Author Topic: Why Del Rey and I will be parting ways - from Michael J Sullivan  (Read 7160 times)  

Offline Lisa Grace

  • Status: Emily Dickinson
  • *******
  • Posts: 8177
  • Gender: Female
  • Florida, USA
  • Me
    • View Profile
    • Lisa Grace
Re: Why Del Rey and I will be parting ways - from Michael J Sullivan
« Reply #25 on: June 06, 2017, 05:05:55 PM »
The tone of this thread is really... interesting. Michael J. Sullivan was one of the first indie fantasy writers, if not one of the first indies in general, to really take off and leverage their indie success into a much wider business model. He's always been incredibly transparent about how and why he conducts his business the way he does (look in this very forum to find out why he signed with Orbit to begin with), and been an invaluable resource for hundreds of indie writers dating back to at least 2013. I don't see buyers remorse here, or anyone complaining. He's simply writing a letter to his fans and fellow indies explaining why they won't be able to find his books in B&N, Powells, etc. anymore.

Agreed. And thanks Michael, for sharing your experiences. You certainly don't have to.
 
Angel books in movie development
Lisa Grace - Where Good Meets Evil | author website | facebook | twitter | google+ | Youtube

Offline Bill Hiatt

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1567
  • Gender: Male
  • California
    • View Profile
    • Bill Hiatt's Author Website
Re: Why Del Rey and I will be parting ways - from Michael J Sullivan
« Reply #26 on: June 06, 2017, 05:10:33 PM »
Executive management is who knows if they're making payroll next quarter . . . of COURSE an editor will play the "Oh, we'd have no problem...." they can play good cop and preserve the relationship.... blame it on the big, bad executive.
I suppose it's possible that Random Penguin is at risk of not making payroll next quarter, but it seems unlikely to me. So yes, maybe the Del Rey people are playing good cop, but it's equally possible RP is just being stubborn. It wouldn't be the first large--or even small--organization that stuck to an inflexible rule that might not have been applicable. If an established author had already sold the audio rights and wanted to only make a deal for print, the print deal would make RP money, and the alternative loses that money, that seems inflexible rather than budget-conscious. What am I missing?
I don't wish Michael ill, I think he's done a great deal to help pave the way for others.... but this idea that larger corporations with much larger overhead, corporations we DO benefit on some level for existing (um, who REALLY want Amazon to have zero competition, anyone? Beuller?), are not exploiting rights when they go we will do this deal WITH this deal, or no deal. It's their balance sheet they have to negotiate from.
At the risk of repeating myself, I'm not seeing how getting no income from no rights is ever better for the balance sheet than getting some income from some rights. Sure, RP would have gotten more income from including the audio rights, but it's hard not to see the outcome they ended up with as a net loss.
This is an ecosystem. And if you take the larger animals out of the ecosystem, it actually puts all of the rest of us at greater risk. The day we go down to 3 trad publishers and Amazon imprints is the day we see 70% for indies go out the freaking window. Because what are we REALLY going to do if they drop it to 60% or 55%? Nuffin'
It's certainly true that Amazon ending up as a monopoly isn't good for anyone except Amazon. I'm just not sure how you're getting from one author who didn't want to sell audio rights to the collapse of trad publishing as we know it. Your general point is certainly a good one, but I'm not sure how it applies to this situation. If there were a mass movement of authors to abandon trad publishing no matter what, then I could see the connection. This sounds like an author trying to do what's best for him--which is what we all do. Anyway, what would we really do now if Amazon dropped to 60% or 55%? Realistically, Nuffin'. Sure, some people might rethink trad, but the publishers aren't going to have more space for new titles simply because more authors submit.


Tickling the imagination one book at a time
Bill Hiatt | fiction website | education website | Facebook author page | Twitter

Offline Dolphin

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1882
  • Gender: Male
  • Under the Sea
  • Skree'ee--eee, eeek!
    • View Profile
Re: Why Del Rey and I will be parting ways - from Michael J Sullivan
« Reply #27 on: June 06, 2017, 05:57:32 PM »
True, though the more they refuse to negotiate, the fewer writers are going to be willing to work with them. It's great that Michael is airing this. The more writers that detail tradpub's lousy deals, the better informed writers will be to make decisions that are best for their business.

