Jennifer L. Armentrout’s story of going from aspiring author to signing a six-figure deal with HarperCollins for her self-published best-seller Wait for You (and two other titles) reads similar to others we’ve seen:
— Rejected by countless agents and publishers
— Went to a small press, gained some small acclaim
– Acquired agent
– Self-published title publishers rejected
– Three weeks later, after topping out at No. 1 on the ebook best-seller list, signs six-figure deal with big-six publisher
It’s not the exact same story as Hugh Howey or Amanda Hocking, for instance, but it still follows the “inspiration, rejection, redemption” narrative arc.
The deal is in the “high” six figures, Armentrout told Digital Book World, and will be posted later today on the Publishers Marketplace database.
Armentrout admits that there’s little or nothing a publisher could or should have done differently to acquire her work before it popped and netted her a huge advance.
But maybe that’s a good thing for publishers looking to make investments in content. HarperCollins is paying big bucks for, essentially, a proven hit. The returns won’t be as eye-popping as if the company had paid a more traditional advance for a relatively unknown author writing in a risky genre (new adult, in this case) but for every ten or twenty of those bets, maybe one will pay off. In this case, HarperCollins is looking forward to a more dependable if smaller return on its investment.
Read more of our exclusive interview with Armentrout.
Related: Understanding What Authors Want
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The rest of the day’s top news:
“Atomization” of Publishing (DBW)
Industry consultant and DBW partner crystalizes a major trend we’ve been observing over the past year in his latest blog post: The evolution of non-book-publishing companies into book publishers. What does it mean for the industry?
Supreme Court Makes First Sale Global (WSJ)
The Supreme Court ruled yesterday against Wiley in a case over the resale of textbooks produced at a lower price point for a foreign market in the U.S. The practical implications are that if a publisher sells a work for a lower price in a country like India where only lower prices would net sales and some clever importer buys a huge amount of the copies and brings them to the U.S. for resale at developed-country prices, it’s now legal. Related: Wiley Responds | AAP Responds.
Prime Time (TIME)
According to TIME magazine, Amazon Prime is growing at an exponential clip, citing one report that Prime could have 25 million subscribers by 2017 – to put this into context, that’s 25 million users that will theoretically have access to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.
Libraries: What Do you Want to Hear? (DBW)
The American Library Association will be embarking on an outreach program to the publishing community in the next few months. Let them know now what you’d like to hear about. Leave your suggestions in the comments.
Strange Pairing (WSJ)
Also-ran subscription online music service eMusic has merged with K-NFB Reading, which many of you will know through its e-reading software, Blio. The new company will be called Media Arc and will sell songs, ebooks and audio books.
New Zealand Clears Random-Penguin (Pub Lunch)
New Zealand’s regulatory body has approved the proposed Random House-Penguin merger. One more hurdle overcome in the attempt to merge the world’s two largest publishers.
Wired Takes on Publishing (Wired)
Wired reporter Evan Hughes writes a summary of some of the major themes in the publishing industry today, focusing on the author-publisher relationship. If you read DBW, you already know everything he says. So, click if you’d like a stroll down memory lane.
Debating KDP Select (The Newbie’s Guide to Publishing)
Self-publishing advocate J.A. Konrath debates the pros and cons of using KDP Select. Cons? His books are not everywhere his readers want them to be. Pros? He makes a lot more money with KDP Select. We’re talking Scrooge McDuck-money. Related: Measuring the Effects of a Free Ebook Giveaway.
How They Read (Joe Wikert Publishing Blog)
The technologically savvy customers of content from tech-focused O’Reilly Media have somewhat antiquated reading habits: When reading ebooks, they overwhelmingly prefer to read PDFs on their desktop or laptop computers. While Kindle devices run a distant second, the iPad barely makes the top five.
Fifty Shades Sex-Toy Kit (Elite Daily)
This is the latest in a line of products and businesses inspired by the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon. Related: Fifty Shades: The Game!
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