering their authors the very best they can, but if you want to play the numbers, they likely won't survive the next few years. This is just an exceptionally hard industry for EVERYONE to break into: writers, agents, and even publishers.

There is no shame in not publishing your first manuscript--very few writers do--so don't feel like you have to jump at the first opportunity that presents itself. You'll have other chances. If you're like most of us, you write because you can't NOT write, because it's your way to make sense of the world around you. In other words, even if this story doesn't sell, you'll make plenty more.

I know you didn't solicit this advice, so feel free to take it with a grain of salt. Sometimes, I just can't help myself. :) The very best of luck to you and your manuscripts. I look forward to seeing them on the shelves someday.

Fantasy_freak
08-11-2013, 06:02 AM
Quite apart from the uncalled for attack from the CQ acquisitions editor/Scribe owner (isn't that great press for a business?) I still haven't seen anyone involved with the company address:

High staff turnover

Writers who have walked, and

Is anyone actually getting paid?

LindaJeanne
08-11-2013, 06:10 AM
I do find this site to be a little pretentious and I've noticed a number of trolls living under various bridges.

Um, yeah. Nice to meet you, too?

Katrina S. Forest
08-11-2013, 07:16 AM
Along with the notes came more praise for my work, which is something that I am willing to bet few of us hear very often, along with a willingness and desire to keep working with it (yet another rarity, based on the research I have done).

The rarity of acceptances is based largely on where you submit. If I only submit to places that accept less than 1% of what they receive, I wouldn't expect to hear good news nearly as often as if I only submitted to places that accepted more than half of all submissions.

The big question is, where in that spectrum is CQP? I don't know.

YooprGurl
08-11-2013, 10:03 AM
I participated in the Twitter #pitchmas in July, and received a request for first a partial, then a full, from an editor at Curiosity Quills.

Doing my own research, I contacted one of their authors, who is a friend of a friend. She released her first book with CQ in January and has been happy working with them, and has been paid. I also read her book, which I gave 4 of 5 stars. She is releasing a second book with them within the next 6 months.

CQ is listed with the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators as a PAL publisher, not that it is a stamp of approval, but CQ has proven to at least SCBWI they are not a vanity press. They have only been around for two years, and have released approximately 60 books, according to Amazon, which, to me, seems reasonable for a new, small press.

I agree with calls to proceed with caution, and I would like to hear from more authors, but if I got an offer from Curiosity Quills, I would certainly entertain it.

GAdler
08-11-2013, 11:49 AM
I want to thank everyone for their thoughts and advice. Yes, even for your words of caution and patience. I sometimes laugh when I read my few posts here, as they smell faintly reminiscent of the youthful exuberance I felt the night before my first day of university (ouch, I just realised that was a quarter century ago!). Your words of caution remind me how I felt the day after I got my first set of mid-term grades.

I literally began waking up in the middle of the night a year and a half ago and just started vomiting out a couple of thousand word a day. To date, I am three-quarters of the way through my fifth full novel and there seems to be no end in sight! I keep trying to convince myself of the advice I give my daughters when they do me the honour of asking for it, namely, that everyone has different opinions of a situation based on their prior experiences. You can ask people for what they think, but that only goes so far. Each situation is unique. Ultimately you do your research so you can be as informed as possible, but life is about taking chances and you can never really know anything for certain. The best thing to do is buckle up and enjoy the ride!

As I write this post a question comes to mind that might help clear the pixie dust and sense of anxiety that I feel. I have read hundreds of websites, Facebook posts and Twitter feeds. I now dream in hash-tags and have yet to figure out why I find the term itself so funny, but so help me, I laugh each time I hear it! A common comment that I have noticed from many authors, both the new recruits and the veterans, is that having your manuscript accepted by a publishing house is like receiving mana from heaven! I have received one rejection from an agent and a half dozen or so no-replies from other publishing houses. I know that this is common and that, at times, patience for an author only comes with the tilt of a wine glass. The blogosphere then goes on to talk about the elation you feel at that first acceptance letter and how rare it is to receive it. As a newbie, if I am so graced as to get a publisher's attention, let alone acceptance, how do I question that in any way? To me, it is analogous to when newly drafted pro-athletes refuse to play for their draft team, for whatever reason. Shouldn't a rookie be honoured to play at all? Who is s/he to question if it is a large market franchise or a small one?

evilrooster
08-11-2013, 02:11 PM
A common comment that I have noticed from many authors, both the new recruits and the veterans, is that having your manuscript accepted by a publishing house is like receiving mana from heaven! I have received one rejection from an agent and a half dozen or so no-replies from other publishing houses. I know that this is common and that, at times, patience for an author only comes with the tilt of a wine glass. The blogosphere then goes on to talk about the elation you feel at that first acceptance letter and how rare it is to receive it. As a newbie, if I am so graced as to get a publisher's attention, let alone acceptance, how do I question that in any way? To me, it is analogous to when newly drafted pro-athletes refuse to play for their draft team, for whatever reason. Shouldn't a rookie be honoured to play at all? Who is s/he to question if it is a large market franchise or a small one?

The thing is, anyone can call themselves a publisher. It's not a title conferred from on high. There's no vetting mechanism. Just hang out your shingle and you're a publisher. That doesn't make everyone who takes the title a good publisher. It doesn't even make them competent. So you should question, and investigate, and exercise judgment, just as you would when you enter any business relationship. Do you buy the first house you see? The first car, even if it's making funny noises and smoking when you test drive it?

Let's go with your athlete analogy. Suppose you're a fairly good baseball player. Led the varsity team in high school, good stats. A minor-league coach offers you a chance to be on his team. Do you take it?

You look deeper and ask around, right? So what if it turns out this coach isn't doing a very good job? He's recruiting way too many athletes to pay good attention to them. His players get injured a lot more than other players. They're not winning games an awful lot. Actually, seat sales are down so much that players are having to buy their own equipment and chip in on his salary. And he's making players post flyers for upcoming games and hustle radio spots as well.

One of the people you're talking to says, "Kid, here's the thing. If you go with this guy, this is all you're going to be. He's not going to teach you how to hit the ball further, because that's going to take time he doesn't have. He can't teach you base tactics because he doesn't know them. You might improve some on your own, but you won't have much time for that because you're going to need a day job to pay him. And all that flyer-posting eats time too."

"Now maybe you're not the next Jose Canseco. But maybe you are, or maybe if you worked at it, aimed high, and risked a few rejections, you could be. Or maybe, if you're not, you could still do better than this guy. Maybe you'll find a team that plays to your home audience, and you'll take the smaller salary for that. Or you don't mind posting your own flyers. But you'll never know if you take the first offer that comes to you. You should give yourself the chance to be better than that."

The minor-league coach I've described is pretty much every questionable publisher rolled into one person: imprints where the editors don't have time or skill enough to improve the books they work with, vanity presses, places that demand so much publicity from authors that it eats into writing time. I'm not saying Curiosity Quills is all of these things, but there are red flags about their "coaching" and their ability to sell "seats" for their games. If you read some of the other threads in Bewares, Recommendations & Background Checks, you can see how often people come in excited and leave heartbroken when their presses let them down.

Just because you receive an offer doesn't mean it's a good one. You're already doing the first thing we advise people to do while they seek publication: you're writing more books. But you should also be aiming higher than "anyone who'll take me", working on your craft, and believing in yourself.

Give yourself a chance to be better than someone who has to be humbly grateful for any acceptance they can get.

Marian Perera
08-11-2013, 03:56 PM
Shouldn't a rookie be honoured to play at all?

Even if a publisher is a rookie press that someone just started yesterday, should they publish every manuscript they were sent, reasoning that they should be honored just to receive these manuscripts?

Or, if they were hoping for success, should they carefully choose and evaluate manuscripts - maybe even more carefully than the major publishers do, since they have even less of a margin for error?

Likewise, I think new writers should carefully choose and evaluate publishers, rather than feeling they were honored to get a publisher's attention. I could set up a website today, calling myself a publisher and accepting people's manuscripts. That might make those people happy for a short period of time, but unless that temporary happiness was all they wanted in return for their hard work, they would be disappointed in the long run, because I wouldn't be able to provide anything more than an illusory feeling of validation.

In other words, not everyone who calls themselves a publisher is a good publisher. That's why all writers, whether they're newbies or have been around the block a few times, should be careful.

Filigree
08-11-2013, 06:50 PM
Getting a book accepted by a publisher is not 'mana from heaven'. Nor is getting it published.This is the start of a process and (hopefully) a long journey.

Yes, we celebrate every chance we get. Because this is a hard and uncertain business. That is why *who* the publisher is matters.

GAdler
08-11-2013, 06:57 PM
I hear your words of caution and appreciate them. I guess it never occurred to me that an author would actually consider refusing an acceptance. To borrow my sports analogy again (since writing is still a complete black-box mystery to me). I understand the caution for those who have gone through the minor leagues and have been given that validation all along. I'm sure Jose was given all kinds of praise and accolades as he went through the process. He had some idea as to his 'net value' before he went on the auction block. Here is where my analogy starts to lose its applicability. It is possible to write without going through the process of formally studying and being coached in literacy (at least I hope it is, otherwise I am in trouble!). I doubt that Jose would have been able to just walk in to the stadium at the age of twenty and start smacking out dingers having never touched a bat. Does it ultimately come down to the Billy Beane? I have never written a word outside of scientific journals until now. I have no idea what my 'net worth' in the literary world would be. Am I a Jose or a nobody is anyone's guess. Would I rather be drafted eight-ninth overall, even if I should have gone first, than risk not having the chance to play? Much tougher to answer given my draft ranking.

evilrooster
08-11-2013, 07:18 PM
The usual advice is to aim high: submit to your dream markets (or the agents who can represent you to your dream markets) first. That can take a while, and you may very well collect a bunch of rejections. But you won't know if you don't try. If you get rejected, say "drat" (or, you know, something stronger ;) ) and send it to the next market/agent on your list. And in the meantime, keep writing.

You'll find your worth in the market, but not if you undervalue yourself. Another analogy: if I have something that people would pay $20 for, but I never even try to charge more than $10 for, I've left a tenner on the table. Likewise, if you start with a less-established press, one with less distribution and less experienced editors, you'll never know what a bigger place could have done for you.

And keep writing. Because that's how you get better at writing: practice.

Stick around Absolute Write. Read other areas, like the ones about getting an agent (query letters and how to write them), and the ones about whatever kind of books you write. Maybe crit other people's work in the Share Your Work area. Reading others' prose and seeing what works and what doesn't is a fantastic way to improve your own work, because you have enough distance to think about it objectively. When you've made 50 posts, put some of your own work up and people will give you honest feedback. (Be brave. It stings, sometimes. But it's a valuable learning experience.)

All of this stuff will help you figure out if you're Jose. If you are, they'll help you bring that out. And if you're not, they'll help you bring out whoever you are, and make you a better and better writer.

Also, remember that you don't age out of this draft. You can publish your first novel at 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80... if you don't make it this year, you're right back in the draft again next year. Take the time to do it right.

Marian Perera
08-11-2013, 07:31 PM
I hear your words of caution and appreciate them. I guess it never occurred to me that an author would actually consider refusing an acceptance.

