E-Book Pricing Contd – Torquere Press

Now when I started this pricing project, people immediately told me to look at Torquere. However, I was skeptical considering that they have a pretty well defined (to me, the casual buyer) price structure and though it may edge one side of the other – I figured it was pretty well set in stone. Little did I realize how right those people were when I looked more closely at their pricing.

So next up on the block is Torquere Press. Well known for shoddy editing and sketching practices, their owners publishing likely more than half the backlist under various pseudonyms but really – does any of that matter to you, the reader? Do you really care that Sean Michaels is actually BA Tortuga? Do you really care if it’s all about the sex? Well the editing should matter since it’s non-existent at TQ but let’s look at pricing since that’s the point of this pricing series.

 

Over at TQ they have NUMEROUS book lines and dozens of different titles so how can you find what you need to know?

Breaking it down for you the “general” guidelines for TQ are as follows:

  • Novel – 50,000 – 100,000 words  — $5.95
  • Novel – 100,000 words and up — $6.95
  • Novella – 20-45,000 words — $3.95
  • Novelette – 10-20,000 words  — $2.49
  • Short Stories – Under 10,000 words  — $1.29

However, keep in mind that TQ is a sneaky ass publisher. They include the author bio and press credits in the word count. I know, I’ve checked. So that page at the front or back with the Publisher info and author bio is included in the final word count and calculated into the cost YOU PAY.  Check any of their listed word counts against some place like FW or do your own word doc check. You’ll see the difference.

 

Just an example I picked at random:

FW claims this book is 9754 words:

http://www.fictionwise.com/ebooks/b63715/More-Rockhounds-3/CB-Potts/?si=0

 

TQ claims it’s 10000 words:

http://www.torquerepress.com/fiction/chaser_rh006.html

 

Who do you believe?

According to TQ they can charge you another $1.20 for that book above. But technically they shouldn’t according to their own guidelines. There are more examples too. If you look there are dozens of examples of books that are actually less than 10,000 words but put into the more expensive category ($2.49) and listed at 10,000 words. Nice lying publisher!

Not to mention most of the word counts I found are towards the lower end of each category for the OVERWHELMING MAJORITY and I’d watch out how they’re skimming extra money from you. Perhaps this is standard in publishing, but something to watch as it’s a known fact with TQ. 

 

Now what about the dozens of various lines they have?

These prices are all the listed prices from the TQ publisher website. We’ll get into the FW cost and “real” cost later.* 

Keep in mind ALL of these word counts are based off TQ publisher listed word count and since a MAJORITY tended to be at the lower end, think about what you’re really paying for and what they are counting.

Anyway –

 

250 Novels                      $5.95 or $6.95 — 45,000 words to 130,000

66 Arcana                       $2.49  10,000 words to 27,000 AVG:15,000 words

11 Birthstones                 $2.49  10,000 words to 21,000 AVG:13,500 words

11 Everyday Spectres      $3.95  — 20,000 words to 28,500 AVG: 27,000 words

10 Games People Play      $3.95  20,000 words to 28,500 AVG: 22,500 words

40 High Balls                   $3.95  

79 Chasers                      $2.49  — *see below

  0 Cherry Bombs

52 Single Shots                $2.49  10,000 words to 23,500 AVG:13,500 words

58 Single Shot Classics     $2.25  — These are old Single Shots Discounted so see above.

11 Spurs and Saddles       $3.95  20,000 words to 28,500 AVG: 21,000 words

10 Spice it Up                  $2.49  10,000 words to 15,000 AVG: 13,000 words

260 Sips                          $1.29  3,000 words to 10,000 AVG4,500 words

 

 

Now, is any of this worth your money?

The above was a ton of work looking at every book available on TQ in the various lines and their word count and price as listed on the TQ site. So therefore I didn’t do every single book line, especially the higher count ones. I think you can forgive such. There are a few outliers in every group that are higher than the others and priced oddly. Such as there is one Arcana at 29,600 words and priced at $3.95.

 

The chasers though – this is a total money sink.

