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Thread: Swimming Kangaroo Books

  1. #1
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Swimming Kangaroo Books

    http://www.swimmingkangaroo.com/

    I think they look quite good for a small e-publisher with a print option. I wold be interested in hearing other people's thoughts.
    Emily Veinglory

  2. #2
    Banned zizban's Avatar
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    Seem about inline with other e-pubs.

  3. #3
    banned as an incurable tosspot
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    Looks okay to me.

    The only thing that bugged me was: We do welcome requests for use of copyright material. I'd be looking for an explanation of that.

  4. #4
    figuring it all out wez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
    http://www.swimmingkangaroo.com/

    I think they look quite good for a small e-publisher with a print option. I wold be interested in hearing other people's thoughts.
    I guy I met at the BFS convention in Nottingham, UK, last year has had his second book, Lightening Days, published by them. He rated them at the time. His name is Colin Harvey and I believe he has a web site that can be googled for contact if you need any info on them.

    Steve

  5. #5
    figuring it all out wez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
    http://www.swimmingkangaroo.com/

    I think they look quite good for a small e-publisher with a print option. I wold be interested in hearing other people's thoughts.
    Just had a word with Colin. His words were that they were 'OK'. Nothing startling in that revelation, but he is having another book published by them later this year and has a proposal with them for a 2008 release date. So they must be doing something right.

    Steve

  6. #6
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Interesting. From their contract:
    Contract may be terminated by either the author or publisher with a 90-day written, certified mail notice or other receipted or traceable delivery service, and all rights granted the publisher will revert to Author at the time of the termination. If in the event of termination by the Author, the Publisher has not recovered the costs of publication and promotion of the Work, the Author will be required to reimburse the Publisher for any unrecovered costs. Such costs may include but are not limited to the following:

    1. Cover Art
    2. Purchase of ISBN
    3. Filing of Copyright
    4. Printing costs
    5. Advertising and promotion

    Costs will NOT include overhead costs such as:

    1. Webhosting
    2. Administrative costs
    3. Editing
    4. Staff time
    5. Software costs
    6. Bank charges

    Within 30 days of the Authorís termination of this Agreement, the Publisher shall present the author with an itemized statement of expenses and income pertaining to the Work. Author shall pay to the Publisher within 30 days of receipt of this statement the balance of the difference between the expenses and income, if any.

    Upon this termination, Publisher will remove listing of the Work from its website and all download-based distributors and advise Books in Print that that particular ISBN is no longer in print. The exception to this termination of contract is that Publisher may continue to sell existing stock of physical formats (diskettes, CD's, cassette tapes, print books) but may not create new physical copies upon depletion of its existing stock.
    If our more contract-savvy folks could comment?
    ICAO
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    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:

  7. #7
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    'allo? Anyone?

    Or does it go without saying that signing a contract which exposes you to "costs of publication and promotion" (upon termination or otherwise) is a Bad Idea?
    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:

  8. #8
    summertime... Madison's Avatar
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    [Publisher] Swimming Kangaroo

    Does anyone know anything about this small press? The website looked legit, but I wanted an outside source.

    Thanks!

  9. #9
    Around and About SuperModerator Birol's Avatar
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    Link?

    ETA: Is this it?
    Last edited by Birol; 08-15-2007 at 08:19 AM.

  10. #10
    summertime... Madison's Avatar
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    yep

  11. #11
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Standard questions: Have you personally ever read any of their books? Have you seen any on the shelves in bookshops?

  12. #12
    Around and About SuperModerator Birol's Avatar
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    With the exception of one small paragraph about e-books, their guidelines talk mainly about short stories.

  13. #13
    practical experience, FTW
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    They have apparently published novels, but here are the purchasing options for one of the novels on their website:

    1) MS Word Format $4.99
    2) HTML Format $4.99
    3) Adobe Reader Format $4.99
    4) MOBI Format $4.99
    5) Paperback $10 + s/h

    They don't describe their distribution system. Now, Uncle Jim's essential and eternal question (have you seen their books in bookstores?) is a good one, though you may miss some very solid small publishers by using this criterion unless you scan the shelves very carefully. Soho Press, for example, or Akashic, or Soft Skull, or Kunati; and, up until the success of The Time-Traveler's Wife, you might have missed MacAdam/Cage, too. Medallion Press usually has a book or two in a decent-sized bookstore, but you might not notice in browsing the shelves.

    I'd suggest going onto Borders.com, visiting their Store Locator, and using their Search Inventory option--it lets you scan the holdings of up to six Borders stores at a time. Put in a title and see what you find.

    The fact that the first four options are all nontraditional, electronic copies makes me suspect that these folks are not exactly breaking down the glass doors of Barnes & Noble and stuffing their books onto the shelves.

    I see no evidence of a scam, but I'd be reluctant to place a novel of mine here if I wanted a wide readership.

    From Macmillan New Writing, September 7, 2007. (Pan mass-market paperback in September, 2008). In the UK at Goldsboro Books, Borders, Waterstones, and other fine bookstores. Overseas, Amazon.co.uk and most other online retailers.

