Information For Authors
Are you interested in becoming a Cheeky Kea Printworks author? This is the place where you can learn all about how things work for our authors. If you want a bit more background on who we are in general, please check out the About CK Printworks page.
If you have more questions, please don't hesitate to Contact Us! Our whole reason for being is to help, so if we can help we will.
If you would like to receive an email when we are hiring new staff or authors, please subscribe to the CK Printworks Internal Newsletter. You will not receive any marketing material there, just notifications of new roles we're hiring for, or cool new features for prospective staff and authors.
Q. What options are there for me to consider?
A. The biggest question you need to ask yourself is whether you want to become a CK Printworks "stable" author or just to use us to help boost your own self-directed independent career. There are pluses and minuses to each option, but we can help with either choice.
Being a CK Printworks stable authors means:
You represent CK Printworks, and we represent you.
You don't pay anything up front unless you want to, and your costs are deducted from your ongoing royalties.
We will place our branding on your marketing material, and you can use our branding as well.
Your book(s) will be put through rigorous checks for quality and content, and we will help ensure that your book(s) are the best they can be.
You sign a contract with us, meaning that we take a certain degree of control over your book for the duration of your contract. You are still welcome to be involved if you want to be, but we'll handle most of the technical stuff.
Stable slots are limited, so we can't take on everyone who applies.
Being an independent author means:
You contract us to help you publish your book, but do not contract your print rights to us. You retain full copyright over everything. We just help.
You are responsible for 100% of your costs, and keep 100% of your royalties.
You are responsible for your own quality and content control.
You can publish whatever you like, we just do the technical stuff for you.
You are not considered a representative of CK Printworks, and we do not officially represent you. However, we will most likely still be happy to provide you with advice going forward.
So, to put it simply: if you want to be the boss, use our Freelance services. If you want us to be the boss, apply to become a CK Printworks stable author.
Q. How much does it cost?
A. If you are wanting to join the CK Printworks author stable and become one of our authors, then you pay nothing up front. We get paid a portion of your royalties for the duration of your contract. You are most certainly welcome to make a donation to the company at any time, but it is not a requirement.
If you want to maintain your own career and just want help getting started, then please see the Services tab for the freelance services we offer. Our freelance services do have an up-front cost, but no ongoing deduction from your royalties.
Freelance services are available to everyone, regardless of genre or content, whereas the author stable is more exclusive.
Information For CK Printworks Stable Authors
Interested in learning more about how things work for authors in the CK Printworks stable? Read on!
If you want more information on using our services to become independent, head on over to the Services tab for information more relevant to your needs.
Q. Will I get paid an advance?
A. No. There is a common misconception in our industry that an advance is like a signing bonus, which is not correct. An advance is just that - an advance of your royalties, which you are expected to pay back through sales. Most publishing houses will not pay you again until your books have earned enough to cover the advance. We dislike the whole concept, so we have decided to do away with it. Plus, with us being a charity, it can be problematic for the obvious reasons.
Q. What is your definition of Net Profits?
A. The standard definition of "net profits" is the actual amount a company makes after ALL costs are deducted, including taxes, production costs, etc. We use a slightly different definition for calculating royalties, because a lot of your costs are factored into your contracts. Our definition of "net profits" is the amount we receive from our various sales channels, such as Amazon, after they have deducted their costs and any applicable international withholding taxes. In the simplest terms, our definition of "net profits" is "the amount we actually get in our hands from the sale of the book". The amount we get from each channel varies massively, but for the sake of your royalties, your percentage is based off the amount of money we receive.
Q. How much will I get paid?
A. Our standard contract divvies the net profits from each sale of the book like so:
If the book was written and published in the same language:
25% of net profits to the Author.
25% of net profits to the Line Editor.
25% of net profits to CK Printworks.
25% of net profits into a marketing fund specifically for marketing and promoting that book.
If the book is being translated into or from another language:
20% of net profits to the Author,
20% of net profits to the Translator,
20% of net profits to the Localisation Editor,
20% of net profits to CK Printworks,
20% of net profits into a marketing fund specifically for marketing and promoting that book.
Q. That sounds weird. Is that normal?
A. It is a little unusual, but not overly so. Normally, you just get your percentage (between 5% and 25% depending on the publisher), and the rest goes into the great void of mystery. We feel that knowledge is power, and having power will help you feel more confident about your choices, so we let you see exactly where things are going. We also let you "buy" a larger slice of the pie, if you want to. Plus, the base percentage we offer is actually a bit more generous than other publishing houses to start with.
This arrangement was designed by an author in the industry, as a way to help new authors get their books to press faster, without either the author or the publisher having to fork out the costs up front.
The down side is that it may sometimes take your book a little longer to hit press, because your editor or translator may need to focus on jobs that pay up front to keep a roof over their heads. The up side being, obviously, that you don't need to fork out for your own costs. However...
Q. How do I get a larger percentage?
A. If finances aren't an issue for you, then you can literally buy yourself a larger chunk of the pie by buying out one of your service providers. Our staff are freelancers contractors, as opposed to in-house staff. What that means is that they normally get paid a set fee up front for working on jobs like this. Instead, they've agreed to work on a percentage of your royalties, on the understanding that either of us may choose to buy them out in the future.
Here's how it works specifically to each role:
The Editor Percentage:
Most editors are paid between $0.005 and $0.1 USD per word depending on their experience and the quality of their work. Either of us can speak to them and negotiate a fair payout based off their standard rate, and then the percentage belongs to you (or us). Alternately, you can use your own editor and pay them yourself, completely outside of CK Printworks, in which case their percentage is yours. However, keep in mind that if you bring your own editor, we will check the quality of their work and make sure it's up to standard. We strongly discourage trying to act as your own editor for various reasons.
