We're an independent publishing press, ask us anything...

Curiosity Quills Press
Feb 26, 2018

Curiosity Quills Press is an independent publishing press founded in 2011 by Eugene Teplitsky and Lisa Gus, developed with the idea of writers serving writers, and creating a community to publish the type of books we love. In 2018, we have a catalog of almost 400 titles, by over 200 different authors. We specialize in genre fiction - fantasy, sci-fi, horror, thrillers, mystery etc. - with a sprinkling of romance and comedy. We offer books for all ages from middle-grade to adult and pride ourselves on offering diversity that reflects the expanding world around us. 

Please feel free to ask us anything about the publishing process and what type of books we acquire, as well as anything you'd be interested to know, like the TV shows and books we love, when we're not working hard to bring you great fiction.

Just don't ask about the goats, okay? ;)


Following on from our AMA, we've invited our authors to post their own AMAs during #AuthorsAMA week.

Already confirmed are:

C.W. Snyder - author of Child of Nod. You can find his own AMA here.

Megan O'Russell - author of How I Messed Up My Life in Four Freakin' Days, and The Girl Without Magic. You can find her own AMA here.

Matthew S. Cox - bestselling author of sci-fi, cyberpunk, and fantasy. You can find his own AMA here.

Nina Post - author of comedy fiction with a paranormal twist. You can find her own AMA here.

Wilbert Stanton - author of The Artful, and Gears of Fate. You can find his own AMA here.

Katie Hamstead - Aussie expat, and author of the KIYA Series and the Fairytale Galaxy Chronicles. You can find her own AMA here.

Eliza Tilton - Author of YA fantasy series The Daath Chronicles. Find her own AMA here.

Be sure to check back, as more authors are added!

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Conversation (52)

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How much money do you need (ballpark) to be able to self-publish?

Feb 26, 8:11PM EST1

The following authors have joined us to host their own AMAs:

Andrew Buckley - author of twisted, paranormal humor. find his AMA here.

Merethe Walther - author of space opera Mercury in Retrograde. Find her AMA here

Kate McIntyre - author of mystery-fantasy series The Faraday Files. Find her AMA here.

James Aquilone - author of urban-fantasy detective series Dead Jack. Find his AMA here.

Tyrolin Puxty - Bestselling author, singer, songwriter and performing arts teacher. Find her AMA here.

Last edited @ Feb 27, 9:06AM EST.
Feb 26, 4:47PM EST1
Legal fees are a pain, do you have any lawyers to help you with copyrights?
Feb 26, 8:55AM EST0

At least with smaller presses, registering copyright tends to be up to the author. Some authors register them, others don't. It's not a requirement to register copyright to publish a book. 

Feb 26, 9:22AM EST0
Can someone buy your books on Amazon?
Feb 26, 8:47AM EST0

Yes, definitely - and please do ;)

Feb 26, 9:21AM EST0
What do you plan on doing in case this company fails?
Feb 26, 7:24AM EST0

Backup Plan A: ice-road trucking. Backup Plan B: lobster fishing. Backup Plan C: professional popcorn taster.

Feb 26, 9:24AM EST0
What were some of the challenges you faced when creating this company?
Feb 26, 4:33AM EST0

Some of the challenges included figuring out the brand, determining the query and acquisitions process, iterating a production workflow, hiring staff, and creating an accounting process to handle royalties in and royalties out.

Feb 26, 10:27AM EST0
Are any of your books available for e-books or is it all physical copies?
Feb 26, 4:04AM EST0

Our books are (usually) available in both ebook and print -- and occasionally hardcover and audio.

Feb 26, 9:25AM EST0
What is one of the hardest things when running this company?
Feb 25, 12:38PM EST0

Wrangling production with a small team.

Feb 26, 9:56AM EST0

How many copies of the first book can an unknown author expect to sell?

Feb 25, 12:23AM EST0

An author shouldn't expect an instant bestseller, and needs to work hard to promote their own book. This is the case with every publisher. The author's own willingness and ability to spread the word about their own manuscript can make the difference between a floundering title and a potential bestseller (or growing a solid readership over time).

