The big news in publishing this week was the defection of Bob Miller from the experimental HarperCollins imprint HarperStudio in favor of running things over at Workman (also home to Algonquin and Artisan). The highly respected Miller shook things up two years ago by launching the imprint
, whose innovation was to take an indie approach to profit sharing with its authors (a modest cash advance in exchange for a 50/50 split of the net proceeds). Also considered "fresh" was HS' website
, which isn't in keeping with the typical corporate approach and seems devoted to branding its authors and editors in a way that suggests a devotion to innovative online marketing and word-of-mouth sales.
So what will happen to HS now? Reports straight from the horse's mouth
claim no cancelled contracts, but it remains to be seen if HarperCollins will keep things status quo, or simply allow the titles to be absorbed by other imprints and/or the old royalty model. This Daily Finance piece
on the subject was kind of a bummer, but I can't help wondering if Miller won't carry his approach over to Workman. I guess we'll see.
Those of you who've been published: wanna talk about this question of profit sharing? I think most authors would still prefer as much money on the front end as possible (agents too), but what kind of experiences have you had with an alternative?
P.S. The Economics of Integrity
by Anna Bernasek, was recently published by HarperStudio.