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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/2011/05/bea-2011-day-three.html

"Barry Eisler announced today during his presentation at Publishers Launch Conference, an event held alongside BEA, that he has signed "within the hour" a deal with Thomas and Mercer, the new crime imprint at Amazon.

In response to the moderator's question, Eisler also revealed he was receiving an advance "comparable to the one offered by Minotaur" which is widely rumored to be near $500,000."
 

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Jamie Case said:
http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/2011/05/bea-2011-day-three.html

"Barry Eisler announced today during his presentation at Publishers Launch Conference, an event held alongside BEA, that he has signed "within the hour" a deal with Thomas and Mercer, the new crime imprint at Amazon.

In response to the moderator's question, Eisler also revealed he was receiving an advance "comparable to the one offered by Minotaur" which is widely rumored to be near $500,000."
Very intersting. Thanks for the post.
 

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Intriguing, as Eisler and Konrath (who's also got a book coming out with Thomas and Mercer, as I recall) have been two of the most ardent advocates of self-publishing. Eisler said recently on Konrath's blog, in reference to turning down a half-million dollar advance:

I know it'll seem crazy to a lot of people, but based on what's happening in the industry, and based on the kind of experience writers like you are having in self-publishing, I think I can do better in the long term on my own.
I wonder why these authors don't want to sign with one of the Big Six, but are willing to sign with Amazon? Does Amazon give them more leeway in cover design and editing and so forth?

In any event, it just goes to show you that self-pubbing and signing with publishers can co-exist. :)
 

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EllenFisher said:
Intriguing, as Eisler and Konrath (who's also got a book coming out with Thomas and Mercer, as I recall) have been two of the most ardent advocates of self-publishing. Eisler said recently on Konrath's blog, in reference to turning down a half-million dollar advance:

I wonder why these authors don't want to sign with one of the Big Six, but are willing to sign with Amazon? Does Amazon give them more leeway in cover design and editing and so forth?

In any event, it just goes to show you that self-pubbing and signing with publishers can co-exist. :)
The near 70% ebook royalties just MIGHT have something to do with it. On that link he also hints that he may have more control or at least that you'd have to see his contract to analyze it.

Edit: Let's get real here. How many of us would turn down 1/2 a million bucks AND 70% ebook royalties? Really. Nor does this say that everything he writes or has ever written has to be included in the deal.

It's all about options and the ability to do what is best for oneself. DWS and Kris Rusch have long been giving that advice.
 

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Seems we had two models. One was legacy, and the other was self-publishing. Now the Amazon system makes it three models.

If print royalties are similar between Amazon and legacy, and retail price is similar, then Amazon will be making very good money from print.
 

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Oh, I don't disagree it's a good deal, for sure.  But it changes the landscape a little.  As Terrence says, now there are three models, not two.  It kind of changes everything Konrath has been talking about-- now the choice isn't necessarily between self-pubbing for 70% but no advance on one hand and lower royalties/advance on the other, but we also have the added possibility of high royalties/high advance/someone else to handle cover and editing.  (Not to imply that every author they sign will get an advance of $500,000, but even if their average author only gets $5000, that would be a nice thing to have along with 70% royalties, wouldn't it?)
 

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I have to say that I understand why someone would take such a deal.

With traditional publishing, it seems that there is little control over anything but less responsibility.

With self-publishing, it seems that there is great control over everything and great responsibility.

With Amazon's imprints, it seems that that there is good control and not that much responsibility. After all, Amazon does the promoting for the author.

There's also the fact of royalties. When someone purchased a book from Amazon, the money was split three ways: Amazon, the publisher, and the author. You get a bigger cut when you remove one of them from the picture.
 

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It will be interesting to see how prevalent Konrath and Eisler's ad placements are on Amazon. My guess would be the "publisher" will foot the bill of advertising on itself ;). 70% royalties on eBooks, full control over editors/artists, and any type of preference in the world's largest book retailer?

Curious to hear about the actual offers from Amazon. The big 6 have a BIG reason to worry if Amazon can offer this full service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Reading these responses makes me feel like a hardened cynic.

If a higher royalty rate was all it took to get Eisler to sign on the dotted line, then this was never about a revolution. It was about renegotiating the terms of his contract in light of new developments. And kudos to Eisler, he managed to bag that new and improved contract. But it does make a lot of what was said before ring hollow. Because no matter whose name is on the letterhead, the math still holds true...he stood to make more as a self-pubber than as a traditionally published author.

What's interesting is the fact that the success of Amazon's publishing venture hinges on the health of the print market and the bookstores that service them. Konrath has been predicting the collapse of both of those things to anyone with an RSS reader. I'm not too surprised that he and Eisler don't see Amazon as a legacy publisher. Saves them the trouble of having to eat their words.

 

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I agree that it's kudos to Eisler. We have no way of knowing the details of the contract or the degree of control he managed to negotiate. I suspect it's more than with a legacy publisher, but how can we know?

Where I don't agree is your dismissal of the financial consideration. The difference between 14% into the author's pocket and 70% is ... *shrug* It's nothing to be dismissed.

I think DWS and Kris Rusch have in some ways a much more balanced view of the whole process that we're seeing an evolution of publishing which doesn't mean that publishing companies will disappear but that the ones that survive will have evolved. And that there is now room for the self-published who can no longer be dismissed out-of-hand.

