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Kunati Book Publishers

editing_for_authors
Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

victoriastrauss

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I always sigh when I see the stuff about great untold stories and celebrity writers being the only ones publishers are interested in and the closed-door policies of the large houses. It suggests to me that whoever is operating this publisher is working as much on sterotypes about the publishing industry as on knowledge of it.

- Victoria
 

veinglory

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I totally agree. So many new published start of with a 'the big publishers spit on you' thing rather than being constructive about their special niche. It puts me right off. Otherwise it is a nice site and their statements about the genres and voice that interest them are very promising. (Perhaps slight over-use of the word 'original').
 

CaoPaux

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I expect the collision of enthusiasm with reality'll take about a year. :e2bike2:
Although "stuff the big guys won't publish" doesn't necessarily equal "stuff no one'll buy", the burden will be on him to find true niche products and get them to the audience looking for them. Hopefully he can find a few non-fic titles to create the income needed to support the rest.
 

Troubadour

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Thank you from Kunati's Publisher

Hi folks,

I love this thread, thank you. I am the publisher at Kunati, and you are certainly right that we have the enthusiasm -- we hope that it will never collide with reality. Forgive the stereotypes on our website. We actually believe this is our mission (and I don't think that will change), but I accept your helpful dose of reality. Thank you.

Sadly, some stereotypes have a large measure of truth, and I think this is one of them (from my author-side decades-long experience with publishers and my agent). But we've moved on from our starry-eyed view (after reading some one thousand queries, and over a hundred manuscripts!). We are delighted, however, to have found some truly unique voices that we believe MUST be published (one non fiction!).

We do this with our own sweat and savings, and hope the author community will stay with us on this for awhile. I'm a author myself, and it is my absolute belief that enthusiasm is not a resource that is non-renewable. I hope the author community will support our "authors for authors" mission.

Our niche is not category specific, and we really are looking for unique voices. We've acquired six more titles, four from first time novelists. Sadly, the stronger non-fiction projects haven't found us yet, but we know they will. The agents are submitting to us in high volume now, but we continue to read the author submissions with a high degree of --- where's my thesaurus? I need a synonym for enthusiasm! --fervor - nah -- zeal (yeah, I like that one).

I hope you'll follow our progress. And I hope you'll be all part of our "author for authors" approach. By the way, watch our blogs and our press room for imminent title announcements, and keep sending the submissions -- we are reading all of them! Write me anytime. I love all the feedback.

Best Regards,

Derek Armstrong
Publisher
Kunati Inc.
http://www.kunati.com
Publishers Marketplace: http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/DArmstrong
Kunati Blog: http://kunati.blogspot.com
Email: [email protected]
 

CaoPaux

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Troubadour said:
But we've moved on from our starry-eyed view (after reading some one thousand queries, and over a hundred manuscripts!).
Congrats on surviving your first bout with slush! It'll not only remove stars from eyes but varnish from furniture. ;)
 

Ink Slinger

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Thanks for your response, Troubadour. You commented that..
"We do this with our own sweat and savings, and hope the author community will stay with us on this for awhile."

While you're getting your start with your own capital, once the first four books have been published, will you be aiming for an emerging publisher grant and then on to a block grant? From what I understand of BPIDP (which is not much!), that would lead to a focus on books by Canadian authors. Kunati's plans to limit the number of titles by principals seem to be more conservative that what is permitted under BPIDP (maximum of 75% of the titles from co-owners/shareholders). Publishers who get these grants don't publish "vanity titles" (author handing over money or committing to buying books), which is always good. (Or if they do, they don't get grant money for them.)

I'm curious about why most of the principals in Kunati have not been identified. You're obviously very proud of Kunati and the work you do for the company; I assume that your colleagues feel the same way. You've been upfront about the policy on publishing books by principals; again, I'm assuming here that Kunati won't be hiding the fact that the author of some future title is also a principal. Just curious about why the other principals are staying in the background.
 

Troubadour

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Reply to Ink slinger, grants and Kunati in Quill and Quire

Hi Ink Slinger (from Derek)... It's heady, early days. We're in the news already, but we're still working 7 days a week 20 hours a day (give or take). A lot of these questions have -- thanks to all of your feedback -- become subjects of coming press releases. I now find I no longer have time for writing! To answer your question: two other principals are James McKinnon and Kam Wai Yu, both authors, neither on the "slate" for publishing through Kunati -- the remaining five are members of various author groups I'm in who wanted to be part of the business (and have not yet submitted any titles for editorial review -- they have to go through the same process as any author, however).

James is our editor-in-chief and handles acquisitions. This article in Quill and Quire might actually clarify this (Quill and Quire is Canada's Publisher's Weekly) -- you'll find the article on their website (and on ours at www.kunati.com) or on our publisher's marketplace site (http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/DArmstrong). I'll post the content in another post (to keep these posts short).