Now Chasers are series stories that range from 9,700 words to 24,000 words per story and the stories range from 2 parts to 6 parts. Each chaser is $2.49. Now think about that a minute because the majority of stories are under 13,000 word count. I know. I checked every single one.  

There are 23 chaser series currently available – a total of 77 books. The average word count for any one chaser is 13,600 words. Chasers tend to be 3 parts but can be as large as 6 parts. The average COMBINED word count for all parts is 47,000 words, which according to TQ that would be $3.95. TOTAL! Instead you’ve paid $2.49 x 3 ($7.47) or sometimes $2.49 x 6 ($14.94). 

The word count for the three 6 part stories, which cost you $14.94 total:

60,500 words total with an average of 10,080 words per installment

75,300 words total with an average of 12,500 words per installment

94,200 words total with an average of 15,700 words per installment

 

If you bought it together as one novel, the entire cost would be $5.95.

Not quite a good investment hmm? Of course TQ knows this and is discontinuing their Chaser series because readers are unhappy with pricing. Rightfully so. When will the line stop? Not sure but beware if you buy older series, it’s simply not worth your hard earned cash.

 

So now you’re all numb with numbers – what does this all mean for a consumer?

It means that you need to be pretty savvy to get your money’s worth out of TQ. Check cost of FW and ARe versus cost at TQ and check word counts! Some 10,000 word count stories are pretty sneaky and stuck into the higher charge bracket when they should be sips. Nothing you can do about it if you want the book but you should be aware that TQ is playing fast and loose with their word counts. Their listed costs from the top are *generally* correct IF you keep in mind that you’re paying the cost for the low end of the range, not the high end (ie. the 3,000 word Sip and the 10,000 word Novella).  There’s a whole ‘nother post in this if I tried to break down the shitty job TQ does with pricing on e-tailers. It’s ridiculous! And really this post is epic as it is… perhaps to come.

 

Cost Analysis:

They are kind of all over the place since their word counts are iffy. You could pay $2.49 for a 27,000 word book (currently discounted for $1.99 thats a steal!) and also pay $3.95 for a 20,000 word book in a different line. There are several books like this. Almost the entire "Studs and Spurs" line is a rip off – partly because it’s almost entirely owner authored. 

Examples!

$2.49 for 24,800 (FW lists as 24,683)
http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=78_88&products_id=1957

$2.49 for 22,500 (FW lists as 23,010)
http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=78_88&products_id=1209

$2.49 for 22,200 (FW lists as 22,137)
http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=78_88&products_id=1833

$3.95 for 25,800 (FW lists as 25,714)
http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=78_87&products_id=1963

$3.95 for 20,000 (FW lists as 20,087)
http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=78_87&products_id=300 

$3.95 for 20,500 (FW lists as 20,481)
http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=78_87&products_id=689

$3.95 for 19,500 (FW lists as 19,444)
http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=78_87&products_id=1786

$2.49 for 19,350 (FW lists as 18,579)
http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=78_91&products_id=1766

So clearly, their numbers are not only sneaky but they’re all over for what they charge. Based on TQ numbers this is the breakdown in cost:

 

So we know TQ is milking your money and the savvy consumer picks and chooses which lines are worth it, but on average how do they compare with other publishers? They compare with Dreamspinner for short stories but are surprisingly the best cost per word for some until you add in the inflation for the chasers. So if we KNOW that TQ is poor pricing, what does this say for DSP and LYD? Not good things in general.

*since this is based on TQ numbers and we don’t trust those, I’ll be doing a "real" comparison with FW listed word counts. This is a lot of work and didn’t have time for this post. 

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:

Unfortunately I don’t have one right now. Due to the word discrepancy I can only say this is part 1 of two parts. It’s clear TQ is skewing the word counts and ultimately YOUR COST. But it appears – so far – to be better than Dreamspinner and LYD by TQ numbers. Will that hold out? 

As always – your thoughts!

