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Old 12-29-2011, 03:41 PM   #1
Willowwriter
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Inkspell Publishing

This is a new publisher i saw on Twitter. I didn't see a thread yet for them so wanted to start one.
Looks like this is their webpage
http://www.inkspellpublishing.com/
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Old 12-29-2011, 04:52 PM   #2
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They say nothing at all about themselves, not even names, which leads me to guess this is an offshoot of a self-pubishing venture. If the publisher had any experience, surely he or she would flaunt it.
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Old 12-29-2011, 05:12 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Barbara R. View Post
They say nothing at all about themselves, not even names, which leads me to guess this is an offshoot of a self-pubishing venture. If the publisher had any experience, surely he or she would flaunt it.
do ngu nu dep quan ao shop do so sinh thoi trang cong so gia re vay lien cong so nu cho thue trang phuc
I see all their names - they hid them under the "about us" tab
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Old 12-29-2011, 05:36 PM   #4
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From the About Us page, it looks as if none of the current staff has meaningful publishing industry experience. Melissa Keir did some editing for Midnight Magic Press, which hardly counts as real industry experience.

Although the website is clearly geared toward readers rather than writers (a tick in the plus column), it still looks like yet another start-up e-press that one would be well-advised to wait a few years to see how it does before considering as a possible market.
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Old 12-29-2011, 05:37 PM   #5
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More info has now been added to Inkspell's site: http://www.inkspellpublishing.com/about-us.html

Founder and Acquisitions editor is Shilpa Mudiganti:

Quote:
Shilpa Mudiganti grew up making up stories in her head. She thought life would be all about her stories until she completed her technical degree. Security of an IT job lured her leaving her stories to continue to brew up in her head. Yet soon she had to fall in step with what fate had planned for her and she penned her first romance novella, Always You. But after getting burnt twice by publishers, she decided to self-publish.
Yet she realized, her real passion was to get the wonderful books out there irrespective of who wrote giving the authors a fair and professional deal in the process which she sorely missed. And Inkspell Publishing was born. There has been no looking back since then. Inkspell Publishing has added some marvelous team members and still growing as they enter the world of publishing.
Editor is Melissa Keir:

Quote:
Words have always had a special place in Melissa Keir's life, so it was no surprise that she works in publishing with the many fine people at Inkspell Publishing. Melissa has worked as a freelance editor and for the Midnight Magic Press Publishing House. She has also worked as a book reviewer for the last six months and has over 160 reviews written and published. A few years ago she wrote, designed, and edited a million dollar Federal Grant infusing character traits with American History and American Literature for teachers.
I'm not quite sure what 'infusing character traits with American History and American Literature for teachers' is supposed to mean...

Publicist is Majanka Verstraete:

Quote:
Majanka Verstraete is a young adult paranormal romance, fantasy and horror author. She also blogs about books on a daily basis and writes reviews for books in a wide range of genres. In 2011, she opened Enchanted Book Promotions, a website where she offers extensive book promotions for fiction authors.
Majanka is indeed young - she's 21.

Publicist is Aparajita Basu:


Quote:
Book Hoarder, e-junkie and animation crazy – fine words that define Aparajita. Born 30th September, 1992 to parents Kamal and Kavita in India, Aparajita is a very simple girl who always looks towards the brighter side of life. She loves to read and write, comes with being the only child; she always looks to new things to do to keep herself busy.
Quote:

Her literary knowledge began with fairytales and upgraded leaps and bounds with J K Rowling’s “Harry Potter” books with so much that as she finishes one book, she starts another without wait. As far as her animation crazy goes, she has always been fascinated by the effects applied to live action cinema and cartoons but most of all she loves Japanese animation and all of its creativity.

So - a 19 year old publicist...


Designer is Najla Qamber:




Quote:
Once called the Junior Jujitso Jap Rock Loving Ninja, Najla or “Naj” is kicking Photoshop’s ass into next week. She’s been working with photoshop since she was 11 years old and this landed her an intern job at Middle East’s most successful branding studio at 16. Now, 3 years later she’s even more active in design as InkSpell Publishing’s official designer!



...and a 19 year old designer.





The fact that the blurbs for Inkspell's books are as poorly-edited as the staff bios doesn't fill me with confidence.
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Old 12-29-2011, 05:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Inskpell Website:
We are a new publishing company of romance, YA and fantasy fiction.
It's good that they're focusing on only a couple of genres because it means that they can be more effective with their marketing budget. I'm guessing that by YA they mean romance and fantasy within YA because otherwise YA covers too many genres.

