giving an edge to authors selling in all formats. Jane Dystel added that for her own clients, ACX might be an option but would not be her first choice.
How can an indie author attract an agent to handle subsidiary rights? Larry Norton suggested building a pitch based on hard sales data—analyzing trends and prospects for a particular foreign market. Robert Gottlieb agreed that success in e-book sales can generate interest and is a new path toward acquiring representation.
Jane Dystel stressed the importance of networking and cooperation among self-published authors in advancing their respective careers.
What about film rights? A twitter of laughter showed what most panel participants—and audience members—thought of spending time and energy on this prospect! Jane Dystel explained that the economy had negatively affected the movie business, and that although possibilities did still exist, it would be unwise for an author to go direct into the field, given that industry's well-known reputation for less than upright practices.
Robert Gottlieb agreed, stating that only one in ten films are profitable, and an agent must have significant expertise in the area to be productive.
Paige Wheeler added that both film and television are changing dramatically, but that because producers do still look to books for material, authors are well served by having an agent with expertise in the field. Larry Norton warned that self-publishing companies who claim to offer representation to filmmakers for a fee should be avoided.
Rachel Chou pointed out that new markets for video are opening up in the web world, and Paige Wheeler agreed, saying that 15-second spots can be effective as “pre-rolls” that run in the ad space before other videos. But good production values are key, and an author must find the right partner to make compelling content.
When asked for last words, Robert Gottlieb re-emphasized the importance of authors retaining as many subsidiary rights as they can because increasingly publishers will make a grab for these rights only to “warehouse” them. It is better for the publisher to be forced to approach the author when and if specific opportunities arise. Some film studios, for example, will not buy film rights if other subsidiary rights are not also available. Other panelists concluded by agreeing that this is a good time to be an author. Many options now exist besides traditional publishing, and even more are on the horizon.
Edie Claire was traditionally published with cozy mysteries and contemporary romance in the late 90s and early 2000s. After many years of feeling like a failure, she relaunched her career as an indie in 2010, reviving her mystery series and adding new YA romance and women’s fiction releases to the fold. She is now earning way more than she ever did before--and she owes it all to information gleaned at NINC conferences! www.edieclaire.com
First Sale Rights Hit the Supreme Court
Oral arguments in Kirtsaeng vs. Wiley started on Oct. 29. Why is this important? The court is hearing an appeal on an August 2011 Second Circuit case, John Wiley & Sons Inc. v. Supap Kirtsaeng. Kirtsaeng is a Taiborn U.S. student who Wiley successfully sued when he imported Wiley textbooks editions printed foreign sales and resold them in the U.S. Wiley won, but libraries, eBay, used book services and online purveyors such as Amazon were not happy. These groups have formed a coalition, Owner’s Rights Initiative, http://ownersrightsinitiative.org/ in concern over the first sale right outlined in the Copyright Act. Interestingly publishers haven’t been bothered. There is no indication of the higher court’s leanings.
New Christian Fiction Imprint
U.K. Lion Hudson is launching Lion Fiction in spring 2013 with thriller, fantasy, mystery and women’s fiction titles. Eventually this will produce 24 books annually for a broad audience. Initial offerings will be from crime writers Donna Fletcher Crow, Mel Starr, Fay Sampson, and C.F. Dunn as well as Pam Rhodes new series the Dunbridge Chronicles (women’s fiction). The U.S. distribution is through Kregel Publications.