 

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48 thoughts on “E-Book Pricing Contd – Torquere Press

  1. Wow. On the face of it, it seems like a better deal; however, your analysis has thrown up some pretty big questions about consistency and issues associated with word count.
    The overlay chart showing the comparisons is getting very interesting in terms of the $$ value for word count. I’m really beginning to wonder who will give the best deal in the end.
    BTW, do you have any idea how FW gets the more specific word count?? That I would be interested in knowing.

    • I’ve been a long time buyer of TQ (hence the comic. Why can’t I stop what’s bad for me!) and have always felt their guidelines were pretty solid and thus knew what I was paying for. Upon very close examination, that’s not very true. So I can’t wait to compare with actual word counts.
      Each time I add a publisher, I’ll be adding more to the overlay. Who will come out on top? I’m as curious as the rest.
      As for FW – I’m actually not sure. I’m checking with the Cocktease to see if they know more.

  2. Note on Sips: The upper margin is 8,000 words, not 10,000 words. The baseline is 3,000 words. In the year that I edited them, I never had anything under 3,000 words (and my copy, obviously, only includes the actual text). So, something that is over 8,000 words that is no longer in the Sips line is not being sneakily bumped up to the next level, it actually doesn’t belong in that line.

    • Hi Anah, I didn’t note the DATE the sips were published. I was looking for word count/price on the sips. But I can tell you I found at least one sip listed at 2900 words and several at ~9000 words (ie. 8800, 8700, 9100, 9200, 9000). Checking my notes these discrepancies came within the first 60 sips. I can check my spreadsheet for exact numbers.
      According to the TQ website they state:
      Short Stories – Under 10,000 words (http://www.torquerepress.com/submissions/guidelines.html)
      But they do state under submission guidelines that Sips are 3,000-8,000 (http://www.torquerepress.com/submissions/sip.html) but I found that not to be true when looking at the actual TQ listed word count.

      • In general, as a writer, I’ve found that TQ is willing to let me go over on the high side, several times. I wasn’t an acquiring editor so I can’t speak as to where the decisions fell for any of the Sips at all or any of the other lines, I was just a line editor. Also, because I tend to write long in the short story range, I have not yet run into what they would do if I handed in something under 3k. I think I would bite myself if I couldn’t flesh something out to 3k if I were near the limit. :p

        • Obviously I have no insight into their business decisions or choices. All I’m presenting are the facts as they are listed and presented for the consumer on their website. So all I can do is compare the 9,300 sip for $1.29 with the 9,700 word Chaser for $2.49 and so on. Just like there is a 27,000 word Arcana for $2.49 but the 29,600 word Arcana is $3.95 and so on.
          Also as an average consumer, those “behind the scenes” decisions only matter in their affect on the price the consumer/reader pays. So perhaps they are lenient on word counts, but what does that mean for the reader and what they pay for? That is the question I am attempting to research.

          • Definitely. There have been some interesting blogs recently about the cost of producing an e-book as opposed to a print book and so on. Some mainstream publishers have continued to price e-books at or above the list price of the paperback, so it’s been a real frustration for readers and reviewers who prefer to use e-books. It should be fairly easy to track the issue down on mainstream romance review blogs, among others, if you were interested. I can’t remember off the top of my head where I saw it last, it just came by on my Google reader in the last week, though.

            • oooooooooo such an excellent point. I’ve always vaguely believed that if the ebook cost the same or less than the print book, all’s good. But I do recall some sort of discussion about that and I’ll have to check again. Some mainstream are offering ebook/mass market paperback at the same price (ie. $7.99 or whatever). But I do recall there was an argument.
              Thanks for pointing that out!