But is this anything new? They've never been willing to negotiate most of their terms.

My sense has been that authors have been asking for more latitude in their contracts, like Hugh and Bella getting the print-only deals, then the publishers realize that it's more to the authors' advantage than theirs, and word goes out that the experiment has failed and should never be repeated. They're not cracking down on a tradition of negotiation--they're nipping it in the bud.

As for professionalism, I don't know. I really don't. I'm not a millionaire and I don't personally know any millionaires. I don't know what's professional in those circles. It's all wildly abstracted to me, even more than the magic in Michael's books. I can't even begin to imagine it, let alone understand the culture and social mores involved.

I seldom object to transparency, however. It's an interesting tidbit to salt away, just in case, one day, you're a millionaire too.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2017, 09:03:59 PM by Dolphin »

Offline Shelley K

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1732
    • View Profile
Re: Why Del Rey and I will be parting ways - from Michael J Sullivan
« Reply #28 on: June 06, 2017, 06:16:37 PM »
Is he the one who's wife ran a publishing company that didn't close very well because his books took off?


Several years ago his wife ran Ridan Publishing. Went gangbusters for a while, and Robin sat on a lot of panels talking about publishing. She was pretty generous with her advice here and elsewhere, and they offered a pretty good contract, had some hits (Nathan Lowell was the other big seller who springs to mind, and who still does great), but the whole thing ended quite badly. I'm not sure why it matters in the context of this thread, though.

Online Elizabeth Ann West

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3110
  • Gender: Female
  • Schenectady, NY
  • Our doubts are traitors...
    • View Profile
Re: Why Del Rey and I will be parting ways - from Michael J Sullivan
« Reply #29 on: June 06, 2017, 06:48:25 PM »
::shrug:: I read the link and the snippet. I'm not the only one seeing this on a different light than the majority, and that's okay.


Not the first author to have negotiations to not go their way so it's always the other side that's completely the unreasonable one. I don't have any times with a publisher, I am my own publisher.

But you probably won't see the other side posting about why negotiations broke down with Michael J. Sullivan, which is all that appears to have happened.


Jane-of-all-trades, mistress to none!
Elizabeth Ann West | Read My Stories Free!

Offline Shelley K

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1732
    • View Profile
Re: Why Del Rey and I will be parting ways - from Michael J Sullivan
« Reply #30 on: June 06, 2017, 06:59:55 PM »
::shrug:: I read the link and the snippet. I'm not the only one seeing this on a different light than the majority, and that's okay.

Yep, it is. I'm not seeing it any particular way, I just didn't know what the Ridan implosion has to do with it.


Online Elizabeth Ann West

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3110
  • Gender: Female
  • Schenectady, NY
  • Our doubts are traitors...
    • View Profile
Re: Why Del Rey and I will be parting ways - from Michael J Sullivan
« Reply #31 on: June 06, 2017, 07:38:30 PM »
To me, and what I remember is foggy and I didn't go digging . . . The justification for how a lot of that all went down was that now she had to focus on her husband's career as he was going trad pub and breaking out. We're getting one side of the story here re: the negotiation. Yes, there's the line at the end about MJS and Del Ray are still best buddies and would love to keep working together if only not for the parent company CEO team..... ::Shrug:: I speak double speak well myself. There's plenty in there about what happened that doesn't make me swallow the story.

The way a press release like this should go:
After x years of success with the y books, Michael J Sullivan and Del Ray have parted ways over a failure to hammer out a contract for future works. That's it. All of the stuff about the audiobook contract getting renewed and the $400,000 split in half etc.... If it wasn't allowed under his contract, then he'd sue. But if it IS what was allowed under his contract he signed, then well, that's not Penguins fault it was a business transaction.

