Simon & Schuster’s New Deal with Amazon

So, this news broke yesterday: http://time.com/3525993/amazon-simon-schuster-hachette/

With precious few details.

Context: My books Geekomancy, Celebromancy, Attack the Geek, and The Younger Gods are all published by Simon & Schuster. I’ve got a lot of literary skin in this game. I also have work out with Amazon Publishing, who published Shield and Crocus, and are contracted to publish an original graphic novel in that world.

As a S&S author, I received a note last night from S&S CEO Carolyn Reidy, indicating that the deal was advantageous to S&S and authors, maintaining author’s share of sales.

So the big question is: What is the new deal? Agency pricing for ebooks has typically been a 70/30 split, with publishers taking 70% of list, and the retailer taking 30%, which they can discount out of (sometimes, depending on the deal).

If this means that S&S ebooks are moving from Agency Lite to a new Agency, then individual author share is not likely to change, consistent with current reports. But this is likely to be a different kind of Agency deal, and there may be small print aspects to the deal that change the math.

I’m hoping that more details will come out, especially as a S&S author:

In the meantime, I have far more questions than answers:

What’s the publisher/retailer split?

What are the ‘limited exceptions’ where Amazon will be able to set the price of some books?

And what went differently in the S&S negotiations than those with Hachette? It’s unlikely that the exact details will be made publicly available, but if various Big Five publishers end up with notably different terms with Amazon, it behooves authors to know at least some of the details about those differences as we make our decisions about where to submit and publish our books.

UPDATED 1:01 PM with more details.

 

 

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