There’s an interesting article about a book packager in Business Week.
The article, Teen-Lit Queen Takes Up Book Packaging – Businessweek reports:
“Schechter and Hillyer come up with ideas—or “sparks,” as they like to call them—and sell the finished product to publishers. The writers, whom they find through friends or sites such as Craigslist, get a flat fee and bonuses based on sales. The publisher’s book deal is with Paper Lantern, which guarantees that the work will be done on time.”
As I said on a forum:
How is what Paper Lantern Lit does different from an acquisitions editor getting an idea for a book, discussing it a writer, and then giving a writer the contract? This happens often. Editors know what they want, and they know writers, so they farm out projects.
Nothing wrong with it that I can see. It’s a common practice, and it’s one way for a writer to get a publishing deal he’d have no chance of getting otherwise.
There’s this, however:
“Jen Klonsky, editorial director at publisher Simon Pulse (CBS), says the duo’s experience was a factor in her decision to buy Fury, a seductive, Greek myth-inspired thriller, as part of a three-book deal. “When you’re working with a debut author, you don’t know how well they’ll integrate revisions,” says Klonsky.”
Yes indeed… New writers scare editors to death. 🙂 Many treat deadlines carelessly, get bent out of shape over editorial queries, and have little idea how to handle revisions.
What concerns me is this: “(hired writers) get a flat fee and bonuses based on sales. The publisher’s book deal is with Paper Lantern, which guarantees that the work will be done on time”.
I’d wonder who gets the copyright. If the work’s copyrighted by Paper Lantern Lit, writers should run away screaming. OTOH, if the writer keeps the copyright, that’s fine. Unfortunately “flat fee” seems to indicate that writers don’t get to keep their copyright.
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