Saturday, February 16, 2013

Martinus Publishing's Week in Review

This past week has had some interesting landmarks for Martinus Publishing.

First off, I have done a fairly thorough proofing and formatting for "The Temporal Element," and with any luck that will be ready for the printers sometime next week (though it will not be officially released until April 1, 2013).  Once the final proofing is complete, I will have a cost projection, and other important data.

Secondly, I have received the first submissions for the "Veterans of the Future Wars" anthology.  There's one in particular that I'm seriously considering, and a few that I'll have to let go, for different reasons.  It's still early, but it's good to see some initial interest.  No doubt, the prospect of royalty payments is a good incentive.

I'd like to take a moment to discuss the idea of offering royalties for anthology contributors.  This is something that I have decided to start doing with future anthologies, despite the effort involved with keeping track of everything.

When it comes to the small press, nothing is terribly certain these days.  Some books sell thousands of copies, while others won't even crack 100.  In most cases these days, publishers buy stories with an up-front payment (and from most small-presses, it isn't a big pay-out, either).  If the book sells a lot of copies, the publisher makes a lot of money on that initial investment, but the author doesn't see a cent over their initial payment.  However, if the book doesn't sell well, the writer ends up making out better than the publisher.  It's an uneven gamble.

Now, with the royalty system, both the publisher and the writers will share in the profit, and everyone will get paid based on the number of books sold.  This is something that has come up on different occasions with sales of my own work.  One notable example would have to be "West of the Warlock."  During contract negotiations, Hall Brothers offered me the option of either royalties or a generous one-time payment.  I opted for the royalties, because it was fairer.  It was enough that they paid for the cost of producing the book in the first place.

So, for the time being, I'll be offering royalties.  With 20+ authors contributing to each book, it won't be a large percentage per individual, but everyone will get something.

Moving on the third bit of publishing news, I recently commissioned a new piece of artwork for an upcoming anthology.  This art isn't for either of the anthologies I have announced.  It will be for something special that is being produced by a select group of writers, and I'll have more information about this project as things progress.

There you have Martinus Publishing's week in review.

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