1. BBWalter
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    BBWalter Member

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    Casperian Books Publishing ??

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by BBWalter, Mar 4, 2010.

    Hello all,

    I'm fairly new to the forum. I've recently ran across a small press publisher named Casperian Books out of California. All the information I've ran across thus far makes them out to be a legitimate (if small) publisher with a high quality of standards for the books they print. (Yes, I've seen they utilize POD services for printing, but it does seem that they do not fall under the traditional POD publisher - i.e. they provide editing and seem to take a minimum of one year to publisher versus most POD self-publish groups "quicker is better" route.)

    I was hoping anyone else might have some information of this publisher. I've checked Writer Beware; they don't have much information on the press. (It's certainly not on their 'thumbs down' list but neither is it on their 'thumbs up' list. However, it is on P&E's list as "Frankly, we like their honesty...", but little more.)

    Any information you'd be willing to share would be much appreciated. Thank you.

    BB
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I haven't found any records indicating how long "they" have been in business. The website is registered to Kimberley Bernhardt, who is probably the sole officer of the company. It looks like a family endeavor. They only give a PO box as an address, which gives me some pause.

    I only looked around for a few minutes. They may be too new to have generated complaints that have found their way to the web.
     
  3. BBWalter
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    BBWalter Member

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    Thanks, Cogito! I've only found the same information when I researched. What titles they do have seem to have won several competitions as well, which seemed impressive (to say the least). I may have to break down and contact Writer's Beware to double check and see if they have any more detailed information. All the information I've found thus far only points to the press being around for the last 3-4 years.

    I'll keep looking, but thank you for taking a little time to look around see what you could find. :)

    BB
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You also might want to look at the published works, if you can, and verify that Casperian is indeed their publisher.
     
  5. BBWalter
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    BBWalter Member

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    I hadn't thought about peeking inside the dust jackets, so to speak! Duh, probably should have given the number of bottom feeders out there willing to pass off "other houses" works as their own.

    Thanks for the great advice!

    BB
     
  6. Mouser
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    My thread asking about publishers was deleted I guess. I suppose I'm not allowed to post links?

    Anyway, does anyone know of any new publishers, such as the one in this thread, Casperian?

    And is there more info on Casperian? Anybody had any experiences, etc.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    check out publishers on www.duotrope.com
     
  8. Mouser
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    Yeah I use duotrope all the time for magazines.
     
  9. BBWalter
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    BBWalter Member

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    It can be used, as well, for publishers. I didn't find a lot of information about Casperian on Duotropes is the only reason I am asking after them. Specifically, if anyone has dealt with them, etc.

    Thanks all!
    B
     
  10. kgb
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  11. Mouser
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    kgb, thanks.

    B - ta, I see they have a 'novels' option on Duotrope, didn't notice that before.
     
  12. BBWalter
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    BBWalter Member

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    Thank you, kgb! I really appreciate this link.

    :) B
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The article above doesn't say much, other than what their process is according to a member of Casperian.

    I'll allow the link anyway, due to the general scarcity of information about Casperian, but it really doesn't contain any solid information from a disintered party.
     
  14. BBWalter
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    BBWalter Member

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    Thanks, Cog. Noticed this after I'd gone there. There seems to be an overall lack of information on this publisher. I don't often contact the authors as one of my first information gathering tasks but, in this case, I may have to do that to make sure all my i's are dotted and t's crossed. :)

    B
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you can also ask them for a sample book, to see the quality of the books they turn out... they may say 'no' but it can't hurt to ask... and if they do say 'no' that'll tell you something about them...
     
  16. kgb
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    Maybe given that example we should talk about information gathering (beyond the sites already mentioned) possible, if you are willing to spend a few hours of your time:
    Google "casperian books" Web 66000 entries, you might want to restrict to last month and click thru. Google Books "casperian books" : at a title, Click, "Search in a Library" tells you which other libraries (other than library of congress) carry that item.
    salesrankexpress.com, publisher "Casperian", will tell you relative Amazon sales ranks in various countries. Same can be done with bn.com, Search advanced, and the Chapters.indigo.ca and Bookdepository.co.uk for international. Multiple books published per current time frame (sort date New->old) combined with at least moderate actual sales is a strong indicator of not hitting a vanity press. Ignore ratings - they may be skewed. Book social sites: Check at least Librarything and Goodreads for publisher, authors, venues(!) and actual readers. Check representation at small press fairs and sites like the midwest book review.
    Next: Author's web sites, normally given at the publisher's web site. They might be biased, since they are the happy few accepted. They normally love to talk about the editing process, since it maintains the marketing buzz. Try to find a rejected author, too. Blog search should help. Also, you should be able to find a few authors in the pipeline to be published. Looking at the dates, that should tell you something about the review/editing process. Reviews quoted on authors and/or publisher's and/or Amazon web sites: Are they from reputable reviewers/sites? Check other items they reviewed.
    Blog Search: technorati.com, enter 'any authority'; recently Icerocket.com gave better results.
    Quantcast.com: Sociographic data
    Admittedly, sifting thru the ton of data available takes time. Yet, if a publishing venture has any commercial significance, that analysis should tell. Unfortunately, that does not tell you much about quality. I'm afraid you'll have to look at the works.
     
