Successful Self-Published Ebook Authors Sells Print & Movie Rights For $1 Million, But Keeps Digital Rights To Himself

from the it's-all-about-the-leverage dept

We've pointed out time and time again that there are still roles for the former gatekeepers in various content industries, but those roles are changing, because they now need to be enablers, helping to do things that content creators can't do on their own. We've also pointed out that one thing that "direct to fan" and other offerings have done is give content creators much more leverage in dealing with those traditional gatekeepers. It used to be, if you were a first time author, you didn't have very much leverage at all. You accepted the tiny advance and crappy book deal offered to you, in which the publisher basically took control over your work almost entirely, leaving a tiny royalty for you should you ever earn back the advance. However, the WSJ recently wrote about how self-publsihed ebook author Hugh Howey (who wrote the hugely popular Wool "postapocalyptic thriller" and sold half a million ebook copies) then sold the print rights to the book to Simon & Schuster and the movie rights to Ridley Scott for around $1 million but was able to retain the digital rights to the book for himself.

That is how leverage works. It's also a recognition of where a publisher can actually help. Howey knows that he can sell the digital book himself. He doesn't need any help with digital production, distribution or promotion. However, the physical book is a very different story, so having a big publisher handle printing and distribution for the physical book makes sense -- and given the fact he didn't need the help of a publisher, he was able to negotiate this more equitable deal. He notes that other publishers offered more money for a complete package, but it was easy to walk away, knowing he was making plenty of money on his own directly with the ebooks.

As the WSJ notes, it's all about the shifting balance of power, such that publishers no longer hold all the cards:
It's a sign of how far the balance of power has shifted toward authors in the new digital publishing landscape. Self-published titles made up 25% of the top-selling books on Amazon last year. Four independent authors have sold more than a million Kindle copies of their books, and 23 have sold more than 250,000, according to Amazon.

Publishing houses that once ignored independent authors are now furiously courting them. In the past year, more than 60 independent authors have landed contracts with traditional publishers. Several won seven-figure advances. A handful have negotiated deals that allow them to continue selling e-books on their own, including romance writers Bella Andre and Colleen Hoover, who have each sold more than a million copies of their books.
Simon & Schuster even admits that it wanted all of the rights, but that under these "unusual circumstances" it had no other choice. I get the feeling those "circumstances" will become less and less "unusual" going forward.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Howard (profile), Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 4:40am

    Copying digital data is practically effortless now.
    People must realize that they're free to leave out industries that used to do the replication, and keep only the essential ones, like the "recording studio" of recording labels, etc.

    For example, the release of a new song should be look like this:
    Artist rent a recording studio for a few days (weeks?). Artist record the song in the studio. Artist publish the song himself on youtube/itunes/whatever, and keep every right in the process, keeps the profits for himself, and pay the "old gatekeeper" only what is due: rent for equipment.

     

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    vegetaman (profile), Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 4:52am

    I would love to know what the industry was offering for the digital rights versus how much they would offer for the physical print rights... And compare those against the prices they'd have set for both editions of the book.

     

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    anonymouse, Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 5:36am

    well done

    We are living during very interesting times..... I personally belive that artists /comtemt creators around the world have been ripped of of billions if not trillions of dollars over the last 50 odd years. Where a huge majority have not seen even 5% of the profits they should have seen.
    And the reason i say this, well we all know about Hollywood accounting, i am sure that the music and book industry has done similar. Trying to put myself into their shoes i would have been skimming money from everyone, and not only skimming, but taking huge amounts of money from people that did not realize how popular they actually were.Who knows how many of your tracks have been sold around the world, i am sure that with the Machiavellian type characters in the industry eventually it is going to come to light that trillions have been stolen. And once that happens the industry hopefully will collapse and we can start afresh. Yes a shame foe the likes of Elton john who will stop receiving his hundreds of thousand of dollar checks and a shame for newer artists that see how they have lost very large amounts of money...

     

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  4.  
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    jameshogg (profile), Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 5:55am

    I hate how copyright sets up gates in the middle of fields, and demands everybody walks through them.

