While this post isn’t about Rhune, I thought it was an appropriate place to talk about it as I see this venue as a place to talk about all things related to writing an the business of publishing. (As opposed to my Riyria site, which is more for readers).
I don’t want to jink anything but it looks like I’m about to join the ranks obtained by only a few authors…the elusive “print only deal.”
I often see authors online (many whom have never been published) announcing that they may sell their print rights but only if they retain the right to publish in ebook. I can certainly see why they would want to make such a statement, I just don’t think it is an overly realistic thing to expect. To date, there are only four authors that I know of who have pulled off such a feat:
- Bella Andre, was (I believe) the first and I think she has even closed on a second print-only deal. She has sold more than 1.5 million books been on both the New York Times and USA Today’s bestsellers lists and she was paid seven figures for “print only rights
- Colleen Hoover, another romance writer who has had multiple runs on the New York Times bestseller list including #1 with Hitless.
- Hugh Howey also tread new ground when he became the first self-published author to get a print-only deal from one of the big-five publishers (in his case Simon & Schuster) again the deal was for 7 figures and it returned Hugh to the New York Times Bestseller list – hitting it for both trade paperback and hardcover in the same week.
- Brandon Sanderson has a long standing relationship with Tor Books, who has released not only his own titles, but also the Wheel of Times books to finish up Robert Jordan’s epic series. But last year he released two novellas: The Emperor’s Soul and Legion through two well respected fantasy presses that saw the wisdom of taking a piece of the pie instead of getting none of the action.
Again, I don’t want to say more…we have an “agreement in principle” with royalty rates and advances nailed down. It’s now just a matter of getting the contract finalized and signed, once it is official I’ll be sure to say more. But here’s the important thing…print deals are moving into the realm of the “mere mortal.” This is progress people! Each of those previous deals have been with mega-selling authors. At least two (Bella and Brandon) have sold more than a million books and Colleen and Hugh may have as well (sorry guys I just don’t know your official numbers) but even if they haven’t…it’s just a matter of time. They have both crossed far over the 500,000 mark and they are still VERY early in their professional writing careers.
I’m glad to see forward thinking publishers who are willing to break with tradition and think outside the box. The ones that penned the other deals have been rewarded for their efforts and I’m committed that my publisher will likewise be pleased with their decision to offer a print only deal for Hollow World. If so, we’re sure to see more of this in the future…and that will be very good for authors.