Why not, if the author finds out that there's something less than acceptable about the press?

I love Samhain for my romantic fantasies, because they have a nice piece of the e-romance pie, but that doesn't mean I'll stick with them for every manuscript I'll ever write. I'd like my straight fantasies to be agented instead. And that's a purely business decision, just like the decision to refuse an acceptance from a press that may not be the best possible home for a manuscript.

Round Two
08-11-2013, 07:41 PM
Here are questions you should be asking yourself about any potential publisher—

What are my goals as a writer?
• money
• critical acclaim (in media that people actually consume)
• readers
• steppingstone to a larger publisher

If money is your goal, you should figure out how much the average author being published by the company is making from book sales. If you can also get the information for outliers, especially their best-selling authors, that can give you an idea of your ceiling in a best case scenario. If you can’t get anybody to tell you actual dollar amounts, you should be able to figure out, roughly, by looking at your contract to see how royalties are paid and applying that to the number of units those other authors are selling.

If your hope is to see your name in a big magazine or newspaper or to be on tv, find out if any of the company’s other authors have done that. It’s important to look at the media placements, if that’s your goal. A weekly county newspaper in Idaho is not the New York Times. A small blog is not Publishers Weekly. Don’t get caught up in the number of placements. It’s about the quality of them. One good review in Library Journal sells more books than one hundred great reviews on blogs nobody reads.

If your hope is to have readers, you’ll want to consult the sales number I referenced above. What’s going to make you happy? 50 readers? 500 readers? 5,000 readers? What is the number and has the publisher showed any ability to make that happen? A case can be made for getting a lot of readers with little money to show for it in the case of heavily discounted ebooks.

Do you want this experience to be a steppingstone to a larger publisher for your next book? If it is, here’s what you absolutely must keep in mind. When your next project ends up on the desk of a larger publisher they are going to see that you are previously published and they’re going to want to know what sort of sales you had before and what sort of attention you got for your work. If you’ve only sold 250 copies of a book and didn’t get coverage anywhere significant, you’re going to have two strikes against you. There is now baseline data associated with you and your books, and it is available for all interested parties to see when considering your next work. Be mindful of that.

Fantasy_freak
08-11-2013, 11:38 PM
If money is your goal, you should figure out how much the average author being published by the company is making from book sales.

This is what worries me - I have heard rumours of authors not seeing a dime from their sales, because they owe Curiosity Quills money :(

YooprGurl
08-12-2013, 01:53 AM
I have heard rumors of authors not seeing a dime from their sales, because they owe Curiosity Quills money :(

I have asked a Curiosity Quills author about this directly, and she said she had purchased a rather large order of print books to sell on her own and to use for promotion. I specifically asked if she owed CQ for editing, design, or anything else that would normally be covered by a traditional publisher, and she said no, it was for the extra books she purchased only. I don't know how many books she got with her contract, if any, or what discount she received, but she said she did not pay full price for the books.

Again, Curiosity Quills is a PAL publisher with SCBWI, and I know of a number of publishers who weren't up to the scrutiny. It's no guarantee they are a good publisher, but they seem to be legitimate. They simply are what they are, a small, new publishing company that may or may not go belly up because of their newness and inexperience. Would signing with them be something of a risk? Yes. Would it be safer to have an agent and be published by one of the Big 6 5? Yes. But I would hate to see an honest outfit maligned because of negative gossip and hearsay.

Fantasy_freak, I notice you are a new member, and three of your four posts have been on this thread, and they have been quite negative. Do you have any connection or direct experience with Curiosity Quills? Please share if you do.

Fantasy_freak
08-12-2013, 03:42 AM
Writers talk, and I have heard things. Yes second hand, but enough to make me raise my eyebrows (like authors breaking contracts and walking). I asked questions about this press on another site, and was directed here. I was under the impression this was the forum to ask these questions, so they can be aired?

If not, then I apologize & will keep quiet and stop asking questions.

YooprGurl
08-12-2013, 05:55 AM
Fantasy_freak, Thanks for sharing a little bit of your background. I was curious as to where you were coming from, and yes, this is the place to air concerns. I have been investigating, also, as you can see. CQ has become very active in agent/editor contests, with more they are participating in on the way. I would like to see as much information as possible posted on this thread, so writers who are approached can make the best decisions possible.

Fantasy_freak
08-12-2013, 06:38 AM
YooprGurl - yes I am also researching options. I am polishing my MS, with a view to hitting the query trenches soon. I lurk around alot and keep my ears open, trying to decide to query agents and/or presses open to unagented subs.

I heard a few things that worried me. I figure it's better to air concerns, so others more experienced can weigh in :)

frankiebrown
08-12-2013, 07:19 AM
Writers talk, and I have heard things. Yes second hand, but enough to make me raise my eyebrows (like authors breaking contracts and walking). I asked questions about this press on another site, and was directed here. I was under the impression this was the forum to ask these questions, so they can be aired?

If not, then I apologize & will keep quiet and stop asking questions.

It's not about discouraging questions -- we all want discourse here. But try to be as specific as possible, preferably with first-hand accounts of "eyebrow-raising things", so that nothing is misconstrued as rumor mongering.

From your posts, especially your first in this thread, it seems that you've had a personal experience with CQ. If so, please share. If not, I'd be wary of posting comments about authors not receiving payment. That's a very serious accusation.

GAdler
08-12-2013, 08:23 AM
I have been thinking about this thread all day. Needless to say, it can drive a person insane following every string of possibility and trying to figure out the one to follow. I may ramble for a moment here, but please bear with me, the epiphany is on its way.

My parents always described life as a struggle, my teachers as a journey but for the new millennium, the ominous term seems to be a game. Today I feel I decided how I am going to play it.

I am a firm believer in doing the due diligence but I have a tendency to dig to the nth degree until I uncover something; which I typically do. It took a while for me to accept that once you dig that deep, you are bound to find mistakes that people have made along the way, we are all human after all. I can't always expect perfection from myself, even though I may strive for it. I believe in giving everyone that same licence.

I am lucky that writing has come as a second calling. My first was a teacher (junior high math/science), which I still do. Unfortunately, a few years back, I was harassed by a clique of alpha-dogs (teachers, not students) in the school and actually spent six months at home on medical leave. Writing has become a huge part of my healing process. Every word that has poured out of me seems to go from my heart and soul directly onto the page. My instincts and intuition have been my GPS through something that, even four novels later, I still find terrifyingly bizarre. It is ironic to me that, as a person who lived his life crunching data as a measuring stick, I now want to trust my gut on this one. Win or lose, I will hold my head high at the end of the day.

For me, writing is a miraculously mysterious best friend. I have no idea how I am doing this, but I am thankful that I have it. Each step along the way has only added to the wondrous mystique and I would be lying if I didn't say that my experiences with CQ have been a part of that. Thus far, CQ has not set off my 'Spidey Sense' in any way. In fact, each correspondence from them has made me feel that much more confident. I know how naïve much of this sounds and I will certainly proceed with my eyes open but everything about this still feels good to me. If it ever doesn't, I'll deal with it then. Until that time, I choose to believe in the magic.

Krista G.
08-12-2013, 07:24 PM
Since I kind of started this conversation, I thought I'd chime in one more time and say that you do have to take what you want into account. If your dream is to publish with a small press, then CQ could be a good fit (though I do still think it's too early to tell whether they'll survive). On the other hand, if your dream is to publish with a larger publisher, then CQ might not be the best stepping stone.

I wrote multiple novels as a kid, but I didn't get serious about trying to publish on the national market until after college. I finished my first post-college novel in the spring of 2008 and started querying agents. I had no idea what I was doing, so I ended up with dozens and dozens of rejections and one full request (which eventually turned into a rejection, too).

But by the time I decided to retire that manuscript, I'd already written my second, so I started querying that one. It still didn't land an agent, but I had a much better feel for writing query letters and looking for agents who might be a good fit. I sent around 75 queries for that manuscript and ended up with about a dozen requests (though all of those eventually turned into rejections, too).

This went on for several years. In fact, it took me four years, four manuscripts, and close to 300 rejections before I received an offer from the agent who'd been at the top of my list for a while. Then it took that agent another year to find the right editor for my (admittedly a little out-there) MG historical sci-fi.

Could I have submitted one of my other novels to a small press and gotten an offer? It's possible. My third manuscript in particular garnered a lot of interest from agents and was in a really trendy category/genre (YA sci-fi). But I really wanted to sell to a larger publisher, so I held out.

Not everyone wants the same things, though, and that's okay. You just want to make sure you give yourself the best opportunity to succeed at whatever you DO want.

EvaPrima
08-15-2013, 01:34 AM
This is my first post here after lurking in the shadows for some time, but Fantasy Freak keeps harping on a question that I know the answer to, so I feel compelled to jump in here -- YES, I do know authors who have been paid by Curiosity Quills. I am particularly close to one (whose name I will not mention here since I haven't asked his permission first). He has had several books published by CI, having joined them early in their start-up, and he has been paid royalties for both electronic and print sales.

Christine N.
08-16-2013, 12:54 AM
Okay, I haven't been able to get my hands on the 2013 SCBWI Market Survey to see if CQ is indeed included in the small press PAL list. If it is true, that is a mark in CQ's favor. I also tend to look favorably on the fact they have some ARC's on NetGalley (I have an account, as a librarian it's nice to get ARC's of books I might want to order). I look on this favorably because it costs money. More than many other small publishers want to spend.

This tells me they are actively promoting in places other than Facebook and on Amazon.

YooprGurl
08-17-2013, 08:26 AM
Christine - To clarify about SCBWI, I don’t think Curiosity Quills Press was listed in the 2013 Market Survey, however, when you go to your membership page to add a published work, they are listed as a PAL publisher. There are a lot more publishers listed in the “Manage Profile – Publications” section than in the Market Survey. I'm not sure why the difference in the lists, but I know someone published with QC can call themselves PAL in the children's market with SCBWI, and sell QC published books as an author as SCBWI events, at least they can in my region (MI). And they do not allow the sale of self or vanity published books.

Christine N.
08-17-2013, 10:32 PM
Ah, okay. I haven't tried that, but I can look.

*edited to add* Yes, I found it. They are on the list of accepted PAL publishers.

I also look at their FAQ -- 'what happens after my manuscript is accepted'? They have a fairly rigorous editing and publication process, and it's well spelled out.

They are still a small press, so again, if your dream is Big Six, this won't be for you. But if, like me, you are a pixel-stained technopeasant who enjoys and can work within the system of small press, they don't look like a bad deal.

Christine N.
08-20-2013, 11:11 PM
I'm bumping this to the top for new developments. I've had an offer from CQ. I have at least one other offer on the manuscript, so I have a choice to make. I will say the book had to go through a reader and be approved by acquisitions first. I wanted to come back here to say that they did send me a contract to look over and a style guide.

It is one of the most comprehensive contracts I've ever seen. Beyond royalty rates and rights, it spells out EXACTLY what the publisher will do as far as editing and marketing AND gives a detailed timeline. Their marketing is pretty good for a small press, and includes sending out review copies at a set time prior to release. It also includes what is expected of the author as far as promotion (meaning, you will have a Facebook page, etc. nothing that would cost an author anything but time). Also a payment schedule for royalties, which are paid monthly.

