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Thread: Carina Press

  1. #51
    practical experience, FTW mlhernandez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by para View Post
    Didn't something like this come up with the now defunct Quartet Press? When is gross net or something? Not to revisit the whole thing but were some authors quite insistent that they were paid gross but when you got down into it, they were paid gross minus certain fees (which sounds a lot like net but by another name)?
    Yes. There was a lot of confusion on net and gross as defined by Quartet. Most epubbed authors I know expect to receive royalties on cover price from their publisher's site and net royalties from third party sites (Fictionwise, etc.) It's the net royalties from a pub's direct sales on site that is odd.

  2. #52
    'Twas but a dream of thee El Jefe MacAllister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Susan Gable View Post
    Mac's mom carries a list around with her of authors she likes. I know, cause I'm on that list. <G> (Which is WAY COOL, and something Mac didn't know, either. LOL.) So, again, even within Harlequin, it's sometimes about the author as well.

    There are plenty of names that are well-recognized within Harlequin. Trust me, the readers begin to recognize certain names for giving them a certain experience even within the lines.

    There are plenty more who've moved outside and become even more widely recognized. (Nora Roberts, Suzanne Brockman, Stephanie Bond, Jennifer Crusie, Debbie Macomber [Debbie still publishes with Mira, though]...)
    Susan tells it true, here.

    What's hard to quantify OR qualify is word of mouth. But my mom is one of those people who is happiest when she's turning other people on to her favorite authors and books. I have NO idea how many copies of the various Nora Roberts and other favorite authors' series romance novels she bought over the years -- but still if she sees an old Roberts book she remembers loving, she'll buy it to give away or donate. And she's a faithful pre-order-er.

    Those are the kind of readers who are worth a lot more than the handful of hardbacks they buy every year, and the bagfuls of paperbacks they buy every month, because they're a completely unpaid sales-force composed of zealots.

    (Also, my mom is a force of nature. So if she gives you a book and says "Read this, you'll love it!" You darned well do as you're told.)
    Last edited by MacAllister; 11-12-2009 at 10:46 AM.
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  3. #53
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    I scanned through the thread to see if there were any questions I could clear up, but the main thing I saw was the question of royalties. Carina Press will pay royalties on cover price. No net, no fees, just cover price. We avoided net and set the royalties at 30% direct from the website and 15% from 3rd party distributors, and the plan is to distribute through those you could probably list. And yes, 3rd party online distributors take a very, very large slice of the book sales in terms of percentage. It's another thing the publishing industry is really struggling with right now. Everyone wants the largest piece of the pie! It will be interesting to see in the future how it shakes down and if those large distributor percentages stick.

    A few other concerns I think were mentioned:

    Yep, the website is currently geared towards authors, because there's no way to gear it to readers with no content to offer or share! Our "announcement" of opening was for the publishing industry and authors, so we could start building our list. The site and marketing will change as we get closer to the summer launch. Of course we want readers to take interest in what we're doing, but in these early days, we're going to be focusing on answering questions from authors, since it's hard to build a publishing house without them. You're the key element.

    The Carina team is comprised of some existing Harlequin staff, on the marketing/website/digital side of things, but the editing and copy editing will be done by freelance editors and copy editors I hire, so the editorial staff will be separate (and will not be paid on royalty, as many publishers who follow this business model do, but on a flat fee). We'll have a variety of editors interested in all genres. Which leads me to...

    Your thoughts on the wide content/genres being acquired: Since I was at Samhain from the beginning, I'm in a unique position to understand how difficult it was to do a general fiction acquisition at the time Samhain opened. But I think it's important to remember that 1) that was several years ago and at the time Samhain went romance only, there was no Kindle, Fictionwise was one of the few online retailers in the game, and erotic romance was practically the only digital product that sold well. Since that time, the digital market and digital industry have exploded and I think the time is ripe for a publisher to step in with fresh, digital-only content that's more than romance. As more readers move to digital reading, they will seek out the content that appeals to them, and there are many, many readers for whom romance doesn't hold appeal, but science fiction, fantasy, mystery, thrillers, etc. do. Does that mean I think it will go gangbusters out of the door? No, but it means I think that the right publisher, willing to take the time and build the audience and the talented authors, can capitalize on a rapidly expanding digital marketplace. And yes, clearly I believe Carina is that press!

    Please let me know if I missed something, and I'll try to answer.

