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Thread: Crooked Hat Publishing

  1. #1
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    Crooked Hat Publishing

    Apart from the fact that it's probably a bad idea to have a publishing venture with the word 'crooked' in the title, I noticed on the front page that they claim to want work from previsouly unpublished writers

    http://crookedhatpublishing.com/default.aspx

    Crikey!

  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW lndsymllr's Avatar
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    Hmmm, I have never heard of them, but I did notice they have some weird-worded sentences on their home page:

    "If you have written something you would like to see published? If so, we would like to hear from you."

    I am not an English major, but that first sentence doesn't look like it needs to be a question. Unless it was stated like:
    "Have you written something you would like to see published? If so, we would like to hear form you".

    That is just my opinion, as I have started to really look at how things are worded, but I could be wrong too.
    "Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality", by Jules de Gaultier

  3. #3
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    "We get many enquiries from writers, the most common one being, How do I get published? If you have written something you would like to see published?"

    Oy.
    Emily Veinglory

  4. #4
    been around a while Daddyo's Avatar
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    They'd better straighten that crooked hat and put on their thinking caps before applying fingers to keyboard.
    See ya--
    Daddyo
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    RIVER BOTTOM BLUES--now available at the usual suspects and Barking Rain Press
    THE DEVIL'S BLUES--Ditto.
    HOWLING MOUNTAIN BLUES--Ditto too

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by lndsymllr View Post
    Hmmm, I have never heard of them, but I did notice they have some weird-worded sentences on their home page:

    "If you have written something you would like to see published? If so, we would like to hear from you."

    I am not an English major, but that first sentence doesn't look like it needs to be a question. Unless it was stated like:
    "Have you written something you would like to see published? If so, we would like to hear form you".

    That is just my opinion, as I have started to really look at how things are worded, but I could be wrong too.
    I don't think you ARE wrong - you're dead right. It is weirdly worded. That and the bad spelling - big red wavy flags!

  6. #6
    practical experience, FTW lndsymllr's Avatar
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    yeah I saw that too V. I used to get a lot of WoW (World of Warcraft) spam emails that had many words misspelled or not in the order they should be.
    "Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality", by Jules de Gaultier

  7. #7
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    From Crooked Hat Publishing

    Hello Everyone
    As the owner of Crooked Hat Publishing I would like to take the opportunity to answer some of the postings on this thread.
    Firstly I would love to work with unpublished authors, why? because we are a small and new publisher and I enjoy reading all work from any person willing to submit.
    Secondly, you are right, the wording on the website was terrible. It was not something I was focusing on and I got let down by a designer. Lesson learned.
    This may well not make much difference now as this thread is on the first page of the Google search for my company but it always was my genuine intention to publish work that I liked and to market it to the best of my ability. My first author (you can contact him at flyingadventures123@googlemail.com) will testify that I am not a vanity publisher, con artist or anything else that is implied in this thread. Just someone who really wanted to run a publishing company and make a small success out of it. I'm not saying your comments about the site aren't justified but I just wanted to make it clear that I am an honest person.
    Thanks for reading and good luck with your writing.

  8. #8
    practical experience, FTW Kateness's Avatar
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    What experience do you have in publishing?

    How do you pay royalties?

    What distribution do you have?
    Last edited by Kateness; 05-22-2011 at 12:48 AM.

  9. #9
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    Hi
    Honest answer. I have previously edited magazines and published a few books informally for colleagues. This is a new venture. There is some explanation of royalties on the website but I will not discuss individual royalty payments unless I was offering a contract. I will emphasise that if an author is accepted they are offered a contract (which they can check with a lawyer!).
    I have a POD agreement with Lightning Source for their distribution channels. We also have some short run offset print. If you have access to Nielsen Pubweb you will see that Dunge Bottom:Tales of an Unconventional Aviator is listed as distributed through Bertrams in the UK.
    If you need further proof of distribution please visit Waterstones and WHSmith websites and you will find Dunge Bottom available. These are major retailers and we are able to get distribution to them.
    Hope this helps.

