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Thread: Kobalt Books

  1. #1
    Grumpy writer and editor Absolute Sage Gillhoughly's Avatar
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    Kobalt Books

    A card flyer on www.kobaltbooks.com turned up while I was cleaning. I've no idea where I picked it up.

    They appear to be more printing service than book publisher, and the website has some odd things that set off my Spidy Sense. One is on their "Opportunities" page, where they seem to be looking for someone to find writers.

    This person must:
    • Locate authors in a competitive environment.
    • Follow up with clients via email and phone calls.
    • Strong work ethic and positive attitudes.
    • Must be result oriented.
    • Must be able to work independently and possess strong time management.
    • Strong closing skills.
    Sales Representatives are paid based on the number of authors they bring to Kobalt Books. This job is 100% commission. Interested candidates should email their resume and cover letter to:

    -----
    The red bold stuff made me go huh-what?? There's no sign that they charge a fee, but that can be in the fine print later.

    So what's the bottom line here? The way my little corner of the publishing universe works is to always be highly suspicious when a publisher contacts a writer out of the blue hoping to sign the writer on with the house.

    The "strong closing skills" puts this on a par with used car sales!

    There is a reference to an "extensive distribution network" where one's book is "available" and they have a return policy, but I'm not inspired with any confidence.

    So is it a PA thing where they get their money by selling copies to the authors (for 50% off the cover price--which isn't mentioned) or are they well-meaning but clueless?
    Last edited by Gillhoughly; 01-02-2007 at 08:18 AM.

  2. #2
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Saundra Mitchell's Avatar
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    From their FAQ:

    # Does Kobalt Books have exclusive or non-exclusive rights to publish my eBook?


    Kobalt Books reserves the exclusive right to publish an author's book.

    # Will my book be sold in Barnes & Noble stores?


    If your book is accepted into the Kobale National Program, your book has the opportunity to be sold in Barnes & Noble stores, as well as many other large chains and independent bookstores. Your book will be available for order at thousands of bookstores including online retailers such as Barnes & Noble.com and Amazon.com.

    # How does Kobalt Books calculate royalty payments?

    Royalties are based on the payments we actually receive from sales of printed copies of your book, less any shipping & handling charges or sales & use taxes. We offer discounts to retail and wholesale customers. The royalty amount you receive is XX% net profit the publisher receives.

    #Does Kobalt Books offer Direct Deposit?

    Unfortunately we do not, unless you have a paypal account.


    They keep the rights to your book, they obfuscate about whether your book will be *stocked* at B&N, and they didn't bother to fill in the royalty percentage in the FAQ. Predatory all the way- if they're just printing, why do they keep your rights? If they're publishing, why aren't they putting your books ON shelves, not merely available to shelves? If they're reputable, why is PayPal their only avenue for direct deposit?

    There's lots more fancy dancin' in the FAQ- the way they waltz around having any responsibility for fair use/not fair use quoting in a test is also lots of fun.

  3. #3
    Comic guy Bartholomew's Avatar
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    They're a printer. I get the feeling they're a vanity publisher to boot. I can't recall ever hearing of them before.

    # Will my title and author information appear on the spine of my book?

    Yes. If your book is at least 79 pages once we format your manuscript, we will include your title and author information on the spine of the book.

    # Can I embed color images in my manuscript?

    Only the cover can be printed in color. We do not want to take your color image and print it in black-and-white because not all color images look good when printed in black-and-white.

    # How many graphics can I include in my text?

    There is no limit to the number of black and white images that can be included in the text.

    # What are the basic types of electronic images?

    All electronic images are one of two basic types: raster or vector.

    Raster images (also known as a bitmap images) use little electronic "bits" or dots of information called pixels to "map" and draw the image on-screen and to the printer. It is important to remember that the printing quality of these images directly depends upon the number of pixels included in each inch of the image. Typical raster file formats include GIF (.gif), JPEG (.jpeg), and TIFF (.tif). Examples of raster images include: any scanned image; pictures from a digital camera; or images created in a digital painting program.

    Vector images use mathematical formulas to calculate and draw lines. You may hear this type of art referred to as "object art" because all the shapes and colors are created by the outlines of these mathematical lines. It is important to remember that vector images do not depend on image resolution for printing quality. Since the lines are created by math formulas, the formulas simply recalculate the appropriate resolution for the printer.

    # What do you mean when you say a graphic must be high-resolution?

    Your graphic image must be high-quality or high-resolution. In our case, this means it must have at least 300 dpi (dots per inch). Anything lower than 300 dpi will not print with accurate color and clarity.

    # What does "dpi" mean?

    Dots per inch.

    # What does "ppi" mean?

    Pages per inch.

  4. #4
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Yeah, salesmen on commission means vanity. Alas, yet another POD operation catering to Black/Urban Fiction. The trouble with the web site is that the real info (owners, news, etc.) is behind the tiny links in the subframe.

    (If anyone can lay link on that article re: "Is Self-publishing Harming Black Authors" or whatever it is, it'd be relevant here, IMO.)
    ICAO
    ---------

    Censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates in the end the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion. -- Henry Steele Commager
    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

  5. #5
    banned as an incurable tosspot
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    The cutsey spelling is a put off. Gives me an insight into the type of minds running the operation.

  6. #6

  7. #7
    a work in progress
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saundra Mitchell
    From their FAQ:
    # Will my book be sold in Barnes & Noble stores?

    If your book is accepted into the Kobale National Program, your book has the opportunity to be sold in Barnes & Noble stores, as well as many other large chains and independent bookstores. Your book will be available for order at thousands of bookstores including online retailers such as Barnes & Noble.com and Amazon.com.
    This item in particular makes me think they're a PublishAmerica wanna be.

    Imagine that--someone who wants to be PA.
    Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little (Niki)

    Author, occasionally published. Watch this space for more, or visit the amazing actually writing blog. (It actually writes!)

  8. #8
    Banned zizban's Avatar
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    I can't.

  9. #9
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    "Opportunity to be sold ... available in ...."

    Dudes, the real answer to the question # Will my book be sold in Barnes & Noble stores? is "No."

  10. #10
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald
    Thanks, Uncle Jim.

    Not to be overlooked: royalties are 20% of net profit.
    ICAO
    ---------

    Censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates in the end the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion. -- Henry Steele Commager
    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

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