The author as free agent

The big watercooler topic today among self-publishing authors has been about a decision Michael Sullivan had to make.

Sullivan has had success publishing his novels straight to the Kindle and Nook. And he had just released his newest work, “The Wicked,” when a traditional publisher contacted him about printing the novel … but it wanted Sullivan to take down the Kindle/Nook editions until it had time to present a contract.

Do you pull your novel and lose sales, knowing there’s no guarantee the contract will offer favorable terms? Or do you tell the publisher no thanks and keep the digital book on sale?

Sullivan made the right call and took down the digital book to give the publisher a chance to make a formal offer. If the contract isn’t any good, he shouldn’t have any trouble ramping up sales again.

The scenario is yet another example of how the present may be the best time ever to be an author. You’re free to release books in the format that makes the most financial sense for YOU. Some publishers are starting to figure out they no longer hold all of the cards … and the sooner they begin offering fair terms to authors, the better the chance they’ll still be in business 20 years from now.

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2 responses to “The author as free agent

  1. Lynn McMonigal

    You know, I’ve been considering offering my 4 self-published novels for the Kindle and/or Nook. The more I read your blog, the more I think that this a good thing for me to do!!!

  2. You really should go for it, Lynn. What do you have to lose? Hire the best copy editor you can afford (or beg a friend who is one to edit it for pizza money). Ditto for a cover designer. My cover cost $100 and was worth every penny.

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