    It is the mere existence of the unnecessary gates that cause gatekeeperism, which in this case is the ability to hold onto not just a monopoly but THOUSANDS of monopolies, because each separate copyrighted work has monopolistic traits at least (you often hear how it is not a true monopoly because intellectual property is not physical - this is often claimed by those who cherry-pick when IP should and should not be treated as physical property whenever it suits them, creating a sense of unfalsifiability around copyright as a whole).

    Why should it be possible for an organisation to hold the keys to someone else's gate anyway? How is it possible for an artist to be locked out of the rights to his own works in a world that claims this is in his best interests? Either the works "belong" to the artists or they do not. How can companies get away with taking what is apparently an inalienable right from artists? Quite simply: because they can. Because there is a buck of power that shouldn't be existing in the first place - and it is being passed around out of the hands of the artists and high up towards those who are in the best position to make the best of monopolies.

    Intellectual property in the philosophical sense of "life, liberty and property" may indeed exist, but it definitely does not in the physical sense - because the philosophical meaning of property has two types: goods and services. Creativity is a service, and should be treated as such. Treating creativity as goods instead of services is ultimately dangerous to the artists - no other service that I know of is objectified in this way.

    Treat creativity as services, and the rights of artists cannot possibly be trespassed on as much as they are now.

     

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  5.  
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    Ed C., Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 6:29am

    Re:

    That used to be more of the norm a long time ago, back in the days of 45s, but then the big studios railroaded the small ones out of business, bought out radio airtime with payola, strong armed artist into giving up their copyrights, and endlessly paid off politicians to retroactively extend those copyrights. And then the Internet came along. We're long overdue for a reset on publishing...and copyright.

     

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    Cathy, Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 6:32am

    Wool

    I actually own and have read the Wool omnibus. It's FABULOUS. One of the best SF series I've read in a long time. Congrats to the author. It will make a great movie. If you don't own it, rush right over to amazon.com and get it for your Kindle or iPad.

     

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  7.  
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    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 6:36am

    Re:

    For digital the benefit to the author of going with a publisher is nearly non existant.

    As a self published author, you get 70% of whatever you price your book at. As a traditionally published author with a digital release, I think it is around 12-25% of the profit. That is after the 30% the distribution service (Amazon) takes and whatever other expenses the publisher claims. Often this ends up as less than 10% the list price.

    So what do you want, 70% of a $3 book or 10% of a $10 book?

     

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    techflaws (profile), Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 6:49am

    Re: Wool

    I've read (and bought) the book. I agree it will make a good movie. But only as long as Ridley does not use the same writers that messed up Prometheus. I'm still wondering what'd gotten into him to accept this crap.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 6:51am

    Re: Wool

    Unless, of course, you don't have either a kindle or an ipad... is it available on anything else? :/

     

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    nospacesorspecialcharacters (profile), Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 7:13am

    Splitting Rights

    Clearly the big-content houses realise they are losing control - but I wouldn't count them out just yet, I'm eager to see what they come up with in an attempt to redress this uneven shift against their business model.

    For example, anyone noticed how things like "digital" rights have emerged without the intervention or rewriting of copyright laws?

    'Digital' rights. 'Movie' rights. 'Print' rights. 'Audio' rights... all a content-conglomerate has to do is create a new perceived service and assign it "rights". I wonder if before long we'll start to see things such as 'cloud rights', 'mobile rights' (already partially-implemented on YouTube), '3D rights' and perhaps, in the future, "holographic reproduction rights".

    What happens if the movie is a big success, then the studio commissions artists and writers to produce graphic novels and books of the movie (with differing plot points and story-lines). I wouldn't put it past them at all to try and subvert the author in this way - in fact I fully expect it - they have been shown to happily spend millions on lawyers to argue nuanced rights issues in court.

    Sorry to be pessimistic, about a largely positive deal, but my cynicism has served me well over the years in preempting the moves of others whose interests do not align with my own.

     

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    AB (profile), Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 7:15am

    Re:

    You know, that's a point I never considered before: if content is property then a copyright IS an illegal monopoly; if content is a service then copyright doesn't apply. interesting conundrum.