They know what they want from their authors, and they are willing to tell you exactly what you're getting from them, right up front. I have to say I was pretty impressed by the contract.

The style guide is 12 pages long and also quite extensive. Nothing vague about it.

YooprGurl
08-21-2013, 03:36 AM
Congratulations, Christine, on both of your offers. Best wishes as you make some exciting decisions!

Christine N.
08-21-2013, 02:55 PM
Thanks :)

GAdler
08-22-2013, 12:45 AM
Congrats Christine! Thank you so much for making that information public knowledge; it only serves to reaffirm what my gut has already told me. :)

Anarchic Q
08-22-2013, 01:05 AM
I decided "What the heck, why not toss them a submission?" and was almost done with filling out their form when I saw this.


Let's cut to the chase - we don't care who you are, what prizes you won, or your pedigree. If you can spin a knock-out tale, that's all we need to know. So, please only include information relevant to the story itself!

PLEASE DO NOT INCLUDE ANY PERSONAL WRITING CREDENTIALS, AWARDS, REVIEWS, OR PROMOTIONAL LINKS

This makes me uncomfortable. It feels to me that they just want to grab my story, slap a cover on it, and then prop it onto their shelf. I understand CQ expects the author to do a lot of self-promo and I don't expect publishers to babble on about how we're all a family, but something about the aggressive way they word all that and how they just don't care about the author sounds so chilly.

Christine N.
08-22-2013, 04:50 AM
And it's not the only place I've seen it either. I think some authors think those credentials will get them in the door or assure them a contract. Maybe that's an issue they've had. I dunno. I mean, with the internet nowadays, all they have to do is google you to see what you've done/won/your website.


It feels to me that they just want to grab my story, slap a cover on it, and then prop it onto their shelf.

I have to say that's not my experience thus far with acquisitions, and if they stick to the letter of their contract, that's not how they treat their books. Granted, I've had limited exposure, but what I've seen so far has been positive. I've also spoken to other people who have reviewed their books and found them well-done.

But, that's my .02. YMMV. If it squicks you. so be it.

Christine N.
08-22-2013, 05:14 AM
P.S. These are the qualifications for PAL status in SCBWI:

P.A.L. Publisher Guidelines

The author/illustrator shall not have paid any money or consideration for the publication of their work in any format. This would eliminate all vanity publishing and subsidy publishing.

The publisher (whether traditional or new media) must have a professional editorial process prior to publication, at no charge to the author/illustrator.

There must exist a means of broad distribution to the retail customer.

The publisher must publish works from more than one author and illustrator, or family. Thus, if there are several illustrators but only one author(or vice versa) it will not qualify.

The publisher must have published at least one prior list, or in the case of a digital publisher, have been in business for a minimum of one year.

The publisher, whether traditional or new media, provides a means of marketing at no cost to the author illustrator.

CQ passed all of these, so there you are.

GAdler
08-23-2013, 06:50 AM
Christine, you are making very difficult for me to be patient. Thank you for that.

Christine N.
08-23-2013, 02:44 PM
Sorry :) I also talked with another CQ author, who is also very happy with them. It sort of makes my decision easier...

Tromboli
09-01-2013, 04:59 PM
I hopped on here to say that one of the early writers has taken the book she published through CQ about a year ago (might be less than a year. I think Sept was her release) and is rereleasing as a self-published book. She mentioned the rerelease a few weeks ago so she must have gotten out of the contract a bit ago.

I assume sales would be the reason she was released?

It was a pretty anticipated book with a gorgeous cover but think it had some bad reviews. (Its pretty mixed on goodreads, either a 1-2 star review or a 5)

Anyway, just thought it was interesting.

nkkingston
09-01-2013, 07:30 PM
It's not uncommon with older books that have run their course. Sales usually drop off after the first year or so, especially if it's not part of a series, so when you get down to a handful of copies a month you might as well ask for the rights back and self-publish for the extra few cents.

Tromboli
09-01-2013, 08:39 PM
It's the first in a series. I don't know how many others are planned but the sequel is out in October.

Christine N.
09-02-2013, 05:33 AM
I have turned all my offers over to my shiny new agent.

Just as followup. I still would try CQ, and may yet, if the agent can keep the offer in her back pocket while we begin our professional relationship. She has a few (minor) revisions she'd like to do as well as send it out and pitch it other places.

Tromboli
09-02-2013, 05:36 AM
Congrats! Sounds promising :)

Tromboli
09-02-2013, 05:40 AM
Also, I did a little stalking (aka checked your twitter) but didn't see who you signed with. I'm just curious. Living vicariously through other writers and all :)

Christine N.
09-02-2013, 03:34 PM
Ha ha. I haven't officially announced yet, because all the paperwork isn't yet done. I will once that is turned in.

mshean
09-04-2013, 08:10 PM
I understand CQ expects the author to do a lot of self-promo and I don't expect publishers to babble on about how we're all a family, but something about the aggressive way they word all that and how they just don't care about the author sounds so chilly.

Hi! I'm Michael Shean, and I was one of CQ's first published authors, if not their very first. I can't say much as to the text you're citing - I agree, it's not what I would say - but my experience has been very far from chilly. I've watched CQ grow since day one, and while I haven't always agreed with their process or the directions in which they've gone, the one thing that I believe CQ really does well is caring for their people. Your mileage may vary on everything else, of course. They seem to be really coming together now, at least for a small publisher at such a young phase in their career, and if it's just a perception of a lack of care that's keeping you from submitting I'd really suggest giving them a second look.

Bonnie Ferrante
11-06-2013, 09:10 PM
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.

Thanks for all that info. That really helps. My publisher closed down so I'm looking around.

Christine N.
11-07-2013, 04:16 PM
Bonnie I would keep reading the thread. I think there's some merit to CQ and that some of those policies have changed since that time, now they've been in business over a year. "Net" doesn't mean after marketing, etc... it means that they will pay your royalty on whatever the vendor pays them instead of cover price. It's extremely common in small press.

I have seen their contract, and my agent has said it looks good. No, no advance, but much more comprehensive marketing than most small presses I've dealt with. We're still waiting on some other publishers before we decide.

veinglory
11-07-2013, 07:13 PM
Net means what the contract specifies it to mean. Excluding vendor fee only is common but not universal

victoriastrauss
11-07-2013, 10:01 PM
Net means what the contract specifies it to mean.Yes. Hopefully it means net income, but I've also seen contracts that defined it as net profit. You really need to scan the language carefully.

- Victoria

Christine N.
11-08-2013, 05:38 AM
Okay, point taken. I have to go and look at the contract they sent me again, but I don't remember it being anything odd or something I wouldn't agree to. I wouldn't agree to 'net being after marketing costs'.

*EDIT* -- double checked the contract they sent. Their net is normal net: "These royalty rates are subject to the actual net sales dollar amount paid to the Publisher received from bookstores, distributors, wholesalers, book-clubs, libraries, catalog marketers, direct sales and all other retail and distribution markets except as noted otherwise in this agreement." (meaning if you make some kind of addendum to the agreement)

Their royalty statement/payment schedule is monthly, by the way, much the way Samhain is set up.

GAdler
12-19-2013, 03:40 AM
Well, sadly (and yet not entirely) my revise and resubmit was almost accepted but ultimately rejected (and by that I mean that the editor I was in contact with was convinced but those above were not). I feel honoured to have gotten so close on a first novel having no experience whatsoever. The editor gave me spectacular feedback in the rejection email and actually explained one of the flaws that I had overlooked. I agreed whole-heartedly and decided to tear the second half of my novel away and rewrite it, correcting the earlier mistake. Since I have literally rewritten the second half of the novel, can I resubmit it to CQ from the first step and call it a new submission? Thank you in advance for any advice.

TCRyan
12-27-2013, 07:57 PM
For PitchMAS, I have received 2 separate partial requests from different reps of CQ. I have responded to neither. My logic: The only books they can get on the shelves are either (1) short story anthologies which conveniently donate some proceeds to animal shelters (clever sales hook there!); or (2) print on demand books that the authors have convinced their local bookstore to sell.

From a friend who turned down their contract offer - they want 50% net profit of all sales and all rights (foreign, domestic, film and sequel).

Now, if they're really a "collective" of writers, shouldn't the profit sharing be spread around to all members? (I know, ridiculous thought.) Then they turn around and hire some of their writers as agents / employees. Seems like kind of a pyramid scheme.

Filigree
12-27-2013, 08:18 PM
Well, there you go. It's a pity more new-to-publishing writers don't apply similar logic before they make rash decisions. Kudos to you.

LJ Hall
12-28-2013, 02:43 PM
For PitchMAS, I have received 2 separate partial requests from different reps of CQ. I have responded to neither. My logic: The only books they can get on the shelves are either (1) short story anthologies which conveniently donate some proceeds to animal shelters (clever sales hook there!); or (2) print on demand books that the authors have convinced their local bookstore to sell.

From a friend who turned down their contract offer - they want 50% net profit of all sales and all rights (foreign, domestic, film and sequel).

Now, if they're really a "collective" of writers, shouldn't the profit sharing be spread around to all members? (I know, ridiculous thought.) Then they turn around and hire some of their writers as agents / employees. Seems like kind of a pyramid scheme.

Did your friend negotiate the contract and they insisted on things staying the same, or did she just read the initial offer and walk away? I don't know much about CQ but I know that they sign agented authors, and I can't see agents going along with those terms without negotiating. The way every author should negotiate contracts whether repped or not.

Their sales show up on Publishers Lunch, their ARCs are on Netgalley. It seems like they're pretty legit. And...profit sharing between all their signed writers seems like it would make them less legit, not moreso.

TCRyan
12-28-2013, 11:18 PM
Did your friend negotiate the contract and they insisted on things staying the same, or did she just read the initial offer and walk away? I don't know much about CQ but I know that they sign agented authors, and I can't see agents going along with those terms without negotiating. The way every author should negotiate contracts whether repped or not.

Their sales show up on Publishers Lunch, their ARCs are on Netgalley. It seems like they're pretty legit. And...profit sharing between all their signed writers seems like it would make them less legit, not moreso.

They didn't budge from what I understand on anything except the terms for the sequel and an exit clause. Their sales are almost entirely from e-books. I don't see the point of sharing profit on something we can all do ourselves.

Christine N.
12-29-2013, 12:33 AM
Unless you are going to pay for NetGalley as well as the other marketing (and I have a contract in hand to refer to, they have an extensive list of marketing venues), then you can't 'do it yourself'. You can put up an ebook, and you can hire a cover artist or "do it yourself" if you have the talent. Some of the things they do are pricey. They are also on the SCBWI PAL list of publishers. So they had to clear some kind of list of requirements.

My agent looked over the contract I was sent she gave it the thumbs up. In the end we got a better offer.

It's a collective in the sense of 'we all work together for the benefit of everyone's sales', NOT a 'we all profit share' sense. As far as I understand it.

