There has been a great deal of discussion concerning New Concepts Publishing and the antics of one Madris DePasture. So much so that even though I thoroughly enjoyed Dani Harper’s Heart Of The Winter Wolf I will not be republishing my review of that eBook or any links to NCP on this blog.
When people ask me what ePubs to consider as a writer I generally shrug and tell them to just go buy a ton of eBooks and see. My rule of thumb is to separate the authors you love and read out of the mix and look at the condition and appeal of the editing and covers. In my opinion several ePubs seem to consistently rise to the top based on appealing editing and covers. Samhain, Liquid Silver, Loose Id, Cobblestone Press, Amber Quill and most of the Ellora’s Cave back catalog. Then go talk to the authors that work there or maybe more importantly “have” worked there and look for the following…
- Owners with multiple Pen Name/identities which are not transparent to the fellow authors.
- Out right refusal by the owners to openly answer questions regarding how they run their business to their own authors.
Now you may ask where I got this hodgepodge of bullet points from but just check out any author discussions about New Concepts Publishing or Triskellion or any other shaky ePublisher.
So what about the title of this missive Pig?
A long time ago I started to notice eBooks I bought from Torquere Press had not only the same bad editing, horrid proofreading (I myself have found the editors comments left in a few eBooks.), awful covers, but besides all that I found similar styles in the writing from different authors.
So being blunt and asking questions several people started giving pieces of a picture and names names names all attributed to the owners. Now mind you, at that point they were rumors and not something I would publicly talk about but then I read here and here. Just look up the names Shawn Clements and Lorna Hinson and that is when I started to get the idea that the list I had put together was not all about hurt feelings and misunderstandings.
So taking the list of names I had collected and looking up the entire books in print from Torquere Press on Amazon.com it looks something like this…
129 Torquere Press books in print.
S.A. Clements = 4
B.A. Tortuga = 19
Mike Shade = 2
Julia Talbot = 11
Sean Michael = 37
That my friends is 73 total books in print from Torquere Press where one of the questioned pen names is involved. If all my information is correct then that shows most of the books in print are the owners. What was really amazing is finding out that people who have worked there for years did not even know about the pen names that are self admittedly attributed to the owners (Not just rumored.) which leads me to the whole inner circle issues. I also found out that other authors there have been using several different pen names writing for the same genre and the same ePublisher.
See that is the issue in my mind. Using Pen Names to switch ePublishers or write in a different genre is all well and good and most writers do it when say writing m/m under one pen name and then m/f under another or if they switch publishers. That is all understandable, but are the way things are going down at Torquere Press understandable to other authors, their peers?
Just look at some of the anthologies at Torquere Press. You have S.A Clements editing the anthology and B.A. Tortuga writing in the anthology. So basically it is self owner edited. What is the deal with that? Is it really necessary to imply that all these people are involved when it is only a few? Did I mention the editing sucks?
I am not saying there is not other poor examples on other ePublishers either. I know all about Tina Engler writing as Jade Black and Tia Isabella etc etc etc but honestly that was mostly done from what I can see when Ellora’s Cave was first starting out and I think Torquere Press is not just starting out. All in all, I much more prefer the example Treva Harte sets with her own ePublisher Loose Id where she writes and runs the company under one name and is damn transparent and upfront about it all.
All the top ePublishers I buy from all have great m/m romance titles that I love and they seem to do a great job in supporting and promoting and editing their m/m authors and are in no way owner focused. I can list them so easily… Samhain, Liquid Silver, Loose Id, Cobblestone Press, Amber Quill, and even Ellora’s Cave.
So… That is why no Torquere Press links or reviews on my blog.
In the end, I have nothing against the authors there I just expect more from an ePublisher not only in their products but in their actions.