High-Level Summit, Publishing Style

January 20th, 2006 · 2 Comments
by Booksquare

Random House and a group of UK agents convened for a summit regarding the future of publishing. Or rather, the future of publishing as it relates to author compensation. We were taken by this rather prosaic comment regarding money or lack thereof:

Transworld Publisher Larry Finlay said: “There’s no reduction of advances for the big names, but there are far more higher discount clauses in contracts now. That leads to reduced royalties, which could ultimately mean lower advances. Publishers are feeling the pain – unearned advances have increased.”

The Publishing News coverage of this top-secret meeting doesn’t suggest that the discussions will contain anything new. In fact, the discussions being discussed are more or less hypothetical, though everyone seems resigned to the notion that lower sales mean lower advances. This is the kind of news that you don’t need to announce over a buffet-style lunch. If only they’d invited us (we do, after all, speak a form of English that is generally comprehensible to the British) — we would love to discuss this very topic while pointing out that now is a good time to start thinking about doing things in a new way.

File Under: The Business of Publishing

2 responses so far ↓

  • David Thayer // Jan 20, 2006 at 3:13 pm

    This is exciting like the Yalta Conference or maybe the Appalachian Conference where all those mob guys ran into the woods when the FBI swooped in. It would be more fun if the secret meetings took place at the Tower of London and naughty agents were dipped in boiling oil or something. Canola oil, of course.

  • Erin O'Brien // Jan 20, 2006 at 8:20 pm

    Let them all eat POD.