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:
TQ claims it’s 10000 words:
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.
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 AVG: 4,500 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.
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.
$2.49 for 24,800 (FW lists as 24,683)
$2.49 for 22,500 (FW lists as 23,010)
$2.49 for 22,200 (FW lists as 22,137)
$3.95 for 25,800 (FW lists as 25,714)
$3.95 for 20,000 (FW lists as 20,087)
$3.95 for 20,500 (FW lists as 20,481)
$3.95 for 19,500 (FW lists as 19,444)
$2.49 for 19,350 (FW lists as 18,579)
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.
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!