Thursday, August 15, 2013

Random House Publishes Five Novels By New Authors

Last November, Random House announced the inauguration of three new digital imprints: Hydra for science fiction, fantasy and horror; Flirt for "new adults"; and Alibi for mystery and suspense. Random House, of course, has many imprints, but what was unusual about these imprints is that they were digital only. Even more unusual was the fact that authors could submit their manuscripts directly to Random House - without an agent. Major publishers have not allowed unchaperoned authors to enter their hallowed halls for decades.

The announcement, though welcomed by potential authors, was received with skepticism by those who knew better; In the publishing industry the deck is always stacked in favor of the house. The House, in this case, was offering "revenue sharing" in place of an advance. Random House was also requiring authors to foot the expenses of production, and, most onerous of all, demanding rights for the term of the copyright. (Why even have a copyright in that case?) John Scalzi called the Random House conditions "a horrendously bad deal" and advised authors to "run away" as fast as their legs could carry them.

Random House eventually bowed to pressure and offered a more traditional deal for writers. Apparently, that deal was sweet enough to attract several new authors. Of the six titles Alibi will release next year, five are by debut authors.

There can't be any doubt that the publishing industry will keep a watchful eye on these books. Their success could indicate a new era for the big publishers, one in which they can have their cake and sell it, too. 

RH Imprint Alibi Announces Debut Titles

Publisher's Weekly, August 14, 2013

Alibi, the digital-original mystery and thriller imprint of the Random House Publishing Group, announced the acquisition of its first six titles. The new publishing program will launch with The Last Clinic by Gary Gusick, the first novel in the Darla Cavanaugh mystery series.

Alibi senior editor Dana Isaacson has also acquired the following titles, scheduled for release in late 2013 and throughout 2014: The Garden Plot, by Marty Wingate; The Final Age, by Pierre Ouellette; Maxwell Street Blues by Marc Krulewitch; The Travel Writer by Jeff Soloway; and A Penny for the Hangman by Tom Savage.

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