Quote:
Inskpell Website:
And we consider the author the star of this show. An author creates the magic through their words that allow us to enter those magical worlds. At Inkspell Publishing, we ensure that the author is given the right support to build the best story he/she can.
Authors are obviously important but as a publisher, Inkspell should know that they'll need to have final say over key things like marketing, distribution, pricing etc. In addition, I'd be more comfortable if Inkspell were helping authors to release the best story they could as ideally, books should already be polished and completed before submission.

Quote:
Inskpell Website:
High quality editorial support: Our editors are experienced and well-versed to provide excellent editorial services to our authors. We are always on look out for more talented editors too.
I'll come back to this later but I couldn't see anything on the team page that suggested the editors had commercial editing experience. Instead they all seem to be previously self-published authors. There's nothing wrong with self-publishing, but just editing and releasing your own books doesn't equate to professional experience unless you can demonstrate that your self-published books have been commercially successful (i.e. selling more than 5,000 copies).

Quote:
Inskpell Website:
Print and Digital book release: Almost every full-length book goes in both print and digital release unless otherwise notified. We are huge book snugglers and cannot think of a world without physical books.
Unless Inkspell has a deal in place to get books into stores (and it seems that they don't) there's little point in their taking print rights. As an aside, I like printed books too but as a business start-up, it makes more sense to focus on electronic books as a starting point. I'd be more comfortable if they could cite a commercial reason for taking print rights other than their inability to imagine a world without the physically printed word.

Quote:
Inskpell Website:
Dedicated publicist for each author: We are strong believers of advertising and hence, every book and every author with Inkspell is supported by a publicist who ensures that the book reaches the readers. From grooming the author's profile to exhaustive blog tours, Inkspell will stand with the author in every step.
According to the team page, Inkspell has 2 publicists, neither of whom seems to have any experience in professional PR. There's little point in having a dedicated publicist if that person is having to learn as they go.

Quote:
Inskpell Website:
Impressive book covers: Book covers sell. There is no argument there and we have that covered. Inkspell Publishing books will be adorned by high-quality, impressive book covers that is bound to attract readers.
Yes, covers are important. This is why it's a little worrying to see that Inkspell has one designer whose qualifications appear to be limited to knowledge of Photoshop.

Quote:
Inskpell Website:
High royalties:We offer 40% royalties on digital copies and 8% on print copies, higher than most of the publishers of today.
It doesn't say if the royalties are paid on net or cover price and it should do. Most ebook publishers pay on net in order to cover listing and third party charges. 40% is not an uncommon royalty rate for ebooks.

The 8% royalty rate on printed books is piss poor in my opinion given that it seems that Inkspell doesn't pay advances and doesn't seem to have any distribution in place to place books in stores.

Quote:
Inskpell Website:
In return, we expect: Polished manuscripts of gripping tales, web presence and author's active involvement in each stage of publishing.
That is not much to ask, right?
It sounds to me as if authors are going to find that they're spending a lot of time doing the kinds of thing that Inkspell should actually be doing and yes, that is actually too much to ask.

Quote:
Inskpell Website:
We plan to go slow. Rushing things with impatience wouldn't cast the spell that we want. In any case, don't they say, "Slow and steady wins the race"? and boy, what a race it is!
It's good that they plan to go slowly, but I'd like to know what they actually mean by that. Have they limited themselves to a set number of publishing slots in the year and allocated a budget accordingly or does it mean something else?

Quote:
Inskpell Website:
Shilpa Mudiganti, Acquisitions Editor
Shilpa Mudiganti grew up making up stories in her head. She thought life would be all about her stories until she completed her technical degree. Security of an IT job lured her leaving her stories to continue to brew up in her head. Yet soon she had to fall in step with what fate had planned for her and she penned her first romance novella, Always You. But after getting burnt twice by publishers, she decided to self-publish.
Yet she realized, her real passion was to get the wonderful books out there irrespective of who wrote giving the authors a fair and professional deal in the process which she sorely missed. And Inkspell Publishing was born. There has been no looking back since then. Inkspell Publishing has added some marvelous team members and still growing as they enter the world of publishing.
Juggling her day job as an IT geek, she tries to put all her corporate learning in the company.
When she has time to breathe, she spends time blogging, connecting with her readers and spending time with her loving husband.
Shilpa's only experience is in self-publishing. There's nothing wrong with that, but unless she had personal success with it, I don't see how it qualifies her to publish other people's work.

In addition, Shilpa also seems to be an author for InkSpell. That raises the potential for there being a conflict of interest, e.g. when it comes to allocating resources and budgets for her titles. At the very least I'd want to know how InkSpell plans to manage that.

In addition (and speaking entirely personally), I had a quick look at the extract from her InkSpell book and there were a few grammatical errors and quite a few cliches in there, which makes me question the company's self-proclaimed editorial expertise.

