Hello Derrick. What is your background and what led you to starting CoopJack Publishing?
I’ve been working for a textbook design company for 10 years, doing the same thing over and over and over again. I finally had the chance to do something new, which was to create epub books for Nook (Barnes & Noble) and iPad. It was fun, interesting, and based on my textbook experience, not too difficult. Two months ago, I quit that job and — among other paying things — I decided I wanted to publish some books on my own. I started CoopJack Publishing.
You are asking for picture books at the moment; are you likely to consider anything else now or in the future?
Right now, I’m focusing on picture books which is what I’m familiar with. I would certainly consider publishing novels or nonfiction when I find the right book and have the time to learn the technology.
Do you accept rhyming stories?
Yes, I personally LOVE rhyming stories.
Should us Brits alter our manuscripts to American spellings/words?
Ha! No, don’t worry about it.
You are hoping to publish to the iTunes bookstore. Can you explain what that means in terms of what devices people would download the books on to and what form they would take?
For those wondering, iTunes has outgrown its name, and now offers movies, books, apps, and tv shows, so it’s not just “tunes” — it’s everything! iTunes works exclusively with Apple products, the iPad and iPhone in this case. I’m taking a long view of the iPad as a fantastic device that’s just in its infancy. I think it will be around for a LONG time, and getting some content on iTunes will hopefully benefit those involved in the long run. I would expect to also publish to Nook, although that’s not a long-term bet I would take.
What about e-readers? Would Kindle owners be able to access them or would you publish separately for Kindle?
I will probably also publish on the Kindle eventually, but that’s not technology I’m familiar with right now. I think picture books are more suited to the iPad technology right now.
It’s free for authors to self-publish on to Kindle. What can your company offer that’s different from self-publishing?
Since I plan to focus on picture books, my intent is to bring together writers and artists to make professional looking books. I will also provide the layout, design, and technology side to produce professional-looking books.
How are you going to split the royalties?
Apple gets 30% off the top. I will earn 15%, and the writer/artist will split the rest. It’s still being figured out, but in the event there are derivative works (like a physical publishing deal, or merchandise, or a movie deal!) based on the books I publish, I would earn some percentage of those royalties too. This is not work-for-hire, I’m not aiming to steal the writer’s copyright or characters. Please keep in mind, I’m working for free on this! I don’t make anything unless the book can sell. It’s a risk, but I believe that creative people can come together and make something wonderful. The writer and artist also stand to benefit simply from the exposure and becoming a published author. That looks good on anyone’s CV.
How will you market the books?
The marketing will be a collaborative effort between myself, the writer, and the artist. If one out of three of us is blogging or tweeting, that’s a huge plus. I hope word of mouth about a specific book will boost sales.
How long should an author expect to wait before getting a response from you about their manuscript?
Are you asking this because I haven’t responded to any queries yet? 🙂 I hope to get back to everyone in a reasonable time frame, but since this is a “free” project I have to fit it in around the rest of my ongoing responsibilities. My apologies to anyone I’ve kept waiting.
And finally… where does the name CoopJack come from?
CoopJack comes from the names of my 2-and-a-half year old twin boys, Cooper and Jackson. They love picture books, and they DEFINITELY love mommy’s iPad!
And Derrick also adds…
I’m currently having a publishing agreement drafted by lawyers in Portland, Maine. This is all kind of a new experience for me, and I’m learning a lot as I go along. I also have my first “pairing” of a writer and author, which I am very excited about. I hope I can announce it once things are more formally agreed between us. The writer is already published and has some stories that various publishers have not been interested in, so she has agreed to work with me. The artist is someone I’ve worked with before and he’s very fast, with a fun and colorful style. Keep in mind, we’re all working for free up front, so it’s a labor of love. I hope this first book sets the pace for a successful new venture.
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Derrick.
To view the website and see how to submit to CoopJack, visit www.coopjackpublishing.com.