Today brings another fine post by Kristine Rusch. She's mainly talking about contracts. (And she makes a good case that even hard-core indies need to know about trends in book contracts and the larger publishing industry--of course I agree, but I would, wouldn't I? I just love this kind of thing.)
Anyway, she also has an insightful bit into her hybrid approach. Once again, you're not seeing slavish dedication to traditional publishing or insane fanaticism against it, you're seeing someone take a thoughtful approach to figure out what works for her.
With advances declining, it’s less and less likely that a midlist writer can receive a good advance in exchange for the rights she’s licensing.
Yet I continue to sell into traditional publishing. Why?
Because I’m using traditional publishing to advertise my indie-published titles under the same name. When Wickedly Charming, my Kristine Grayson novel, appeared from Sourcebooks, the sales of all of my indie-published Kristine Grayson novels jumped dramatically. They hit a higher plateau and have stayed on that plateau.
Sourcebooks is promoting Kristine Grayson in venues that I have yet to reach. Instead of me spending advertising dollars to get the word out on my book, I’m getting paid to advertise.
In the advertising business, they call what I’m doing a loss leader. I am losing some upfront money to bring someone to my product. Is it worthwhile? It was on the first Grayson book. Since I wrote this piece last year, I’ve published two more Grayson books with Sourcebooks. The increase in sales has not been as dramatic.
I suspect that the loss leader theory only works for a few books, rather than an entire series of them.
Look at that! Data -> theory. New data -> modification of theory. This isn't magic or luck or genius. It's something everybody can do. The only role Rusch's years of publishing experience plays in her logic is that she's calm enough to actually think.