  3. Oh, and, not being defensive here, this is something that’s always baffled me: Almost the entire “Studs and Spurs” line is a rip off – partly because it’s almost entirely owner authored. <– Why is this an issue, if readers are enjoying the product? And, if they're not, then they shouldn't buy it, obviously. I'm not seeing where the fact that people think it's owner-authored makes it a rip-off. Are people assuming that these books are presented without the usual editing and proofing process, or that the owners are putting out sub-par material willy-nilly because there's no one to stop them? *tilts*
    (Please note, I haven’t read anything from this line because I am… well. If it doesn’t have elves, or guns, or elves with guns, or at least a small plague and/or eugenicist fascist state, or maybe an apocalypse, I’m probably not going to read it. Unless it’s lit fic. Sorry. :()
    If Dianne and I ever ran away and started our own e-press I’m certain that we would publish our own work. This is something I hear all the time, though, as a complaint. Or the accusation that the core stable of writers is small but use various pseuds (a totally common practice in the mainstream pub industry, esp. if writers are writing various genres, and that’s not to mention the vagaries of purchasing software that have pubs pushing their midlist writers to change names every few books), and I’m just not grasping why it’s an issue as long as readers enjoy the product. If they’re not enjoying the product, I see it as being the same problem as acquiring questionable product to pad the list.

    • Well let me say, as I’ve said elsewhere, I read and review a lot of the owner authored work at TQ. I *personally* think it’s sneaky with all their pseudonyms. That’s a personal choice and since there is a lot of misdirection or lying about the various names – as a consumer giving you my money – that bothers me.
      In regards to the Spice It Up line, the fact that it’s owner authored does not make it a rip off. Remember please this is not a bashing of the Press. It’s an in depth analysis of their cost and that’s the sole intent. Upon my research, which I’ve spent hours and days doing, I can tell you that the owner authored stories (regardless of how good they are) tend to be at the bare minimum or below the word counts. Other authors do this as well of course but the owner authored pieces tend to be the most prevalent.
      Thus when you take into consideration an entire line of work which is MOSTLY at the lower end of the word limit and it’s priced higher than similar stories – THAT is the problem.
      If you choose to open your own press to publish your stories – go for it! Many people do. I personally have nothing against it and I buy many stories self published by authors on their websites, lulu, even their own presses. My comment is about PRICE and PRICE ONLY!
      If you want to talk ethics or something, well that’s a completely different argument I’d love to talk about sometime.

      • Thus when you take into consideration an entire line of work which is MOSTLY at the lower end of the word limit and it’s priced higher than similar stories – THAT is the problem. I can see that readers would feel disenchanted by that. I just wasn’t seeing how owner-authored was connected to works being perceived as having less value.
        I think the pseuds issue is one on which I’m likely to disagree with many people, philosophically. :p

        • Personally the name/author is not the point. I wasn’t clear enough on the meaning of that (I was in my head lol) so glad I could clarify further.
          As for pseuds, no matter what the opinion – it’s a fascinating topic and perhaps I’ll have to throw up a post to get discussion going. For this post all I care is how long the book is and what I’m paying! This is no reflection on quality at all.

  4. Like you I’ve been a long time buyer from TQ, although I have to admit that has dropped off quite a bit lately for many reasons that are really for some other discussion. As to price, I’ve always been a bit suspect. I paid the prices, and it was clearly defined on the website, but I found that when I started to read stories I would notice the *extreme* range in the actual word count of the stories. When I would read a Single Shot that was *barely* longer than a Sip I just read, and think about the additional $1.20 I spent for a few hundred words…well I was not really a happy reader.
    I have really been fascinated by these posts you’re doing and I can’t begin to imagine how much time you spend putting them together. I don’t know what the real answer is…although it does seem to be leaning towards pricing being based on word count (and word count of just the story, I don’t wanna pay to learn the publisher’s address over and over again thank you very much) to be the most fair. You will always have stories that fall on the edges of a range, but the hope is that the majority fall into the average range. If they don’t, the decision that should be made is that the ranges need to be re-analyzed.
    I heard rumblings that TQ was both canceling the Chaser line and that they would be adjusting their pricing to be based on word count. I know these kinds of things take time to implement but so far I haven’t seen any move toward either. It is truly possible I just missed it though. I really hope that they make good on both those promises.
    Looking forward to part 2 of this analysis!!

