Could you walk away from a $500,000 contract? That is exactly what thriller author Barry Eisler has just done. Eisler recently announced that his lucrative deal with St. Martin's Press to publish the next two book in his John Rain series is off!
The original deal was the result of an auction that Eisler's agent, Dan Conaway, held last fall. However, Eisler has decided to instead go the self-publishing route. He made the announcement public by posting a discussion with fellow author J.A. Konrath this weekend online.
Eisler cited the changes in the industry as his primary reason for his decision. In only the last few months, publishing has become a whole new industry including the incredible success of self-published authors through such platforms as Kindle and also the closing of hundreds of bookstores — both independents as well as the huge chain Borders. And although Eisler makes it clear that money is not the primary factor in his decision, it's hard to argue with the statistics he quotes. He says that he can expect to receive a 17.5% e-book royalty from an established publisher versus a 70% profit he could expect make if he published the book on his own.
This is a brave move and only time will tell if it pays off.