Tag Archives: publishing

Big changes at Kima Books

Big changes ahead

Nadine and I have some big announcements to make.

As usual there is bad news and good news. Let’s start with the worst first and get better from there.

Back in May of this year the professional typesetting and design program that I have been using for years gave up the ghost and despite all efforts by our technical people, could not be fixed. I do have the latest Indesign program which most typesetters use today, but it would be a steep learning curve for me to learn it, which I am not quite up to and not in the mood for. I have searched for teachers but without success. They are mostly focused on image design and know nothing about typesetting.

Then, in the first week of July this year Nadine and I were walking on the cat walk in Fish Hoek without rain gear when we got caught in an icy torrential downpour and were far from our car. I was frozen to the bone, but eventually we got home and warmed up. Shortly after that I became ill with what I thought was the flu and struggled for a few days.

However, I took two nasty falls, landing on my coccyx both times. Nadine dragged me back to bed both times. Shortly thereafter Nadine found me unconscious, called the paramedics who checked me out and found that my oxygen level was down to 74%. (death occurs at 72%). They summoned an ambulance and took me to our local False Bay Hospital. It was pneumonia, but they labeled it Covid.

To cut a long story short, I ended up spending 10 days in three different hospitals. The doctors definitely saved my life, but the conditions in the hospitals are appalling. Nadine rescued me from there by demanding that I be discharged which the doctors reluctantly agreed to. I came out so weak that I was unable to stand unaided and with bedsores. I have been recuperating under the wonderful care of Nadine and our local homeopathic doctor and now am able to spend a couple of hours a day in the office.

As a result of all this we have decided to make some big changes as to how we operate so as to reduce the work load. Circumstances demand it.

No more new physical books

  • We will no longer be accepting physical books for publication.
  • We are just beginning to have discussions with a European publisher who is keen to have Kima Global’s book list on their platform. If we are successful it will mean an extended life our book list. We will also be able to take on new titles. We see this as a very positive development.

List to be trimmed

  • We will be trimming down our listings for physical books on the international book shops catalog during the course of the next few months. Those books which have not sold a single copy in the previous six months will be cancelled from the list. Every listing costs us a catalogue fee so we cannot continue to pay this if we have no sales.  Local South African authors may still order copies from us.
  • If you have a new manuscript to offer we will gladly guide you through the self-publishing process. There will be no charge for our existing authors.

e-Books to continue

  • We will not be cancelling any e-book currently platformed.
  • We will continue to publish new e-books as and when the opportunity arises.

New web site

Our current web site does attract traffic, but it is not cell phone friendly.

  • We are going to be building a new site during the course of the next couple of months using a modern site builder and cart.
  • All the physical books currently active globally will be listed as well as all the e-books.
  • We are no longer distributing for overseas publishers, so we will be simplifying both the appearance and the way it works. There will no longer be a need to choose your country and currency. One list, one currency (probably USD since most of our sales are there.)

I will be posting another blog when it is live.

As I wrote, I do hope that you see these developments as an effort both to survive by cutting unrewarding expenses and to thrive by giving Kima Global a new face on the internet

May I close by wishing you all good health and sanity in these crazy and challenging times. We are still here to serve you, but now in a changed capacity.

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Filed under About us, Body,mind,spirit

A new level of desperation in bookstores?

We have known for some time that bookstores are struggling, but the latest two developments at Exclusive Books (South Africa’s biggest and most prestigious book chain) smack of a new level of either desperation or at least a change of tack from selling books. Let me explain.

Firstly, an edict has gone out from the owner that all book purchases (even of one book) now have to be approved by head office. It seems like they no longer trust the managers to buy even on sale or return. This is likely to work out in practice that an approved list will be developed which will include only books from the most popular authors and the two or three biggest publishing houses. This will exclude orders to all the smaller and independent publishers like ourselves.

This sounds like the death knell to smaller publishers, but in fact we have been working on what are known as special sales (non book store sales) for some time now and have become less dependent on book shops. Our main motivation was the wafer thin or non-existent profit margin in bookstore sales what with the high discounts (47.5% + 2.5% payment discount) demanded, the costs of courier delivery and the returns. It is sad to see them go, but in the end no loss to us.

Secondly, the owner of Exclusive Books has (or will shortly) establish a Tapas Bar as part of his flagship store (Hyde Park in Johannesburg). A Tapas Bar to add food to the mix . Personally I can’t see how this will bring in readers. Still it may be a profit center which will compensate for the losses in the bookstore. Good luck to him!

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Filed under Getting published, marketing tips, Uncategorized

Welcome 2015!

Happy New year

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by | December 31, 2014 · 1:59 pm

Can Quality Writing still be Found?

DistributionRobert Pirsig’s famous book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was all about quality, right? The question is where is the quality these days? It is no doubt there, but how to find it amongst the torrent of words?

Yes, there are many who will offer (for a fee) to give your book the exposure it deserves, but those that do that only care about the exposure and have no interest in quality writing. It is all about the marketing, because even winning a literary award doesn’t guarantee you sales.  It is all rather tragic, unless writers eschew their wish to recover costs and even make a few pennies from their anguished hours at the keyboard.

What if good writers just gave their work away for free?  It is getting closer and closer to that scenario with the millions of free books being offered on sites like Kobo Books and Amazon.

Writing as a publisher with over twenty years of publishing experience I have to tell you that I do not see independent publishers surviving much longer unless all our suppliers (typesetters, printers, web masters etc.) are willing to give their services for free. Would that mean that we abandon our standards; our ordered lives? Possibly, but that would also mean abandoning our quest for quality.  Our motorcycle will not be maintained and that might be a dangerous and even fatal path.

More articles on this topic:

Getting published in today’s world

Kima Global book reviews:

Two super books not to be missed

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Filed under Getting published