Tuesday, May 25, 2010

PW and NY Agents Sink to a New Level!

"Excuse me Mr. Konrath, is that a Kindle in your pocket?"

The war in the publishing "revolution" reached new heights today when a scathing article penned by Publishers Weekly essentially accused bestselling author and indy publishing guru, JA Konrath of resorting to "scheme" tactics by signing a new book deal with Amazon-Encore. In a blatant and curious attempt to fully discredit Konrath as a legitimate author, PW sighted falling sales and "a book no one wanted," as the reason behind the new deal with the electronic powerhouse. PW even went so far as to back up their argument by interviewing one New York agent who refused to reveal his or her true identity.

"It's not necessarily clear that big corporate publishing is well structured to help low midlist authors with rapidly reducing print runs in an environment in which overall print sales are falling week by week," expounded Mr. or Ms. Anonymous. "I think what Joe [Konrath] did is valuable in that he saw there was an opportunity to create low-priced content and bypass the system."

Yet one of the agents interviewed, Scott Waxman of the Waxman Agency, must be a visionary who views that same "system" as, well, failing. He fully admitted to even starting his own new publishing venture entirely based upon the new Indy Model. "If you have an author with a platform who can sell books, we're happy selling 5,000 to 10,000 copies," says Waxman about his Diversion Books. "While Diversion isn't paying advances, it's not taking everyone who comes in with a manuscript. This isn't self-publishing...You get real publishing support. I know you don't get that with self-publishing. This lives in between."

Konrath who was quick to respond to this less than kind, blatantly biased, article raises the possibility that PW might owe him an apology. But by the looks of it, PW is simply making a weak play at holding at bay a publishing revolution which is clearly making its presence known in the Big Apple. And like Konrath says, any kind of publicity is good publicity, especially when it's being written by a nose-bitten douchebag.

As a novelist who has published with the biggies and the Indy Presses (no I haven't self-published...yet!), my agent, Janet Benrey (a brave Brit who wishes not to remain anonymous) recently asked me if I would like to make a return to big publishing one day. My response was this: If they want to pay me a major six or seven-figure advance, keep my book in print for seven or more years, offer me 50% on E-Book publication, and 25% minimum on trade paper and/or hardcover, if they want to market the hell out of it, if they can guarantee they won't discontinue the imprint, be taken over in a consolidation, if they promise to abide by the contract and not "cancel" it, and finally, if they'll kiss my perfectly carved Planet Fitness ass, than sure, I'll think about it. Janet's response? Well, she couldn't stop laughing.

Oh, and the link to Konrath's response and the PW Pulitzer Prize Winning article...click here!


  1. Classic-- this is a great response to the PW article, which was obvioulsy designed to poach Konrath's success story and instead has given him even more free publicity.

  2. I was amazed when I read that PW piece, and thought it quite funny when Konrath calmly and dispassionately refuted every single point of contention in the article. Things in the book business are changing faster than anyone ever saw coming, especially those in Big Publishing, who historically have moved slower than death regarding change...

  3. People are morons. Joe is smart. A world filled with morons can't understand people who actually understand math and how to make money.

    Zoe Winters