I was captivated by this Wall Street Journal post about the eBook marketplace. Here’s the quick summary:
Hugh Howey’s postapocalyptic thriller “Wool” has sold more than half a million copies and generated more than 5,260 Amazon reviews. Mr. Howey has raked in more than a million dollars in royalties and sold the film rights to “Alien” producer Ridley Scott.
And Simon & Schuster hasn’t even released the book yet.
In a highly unusual deal, Simon & Schuster acquired print publication rights to “Wool” while allowing Mr. Howey to keep the e-book rights himself. Mr. Howey self-published “Wool” as a serial novel in 2011, and took a rare stand by refusing to sell the digital rights. Last year, he turned down multiple seven-figure offers from publishers before reaching a mid-six-figure, print-only deal with Simon & Schuster.
The story goes on to highlight that the publisher has now got involved and has put Mr Howey on a standard media tour. The publisher is busy banging the traditional marketing drum as that’s how they’ll make their money. What I find so fascinating is that having heard about the book, I think I might check it out.
What I mean is that I’ll probably buy it. It’s $5.99 or £5.39 for the eBook. I don’t want a physical copy though.
I wonder if the Wall Street Journal piece this weekend was effectively delivered via public relations paid for by the publisher? Because it’s helping the author — I’ll buy his book, he’ll get 70% of the proceeds — but that certainly won’t help Simon & Schuster. Not at all.
I wonder how many other people will hear about the book via traditional channels such as television, print and radio and then reach for their Kindle or Kobo?
Here’s the blurb for Wool:
In a ruined and hostile landscape, in a future few have been unlucky enough to survive, a community exists in a giant underground silo.
Inside, men and women live an enclosed life full of rules and regulations, of secrets and lies.
To live, you must follow the rules. But some don’t. These are the dangerous ones; these are the people who dare to hope and dream, and who infect others with their optimism.
Their punishment is simple and deadly. They are allowed outside.
Jules is one of these people. She may well be the last.