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Thread: [ePub] AKW Books / Kalar/Wade Media LLC

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    [ePub] AKW Books / Kalar/Wade Media LLC

    I have been accepted by an E-Book publisher called AKW Books. They seem legit & nice and most of the research I've done sounds good, but I want to hear from you, my fellow writers & would be writers who know more about these kind of people than I do.

    Any information will be greatly appreciated
    A fool in over his head

  2. #2
    I grow my own catnip JulieB's Avatar
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    These folks? http://akwbooks.com/

  3. #3
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Yep.
    A fool in over his head

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    practical experience, FTW
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    I almost ordered their Fiction Novel of the Year - 2009.

    Then I decided anyplace that used that term in a serious manner should be avoided.

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  5. #5
    Author of "Warp"
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    This is a real bare-bones operation, even by the standards of ebook publishing. For instance, they expect you to pay for the cover design, to send your book in "final format with all artwork" (does this mean they expect you to get it typeset?) and to pay to register your own copyright.

    Their claim that they offer very generous royalties in return is moot, too ó they're offering 40% on net and comparing this (rather misleadingly) to large publishers' royalties on print books. 25% on gross is standard for ebooks, and some publishers offer more, so this isn't particularly brilliant.

    There's one other oddity as well, in this statement: "By submitting to us, you will automatically accept the terms of the contract." Normally contracts are negotiable, and merely submitting to a publisher doesn't commit you to anything.

    Overall, I don't really see what they offer that you couldn't do via your own website, keeping 100% of the income.

  6. #6
    Vampire Annayna's Avatar
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    Ehhh I dont know about this company...

  7. #7
    Back in the black, & staying there! Marian Perera's Avatar
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    Some red flags:

    We don't charge you anything, but you do have to provide the cover art.
    The page about who they are doesn't mention specifics. There's a claim that one of the founders spent six years in the publishing industry, but no indication of what his/her job was in that industry, only that he/she felt authors didn't get enough respect. Hence the creation of this press.

    (Personally, I find that if an epublisher provides good cover art, an experienced editor and enough distribution, the respect comes naturally.)

    Inaccurate claims about commercial publishing:

    To make a first book sell, the publisher generally leaves it up to the author to do most of the marketing work.
    What will AKW Books do for you instead?

    Possibly offer your books through other eBook sales sites.
    The list of marketing tactics authors can use is about three or four times longer than the list of what AKW will do.
    Last edited by Marian Perera; 05-22-2010 at 03:04 AM.


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  8. #8
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Thanks to everyone who posted so far

    I was rather suspicious they'd accept me just based on the sample material I sent them. The entire time my little voice kept saying it was too easy. Heck, them saying that sending a manuscript meant I agreed to their contract/agreement struck me as odd off the bat. And an email they sent suggested their might be revisions, which I just don't like the sound of. I don't want to rewrite my story for the sake of mass market appeal, thank you
    A fool in over his head

  9. #9
    Author of "Warp"
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    Quote Originally Posted by SammyW View Post
    And an email they sent suggested their might be revisions, which I just don't like the sound of. I don't want to rewrite my story for the sake of mass market appeal, thank you
    Particularly when your book would never reach the mass market anyway. I have no idea how many copies one of their ebooks typically sells, but given that they appear to sell principally through their own website (I didn't even see any mention of Amazon), it could be in the dozens rather than the hundreds of copies.

  10. #10
    Crypto-fascist Soccer Mom's Avatar
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    The accepted you on something other than your full ms? No.

    By submitting you automatically accept their contract provisions? No negotiation? No.

    Do you even have a copy of this contract?

    You provide the cover art and do all the marketing and product placement? No.

    They sell "fiction novels"--none of which are listed on Amazon or available anywhere but their website.

