The electronics of publishing
I see opportunity. Opportunity for a writer to regain control over the life of their work. The LIfe, not the advance, royalty or cover. The rule is, you want the publisher to have the rights to publish even after the first year. let them do the work and keeping work under contract for the royalty. when it stops coming, get the rights back and go electronic.
Let me remind you that most of the seasoned authors have covered this in contracts, before an e book existed. A future of publishing clause was in my second contract and that was in 1994. how to create your own in format is new to writers, not the electronic book. Literary agent, Richard Curtis started his own company in ’94 and everyone thought he was nuts and wasting his time. HA
on the flip side, the publisher makes the most money because they have edited, packaged and printed it. but without the overhead of that with electronic, my feeling is the authors should have the highest percentage and the publisher, a standard rate. that’s only with electronic. I personally do not want to format and final edit, nor travel the road or the web promoting my book. It just isn’t in me to do that. I would have had better sales if I had, but in my mind, once the publisher accepts the final draft and pays me the rest of my advance, we’re done. It’s now their book to sell. I’m already onto the next book by the time the last one comes out.
That’s how I used to work and I’m clawing my way back, but if I write it and turn in a polished-doesn’t-need-to-be-revised manuscript that goes directly to electronic all bets are off and I better get most of the money. I did all the work. Tapping a few keys to change the format doesn’t get 75% of my ging wah.
So, when faced with publishers who refuse to give the author her/his rights and royalty, we now can do it ourselves and that puts us in a better position to negotiate. For most that’s the agents job. It’s been my job for the last 10 years.
Any new agent will have to give up some of that 15% because I’ve done that job.