From Hugh Howey:
After three rounds of publishers winking, flirting, and making passes at WOOL this year — after a dozen or so offers that I would’ve fallen over myself to accept earlier in my career — after walking away from two 7-figure deals last month that would’ve meant giving up all control of my publishing future and all of my rights — Simon and Schuster blew my agent and myself out of the water with a deal that is everything we’ve been looking for from the very beginning (and never expected to get).
Less money. More respect. Ultimate freedom.
This is the contract I’ve been hoping for, and not just for myself. To be honest, I didn’t think it would happen to me. I thought this was a contract for the future — for other authors. But my agent and I went into these several rounds of discussions telling each other that it was crucial to have these conversations with publishers so that they would get used to hearing what was important to authors. And what’s important to authors isn’t *always* large advances (which are just piles of horrid royalties). We want long-term stability; we want to retain our rights; we want the freedom to publish our way; we think digital rights should either remain in our hands or pay a whole lot better. (I’m not speaking for everyone, of course. But I know I’m not alone).
By keeping my digital rights, I’ll be able to retain the sensible (i.e. cheap) price of my ebooks so that they will (hopefully) continue to sell. I can lower the price and do promotions anytime I want. I can see my sales in real-time like I always have so I know what works and what doesn’t. I can keep the first book at perma-free.
. . . .
Simon and Schuster, meanwhile, will do what they do best: They are releasing WOOL in March under their prestigious, titular imprint (not under Author Solutions, sadly). They are also doing something awesome here at my behest (read: begging) by releasing the hardback and paperback simultaneously! This means a major push with an affordable paperback in bookstores, with a hardback available for libraries and the handful of people who might prefer one (i.e. my mother).
Link to the rest at Kindleboards and thanks to John for the tip.