    My teeth are grinding right now.
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  11. #11
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Do you even have a copy of this contract?
    Actually, I do. I printed it out. It's even two parts: one that's technical/legal jargon and another that's in layman's terms. It actually sounded fairly reasonable, but that doesn't mean they're being entirely honest.
    Last edited by SammyW; 05-22-2010 at 06:12 AM.
    A fool in over his head

  12. #12
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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  13. #13
    Crypto-fascist Soccer Mom's Avatar
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    I have an issue with several items. First, you do all the formatting and editing yourself. The front matter, back matter, artwork, all of it.

    Second, the bit about paying a much higher royalty rate is bunk. Other e-presses do not pay 7-8%. 30-40% is more normal.

    Submission: Follow the preparation guidelines. We don't charge you to publish your book. We are not a vanity press. We make our money exclusively from book sales just like any other legitimate publisher. The only difference is the format of our "books" and the fact that we don't have to deal with returns of unsold stock nor the long delays (often over a year) that plague the traditional industry. We do ask a bit more from you, such as sending your work in final format with all artwork, but in return we pay much higher royalties. New authors are paid royalties in the 7-8% range by the big New York publishers after accounting for returns. Even seasoned authors are lucky to get 15%.
    It appears that they just take what you give them and publish it in a few weeks. No editor.

    We'll publish your mss as an "e-book" as quickly as we can depending upon our workload. If things are slow, and everything you sent is done correctly, it may be done in just a couple of weeks.
    You set you own price. Really? They recommend that you charge a little under $5 for a 125K book. But if your book is "a little thin" you might want to charge less. Under 125k is a little thin? If they don't like the price they "negotiate" it with you.

    Price: The final decision is yours. Too high, and you might not get very many sales. Too low and you might look "too cheap". Customers will often want e-books because they can save money, so don't get carried away. If you want to charge hard-back prices, you'd better deliver a physical hard-back book. We don't print physical books.

    For a 125,000 word work of fiction, we suggest $4.95 (USD). If you've created a huge blockbuster, you might want to price it a bit higher and if your book is kinda thin, you might want to knock off a buck or two. Our suggested prices are in line with eBook industry practices.
    And finally, they pretty much admit that they don't do anything more than feature your work on their website, relying on the old "publishers don't really promote your book anyway unless you're Stephen King bit. This isn't true.


    Marketing: Most authors hate this word (unless they're in the field), but it's a fact of life. We market our site and we'll feature your book as promised. However, if you really want your book to sell, you'll have to do some of the work yourself.

    Now, don't feel picked on. The big publishers like Random House take the same attitude. They put their advertising dollars into known names like Steven King or some book by a well-known actor or politician, not an unknown "newbie". They'll try to get you some shelf space through their wholesalers, but the new author is expected to do the "heavy lifting".
    I don't see how this is any better than self-publishing. Actually, I think you would be better off simply self-publishing.
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  14. #14
    practical experience, FTW Sargentodiaz's Avatar
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    Question AKW Books

    I found this publisher on a couple of lists of e-publishers and sent them a submission. Well, they want the whole thing and, by sending, I agree to the terms of their contract - which is pretty standard.

    EXCEPT - you have to provide your own cover! Or, they have someone who'll do it for $50 - and the sample is okay.

    They have their own bookclub and, when I asked, said they distributed/marketed through a large variety of sites. BUT, they didn't include Amazon or any of the other biggies.

    So, has anyone had any dealing with them?
    What was your experience?
    Father Serra's Legacy - Fun facts and tidbits of California and Baja California

  15. #15
    practical experience, FTW Sargentodiaz's Avatar
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    Well, I guess I didn't search the forum well before posting - thanks to the moderator for moving it.

    I received an email from Al Kalar about my question so he's obviously a member of AWWC - he said he was responding to my post here.

    It might be nice if he stepped forward and added his own comments on here!!!
    Father Serra's Legacy - Fun facts and tidbits of California and Baja California

  16. #16
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Did not survive '14. Last remnant: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/AKWBooks
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