From the website of Random House’s almost-vanity imprints:
In response to recent constructive discussions with authors, agents and writers’ groups, including the Horror Writers Association, we are making adjustments to our proposed terms for authors with Random House’s new digital imprints, Hydra, Alibi, Loveswept, and Flirt. Prospective authors will have a choice of two models under which to publish: a profit share or an advance plus royalty.
- Under the profit share model, there is no advance offered. Hydra, Alibi, Loveswept, or Flirt and the author will split profits 50-50 from the first copy sold. The term “profit” will be defined as net sales revenue minus deductions as follows: For print editions, deductions will include actual costs directly attributable to production and shipping of the book; for digital editions, Hydra, Alibi, Loveswept, or Flirt will cover the cost of production. For both print and digital editions, Hydra, Alibi, Loveswept, or Flirt will cover all marketing costs connected with general, category- or imprint-wide marketing programs. Hydra, Alibi, Loveswept, or Flirt will also cover costs of marketing activities undertaken specifically on behalf of the book up to $10,000. Title-specific marketing costs above $10,000 will be proposed in advance to the author. If the author agrees, the incremental costs of such title-specific marketing activities over $10,000 will be deducted from sales revenue before profits are split. Cash payments owed to authors will be made quarterly.
- Under the advance plus royalty model, authors are offered a more traditional publishing arrangement, with Random House’s standard eBook royalty of 25 percent of net receipts. These authors will be paid an agreed-upon advance against royalties, and Hydra, Alibi, Loveswept, or Flirt will cover production, shipping, and marketing for all formats at 100 percent of cost.
. . . .
Hydra, Alibi, Loveswept, and Flirt acquire rights to every book for the term of copyright, subject to an “out-of-print” clause, which provides for the author to request reversion of his or her rights three years after publication if the title fails to sell 300 copies in the 12 months immediately preceding the request.
Link to the rest at At Random and thanks to Kat and others for the tip.
PG will leave it to his visitors to determine whether this is true reform on the part of these imprints or if their first deal terms were more reflective of their true attitude towards authors.
He will opine that an out-of-print clause that is based on digital copies sold instead of cash paid to an author is a sucker’s game. What is the price of these digital books? 99 cents? 10 cents? one cent?
Remember, as the HALF folks say, they are acquiring rights to every book forever. During “forever”, no author can assume that Amazon’s present rules for pricing will continue. During “forever”, inflation will almost certainly occur so today’s 99 cents becomes tomorrow’s one cent.
PG also reminds all who would venture into HALF’s domain to read the contract. It will certainly contain provisions that are not discussed in the organization’s blog posts.