    As a content creator myself I do support limited copyright to stop abuse from leaches, but I see no reason why my children shouldn't have to earn their own living.

     

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    Keroberos (profile), Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 7:25am

    Re: Re: Wool

    Yes. It, and his other books are available at the Kobo Bookstore as DRM free EPUBs, super easy to convert to whatever format you want.

     

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    AB (profile), Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 7:29am

    Re: Re: Wool

    It's also available from the kobo store.

     

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    AB (profile), Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 7:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Wool

    guess I should have refreshed the page before posting. :p

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 7:39am

    Re: Re:

    I don't like your math.
    First will the $3 or $10 book sell more copies?
    If the $10 book out sells the $3 book 3:1 I want the $10 deal If not then I want the $3 deal.

     

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  16.  
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    Ed C., Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 7:46am

    Re:

    Interesting perceptive. Yes, before publishers got their fingers into every aspect of art, creativity was originally sold as a service. Paintings, sculptures, every form of artisan craft was a singular work. Even writing itself was a craft. Then, with the advent of mechanical reproduction, it was possible to create many copies. Art was open to all, no longer a privilege solely for the privileged, but it also became a "good"--a mere product to be sold. And the popularity of those copies gave publishers a great deal of money and power.

    Of course, the framers of the US constitution saw this dilemma. They saw art as a fundamental part of culture and that every member of society has the right to partake in culture--including the creation of cultural works. They also understood that the reproduction of works was of great importance for the dissemination of culture. There had to be a balance between the needs of society and the needs of publishers, thus, copyright was only applied to cases demeaned necessary and only for a limited time. Once the copyright expired, the work became fully part of the culture from which it came.

    I totally agree that the monopoly of copyright, as it stands, has been subverted by publishers to serve their interest--the production of copies. They've not only turned copyright around be about the "product", they've turned the service of producing copies into a property right.

     

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  17.  
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    Ed C., Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 7:53am

    Re: Re:

    As a content creator myself I do support limited copyright to stop abuse from leaches, but I see no reason why my children shouldn't have to earn their own living.

    But if they actually have to work instead of leaching off your fortunes, how are they going to keep the future generations of copyright lawyers employed?

    /s

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 7:59am

    How long until the publisher (hereto called the artist) complains that digital sales are eating their physical sales and cry foul?
    Won't someone think of the artist?

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 9:02am

    The issue with selling rights

    If a company buys "rights" to content, most are going to want to protect those rights. Hence, the long discussions around copyright. Companies that have historically bought rights assumed they bought the ownership of something which they could then commercialize.

    If it turns out that we eliminate copyright, there won't be any "rights" to sell because everyone will be free to copy and use whatever they want in what form they want.

    As for the value of publishers, they did have their place because they often paid out significant advances that the writers didn't need to pay back. That's how book writers made their living. They were given enough money to live on, wrote a book, gave it to the publisher, and then went on to the next book. A good deal was to get a big advance and not worry about whether the publisher ever made enough money from the book sales because your advance was yours to keep. Book royalties didn't matter to most authors because the advance paid them sufficient funds upfront (in "advance') that they weren't worried if the funds were recouped. Unlike music, authors weren't forced to cover the publisher's costs out of their advances. It was theirs to do as they wished.

     

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  20.  
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    nasch (profile), Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 9:08am

    Re: Re:

    As a content creator myself I do support limited copyright to stop abuse from leaches,

    What do you mean by abuse from leeches? Commercial-scale infringement for profit? Peer to peer sharing?

     

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  21.  
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    James Burkhardt (profile), Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 10:02am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "If the $10 book out sells the $3 book 3:1 I want the $10 deal If not then I want the $3 deal"

    Good thinking, but incomplete. The napkin-math presented gives us 2 incomes: $2.10/Book Self-Published(SP) and $1/book Traditional Publisher (TP).

    The TP option needs to not just outsell, but sell more then double the sales of the SP route to be a better option.