Edit: If he is getting nearly the same royalty as self-pubbed on ebooks (which is what the article says) AND getting print books into bookstores, I think you are quite wrong that he would have done better remaining completely self-pubbed. It looks as though he may well laugh all the way to the bank.

At any rate, whatever he may have said in the past, he has every right to do what is best for his own career. I assume that's what he did and that's what we should all do.

 

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Jamie Case said:
Reading these responses makes me feel like a hardened cynic.

If a higher royalty rate was all it took to get Eisler to sign on the dotted line, then this was never about a revolution. It was about renegotiating the terms of his contract in light of new developments. And kudos to Eisler, he managed to bag that new and improved contract. But it does make a lot of what was said before ring hollow. Because no matter whose name is on the letterhead, the math still holds true...he stood to make more as a self-pubber than as a traditionally published author.

What's interesting is the fact that the success of Amazon's publishing venture hinges on the health of the print market and the bookstores that service them. Konrath has been predicting the collapse of both of those things to anyone with an RSS reader. I'm not too surprised that he and Eisler don't see Amazon as a legacy publisher. Saves them the trouble of having to eat their words.
Except Amazon is making just as much on the eBooks with Eisler self-publishing as they were with him going through a big 6 OR self publishing. What you are seeing here is Amazon responding to authors and changing the game. You want more control over your contracts? Okay. You want an almost identical return on eBooks which you see as the future? No problem. When Eisler and Konrath left traditional publishing, there was no such other option.

What you are seeing is Amazon convincing hardened skeptics of traditional publishing that there is a third option that wasn't discussed because the only player that could realistically offer this kind of deal was Amazon. Part of me is scared for what this could do to competition (there is literally no way that big 6 can compete with this contract), and another part of me is fascinated that such an option could exist. If we are reading these reports correctly, Amazon has offered these guys full control, 70% eBook royalty, and potentially direct access to the world's largest retailer.

I mean, let that sink in for a moment. This is astounding. The full advertisment and algorithm channeling power of Amazon directly at the fingertips of authors AND 70% eBook royalties? Along with what is probably a huge discount to CreateSpace print publishing?

These are authors, not revolutionaries here. This was always an issue about creative control along with eBook royalties. Konrath's spite was against the traditional publishers who wouldn't change to meet the eBook revolution. Amazon is NOT a traditional publisher.
 

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Anyone who's followed Konrath's blog for any length of time knows full well that he does not believe his future is in print publishing. In the new publishing paradigm, he considers print a subsidiary right. He's stated many times that print is dead, and in the future will only exist as a niche market. He claims he can make far more money self-publishing ebooks. He claims, in fact, that he has gotten "rich" from his ebooks.

Beyond that, Barry Eisler is on the Konrath team, so to speak. Along with Blake Crouch and a few other regulars who participate over at The Newbies Guide. They all espouse the same mantra. I'm not judging that, or even saying that it's wrong. But it does make this latest news an interesting development for sure.

When you position yourself at the head of a movement, as Joe has done, and speak your opinions so loudly and vehemently, well then you set yourself up for a lot of scrutiny. That's when the true "agendas" become clear. Remember, it's not what someone says that counts, it's what he does.
 

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Oh, hey, I didn't know Blake Crouch had signed with them, too. Awesome-- I loved Run.

They all espouse the same mantra. I'm not judging that, or even saying that it's wrong. But it does make this latest news an interesting development for sure.
The fact that all three of these guys have signed with Amazon's new imprint says something about where they feel the future of publishing is, I think. They have seen the future and it is Amazon, apparently. ;D
 

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EllenFisher said:
Oh, hey, I didn't know Blake Crouch had signed with them, too. Awesome-- I loved Run.

The fact that all three of these guys have signed with Amazon's new imprint says something about where they feel the future of publishing is, I think. They have seen the future and it is Amazon, apparently. ;D
Yes, this much is clear.

So I wonder, does Thomas and Mercer handle the print and ebooks? I mean, they are the publisher, right?
 

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EllenFisher said:
Oh, hey, I didn't know Blake Crouch had signed with them, too. Awesome-- I loved Run.

The fact that all three of these guys have signed with Amazon's new imprint says something about where they feel the future of publishing is, I think. They have seen the future and it is Amazon, apparently. ;D
He and Joe are co-writing Stirred. Blake's villain, Luther, meet's Joe's Jack Daniels. ;)

 

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Oh, the Crouch/Konrath book.  Yes, of course I did know about that.  It's late at night and my brain is dead. ::)

JT, I thought I had heard that AmazonEncore print books were being put into the bookstores through another (Big Six) publisher, but I'm not sure the same is true for the new imprints.  (ETA: What I read is that AmazonEncore sold the trade paperback rights for a couple of Karen McQuestion's books to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  No idea if this is standard for the imprint or not.)
 

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I don't think this changes things that much. It makes sense...Amazon lets anyone self-publish. If any of their self-publishers really strike it big, Amazon offers to go into partnership with them. The keyword being 'partnership'. Konrath et al, can still publish their own e-books. Big distributors will never go out of style, but they will need to bargain more with authors.

Self publishing is still nothing to scoff at. Many writers are making a living, or gaining an audience who wouldn't have before. Also, would Konrath or even Amanda Hocking have been noticed at all if it weren't for ebooks? Chances are they probably would both be laboring away in obscurity. The number of options becoming wider, is a good thing..for everyone.
 
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