I found them to be pleasant and open to work with. They were excited for my book, and I felt bad to decline after they waited so long for an answer. But it's a business and we took the better offer (TBA in the new year).

Elspeth Hall
01-02-2014, 04:55 AM
I have a contact from them currently.
My agent is negotiating with them on some of the clauses right now, but she has also said it seems like a favorable contract.

I shared some of my doubts with her, but after we both approached the editor there she was able and willing to answer my questions in an honest and open way.
She also put me I touch with some of their other authors to talk to. I got three 'very happy' replies, and one 'a year ago when they were new there were some issues, but things are good now'.
The honesty of that reply made me feel much more confident!

The contract sets out very clearly what they will do to promote your book, including stuff they have to pay for as others have said (eg Netgalley), and is also very clear that they don't charge for any part of the publishing or marketing process.
As for distribution, I was assured that they didn't have the infrastructure there in the past, but that getting physical books into stores (and I specifically asked "is this just local stores at the author's request?") is something they are doing with increasing frequency, and are employing more staff to facilitate for the future.

I trust my agent and her agency which has a good rep, and although I'd hoped for (and got some interest from) big six, I'm happy to be throwing my lot in with CQ.

As soon as I have more feedback on working with them I'll be happy to share.

Filigree
01-02-2014, 10:47 AM
I'd actually love to hear more, when you have the chance and the info. It's too easy to get burned out on the same-old same-old subsidy shuffle, so I like hearing about publishers who are really delivering what they promise.

Good luck to you, and best wishes for the new year!

Fantasy_freak
01-24-2014, 05:28 AM
For those who subscribe to Publishers Marketplace, Curiosity Quills had a number of audio rights sales to Audible.com reported this week, all for "a very nice deal."

Filigree
01-24-2014, 06:27 AM
Now, that's good to hear.

Undercover
01-25-2014, 06:28 PM
Staying tuned into this too. I really wish this company the best. They look good on my end....but ya never know. The audio deals sound wonderful tho.

Stan
02-08-2014, 09:09 PM
After hearing from them last October via a pitch contest on twitter, just today they finally asked for my full after reading my opening chapters.

Undercover
02-08-2014, 11:09 PM
I decided since I've been hearing great things, to submit too then. I subbed late Dec. I got a response about a month later saying they have received it and will get to it soon, which I thought was really nice.

They said between 4 to 12 weeks. So that could take up till the middle of April then.

Good luck on your full, Stan. There's an AWer here that just signed with them recently. They look like a great place to work with.

Elspeth Hall
02-14-2014, 03:26 AM
Well I said I would update if things moved forwards, so here it is-
My agent sent them the revisions we wanted on the contract, and they were very accommodating and professional. After some back and forth they made most of the concessions we wanted.
I was happy to sign with them and they've been great with communication and offering help so far.

They have a great style guide and a lot of freedom as far as input on the cover goes. I know the cover isn't a deal breaker, but for someone who has worked as an illustrator for years it's nice to see care being taken.

The timeline for the editing and marketing process has been clearly laid out, and I'm officially feeling excited to move ahead with them.

Undercover
02-14-2014, 03:34 AM
Congrats Elspeth, good luck with it!!! Sounds wonderful.

Stan
02-24-2014, 04:41 PM
My latest is that the person who read the book will be pitching it to her boss this week. She liked it. Fingers crossed.

ManOfTongues
03-03-2014, 06:44 PM
I queried (letter and first three chapters) these guys last September and was told they'd get back to me in 4 to 8 weeks. 5 months later, I've been requested for a full. Though I am ecstatic, I must admit that I assumed that they had passed on my manuscript and I have since moved on to a different project entirely and am querying it right now.

Any advice on what I should do? I'm going to submit my manuscript to them for sure, but I feel out of touch with it since I've semi-given up on it. Should I submit and see what happens or should I attempt a quick read-through/edit? Does anyone have experience with these guys? Is this kind of wait time normal despite their 4 to 8 week claim? :/

Any advice is great :)

- Michael

EDIT: Also, through reading this thread, I'm seeing some dodgy things. Any new developments from any of the people who have been working with CQ?

Sage
03-03-2014, 09:09 PM
If you felt confident about your novel when you were querying it before and haven't received any feedback that made you think it needed work before you moved on, there's no reason to panic, but there's also no harm in giving it a read over before submitting.

Also, I found that when my novel was accepted by an editor and it had been over a year since I had touched it, that I was very open to editing suggestions and much more logical about what changes it might need. Sometimes a little separation time is a good thing.

Wormwood
03-03-2014, 09:58 PM
I agree, the further you are removed from that "just finished" high the more open you will be to taking suggestion on editing. You also may have some different insights and idea yourself. After I finished my novel I waited a month then read it again. I came up with some additional material that really improved the ending.

Stan
03-06-2014, 01:44 AM
Have been getting feedback from the point person at CQ (for me at least) on some slight changes they want done (on board with that) and would I be willing to promote the book (of course). So I'm thinking they are looking strongly at me, but one never knows.

Sage
03-06-2014, 01:48 AM
Oh, hey, it looks like a got a full request from Alison Heller off a pitch I made on Savvy Authors blog. That's cool.

Stan
03-06-2014, 05:20 AM
Does anyone know if books published with small time presses ever get picked up by one of the legacy presses if they are doing well?

amergina
03-06-2014, 05:37 AM
What the heck is a legacy press?

eqb
03-06-2014, 06:03 AM
What the heck is a legacy press?

A derogatory term for trade press.

Filigree
03-06-2014, 06:06 AM
Sigh. It's a term used originally by vanity publishers, and now by a number of self-published authors, to describe commercial advance-paying publishers. As someone here on AW explained to me via PM in 2010, it carries the same insulting tone as 'legacy college'.

Stan, it happens. We see the best examples in glowing announcements in Publishers Weekly. But it's a balancing act. I've listened to editors and agents at conventions, who often basically say 'We look at numbers. If a small-press or self-pub book shows a few hundred or so sales, there may not be a larger market for it. If it's in a niche it might have already sold too well, and flooded its market.' So they're looking for breakout books that could perhaps reach a much larger market.

Stan
03-06-2014, 04:36 PM
Are the big 6 considered legacy presses. That's how I used the term, perhaps incorrectly.

amergina
03-06-2014, 07:47 PM
Are the big 6 considered legacy presses. That's how I used the term, perhaps incorrectly.

[This is off topic to this thread, and I'll probably report my own post to see if the forum mod wants to move it somewhere more appropriate.]

See, I work in the high tech industry. I'm also contracted to have a book published by one of the big 5.

The big 5 are trade publishers.

To me, the term "legacy" denotes something outdated or obsolete. Legacy code, legacy servers, a legacy product is a product on its way to being deprecated, as soon as the next generation product is available.

So the idea of a legacy publisher...is a publisher that's on the way out. Which, I do not think the big 5 are. At all. (I know there are people who do think that, and that's fine.)

If you do believe that the big 5 are legacy publishers, then why ask about books being picked up by them? It makes no sense. Why would you care if you think the big 5 are on the way out?

Do books published by smaller presses get picked up by the big 5? On occasion, yes. One of the most famous would probably be 50 Shades of Grey.

Stan
03-06-2014, 09:16 PM
So I'm wrong to think that Legacy publishers and the "Big 5" are synonymous. I think I got that somewhere. Thanks for pointing it out. I care about being picked up by the Big 5 because they're the ones who pay the big advances. Isn't it still true that commercial success still comes more readily and easily through the Big 5?

Sage
03-06-2014, 09:30 PM
If your goal is to be sold to the Big 5, getting that book published elsewhere is not the best course of action. Your best bet is to find an agent who can get your book in front of a Big 5 editor. Can it happen that a book will get picked up from a small publisher? I'm sure it can, but it's got to be a hassle for them since first rights have already gone. Self-publishing is probably (but I could be wrong) less of a hassle for them than acquiring it from a smaller press, but still unlikely.

eqb
03-06-2014, 09:41 PM
So I'm wrong to think that Legacy publishers and the "Big 5" are synonymous.

If you mean Big 5, just say Big 5.

EMaree
03-06-2014, 09:56 PM
Isn't it still true that commercial success still comes more readily and easily through the Big 5?

This line and the use of "legacy publishers" makes me wonder if you're trolling us.

Commercial success doesn't come "readily and easily" through any route of publishing, I'm sorry to say. Nobody's in this career for the money -- you'd make better money than most Big 5 midlist authors in a 9 to 5 job.

LindaJeanne
03-06-2014, 11:12 PM
This line and the use of "legacy publishers" makes me wonder if you're trolling us.

I highly doubt it, actually. If you start with no knowledge of how publishing works, and then use Google to try to research it on the web, you end up with pretty much what s/he's saying here.

The misinformation is so ubiquitous and often-repeated that it's incredibly hard to come away from web research about how publishing works without it.

Stan
03-07-2014, 06:11 AM
Have no idea what the hell trolling means. It was a honest question.

Filigree
03-07-2014, 06:34 AM
Easy, guys, this seems to just be a translation error.

Stan, 'trolling' is what folks do when they jump into online forums and deliberately incite arguments. Sometimes, this is done with ulterior motives, often it's just for the sake of chaos.

As for finding out how commercial trade, small-press, self-pub, vanity, and subsidy publishing all work, a few cursory internet searches probably won't help. A lot of the 'information' will be weighted toward one camp or another. Only by gathering many, many diverse data points, can new authors begin to build an accurate picture.

EMaree
03-07-2014, 12:32 PM
Sorry Stan, I shouldn't have jumped to that conclusion, that was rash of me. I've been reading too much about the KBoards (Kindle forums) sending people over here to stir up arguments and I had a moment of paranoia.

You're asking some really important, honest questions, and part of AW's purpose is to help out writers and answer questions, so please don't be discouraged by grumpy Scots who respond to your question too sharply. :)

Stan
03-07-2014, 06:02 PM
I have a manuscript with CQ and am supposed to get word any day now if they will take it or not. Of course, everyone's ultimate aim is the big 5, so was wondering if that goal is automatically squashed (for that book) if you go with a small press.

Filigree
03-07-2014, 06:50 PM
That goal is not 'automatically' derailed by publishing with a small press, Stan. You've been around AW longer than I have, so you'll have seen the same positive examples discussed.

As I said before, it's a balancing act. Small press and self-published books are getting more consideration from larger publishers now, because commercial agents and editors recognize the role such outlets play in incubating new talent. But a small press or self-published book has to show strong potential vs. little market burnout, for a big press to get interested. Author brand loyalty is another consideration: will the earlier readers embrace a new commercial version, if it's perceived to have value added?

For the average small press book, 5000 sales during life of contract is wonderful. For the average subsidy or vanity-published book, it's a daydream (why many such publishers' guaranteed subsidy refund is predicated on reaching that 5000 copy threshold, which almost never seems to happen.) Some self-published authors get there, but many more bog down at the low three figures.

For the average commercially published genre book (I'll use romance and sci fi, since I know those markets best), 5000 copies in print and/or e-book is a very conservative sales record. For a second novel, it might even be low enough to make the publisher drop the contract.

It's all in perspective, and in how much an author is willing to gamble on first rights.