Feb 26, 10:35AM EST1
How do you keeep track of over 200 authors?
Feb 25, 12:04AM EST0

Spreadsheets and collaboration tools :).

Feb 26, 9:54AM EST0
How long does your publishing process take?
Feb 24, 2:21AM EST0

Normally 6-12 months (please see "How does your publishing process work" below).

Feb 26, 9:26AM EST0
Do you plan on selling stocks for the public to purchase and help support your company?
Feb 23, 3:55PM EST0

Unfortunately, the company also owns a small chain of ferret farms, and considering how this is not sanctioned nationwide, we are unable to go public ;)

Feb 26, 9:28AM EST0
How does your publishing process work?
Feb 23, 3:18PM EST0

Submissions are received and read by Andrew Buckley and Alisa Gus. Those submissions that Andrew/ Alisa feel have potential are sent to a team of CQ beta readers, who read the manuscript and then recommend we publish, reject, or ask them to revise and resubmit. The manuscripts that are accepted are sent for two rounds of editing and a round of proofreading, which normally takes between 6-12 months, depending on the level of editing needed. As we get closer to publication date, the cover is created with input from the author, and we begin marketing, such as sending the books to our reviewer mailing list, adding it to NetGalley, contacting bookstores, libraries, etc.

Feb 26, 9:16AM EST0
What inspired you to start the business?
Feb 23, 12:33PM EST0

Eugene and Alisa started Curiosity Quills as a blog to grow a following with their own writing, but became more directly involved with helping the authors hanging out on the site, and then decided to evolve it into a publisher.

Feb 26, 10:40AM EST0

Your description says you operate on the idea of "writers serving writers." What does that mean exactly?

Feb 23, 12:15PM EST0

Eugene and Lisa were aspiring authors when they started Curiosity Quills, and wanted to create a more open and equable platform for writers. We view publishing as a partnership, where both the publisher and the author bring different things to the table. Unlike traditional publishers, we offer a closer, more family-like community for our authors, and try to involve them in the publishing process as much as possible, getting their input on cover design, marketing campaigns, etc.

Feb 26, 9:40AM EST0

New authors typically have very little familiarity with the publishing industry and can wind up confused or unaware of processes related to publishing. Do you have a way of dealing with this and mitigating negative effects that may occur due to this unfamiliarity?

Feb 26, 4:06PM EST0

How many of your authors are authors of color, and do you have guidance in place to seek out and promote books by authors of color?

Feb 23, 12:14PM EST2

Eugene says: We don't really know anything about the author's background when we acquire - we specifically ask that they don't list accolades, etc., and certainly don't ask for or investigate their racial background. That said, minorities are very much underrepresented in publishing and I know there's always more we could be doing to help advance that.

Feb 26, 9:20AM EST0
Show all 3 replies

Yes but what about the goats?:)

Feb 23, 12:07PM EST0

They love spools!

Feb 26, 9:28AM EST0

How many criteria you take into account when choosing books to publish?

Feb 23, 8:10AM EST0

We have a limited number of favored genres, including speculative fiction / dark sci-fi, fantasy / dark, fantasy, paranormal and urban fantasy, and more (find the full list here: curiosityquills.com/submission-guidelines/), and are looking for a high-quality manuscript that the author has put through a production reality check and a marketing reality check (both available in our publishing query: curiosityquills.com/submission-guidelines/query/).

Feb 26, 10:06AM EST0

Do you have a lot of competition, and what separates you from your competitors?

Feb 23, 4:06AM EST0

We have some "friendly competition" with other independent publishers, and, of course, competition from the big 5, but have increasingly found the ecosystem Amazon has fostered to be hostile to our industry. This is one of the reasons we started out own marketing channel, WishKnish.

Feb 26, 10:12AM EST0

What is the story behind the name?

Feb 23, 2:54AM EST0
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