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    « Answering Questions About Family History Books | Main | Just What a Writer Needs - An Algorithm »
    Friday
    Sep302011

    Writing Commercial Fiction?

    Check this out! There’s a new kid in town, and this one is accepting unagented manuscripts. If you write genre fiction, such as mystery, romance, or science fiction, this is a chance to be discovered. They are called Musa Publishing, and they have a number of genre imprints, and also a speculative fiction eMag called Penumbra.

    Of all the obstacles that face new authors, being without an agent is one of the most formidable. After all, you just want to submit your book, right? Why this two-step process, then, of finding an agent to represent you?

    Agents have traditionally been the gatekeepers of the publishing industry, screening manuscripts to locate the ones most likely to succeed at a given publishing house. For an author, this means giving up perhaps 15% of a book’s revenue to the agent – a tough price to pay. Traditionally, authors have grudgingly paid their dues to gain access to a publisher.

    So when a publisher comes along who will deal directly with an author, without the agent’s cut, it gets interesting. And this new publisher, Musa, posts the terms of their author contracts online. http://musapublishing.blogspot.com/p/royalties.html

    Musa royalties are set up as the following:

    • For trade paperback copies sold less returns: 15% percent (FIFTEEN) of the cover price received for each sale made directly on the Musa Press site.
    • For trade paperback copies sold less returns: 15% percent (FIFTEEN) of the cover price for each sale made on third-party wholesalers, distributors, resellers, or vendors sites.
    • For electronic edition copies sold: fifty percent (50%) of the cover price received for each sale made directly off the Musa Press site.
    • For electronic edition copies sold: fifty percent (50%) of the NET amount received for each sale made directly from third-party wholesalers, distributors, resellers, or vendors.
    • For electronic edition copies sold on sale: fifty percent (50%) of the sale price received for each sale made on the Musa Press site.

    Here’s the interesting twist it took me a moment to understand: Musa starts all authors off with ebooks, and then, depending on their sales, goes to print. Their site states:

    PRINT—Musa will select books for our print line based upon sales. If your sales reach a certain level, your book will go into print. At that time, for any book sold on our site you will receive 15% of the cover price and through a third party you receive 15% of the net.

    Is this a good deal? That’s a matter of perspective. The unknown question, as with any publisher, is what will they do to market and promote your book. How many copies will be sold? If your book is accepted by a publisher who then lets it grow stale on the shelf, it’s never a good deal. If the book gains lots of exposure because the publisher does the job of marketing and promotion well – then that is the stuff of an author’s dreams come true.

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