Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Hachette/Grand Central

Dear Author

Monday News: Self publish titles made up 25% of bestselling titles...

  • Self published titles made up 25% of the bestselling titles on Amazon in 2012. That means traditional publishing is still dominating.
  • Four independent authors have sold more than a million copies including Colleen Hoover, Bella Andre, and Hugh Howey 
  • 23 have sold more than 250,000.
  • More than 60 self published authors have landed deals with traditional publishers.
  • Ebooks are still the fastest growing segment of the publishing industry with ebook sales crowing 36% in the first three quarters of 2012 as opposed to the fall of mass market by 17% and hardcover by 24%. WSJ.com

I emailed Bella Andre and asked her what she attributed her rise up the charts. She replied:

For my very first original self-published release (LOVE ME, released July 2010 in ebook only) I wrote a personal email to every reader who had ever written to me over the course of five years to let them know I had finally written and released the sequel to TAKE ME, which Pocket had put out in 2005. I do think that helped spur the initial sales of that book, but with my next original self-published release (GAME FOR LOVE, December 2010) I think it was more that the cover and book description interested new readers who had all just started buying e-readers and were looking for books to buy and were open to trying new authors.

Amazon is apparently working on developing work for hire talent that will write novelizations of digital video productions including straight novelizations of original work and fan fiction of those worlds.   paidContent

Bad boys, good girls; bad girls, good boys; girl next door meets new boy next door, small-town boy meets big-city girl; romance at home; romance on holiday; unlikely romance, likely romance; he loves you, you don’t love him; he loves her, you love her; overcoming the odds, first love, based on fan fiction, realistic or fantasy – we want it all.”

How this works is that Random House acquires the book and then instead of providing a money advance, it is offering to advance the services of publishing professionals such as editors, copyeditors, cover artists, distribution, and publicity managers. Once those unspecified costs are met, then and only then, will the author be entitled to 50% of the profit. The contract is for life of copyright. There are no standard reversion rights that were clarified.

The Science Fiction Writers Association took Random House to task over this contract and has indicated that it won’t accept any books published through the Hydra imprint for any SFWA awards. SFWA doesn’t recognize any non advance paying publisher at this point. 

It’s hard to say when Hydra and Flirt would be a good option for the author. The public terms aren’t favorable and if RH is unwilling to negotiate on things like identifying specific costs that are to be assessed against the author or the reversion rights, then it’s not likely ever to be a good deal.

It’s important for authors to do their due diligence. Don’t sign on to a contract just because it’s associated with a big name. We’ve yet to see one of these big houses propel an author forward on the big brand of the publishing house alone. Most publishing houses would even acknowledge that they have no brand power amongst readers. Publishers Weekly

Dear Author

Friday News: Hachette’s Forever and Forever Imprint announces major expansion; Apple...

I think you can now mark that rumor confirmed as Apple has filed a patent for “bi-stable spring with flexible display.” The abstract says “A wearable accessory device is disclosed. The wearable accessory device includes a flexible display coupled to a bi-stable spring. Coupling the display to the bi-stable spring allows the accessory device to be easily worn in a number of convenient locations. Quartz

This is a huge increase but I’ve heard that the major expansion will take place under the Forever Yours digital only arm.  It may be that authors may be published with digital first arm and print to be determined at a later date based on the success of the digital.

No word on the pricing of the digital first books.  Forever and Forever Yours plans to hire new staff to meet the increased output goals.  The press release (in the spoiler banner) identifies several self published authors Forever has acquired which may signal the way forward.

UPDATED:  I received an update on the upcoming publishing schedule for Forever/Forever Yours

  • We’ve got 14 historicals in Forever (print) coming out in 2013 and 16 in 2014.The # in 2014 will be going up.
  • In 2013 (July onward), we’re looking at roughly 4-6 print books a month, 7 Forever yours digital titles a month.
  • In 2014, we’re looking at roughly 6 Forever print books a month, 10 Forever Yours digital titles a month.
[spoiler]Grand Central Publishing (GCP) announced today a major initiative to expand its romance publishing program over the next two years.   Celebrating its 10 year anniversary this year, GCP’s romance imprint Forever and its year-old e-book only imprint Forever Yours will expand from a 2012 list of 64 titles to approximately 120 titles in 2013 and over 190 titles in 2014.  As part of this growth initiative, Forever will be adding to its editorial and marketing staff.

Forever is the home of bestselling writers Elizabeth Hoyt, Jill Shalvis, and Larissa Ione and in recent months has acquired rising stars Jessica Sorensen, Kelli Maine, and J.A. Redmerski .  It publishes its titles in a mix of trade paperback, mass market, e-book and audio formats.

Beth de Guzman, founding editor of Forever and VP, Digital and Paperback Publisher, GCP, said of the expansion, “From the beginning, Forever has always been dedicated to publishing the highest quality romance books.   With the romance audience more robust and diverse than at any other time, we are thrilled to expand our program to match the insatiable demand in the marketplace for romance books in every format available.”

Amy Pierpont, Executive Editor, GCP, and Editorial Director, Forever and Forever Yours, said, “Romance readers are talking, and Forever is listening! Fans want more books from their favorite authors, they want them published more frequently, and they’re eager to discover new favorite authors and series. Forever’s expansion allows us to bring readers exactly what they’re asking for—and more.”

Jamie Raab, President and Publisher of GCP, said “We’ve always held a deep belief in the importance of the romance genre to our publishing program and Hachette Book Group is giving its full support to the expansion of Forever and Forever Yours.  What we’ve accomplished in the last 10 years is remarkable and I’m sure will be even more impressive moving forward.”

About Forever and Forever Yours

Forever, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing, publishes romantic fiction, ranging from light-hearted and contemporary to dramatic and historical, as well as erotica, romantic suspense and enthralling paranormal. Authors include Jessica Sorensen, J.A. Redmerski, Kristen Ashley, Roxanne St. Claire, Vicky Dreiling, and Kristen Callihan.  Forever Yours is the digital-first sister of the Forever romance imprint, and publishes e-books featuring both new, original works and classic romance titles from Forever’s rich backlist.   For more information about Forever and Forever Yours, visit their website at www.forever-romance.com.

About Hachette Book Group:

Hachette Book Group (HBG) is a leading trade publisher based in New York and a division of Hachette Livre, the second-largest trade and educational publisher in the world. HBG publishes under the divisions of Little, Brown and Company, Little Brown Books for Young Readers, Grand Central Publishing, Hachette Nashville, Orbit, and Hachette Digital.

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