This is an announcement about Book 3 of the Turner series–Smite’s book. A lot of people have been asking me when it will come out. Read to the end, and you’ll get your answer–and the new title!
Before we get there, though, I have to subject you to some really boring numbers. Please bear with me, as they are marginally relevant.
HQN, my publisher for Unveiled and Unclaimed, only gives its authors 8% of the cover price for electronic sales. This is below the 25% of net (which comes out to 12-16% of the cover price, depending on who you talk to) that other publishers give. It’s well below the 70% that you can get going to Amazon directly (for books above $2.99).
In a world where more than 30% of sales are digital and print sales are falling, an 8% digital royalty rate just didn’t make business sense to me.
In February, Harlequin offered to buy my next two books. They actually offered more money upfront than I was expecting–it was a very nice deal (in publisher’s marketplace terminology). But the royalty rate was stuck at 8%. I talked it over with my agent, the brilliant and supportive Kristin Nelson. We said, “no, thank you.”
Harlequin is not going to be publishing the third book in this series.
You may notice that I walked away from this deal in February. It is almost June now, and I haven’t said anything. I planned to self-publish the third book in the series, but before I publicly announced my intention to do so, I wanted to make sure I could do it right.
And so I worked on a test-case: a novella for a minor character in my first book. I had to learn about covers, about hiring freelancers to take care of all aspects of editing, about formatting, about distribution.
It was a lot of work. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
It was also a lot of fun.
Unlocked was my proof of concept–to see if I could produce something of traditionally-published quality in a self-published setting. If I concluded that I couldn’t, I would have found another way to get my readers the third book. I refuse to compromise on the quality of the work I produce, no matter what my personal business objections may be.
But I’m really proud of the result, and I hope that my readers will like it, too. You can get Unlocked for 99 cents.
So where does that leave us with the third book in the Turner series?
- It will be available in both print and digital.
- The print version will be orderable through Ingram’s. If you’re an Indie bookstore who wants to carry the book, contact me. I’d love to talk about what I can do to make it work for you.
- The digital version will be available everywhere I can make it available–both in terms of geographical vendors and in terms of vendors.
- It will be available soon. My goal is to have it up November of 2011–a month after Unclaimed releases–but I won’t give a firm date yet, because the book isn’t done. If I need to take more time to make it the best book I can, I will.
- It will be available at a reasonable price.
- It’s going to be called Unraveled.
- And–I don’t want to jinx the writing–but so far, it’s my favorite book that I’ve ever written. And I promise that I will do the story justice.
This isn’t the flashiest announcement ever made. I’m not flouncing from the room. I’m not proclaiming that I will never again work with the modern-day Babylon that is New York. I happen to like the editors I’ve met, so I would rather not draw mustaches on them in effigy. I don’t like their royalty rates, and I really don’t like those royalty rates coupled with “in print” clauses that will keep rights to the book in the publisher’s hands for the rest of my life. But those are business objections, and like all business objections, they can be alleviated.
I hope that reality proves as boring as this announcement: that no matter what the processes are that take my books to market, I continue to produce the best books that I can, and my readers continue to enjoy them.