Quote:
Inskpell Website:
Melissa Keir, Editor
Words have always had a special place in Melissa Keir's life, so it was no surprise that she works in publishing with the many fine people at Inkspell Publishing. Melissa has worked as a freelance editor and for the Midnight Magic Press Publishing House. She has also worked as a book reviewer for the last six months and has over 160 reviews written and published. A few years ago she wrote, designed, and edited a million dollar Federal Grant infusing character traits with American History and American Literature for teachers. As a teacher for 13 years, Melissa has taught children of different ages to read, write and edit, as well as run her own school wide publishing center.
Again, Melissa doesn't appear to have any editing experience from commercial publishing.

Midnight Press rang a bell for me and sure enough, there's another thread on it here at AW:

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/...d.php?t=230032

Basically it was another publisher that started off as a self-publishing venture (with Melissa apparently being one of its authors) but which closed its doors very quickly due to the classic "unforseen circumstances"). I wouldn't personally being citing it as a credential for my editorial expertise.

Quote:
Inskpell Website:
Majanka Verstraete, Publicist
Majanka Verstraete is a young adult paranormal romance, fantasy and horror author. She also blogs about books on a daily basis and writes reviews for books in a wide range of genres. In 2011, she opened Enchanted Book Promotions, a website where she offers extensive book promotions for fiction authors. Next to virtual book tours and freelance publicist services, she also offers website design and book cover design. She loves working with authors and fellow book lovers, and she is very glad for the opportunity to work as a publicist at InkSpell Publishing.
Again, Majanka doesn't seem to have any previous experience in promotions or PR. I'd want to know what the relationship is (if any) between InkSpell and Enchanted Book Promotions and specifically whether InkSpell authors will be expected to use Enchanted Book's services because that would be a massive conflict of interest.

Quote:
Inskpell Website:
Aparajita Basu, Publicist
Book Hoarder, e-junkie and animation crazy – fine words that define Aparajita. Born 30th September, 1992 to parents Kamal and Kavita in India, Aparajita is a very simple girl who always looks towards the brighter side of life. She loves to read and write, comes with being the
only child; she always looks to new things to do to keep herself busy.
Her literary knowledge began with fairytales and upgraded leaps and bounds with J K Rowling’s “Harry Potter” books with so much that as she finishes one book, she starts another without wait. As far as her animation crazy goes, she has always been fascinated by the effects applied to live action cinema and cartoons but most of all she loves Japanese animation and all of its creativity.
Another publicist with apparently no previous publicity or PR experience.

Quote:
Inskpell Website:
Najla Qamber, Designer
Once called the Junior Jujitso Jap Rock Loving Ninja, Najla or “Naj” is kicking Photoshop’s ass into next week. She’s been working with photoshop since she was 11 years old and this landed her an intern job at Middle East’s most successful branding studio at 16. Now, 3 years later she’s even more active in design as InkSpell Publishing’s official designer!
Known for her quick responses to anyone’s emails, and designs, Naj has the philosophy that “Determination is greatness” and without that determination, and efficiency she wouldn’t be where she is now.
Again, no previous design experience.

All in all, I'm not seeing anything here that would make me want to submit and as usual, my advice would be to wait for 2 years to see if they're still in business and if so, what the average sales figures per title look like.

MM
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Old 12-29-2011, 06:42 PM   #7
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The website presentation is attractive.

The two covers shown are pretty good even if the designer is young, and they're definitely better than many I've seen from various e-presses. I do like the font choices. They don't look slapped on.

The blurbs point to a lack of solid editing.
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:28 PM   #8
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A Google search reveals that Shilpa Mudiganti is also known as Shilpa M Mirza. Last month she posted on www.coffeetimeromance.com:
Quote:
My debut novella, Memories Rustle, is to be published by Trestle Press this month.
There's a thread for Trestle Press here: http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/...d.php?t=232879

Inkspell author Cecilia Robert has also been published by Trestle Press.

I can't find any evidence that Trestle actually published Memories Rustle - presumably this is because Shilpa was 'burnt twice by publishers'.
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:35 PM   #9
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The covers are nice, I would agree that age is no obstacle for that designer.
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:45 PM   #10
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Unless I'm blind, I can't find a catalog link where their upcoming releases are listed, along with the usual information - ISBN, price, page count, release date.

