I’ve just declined and offer from a Publisher.

October 8, 2010

I think I need to repeat that… I’VE JUST DECLINED AN OFFER FROM A PUBLISHER! Wasn’t that the goal? Wasn’t that the whole entire reason I started this blog from the beginning? Didn’t I spend years trying to get a publisher, before deciding to self publish? What am I thinking!?

Some information that you might need to know…

– The publisher is South Korean.

– The books would need to be translated. (Rhyme is one of the main components in Arithmetic Village- Using a right brain activity for a left brain function and I’m not sure this could be recreated with the translation.)

– The transaction would be handled by my amazing South Korean illustrator and the contract would not be in English.(I would have no way to know what I was selling and what the terms were, except through the illustrator and unless I had it translatedand brought to a lawyer.)

– The offer is to share copyright with the illustrator. This is typical with authors and illustrators in traditional publishing. This will be sharing copyright of the complete project, versus just the copyright of images. (I have been working on this project for years and years and hired her to do very specific work with clear storyboards and veto power.)

– I know that if I sign with a publisher in New Zealand, I will get a 5% royalty.  Then, they have the right to sell it to the US (or any other publisher anywhere) where I would typically get a 3% royalty and the orignal publisher would get the other 2% from all of the books sold in the US. So, in dealing with a much bigger US market, it is far better to sign with a US publisher from the very beginning.

I am not just the author of the books at this point, I am the publisher. Arithmetic Village is not just a set of books, it is a set of ever evolving lesson plans, videos and on-line sharing place. It is my heart and soul, and don’t feel like selling it to a stranger, just when it is ready to fly.

My intuition is saying that I am doing the right thing to turn down this offer. I feel heartbroken to disappoint the illustrator. She enthusiastically and whole heartedly thinks this is what is best. My goal is for all children to have a new way to learn, this includes all children from everywhere. I am just trying to be careful to ensure that I can hold true to the inspiration that has brought me this far..

Any thoughts??

7 Responses to “I’ve just declined and offer from a Publisher.”

  1. Sherri Lauer Says:

    Maybe it can be made to rhyme in korean, I wouldn’t write it off so quickly. You can work with an interpreter, maybe a korean student. There are not so many words I bet you can make it work. This does not mean that you won’t do what you planned, it’s just a detour. You can negotiate with your illustrator as far as the contract is concerned, I’m sure she would prefer something rather than nothing.

  2. your intuition and your vision for this project has never let you down – I would trust it! having a translation of the Korean offer would be essential if you were considering signing it, right 🙂

  3. Rosie Says:


  4. Adelle Says:

    Hello! You write very well, congratulations.

    I think his desire is understandable, you have no certainty that work will be faithfully translated and understood. Admirable attitude.

    Follow you happy – Peace

  5. I think your cautious consideration is wise. Doing anything in a language where you are dependent on someone else would entail a huge amount of trust – if that isn’t in place don’t move. It is also worrisome to let go of a project if you are not confident in the outcome. there is nothing as dear as intellectual property. The right thing will come along!

  6. go with your guts – they serve you well… XXX
    By the way I have received a huge boost tonight reading your blog entries, in general – thank you KIM – you are communicating so much I am feeling right now – THANK YOU THANK YOU! 🙂 xxx

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