    And that assumes that your royalty contact doesn't have strange provisos such as, but not limited to:
    You need to make a minimum sales per month threshold to start earning royalties
    You need a minimum $ in royalties 'in the bank' before you can get a payout.
    You have a 'marketing' fee every year or a fee for 'keeping your book in print/listed'

    Which means you also have to consider what happens when your book sales tickle down/take time to take off. How well off are you in that case?

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 10:03am

    Re: Re: Wool

    Any Kindle book can be read on the computer as well. Also there's a Kindle app for smartphones.

     

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    CK20XX, Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 10:06am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah, I hate math too, and so do a lot of people.

    Multiplication is vexation. Division is as bad.
    The rule of three, it puzzles me, and fractions drive me mad!

    Since people naturally gravitate toward the lowest price though, it's a sure thing that a $3 book would outsell a $10 book by 3:1 or more. The chances of the opposite happening are non-existent, though you might be able to pull off such a stunt if you make the $10 version a Super Special Collector's Edition and sell it after your status as a superstar is undisputed.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 10:40am

    Re: The issue with selling rights

    Let me explain a bit more about how publishing used to work. A promising or successful author could often get between $100,000 to $1 million in advance. This was for a one book deal. After that the author was free to go to a different publisher the next time. It was like movie studios. It was for a single project deal, not a long-term deal like music labels asked for.

    That advance was payment for the author's content. The publishing house covered the printing, marketing, and other costs out of its own pocket and didn't take it out of the author's advance. And if the publishing house didn't sell many copies, it didn't come after the author to recoup the advance. (Recouping the advance happened only in rare instances, like when the author failed to deliver the promised manuscript.)

    So the advance more or less worked like a salary. If the book turned out to be a huge success, the author would get more money based on royalties and deals made with foreign publishers, movie deals, magazine deals, etc.

    Writers didn't bitch about publishing deals. If the first book was huge, they could then ask for even bigger advances on the next book.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 10:43am

    Re: The issue with selling rights

    I'll also elaborate on selling rights.

    If you eliminate copyright, the creators can't sell "rights" to their content. And the music labels, book publishers, movie studios, toy companies, and others won't buy "rights" because those rights won't be worth anything. Without copyright, "rights" are worthless.

     

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    twilightfog, Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 10:50am

    Re:

    Artists are some of the most liberal people, I'm pretty sure they will stop putting up with the MPAA assholes who sue and bankrupt their fans. I would like to see some of the music publishing companies go out of business, if their losses are to be believed, that day is coming soon !

     

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    nasch (profile), Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 11:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Since people naturally gravitate toward the lowest price though, it's a sure thing that a $3 book would outsell a $10 book by 3:1 or more.

    Assuming all else is equal, yes, but that's not necessarily a good assumption. If the author is bad at/not interested in promotion and just puts the book out and doesn't do anything with it, that might perform worse than a publisher charging three times as much and accompanying it with a marketing campaign.

     

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    PRMan, Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 11:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That's why he had them do the print version (and of course they will advertise it) and then he does the digital version himself.

    They advertise AND people buy the digital version for $3.

     

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    James Burkhardt (profile), Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 11:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And yet, the publisher still might not be the better option if the marketing campaign is separate from the 75% publishers cut. The devil is in the details. Though i will posit that a $10 book is far less likely to be an impulse buy.

     

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    CK20XX, Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 11:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That's a fair criticism. Being bad at promotion is one thing though. Being not interested in it is just a death sentence to your dreams of being an author. It essentially means you don't care about the job enough to make it worth the investment. Taking the lazy way out and leaving a publisher to handle everything will just come to bite you in the rear later. That's not because publishers are evil, but because if you care so little about your future that you're willing to drop it into someone else's hands and forget about it, you're just leaving yourself naked and exposed.

    If you want to be like Hugh Howey, you need a good work ethic. You need to be dedicated, determined, and industrious. You need to plan for the years ahead instead of just throwing a book out there and hoping it sells.

     

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    nasch (profile), Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 12:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Being not interested in it is just a death sentence to your dreams of being an author.

    If those dreams include making money, yes. I'm sure there are people who just want to write and don't care about what happens after that, though probably not very many.

     

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    Jennifer, Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 12:21pm

    The author of Wool also lets his fans sell fanfic that they write in the Wool universe. Pure AWESOME.

