Scalzi's New Deal...

MWagner

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Thanks again, why are publishers and writers so stingy with the sales and compensation data, are they perhaps afraid of the rank and file going up in arms because of the compensation of the more lucrative writers, or are they just fearful of discouraging new writers from coming into the field?
I don't think they're any more reticent than people in other fields. Most people don't talk openly about how much money they make, and most companies don't openly post how much they pay. That's as true for plumbers and accountants as it is for writers.
 

Ray McCarthy

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why are publishers and writers so stingy with the sales and compensation data
Everyone is in every field.
No-one wants competitors to know their costs. Doesn't make any difference if the deal was good or bad.
You won't find Walmart or Tesco or Apple admit what they spend exactly for each acquisition.

Writers likely sign non-disclosure agreements on such deals. I know in other fields this is the case.
 

JaimeRetief

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I just looked back to see what Tor had given Brandon Sanderson on that big contract, and it was 2.5 million for the first 4 volumes of the Stormlight series. Now that is a big deal! But since these books are 1100 pages each it is probably for the same word count as Scalzi's deal. :sneaky:
Well Sanderson is massively popular, especially after he finished WoT.
And fantasy does outperform science fiction in sales and popularity massively.
Although I doubt that he is as popular as Tolkien, GRRM and the other top Fantasy writers.
 

Nerds_feather

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Information on advances is notoriously hard to come by, but for a fantasy debut the ordinary advance seems to around £3,000-5,000. For SF and horror it can be as low as a few hundred pounds.
Yeah, first sale advances for SF/F average about $7,000 in the US, which fits in your £3,000-5,000 range.

That's peanuts.
 

JaimeRetief

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You won't find Walmart or Tesco or Apple admit what they spend exactly for each acquisition.

ERM, Ray, are you familiar with SEC filings and annual reports to investors, or the plethora of sites offering stats about a company's book value and number of shares outstanding.;)
 

Ray McCarthy

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familiar with SEC filings and annual reports to investors,
I don't mean COMPANIES they buy.
but what they pay for soap, cornflakes, LCD panels.
acquisition in the sense of Publishers acquiring rights to books.

That's what we are talking about, not corporate gobbling. Like Intel takeover of Altera or Avago Technologies (formerly HP semi) of Broadcom.
Or Kraft of Cadbury, followed by Kraft & Heinz hookup. Now we will have tomato ketchup flavoured cheesy chocolate with less cocoa.
 

MWagner

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ERM, Ray, are you familiar with SEC filings and annual reports to investors, or the plethora of sites offering stats about a company's book value and number of shares outstanding.;)
Do those reports includes specifics on what those companies pay for the materials they buy, what their distribution network and costs are, and how much they pay every employee?

And of course, you can get a report to investors on any of the major book publishers.
 

JaimeRetief

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No, none of that. It's a commercial secret. Which was my point.
We know who they buy most of their components from, getting a price quote from Samsung is probably not that hard.
Since Apple and Samsung are also rivals I doubt they get much of a sweetheart deal.
As to corporate acquisitions, we can get that information as well, from the reports to the stockholders.
 

MWagner

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We know who they buy most of their components from, getting a price quote from Samsung is probably not that hard.
Since Apple and Samsung are also rivals I doubt they get much of a sweetheart deal.
As to corporate acquisitions, we can get that information as well, from the reports to the stockholders.
What you want is publishers to make publicly available the contracts they sign with their writers, and the subsequent sales numbers, correct? And you don't believe publishers are as forthcoming with this kind of information as other businesses.

It seems to me that a fair comparable is what Apple's regional manager of sales for Illinois gets paid, his commission rate, and what his sales figures are. You go ahead and look those up, and tell us if it's easier to find than author sales and earnings at TOR.
 

Ray McCarthy

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getting a price quote from Samsung is probably not that hard.
Ha!
Unless you are a serious customer, you don't know the price you can get Cocoa, LCDs, cornflakes, CPU.
Then you don't know if Walmart or Apple got a better or worse deal.
Once you leave Retail and ordinary small trader Wholesale you enter a strange world indeed. Obviously you have never been seriously involved in corporate purchasing.

There is good reason that neither party discloses the price agreed.

Apple's regional manager of sales for Illinois gets paid, his commission rate, and what his sales figures are. You go ahead and look those up,
If if you find it, it may not be true.
The last corporate job I had, I was only sure of my salary and the costs on my deals.
 