Elspeth Hall
04-13-2014, 12:55 AM
As someone asked for updates from people working with them, I thought I'd chip in again, although nothing big has changed from last time.

I'm currently working with an editor on my MS to ready it for publication, and was just shown the first draft of my cover art for approval, which is beyond gorgeous.
Still finding them very open and professional to work with.
I know that the proof of the pudding is in tasty book sales, but I haven't had any reason to regret signing with them thus far.

They seem to be signing more agented authors recently as well (as I am!). Not sure what that means, but putting it out there

Filigree
04-13-2014, 06:04 AM
Then I'll be cautiously hopeful for you, Elspeth.

With an added caveat: which agents are working with CQP? In researching other new, small pubs, I've run across 'literary agents' who are sending work to vanity publishers and inexperienced publishers. There are lots of equally inexperienced people calling themselves agents, who don't really understand the business. Some others apparently know exactly what they are doing, and have been caught taking kickbacks from subsidy fees or workshop fees.

I don't know the CQP situation, and I hope that the future shows them as a strong, vibrant press. But merely saying 'well, agents are sending work there' is not an accurate measure of professionalism for either press or agent.

ETA: for what it's worth, CQP is showing some respectable sales ranks on Amazon, with at least nine or ten books listed as having estimated mid three-digit sales in March. So they are making some sales.

J.Reid
04-15-2014, 05:18 PM
I don't know the CQP situation, and I hope that the future shows them as a strong, vibrant press. But merely saying 'well, agents are sending work there' is not an accurate measure of professionalism for either press or agent..

I sold them a book. You can decide for yourself what kind of agent I am.

Filigree
04-15-2014, 05:30 PM
Very good! Knowing who you are, that gives me a valuable data point. I know you cannot answer specific questions, but how amenable were they to contract negotiations? Not-budging-an-inch like Harlequin, or more flexible?

ManOfTongues
04-16-2014, 05:58 AM
For anyone who's wondering: that full request I got a month and a half ago turned into a revise and resubmit. I am ecstatic, excited, anxious and nervous all at the same time! :D

- Michael

Cel_Fleur
04-22-2014, 06:12 PM
Good, it does sound like they've cleared up a lot of the issues they were having in the 2012/13 era.

As for writers as acquisitions, I can't say I can give much unbiased opinion on that. After submitting to Anthony from a Pitcharama partial request, I got a no from Katie Teller in September last year, but she made some nice feedback. She does a lot of self-publicity for her NA historical series published by CQ, but by the looks of it, they're selling. I'm no expert, though, so I'm gonna stop there.

I later submitted after a request from Alison from PitchMAS (I think); alas, turned into a no due to 'a marketing decision', but my overall experience with CQ has been really positive and, just in a personal air, I like their approach. As the discussion was in the thread, I think a decision to sign with CQ comes down to personal ambitions and aims more than anything. If I query again, it would be with my off-beat historical mystery - because that's the vibe I get from the company: off-beat (and take that however you will).

I bought a book by one of their authors and it reads well edited and enjoyable. I know that's really not saying much for as a whole, but, as a reader, I'd buy a book published from them again.

~Fleur

ManOfTongues
05-31-2014, 07:04 PM
Offered a contract :) Cue happy dance :D

Undercover
05-31-2014, 11:43 PM
Congrats, Man!!! I'm still waiting to hear back. Yeah, I like them a lot too. I nudged them and they quickly got back to me and said they still have yet to look at it. That was about a month and a half ago. It's been on submission since January so I'm confident they will at least get back to me with a yes or no. or an r&r possibly too. I'm willing to change and bend on it. I see their covers are attractive looking and I've heard lots of good things about them. They have their coming soon books on NetGalley and I see them doing good there. Also they get talked about on Goodreads a lot too (all good things.)

So I'm eager to hear the verdict. Congrats again!!! How exciting!!! I love knowing writers that make it that far. So awesome!!!!!! and with an awesome pub to top it off. Icing on the cake. I look forward to see it come out.

ManOfTongues
06-01-2014, 07:59 PM
Thanks :) I'm so excited to work with them! Their authors seem happy, their readers seem happy and the contract looks reasonable. I was a little concerned with the initial rocky start they seemed to have about two years ago, but they're transparent and seem to really care about quality (still admiring their covers :p). Besides, the sales, reviews and likes on facebook (65000? :o for a small publisher?) speak for themselves.

Good luck with your submission to them! Honestly, I can relate with the waiting game. After 8 long years of writing, submitting and rejections, I know exactly what you're talking about. But legit, it's worth it :D hopefully it's good news for you too!

- Michael

JenWriter
06-02-2014, 05:30 PM
Congrats on the offer!! So exciting!!

If you don't mind me asking, what was your timeline? They requested my full, so I'm wondering what the wait time will be like.

ManOfTongues
06-03-2014, 08:48 PM
Congrats on the offer!! So exciting!!

If you don't mind me asking, what was your timeline? They requested my full, so I'm wondering what the wait time will be like.

I submitted my query to them back in September then got a full request in mid March. I got a revise and resubmit request in late April then it took about a month for me to get the response from the revise and resubmit. Luckily they liked it :p

JJ Litke
06-11-2014, 06:52 PM
Someone from CQ favorited one of my pitches in the #SFFpit event on Twitter just now (if you're unfamiliar, that means they just invited me to query them). That's good, but I really want an agent before dealing with a publisher. Rats, I'm not sure if I should just query them or not.

Thedrellum
06-11-2014, 08:38 PM
I would hold off, and when/if you get an agent then let them know that CQ was interested in the book via #SFFPit. But I'm all for agents first, rather than going through publishers myself.

And, anyway, congratulations on the interest!

Stan
06-15-2014, 03:52 PM
Mine was ultimately turned down.

Tromboli
06-15-2014, 06:10 PM
I agree. Wait. You can tweet the requesting editor and mention you're glad they were interested but you're currently seeking agents but you'll keep them in mind for later.

I'm sure they'd understand. They do seem to be getting better and better which is great but if you're agent seeking then most likely you can still find a publisher who can get your book into book stores. Understand that you'd be sacrificing that option by going with them now.

In other news, I've noticed that their most recent covers are gorgeous!! Like wow, good. They have a distinct fantasy feel to the ones I've seen but that might just be fitting to those books (or maybe that's their niche now?) Either way, I'm impressed by the pretty

DrFaerieGodmother
07-11-2014, 04:57 AM
I agree with Stacey: if you're looking for an agent, only submit to agents. After a while, you'll either have an agent, or you'll have decided agents aren't the route for this book. Then you can submit *this* book to small presses while you query your next book (if you decide to go on).

They were pretty active in the #Pitcharama contest this year too, and my chapters just got bumped to a full. I'm doing the finger-crossing happy dance (though I know full well the happy dance is also just one correspondence away from the unhappy dance--oh publishing, you tease you).

Undercover
08-02-2014, 07:04 PM
Is it just me or did they totally change their site? And their books just ballooned, like super quick? That's a lot to take on. I just hope it's not turning into an author mill.

DrFaerieGodmother
08-02-2014, 08:59 PM
It's not just you. They have rebranded themselves. They took away the skull and ink (awww, I loved the shakespeare skull), and put a capricorn on their website.

As for the new books? nope, they've always put out a ton of books. Also, they now have a few writers who are putting out sequels of previous books, so those get a different fanfare.

The site is new, but the only people they list are management, marketing and production (no editors?) so we'll see how things pan out. (maybe they don't like to list their editors for privacy sake? Or maybe that part hasn't been posted yet? Wait and see, I guess).

ManOfTongues
08-05-2014, 01:27 AM
Is it just me or did they totally change their site? And their books just ballooned, like super quick? That's a lot to take on. I just hope it's not turning into an author mill.

From the experience I've had so far, CQ is definitely not an author mill. They did totally change their site though :)


The site is new, but the only people they list are management, marketing and production (no editors?) so we'll see how things pan out. (maybe they don't like to list their editors for privacy sake? Or maybe that part hasn't been posted yet? Wait and see, I guess).

The editors are there, trust me. I'm working through my first pass edits right now... er, well, I should be :p

EMaree
08-05-2014, 02:13 AM
Oooh, the new Capricorn branding looks very swish.

Undercover
08-05-2014, 02:59 AM
I have a submission with them, since January. I nudged twice. Both times they got back to me, which was nice. But the last time I heard was April.

I hate to have to keep nudging, but I'm up in the air still.

The new change is somewhat jarring. And I really didn't realize just how many books they had.

HLWampler
08-05-2014, 04:09 AM
I've also had a submission out with them since January. I nudged once about a month ago.

I'm so anxious to hear back from them.

Sage
08-05-2014, 04:40 AM
If you're waiting on Alison Heller, I've heard that she's on leave for medical reasons. I believe she's getting her requests reassigned, though

Jinsune
08-05-2014, 09:20 PM
I'm just curious and if this was mentioned earlier in this threat sorry in advance.

Do the printed books go to brick-and-mortar stores or are they just sold on Amazon? They have really good covers and a friend of mine has ordered some books from them via Amazon.

DrFaerieGodmother
08-06-2014, 02:17 AM
Jinsune,

That's a store by store thing. Mostly they are available through amazon, but if you'd like to order one through your local indie bookstore, you can (though you aren't likely to come across a physical copy just waiting for you unless you share a hometown with one of the CQ authors).

That being said, some Barnes and Nobles do carry some of the titles, so go to the CQ website, click through the stores and see if any of the titles are available near you.

But, it really is just as easy to get a physical copy through your local indie store. (but be prepared with the title and the author name!).

Christine N.
08-06-2014, 03:08 PM
I believe that getting into to B&N is an ongoing goal, with some success.

Cel_Fleur
08-08-2014, 05:25 PM
Hmm, the new website looks very fab and swanky, but I did prefer the Shakespeare touches of the old site and logo - I feel that more 'curiosity'. Lol, subjectivity.

Elspeth Hall
08-11-2014, 06:31 PM
Popping in again to say that I'm still enjoying my experience as QCP author. Someone earlier asked about the quality of agents submitting work to them: well my agent is fairly new, but she has sold a couple of titles to big six publishers now (sadly not mine, haha!) and is from a long established reputable agency.

I'd also like to report that the editing process I've been going through the past couple of months has been very thorough and professional. No skimping on editing, as my sleepless nights in front of the computer can verify!
I too was a little concerned with the quantity of titles they put out at the beginning of my experience with them, but I haven't seen any lack of quality thus far. My book comes out in Fall. I'll be back then to update!

Christine N.
08-13-2014, 05:00 AM
I see more agents and more 'established' authors heading to smaller presses now. Names I know showing up on the lists of places like Entangled, Month9, and Amazon's YA Imprint, Skyscape.

There's been a definite shift.

neicolec
08-16-2014, 07:40 AM
Does anyone know of any similar small presses? With good terms and author-favorable contracts like CQ?

Christine N.
08-16-2014, 04:22 PM
I just named some -- Entangled (if you have romance) and Month9. I think M9B is only spec fic, but they also have the Swoon imprint which is Romance? Not sure. But Georgia takes her small press to BEA, which not many do. They get reviewed in PW.

