Tuesday News: Bella Andre inks print only deal with Harlequin; New digital first imprint launches; Legal Geeks teach contract law via FireFly
New digital imprint launched by ex-Harlequin Marketing Controller – Oliver Rhodes, a former Harlequin Marketing Controller (I’m not really sure what this position is), has launched Bookouture, a new digital publishing imprint which appears to be focused on women. The press release stated: “At Bookouture we’re offering authors great digital royalties (45% of net receipts); global publication; and a global vision for their brand, social media and marketing. The name ‘Bookouture’ is a hint to the bespoke nature of our offering. Our publishing and marketing is tailored to each author’s writing – not the other way round. We’re currently seeking submissions of entertaining fiction targeted at smart, modern women. That could be anything from Contemporary Romance to Steampunk – author voice is more important than genre.”
I asked a few follow up questions about DRM, launch date, and geo restrictions:
- We’re hoping to announce our first acquisition (a three book deal) in the next couple of weeks – just subject to getting the contract signed. The first of those books is being line-edited at the moment and *should* be out in November. Certainly before Christmas.
- We’re not using DRM except where it’s enforced by the retailer. eBooks will be available in all major eBook retailers, and most of the minor ones, but we’re not currently going to sell through our own site.
- And we’re publishing globally in English language – one of the things we’re passionate about is building global author brands – something made more difficult with the territorial rights of traditional publishers. My Inbox
Firefly & Lessons in Contract Law – Reader Merrian sent me this link. It is a fun explanation of contract law using Firefly as examples. Contracts are formed by an offer, acceptance and an exchange of consideration. Consideration is the “thing” that is exchanged. It can be money, pigs, a specific act (like performing a concert), or in the case of Firefly, sword fights. It’s a quick and fun post and I think you’ll come away with a better understanding of how you form contracts regularly. The Legal Geeks
Harlequin acquires self-publishing sensation Bella Andre’s Sullivan series – I saw this come across the newswire: “TORONTO, Oct. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Harlequin announced the acquisition of New York Times bestselling and digital phenomenon Bella Andre’s Sullivan series in a major seven-figure deal. Executive editor Valerie Gray, Harlequin MIRA, secured world English print rights. Steven Axelrod at The Axelrod Agency brokered the deal.”
I asked Bella Andre if she would elaborate on the deal. She said
I am beyond thrilled to have made this print-only deal with Harlequin MIRA. They will be doing a major global paperback launch of all 8 Sullivan books in US, UK, Canada and Australia starting summer 2013.
I have retained all ebook rights, foreign translation rights, audio rights and film rights in the 7 figure print-only deal and will continue to be self-publishing the Sullivan ebooks with all major retailers. Let Me Be The One, The Sullivan’s #6 ebook has spent the past 3 weeks on the nyt ebook bestseller lists and I will be self-publishing the 7th book in the series as an ebook this winter.
Yes, I will absolutely continue to self-publish all of my ebooks just as I have for the past 2 years. The very exciting addition now is that all of the Sullivan books will have extremely wide paperback print distribution with Harlequin MIRA in the major English language markets worldwide. Their enthusiasm and excitement for the series is absolutely wonderful – and exactly what I always wanted to see happen for my Sullivan books on the print side.
Publisher-Library Feud over E-Books Heats Up – Copyright and Technology lays out the grim future for libraries and digital books. If publishers don’t allow libraries reasonable licenses the only lending libraries will be the ones offered by retailers to entice readers to their proprietary platforms. C&T suggests that the only solution is for Congress to pass a narrow First Sale exception for digital goods as it relates to libraries. Copyright and Technology
The Belle Andre deal is smart business. And I think Harlequin were a good choice for her to go with for print distribution. Will be really interesting to watch this partnership develop. Good on Bella for doing it for herself.
I agree about the Andre deal. She’s done some smart negotiating there, working out what’s worth selling through a publisher and what she’s keeping for herself. I think she’s always been a great model of self-publishing done in a business-like fashion and this is no different. Unlike other self-pub successes who seem to have been happy to sign any deal they’re offered, she knows she’s negotiating from a position of strength. Good for her.
Bella Andre is a smart and savvy businesswoman. I especially admire how she quietly goes about her business, not getting up on a soapbox pretending to have all the answers about publishing. She just sets a good example by her hard work and smart choices, and she’s making the current system work for her very well.