    Drop through Tomorrowville and say hello...

  14. #14
    Ahead of Your Time Chicken Warrior's Avatar
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    I've heard that the owners of this small press are very involved in marketing, both online and in-person. I know for a fact that they attend several writing confrences across the country, and I believe they make an effort to sell books to the indie publishers they pass by (and possibly the chains, too), which is more than can be said for many epubs.

    I've talked to authors published with them who are very happy with SK. I've read excerpts, which seem clean enough, and the covers are often above average.

    Given, this is still primarily an electronic publisher.

    It's also a bit strange to sell copies in MS Word. Obviously these ebooks aren't pirate-protected (although there's a way to get around these locks with all software if you're determined).

  15. #15
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    <obsolete link snipped>

    Does their contract still expose the author to cost(s) of production?
    Last edited by CaoPaux; 06-03-2008 at 11:31 PM. Reason: threads merged
    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:

  16. #16
    Ahead of Your Time Chicken Warrior's Avatar
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    Only if the contract is terminated, which was always the case. They never charged for publication.

  17. #17
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    I met some SK folks at EPICon, seemed like a good epublisher with POD option.
    Emily Veinglory

  18. #18
    banned as an incurable tosspot
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    I'm sending this publisher a ms for a novel that is too short for most publishers--bad planning on my part but I like it the length that it is, so I wasn't willing to bring it up to 75k from the current 60k. Anyway, any additional info on this publisher would be appreciated. Thanks.

  19. #19
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Choice of an e/POD depends a lot on genre. SK are good, straightforward, but small without the potential for store distribution. I would suggest getting an idea of their sales volumes from other authors.
    Emily Veinglory

  20. #20
    banned as an incurable tosspot
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    One of the difficulties I have found in looking at this kind of publisher is the lack of information. I'm not sure that talking to another author at SK would tell me what sales to expect anymore than talking to an author at EOS would tell me what sales to expect from them, if they bought one of my novels. What happens to one novel isn't at all necessarily what happens to another. I don't see that the large chains are picking up SK novels. I have heard that the company does market them at least to indies so I really don't know whether or not there is the potential for store distribution.

    We have all heard the horror stories about what happens with some of these small companies though, so I'm cautious. I am also concerned about if a sale to a small press will make it less likely that I can sell to a large press later.

    I don't mean to be argumentative.

    Just a bit baffled on how to get worthwhile information and deciding which way to go with this novel. The two small presses that saw it wanted to look at it, but I wonder if it might be better to just trunk it rather than end up in a situation that actually hurts me down the line.
    Last edited by J. R. Tomlin; 08-30-2007 at 04:19 AM. Reason: left something out

  21. #21
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    In my experience, which includes collecting sales data on over a hundred ebooks from over a dozen epublishers, is that yes--sales by other authors in your genre will tell you what to expect to a large extent--more than any other single variable. Sales within a genre, with a specific publisher, are remarkably consistent. Sales within an author but between publishers are remarkably different. Certainly on the level of whether you will sell dozens, hundred or thousands of copies.
    Emily Veinglory

  22. #22
    banned as an incurable tosspot
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    SK

    Interesting. Considering the wide gap between the sales of novels within the genre (let's just say not everyone sells as many as Jordan or Goodkind), I would have thought otherwise. But I can't claim expertise on the subject.

    I'll look into talking to one of their authors.

    I still don't feel comfortable selling to a small press, and am having serious second thoughts on the subject. I am very concerned that this may make it impossible to sell to one of the majors later, but that belongs in another thread.

    Thanks.

  23. #23
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Within a genre, within that publisher. So whatever genre you are, talk to authors at SK in that genre.

    So fantasy at Tor will sell in the same general range (10s to 100's of thousands, I imagine). I don't know Swimming Kangaroos numbers at all--but e-pods in general sell in the low to mid hundreds, a few into the low single digit thousands and very rare ones higher than that (within the first year or two--they do stay on sale longer)

    For example, Piers Anthony gives some of his sales at small e-PODs and they are in the normal range for that kind of press not up aroudn the level of his mass market stuff.
    Last edited by veinglory; 08-30-2007 at 04:32 AM.
    Emily Veinglory

  24. #24
    banned as an incurable tosspot
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    Well, Goodkind and Jordan are within the same genre as other fantasy novelists at their same pub (Tor I think, but won't swear to it). But as I said, I will see about talking to one of their authors. The more I think about the entire thing, the more uneasy I get.

    I don't want to get into only being able to sell to small pubs which is very much what I am afraid might happen. I am frankly more concerned about that than sales from the novel in question, since I'm hard at work on two longer ones.

    Edit: I really am not trying to be argumentative. I'm just very uneasy about this whole thing of submitting to a small press. It's making me itch. :/

    Thanks very much for the information and suggestion.
    Last edited by J. R. Tomlin; 08-30-2007 at 04:39 AM.

  25. #25
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    I am obviously happy with smaller presses but it is crucial authors go to them with the right expectations rather than something like being in a hurry.
    Emily Veinglory

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