The Translator's Percentage:
Most translators are paid between $0.01 and $0.1 USD per word depending on their experience and the quality of their work. As with the editors, either one of us can buy them out by mutual agreement with the service provider. Alternately, if you are fluent in both languages and confident in your abilities, you can do your own translations, and then you get the translator's percentage.
The Marketing Percentage:
The marketing percentage doesn't actually go to pay a specific person, but rather to buy advertising for your book from various sources . If you want to, you can opt to pay for all marketing yourself instead, in which case the marketing percentage is yours. However, be warned that marketing is expensive, complicated, and extremely time-consuming. This option is not recommended unless you know what you're doing!
The Publisher's Percentage:
Our percentage goes towards the costs of maintaining our service, which includes paying for your actual publishing costs, and it also covers the use of our branding and experience. You can't buy us out once a book is published, but you can choose to use our Freelance services instead. See our Services tab if you'd like to learn more about this option.
Note: If we have already bought out one of your service providers for whatever reason, you can simply reimburse us the costs to buy that percentage for yourself. That allows us to use that money to help someone less fortunate instead, which is always cool!
Q. How long do your contracts last?
A. Our standard contracts last five years. At the end of five years, we will enter a renegotiation phase, at which point we will mutually examine your sales figures to determine fair terms going forward.
Q. What happens if we want to cancel early?
A. Our contracts are specially designed so that if either of us are unhappy with the other, we can move to mutually void the contract. However, keep in mind that if you initiate an early termination, you may become liable for any costs that have not been reimbursed yet (i.e. you may have to pay the editor or translator out if you cancel before they've been paid a fair wage for their work). We just want to keep things fair for everyone involved.
Q. What happens to my copyrights?
A. Your copyright still remains yours. The contract you sign grants us publication rights, which is not the same thing. Copyright is the actual ownership of the work, while publication rights are the rights to publish and sell it. We retain copyright for any marketing materials we create for you (such as covers) and dependent copyright on things we work on together (which covers things like edited manuscripts and translations). Dependent copyrights are where things get complex, but the simple version is that we can't publish the edited/translated manuscript we made without your permission, and you can't publish it without ours. So, we talk to each other and reach a mutual arrangement. If in the future you decide to go off on your own, you can negotiate to buy the dependent copyrights for our creations off us.
Q. How often will I be paid?
A. You will be paid quarterly, 90 days in arrears. For example, sales that happen in January, February, or March get paid out in early June. An exact schedule will be outlined in your contract. The reason for this is that the major retailers pay us 90 days in arrears, as they have a 90 day return period on some products. So, you get paid after we get paid.
Q. Do I provide my own cover?
A. No, we will provide one. If you have a specific cover you would like to use then we can discuss it, but whether or not we will use it will depend on the quality and relevance to your genre. Gotta make your book sell, right?
Q. Do I have to publish under my own name?
A. Nope! Pen names are common in this industry, and we can keep your identity secret if you want us to.
Q. Where do you publish and how?
A. We publish our paperbacks via Amazon CreateSpace. This is a print-on-demand service that distributions to Amazon itself, Ingram, NACSCORP, and CreateSpace Direct. Your paperbacks will be available for order through all major retailers, though it is up to the individual book store to decide if they want to stock them on their shelves.
We alternate our books between publication on Kindle Select (exclusive to Amazon Kindle), and on the extended network (which includes but is not limited to iBooks, Kobo, and NOOK). We generally switch it up a couple of times a year or so, to increase visibility for readers on all platforms.
Q. What kind of books are you interested in?
A. We are currently interested in the following:
Young adult fantasy/science fiction,
te reo Maori fantasy/science fiction,
LGBT fantasy/science fiction,
Fantasy/science fiction erotica.
We are not currently interested in:
Biography or autobiography (unless they're particularly interesting or humorous).
Children's picture books,
Horror and thrillers,
However, if your books sound interesting we may consider them even if they fall outside our usual guidelines. If you're not sure, send us a blurb and ask!
Q. What kind of books are explicitly forbidden?
A. As a general rule of thumb, we will not take anything that could get us in trouble with our retailers, or that we consider morally and ethically wrong. This includes but is not limited to:
Child pornography: The book cannot contain sexual content where any of the partners are under the age of consent. If the book takes place in a country where the age of consent is less than eighteen, any sexual content should be non-explicit. If they're under eighteen, keep it clean.
Dark erotica: The book cannot contain non-consensual situations presented in such a fashion as to be used for the sexual gratification of the reader. (e.g. rape fantasies.)
Horror and/or excessive graphic violence (e.g. please don't traumatise my editors!)
Bestiality (e.g. sexual content with actual animals. Shape-shifters are generally okay.)
Hateful intent: The book cannot express an opinion of the author that would be consider hate speech, such as a treatise against a particular race or religion. This does not exclude hate speech or activity from characters within the narrative. For example, if you have a racist villain who says nasty things, that's fine. It is not fine if you use the hero, for example, to spout a racist ideology.
Please note that we do reserve the right to reject questionable content or send it back for revision for any reason at any time. If you are not certain, please ask.
Q. What are your limitations on erotica?
A. So long as everyone's of age and consenting, it's fine. LGBT content is fine, straight content is fine, poly is fine. We do prefer if there is a story in there as well as the sexy stuff, though!
Still interested? Have more questions? Contact Victoria via the form below!
Don't worry, it's totally non-committal and you don't need to send us your manuscript.