I just read on Passive Voice (http://www.thepassivevoice.com/) the following disturbing news – Random House – yes, THAT Random House – has decided to use a 25% of net receipts to calculate ebook royalties for their authors. The disturbing part – they are doing this without regard to the signed author contracts in place and without notification! Certainly this is a breach of said contract, but I wonder how many authors will call them on it? This is all according to agent Kristin Nelson and you can read more about it here at Pubrants –
It’s stunning to me that Random House, a highly respected publishing entity – or so I always thought – would just do this, without notification to their authors.
It’s another reason in a growing list of reasons I’m not interested in publishing with any of the Big 6. I think the only way to get a decent deal with a publisher any more is for the author to have power going into it, and most authors don’t when they are just starting out looking for their first contract. New authors, the life’s blood of publishing, don’t have clout enough to demand better terms. The answer might be to go Independent to get that power, to prove salability in the marketplace before approaching a publisher. I’m not saying I will do it that way, but it seems to be a growing option for a wider and wider variety of writers. Using the public as a first reader may turn out to be the novel and happy medium for publishers and authors alike.
Be sure to read the comments on Pubrants, particularly the one by Bob Mayer. Interesting stuff.