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[Critique] The Queue

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BenPanced

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While at a writing class yesterday, I came across a brochure for a local company called The Queue.

http://www.queuebooks.com/

The pitch: for $3.50 per page ($350 minimum), they offer a Q-Critique and return a 6-8 page detailed critique of your manuscript. Once your ms has been critiqued, it's considered for their publication line-up. "We will help market your manuscript to fellow publishers while it is 'queued' for a final publication schedule and contract with us." You retain full rights until a contract is signed. If your manuscript isn't picked up by another publisher, the Queue will publish your book.

For an additional $500 (starting price), they will design an author's web page for you.

E-manuscripts are also available. No fee listed.

"Save time & money: Q-Critiques help some authors avoid spending significant funds and time on 'full' editing, marketing, and submissions of premature manuscripts."

Four books are currently in their Queue: two have been published by the same publisher, the other two are available. The Queue and Scarletta Press, who published the two, are based in Minneapolis and listed at the same address.

Okay, maybe I'm jumping the gun but the whole operation doesn't seem to jive with me.
 

chevbrock

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Sounds dodgy to me, too. Two pubs who operate out of the same building?

Shove your dollar bills firmly into the bottom of your pockets and run, I say.
 

victoriastrauss

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As Ben pointed out, the Queue is a "sister organization" (their term) of Scarletta Press, an indie publisher founded in 2005 that has as yet published only 12 books (that's according to Amazon; its website shows only seven). It did only two or three per year from 2005-7, but appears to be stepping up its production schedule in 2008. It has distribution through PGW.

Without knowing more about the degree of the interrelationship between Scarletta's publishing program and manuscripts selected for "publication award" by the Queue (i.e., what percentage of Scarletta's acquisitions come through the Queue?), it's hard to draw any conclusions. But there is clearly a potential here for conflict of interest, as well as some hefty questions. If Scarletta will publish manuscripts that the Queue has selected for a publication award, what incentive does the Queue have to "help market your manuscript to fellow publishers," as it claims to do? If Scarletta can make acquisitions (and money) through the Queue, how motivated will it be to acquire books submitted through other sources?

Even if Scarletta only acquires some of its books through the Queue, this still seems to edge a bit too close to fee-based publishing for me to be comfortable with it. I'm also concerned about the fact that Scarletta recommends the Queue on its website, but doesn't acknowledge the connection.

- Victoria
 

CaoPaux

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URL redirects to Scarletta (as of '11-ish), who dropped reference to them in '09.
 

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