Romance Author Courntey Milan Walks Away From Book Deal Over Low Royalty

Bravo to historical romance author Courtney Milan, who walked away from a book deal with publisher, Harlequin in February over it’s royalty offer of 8 percent of the cover price for digital sales.

Eight percent is damned insulting to authors in this day where eBook sales are stronger than ever and other publishers are offering authors 15% and more.

And of course, when you self-publish through Amazon, you get to keep 35% of your sales, or 70% for books priced $2.99 to $9.99. To most indie authors, the decision is clear.

However, when you’re a published author, it’s a bit tougher choice to walk away from guaranteed money to go it on your own. And add to that the stress of doing everything yourself, from writing, to editing, to layout, to cover design, to marketing. It can be a daunting task – as anyone who has done it themselves can tell you.

Milan discussed her decision on her website, saying:

“Unlocked was my proof of concept–to see if I could produce something of traditionally-published quality in a self-published setting. If I concluded that I couldn’t, I would have found another way to get my readers the third book. I refuse to compromise on the quality of the work I produce, no matter what my personal business objections may be.”

Milan is now offering her first solo eBook, the novella Unlocked at Amazon for 99 cents.

We wish her success!

Check out Milan’s entire post at her website.

(update: check out her agent’s post on the matter here)

4 responses to Romance Author Courntey Milan Walks Away From Book Deal Over Low Royalty

  1. Lindsay B

    When I decided to e-publish, I was thinking it’d be an alternate route to finding an agent and a traditional deal (easier to get someone to take you on once you’re a proven seller, eh?), but I couldn’t imagine giving up the 70% royalty and the freedom to do it my way now. Oh, I suppose everyone has their price, but a traditional deal is no longer my goal, and hearing about 8% royalties reminds me why.

    8%? Seriously? I make 7% selling a book as an Amazon affiliate, and all I have to do is put a link on my site. That’s disgusting that the author writes the entire book and only make 1% more.

    Best wishes to Courtney. She’ll doubtlessly have an easier go of it than most of us who are starting from scratch, since she already has a fan base.

  2. Judith Briles

    self publishers now are finding more of their talent’s worth since they can receive more than the royalties traditional publishers are providing. I admire Courtney for her new endeavor and hope to find more authors becoming more self-challenged.

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