A publisher works with authors, not for authors. The agent works for the author, but like other agent professions, has a commission that only comes if the parties come to an agreement. In the case of a husband and wife team, I suppose at least you know your spouse is probably more likely to be in your mutual favor, but that also could make them less critical of a bad contract. No one author, not even Stephen King or JK Rowling has the same negotiation standpoint of a publisher or vendor. It's not equal positions for negotiations, never will be. I remember the few months the ebooks for Harry Potter we're NOT on Amazon but only through Pottermore, and eventually that got negotiated. :)

And I brought up the publishing house thing because our industry has been reeling lately with a lot of crazy stuff. If the Sullivans suddenly start pitching a publishing house now with the experience of trad pub, if was the same people, I wanted people who came alone post 2012/2013 to know there's threads here about last time, both the good and bad. Not everything comes to Kboards and is made a thread. I know i only manage to check weekly-ish and only titles that catch my attention. It's entirely possible someone goes "great new opportunity!" And no one who remembers the name of the old Publishing company even sees it to be like "do what you want it worked great for some, but at least know the history of what you're getting into...."

Again, I might be totally wrong. I may just becoming the cranky old EAW who's always worried too much about the newbies. LOL  But I think a lot of people get hurt because there's no real easy way to find the history of what's been a very monumental 7 years. No one thought we indies would ever really grasp a significant portion of the market share.... We are one giant amoeba moving in a million directions at once, but we hold a significant portion of the yearly revenue in ebooks, in audiobooks, and gaining in print as more print sales move to online...there's been a lot of highlights and a great collective knowledge base passed on through class to class of new indie publishers, but the signals do fade over time. ... And lately, I'm seeing more and more indie authors taking advantage of their own, NOT trad pub screwing indie authors on deals for specific rights....trad pub never liked to negotiate individual formats like a print only deal that's not new. Nor does any publisher like to bid on properties where the other rights have already been sold...what that company does with their piece of the IP could totally derail the marketing plans or launch of another format. It's just business.


Jane-of-all-trades, mistress to none!
Elizabeth Ann West | Read My Stories Free!

Offline AliceW

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1635
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Why Del Rey and I will be parting ways - from Michael J Sullivan
« Reply #32 on: June 06, 2017, 08:42:43 PM »
::shrug:: I read the link and the snippet. I'm not the only one seeing this on a different light than the majority, and that's okay.

You weren't the only one. I read ...renewed the contract for those books for $400,000 and you guessed it. I only get $200,000 of that money. That kind of "hit" hurts...greatly. And see someone complaining they only received 200k instead of 400k, which seems a bit of a first world problem. Personally I'd celebrate getting $200 for audio rights, assuming anyone was even interested, let alone 200k. That and what I saw go on with the kickstarters, gave me a certain impression. Others see it differently. Everyone is entitled to their opinion.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2017, 08:45:05 PM by AliceW »

Offline blubarry

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 150
    • View Profile
Re: Why Del Rey and I will be parting ways - from Michael J Sullivan
« Reply #33 on: June 06, 2017, 09:11:26 PM »
You weren't the only one. I read ...renewed the contract for those books for $400,000 and you guessed it. I only get $200,000 of that money. That kind of "hit" hurts...greatly. And see someone complaining they only received 200k instead of 400k, which seems a bit of a first world problem. Personally I'd celebrate getting $200 for audio rights, assuming anyone was even interested, let alone 200k. That and what I saw go on with the kickstarters, gave me a certain impression. Others see it differently. Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

Would you rather him not share? I think there's value in him realizing that he learned from his experience... and sharing for others.

He said: "I couldn't be happier with how Del Rey has treated me, and there have been no conflicts with "creative differences," missed deadlines, or other issues that tend to derail authors' careers.
So what's the problem? We are in a catch-22 because both of us see the audio rights as extremely valuable and refuse to let them go. To give you a little background, I always try to limit the rights transferred in the primary contract. This is why I only do "World English" or "North American English" and attempt to reserve my audio rights."

Any business minded author should do a similar analysis. I think it's great he's sharing how much other audio publishers are offering. His audio rights are worth more than signing away entire rights, knowing he won't have bookstore access. That tells you how much the audio market has expanded. That's incredibly helpful information for him to share.