  4. #54
    practical experience, FTW JanDarby's Avatar
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    the editorial staff will be separate (and will not be paid on royalty, as many publishers who follow this business model do, but on a flat fee).
    That does sound encouraging, in that it reflects a financial commitment by the publisher.

    JD

  5. #55
    'Twas but a dream of thee El Jefe MacAllister's Avatar
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    Oh good. Glad you stopped by, Angela - I was about to drop you a note with a link, and ask if you had time. Thank you!
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  6. #56
    Dreamer of dreams, teller of tales Absolute Sage Susan Gable's Avatar
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    Angela, can you address why the twice-a-year royalties, which is how...ummm...old-school <G> (I hate to use traditional LOL) publishing works, instead of quarterly or monthly, which is how a lot of the epub only publishers work?

    I mean, with no advance, it's nice for an author to be able to begin earning some money soon after publication, which the other models allow better than the bi-annually model.

    So why did they decide to just carry on with the payment schedule they use on the HQ side of things?

    Thanks!

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  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela James View Post
    Please let me know if I missed something, and I'll try to answer.
    I have a content question... is there a minimum word count? It says "shorter length stories of less than 50,000 words", but that's a pretty wide range there. Do you mean you'll take short stories or short story collections? Or are you meaning novelish things that don't quite make 50,000 words?
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  8. #58
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    Easy answer first: Polenth, we will look at anything as short as around 15k.

    Susan's question: It's a really good question, Susan, with a somewhat simple answer: Carina will be using much of Harlequin's back end work flow, to simplify the process and that includes the royalty system. Harlequin's royalty system works very well, authors always get paid on time and correctly, which is important too (at least I think so!) One other thing to keep in mind that will work differently, is that though royalties go out twice a year, you will still get paid for sales made, not just for money that's come in, as most epubs do.

    Example: Let's say you sold 10,000 copies of a book on Kindle (oh come on, dream big with me!) but though the sales report has come in letting Carina know of those 10,000 sales, the money hasn't been paid by Amazon yet, when it comes time to pay royalties. Doesn't matter. The author will still get paid for all reported sales.

  9. #59
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Thanks for coming on the board to answer questions, Angela. It's much appreciated.

  10. #60
    It happened at his concert... Deb Kinnard's Avatar
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    This is probably at least partially off-topic, but what do Fictionwise and the other third-party sellers actually DO that's worth 60% of the purchase price of an e-book? I've visited some of those sites and it looks as though all they do is slap the book's data, intact from the publisher, onto their own site, and hope for good sales.
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  11. #61
    paranormal interest Jennifer Robins's Avatar
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    Hi, Angela,
    Would there be an option for print at any time?

  12. #62
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    Jennifer, we aren't ruling that out for the future, but right now are going to focus on digital because that is the main purpose of Carina. There are many options we can explore for print in the future, but just not at this time.

  13. #63
    Dreamer of dreams, teller of tales Absolute Sage Susan Gable's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela James View Post
    Jennifer, we aren't ruling that out for the future, but right now are going to focus on digital because that is the main purpose of Carina. There are many options we can explore for print in the future, but just not at this time.
    Angela, I "heard" through the grapevine (not the most reliable source. <G>) that the Carina contract is asking for print rights, though.

    Can you yea or nay that?

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  14. #64
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    Yes, true. The rights are similar to the Harlequin contract.

  15. #65
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Ouch. I think that's going to be a deal-breaker for a lot of authors.

    Why does Carina want print rights when they're raison d'etre is "I think the time is ripe for a publisher to step in with fresh, digital-only content"? It might make more sense for Carina to have a ROFR/options clause on print rights if e-book sales hit a set threshhold.

  16. #66
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    My main worry is this is just another case of the big boys trying to muscle out the little guys. I mean most of the epublishers I know are small time micropresses and with these guys comming in, what chance do they have?

  17. #67
    It happened at his concert... Deb Kinnard's Avatar
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    Bushdoctor, in my (only 7 years) experience, that will be largely driven by content and quality. For example, people who buy from my current publisher may or may not browse Carina's offerings. Desert Breeze specializes in "sweet" or "warm" romance, while I hear Carina will not be limited to that end of the continuum.

