In The Future. (today’s episode)

Via Twitter, Jane L asks:

If publishing moves away from advances, how will agents earn income? percentage of royalties?

In the future, publishing and epublishing will be two different things.

Oh, but they are now! you say. Yes, they are. But they don’t know they are two different things, so they’re experiencing a lot of mental illness.

So, in the future, publishing and epublishing will know they are two different things.

So let’s say I’m a new author. I’ve got a hot post-apocalyptic fantasy romance pageturner good to go. It has complete sentences, has a story, is set up for sequels. Colleen Lindsay loves it.

Instead of shopping it to a publisher, my spiffy agent and I arrange and pay for the editing, design, etc., get the isbn number, and make the title available for e-devices.

Agencies will be the new Houses. Marketing will happen through sites like Dear Author, Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, and avidbookreader.

True, there are no advances here. Worse, there are upfront costs — editing and design.

There is also no publisher taking freaking 90 percent. My agent and I can split the pot, say 25/75 to 40/60, depending on who takes on the upfront costs.

Think of it as test marketing. And we keep the epublishing rights. I’m trying to figure how good epublishers like Samhain would figure in this.

Anyway, the hard copy, foreign, film, audiobook, et al. rights will still exist to be sold.

The difference is, in the future books will have a history, guided and gated by professional agents, when they are shopped. Fewer paper and ink books will be printed, but more actual books will be out there for people to read.

The price of ebooks can drop enough to bring in more readers — and the agents and authors will STILL make more money per sale.

And here is why it’s good for paper and ink book publishing: They won’t be manufacturing so many books that end up in the return pile, which is the 800-pound gorilla that explains the mess publishing has got itself into.

So to agents out there, I say: Be brave! Think in a new paradigm. And, by the way, my hot post-apocalyptic fantasy romance is available . . .

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