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