     

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    CK20XX, Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 1:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah, but the people who are like that probably wouldn't even try to self-publish their work in the first place. They'd just keep it in personal notebooks and folders and leave it for friends and heirs to discover, like Emily Dickenson did. They probably wouldn't even think of themselves as authors or poets to boot.

    If you're trying to put your work on Amazon or something though, that automatically says you're seeking to get more than personal fulfillment from your writing. And if you're honest with yourself, you may find that deep down inside you're hoping to make it big, to see if you can recreate the Kermit the Frog success story of a nobody with a banjo becoming a rich and famous celebrity making millions of people happy.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 1:18pm

    Where are the trolls screaming about how this one case is just a fluke and doesn't mean anything in the great scheme of copyright?

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 1:55pm

    Re:

    Where are the trolls screaming about how this one case is just a fluke and doesn't mean anything in the great scheme of copyright?

    Probably because it doesn't mean anything. As I mentioned, for a company to buy rights, that means the company assumes copyright will continue as usual and the rights are worth something. If copyright goes away, those rights are worthless.

    So this is really just more of the old view of copyright: that there's actually something to purchase. In the new view, no one will buy rights.

     

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    AB (profile), Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 2:42pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I am referring to people and agencies like Prenda. I believe they would throw together semi-legal, cheap, disposable sweat shops and as soon as they spotted someone trying to get funding for something new would crowd the market with cheap imitations. If they jump on it quick enough no one will be able to figure out which is the original and not only would they profit from the work of others, but the creator could easily be pushed right out of the market. The creator could even end up with an undeserved bad reputation.

    Requiring all products/productions to display due credit for work done would help reduce this, but copyrights/patents are easily the simplest way to really limit the problem. Although I don't believe they should be as vague as they are now. I would be content with requiring only a modest modification (though I don't know how that would work with books).

    I also believe the creator should be given first opportunity at a profit, and that means making a time allowance for them to obtain production funds and/or build a reputation. Four to seven years should be plenty. And only applied to original works, not those of a derivative nature.

    Most of the above are moral issues rather then market ones, and it is entirely possible that my beliefs are wrong. In the distant past everyone was a content creator to some extent with things like customized art work, hand-made tools, and families singing together. That faded away for a time when the rich became too rich and the poor were too busy struggling for survival to sing or carve or paint. For a time only people who were actually paid to do so had time to spend creating, and an entire industry built up around that idea. Today robots, computers, and the internet give people more free time, but the public no longer knows how to be creative. Fortunately platforms like Kickstarter allow us to support those who do. Perhaps with the IP walls removed the market would be so flooded with new start-ups that such 'evil' agencies would be squeezed out. And quite honestly my _biggest_ objection to them is not over the profit, but because I personally despise their arrogance and lack of morals.

    Of course these are all opinions, and as I said, I am also viewing it with an eye toward a compromise that would better serve me. The only way to know the effects for certain would be to actually try such a system out. So far the closest we can get is probably Hong Kong, and even there IP law does exist and does impact the market, even if it is more often ignored then respected. The surprisingly healthy and robust content industry there suggests that even reduced enforcement is beneficial.

    Good grief, I only meant to answer your question, not write a bloody book! Oh well, there you have it.

     

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    AB (profile), Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 3:01pm

    Re: Re: The issue with selling rights

    Unfortunately those numbers are very misleading. They represent only a very few high-profile writers. 'Most' writers received little or no payment upfront. Also, 'most' writers started out by writing on their own time and then finding a publisher willing to print the book. And even if the publisher liked their work it wasn't going to get printed unless they sold the copyright. Permanently. Following which the publisher was still not obligated to actually print the book; sometimes books would sit on the shelf for a long time while the author waited hungrily for his percentage. And the writers didn't DARE bitch or their book might be pulled from production and they might be left to starve (especially if they had signed a contract which restricted them from selling their work to any other publisher). Those few who did become popular enough to qualify for advances still had to keep writing because - just like the movie and music industries - that advance plus all expenses were taken from their percentage.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 3:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: The issue with selling rights

    Unfortunately those numbers are very misleading. They represent only a very few high-profile writers.