Online A J Sika

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 157
    • View Profile
Re: Why Del Rey and I will be parting ways - from Michael J Sullivan
« Reply #34 on: June 07, 2017, 01:47:04 AM »
You weren't the only one. I read ...renewed the contract for those books for $400,000 and you guessed it. I only get $200,000 of that money. That kind of "hit" hurts...greatly. And see someone complaining they only received 200k instead of 400k, which seems a bit of a first world problem. Personally I'd celebrate getting $200 for audio rights, assuming anyone was even interested, let alone 200k. That and what I saw go on with the kickstarters, gave me a certain impression. Others see it differently. Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

You're getting blinded by the dollar signs and missing his point. Does it really matter how much he made? Whether it was 200 grand or 200 million? What matters is what percentage he got for giving up his audio rights and whether in the long run the publishers actually deserved that amount for the value they gave him. Isn't that what all authors should consider when going into any type of deal? As for the kickstarter issue - I have no idea what it's about but it has nothing to do with the matter under discussion.


I appreciate Michael writing the post because now we know that audio rights are quite valuable and not to just hand them over without serious thought and negotiation
« Last Edit: June 07, 2017, 05:53:58 AM by A J Sika »
"If you have a dream don't just sit there. Gather courage to believe you can succeed and leave no stone unturned to make it a reality." - Roopleen

Offline Abalone

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 883
    • View Profile
Re: Why Del Rey and I will be parting ways - from Michael J Sullivan
« Reply #35 on: June 07, 2017, 02:55:06 AM »
Not surprising at all.

Online Kate.

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1094
  • Gender: Female
  • Australia
    • View Profile
Re: Why Del Rey and I will be parting ways - from Michael J Sullivan
« Reply #36 on: June 07, 2017, 04:00:36 AM »
I actually think the audio deal was fair.

Print sales influence audio sales; every bestselling audiobook was a bestselling paperback/ebook first. Even if his publishers don't spend a cent on promoting the audio, I'll bet they have a hefty budget for the print book. It's fair they get a slice of the audiobook sales they're propping up.

Offline This_Way_Down

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 540
    • View Profile
Re: Why Del Rey and I will be parting ways - from Michael J Sullivan
« Reply #37 on: June 07, 2017, 04:13:34 AM »
Michael J. Sullivan has done more for the credibility of indie work than almost any other writer I know. He is free with his advice, transparent about the industry, and courteous to those who approach him. If he wants to vent, he's earned that right. At least when he does it, he informs people at the same time, rather than spew vitriol.
Through Michael, I have learned more about the actual industry, than from any other source. And if you read what he wrote about his situation, you'll catch a glimpse into the business end of traditional publishing that is rare to come across.   

Offline Jana DeLeon

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1092
    • View Profile
    • Author website:
Re: Why Del Rey and I will be parting ways - from Michael J Sullivan
« Reply #38 on: June 07, 2017, 05:20:29 AM »
Bottom line - publishers are worse than ever on the rights grab thing and authors need to be very careful about what they sign away. The more people who bring these points up, the more newer authors are informed of what to look for and what to ask for. I'm tired of hearing that publishers have overhead. Yeah, I've visited their offices in Manhattan and NO ONE needs that kind of overhead. The author IS the talent and with indie publishing, it's the first time the artist is actually getting paid more than the pencil pushers.

The amount is NOT the issue and all the "I wish I had that problem" sort of posts just sound like sour grapes and is one of the biggest reasons that successful authors stop posting here. The only thing that matters is the percentage of profit that publishers are hoarding rather than paying the creator a fair amount for the existence of the product that is supporting everyone. I'm sorry if some of you think the author should be the lowest paid in that scenario. I've alway had a problem with that setup, especially when I was trade pubbed and there were no other options, taking pennies for my work when the other 92% was going to pay for high rises in NYC.
NY Times and USA Today bestselling author

Offline WHDean

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1905
  • Gender: Male
  • Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    • View Profile
Re: Why Del Rey and I will be parting ways - from Michael J Sullivan
« Reply #39 on: June 07, 2017, 08:31:36 AM »

I reread the reddit post. I don't think there's buyer's remorse here. It sounds like Michael and Robin sold the audio rights to some of the newer books before negotiating with Del Rey for the print rights, and made it clear to Del Rey that the audio rights aren't open to negotiation, but Del Rey refuses to waive that part of it. So even though Del Rey wants to do business with Michael for print rights on the new stuff, the dictates from on high in Del Rey means they can't.

You're right. The snippets are misleading--my bad for going by them. He's really giving a very round-about explanation of why he parted ways with Del Rey.

