As publisher, we at Koho Pono wear many hats including vendor-to-authors and project manager. In both of these roles we are trying to develop a satisfying process for everyone. Our goal is for authors to be fulfilled by the publishing experience and for the correct audiences to receive tales that resonate powerfully with them and are delivered in a satisfying manner. So why did I throw a spanner in the works when new author, Jaki Harvell, tried to hire an artist to illustrate her book? After all, she chose well; the illustrations were synergistic with her story.
The trouble was, Jaki was negotiating with the artist without considering how their final deal would affect the book publishing process. She was negotiating as if she was commissioning a work of art for her home rather than building an agreement for art to be used as part of a product that was going to have a life of its own. This distinction is important for all concerned.
If the author had signed the initial contract with the artist, it would have been extremely difficult for Koho Pono to publish the book. Thank goodness we saw the contract before signatures were inked. We all got together (over a superb home cooked meal, I might add) and hammered out revisions that satisfied everyone: author, artist, and publisher. So now, the book will be amazing AND everyone’s rights and responsibilities are accounted for.
Koho Pono wants to put out quality products AND we want to deal with honorable, talented people who we admire AND we want the process to be fulfilling for all concerned AND we want every goal to be designed for win-win-win-win = wins for the author-artist-publisher-audience. (And we also love great negotiation-food)
In summary: it is important for the publisher be mindfulÂ of every contributor’s needs on our wayÂ to the final product – to keep the ‘customers’ happy. And within that process, we’re hoping to educate authors and artists about the importance of at least thinking a bit about some of theÂ steps required to get their work out to an appreciative audience so they don’t accidentally agree to something that makes it impossible to present their work or that creates a win-lose scenario.
Coming soon will be aÂ series of blogs dealing with some of the contractual points that an artist-author-publisher might want to take into consideration if the goal is win-win-win for all. Look for the titles, Contractual Points for Artist-Author-Publisher Wins.
Also, look for Calming Rice n Mango Salad, which is one ofÂ theÂ home-cooked salads we devoured during our negotiation luncheon.