"I turned down a million dollar book deal"
H.M. Ward is one of the biggest success stories out of self-publishing. Alongside Hugh Howey and E.L. James, she's been raking in millions from her independently published romances.
She had a conversation with traditional publishers--the so-called Big Five--about selling the print rights to her books. But none of them were interested. They wanted the ebook rights but those rights were bringing in over $100,000 a week for her. How much more could they do? What was their plan to take her marketing to the next level?
The answer: they didn't have a marketing plan beyond what H.M. Ward had already done for herself. They didn't really want anything approaching a partnership: they wanted a cash grab.
A million dollars? She's making that much every two months already. Why would she sign away 45% of her revenue?
Over the past year I've been offered over 1.5 million bucks in advances offered by huge publishing houses. I told them to show me a marketing plan that knocks my socks off and I'd consider their offer. I had this notion that they knew what they were doing and could do it better than I could. They said they had all these ideas and they're gonna blow my mind, which was a requirement for the deal, b/c the pay was too low.
About the money - if you have a book that hits #1-10 on the Kindle store, tons of people have the mistaken notion that it's gonna blip and fall and you're fun in the sun will end...unless a trad pub picks you up.
It's math time! A book in the top ten sells around 5-10K copies per day. Let's take the average and give the book some wiggle room and say it's selling 7K copies a day @ $2.99. In 7 days you'll have made (net, not gross) over $100,000. So BIG TRAD HOUSE offers you $200,000 for a three part series.
'Sign here,' they say. 'Sign fast! You want to strike while the irons hot.' 'A bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush.' 'It's a sure thing and if you don't sign, then you could loose everything.' <--They actually said all the crap to me, and its crap. If the book nets $100K in a week, what will it do next week? What about next month? What about next year? Never mind those other 2 books. Bad deal.
The most recent offer was for a high six figure deal on my next novel, on spec, sight unseen from one of the big 5. I gave the same terms - show me a kick *ss marketing plan and I'll consider it. They were excited and on it! They were going to wow me. Like I was gonna be so wowed that I'd die of the wowness. True story.
Dude, the marketing plan I got back was the equivalent of, 'we're gonna do stuff.' Their email list - yeah, they don't personally have one, but this archaic place does - had 2K people on it. That was the bulk of their plan.
My email list has over 30K ppl on it and I do a ton more stuff than they presented. There's a post in here about my release day marketing plan, most of which is free and time consuming. I still do that. It's listed in here with details.
THEY DON'T DO THAT MUCH.
I said no. And laughed. A lot. It was so weak.
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