NO more ADVANCES from HarperCollins?

Danger! Warning! Help-murder-police! We may be seeing a shift in traditional publishing that could hurt all authors.

This article was in the Wall Street Journal Online Edition today. {Thanks to Anonymous 3:16 for the rest of the text!]

“HarperCollins Unit to Pay Little or No Author Advances
By Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg
In a radical departure from traditional book-publishing practices, News Corp.’s HarperCollins Publishers is launching a new business that won’t accept returns from retailers. In addition, the new entity intends to pay little or nothing in the way of advances to its authors.
Instead, the unit, which hasn’t yet been named, will share its profits with writers and focus much of its sales efforts on the Internet. In recent years, Inc., the nation’s largest online book retailer by sales, has gained market share from bricks-and-mortar stores. News Corp. owns Dow Jones & Co., which publishes The Wall Street Journal.
The move by HarperCollins comes at a time when the book publishing and book retailing industries are battling to generate new sales and attract more readers.”


Now, it DOES say that this applies only to this new business they’re launching. But these ideas can be contagious.

Does anyone have access to the full article?

Does this scare anyone else?

I suspect the “no returns” policy, although I have been expecting that for YEARS (it doesn’t make sense that you can order and then RETURN merchandise or just the COVERS of the books, and hasn’t for a while), will create a change in the way that bookstores order copies of novels just coming out that are not from the Big Names or famous people. Eek.

I never did think advances were THAT important, but then again I never tried to live on them. Remember, I gots this sugar daddy (hubby) who seems to enjoy working for The Man and who can do the magic juju that they need done on their telephone switch software and hardware and on other computerly entities so that baby can have a new pair of goggles. Thank goodness! Still, we *should* squall and bawl at the removal of advances, shouldn’t we? Tiny as they are?

Speaking of hubster, he went for his follow-up sonogram and echogram stress test this morning. It really wrung him out to run on the treadmill this time, but he stayed on for ten minutes, going pretty fast and at an increasing incline! The cardiologist looked at the echogram they did before he started running and then watched the test. “You pass,” he said. “Heart looks strong. See me for another test in three months–and we’ll do an echo of your carotids then, as I’ve found that patients who needed these stents also have blockages there. Ciao!”

So . . . my brain had rejoiced at the “You pass,” but then it got agitated by the “need another test.” However, it’s good news! We had planned to go off to the big mall in Frisco for lunch and wandering, but as we approached the car, he said, “My legs have turned to jelly and I’m so exhausted!” And he came home and took to his bed for the afternoon. Poop! But anyhow I have that convention coming up, so I *will* get out of the house.



Author: shalanna

Shalanna: rhymes with "Madonna" and "I wanna," and is not a soundalike with "Hosanna" or "Sha-Na-Na." Aging hippie with long hair, husband, elderly mother, and yappy Pomeranian. I've been writing since I could hold a crayon. I started with fiction, which Mama said was "lying." “Don’t tell stories,” she would admonish, in Southern vernacular. “That's all in your imagination!” When grownups said this, they were not approving. So, shamed, I stopped telling stories for a few years--rather, I stopped letting anyone read them. I'm married to a fellow computer nerd who doesn't really like hearing about writing, but who reads sf/fantasy and understands the creative drive. I'm actually a nonconformist/hippie still wearing bluejeans and drop earrings and the Alice-in-Wonderland hair with headbands and sandals. Favorite flavor is chocolate/orange, favorite color is either Dreamsicle orange (cantaloupe) or bubble-gum pink, favorite musical is either Bye Bye Birdie, Rocky Horror, or The Producers . . . wait, I also love The Music Man. Is this getting way too specific and irrelevant yet? Obvious why I don't sell a ton of flash fiction, isn't it? To define oneself, I always say, it is good to make a list. How about a booklist? Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird Frank and Ernestine Gilbreth, Cheaper by the Dozen C.S.Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (all the Narnia books) J.R.R.Tolkien,The Hobbit/LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy Gail Godwin, The Odd Woman F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby J. D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye (before dismissing it, actually read it) George Orwell, 1984 Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle Donna Tartt, The Secret History Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn James Allen, As A Man Thinketh Mark Winegardner, Elvis Presley Boulevard James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum Winnie-the-Pooh/House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie The KJV and NIV Bible (each translation has its glories)

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