I'd submit there any day, along with CQ. Strange Chem was one until they went away :(. I'd also check out LEAP books now that Shannon Delany has taken it over. But that may be only YA books.

hlynn117
08-18-2014, 01:14 AM
I had a lengthy process querying my YA novel God's Play to agents. I got multiple requests for full manuscripts, an R&R, but ultimately no bites. I started to look at several small presses when I realized the agent thing wasn't going to work out and ended up picking CQ to publish the book. A trusted friend met them at a major US convention and said they liked their promotion strategy and that they were very professional, too. That, by the way, is the opinion I've walked away with after my dealings with them, too. Their authors are happy, the cover quality is excellent (I'm very happy with mine), and the editing process is thorough. I'm at the point of planning the marketing for the book release and will update how this goes.

Edit: I'd also like to note that they've secured several of their authors contracts with Audible, which is a huge deal. The number of books they're publishing per month is reasonable, btw, so it's not an author mill.

JinxVelox
08-18-2014, 01:36 AM
I had a lengthy process querying my YA novel God's Play to agents. I got multiple requests for full manuscripts, an R&R, but ultimately no bites. I started to look at several small presses when I realized the agent thing wasn't going to work out and ended up picking CQ to publish the book. A trusted friend met them at a major US convention and said they liked their promotion strategy and that they were very professional, too. That, by the way, is the opinion I've walked away with after my dealings with them, too. Their authors are happy, the cover quality is excellent (I'm very happy with mine), and the editting process is thorough. I'm at the point of planning the marketting for the book release and will update how this goes!

I went through the same thing with "The Chronos Clock" - lots of agent requests and nibbles; no bites. Alas, the smaller press (out of three who extended offers of publication) whose offer I accepted did not work out well for me.

Please do let us know how things go with CQ. We seem to be seeing many happy authors with them.

Christine N.
09-06-2014, 03:58 AM
Weeellll....

I haven't made the 'official' announcement yet, but we've got permission so I guess I can spill here.

My agent re-sold my manuscript to CQP! If you've read upstream, I had an offer from them just before I signed with my agent. We went with Strange Chem, but after they folded, we mutually agreed to see if CQ was still interested. And they were. We agree it's a generous contract and they seem to be going places. I adore their covers.

Onward and upward! I've signed all the paperwork and now just waiting for an editor. I'll keep you updated!

J.B.Kantt
09-06-2014, 04:08 AM
Weeellll....

I haven't made the 'official' announcement yet, but we've got permission so I guess I can spill here.

My agent re-sold my manuscript to CQP! If you've read upstream, I had an offer from them just before I signed with my agent. We went with Strange Chem, but after they folded, we mutually agreed to see if CQ was still interested. And they were. We agree it's a generous contract and they seem to be going places. I adore their covers.

Onward and upward! I've signed all the paperwork and now just waiting for an editor. I'll keep you updated!


Congratulations, Christine!!! :partyguy::hooray::banana::TheWave:

Aggy B.
09-06-2014, 04:11 AM
Weeellll....

I haven't made the 'official' announcement yet, but we've got permission so I guess I can spill here.

My agent re-sold my manuscript to CQP! If you've read upstream, I had an offer from them just before I signed with my agent. We went with Strange Chem, but after they folded, we mutually agreed to see if CQ was still interested. And they were. We agree it's a generous contract and they seem to be going places. I adore their covers.

Onward and upward! I've signed all the paperwork and now just waiting for an editor. I'll keep you updated!

This is fantastic news! Congrats! :)

Sage
09-06-2014, 04:12 AM
That's so exciting, Christine. Congrats!

DrFaerieGodmother
09-06-2014, 04:13 AM
Congrats Christine!

I was so sad about the folding of SC, especially for the debut writers. But it's great you're with CQP. As it happens, I just signed with them, too!

Congratulations again! I'm so glad your book found another home!

Filigree
09-07-2014, 03:20 AM
I have to admit, in all fairness, that the apparent changes at CQ make me happy. I'm still waiting to see how the newest round of books turns out, but this is a positive development.

One of the broader issues about publishers, agents, etc. on the B&BC forum is that most of us readers/authors *want* to find great new publishers. We're delighted when we do. Getting there takes some healthy skepticism.

Congrats, Hlynn and Christine N. Keep us posted, please.

ManOfTongues
09-23-2014, 11:56 PM
Hey everyone! Just thought I'd pop in regarding my post that I made in August about my journey with CQ. Things are going fantastically, and I can assure ANYONE who is considering this company that CQ is legit. Like, really really legit. One of my fellow authors was recently in Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/valerie-tejeda/debut-author-heather-mari_b_5820244.html?utm_hp_ref=latino-voices&ir=Latino+Voices) and the books on this company are definitely selling. Best of all, on top of a re-launch of their website, CQ has some really exciting things happening in the year ahead. I can't go into detail, but trust me, they are things that all authors hope for.

As for me, I'm just finishing round two edits with my editor. She is fantastic and everything you'd expect from a real editor -- empathetic, but ultimately she kicks my butt (and my manuscript) into shape when I need it. I cannot tell you how good of an experience I've had so far, and I don't even have a release date yet (but they're thinking late winter 2014 -- watch out world!)

In any case, I recommend keeping these guys in mind in your submission process. Don't write them off because of a perceived shaky beginning two years ago. They're great.

RS007
11-05-2014, 08:42 PM
Can those of you under contract with CQ share what time it took CQ to send you the contract? They told me they wanted to publish my book and sent me the template of their regular contract to look over. I've done that and then spoke to their acquisition editor on the phone. She cleared up all my questions and was very nice. After that conversation I got back to them within two days and said that yes, I'd like to go with them. She sounded very happy and said they'd be sending me the contract.

A week has passed and there is nothing. I followed up with her a couple of times and got no reply. Is that normal? Or should I be getting concerned?

They've been nothing but professional in their dealings with me up until now and I am not sure if the lack of communication and the absence of contract a week later is something to worry about or not?

Any advice/sharing of experience is greatly appreciated!

Filigree
11-05-2014, 11:47 PM
Give it a couple more weeks, maybe. She's probably really busy right now. Breathe, and work on another mms.

RS007
11-06-2014, 03:20 AM
Give it a couple more weeks, maybe. She's probably really busy right now. Breathe, and work on another mms.

Thank you - breathing is really important. :) Right after posting this message, got a note from them. So I guess I should have posted earlier. http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon12.gif

Christine N.
11-06-2014, 07:08 PM
It took a little bit. My agent and I wanted a few changes, and the acquiring editor had to get them through the people above her, and then it was yes or no, and then making the changes and getting a new contract sent.

Overall took about a month for all that. Or so.

RS007
11-06-2014, 11:05 PM
It took a little bit. My agent and I wanted a few changes, and the acquiring editor had to get them through the people above her, and then it was yes or no, and then making the changes and getting a new contract sent.

Overall took about a month for all that. Or so.

Thanks, Christine!

EMaree
11-11-2014, 03:49 PM
Just noticed Curiosity Quills revamping some of their old covers (it was the DARKNESS WATCHING revamps (http://emmaladams.weebly.com/the-darkworld-series.html) that caught my attention, Emma L Adams is a friend :)) and I'm really, really digging the direction Curiosity Quills are going in. Those are really nice covers! So good to see them focusing on their backlist books as well as upcoming ones.

Filigree
11-11-2014, 06:20 PM
I could be nasty and point out two larger publishers who don't seem to care about their backlist - but that would hurt authors I know. So here's a thumbs-up for QCP, for going in the right direction.

Christine N.
11-16-2014, 02:59 PM
Their covers were one of the things that first attracted me to them.

Jamiekswriter
11-21-2014, 01:03 AM
Quick response time.
Submitted Steampunk YA on 11/11
Nice form reject from Helga on 11/18

oceansoul
12-10-2014, 07:44 PM
I submitted a manuscript to them last week. I really like their author community, their covers are great and having read a few of their titles, I have to say well-editted.

Now I'm just hoping they like my work! And also, that they actually got it, because when I sent my submission, no confirmation page loaded on the online form. Is that normal?

Sage
01-04-2015, 07:34 AM
Alison Heller tells me she's taking 3-4 weeks on reading fulls. She has a revised version of a novel of mine she looked at last March.

Christine N.
01-04-2015, 06:43 PM
I'm still doing well with CQP. We've finished edits, and now waiting for a cover, which I expect any day now. Then it will be getting everything ready for release, sometime in late Spring. So we'll be doing promo and getting organized over the next few months.

Can. Not. Wait. I'll have TWO releases this spring :)

JaneD
01-04-2015, 08:41 PM
I had a rather strange experience with CQP. I queried them in August and when we got into the fourth month, I nudged. It had been so long I couldn't remember what I'd sent them and referred to 'the manuscript' in my nudge. Their reply came the next day, a kind and polite rejection with a little note telling me why they were turning it down along with a very general list of the strengths and weaknesses of the story and the writing. Left me rather non-plussed as I'd only sent in a 20+ page sample. It has left me with the nagging doubt that anybody actually read the query.

Aggy B.
01-04-2015, 10:00 PM
I had a rather strange experience with CQP. I queried them in August and when we got into the fourth month, I nudged. It had been so long I couldn't remember what I'd sent them and referred to 'the manuscript' in my nudge. Their reply came the next day, a kind and polite rejection with a little note telling me why they were turning it down along with a very general list of the strengths and weaknesses of the story and the writing. Left me rather non-plussed as I'd only sent in a 20+ page sample. It has left me with the nagging doubt that anybody actually read the query.

Some things are obvious weaknesses even in a fairly short sample. Chances are you also received a modified form rejection which would have some individual feedback, plus the general form letter which might or might not apply as thoroughly to your specific project.

Sage
01-04-2015, 10:39 PM
Editors and agents don't send lists of strengths and weaknesses unless they've read at least part of the story. It's much easier to send a form rejection. They're certainly not going to spend their time making up a list of strengths and weakness for something they haven't read.

JaneD
01-05-2015, 12:20 AM
You might be right. It just seemed strange to say that though they loved the (unspecified) characters what they thought let the story down was the plot development. Can you know much about the plot development after 20 pages of a 300 page novel? Maybe it was just strange phrasing and they meant it was slow starting.

Sage
01-05-2015, 12:34 AM
I think that's a pretty standard level of vague/specificity for a short personalized rejection. Editors and agents like buzz phrases because they do have a lot to go through and going through subs is not their main job. My guess would be that if you had remembered which novel it was, you wouldn't have thought anything of the fact that the editor said she liked the characters without specifying names. (Incidentally, I read whole novels and go to review them right afterwards, and can't remember anyone's names or how to spell them, so then I have to take time to look back at the story to remind myself. Using specifics might mean risking an author freaking out because the details mentioned were wrong)

It's a very good rejection. Having characters that an editor loves is a high compliment. Either she didn't like your pacing or she didn't feel like the plot was going to develop in a way that she would like, based on the 20 pages. You can absolutely suspect that from the first 20 pages, and can definitely know if you didn't like the pacing.

