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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
You're writing away, enjoying life.  Then suddenly, a small press or whatever comes along, and you sign a deal with one of your books.

Has anyone done this, and regretted it?
 

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That's a really good question, Glenn.  It is usually asked the other way around. I'll be really interested to see some replies on this.  :)
 

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Eh, bottom line is I have an offer.  It's something I never had to think about before.  My toughest decision until now was is that comma in the right place, and does my cover look okay?

I don't even know where to begin to even think about this stuff  :(  I only know writing, I really don't know about the industry.  Sad, now that I think about it.
 

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I'd love to hear the answer to this question too. I've turned down offers from small presses before too. Just love the freedom I have to do whatever I want when I want. Won't be easy to give that up unless the dollars are right.
 

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From someone who is "traditionally published" (though I didn't realize that until I joined KB), I can say it isn't as bad as it seems from these boards. They have never once come in the night to steal my children. Nor do they suck my blood.

However, there are some drawbacks I think an indie would be concerned about - if the company is going to take your royalties and not make enough marketing effort on your book's behalf to make that worth it, then I'd pass if you are making good money at this point on your own. On the upside of it, I find it useful to have them do the formatting, editing, etc, and not pay for that myself - so, if this offer is on a new book, that might be attractive to you. Depends on the quality of the company, I should think, and on their resources. I think it may also be easier to get reviews from sites, but that is relatively minor compared to the question of marketing support.

However, I have never self-pubbed before, so I have nothing to offer to your original question. Nevertheless, I wanted to say congrats on the offer - even if you don't take it, it's still nice to have multiple options to decline, in my opinion.
 

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I have one expected shortly too, Glenn, and this is my first.

I'm just not seeing any upside to it. The advance they would probably give me is going to be so small that it won't make a dent for me (and understandably so, given I'm a new author and they're a small press). That combined with what will surely be VASTLY reduced royalty rates... I'm getting 70% from Amazon right now. Why would I take 15% instead?

They don't have any wider distribution than I can get on my own; I just finalized a contract with LSI for Ingram distribution, and am looking hard at LibreDigital for the iBookstore and at Kobo. This press isn't on the Nook either, from what I can tell, but mine is.

Who knows... maybe they'll offer me a pile of money. Regardless, just the fact that they're making the offer 48 days after I listed the book for sale is amazing to me.
 

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Jason Kristopher said:
I have one expected shortly too, Glenn, and this is my first.

I'm just not seeing any upside to it. The advance they would probably give me is going to be so small that it won't make a dent for me (and understandably so, given I'm a new author and they're a small press). That combined with what will surely be VASTLY reduced royalty rates... I'm getting 70% from Amazon right now. Why would I take 15% instead?

They don't have any wider distribution than I can get on my own; I just finalized a contract with LSI for Ingram distribution, and am looking hard at LibreDigital for the iBookstore and at Kobo. This press isn't on the Nook either, from what I can tell, but mine is.

Who knows... maybe they'll offer me a pile of money. Regardless, just the fact that they're making the offer 48 days after I listed the book for sale is amazing to me.
Yes, being impressed with their distribution list is a key factor, even if you feel the majority of your sales would be from one venue or a small handful. It is still good for visibility, I think.

Also, I think 40% is more common for ebook royalties, with 15% being more common for paper copy sales. It seems iffy to me to take lower than 30-40% on ebook net, unless the company has an outstanding sales record that you can verify with their authors.

(ETA: I never make a contract without talking to a couple of their authors, and a reader or two if I can.)
 

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anne_holly said:
Yes, being impressed with their distribution list is a key factor, even if you feel the majority of your sales would be from one venue or a small handful. It is still good for visibility, I think.

Also, I think 40% is more common for ebook royalties, with 15% being more common for paper copy sales. It seems iffy to me to take lower than 30-40% on ebook net, unless the company has an outstanding sales record that you can verify with their authors.

(ETA: I never make a contract without talking to a couple of their authors, and a reader or two if I can.)
Remember, even 50% of net, a la the generous terms of Other Press, means that you get 50% of the publisher's 70%. Of course, if you sign directly with one of Amazon's own imprints, the math starts to look better.

I'm about to sign my own offer, as I've detailed in another thread. I'm not convinced I couldn't make more money on my own, but they've put together some attractive marketing stuff and worked with me on the contract and I look at it as having a foot in both camps. If one or the other takes off, I'll be in better position to reap the rewards.
 

