Random House Blinks in SFWA Standoff

It was always going to be a case of who blinked first. In the case of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America against Random House’s recently introduced digital imprints, de-listing of RH’s Hydra and Alibi imprints by SFWA was only ever going to result in a protracted and explosive handbag fight, or someone making some concessions.

Today, Random House blinked after SFWA president, John Scalzi, last week pretty much told Random House’s Allison Dobson that there was nothing to discuss after an exchange of letters and a very public and forthright exchange of views across the publishing media.

In short, Random House has conceded that from now on authors will be offered the current partnership share model, or an advance and reduced royalty (25%) model.

Full detail from PW:

“Under the profit share model, there is no advance offered. Hydra, Alibi, Loveswept, or Flirt and the author will split profits 50-50 from the first copy sold. The term “profit” will be defined as net sales revenue minus deductions as follows: For print editions, deductions will include actual costs directly attributable to production and shipping of the book; for digital editions, Hydra, Alibi, Loveswept, or Flirt will cover the cost of production. For both print and digital editions, Hydra, Alibi, Loveswept, or Flirt will cover all marketing costs connected with general, category- or imprint-wide marketing programs. Hydra, Alibi, Loveswept, or Flirt will also cover costs of marketing activities undertaken specifically on behalf of the book up to $10,000. Title-specific marketing costs above $10,000 will be proposed in advance to the author. If the author agrees, the incremental costs of such title-specific marketing activities over $10,000 will be deducted from sales revenue before profits are split. Cash payments owed to authors will be made quarterly.
“Under the advance plus royalty model, authors are offered a more traditional publishing arrangement, with Random House’s standard e-book royalty of 25 percent of net receipts. These authors will be paid an agreed-upon advance against royalties, and Hydra, Alibi, Loveswept, or Flirt will cover production, shipping, and marketing for all formats at 100 percent of cost.”
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