JaneD
01-05-2015, 01:39 AM
Sounds sensible. I'll take it as a positive sign then. In the latest version the action is ramped up a notch so maybe I was already conscious that the beginning was too long-winded.

Christine N.
01-08-2015, 04:12 AM
Yesterday I got the cover for my upcoming CQP release.

O. M. G.

It is gorgeous. The only people who have seen it are me, my agent, the publisher, the artist (duh) and my students.

We all agree it is FANTASTIC.

Cover reveal Jan. 27 on YA Books Central!

inkflamewriter
01-19-2015, 05:42 AM
Hey, everyone!

I lurk on here from time to time, and I thought I'd take a look to see what updates had been made about CQP since the very beginning, since I was considering them for when I (finally) have a manuscript to send out.

Overall, I like how it looks, though I'm a bit confused about a couple of things and wondered if anyone else noticed and/or can clarify.

First, there's a "participate" section that's essentially just a calendar with launch dates and Goodreads links. How does that allow me to "make my voice heard", as they put it? Might they be intending on adding more to this later?

Also, is it normal for small publishers to have links to series that don't even have covers yet? Take a look at the series page (https://curiosityquills.com/series/) to see what I mean.

Finally, they have a section for submission guidelines under "authors and bloggers" that only refer to author submissions. Does anyone know anything about the bloggers on there, or have been one? I blog as well, so I'm always curious about things like that.

I apologize if anyone thinks I'm being nitpicky, as I've seen some very good things earlier on in the thread. It does seem like they're doing well and many people seem happy with them, I just can't help but ask questions!

EMaree
01-19-2015, 02:18 PM
Also, is it normal for small publishers to have links to series that don't even have covers yet? Take a look at the series page (https://curiosityquills.com/series/) to see what I mean.

I don't know about your other questions, but this part is quite normal. CQP will have contracted the books, and possibly received the manuscripts (or at least received outlines), but edits, back cover copy and cover design haven't happen yet.

Christine N.
01-19-2015, 04:53 PM
The series thing is normal -- they contract but haven't yet finished (or revealed) the cover art.

Not exactly sure what the participate thing is, except I am pretty sure CQ organizes their own blog tours for their books, so it might have something to do with that.

They may still be putting things onto the site, or taking things out. They went through a complete rebrand/redesign and the site says Beta still, so I think there is still some tweaking going on.

Christine N.
01-28-2015, 12:52 AM
So today was cover reveal day....

Cover reveal blog post (https://christinenorris.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/a-curse-of-ash-and-iron-cover-reveal-at-last/)

JulieB
01-28-2015, 02:00 AM
Very nice!

Sage
01-28-2015, 02:13 AM
Oh, it's beautiful! I hope to see it in you av soon :D

Filigree
01-28-2015, 04:31 AM
It's lovely...but I gotta wonder how well it's going to translate into thumbnail. The title text seems to get lost a bit even at large reveal size. Fortunately, the corset-n-gears motifs should flag down all of us steampunk fans for a closer look.

May you have many sales!

Becca C.
01-28-2015, 09:53 AM
Nice!!! I love the full wrap, the spine is gorgeous!

Also, just thought I'd post that some CQ paperbacks are available on Chapters/Indigo's website (Canada's B&N equivalent). They weren't just a while ago, so this is progress for us Canadians who aren't ebook fans.

Viridian
01-28-2015, 10:11 AM
Wow! Gorgeous.

Cel_Fleur
02-02-2015, 09:57 PM
Christine, that is gorgeous! I'm totally one for judging books by covers (hehe), and the cover makes me even more eager to read. I didn't realise it was steampunk-y. *squees* Can't wait 'til it's out.
Also, thumbs up to Curiosity Quills for making a steampunk cover more intricate than the usual pretty-girl-with-cogs.

Jo Zebedee
02-19-2015, 12:49 AM
I subbed today and got into a pickle with the online form. Got a very quick response to my help email and sorted out the submission very professionally. :)

genericnamehere
02-19-2015, 02:29 AM
CQ was nothing but professional when I dealt with them. Quick to reply, excited about my MS, though it wasn't for them in the long run. Great covers and active on social media.

KTC
02-19-2015, 04:39 PM
I now have 2 books with CQ. I love them. They have been professional, quick to answer any and every concern and question. I LOVE my covers...they're both in my signature--Burn Baby Burn Baby and Half Dead & Fully Broken. It has been an excellent experience. I'd consider myself lucky to have book #3 placed with them. (-:

tyrthunder
03-14-2015, 04:51 AM
I submitted my manuscript and was asked for the full within a matter of hours.

I'm not getting my hopes up, but I'd really love to be part of this publisher. I'm a fan of their books and I like their approach!

Congrats to all of you who have been signed!

Cross your fingers, toes and eyes for me!! :)

triceretops
03-14-2015, 06:15 PM
Stunning cover, Christine. Regal and full of contrasting colors.

tri

Aggy B.
03-14-2015, 06:49 PM
An online friend has a book with them (Unhappenings (https://curiosityquills.com/books/unhappenings/)) and just announced they successfully optioned the film rights for him (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4515204/).

(I'm aware that options and "in-development" don't always lead anywhere, but it's nice to see that CQ is working to take advantage of the rights they ask for.)

BinaryCat
03-14-2015, 11:05 PM
First, I just wanted to say that this site's been a treasure trove of information when it comes to agent and publisher research.

I got Curiosity Quills' attention during Wednesday the 11th's #pitmad event, and they just requested my full MS an hour ago (new adult/adult urban fantasy). I'm bloody excited (and anxious as all hell).

I'm unagented as of yet. But now I'll be gnawing my fingers off in anticipation/dread until I hear back, I think.

Laurasaurus
03-15-2015, 01:18 AM
Ooh, I got a #PitMad favourite from them too. I just came on to check them out.

Well done on your full request!

Cel_Fleur
03-16-2015, 06:19 PM
I got a #Pitmad fave from them, too. Have subbed the same MS from a request before (so obviously the concept appeals to them) but was rejected on partial, but having significantly reshaped the beginning few chapters in the last couple of months, I think I might take them up on the rerequest and see what they think. 'Specially since they've grown/matured so much since last year.

tyrthunder
03-17-2015, 05:26 AM
I didn't even realise #pitmad was a thing! If it's a no-go (I was told I'll know in 2 weeks -- 9 days to go!), then I might have a look at that! The responses and concepts all seem really good!

Are there many success stories from the Twitter thing?

Jo Zebedee
03-17-2015, 12:13 PM
I didn't even realise #pitmad was a thing! If it's a no-go (I was told I'll know in 2 weeks -- 9 days to go!), then I might have a look at that! The responses and concepts all seem really good!

Are there many success stories from the Twitter thing?

Please don't take this the wrong way but I see from your earlier post you're new to subbing, and it sounds like you're days-counting (I used to, and it's madly stressful) - CQ have had my full for about four weeks now (which is fine, btw, subbing is a slow business) and haven't yet responded. So, two weeks might be a bit optimistic. Maybe try to extend that expectation in your mind and then you won't be disappointed if it's missed - and you'll have a bonus if it's met! :)

mayqueen
03-17-2015, 04:26 PM
I also got a star on PitMad from CQ. I'm excited about it because I wasn't sure they'd be into my MS. I sent my query and got a reply that was was short and seemed to have actually been meant as an internal email (to the effect of, look at this and tell me what you think). I'm not sure what to do. Should I write back and say, I don't think this email was for me, or do I just assume they'll figure it out?

Aggy B.
03-17-2015, 05:24 PM
I also got a star on PitMad from CQ. I'm excited about it because I wasn't sure they'd be into my MS. I sent my query and got a reply that was was short and seemed to have actually been meant as an internal email (to the effect of, look at this and tell me what you think). I'm not sure what to do. Should I write back and say, I don't think this email was for me, or do I just assume they'll figure it out?

I would just send a quick reply. Something along the lines of "I think this got misdirected." Sure, they'll probably figure it out eventually, but maybe not until it's been a while and person A starts wondering why person B hasn't responded.

(I had the same thing happen with an agent. It was doubly confusing because the agent he was asking for a second opinion had the same name as I did. But I replied with "I think you meant this to go to someone else." and it was fine. They weren't upset. It was just a case of hitting reply instead of forward.)

tyrthunder
03-18-2015, 06:26 AM
Please don't take this the wrong way but I see from your earlier post you're new to subbing, and it sounds like you're days-counting (I used to, and it's madly stressful) - CQ have had my full for about four weeks now (which is fine, btw, subbing is a slow business) and haven't yet responded. So, two weeks might be a bit optimistic. Maybe try to extend that expectation in your mind and then you won't be disappointed if it's missed - and you'll have a bonus if it's met! :)

Your post wasn't taken the wrong way at all! They responded today!! :D But thank you for your calming words! I've submitted to a couple of other publishers in the past and never even received a 'thanks, but no thanks' so I'm grateful that CQ is open and friendly to us! I bet you'll hear back any day Springs2!! Please let us know how you go!!! x

Jo Zebedee
03-31-2015, 02:35 AM
Your post wasn't taken the wrong way at all! They responded today!! :D But thank you for your calming words! I've submitted to a couple of other publishers in the past and never even received a 'thanks, but no thanks' so I'm grateful that CQ is open and friendly to us! I bet you'll hear back any day Springs2!! Please let us know how you go!!! x


I got a near pass with some useful editing notes - mostly, after some toing and froing, their list balance of sff wouldn't support it.

That being the case and given it's also had a near pass by one of the big 6 - I need to decide what to do with it. I'm busy launching my trilogy, I have an offer on the book declined by CQ, I need to decide whether to keep subbing, shelve in the hope of later opportunities, or take the offer. I'll need to muse for a while, I think.

But CQ were very professional and approachable - I'd certainly sub again. :)

RoseColoredSkies
03-31-2015, 07:49 PM
I just subbed a contemporary women's fiction (they say they accept that) so we'll see what happens. If they say no, then so be it.

BinaryCat
04-16-2015, 05:00 PM
Just last Friday CQ got back to me asking for a revise & resubmit for my urban fantasy novel! He'd requested the full after the #pitmad event query. He liked my style and dark humour, called the characters unique and well developed, and the story well executed.

His requests were primarily trimming some excess fat from the middle and clarifying a few scenes. So I printed out the MS and I'm getting to work. So bloody excited. :D

A few less reputable publishers also gave me gold stars during the Twitter thing, so I was a bit cautious. It's great to see that the press seems to have a good rep, though! I'd never have even heard of them if it wasn't for #pitmad.

S. L. Saboviec
04-19-2015, 09:32 PM
Everyone seems so excited about Curiosity Quills that I actually refrained from posting this back when I got a PitMad favorite from them. Now I'm just going to put it out there:

I recently read one of their books. It was a sequel to a book they'd also published, which I LOVED. The problem with this sequel was that it was riddled with copy editing errors.

To add to this, I didn't know who had published it until I specifically researched it. I wasn't looking for the errors, quite the opposite. I was appalled at how bad this sequel was, having not remembered the issues with the first. I thought the author was indie, but when I looked this person up, both books had been published by CQ. It was not an ARC; I purchased it myself on Amazon.

Any thoughts on this?

