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What is it with E-book publishers who publish their own books, using multiple pseudonyms?

I heard some rumours about Torquere Press that I want to throw out there. (FYI, Torquere publish lesbian, gay and transgender romance/erotica)

Let me list them for you:

The owners of TP, (just like the owners of New Concepts Publishing), have lots of their own books out under multiple pseudonyms.

Not only that, but like NCP (allegedly), these books are usually given preference, in terms of release dates, etc.

I also heard that there are a few cliques that have formed within the e-pub. In one corner, you have the ‘Your Shit Smells of Roses’ crowd (AKA the ‘In’ crowd), and in the other corner, you have the ‘Who You Looking At Fool’ crowd (AKA the ‘Out’ crowd).

Apparently, these two factions hate each other. Like really, really, hate each other.

The WYLAF crowd apparently don’t get their books released as often as the ‘YSSOR’ crowd.

Some of the authors – who may or may not be the pseudonymed authors recently bought Torquere and since then it has been a family business.

Shoddy or lack of editing, preferential treatment, et cetera has plagued the company since the take-over.

So, are there any truth to these rumours? Anybody willing to confirm or deny?

If so, my door is always open, just e-mail me at hairylemony @ gmail .com, and give me the goods. Confidentiality guaranteed, as always.

14 Comments »

  • “What is it with E-book publishers who publish their own books, using multiple pseudonyms?”
    I take it as a method of avoiding the “self-published” label.

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  • anonymous
    March 17
    4:18 pm

    I, personally, have firmly refused to sub to TQ purely because of the clique-ish feel of the pub and its authors. It comes across as a big circle-jerk and while I’ve heard nothing concrete that would make me say “Oh hell no”, it’s a gut feeling that I’ve learned to trust in this business.

    I know a few of the authors personally and they have the same cult-ish views on TQ that others have shown in relation to other failed epubs. I don’t want a family, thanks, I want a publisher who will make me the most money possible from my hard work.

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  • Anon2
    March 17
    6:19 pm

    The editing has always been shoddy so I can’t say I’ve noticed much difference there. But it’s true about the cliques. When I joined TQ as a newbie author just starting out, I wasn’t made to feel welcome, there was no info given about blogging, getting involved or anything – you know, the standard promo stuff that most houses encourage. And there’s definitely a Them vs Us mentality that’s very clearly visible on the LJs. Personally I don’t think they’re bothered about making money and being a business – it’s more like a zine than a publisher.

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  • SHayne
    March 17
    6:21 pm

    I’ve had a few works with them. I’m not on the inside track as far as I know, and I’ve never had a problem with them accepting my work or getting it out in a timely fashion.

    I have no clue if anybody is given preference over me or if anybody has cultish views. They are an epublisher who currently publish within a decent amount of time and pay royalties regularly, and I have no complaints about the royalties I make at this point. That’s all I know about them.

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  • I’ve been with TQ for 4 years.
    In their defense, my work comes out when they say it will, and my checks arrive in a timely fashion.

    That said…
    My co-author has been unhappy for months, because of the above mentioned things. The clique, the Inner Circle, drives her nuts. The best way to see it in action is to watch the LJ days, and the comments left.

    The flat fee payments are no great shakes. Nor are they competitive. $10-15 for a 3000 word story is 1/3-1/2 cent/word.

    Too many of the novel length items are all sex and no plot. This is tedious.

    A short story usually gets one round of edits. The same length of story got four rounds at another house. A novel gets more.

    Lately, I’ve suspected much of my stuff–good and mediocre–gets picked up because there are slots to fill and I am fast and reliable. I have a near 100% acceptance rate there. (they rejected three things, two of which actually did need work) OTOH, so far, I have a 100% acceptance at Ellora’s Cave too.

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  • Flat fee?

    That’s only for a very, very short story, right?

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  • It’s mostly the anthology lines that are flat fee. The royalties were so spread out and tiny that TQ went flat fee on anthologies in 2005.

    The Toybox and Taste-Test anthologies (3000-5000 words) operate on flat fee. $15 and $10, respectively.

    Most anthologies operate on flat fee: $40 for 10K $20 for 3-5

    Some of the specialty short story (10-15 K) lines, Birthstones and Arcana are flat fee as well (~$40)

    A look at the Amazon page tells the whole story on print books.
    48 titles. 14 authors.
    12 of the books by 1 author.
    11 by another.
    6 by a third
    Six of the authors have only a single book.

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  • Barbara B.
    March 18
    3:52 am

    Angelia Sparrow said-
    “12 of the books by 1 author.”

    I haven’t checked, but that one author has got to be Sean Michael. That dude is PROLIFIC. I’ve got almost 20 of his ebooks myself and that’s not even close to being his entire backlist.

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  • *whistling* *cough*

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  • Heh, judging from Teddypig’s comment about TQ in his blog entry about good epublishers, I’d guess that SM is Sean Michael, SAC is SA Clements, and BAT is BA Tortuga, and they are all the same person?

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  • [...] most recent blog post is about Rumblings At Torquere Press… and I’m honestly on the fence about the whole thing. I don’t care if a publisher [...]


  • Mrs Giggles you forgot OWNER!

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  • I just heard today that TP has high sales for its M/M stories, but never having read one of their books, or even spent much time on their website, I find this thread quite interesting. Who knew one could learn so much at Karen’s place, huh?

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  • [...] Inner Circle “We’re A Family” politics. [...]


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