    I think a small time micropress has just as much chance as the quality, and its ability to get the word out, will give it. It's a whole new world for e-publishing, and daily expanding its borders.
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  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deb Kinnard View Post
    Bushdoctor, in my (only 7 years) experience, that will be largely driven by content and quality. For example, people who buy from my current publisher may or may not browse Carina's offerings. Desert Breeze specializes in "sweet" or "warm" romance, while I hear Carina will not be limited to that end of the continuum.

    I think a small time micropress has just as much chance as the quality, and its ability to get the word out, will give it. It's a whole new world for e-publishing, and daily expanding its borders.
    My main worry Deb is that others will follow Carina. To use an analogy - small independent shops sometimes get put out of business by large retailers like Tesco and Asda. If players like Carina expand the market that will be great news, but if the are going to eat into the existing market then the micropresses are done for. For example I assume they will be more effective at marketing given their contacts and financial backing.
    The other thing I am concerned about is the authors. I am not published, it is a tough industry and the small micropresses seem more willing to engage with authors like myself who find it hard to break into the mainstream. If the huge publishers get to dominate the digital market, what will that mean for writers like us at the bottom of the food chain?

  19. #69
    Dreamer of dreams, teller of tales Absolute Sage Susan Gable's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela James View Post
    Yes, true. The rights are similar to the Harlequin contract.
    So, not just the epub and print rights, but pretty much all rights?

    Thank you for your willingness to answer our questions, Angela!

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  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unimportant View Post
    Ouch. I think that's going to be a deal-breaker for a lot of authors.

    Why does Carina want print rights when they're raison d'etre is "I think the time is ripe for a publisher to step in with fresh, digital-only content"? It might make more sense for Carina to have a ROFR/options clause on print rights if e-book sales hit a set threshhold.
    http://pubrants.blogspot.com/2009/11...into-play.html

    I'm not trying to give a non-answer, but I read this post yesterday and I thought it was a nice lightbulb moment (for me), about publishers taking digital/print rights and the no-compete clause.

    About setting a sales threshold, the one thing I have to say, from my years of doing this, is that sales threshold in digital is no indication of how it will do in print. Possibly that will change as digital becomes more mainstream, but right now books that sell not-so-well in digital can sell gangbusters in print and vice versa.

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Susan Gable View Post
    So, not just the epub and print rights, but pretty much all rights?

    Thank you for your willingness to answer our questions, Angela!

    Susan G.
    There's a bit more on this here: http://carinapress.com/?p=140

    And I apologize if anyone thinks I'm being cagey, but answering questions for Carina/Harlequin is much harder than where I've worked previously because they're a larger corporation and have a whole lot of policies about these things!

  22. #72
    Super Moderator SuperModerator Stew21's Avatar
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    thanks for being so helpful, Angela. We really appreciate it.

  23. #73
    Dreamer of dreams, teller of tales Absolute Sage Susan Gable's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Susan Gable View Post
    So, not just the epub and print rights, but pretty much all rights?
    .
    To make it easier for others interested in this, I went to the link Angela helpfully shared with us.

    It states that Carina will be buying ALL rights.

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  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Susan Gable View Post
    It states that Carina will be buying ALL rights.
    Oy.

    I know Harlequin is notorious for rights grabbing in their contracts, but come on. With no current plan for exploiting print rights, taking those rights is unreasonable. And what are the chances of selling movie rights for a book without print exposure? Like it or not, the print audience is, at this time, much larger than the digital one. Without even an advance, a global rights grab is just draconian.

    I'm not up on RWA rules, but will a sale to a non-advance paying publisher at least make the writer eligible for RWA membership?

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  25. #75
    Dreamer of dreams, teller of tales Absolute Sage Susan Gable's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eirin View Post

    I'm not up on RWA rules, but will a sale to a non-advance paying publisher at least make the writer eligible for RWA membership?
    Anyone who is "seriously pursuing publication" can join RWA. Unpubs are welcome.

    To qualify for PAN (Published Author Network of RWA), the writer will have to prove they've made...I think it's $1,000.00...off the sale of ONE book. (In other words, no combining money from several books to get to $1,000.00) The qualifications have changed recently, and I'm not precisely up-to-date on them.

    Carina will NOT qualify (under current RWA standards) as a "Recognized Publisher." Only Recognized publishers are allowed to take appointments and do other "official" things at RWA National. To be a Recognized Publisher, the publisher must offer an advance of at least $1,000 to each and every author.

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