There are many deals signed every day, some of them, like Amanda Hocking’s agreement with St. Martin’s Press, are seven-digit, so what’s so exceptional about this one?
From an US perspective one thing to notice is that self-publishers are expanding worldwide. This was one of my predictions in a report on top self-published books of 2011.
From a perspective of a local book market, it may be a beginning of a major trend: publishers buy rights to self-published bestsellers, translate them and launch locally – skipping the ”self-published” part.
Readers in smaller markets are not aware of who’s currently on top in US or UK, not mentioning charts limited only to digital editions. They strongly rely on selection, and therefore a recommendation, from well-established publishers.
What’s more, and I’m sure it’s not only the case of a Polish market, self-publishers are an addition to a serious book market, which in most cases leaves publishers and readers indifferent. Readers are suspicious about low prices, but most of all, they neglect the book from an unknown author and unknown or no publisher.
I had the opportunity to run classes on self-publishing at the University of Warsaw and have to admit that self-publishing is perceived by industry professionals as something not worth talking about. But when I was presenting figures from US, where 18 out of 100 last year’s top Kindle bestsellers were self-published, I’ve noticed a change in the attitude. If the book sells, it means it’s good. And if it’s self-published, it means the foreign rights may be cheaper.
For self-published authors there are two ways to go. They could either control foreign markets themselves or team up with agents to handle foreign rights, including not only digital but also print editions. Just like Chris Culver did with Trident Media Group.
Prószyński i S-ka was established in 1990. It’s constantly expanding the catalog of foreign fiction books. The list of authors includes Jorge Luis Borges, Michael Connelly, Stephen King, Jodi Picoult, and Nora Roberts.