    • Ultimately I think the only fair way to price is by word count. This would not only allow the consumer to know *EXACTLY* what they’re paying for, but it would allow a standardization which is greatly needed in the industry.
      I’m not sure how print publishers figure out their costs but there has to be some kind of standardization somewhere. And if one publisher chooses to charge more (their perogative) then perhaps they can explain WHY their costs are more. Better editors? Better cover artists? Better conversion software? So the consumer knows where their money is going and is inclined to spend it happily.
      And thanks! Part two to happen soon I hope. I’m debating on whether to do part 2 immediately or take a break from TQ and go to Samhain, then come back to TQ. We’ll see!

      • I agree that by word count seems the way to go and some kind of standardization would be the best thing that ever happened to the industry, although I doubt it will ever happen.
        Personally I think you should take a break from TQ and come back to it. Give the rest of your thoughts a chance to percolate. πŸ˜‰

      • Oo, you bring up an interesting point with the “better cover artists.” I hadn’t thought of that, but that’s probably a big deal.
        Speaking from the author side of DSP, I know they’ve been contracting with a couple of artists who do very intensive work — in Paul Richmond’s case, hand-drawn art — for the covers, and they’ve been doing custom art for each novel and novella. That could be a contributing factor. (Not strictly defending DSP there, just noting, especially since a large number of TQ’s titles seem to come with the stock cover for that particular line, rather than a custom cover.)
        Hunh. Interesting.

        • Well TQ’s unique covers often are horrible and the covers coming out of TQ are (IMO) most often trash. A child with crayons can do better. So clearly they are not spending a great deal of money on cover overhead. Perhaps that is why DSP is more expensive? Perhaps that is why LYD is more expensive?
          That gets into the gray area sadly that I can’t evaluate since the publishers themselves don’t give this information. If somewhere on the site a publisher would say “our cost is based on (whatever) but perhaps slightly higher due to the outstanding quality of our editing and unique cover art.” Well true or not, at least the publisher has offered that and readers/consumers can choose to accept it or not.

    • Hi, Emily! πŸ™‚
      My understanding is that TQ is allowing those with current Chaser series to finish them out, but they are not accepting any submissions for new Chasers.
      Honestly, this whole cost analysis thing Kassa’s started is fascinating to me, as well. I had no idea that there was such discrepancy between publishers (and even within the same publisher).
      I had always assumed that pricing was based on word count within e-publishing and explained away the different charges from house to house as there being no set guideline as far as cost, across the industry. Now I’m not so sure that is the case.
      I’m curious to see what comes to light in part 2 of this examination of TQ, too. Should be interesting, to say the least! πŸ™‚
      ~Tis

      • Hi there!
        I figured that TQ was allowing any Chasers that were already contracted to either finish or run their course. What I really wondered about is the change to their pricing, and as far as I know there haven’t been any moves yet to implement those changes. Hopefully they make a move in that direction soon.
        This whole thing has definitely been fascinating and interesting. πŸ˜€

  5. I’m very impressed by the time and thought you’ve put into this, Kassa. Is your final objective to tell readers which e-pubs have the most consistent pricing structure and/or offer readers the biggest bang for their buck?
    I must admit, I don’t understand the need for multiple pseudonymous identities. Two, yes, if a writer does erotic and nonerotic material. Three, maybe, if said writer crosses genres and is an editor or company owner. But if you’re publishing your erotic stories through your own company, and your company specializes in erotic work, what’s the need for concealment? That’s what I don’t get.
    I really wish somebody would explain this. It wouldn’t keep me from buying from TQ–they do have some fabulous authors–but it does leave me scratching my head and wondering what exactly the point is. Why the game playing?

    • Thank you! Ultimately in some way yes. I want the average reader to know what they’re paying for. When I first started buying ebooks I didn’t look at the cost much until I caught myself grumbling alot about buying an expensive book and it’s 70 pages. Or it has large margins.
      So when people started complaining a lot about pricing on twitter and so on, I thought I’d rather have answers than simply grumble. So if I found out that actually paying $5.95 for 50k is pretty standard and common, thus can feel happy about the purchase. Or simply feel thats a rip off and not read lol.
      Either way it’s really fascinating for me and hopefully others learn something along the way.
      As for the pseudos.. definitely another topic but as I’ve said, the lying and purposefully hiding bothers me. Changing from marines to cowboys is not a genre change IMO. That’ll have to be our next topic here at chez kassa!
      Thanks as always for commenting!