  17. BBWalter
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    kgb,

    Thanks. Some of these sites and resources I have used, but a few I've haven't yet. I'll tiptoe through those as well. :) Appreciate the help!

    B
     
  18. CharlesDoddWhite
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    Casperian Books

    Hi everyone,

    While I'm not a "disinterested" party, I might be able to shed some light on this publisher. They're publishing my second novel this fall, and I was attracted to them because they've put out books by a couple of writers I admire, William Walsh and Curtis Smith. If you're interested in seeing the quality of the books, probably the best way is to go to Amazon and search for the title. All of their books have the search inside feature.

    Also, I am friends with an author whose novel was rejected by them. I can give you his name off the boards. As a side note, he went on and published the book with another small publisher Bottom Dog Press. I read and enjoyed it, so they certainly exercise selectivity.

    Many independent houses are using digital printing for trade paper originals. It's help them duck some of the problems bigger independent presses like MacAdam Cage and Toby Press have faced since the economic slowdown.

    My experience with Casperian is that they are quite professional and the editing process is rigorous. They are, of course, small, but they produce professional books and are a significant player in the independent press movement, taking up some of the slack the big publishers have left when they minimized their midlist.
     
  19. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the problem i see is the pricing... $15 for a paperback is much more than most readers are willing to pay... even the markdowns of $13.50 are way beyond what one pays for pbs by renowned authors, so sales are likely to be minimal...
     
  20. CharlesDoddWhite
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    CharlesDoddWhite New Member

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    Mamma,

    I'd like to politely take issue with you on the price issue. Between $13 and $17 is fairly typical for small press trade paper originals right now. Any cursory check of literary houses such as Soft Skull, Dzanc and Coffee House Press will verify this. Plus, to speak directly to the point, there are a few of the books on the list with a cover price of $13.50.
     
  21. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'll throw in my two cents.

    In my experience, the price range for trade paperbacks is somewhat wide, as CharlesDoddWhite indicated.

    Two titles I just looked up (one from Bantam and one from St. Martin's) were priced at $15.00 and $14.99. My novel released by a small publisher (and similar in page count and such to the two big publishers) retails for $12.99. However, places such as Amazon and Barnes &Noble discount the bigger house novels more deeply (34%) than mine (28%), bringing them closer. The Casperian titles appear to have a slightly lower page count than what I was comparing, but overall they're in the retail price range of most small press titles, and some larger NY houses.

    In the end, most smaller press-released works are on average slightly more expensive. It can be a challenge, as even a dollar or two especially these days can make a difference. Seventeen dollars for retail would make it a much harder sell for authors. And discounts do make a difference, not only online, but often brick and mortar stores discount titles from big houses. Not usually so for smaller ones (if they can be found on the shelf). That's just the way it is.

    Terry
     
  22. kgb
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    mamma, that is -except for Bargain and Mass Market Paperbacks- what the market seems to demand as list price. Proof: Go to BN.com, Search Advanced, Publisher "HarperCollins" or your pick, Format Paperback, Subject Fiction and Literature, then search. On the left hand side, the results page shows price range bargain, below 10$, 10 to 25$, and above with an even distribution in the first three. Refining the seach to the relevant category and sorting by price shows that the list price below 10$ is actually 9.99 and Mass Market in most cases, the low prices in 10 to 25$ region are B&N rebates in most cases. Asking price can be less - that largely depends on the publisher rebate which should be higher for Offset than for Pod, particularly is the printing is about to be pulped.
     
  23. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    my point is that it's still a paperback, even if in larger size than the ones you find in bookstores and on airport racks... and most people don't want to pay nearly hard cover price for a paperback...

    buying on amazon does give one a price break, but the majority of readers buy their books 'in the flesh' and the price comparison to regular pb's even on amazon is still a problem, imo...
     

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