A peek behind the curtain

Over at Bookshelves of Doom, author Rick Yancy gives a real-world look at Simon & Schuster's decision not to offer on more books in the Montrumologist series - even though the first one was a Printz Honor book.

"A couple millinia later (i.e., about a week), my agent called to tell me that S&S would not be offering a contract for any more books in the series. I was surprised. I won't say shocked. Times had changed since S&S had acquired the series in '07. The whole damn world had changed. I understood - even expected - a much lower advance. But no more books? Really? What was the reasoning? My agent quoted them as saying, "We think we've spent too much on these books already. We're not prepared to spend any more.""

You can read more here. The comments are also quite interesting.

This is a more honest and raw look at the book world than you'll normally see.

Is that honesty a good idea? I honestly don't know.



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He was paid in the mid six figures for three books. His publisher chose not to buy any additional books. I'm not shedding tears for him. If he really wants the series to contiune, he could self-publish new books in the series and keep the profits for himelf.
It shows the pitfalls of a high advance, that's for sure. I've seen authors get locked in death spirals, where the money is good, you think it will always be that way, but you don't come close to earning out and you have a hard time selling more.
This seems like a case where self-publishing would probably make sense. Especially e-publishing.