  6. Really interesting stuff, Kassa. I stopped buying the Chaser series a while back after I realized how much it was actually costing me to get the whole series. Interesting to hear they’re discontinuing them.
    And just as an aside, I don’t get the whole pseudonym thing either. I could understand if it was a different name writing for different genres, but for torquere, that’s definitely not the case. Odd. I’m impressed, though, that Sean Michael/ B.A. Tortuga finds the time to write so many books as well as run the site.

    • Hi! As of today, there are still more Chasers to come. Although TC Blue above said that TQ is going to stop taking submissions. I’ve heard this rumbling too since readers are unhappy with the pricing. I guess we can wait to hear an official announcement from TQ if there is one. Im curious myself.
      Considering how many books the owners put out? Well the sheer number is impressive. Does the quality suffer? I think so but again – another topic! I’m trying *so* hard to say on pricing only for this post : D
      Thanks for dropping by!

  7. I think this is really useful for the casual reader looking to save some money. If you really want to compare publishers, though, I think you have to take the quality of the published works into account as well as cost-per-word.
    As an example, books at Aspen Mountain Press are relatively expensive, but I’ve never worked with a more professional editor.
    She gave me solid writing advice and notes on practically every sentence in my 30,000 word novella, including advice about a lot of general things editors at other publishers had never mentioned before. Many other publishers I’ve worked with haven’t edited a single word of my submitted draft. One, who shall remain nameless (not TQ) was irritated with me for “editing too much” during the editing process, even though I changed nothing of the story and mainly applied style lessons the AMP editor taught me.

    • ooo GS, you always bring something fun to the table. Now when I first had the idea I thought I’d do based on word but then account for quality. Unfortunately I realized there is no quantitative value on quality. It’s entirely subjective. Although I think the editing and general quality of stories has decreased remarkably of late over at Loose Id, others would disagree. Some authors also sing TQ’s praises for various areas whereas others are disenchanted.
      From a reader perspective what makes quality? I can LOATHE a story entirely for bad plot, bad characters, and so on and wonder what was the press thinking!? Yet it is roundly praised on good reads or the blog circuit as a great book. Where does that fall then in quality?
      Unfortunately I personally don’t see a way of comparing such a subjective quality. If you can think of something, I’d love to know.
      As for cost differences, I am going purely by word count because so far in the three publishers I’ve researched none have mentioned explicit reasons for their pricing such as premiere editing, cover art, advertising and so on. No doubt all of these play into the overhead but how would I, the casual reader, know the difference in cost trickling down to what I pay? I personally have purchased a fabulous book with barely an error alongside a horrifically edited book from the same publisher. The lack of consistently inherently hurts such a comparison as well sadly.

      • That’s definitely true, and also why I think the concept of giving awards for books is completely invalid (but that’s another subject.)
        As an author, I definitely appreciate the publishers that “earn their 70% cut” by really editing and giving feedback on stories (not just with regards to technical errors, but characterization and plot as well.) When an editor tells me they don’t have a single comment to make, I feel kind of cheated somehow (I’m not that good. Really.) I do think readers get what they pay for in that regard, even if it is “behind the scenes.”
        Of course, a story could be expertly written and edited and still not appeal to someone, in which case they would definitely feel happier if they’d at least got a good deal price-wise.

