Wednesday, September 09, 2009

With a Whimper--Quartet closing

"For a variety of reasons large and small, Quartet Press has decided to discontinue operations. Sometimes, even with the best of intentions, a hard-working team, and the support of the community, things just don’t work out. "

[link]

I wonder if/when the full story will come out.

p.s. The record for shortest lifespan for an epublisher is currently held by Entrepid Press at 21 days.

The word spreads:
* Breaking News: Indie Publisher Quartet Press Ceases Operations: "Quartet Press, the new startup that showed such promise and recently snagged former Samhain editor Angela James as its editorial director, announced today that it will disband..."
* Digital Publisher Quartet Press Disbands: "A few months after seeking its first submissions, the fledgling digital publisher Quartet Press has disbanded."
* I Did NOT See This One Coming…: "I am truly in shock. This was a new publisher I was looking to submit work to..."
* Quartet Press Are Dead?: "Is that the quickest e-press death in history?"
* Quartet Press is No More: "I have no details as to why but this is massive stinky pile of crap for digital publishing"
* QUARTET PRESS CLOSES BEFORE IT OPENS: "I have no idea what happened"

Edited to Add: Some more information via PW: "They had planned for Quartet Press to essentially be an e-books-only publishing house ... In a phone interview with Meyer, she said that ongoing discussions with a number of digital vendors made it clear that their financial projections would not work."

* How I Spent My Summer Vacation: "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...." (Isn't that a little... um, glib? "Mostly okay" except for authors whose work was thrown back on the marketplace and people who were left unemployed?)

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wowsa, that *was* fast.

And kinda sad. I bet lots of folks had high hopes for the business given their experience and the whole Angela James hook.

Certainly bears watching...

Anonymous said...

Hate to say it, but I saw this one coming a mile away. Interesting that this collossal flame-out involves a lot of the same people who were trash-talking Ravenous Romance and its authors all over the Web. Now we know why.

The fact they chose the same brand name (Quartet) as an already established print press (the established and reputable Quartet Books) was also a very poor decision. Might also be the reason for their demise? Most established, reputable companies don't like it when their trademarks are infringed.

Anonymous said...

Hmm I didn't know about Quartet books. I don't think that they disliked RR because of QP but I'm sure some will think that. There were legitimate reasons to dislike RR but anyway. This little QP has left egg on the face of all concerned including QP's biggest cheerleaders. A lesson to us all Friendship and Business are like oil and water, they do not mix well at all.

Anonymous said...

Ravenous Romance is still going strong after almost a year in business, despite all its "detractors"----who were all the same people who cheerleaded Quartet.

What does that tell you about RR's detractors? That they don't know what they hell they're talking about.

Anonymous said...

From the PW article: Quartet had signed seven authors and Meyer said that those contract rights would revert back to the authors.

Perhaps they realized they couldn't pay all those "high-profile" players' salaries after having signed only seven authors in three months?

In addition, in a post on the QP website/blog dated June 14, 2009 ("Good Grief, We’re Actually Doing This (and you can play along at home)"), Don Linn stated, "Just a few weeks ago, Quartet Press was still a gleam in our collective eye, but after much conversation and debate, we’re off to the races with our new digital publishing venture."

That quote from Mr. Linn doesn't make it sound like a tremendous amount of planning went into this, going from "gleam in the eye" to hanging up the shingle and soliciting manuscripts in just a few weeks' time.

Emily Veinglory: said...

For a start there isn;t a perfect overlap between those who loved QP (it was a big 'meh' for me) and who criticised RR. Also the reason RR was criticised was conflict of interest, smeering other presses, overselling their abilities (10,000+ sales per title, riiiiight), not telling authors how many book they have sold, and now delayed royalty payments. These things do not win friends and impress people.

The have gone on time make some good print rights sales. But that is not being a "new wave" in epublishing to which a non-owner agents would send clients.

I stand behind thing RR is doing some dodgy things and do not see the QP fiasco as having anything to do with that. When their average ebook sells of 10,000 copies in the first 2 years--I will apologise for doubting them.

Anonymous said...

"now delayed royalty payments"

???

This isn't true. I'm a RR author and our checks/statements weren't delayed as far as I know. I always get mine exactly when I'm supposed to. When there would be a delay of unearned royalty statements of only a couple days, we were notified in advance.

Anonymous said...

Yeah KKs blog sounds like something she thought would be a great idea to do over the summer, it doesn't sound like she spent a whole lot of time thinking about it or researching. She just did it. And is the comment about Trad publishing a dig at that Don guy? Doesn't help the DP cause at all, proves all the sceptics right, epubs are set up by people with no idea what they are doing.

Anonymous said...

Saying that only epubs have this problem is a complete fallacy. Print publishers come and go regularly too for the same reasons: lack of careful planning.

The top epublishers have all created a solid business model which they work from. Just because Quartet showed a total lack of business sense in this regard does not mean -all- epublishers should be lumped in with them.

Anonymous said...

I'm almost glad they went under before they began. I'd really have hated to see them be successful to the point where paying authors on net became the new standard for DP. Just sad that they took AJ down with them. :o(

Anonymous said...

I'd really have hated to see them be successful to the point where paying authors on net became the new standard for DP.

This. That whole "Net is the industry standard' stuff never made any sense, because it's very much not and no matter how many times they said it, it didn't make it true.