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Jim Hines - The Gospels of Publishing

Discussion in 'Publishing' started by A. E. Lowan, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. stephenspower

    stephenspower Inkling


    Thanks for the details response. I'm speaking about my experience at publishers Big 5 and not. Just a few thoughts:

    Term: Yea, no pubilsher is going to change this for an original title, but if it's a reprint maybe you can get the old paperback terms, usually 7 years, and throw in a couple of plus ones in case the book hasn't earned out.

    Out of print: $750 seems reasonable. Frankly, it makes sense to go out of print and pulp unmoving stock long before it gets to this point.

    Non-compete: Excellent defanging. The key is get publishers to see the language from your point of view and consider the ramifications on your career. That said, if any publisher ever tried to say, You can't publish in your world after we've given up on you, the halls of agentdom would resound with shields and swords getting ready for battle. No author with a continuing character could ever move, and that happens all the time. In addition, if someone else made the character/world work, again the original publisher would sell the earlier backlist titles, which every new reader would turn to.

    Joint accounting. This makes sense for publishers. Are their contracts with an author or for a series of single titles? In this the author has to share the risk. Why should an author get to benefit from one book that earns out while the publisher is sitting on unearned advances for other books?

    Rights. Yes, a publisher will want ebook rights just as they'll want pb rights. A book is a book is a book in their minds. If you can sell audio separately, try. It's a growing part of the market. Most of the books I read are audio books. I wonder if Amazon has set up such a program with their audio divisioin to cater to self-published authors.

  2. MichaelSullivan

    MichaelSullivan Maester

    I will be watching the warehouse numbers and if they ever do stop re-printing, then yeah I'll ask for just that right back - they may grant it.

    A little better than $500 - but I still think it is ridiculously low. I'm publishing with them because they can produce me an income. When we get down to a few dollars a day - that's not paying the bills - and since I know I could do better than that on my own, I would prefer for it to revert.

    Yeah, but what about "before they've given up on you." I should be free to move books to other publishers or self if I don't like what they are doing. So why agentdom may get upset at what you mentioned. I want them to consider what is best for ANY future work of mine - and that may mean not being with the same publisher. And yes it does happen all the time because most publishers haven't enforced the non-competes...but can I have that dagger hanging over my head - no.

    It is an indication of where the power lies. Look, one party is going to get "the better side of this" - joint accounted = better for publisher, non-joint = better for author. You question why they should benefit but I can say the same thing back. Why should I give up royalties that book #1 earned?

    They may see it that way, but to me each right is a potential revenue stream. Pay me a big sum for audio - and I might sign it over. But they just want it "thrown in." Yes Amazon has ACX to cater to self-published authors and they have an amazing royalty for them 50% - 90% if exclusive 25% - 70% if non-exclusive. I really wish I would have been able to keep my rights and use ACX as I would be VERY wealthy if I did.

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