Konrath Sieges the Castle

This post, by Mary Anne Graham, originally appeared on her Quacking Alone blog on 5/23/10.

Joe Konrath,  author of the Jack Daniels thriller series and of the new resource for indie writers – The Newbies Guide to Publishing – has inked a deal that sieges the Publishing Royals’ Castle.  It also charts the course, showing the Royals, authors and agents where the future lies.  The deal itself and the fact that it is with the biggest, baddest ebookseller AND bookseller on the planet has traditional publishing Royals hunkering down in the castle in the futile hope that they can survive the coming indie siege.

Konrath signed a publishing deal with AmazonEncore for the newest JD thriller, Shaken. Under the deal, Shaken will be available in the Kindle store this October and will then be available in print about four months later, in February 2011.   The deal turns the traditional arrangements around 180 degrees and has the Kindle version released first with the print book following several months later.  Some of the Royals have been trying to kill the  upstart ebook industry by releasing their “big” books only in paper form for several months.  That would force loyal fans to buy the paper version and discourage the fans from investing in the future.  Or so the Royals thought and the Royals are used to deciding what we will read, when we will read it and how we will read it.  

The Castle Dwelling Royals, their Acceptable Authors, and many of the Chosen Intermediary literary agents have been particularly disgruntled by this deal.  Why?  Well, first of all, the deal was done with Konrath and his literary agent.  No doubt, the Royals were convinced that the agent should have known better.  See, Konrath had marketed the book to the Royals.  Between his efforts and those of his agent, even if the Royals were too good to bother to Google it for themselves, the Royals were surely advised of Konrath’s killer numbers on Kindle for sales of all of his ebooks.  But, as usual, the Royals knew more about what America wanted to read than Americans did, so they rejected the book.  Why would they encourage one of those  people anyway? 
But Amazon is not fettered by the Royal Superiority Complex.  The rebel company offers a platform for all authors to put their work out there and let readers decide for themselves whether or not to hit the buy button.  The Royals (and a few jealous indie competitors) might believe Konrath was inflating his numbers, but Amazon knew better.  And Amazon knows that the digital future is better served by getting it out there electronically first.  So, Konrath and his agent refused to take the Royal NO for an answer and signed on with a company sailing for the future, rather than with one mired in the past. 

Read the rest of the post on Mary Anne Graham‘s Quacking Alone blog.