Go Barry, Go
The skinny today is Barry Eisler has reportedly signed a deal with Thomas & Mercer, the crime imprint of Amazon Books. Check out literary agent, Janet Reid’s, blog post: http://tinyurl.com/3ht6n44
This deal includes both print and e-book editions, and is said to be comparable to the deal he turned down from Minotaur. The reason this is striking is because Eisler announced, after turning down the Minotaur deal, that he would not sign with a legacy publisher. The assumption made by many was he would self-publish all of his later work. But since this deal includes a print edition, the backlash from the uninformed has begun.
The first comment left on the post included a snarky tirade that basically implied Barry Eisler was a hypocrite (at least that’s how I took it, anyway). The commenter said there was no difference between Amazon and a “legacy” publisher. The best part was Barry Eisler (or someone posing as Barry) refuted all of her points, by pointing out the obvious…She hadn’t read his contract. She hadn’t read his mind. She did not know the details.
My thoughts: I think her comment was made of out fear of this new age of publishing, where writers are taking control of their own careers. I think this is a good deal, from what I know of it. It may appear Barry Eisler is jumping ship, but he probably got just the deal he wanted, with the right amount of control over the work he’s comfortable with.
In other posts, I’ve railed pretty hard against Big-Pub and pretty much said I’d never go that route. That’s wasn’t a true statement. If the right kind of deal can be made with a traditional publisher – one that had clearly defined terms for rights, royalties, etc., and treats the writer fairly – then do absolutely do the deal.
Again…as long as it treats the writer fairly.
Amanda Hocking’s first deal with St. Martin’s press was the right deal to make (given what I know about it). Her follow-up deal to give up control of one of her self-published e-book trilogies…BAD (again…given what I know about it).
We’ll see if Amazon becomes a victim of their own creation in the long run.
Speaking for myself, I am hopeful.