In OTHER NEWS:
Kunati welcomes talented and daring author Lynn Hoffman. Watch for news on his brilliant breakthrough novel.

P.S. We've got offers out on seven more novels (only one non-fiction), but, sadly, very few Canadians have submitted (which I hope will change!)

Yes, we will be applying for various grants. I have a list as long as my arm for these, including export grants and arts grants. But, I've put these on the back burner until 2007. We don't need the funds at the moment, and it's more reasonable to apply with titles actually selling.

Thanks for your response, and apologies for my long-winded reply. As you can see, my excitement remains high.

Best,

Derek Armstrong, Publisher Kunati Inc.
http://www.kunati.com
 

Troubadour

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Text of Quill and Quire feature on Kunati (per Ink Slinger post)

Just trying to keep the posts short. Here's the text I mentioned in the last post. You can find this on Quillandquire.com, publishers marketplace (http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/DArmstrong) and our own website (kunti.com).

Self-help author opens publishing company

by Melanie Mah

Apr. 21, 2006: Staffed by a crew of book-publishing rookies, a new company by the name of Kunati hopes to release six books of genre fiction by national and international authors by early next year. Spearheaded by ad exec and published author Derek Armstrong, the firm hopes to get ahead, at least in part, with the help of Armstrong’s expertise in marketing and publicity.

With six employees and eight investors – all of the latter, according to Armstrong, are authors – the Mississauga-based Kunati bills itself as a publishing firm founded “by authors for authors.” But in order to position the company as something more than a self-publishing venture, Armstrong has established some rules. “The principals of the company are allowed to submit one manuscript every 12 months,” he says. “And they need the okay from three different principals. They need to go through an editorial review just like everyone else.”

Still, one of the firm’s first books, to be released in January, is Armstrong’s own historical novel The Last Troubadour. Also the author of a self-help book called The Persona Principle, published by Simon & Schuster, Armstrong hopes to publish genre fiction as well as non-fiction in the categories of true crime, memoir, self-help, and business. Fielding interest primarily from American, British, and Australian authors, Armstrong wants both Canadian and international distribution for Kunati’s books and says he’s in final negotiations with two large American distributors.

This is not the only way Armstrong hopes Kunati will differ from other Canadian small presses. Hoping to promote his books through what he calls a “six-week plan” characterized by aggressive marketing via author events, radio and TV appearances, and other means for six weeks following their launches, Armstrong hopes to use all the resources of his ad agency. With at least 15 books in hardcover format planned for the next year or so – most of these, Armstrong hopes, will be by new authors – his agency may be put to good use. “We’re just totally excited about it,” he says. “We’re told we’re maybe too enthusiastic, but we don’t believe that.”
 

SWW

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Kunati Publishing

I read some correspondence in a previous thread about Kunati Publishing, based in Canada. It appears there were some concerns about them but the principal, Derek Armstrong, responded to the questions to assure us they are legit.

Most of their website bumph is without much substance. The reviews of their books on Amazon appear to be generated mostly by other Kunati authors.

There is no entry for Kunati on Predators and Editors. I am reluctant to submit to them without some independent advice. Has anyone heard anything, good or bad, about them recently?

Thanks
 

RG570

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I get a decent vibe from them, but that could just be because I'm looking for canadian publishers and am willing to take a chance.

I'm grateful for this thread though, I didn't know about these guys. I'll be sending a novel to them for sure.
 

Kasey Mackenzie

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This thread should probably be moved to Bewares and Background Checks, where you will likely get more responses. Be sure to check the index in that thread since there may be one on this publisher already.

Good luck!
 

swvaughn

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Hey folks,

Just had to comment on this one. I'm a member of the crit group Deadly Prose, and have worked with Derek Armstrong there for quite some time, since before Kunati's inception. Kunati is new, but legit. If you visit their Publisher's Marketplace page, you'll see their titles have reviews from Kirkus, Publisher's Weekly, and the like.

They have a firm publicity and promotion schedule in place, and they truly believe in their titles. You won't see much information about them on Amazon now for a few reasons. One: they have literally just trotted out their first round of titles, and two: they are concentrating on cultivating relationships with bookstores and libraries, and getting their titles stocked.

Since the books haven't been available for long, they haven't made the rounds yet.

Derek is definitely enthusiastic, James McKinnon has excellent business sense. They are professional all the way, and I think they are well positioned for long-term success.

Don't let their "traditional publishing is broken" information fool you! :) That is just lingering enthusiasm from their start-up mode, when they were getting the submissions ball rolling. I can guarantee that they are not a scam, or a POD imprint, or in any way haphazard or unprofessional.
 

triceretops

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I also like this publisher and can see them with some success in the future. The only stumbling block I ran into was after I sent a requested chapter in April of this year and never heard back. So I listed them as a non-responder. Maybe they tried to reject me, but I don't have any record of it.