Nerds_feather

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What you want is publishers to make publicly available the contracts they sign with their writers, and the subsequent sales numbers, correct? And you don't believe publishers are as forthcoming with this kind of information as other businesses.

It seems to me that a fair comparable is what Apple's regional manager of sales for Illinois gets paid, his commission rate, and what his sales figures are. You go ahead and look those up, and tell us if it's easier to find than author sales and earnings at TOR.
I think it's fair to ask that the publishing industry make book sales figures more readily available. But yeah...they are never going to publicize all advances and royalty earnings--nor is it fair or realistic to expect that.
 

Vertigo

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The Hugos are a joke, as the Sad Puppies and the invasion voting of Potter fans showed that award is too easy to game with someone with even a small following and some internet clout.
The goodreads choice awards similarly are not that hard to game if your fan base is determined enough, and the actually gave 1st place to The Martian of all things.
Amazon sales rankings and bestseller lists are at least in my opinion better indicators of the profitability of a book.
Since you seem to think bestseller lists are significant, Redshirts made number 15 on the New York Times bestseller list in June 2014 for Hardcover Fiction.

On Goodreads Redshirts has an average rating of 3.82 out of 5 which is a moderately good rating by Goodreads standards and is from 38,190 ratings. Pretty difficult to rig that number of ratings.

I think you should just accept that you don't like the way Scalzi writes but there are clearly plenty of people who do, making it very clearly a sensible marketing decision by Tor. Just one that you don't happen to like.
 

JaimeRetief

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On Goodreads Redshirts has an average rating of 3.82 out of 5 which is a moderately good rating by Goodreads standards and is from 38,190 ratings. Pretty difficult to rig that number of ratings.
.
Please, you just need one or two determined fanboys with some scripting knowledge, goodreads doesn't even use a cpatcha.
Any script kiddie could easily write you a bot that can make a few thousand accounts and vote for particular books.
 

ratsy

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Jamie, you seem to go to a lot of work to discredit an obviously well selling author who is doing good things for the SF genre in my opinion. There are a lot of authors I don't love but I sure don't waste my time bashing them.

Is there a purpose to these posts?
 

JaimeRetief

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Jamie, you seem to go to a lot of work to discredit an obviously well selling author who is doing good things for the SF genre in my opinion. There are a lot of authors I don't love but I sure don't waste my time bashing them.

Is there a purpose to these posts?
Good things for the genre, seriously?
Oh well, fanboys will think their preferred writers are the greatest thing to happen to the genre after Asimov or Clarke, so that is a moot point.
I dislike Scalzi and his writing for a number of reasons.
However I also think that he is far from the biggest problem of science fiction publishing, however such generous contracts for such a large number of books and such a long time span do not help the genre.
Nor does all the secrecy regarding compensations help.
 

Brian G Turner

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Please, you just need one or two determined fanboys with some scripting knowledge, goodreads doesn't even use a cpatcha.
Any script kiddie could easily write you a bot that can make a few thousand accounts and vote for particular books.
Script kiddies can't fake five figure monthly sales, though. :)
 

MWagner

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Recognizing popularity and commercial success =/= fanboyism, or even approval.

I'm bewildered by the popularity of Patrick Rothfuss. I would likely to have to read a dozen or more random novels pulled off a library shelf before I came across a novel I liked less than The Name of the Wind. However, I don't deny that Rothfuss is remarkably popular, has a huge number of loyal readers, and is commercially successful.
 

Vertigo

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There are a number of people who enjoy Scalzi's work on this forum and brushing us off as 'fanboys' is insulting to say the least. I will back off from this thread and stick to threads where I find posters with open minds.
 

Ray McCarthy

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I'm bewildered by the popularity of
<insert most authors selling well>
But I'd not run a campaign against them. I've mentioned a few SF&F authors I don't like*, and won't read any more of, but I don't doubt their commercial success. I've no idea if I enjoy Scalzi's work. I'm curious to read one now, as by any metric he is successful. :)

I don't think this is a suitable place to run a vendetta against any author, merely because that author doesn't suit one's own taste. I've had to remind myself of this and not reply to some effusive posts.

Edit
[* Probably too often!]

Edit #2
I think the Moderators are very easy going here :D
 
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