Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Here an epub, there an epub...

Everywhere an epub!

I've been following the folding of Triskelion with interest. Dear Author has been providing thorough coverage of the situation, as well as the implications for authors. I know so little about the whole business end of books, and I feel so bad for the authors, it just has me so darn curious. While reading the comments, several authors had mentioned electronic publishing companies that I had never heard of. I've purchased books from Samhain, Ellora's Cave, Liquid Silver, Loose-Id and Changeling Press (Shit, the covers are off putting at this site. Too bad, some decent authors, and heavy on the parnormal/fantasy). There are some others I had heard of (like Triskelion), but had never bought from. And now, some others I had never heard of? Just how many small romance-focused epubs are there? Investigating was in order. Because I'm a librarian, I am prone to information gathering and lists. So without further ado here is the list of new-to-me epublishers:

Amber Quill Press (Having a 25% off storewide sale, btw. The site is decent, i.e. the blurbs make sense. The covers aren't awful, except for a preponderance of eighties looking people.)
Cobblestone Press
Freya's Bower
Champagne Books
loveyoudivine (Erm...are separate categories for "Tales of the Slave Girl" and "Erotic Power Exchange" really necessary? The brevity of the blurbs, plus the lack of excerpts makes me leery.)
Uncial Press
Mundania Press
Aspen Mountain Press
Phaze Books (An imprint of Mundania, upon closer look)
Extasy Books (Interesting logo, bad poser covers, their little bookshelf problem sounds troubling.)
Drollerie Press (I like the concept behind this one, we'll have to see how it turns out.)
Torquere Press--LGBT
Chippewa Publishing
Lady Aibell--Chippewa's Erotic Romance Imprint. There are some doozies of covers on this one too. Home of "Oklahoma Space Odyssey", one of my favorite Bam snarks ever. I think they did proofread the blurb a bit since then.

So what did I discover, besides the best author name ever (Trixie Stiletto), and some intriguing books? There's a shitload of e-pubs out there. I saw many authors whose names I recognize from blogs and other publishers. So feedback time--

Readers: Anyone ever read anything from any of these companies? How's the quality? Decent editing or no? Heard any buzz, good or bad?

If any writers pop by: Any experiences with any of these sites? Do they treat their authors well?

If anybody knows of another Epub that I left off, let me know and I'll add.


Anne said...

I've read stuff from Amber Quill (well, the HEAT portion), and Cobblestone as well. I've enjoyed the books I purchased at both sites, though Cobblestone is a bit pricey for the size of the books they offer.

A few from AQP I've read are Trixie Stiletto(yep)and Megan hart who totally rock, as well as

From Cobblestone, I've only read a couple- Anna Leigh Keaton and Lia Sebastian, and they were very good as well.

Haven't tried any others yet.

Unknown said...

It's been awhile, but I have purchased from Extasy. For M/M you should add Sean Michael, Julia Talbot, Willa Okati (who is EVERYWHERE) release through them.

One word of caution, over the past couple of years I've received letters from smaller epubs telling me their computer security has been compromised, however it did not appear that any information was stolen.

So now I either pay through Paypal (when available) or, even better, I purchase through The advantages of Fictionwise are that I can be reasonably sure the transaction is secure, the price is often lower than buying direct from the epub, and, since I'm a member of their buying club, I get a buttload of free books! AND, they keep your library available for download indefinitely! Plus, their reader rating system is a very useful tool.

Devon said...

Anne--Thanks for the recs. I'm glad Ms. Stiletto lives up to the promise of her name.

QB--I added Torquere. Thanks for the advice. I haven't spent too much time at Fictionwise, I didn't have a clue about the bennies. I will definitely check it out more in depth.

Anonymous said...

I've purchased from many of these.

I LOVE Amber Quill/Amber Heat/Amber Allure because they have great quality stuff and many of their books are on sale each month, plus they have bundled themes that are always on sale and a reward program to earn free books. From an author standpoint, they are "invitation only," so it seems they pick their authors very carefully. I've not been disappointed yet. One of my online friends is published there and says they're highly professional.

I also like LooseID, but lately I've not found anything there that interests me. I guess my tastes are changing since they're still a great pub overall.

I used to buy from Extasy, but their quality went down (kind of like how their covers are juvenile). The same goes for Changling, although they do have some really good authors there. I never bought from Triskelion since they always seemed a bit rinky dink to me (poor website navigation wise and many of their covers and pages wouldn't load, poor covers in general). Cobblestone is kind of new, and their editing leaves a lot to be desired, the same as Phaze and a few others. A lot of the other pubs like Mardi Gras and Silk's Vault look very cheesy to me also (bad graphics and covers---even misspelled words or poorly formatted text), so I stay away from them...appearance means everything. They look like someone whipped them together (or had one of their kids act as their webmasters and cover artists---bad "refrigerator art"). LOL

Devon said...

More thumbs up for AQ, I see.

Isn't the editing situation fascinating with ebooks? It is an author's responsibility to self-edit/proofread, but as a company selling a product, you'd think they'd take more care. I mean, when they can't even come up with a well-edited blurb or excerpt, I can't imagine why I'd be persuaded to spend my money there.
Missing and misspelled words, grammatical errors...

Seriously, if they need the help, I'm available. I'll proofread for free. It hurts me, deep inside, to see silly errors on something purporting to be professional.