  8. I’m not sure why you’re assuming the FW count is correct.
    I checked my own copies of some of my stories with Torquere to find their wordcounts (using Word) and compared them with the Torquere wordcounts and the Fictionwise ones where I could. My files are just the story, plus sometimes a short, single sentence dedication. I couldn’t do it with all of the ones I have published with TP as a lot are in anthologies with no individual wordcounts.
    Cat Scratch Fever (Single Shot) $2.29
    My count: 10,817
    Torquere: 10,800
    Fictionwise: 10,710
    Drawing Closer (Novel) $5.95
    My count: 57,588
    Torquere: 57,500
    Fictionwise: 56,859
    Again, TP got it right and FW were on the low side.
    Wild Raspberries (Novel) $5.95
    My count: 60,294
    Torquere: 60,500
    Fictionwise: 59,910.
    Conclusion; TP round up or down, which is fair enough, Fictionwise consistently undercounted for some reason.
    I realize that three counts don’t make a summer, but just thought I’d contribute to the discussion.

    • TBH I’ve no clue how correct FW is. I take them at their face value because the few books I spot checked were very consistent with FW and other publishers’ listed word counts on their sites coincided closely with FW.
      Personal checks of books I’ve bought from TQ – when converted back to doc and word counted were off from TQ’s checks.
      I suspect that there is a conversion issue also at play between TQ and FW which make the process even more confusing.

      • Wordcounts are notoriously dodgy; I remember my anguish and horror on discovering that Word counts dashes as a word; I had to go back and handcount every single drabble I’d ever written and adjust them to hit the 100 words only target in quite a few.

  9. The pseudonym point has never bothered me, btw. Authors often co-write and create a new name for each partnership, which seems fair enough, and TP has hundreds of authors; sure, some authors have more than one pseudonym (and not just the owners) but the vast majority of the names there are authors writing under just one name.
    Like me πŸ™‚
    In the SF pulps, Heinlein would often have a couple of stories in one magazine under different names so that it didn’t look as if he was monopolizing the issue, but Lyle Monroe and Anson MacDonald were both Robert A. Heinlein.

    • I think there’s a difference between creating a new pseud for co-writing, and creating another pseudonym within your own publishing house so others don’t realize its the same author.
      I didn’t realize that about Heinlein but I still would be annoyed as a consumer about that :). If you have to hide and make it seem like you’re not monopolizing a press or particular publication, than that means you are and thus consumers should know. IMO. Another thread though!

      • Another thread though!
        Sure! Though I suspect it’s one of those topics where people have an opinion and stick to it, rendering discussion only good for a delightfully warm glow as the keyboard is pounded πŸ˜‰

      • I really hope you do a review of author pseudonyms. I’m kind of shocked and dismayed now that I know BA Tortuga and Sean Michael are the same person. I like “both” authors when I thought they were 2 different authors.
        Why does this person feel a need to create different personas?

        • If you’d bought a book by Tortuga, loathed it, and thought, never again will I read one by her, hmm, let me try Sean Michael instead, then maybe you’d have a gripe, but if you liked them both, what’s the problem?
          I write under one name and if I co-write, both our names appear on the cover, so I’ve got no axe to grind here; I’m just baffled by the outrage.
          This is a longstanding literary tradition. I remember my own lightbulb moment discovering that Marion Chesney, a famous Regency romance writer, was also M C Beaton who does the Hamish Macbeth books. There was a similarity of style I’d picked up on subconsciously and it all made sense then.
          Sometimes, like Nora Roberts/J D Robb, it says on the cover that it’s so and so writing as, but not always and usually only after the ‘new’ author has been established.
          I can’t speak for Torquere, but I always imagined that they did it at the start when they only had a handful of authors on the books and kept on writing under those names as each had developed their own following. And some of them are co-writing teams, who require a new name.
          Right now, Torquere has hundreds of authors so really, the handful that have more than one pseudonym (often, as I said, because they’re a co-writing team) are a small percentage of the whole.
          But people can do it for lots of reasons, and to be honest, whether it’s marketing or personal reasons, it seems to me that it’s their choice.