Filigree
04-19-2015, 11:42 PM
It is one of the problem areas I still see from this publisher. A recent hour or two with Amazon sample chapters was...illuminating. Editing and marketing are two places where many new pubs fail. I'm hoping CQ addresses this issue.

Amadan
04-20-2015, 12:05 AM
Everyone seems so excited about Curiosity Quills that I actually refrained from posting this back when I got a PitMad favorite from them. Now I'm just going to put it out there:

I recently read one of their books. It was a sequel to a book they'd also published, which I LOVED. The problem with this sequel was that it was riddled with copy editing errors.

To add to this, I didn't know who had published it until I specifically researched it. I wasn't looking for the errors, quite the opposite. I was appalled at how bad this sequel was, having not remembered the issues with the first. I thought the author was indie, but when I looked this person up, both books had been published by CQ. It was not an ARC; I purchased it myself on Amazon.

Any thoughts on this?


Was it the "Please Don't Tell My Parents..." books? I also noticed that the second book was somewhat less polished than the first. I suspect they might have rushed it a bit given the success of the first one.

I still liked it, but I have yet to find a small publisher that can really put big-publisher resources into copy and story editing.

veinglory
04-20-2015, 02:57 AM
I, personally, buy a lot of small press books and the great majority of them are edited to a fully professional standard. I also go at least three rounds plus proofing with my own small press editors despite not being a huge best seller. So I would argue that full editing is the norm with good small presses.

S. L. Saboviec
04-20-2015, 03:20 AM
Was it the "Please Don't Tell My Parents..." books? I also noticed that the second book was somewhat less polished than the first. I suspect they might have rushed it a bit given the success of the first one.

I still liked it, but I have yet to find a small publisher that can really put big-publisher resources into copy and story editinug.

No, it wasn't, which is more concerning because that means there is more than one book with this issue. It was the December People series. I really like both the books and the author, so I didn't want to say right off the bat since it's not her fault.

It's unfortunate because I like the energy behind this publisher and they're clearly trying hard. But copy editing is, in my opinion, key, and based on that, I won't be submitting.

Sad, really. :-(

dondomat
04-20-2015, 08:32 AM
I re-read two books of mine that went out with small presses back in 2012. Both are far better than I feared, albeit messy, and I'll fix them once the rights revert to me, however, as things stand now, every second sentence needs fixing, as does every second paragraph, as does 1/4 of the punctuation.

But that's because now I am in possession of advanced editor goggles in the brain, which I did not have back then, and neither did their editors, apparently.

It takes knowledge, experience, and an ability to focus which only develops with time, and only when both the author and the editor have those, that a clean copy comes out, I think.

misswriter88
04-21-2015, 02:14 AM
Hi, there! I wanted to chime in and say that my book is coming out from CQ, and the editing process has been rigorous, professional, and thorough. I don't know how many rounds of edits books go through at the big publishing houses, but CQ requires a MINIMUM of two rounds of edits with an editor (mine was outstanding) PLUS one round with a proofreader. There's an option for a third round with the editor, if necessary. Then, the author gets to review the book once it's put together as an ARC and submit a final round of corrections.

Do mistakes slip through? Sure they do, just as they do with books published by the big guys. I've found multiple mistakes in books from the big publishing houses (when I read the Twilight series, I kept saying, "Didn't someone edit this?!?!").

Bottom line? As a writer, I feel well served by this publisher, my editor, and my proofreader. Just wanted to share my thoughts since I'm on the inside going through the process.

geagar
04-21-2015, 08:10 AM
I had a book published through Curiosity Quills Press and I'm not saying CQ is perfect, but for a small publisher they are wonderfully close.

They really are a community of writers who are pulling for one another. They do cover reveals, blog tours, release parties, and Beta reading. They share tricks of the trade and commiserate with one another over those hard times.

I feel very fortunate to be part of them.

S. L. Saboviec
04-21-2015, 06:24 PM
I don't want to argue, which is why I reluctantly posted. The first book I read was well-edited, but the second had too many errors for my liking. To my editorial eye, it seemed sloppy. I agree that every book has errors, but I guarantee that if I went through any random chapter, I would find at least a handful of errors. Perhaps this speaks to the skill of the editor assigned to the project.

Anyway, I just wanted to give that as a point for anyone considering this press. Like I said, I like their energy. I actually hope they get their copy editing under control and have a lot of success.

Christine N.
04-22-2015, 01:03 AM
I wonder, then, if it wasn't an accident and an earlier file was published instead of the finished one. Because I had several opportunities to review my text, and then again two more to review it once it had been formatted. I'm sure there probably are things I, the editor, and the copyeditor might have missed, but overall it looks great. Can't wait for it to be published.

But if someone accidentally submitted an earlier file then that might explain it.

The Hybrid
04-22-2015, 11:30 PM
I have noticed an unfortunate pattern of late with CQ. If the author has an agent, they get far more attention to detail in the edits, and with publicity afterward. Maybe your author hasn't got an agent so they don't care as much? It's sad really, because their earlier titles were great, but their new stuff is becoming quite generic.

NikkiCQ
04-23-2015, 07:54 PM
Hi everyone!

My name is Nikki, I'm the friendly neighborhood Marketing Dir. at CQ. I do NOT want to interupt or encroach on your space whatsoever, so I won't constantly be commenting in here, I promise.

I did just want to pop in and thank those who mentioned editing issues with a couple of our books. We do go through several rounds of editing and proofing, so hearing there are 5 or more mistakes in a title of ours is definitely a red flag. While a completely mistake free book is rare, that is too many for our standards and we are re-editing both the December People series and Supervillain series, so thanks so much for bringing that up!

We're trying to develop an editing error software right now so that any issues can be reported asap and fixed, but in the meantime if you do ever encounter an error in any CQ book, just email me at Nikki@CuriosityQuills.com and I'll get that fixed!

p.s. thanks to all of our authors here who have supported us, we can't tell you how grateful we are!

*poof*

misswriter88
04-25-2015, 04:01 PM
I have noticed an unfortunate pattern of late with CQ. If the author has an agent, they get far more attention to detail in the edits, and with publicity afterward. Maybe your author hasn't got an agent so they don't care as much? It's sad really, because their earlier titles were great, but their new stuff is becoming quite generic.

If you saw my earlier comment, you know I had a very positive editing and proofing experience. My book improved dramatically thanks to my editor's feedback and insights. And I do not have an agent. I came to CQ after getting a request from them through a contest. I had hoped to snag an agent, and was very close, but didn't. I signed with CQ without an agent, and have not noticed any slights. In fact, CQ is going out of its way to do some extra marketing things for my book.

As an aside, I do hope to get an agent and plan to query my work in progress when it's done.

BinaryCat
05-15-2015, 08:41 AM
A little (exciting) update with my experience with CQ. I got an r&r request from them a few weeks ago. Just yesterday I received a contract offer. I'm not a lawyer, but I do have legal experience, and it seems solid so far.

My query is still in the hands of a few agents, though, so I felt it was only good form to let them know - and I'd prefer agent representation if possible.

Still, my experience so far has been a very positive one. I hope that this is the start of something awesome.

tarak
05-30-2015, 01:20 AM
A little (exciting) update with my experience with CQ. I got an r&r request from them a few weeks ago. Just yesterday I received a contract offer. I'm not a lawyer, but I do have legal experience, and it seems solid so far.

My query is still in the hands of a few agents, though, so I felt it was only good form to let them know - and I'd prefer agent representation if possible.

Still, my experience so far has been a very positive one. I hope that this is the start of something awesome.
Congrats! I have an urban fantasy I will likely query in the next week or so.

pinkbowvintage
06-23-2015, 08:57 AM
I have a full out with them right now, which I sent after reading through this entire thread. The woman I've been in contact with has been very fast about getting back to me and is happy to answer questions. She says that they publish trade paperbacks along with ebooks and hardcover in some cases, and that many of their titles are at B&N.

I'm cautiously optimistic, but I also really, really want to secure a bigger publisher through an agent (which I've been trying to do since March).

I know an agent won't guarantee anything and neither will a big publisher necessarily, but I'm concerned about my debut novel not selling that much and/or losing my "debut" status when I could have aimed a little higher. I'm very new to publishing so I'm not sure how important those things are in the long-run.

ANYWAY, any additional/updated thoughts on this company would be greatly appreciated!

DrFaerieGodmother
06-24-2015, 07:40 AM
As for updates from CQ: I have two books coming out with them, the first in November. I connected with them through the Pitcharama contest held over at http://aussieownedandread.com/ . The acquisitions editor was great and very enthusiastic. The editing was very thorough for one of my books (the other book was already much further along as far as development and polish, so it didn't require as much work). For both books, they have been timely and professional, answering all questions promptly. Small publishers aren't for everyone, and there are some serious considerations. I recommend listening to this podcast ( http://www.shippingandhandlingpodcast.com/post/122200709847/episode-17-summer-reading ) since someone asks about small publishers specifically (around the 40 minute mark, so there's quite a bit of chat leading up to the question). They talk about some of the hurdles that go into publishing, and trying to advance in publishing after taking a swing with a small publisher.

So, in short: I've thus far only had good experiences with them, but I'm also not all the way through the pipe and at the point of trying to sell my books to readers yet.

pinkbowvintage
06-24-2015, 10:28 AM
As for updates from CQ: I have two books coming out with them, the first in November. I connected with them through the Pitcharama contest held over at http://aussieownedandread.com/ . The acquisitions editor was great and very enthusiastic. The editing was very thorough for one of my books (the other book was already much further along as far as development and polish, so it didn't require as much work). For both books, they have been timely and professional, answering all questions promptly. Small publishers aren't for everyone, and there are some serious considerations. I recommend listening to this podcast ( http://www.shippingandhandlingpodcast.com/post/122200709847/episode-17-summer-reading ) since someone asks about small publishers specifically (around the 40 minute mark, so there's quite a bit of chat leading up to the question). They talk about some of the hurdles that go into publishing, and trying to advance in publishing after taking a swing with a small publisher.

So, in short: I've thus far only had good experiences with them, but I'm also not all the way through the pipe and at the point of trying to sell my books to readers yet.

Thanks for the link to that podcast and the info!

I listened to that section and now I'm more nervous about putting out a debut novel with a small press and no agent. What if my sales records aren't great no matter how hard we market it? Will that hurt my chances of getting an agent on my second novel? Is it better to just hold out for the next book?

I'm a bit of a worrier, but these are things I'm trying to consider.

I'm really glad your experiences with CQ have been great! They seem like an awesome bunch, I'm just concerned about their sales.

Sage
06-24-2015, 03:04 PM
Had an interesting experience with querying CQ that I'll share here for queriers' information.

I subbed my ms through their form with the 3 chapters and was rejected about a week later. But I received a #pitmad request from a different editor and sent, following her instructions, a query + 10 pages via e-mail. I received a partial request for half the book from a third editor (I assume through the #pitmad query, not some glitch with the form). However, she informed me today that the original rejection, even though it was at the query stage, overrode her interest and that she had to reject it.

So regardless of any interest you receive through a different means at CQ, a no from one, even at the query stage, means a no from all.