This post, by David Gaughran, originally appeared on his Let’s Get Digital site on 8/4/11.
Scott Nicholson has been picked up by Amazon’s increasingly busy imprint Thomas & Mercer. He signed a two-book deal which will include his self-published title, Liquid Fear, and the forthcoming sequel, Chronic Fear.
Both will be released by Amazon on December 20 this year.
Summer is traditionally a slow period in publishing. Not for Thomas & Mercer, who have also snapped up Michael Wallace and J Carson Black in the last ten days, adding them to their earlier batch of summer signings JA Konrath, Barry Eisler, and Blake Crouch.
Along with some of the popular backlist titles of Ed McBain, Thomas & Mercer have an extremely strong line-up heading into the holiday season and beyond.
I will save a more in-depth analysis of Amazon’s apparent strategy for another blog post, but it is very clear that they are specifically targeting successful self-publishers. And indeed, many of the writers they have signed have said that Amazon were the only publisher they would consider signing with.
Why? Barry Eisler gave some clues when he mentioned a competitive advance, an extremely equitable digital royalty split, and a generally author-friendly contract all round, including the freedom to continue to self-publish other projects.
Others will note the speed with which Amazon can bring titles to market, and that they are both willing to release the digital version first, and leave the self-published title up in advance of the Amazon release to continue building an audience.
Joe Konrath has explained the power of an Amazon marketing push, something they don’t restrict to new titles, unlike most publishers.