    I got an advance of $30,000 30+ years ago. It was my first book. The writers I knew wouldn't do a book without a decent advance. If the publishers didn't want you, they didn't sign a contract with you.

    More recently, maybe 10 years ago, I've known agents working with unknown writers getting them $100,000 to $500,000 advances.

    In the pre-Internet days if you were a professional writer, you pitched to a publishing house with the understanding that they would provide an advance. If they weren't interested in you, they didn't bother to give you a contract. If you knew what you were doing, you didn't sign away your copyright without money upfront.

    There have always been people who self-publish. The main hassle was storing the books once you had them printed.

     

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    AB (profile), Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 3:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: The issue with selling rights

    That's interesting. I know several authors, and have closely followed the careers of others, yet I have never heard of a new writer getting an advance. Of course most of these people started more then 30 years ago so perhaps it is simply a matter of changing policies. But I also find it difficult to believe that any business would hand out $500,000 to a complete stranger without at least having some sort of evidence of their skill.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 3:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: The issue with selling rights

    Part of the process back then was working with a literary agent. The agent understood the contracts and got around 10-15% of the advance and future payments. The agent wasn't going to let you sign a contract without an advance because the agent wouldn't get paid.

    For many writers the hard part was finding an agent. But if you had a good idea, you'd get the agent and the agent would get you an advance worth signing for.

    Fiction was harder to pitch than non-fiction and those writers usually needed to have completed the book first. But if an agent liked it and knew editors would like it, that agent could still get you a substantial advance. Sometimes that was done by holding bidding wars, where editors at different publishing houses fought each other to land the deal.

    Book publishing has never been run like music publishing. The contracts have always been much better.

    And as I said, generally writers didn't sign contracts if they weren't going to get much from the deal. There aren't a lot of stories (none that I can recall) about writers being screwed by publishers, signing contracts that took away their rights without any compensation, leaving them to die penniless. I think the reason writers have fared better than musicians is that writers can actually read and usually know what they are signing. And if they make a mistake, it's only for one book, not their entire careers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    icon
    AB (profile), Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 3:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The issue with selling rights

    Ah, that would explain the seeming contradiction. Thank you for clarifying.

    I think the reason writers have fared better than musicians is that writers can actually read and usually know what they are signing.

    Very likely. I also have never heard of a writer dying penniless, although it's bound to have happened somewhere. Also, writers don't usually live such flamboyant life styles, and are better at managing their money - again, the result of a better education.

    Yes, the ability to self publish has certainly made a difference. I do know of at least one person who refused to sell his rights and ended up unable to publish, but that was long before the internet, back when self publishing was exorbitantly expensive.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Hugh Howey, Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 7:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That's true. I certainly benefit from their promotional efforts. But they also benefit from mine. Rather than hand them an unproven manuscript, I handed them a book with 400,000 fans, a movie deal with Ridley Scott, an established author platform, a pile of endorsements from bestselling authors, and so on.

    I think Simon & Schuster benefits from my efforts as much as I benefit from theirs. We are partners in this, which is how it should be. I think both sides will make money. They have already gone on to sign a similar deal with Colleen Hoover. Bella Andre is another author who scored a print-only deal. This will become the norm with bestselling indie authors within a few years, I believe. Fewer authors will be willing to give up their lifetime digital rights for a large advance.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Shakakka, Feb 20th, 2014 @ 11:31am

    Re:

    Artist publish the song himself on youtube/itunes/whatever, and keep every right in the process, keeps the profits for himself

    Sigh. If only it were that easy.

    You're missing a tremendous step in the whole process here: MARKETING. Unless you're lucky enough to go viral, chances are you'll be sorely disappointed with the number of your YouTube views. Even the best up-and-coming songwriters/performers need a good marketing strategy, and that's most of what these "middle men" you want to cut out are going to do for you.

    While we live in a digital age where self-publishing and self-marketing is doable, you need to learn how to DO IT RIGHT. This type of thing can take years to learn.

    Or do you want to mislaunch your new album?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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