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Thread: [ePub] Kaeru Digital

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    [ePub] Kaeru Digital

    A "publisher" that's just starting up and is apparently attempting to recruit authors. A friend of mine received the following in response to an excerpt she had online:

    I'm Kyle Davis and I represent the upcoming e-publisher Kaeru Digital. I've read (Title removed at request of author) and believe you have sufficient skill for your work to be refined and sold professionally. I'm recruiting authors to start (or continue) novels, which will be published and sold at launch of Kaeru Digital. I encourage you to learn more - the following article will explain Kaeru Digital in detail. http://kaeru-digital.deviantart.com/...s-it-363185068 If you are interested then please jump on board. There's at least two full months before launch and you will only need to finish the first full section within that time. You should keep in mind that this is professional work and you may be required to make significant revisions before it is published. You will also be required to complete certain writing activities such as detailed novel outlines and world planning. Please respond to me within 24 hours, whether you are interested or wish to decline. If you do not respond, I will attempt to notify you once more only and then speak no longer. You may choose to respond via comment on Figment or use my pre-launch contact address (email). This address will not be used after launch. Keep in mind that my regular working hours are 8:00am to 5:00pm U.S. Mountain Standard Time (MST).
    The page with the info about this "start up" had me scratching my head, Thank goodness my friend is a smart cookie and has already decided to pass, but we thought we'd give a head's up here.

  2. #2
    Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. kaitie's Avatar
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    Goodness. Apparently they don't understand how copyright works:

    That means that Kaeru Digital does not "buy" your rights to your work. Copyright remains with YOU - the original artist or author.
    If they don't buy publication rights, then how on earth do they expect to legally publish anything? Copyright always remains with the author.

    Kaeru Digital also seeks to put the money where it belongs. I have reversed the publishing business model in YOUR favor. No longer will you be forced to take 20-30% royalties if you want to sell your work. You will be receiving an 80% royalty instead. I will increase that amount further when it becomes financially possible.
    I'm wondering how he plans to cover overhead costs. My guess (just a guess) is that he's planning to do all editing/covers/etc. himself and thus not have to pay outside help, but it doesn't seem that this person has any experience in publishing.

    For novels: Your work will be sold in sections, which may include multiple chapters. A section must total at least 25,000 words and will be sold for $1.
    I just noting the serialization approach.

    Intellectually they should always belong to YOU - the creator. It is up to you how you wish to give permission for others to use your work
    This bothers me a lot. It implies publishers are taking complete control. The author always maintains control. The work always belongs to the author. The authors are choosing to allow publishers print or ebook rights. It sounds to me like he knows nothing about how publishing actually works.
    By selling through us, you allow paying customers to obtain your work via download and use it in any manner in which they choose. This of course EXCLUDES the obvious offenses of re-selling or re-distributing your work. I should not need to mention that they cannot use it in any manner that hurts you as the creator - whether it be financially or legally.
    This makes me uncomfortable because it sounds like the publisher is sanctioning the ability for any reader to change, alter, etc. as they want. Fans do this sort of thing anyway, but usually with the understanding that they don't have permission. By this statement, it sounds like a fan could take your graphic novel, use the images to make his own graphic novel, put it on his website for free as if he was the one who made it, and the publisher doesn't see anything wrong with this. It's especially odd to me considering the stance of "everything should belong to the author" that was taken before.

    One very important point I need to make is that selling through Kaeru Digital also means that you allow us to translate your work into a different language via independent translators. These alternate language versions will be sold with different royalty amounts. A 50% royalty will go to you and a 30% royalty will go to the translators. You may not choose to prevent translation but you may choose to request revisions if you are not happy with the translation. You may also choose to review the translations before they are sold.
    So they're basically buying all language rights to the books and you can't opt out. It also sounds like they might be paying the translators in royalties instead of payment. As someone who knows how incredibly difficult and time consuming translating can be, this wouldn't be a good thing. I might be reading that wrong, though.

    We do not advertise, as we put far more weight on PERSONAL suggestion. People are more willing to read a book or comic if friend or family suggests it. So don't be shy about letting people know about your publication. Your friends and family are your first line of support. Don't feel bad about asking them to buy your work. Community is important - NOT faceless advertising.
    Company does no promotion.

    Also, don't worry about your work being digitally stolen. Companies have spent millions of dollars to prevent digital theft only to see their titles illegally distributed for free within 24 hours. Ignore pirates because they'll never pay anyways.
    Publisher isn't going to support you in getting work removed from piracy sites. Also that "anyways" there made me cringe.

    Deviant Art site consists of fan art and some frogs he drew for the publishing company (Kaeru means frog). Mostly ponies and anime characters. Not particularly professional. Also writes fanfic, which probably explains the "other people can do what they want with your work" clause. Does having a statement like that override copyright laws?

    Having read some of the owner's fanfic, I can say I don't much trust his editing skills.


  3. #3
    Just visiting Samsonet's Avatar
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    Oh would you look at that! I know this guy's sister-- I'm in her writing group. He's going to come talk to us about what makes a piece "publishable", from the point-of-view of an epublisher. Do you think I should ask him any questions about Kaeru? If so, can you suggest any specific things to ask?
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  4. #4
    Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. kaitie's Avatar
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    Zomg. This sort of thing bugs me. Basically anyone can call themselves an ebook publisher, and so now this person who clearly doesn't exactly understand much about publishing is going to be giving advice to people who probably don't have any reason to think he wouldn't know what he's talking about.

    I'd ask specifically about the whole "we don't worry about piracy" thing. I wouldn't want a publisher who isn't willing to do their part to try to stop piracy, personally. If they aren't willing to send out notices, does that mean they wouldn't support authors who did as well?

    How does his company legally handle the whole "others have the right to use your work as they see fit" issue? Have they discussed this with lawyers?

    What experience does he have that makes him qualified to run a publishing company?

    Who does the editing?

    I could think of more but I have to go back to work. I'd also take in plenty of information so if he starts talking about how his company is different because authors keep copyright, that EVERY legitimate publisher allows author to keep copyright, and publishers are only buying publication rights in whichever areas they choose.

    It might just be the mood I'm in today, but I sure as hell wouldn't let this guy misinform any of them. I'm usually one of the nicest people you'll meet, but I'm confrontational on things like this.


  5. #5
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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  6. #6
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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