Tri
 

OneTeam OneDream

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triceretops said:
I also like this publisher and can see them with some success in the future. The only stumbling block I ran into was after I sent a requested chapter in April of this year and never heard back. So I listed them as a non-responder. Maybe they tried to reject me, but I don't have any record of it.

Tri


I had the same thing happen to me, except I prodded them to find out what happened. They said they hadn't recieved my materials, but I showed them the response I got when I sent them. After seeing that, they said submit again and we'll get to it quickly...they did. I can't fault them for human error, especially when they made up for it.
 

CaoPaux

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swvaughn said:
...their titles have reviews from Kirkus, Publisher's Weekly, and the like.
Pardon me, but I just gotta :snoopy:
 

Troubadour

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Hi from Kunati's Publisher... and Submissions

Hi, Haven't popped in for awhile, been too, too busy. I saw the posts about submissions. I apologize for our tardiness. We're victims of our own success? We're plowing through the submissions, still staying true to our mandate to read and comment personally on EVERY submission (some we lose in junk mail filters if sent by email). We've now received over 3500 submissions! My goodness, we're only able to publish 8 titles this spring, another 16-20 in fall of 07, but we're still committed to reading and responding to each one! If we haven't responded, we're probably not there yet, but please do remind me personally (if you give me your real name (and the email you submitted with so I can search) -- I can't tell from the posts here -- I'll look up the status on your sub). Email me at [email protected].

Please remember, we're really focused on provocative, edgy, controversial (we took to heart the early criticisms from this group and refined our mission, focusing exclusively in this direction, which is -- thank you very much -- marvelous for us) This group is wonderful.

Yes, several of our books have good reviews (per earlier post about "no reviews", but it's early yet.) We're revising our website into an interactive forum/news style where we'll be able to update and communicate daily with our growing base (we've had over 2 million hits to our website! but it's now very out of date). OUR BOOK TRAILERS are the biggest draw (we created the first ever book trailer back in 1999, as featured recently on Book Standard).

We've had reviews on our forthcoming spring titles in Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, ForeWord, Filmsandbooks.com, a forthcoming starred review in Booklist, some NY Times exposure pending as well. It's all very exciting. I hope you'll drop in to our revised NEWSY website (which should be up within a week -- the old site is still up right now, with that clumsy old language). We're delighted with the response to Kunati and to our revised mission of edgy, quirky, controversial.

With this mission in mind, please remember if we "turn you down" -- and sadly, this will happen in most cases just on sheer numbers (24 planned books this year from thousands of subs) -- it is more likely due to our mission than your writing or story. We've had some very agonizing editorial meetings where we evaluated a manuscript as very nearly perfect in every way, but too mainstream for our list, or not edgy or controversial (most of our projects now deal with hot topics: assisted suicide, gun rights, reality television (and how silly it all is), the war between religion and science, societal taboos).

Having said that, we are planning big, with very large marketing budgets and big print runs. You won't see much on B&N and Amazon until 120 days before our Spring line launches (we launch now March 30). You'll see a lot of advertising and PR exposures in April 07 -- watch Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Pages, NY Times.

Our authors are quite a community, now. We've set up an online Author Marketing Group ( I wrote a feature how-to on it for Publisher Marketing Associations monthly newsletter) where our authors/publisher/editors chat daily about marketing, launches, opportunities and most of our best ideas are coming from our beloved authors. We now have authors on board from four countries (mostly US).

Some of our recent reviews:
"Impressive Medical Thriller" (Rabid by TK Kenyon) Publishers Weekly
"Absoultely charming and sure to enrage the NRA" (bang BANG by Lynn Hoffman, Ph.D.) Kirkus
"Romance...adventure...secrets...YA for the older set" (The Secret Ever Keeps, Art Tirrell) Kirkus
"Five Stars. In the thriller tradition of Weisman and Connolly" (The Game) ForeWord Magaazine

Many more are coming.

I hope you'll continue to follow our news. We're growing, learning and working round-the-clock with our authors. We're in fall acquisition mode, but we are "buried" in submissions -- but still reading them all and trying to personally reply as soon as we can.

And I hope you'll drop by our newsy new website (around November 3) where you'll see how we've evolved. Because of the new format, we'll be updating news almost daily, and you can also comment, chat and communicate directly with our authors (our MEET THE AUTHORS feature is magnificent, with a Chat, direct email, gallery, news and events, and forthcoming virtual video tour). The new site should be at the old location by Friday November 3rd http://www.kunati.com. In the meanwhile, I do try to keep our Publishers Marketplace page up to date on news (http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/DArmstrong). Keep me on my toes, keep critiquing us, we'll keep learning and growing.

Best regards,

Derek Armstrong
Publisher
Kunati Inc.
SAN: 851-478X
http://www.kunati.com
Publishers Marketplace: http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/DArmstrong
Email: [email protected]
 

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