          • My opinion on why authors change their penname was name-branding, especially if they’ve made their name as a niche author.
            Me, for example. I am mainly recognized as an author of m/m (sometimes-)erotic romance, but I have stories in progress that are GLBT Young Adult, f/f, and even m/f. I carefully considered whether I would publish these as M. Jules Aedin or pick some other name, just so readers wouldn’t say, “Oh, Jules has a new book out,” pick it up expecting it to be m/m, and end up with f/f or m/f. I mean, technically, people should pay attention to the content and not just the author, but they don’t always, especially if someone is an auto-buy for them.
            But I dunno. There may be more reasons than just that.

            • Yes, I know people who write erotica under one name and YA books under another for that reason. It’s all about not disappointing or shocking your readers, I guess.
              And usually, they’re not kept secret for long; I mean, the Torquere pseudonyms have been known about for years; they’re not really a secret in the relatively small world of m/m publishing.

              • Again…. this thread is about PRICING.
                I know the topic of pseuds is a hot button for people so we can get into that on another thread please.
                Thank you.

                • Okay, some more pricing information.
                  I also publish with Loose Id, who don’t as far as I can see, give a word total (not a problem with me; it’s not information I look for when I pick up a paperback in a shop, which is just as well, as they don’t give either). Their novels can be $6.99 for a 50,000+ one, incidentally.
                  I checked two of my books with them at Fictionwise, comparing the FW total with my own, bare of extras, copy in Word.
                  Laying a Ghost:
                  My total 110,139
                  Fictionwise: 108,801
                  That’s a huge difference.
                  Waking the Dead
                  My total 55,425
                  Fictionwise: 54,962
                  I think it’s clear that Fictionwise undercount so it’s a little unfair to use their totals to bash Torquere for supposedly cheating readers in some way.

                  • I’m not bashing a publisher. I’m giving facts and some opinion. I’m also not ONLY going by FW counts if you’ve read the entire list. You certainly bring up a good point about FW conversion with publishers. I’ll certainly have to take that into consideration when I do part two.
                    If you’ve read this post, I compare almost exclusively using TQ number counts and only give a few examples of TQ word counts being off by FW. You can see above.
                    I’m not certain exactly what it is you’re arguing. Since I’m not only using FW word counts and this entire post is talking about TQ word counts and their associated costs – especially since I compare the various lines and TQ listed word counts.
                    If you’re arguing the FW portion, ok. I’ve agreed to this since the first post you made on the subject.

                    • Of course I read your whole post. You seem to make a point of saying that TP are wrong because their numbers disagree with FW’s
                      since this is based on TQ numbers and we don’t trust those, I’ll be doing a “real” comparison with FW listed word counts.
                      and I’m pointing out, in one post using TP books and in another Loose Id’s to show that it isn’t a case of a problem with just one publisher, that Fictionwise counts are off considerably and that TP’s aren’t.
                      I’m curious; as Loose Id don’t seem to give a wordcount, do you consider that a mark against them?

                    • And I said in your first comment that you’re right, FW may not be the “real” count lol. I’ve already agreed to that.
                      Of course I don’t. Dreamspinner didn’t list their word counts either and I didn’t count it against them. I don’t count it against TQ for listing their word counts nor against LYD for listing their word counts. I can say that converting my TQ docs to word and doing counts have been close to the FW counts. I’ve only spot checked mind you for 1-2 books of TQ, DSP, and LYD. So clearly there are conversion issues between software.

                    • Of course, good luck!
                      If you get a moment can you let me know what software or how you do your conversions? I’ll have to think of how to compare if FW conversions are not standard for everyone.
                      Thanks! Can’t wait for your comments on the pen name debacle.

                    • I’ve been using the standard Windows Word counter, working off a .doc consisting of just the text of the book.
                      And I guess you’ve already heard them πŸ™‚

                    • Thanks! I’ve enjoyed your contributions and wouldn’t have known about the FW problems otherwise most likely. It’s been a huge help.

                  • Additionally, if I’ve disagreed with the publisher based on their LISTED word counts for various lines. Such as a line with books listed for 20,000 words for $3.95 and another line with books listed at 25,000 words for $2.49. And other such examples, the Fictionwise content is only a small portion and not contributed to the final graphs and ANY of the breakdowns.

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