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Sarah Woodbury said:
I believe 25% is the common percentage for ebooks from the big six, from which you lose 15% if you have an agent.
Thanks, Sarah - I've never been close to the Big 6, so I don't know their numbers. It makes sense, given their large overhead and the practice of giving advances. I suspect their sales numbers might make up for the lower percentage, in terms of actual take home pay, simply due to volume of sales.

I have heard that even contracts with the Big 6 no longer come with guarantees of solid marketing support, though it still is likely more than you get with a typical small pub, in combination with more recognizable brand placement.
 

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Glenn Bullion said:
My offer:

7% on retail
20% on eBooks

Sounds low, compared to what I'm seeing here.

This thread is already helpful.
Maybe. There's a lot of movement right now toward a slightly more equitable digital royalty. Your agent might be able to negotiate on this front. Also, the advance makes a big difference. For 10,000 bucks, that's a weak royalty in return for turning over your rights forever. If the offer is a quarter million, that's a different story.
 

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MichaelWallace said:
Remember, even 50% of net, a la the generous terms of Other Press, means that you get 50% of the publisher's 70%. Of course, if you sign directly with one of Amazon's own imprints, the math starts to look better.

I'm about to sign my own offer, as I've detailed in another thread. I'm not convinced I couldn't make more money on my own, but they've put together some attractive marketing stuff and worked with me on the contract and I look at it as having a foot in both camps. If one or the other takes off, I'll be in better position to reap the rewards.
Very true. Many offer tweaked deals, such as "40% of net from external venues, and 40% of gross for sales from our own website," but let's face it the hunk of your sales will be from external venues.

I agree - doing both is a good way to go, since your whole opus works off each other.
 

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Glenn Bullion said:
My offer:

7% on retail
20% on eBooks

Sounds low, compared to what I'm seeing here.

This thread is already helpful.
Did they offer an advance? How many books have you sold to date?
 

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My royalties (which are standard with both publishers I write for) are 8% on MMPB, 25% on ebook.  You'll find some fluctuation due to genre and format. Frex, 12% Hardcover is pretty standard in adult publishing, but 10% hardcover is pretty standard in YA. 7.5% is pretty standard across the board on trade paperback, from what I understand. This is from a genre fiction POV - YMMV depending on the type of book.

The only time you see a lot higher royalties (most epubs offer somewhere between 30-40%) is because they don't put a lot up front, so it's easier to take that 'risk' than it is for someone that's offering me several thousand up front and has to make that back.

I started out with NYC, started self-pubbing in February, and still signed with a second NY pub in April.

In my experience, there is still marketing being bought, but Robin over at Ridan has said it the best - the marketing that most of the Big Six are doing is to other distributors (Wal-Mart, Barnes & Noble, etc) to get them to carry your book. It's paying for premium shelf slots. It's putting you in flyers to the sales teams. It's buying them lunch (sadly). It's sending out 10,000 ARCs of your book in the hopes you get a lot of advance reviews.  You won't see 90% of the marketing, but it's still there.
 

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Glenn Bullion said:
You're writing away, enjoying life. Then suddenly, a small press or whatever comes along, and you sign a deal with one of your books.

Has anyone done this, and regretted it?
Hello, Glenn!

C'mon over to my grog The WG2E - The Writer's Guide to Epublishing - where we have tons of great scoop for you, and, in fact, we just ask this very question yesterday and have over 60 comments that might help you!!!

Here's the scoop:

http://thewritersguidetoepublishing.com/kindle-trolling

Have you been Amazon Kindle Trolled?
 

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There are too many variables for this to be easily answered.  I think a big problem is that everyone's situation is very different, so therefore the same deal is a different deal for two authors.

I firmly believe having a foot in traditional publishing and one in indie publishing is a smart move and can help both sides of the platform.  It's not always just about the royalty rates.

That being said, my agent just pitched one of my books to an editor yesterday.  I'll be interested to see the response, and the offer, if one is made.  The good news is, if they don't want it, I'll sell it myself.
 

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I published on Kindle in early April and just got approached today by a small publisher. Aside from the fact that I don't feel my book is a good fit with the rest of their current line (they are "branching out"), I'm pretty happy with how I'm doing, and don't feel the need to share my money at this time.  ;)
 
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