  10. #10
    practical experience, FTW Kateness's Avatar
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    So your books will not be available in brick and mortar stores except by special order from the customer? (just to clarify)

  11. #11
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    With respect, that is not correct. DB is a niche publication aimed at a particular market so their is no reason why large chains would stock physical copies. Appreciation of this fact is reflected in the discount we offered to retailers through our distributor (which was agreed with the author as part of the marketing plan, however, I'm not going to discuss in public what it was). We have sold to independents.
    As a publisher I invest in the cover design, editing, galleys for review, marketing and publicity. The author is offered a royalty. I (like any decent publisher) do not expect them to contribute financially to the production or sale of the book in any way, shape or form. (I really hope I've made that bit clear now!!)
    Therefore, if it only means I publish three titles a year I have to be selective because, while the author makes money off the first sale, I have to make back the money I invest in the book. I also have to work very hard to promote it. For example, Dunge Bottom is about hang gliding. To date we have contacted groups worldwide representing over 20,000 people involved in the sport and informed them about the book. A week ago DB was ranked 17000 in Amazon.co.uk which is not bad for a biography of someone no one has heard of, writing about his experiences in a very niche sport. It is a reflection of our efforts that it is selling well and as publisher I will make a small profit. The author will do much better and I believe this is a good thing. If we had a book that we believed would sell in large chain stores we would arrange discount/distribution with this aim.
    I apologise if I am sounding a bit defensive. It is easy for people to be critical in forums and not easy to defend yourself. Like any new business we have had a few problems in starting up but whether I succeed or fail I am doing this for the pleasure of doing it. If I wanted to get rich I wouldn't have chosen the book trade. :-)

  12. #12
    practical experience, FTW Kateness's Avatar
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    Well, I notice it is now in 80-some thousands this week.

    I also notice that of its four reviews, none of the reviewers have reviewed anything other than this book.

    You say that "If we had a book that we believed would sell in large chain stores we would arrange discount/distribution with this aim." - do you have those connections in place, to get ins with borders/barnes&nobles/etc?

  13. #13
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    Goodness me. While I was waiting for your reply I was reading some of the other posts and I don't see many publishers mentioned taking the time to engage with you, but I don't think I'm going to get any credit for it!
    1. Yes' it is in the 80-some thousands, out of how many million? as a book of the description I mentioned earlier.
    2. Four reviews, very nice ones. I don't know who they are but I presume they spend their time hang gliding not writing book reviews.
    3. Borders is not trading in the UK, Barnes and Noble is North American. No I do not have the distribution to them as I have pointed out we are a British based small press. In terms of UK distribution to UK chains through Gardners, yes, that is achievable.
    But I'm starting to think I'm not going to change your mind.....
    Last edited by CrookedHat; 05-22-2011 at 03:47 AM.

  14. #14
    Resident Curmudgeon Requiescat In Pace ResearchGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrookedHat View Post
    . . . I apologise if I am sounding a bit defensive. It is easy for people to be critical in forums and not easy to defend yourself. . . .
    Probably goes with the territory. I am persuaded that you are on the up and up. Small, specialized, but apparently legitimate. That's how I see it, anyway.

    "I have a POD agreement with Lightning Source for their distribution channels." Same here, recent and part of improving my game (a big step up from Lulu, and I am not interested in large print runs or attempting to deal with distributors). One has to pick methods that work with one's resources.

    --Ken
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  15. #15
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    Thanks Ken.
    Something I have been doing is building a database of regional independent bookstore that I am slowly expanding nationally and then spending some time on the phone with them. I find quite a few are more than happy to deal direct with a publisher, especially an independent one, and I've managed to build some good relationships. You are right, methods and manuscripts that work with your resources.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrookedHat View Post
    Thanks Ken.
    Something I have been doing is building a database of regional independent bookstore that I am slowly expanding nationally and then spending some time on the phone with them. I find quite a few are more than happy to deal direct with a publisher, especially an independent one, and I've managed to build some good relationships. You are right, methods and manuscripts that work with your resources.
    Are you on Facebook? Might be good to stay in touch. I am always on the lookout for interesting information about small independent publishers (and self-publishers). And I am always on the lookout to learn. (Not always energetic enough to use all that I learn, though!)