And where are those e-books going to sell? They don't have an online store, and Amazon doesn't list either title. So the site is sort of useless to a consumer. Few buyers will work that hard to hunt down where to buy a book.
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:52 PM   #11
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:55 PM   #12
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I realize this, but most publishers put their titles up in the online databases with their release date.
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:59 PM   #13
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I agree that the covers are vastly superior to the usual e-book fare, but the more I look at the two we've seen so far the more I'm convinced that they show the same couple - or at least the same man!
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Old 12-29-2011, 10:11 PM   #14
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I agree that the covers are vastly superior to the usual e-book fare, but the more I look at the two we've seen so far the more I'm convinced that they show the same couple - or at least the same man!
That's not necessarily a bar to success. I remember browsing a bookstore in the 80s and realizing that at least 75% of the romance novels had Fabio on the cover . And I am *not* making that up. I was so flabbergasted that I searched for covers that didn't have him.
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Old 12-29-2011, 10:22 PM   #15
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Then there's stuff like this, not the same publishers but the same image over and over and over again. It happens all the time: http://causticcovercritic.blogspot.c...-by-fence.html

I agree about the quality of the covers for this site. But it's one of those wait and see situations. They haven't even launched yet.
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Old 12-29-2011, 10:35 PM   #16
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I agree about the quality of the covers for this site. But it's one of those wait and see situations. They haven't even launched yet.
If any of the management lurks about I hope they'll take note that more than one person has commented on the quality of editing in the blurbs (which indicates the same issues in the books themselves).

It would be a very wise decision to go over the launch titles one last time and make sure they're the best they can be.
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Old 12-29-2011, 10:38 PM   #17
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Oh, I realise that the same (or very similar) images crop up over and over again on book covers. And I'm old enough to remember the Golden Age of Fabio! I just found it a bit strange that there are only two books on the Inkspell site and both of them have covers showing what may be the same couple.
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Old 12-29-2011, 10:49 PM   #18
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Still, even if they are the same couple then maybe they did one big photoshoot and took pics of different poses etc with the knowledge that they'd need many similar looking covers. Besides if they are the same couple (not confirmed) they did a nice job making sure that they cut the image where the hair was in one so that it isn't obvious that it's the same people. Shows some good sense and creativity in using the same people and making them seem different.

As to the blurbs, I didn't actually read them, but yes, I do too hope they edit them etc.
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Old 12-29-2011, 11:06 PM   #19
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That's not necessarily a bar to success. I remember browsing a bookstore in the 80s and realizing that at least 75% of the romance novels had Fabio on the cover . And I am *not* making that up. I was so flabbergasted that I searched for covers that didn't have him.
I wish I could laugh. That's his actual claim to fame.
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Old 12-30-2011, 12:46 AM   #20
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The couple? Check out Romance Novel Covers. It's a site set up by model Jimmy Thomas and he sells over 1,000 images. I'm starting to see a lot of his pictures on covers now to the point I can recognize them. I think he's flooded the market.
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Old 12-30-2011, 05:21 AM   #21
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The grammar, syntax, punctuation, and capitalization issues on the website don't augur well for how well the books will be edited.

Since several of the principals seem to be people for whom English is a second or third language, I am going to cut them slack on that. Melissa Keir, however, purports to be a teacher of English, so I am just going to point out that this is not actually a coherent sentence: A few years ago she wrote, designed, and edited a million dollar Federal Grant infusing character traits with American History and American Literature for teachers.

The word "infusing" is used completely incorrectly. I don't know if she means "fusing", or if she means "illustrating character traits with passages from American history and literature," or what, but holy carp that's a mess. Not even mentioning the Random Capitalization.
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:04 AM   #22
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Still, even if they are the same couple then maybe they did one big photoshoot and took pics of different poses etc with the knowledge that they'd need many similar looking covers.
Those are stock images off of one of the royalty free image sites. I've used one of those same images on a cover. This happens all the time in ebook publishing land because there are a limited number of useful images on those sites and a LOT of cover artists haunting them.
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:16 AM   #23
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Even big publishers use stock images.

I guess my point is I think their covers, especially relative to other start ups I've seen in this part of AW, are quite strong, and I don't think, if there is anything to take issue with, that that's the right place to do it. Take issue with the writing on the site and on the blurbs etc. And possibly a lack of experience.

I just don't want people to start saying that since they use stock images they aren't up to snuff because, as I said, even the big six use stock images at times. It weakens the argument when there are actual possible valid concerns.
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:54 AM   #24
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Even big publishers use stock images.
Yes they do as Veinglory can attest. She's posted covers from the big publishers where they've used images that are common on smaller publisher's covers.
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:56 AM   #25
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The couple? Check out Romance Novel Covers. It's a site set up by model Jimmy Thomas and he sells over 1,000 images. I'm starting to see a lot of his pictures on covers now to the point I can recognize them. I think he's flooded the market.
Yes, he has, but you have to admit he does make rather nice eye-candy.

Now if people would just stop distorting the images in photoshop...
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