Posted in: e-book publishers behaving badly?, Quartet Press
Was I the only person who read Kassia Krozser’s How I Spent My Summer Vacation post and felt that it was slightly…glib? Casual, even?
Welcome back from whatever you did this summer. Me, I spent my time building a digital publishing company. It went mostly okay, though, in the end, there was no company to show for it. That has nothing to do with the work and talent of the people involved. Talk about amazing, smart, and creative.
You’d never know that all that summer long we’d been bombarded with messages of how QP was going to revolutionize the e-book industry, and change the digital publishing world forever.
You’d never know that people who took a risk and jumped on board ended up losing their jobs, their time, their money.
You’d never know that they made big promises that they broke.
KK’s post seemed far too casual in my opinion. A lot of people commended them on the fact that they held their hands up, and shut up shop before the bodies started piling up, but I wasn’t one of those people. In fact it didn’t impress me much at all.
If Ravenous Romance, who seem to think quality erotic romance is an urban myth, can open up, (and churn out crap after crap) and stay open, then why couldn’t Quartet Press?
I can’t understand how crappy e-presses can spring up day after day, and somehow manage to keep going, and yet a company that seemed to have it all, in terms of quality of personnel, couldn’t get their act together?
Kassia’s post was rather long-winded, and yet at the end of it, I still understood very little about what had actually gone on. Admittedly, long-arsed posts full of twenty dollar words tend to hurt my brain.
At one point, she gave advice on the perils and pitfalls of starting a digital publishing company, and I must say, the majority of the advice seemed like plain common sense to me, which begs the question, why didnt they know these things already? Didn’t they conduct a feasibility study, to ascertain whether the venture was worth going ahead with?
The first thing you need to know is that there are very few industry best practices. They are developing rapidly…. I would not, however, suggest, for anyone starting in the digital first or digital only realm, to look to traditional publishers for guidance. Okay, maybe a few, but only in the instances where those publishers are doing it differently and taking real chances. Anyone who isn’t engaged in a level of messy experimentation, they’re not worth using as a role model.
Now pardon me for being slightly confused, but haven’t we (a general we you understand, because quite frankly I couldn’t give a rat’s arse) been bitching and moaning about how traditional publishers who have added a digital dimension seem to treat e-books in the exactly the same way as print?
KK also talks about ISBN-related issues, format quandries, third party distributor headaches, DRM problems and retail outlet visibility issues. Yeah I know, it’s all fucking Greek to me too, but nevertheless, surely these are issues that should have been ironed out before asking people to leave their existing, mostly secure jobs at the beginning of the venture?
Kassia and Angela James were good buddies, could she not have been consulted about some of these issues? Would it not have been a good idea to seek advice from some of the people who have managed to navigate the shark-infested waters that is digital publishing first?
Or am I being too simplistic?
Anyway, I don’t want to go on, because quite frankly, I’m about to eat my own arm out of boredom, but my main point is, I read that bullshit post, and all could think was, your company made promises, broke them, people lost their jobs, wasted their time, and you’re giving advice on what not to do, without sounding the least bit apologetic?
I still like KK, but in my opinion, her post was full of jargon, said very little, and far too glib and light in tone, considering the collateral damage.
Not cricket, not cricket at all.