Jun 18, 2012
I’m pleased to share that GOD’S WAR, INFIDEL and RAPTURE will be published in the UK (and the British Commonwealth) by Ebury Publishing, a subsidiary of Random House, UK. For those keeping an Irony Meter handy, my first contract for GOD’S WAR, which was cancelled and resulted in us heading over to Night Shade, was originally signed with Bantam-Spectra here in the US… Bantam-Spectra is also a division of Random House.
It’s a crazy, crazy business, folks.
In more Good News, Audible has also bought the rights to publish GOD’S WAR, INFIDEL, and RAPTURE in audio format.
I have no publication dates or details beyond that, but I will keep you all posted as I hear more.
Does this mean you’re RICH now?
It’s always been very important to me here to be honest about what new writers can expect from deals like this. So here’s how it works. After my publisher’s cut, my agent’s cut, and taxes, the UK deal – for all three books – is about enough to pay for us to finally put a fence up around our property. That said, the pay out on that amount is spread out over the publication of all three books. So money will trickle in over, most likely, the next 2-3 years.
The Audible deal for all three books equals a little more than half of what I was paid by Night Shade to publish GOD’S WAR alone. So, maybe I’ll pay off part of a credit card with it?
Whether or not money is made after those initial amounts depends wholly on how many folks buy books in these editions/formats. So BUY SOME BOOKS!!!
But… but… won’t you be bathing in royalty money?
Not any time soon. I split a portion of any royalties I receive with both Night Shade (because it’s a sub rights deal on rights they already own and paid us for) and my agent. I still get the bulk of the royalties, but if you think this is a Get Rich Quick scheme and I’ll be quitting my day job any time soon… well, no.
Are you going to have (INSERT FAMOUS JENNIFER-HALE TYPE PERSON HERE) read your audio book? Can my friend (INSERT FRIEND’S NAME HERE) narrate your audio book?
As I understand it, unless you’re already Rich and Famous and can get said Famous Person to do the narration at a cut-rate deal, Audible generally does all the production for stuff on their end. I will get to tell them how to pronounce words, though. So that’s cool.
How much input did you have on these deals?
My publisher already owned both World English and audio rights to my novels. That means they negotiated these deals. That said, I was presented with the initial UK offers through my agent, asked my opinion, and gave it, including a change to an initial bit of the offer. My agent also requested an amended contract that firmed up our split of the subsidiary rights.
You don’t sound really happy. Aren’t you really happy?
Yes, I am really happy. The thing is, just a few short years in the trenches in this biz has made me a bit guarded and cynical (see above post about my initial cancelled contract). I’ve learned that seeing “big money” when you sign a deal doesn’t mean you’re getting a big money check. Lots of people have to get paid before you do – the publisher gets paid for any subsidiary rights split, agent gets 15% and at Tax Time there’s a 10% self-employment tax. Then there’s the fact that you only get paid twice or maybe three times a year – and those payments are nearly always late. The only way a lot of folks I know can make a living at this is to write 2-3 books a year, and I’m just not there yet. Not if I want to write the kinds of books I write.
Right now, book writing makes up just 10-15% of my income during a good year.
Still, I’m happy. This means more people reading my books. Which, yanno, I think are awesome and everyone should be reading.
So, what’s next?
I have a lot of work ahead that goes with all this, but I’m trying not to think about that too much. Mostly, I’m working hard on the next book (epic warring families! Womb tech! Biotic witches! Cancerous legions of world ships!)… and trying to have a little fun.
And maybe I’ll use some of this money to take a vacation or something. A vacation that I’m not taking so I can, yanno, finish a book.