Amazon is stepping up its efforts to acquire rights to author’s book content. Just recently Amazon bought world rights to two books by UK romantic comedy novelist Matt Dunn, in a deal signed directly with the author. A Day at the Office, originally self-published, had reached the Top 10 in the Kindle book chart.
Also in the UK this week, Amazon’s new Thomas & Mercer, a thriller and mystery press, made its first acquisition with two self-published works from Mel Sherratt, Taunting the Dead and Watching Over You.
“They offered me $5k, with 35% royalties only. My book is already published, and they said they would just transfer it over in October. They were firm on the cover being theirs, something to do with rights.
I sent them a link to the stock photo of my model, but they wouldn’t guarantee me approval power, and some of their covers were so bad I got worried.
I guess the agent stumbled across it, because I did not submit it anywhere, just got an email from them out of nowhere. At first I thought it was spam, ha ha.”
“The one really nice thing about this was that I was able to get in contact with an agent from the Knight Agency, and she gave me some good, honest advice about what I could expect if I shopped the book around. Also she read a few chapters of my book and liked it, and said I could send her the next one I wrote – new adult is apparently a hard genre to shop around to traditional publishers, unless you have a ton of sales already, since it is such a new category.
Offer was not favorable
Aubrey Rose, successfully self-published writer, says the offer from the online giant was far LESS than she could make on her own. For every book she sells on Amazon, she receives 70% of the list price – and she can sell her book everywhere else, e.g. on Kobo, B&N, Apple, Sony, Diesel etc. As an Amazon author, the book would have been offered exclusively on Amazon.
The Guardian wrote: “A self-published author of romantic erotica, who had dreamed of being a published author since she was a little girl, has found herself in the unlikely position of turning down a publishing contract with Amazon.com, after it turned out she could make a better living by going it alone.
Rose was only offered $5k, with 35% royalties, a post by the author on Reddit confirmed . But that turned out to be “less than I had made in my first month of sales”, Rose wrote on her blog.
Aubrey Rose, whose Me, Cinderella? was self-published in the US on Amazon.com and through Barnes&Noble, was put off by the small sum on offer and by the lack of control she’d have over her book covers – a perennial gripe among many “properly” published authors. On her blog, Rose wrote: “As a writer of big beautiful women romance, I’m acutely aware of the limited amount of cover material available to us and I DO NOT want a thin girl on my cover.”
She added that Amazon “couldn’t guarantee anything – from cover image to pricing to marketing. And I would have to pull my book from every publisher except Amazon.” She added: “It was hard for me to say no. Ever since I was a little girl I’d dreamed about being a ‘published author’ …” One of my writer friends asked, ‘What are they guaranteeing you other than that they will take all the publishing rights and half of your royalties?’
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