 

Offline Craig Andrews

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 268
  • Gender: Male
  • Portland, OR
    • View Profile
    • Craig Andrews Website
Re: Why Del Rey and I will be parting ways - from Michael J Sullivan
« Reply #40 on: June 07, 2017, 09:03:39 AM »
::shrug:: I read the link and the snippet. I'm not the only one seeing this on a different light than the majority, and that's okay.

Not the first author to have negotiations to not go their way so it's always the other side that's completely the unreasonable one. I don't have any times with a publisher, I am my own publisher.

But you probably won't see the other side posting about why negotiations broke down with Michael J. Sullivan, which is all that appears to have happened.

You weren't the only one. I read ...renewed the contract for those books for $400,000 and you guessed it. I only get $200,000 of that money. That kind of "hit" hurts...greatly. And see someone complaining they only received 200k instead of 400k, which seems a bit of a first world problem. Personally I'd celebrate getting $200 for audio rights, assuming anyone was even interested, let alone 200k. That and what I saw go on with the kickstarters, gave me a certain impression. Others see it differently. Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

The issue here is that he's not walking away from Del Rey because of that contract. Many people in this thread seem to think he's unhappy with his current deal and trying to renegotiate to gain exclusive audio rights, which isn't the case at all. His current deal is for print and eBook only, with him having sold his audio rights before he sold his print and eBook rights to Del Rey. The publisher is the party trying to renegotiate and force the author to take a different deal, which would result in the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Sullivan is not trying to renegotiate for more money, but prevent the publisher from taking 50% of audio sales in which he's currently earning 100%. My concern with this thread and the tone of some of the replies is that this isn't a matter of opinion, it's a matter of misrepresented or misunderstood facts.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2017, 10:24:25 AM by Craig Andrews »

Offline Rosalind J

  • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
  • *******
  • Posts: 5223
    • View Profile
Re: Why Del Rey and I will be parting ways - from Michael J Sullivan
« Reply #41 on: June 07, 2017, 10:30:58 AM »
The tone of this thread is really... interesting. Michael J. Sullivan was one of the first indie fantasy writers, if not one of the first indies in general, to really take off and leverage their indie success into a much wider business model. He's always been incredibly transparent about how and why he conducts his business the way he does (look in this very forum to find out why he signed with Orbit to begin with), and been an invaluable resource for hundreds of indie writers dating back to at least 2013. I don't see buyers remorse here, or anyone complaining. He's simply writing a letter to his fans and fellow indies explaining why they won't be able to find his books in B&N, Powells, etc. anymore.
Yep. Helpful and transparent. I don't understand the purpose of dissing people like Michael who were among the first to share information and empower authors. I'll add that just because you earn good money, that doesn't mean you somehow don't "deserve" more because you have enough. That's not really a businesslike attitude. 
« Last Edit: June 07, 2017, 10:56:14 AM by Rosalind J »

Offline Bards and Sages (Julie)

  • Status: Harvey Chute
  • *********
  • Posts: 12828
  • Gender: Female
  • New Jersey
  • Her Royal Sithiness
    • View Profile
    • Bards and Sages Publishing
Re: Why Del Rey and I will be parting ways - from Michael J Sullivan
« Reply #42 on: June 07, 2017, 10:41:45 AM »
So for all the folks complaining how publishers refuse to negotiate, how did your last negotiation with Amazon go?

Writer, Publisher, Game Designer, Resident Sith
Julie Ann Dawson | Blog | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | eFesitival of Words

Offline Rosalind J

  • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
  • *******
  • Posts: 5223
    • View Profile
Re: Why Del Rey and I will be parting ways - from Michael J Sullivan
« Reply #43 on: June 07, 2017, 10:49:21 AM »
So for all the folks complaining how publishers refuse to negotiate, how did your last negotiation with Amazon go?
If you mean Amazon Publishing or Audible Studios--yes, one negotiates with them.

KDP is not a publisher, nor is ACX. They're distributors, like iBooks, Nook, Google Play, etc. If you sell enough books, they may give you favorable treatment, but they're not going to change their distribution terms.

I don't understand the point of this question.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2017, 10:52:02 AM by Rosalind J »

Offline Shelley K

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1732
    • View Profile
Re: Why Del Rey and I will be parting ways - from Michael J Sullivan
« Reply #44 on: June 07, 2017, 10:54:05 AM »
Yep. Helpful and transparent. I don't like dissing people like Michael who were among the first to share information and empower authors. And just because you earn good money, that doesn't mean you somehow don't "deserve" more because you have enough.

