(Kunati) is not your publisher though, right? Do you wish you had used them (Kunati)? Do you intend to use them at some point?
Here's my reply:
My publisher is Central Avenue Press, an independent out of Albuquerque, New Mexico. I can't fairly compare CAP and Kunati because they're two different beasts.
CAP is largely a one-man show that publishes about three titles per year. The publisher, John Oelfke, is a man of integrity, which means I never have to deal with contract squabbles or unreturned phone calls. He follows through with suggestions and ideas regarding marketing, understands the importance of unfettered distribution and is looking to the future by making my book, Growing Great Characters, and others in the Thorough Primer for Writers series, into eBooks, which should be available in about three weeks.
But because he doesn't have any staff, other than a great brother who handles the finances, I and other CAP authors handle most of the marketing through blogs, articles, workshops and other in-person and online strategies. The up side is that we're independent and have learned how to market our books, which is a necessary and marketable skill I can use to help sell my next writing project to agents/publishers.
Kunati, on the other hand, publishes 26 books a year and has a full staff and an active marketing plan that includes book trailers, press releases, FAQs from readers and authors, etc. If you think this sounds like a better deal than going with a very small publisher, however, in that you could just write your book and the publisher will take care of the rest, you'd be wrong. Though bigger independents like Kunati are more aggressive in the marketplace, they expect authors to be as savvy and aggressive.
I didn't know about Kunati, or any other publisher of books for writers, at the time I wrote GGC. Rather, the opportunity came when I wrote an article for ByLine magazine about character development and Harvey Stanbrough, a reader who also happened to be the writer of two Thorough Primer for Writers books, contacted me, saying CAP was looking for someone to write a book on character development.
Regarding Martha's last question, I will certainly consider Kunati if the publisher turns out to be the best one for my next project, which is a novel titled Winter Light. Considering most publishers have their guidelines and current book titles online, there's no excuse for writers to be lazy. They should do their research and submit only if their material matches that of the publisher, otherwise writers waste their time and that of publishers.
Obviously writers should put the most advantageous publisher — regarding marketing ability, titles sold, etc. — at the top of their list when the time comes to submit. What writer doesn't want a publisher that can aggressively sell his/her book and keep the money rolling in? But sometimes those deals don't work out, so you've got to move down to the next publisher. And if you get a contract with a smaller publisher, make the most of the experience! Develop a personal relationship with the publisher, learn as much as you can about the book business and have fun spreading the word about your work.
Do you have opinions on the topic? Let me know. Otherwise—