    --Ken
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  17. #17
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    The company is not but I am. I have just been in touch on FB. I will get round to putting a company page on but in the meantime it will be good to be in touch.
    Thanks

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrookedHat View Post
    The company is not but I am. I have just been in touch on FB. I will get round to putting a company page on but in the meantime it will be good to be in touch.
    Thanks
    Excellent!

    Good to make your acquaintance!

    --Ken
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    [/FONT][URL="http://www.amazon.com/Theres-Street-Colorful-Origins-Sparks/dp/1937123073/"][FONT=Franklin Gothic Medium][I]There's No Lake on Lake Street![/I] by James D. Umbach[/FONT][/URL]
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  19. #19
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    I am off to bed now. I'm sorry for some of the errors on the website to begin with, but we are getting in right. I love reading and I love good writing and if you ever find an author that has had a poor experience with me then please vilify me all you want, but I promise you, you won't.
    Thanks for reading.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrookedHat View Post
    With respect, that is not correct. DB is a niche publication aimed at a particular market so their is no reason why large chains would stock physical copies.
    It's a shame you don't have distribution here in the US. Hang gliding is very big out here.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by priceless1 View Post
    It's a shame you don't have distribution here in the US. Hang gliding is very big out here.
    Amazon offers it, at least, both in print and Kindle format. No sign of it at bn.com or borders.com -- which surprised me, as I'd have thought the LS/Ingram connection would have gotten it listed in both. Maybe that one is not via LS.

    --Ken
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    [/FONT][URL="http://www.amazon.com/Theres-Street-Colorful-Origins-Sparks/dp/1937123073/"][FONT=Franklin Gothic Medium][I]There's No Lake on Lake Street![/I] by James D. Umbach[/FONT][/URL]
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  22. #22
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    I meant physical copies, Ken. CrookedHat said:
    DB is a niche publication aimed at a particular market so their is no reason why large chains would stock physical copies.
    ...to which I exclaimed that it was a shame they didn't have US distribution because hang gliding is big out here and could possibly gain some momentum with the proper distribution.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by priceless1 View Post
    I meant physical copies, Ken. CrookedHat said:
    ...to which I exclaimed that it was a shame they didn't have US distribution because hang gliding is big out here and could possibly gain some momentum with the proper distribution.
    It is a POD book from a micro press. Distribution (that is, pushing books through the trade, into bookstores) is impossible. Book stores do not stock POD books, and distributors are not going to touch them either -- not part of their business model.

    But at least "physical copies" can be ordered via Amazon (as well as the Kindle version).

    --Ken
    Last edited by ResearchGuy; 05-23-2011 at 08:19 PM.
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    [/FONT][URL="http://www.amazon.com/Theres-Street-Colorful-Origins-Sparks/dp/1937123073/"][FONT=Franklin Gothic Medium][I]There's No Lake on Lake Street![/I] by James D. Umbach[/FONT][/URL]
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  24. #24
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    Yes, Ken. I know they're a POD. That was sort of my point.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by priceless1 View Post
    Yes, Ken. I know they're a POD. That was sort of my point.
    For some of us, the choice is POD or nothing. Personally, I think POD is better than nothing. And the books are available anywhere there is access to Amazon. (And if via LS/Ingram, should, in time, be available for order pretty much everywhere.) Most books are not in bookstores. That's just the way it is.

    Anyway, I misread your comment, not understanding that "It's a shame you don't have distribution here in the US" meant "It's a shame your book is print-on-demand." My mistake.

    --Ken
    Last edited by ResearchGuy; 05-23-2011 at 09:14 PM.
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    [/FONT][URL="http://www.amazon.com/Theres-Street-Colorful-Origins-Sparks/dp/1937123073/"][FONT=Franklin Gothic Medium][I]There's No Lake on Lake Street![/I] by James D. Umbach[/FONT][/URL]
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