Publisher - Bookkus Publishing

14 May 2012 / 1 comment


Bookkus Publishing is a unique independent publisher launching this year and they are currently seeking manuscripts. Based in Canada, they are initially focusing on eBooks and will then be moving into paperbacks. What makes Bookkus different is that a community of readers select the books that Bookkus will publish.


Please tell us a bit more about the concept behind Bookkus Publishing?
The idea for Bookkus started with my father. My father was a fire fighter and a writer on the side. He has had four or five short stories published, numerous travel and news articles published, but no published books. That was always the problem. He has seven books with more on the way, all unpublished. I really love his books and have heard the same from others. They are interesting, exciting and feel real. From publishers he always got replies about how good it was, but it wasn't for them. It really frustrated him and us. Recently, he self-published and still got nowhere because he is not internet savvy and isn't a marketer. I tried to help him and guide him, but he just didn't have the time or ability to do it. He wants to write.


From his experience I got interested in this failing gap in the market. Good product, but no sales. I did my research and found lists of literary rejections from some of the best writers. I always quote this one from James Hughes: http://www.james-hughes.com/literary-rejections/ These publishers are turning down the best books of our day and they don't even know it. Try to imagine saying no to Agatha Christie, you can't right? Maybe they do this every day. So I thought how do they really know anything? And why can't we create something better?


The basic idea came from the idea behind Wikipedia; people giving their time for something greater than themselves. I think we can get at least a few thousand people to do the same with books.


Why did you choose this model to select and publish manuscripts?
The model of Bookkus using a group of readers to review books was based on the need for better acquisitions and better marketing. Using a larger group of 30-40 people will allow us to get the input we need to know if a book is going to sell or if it needs help. And if it needs help, can we give it help. And it helps spread the word about the book.


Well, we think a book doesn't sell by its cover. We think it sells by what people say to each other. The readers only get a section of the book so if they liked it they will want to read more, spread the word, write reviews, etc. It also helps engage readers on social media.


In North America social media is under used for publishers. Blogs are used, somewhat well used, but Facebook and Goodreads are undervalued. When you search publishers on Facebook you find some great publishing companies with huge followings... in India. Facebook and Goodreads are so under used by publishers to market their books we feel like there are huge marketing gaps to be exploited by combining readers in the process and using these outlets to get word about the books to their friends. Imagine the reader reach we will achieve.


What advantages does Bookkus Publishing offer for writers over traditional publishers?
We are a full service independent publisher so authors can expect the same service they would receive from any other publisher. We also want to include more author input into the company not only at the beginning, but throughout. For each book, authors can expect to have a large amount of input into cover art, editing (if they are unhappy about their editor we may make a change), the back cover, dedications etc.


We offer higher royalties than industry currently does and a fresh open approach. If your book isn't published we give you the feedback from the 30-40 people. That will help authors improve their books and make them better. After which they can resubmit.


I think our marketing is going to blow authors away. Some of it is still being kept behind the scenes as we don't want to go public with ideas yet. We know promotion is the biggest part of sales and we don’t feel that current publishers are taking advantage of current marketing channels that many customers use. It seems like they avoid them. We want to exploit them.


How do you see Bookkus Publishing growing over the next few years?
We have some ideas for growth and expansion. We are thinking of connecting readers to books via different media and using contests to increase awareness for the books we will be publishing.  We want to continue dialogue with authors and readers to grow the company to best serve their needs instead of being profit focused.


We want some really strong international partnerships to get our books quickly into Spanish, Portuguese, French and Indian. Those are the major markets we see ourselves expanding into.


William Yatscoff
Bookkus Publishing


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