Agreed all around. I'd rather not go back to the good old bad old days when people didn't share their contracts and royalties and newbs were pretty much in the dark. I think that sharing has been a key part of more writers earning more money than ever before. Regardless of people's personal opinions about him or his wife, the kind of transparency he's offering shouldn't be discouraged.

Offline Bards and Sages (Julie)

  • Status: Harvey Chute
  • *********
  • Posts: 12828
  • Gender: Female
  • New Jersey
  • Her Royal Sithiness
    • View Profile
    • Bards and Sages Publishing
Re: Why Del Rey and I will be parting ways - from Michael J Sullivan
« Reply #45 on: June 07, 2017, 11:00:07 AM »
I don't understand the point of this question.

The point is only that there are certain individuals that love to bash publishers in general while singing Amazon's praises, even when Amazon has far more restrictive terms than a lot of publishers.

And, yeah, KDP is not a publisher...which is sort of the point. Technically, they are just a way of making your work available on Amazon, but they exert an incredible amount of control over your finished product for a company that is "not" a publisher. KDP's terms are, in many ways, far more restrictive than a lot of publishers.

Writer, Publisher, Game Designer, Resident Sith
Julie Ann Dawson | Blog | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | eFesitival of Words

Offline GeneDoucette

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1591
    • View Profile
    • Gene Doucette's Blog
Re: Why Del Rey and I will be parting ways - from Michael J Sullivan
« Reply #46 on: June 07, 2017, 11:10:09 AM »
KDP's terms are, in many ways, far more restrictive than a lot of publishers.

Gotta ask what you mean by that. I've had publishing contracts. They kept more than 30%, controlled the release date, and made me do most of the marketing. By this statement, do you mean Select? Because otherwise I'm not sure I get your point here.

Offline Shelley K

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1732
    • View Profile
Re: Why Del Rey and I will be parting ways - from Michael J Sullivan
« Reply #47 on: June 07, 2017, 11:16:42 AM »
Gotta ask what you mean by that. I've had publishing contracts. They kept more than 30%, controlled the release date, and made me do most of the marketing. By this statement, do you mean Select? Because otherwise I'm not sure I get your point here.

Even then, Select is optional, and you can still take your book out of it at any time with only the remainder of a 90-day term before you publish it elsewhere. I don't see how publishing with KDP, Select or not, is anywhere near as restrictive as a publishing contract with any publisher, small press on up.

Offline This_Way_Down

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 540
    • View Profile
Re: Why Del Rey and I will be parting ways - from Michael J Sullivan
« Reply #48 on: June 07, 2017, 12:13:57 PM »
Raise your hand if you've ever had to negotiate with a publisher. EVER! How about that poster calling Michael unprofessional. The publishers beating down your door darlin'?

Offline Annie B

  • Status: A A Milne
  • ******
  • Posts: 4863
    • View Profile
    • My website
Re: Why Del Rey and I will be parting ways - from Michael J Sullivan
« Reply #49 on: June 07, 2017, 12:17:21 PM »
If you don't go into negotiations with a publisher knowing what you are worth and what rights you are and are not willing to part with (and a price in mind for those rights), I think you are going in to get fleeced, sorry.  What Michael did is good business. He knew what his rights are worth, he knew what he was and wasn't willing to sell, and when the time came, he walked away rather than giving up more for less.

S&S wanted to buy ebook and print rights from me. I told them it would be at least 2 mil up front. We negotiated for the print rights after that, since they were far less valuable to me in terms of what I could earn over a 5-10 year period.  I probably could have sold the ebook rights also for money that people in this thread would die to see apparently, but I didn't... because it would have been bad business on my part.  I knew my number, based on previous sales and projected sales, and I stuck with it.  Michael is doing the same. He knows what his stuff is worth. The money amount doesn't matter... his audio is worth more to him than publishers are willing to pay for it and that's what matters. So he made the smart business decision that worked for him.  I'm glad he was willing to share the why and how of it with real numbers. That kind of information is golden for people who might find themselves in a similar position someday and wondering "is this worth it" etc.