Monday, April 21, 2008

How Does Indiana Jones Compare with Publish America?

It's amazing but it appears that alternative publishing models have influenced other industries.

On April 21 the front page of the business section of the LA Times noted that Harrison Ford, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg will take their money on the backend of the new Indiana Jones sequel, rather than the front.

That's like an author not taking an advance but putting it off in favor of profits to be made later. In fact their model reminds me of that pioneered by Publish America years ago. PA takes on all the expenses of production (just like Paramount will in this contract that protects them from giving out huge salaries/advances).

In other words, in both cases the artists/authors are sharing some of the risks. That encourages everyone to give the project their all in terms of marketing. The difference, as I see it, and it IS a big difference, is that on the backend, these powerhouse names will reap even larger percentages that they would have doing it the old way.

You say, "Yes, but these are big names and most of the PA authors are pretty much unknown." Still, if PA upped the discount they give to authors on their books (after they'd made back their expenses), they'd be looking like leaders in not only the publishing industry but others as well. They already do offer a slightly larger royalty after so many books are sold. (Of course, that is nothing new. Publishers have done that for eons.)

And about that marketing? Do Hollywood names need a nudge to partner as marketers? Sure they do. It's probably not an occasional scenario that big stars take their money and then try to duck out of the talk show tours, which--we all know--are lots of work.
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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author THIS IS THE PLACE; HARKENING: A COLLECTION OF STORIES REMEMBERED; TRACINGS, a chapbook of poetry; and two how to books, THE FRUGAL BOOK PROMOTER: HOW TO DO WHAT YOUR PUBLISHER WON'T; and THE FRUGAL EDITOR: PUT YOUR BEST BOOK FORWARD TO AVOID HUMILIATION AND ENSURE SUCCESS.
Her other blogs include TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com and AuthorsCoalition.blogspot.com, a blog that helps writers and publishers turn a ho-hum book fair booth into a sizzler.

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