Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Harper Collins Signs Up Self-Published Author Tina Seskis in $500,000 Deal

This brief article appeared today in Publishers Weekly. Obviously, a lot was left out of this success story. For example, self-published authors usually don't get into the world's largest book fair.

So, how did Seskis get to Frankfurt?

Interestingly enough, Seskis' book, One Step Too Far, was published, not by Amazon or Smashwords - like most self-published ebooks - but by Kirk Parolles, an imprint that proclaims: "Gone are the days when agents, publishers and bookstores decide which books reach the reader. As publishers we may not always like it, but the truth is the books that sell may not be the ones we would have chosen – they’re the ones that people connect with, will talk about, will stay up until 3 in the morning to find out what happened.Those are the books we seek out at Kirk Parolles, and those are the ones we’re committed to publish."

What is interesting about this publisher is that it has only two books on its roster, One Step Too Far, and Seskis' next novel, A Serpentine Affair. What's more, KP is "closed to submissions." Obviously, Kirk Parolles' publishing commitment has exceptionally narrow limits.

Did Seskis set up a publishing house in order to get her book to Frankfurt?

You betcha. Authors who set up "publishing houses" to legitimize their work are rife in the industry. In fact, if you want to waste a few hours tracking down the owners of small publishing houses, you'll find their names often appear on the titles in their inventory.

Very clever, Tina.

(I am thinking of naming my new publishing house Random Penguin. What do you think?)
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Frankfurt Book Fair 2013: HC Wins Self-Published Novel In Major Buy

Source: Publishers Weekly, By Rachel Deahl Oct 10, 2013

Self-publishing was one of the big topics at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair, and at least one self-published book caught the eye, and wallet, of a major publisher. In what is rumored to be a deal worth $500,000, Jennifer Brehl at HarperCollins’s William Morrow imprint bought North American rights to Tina Seskis’s novel, One Step Too Far.

The debut, which was originally published in April as a Kindle e-book, went on to hit #1 on Amazon. Seskis, who grew up in New Hampshire and now lives in London, followed the e-book publication with a paperback release, and that print edition went on to hit the bestseller list of the British bookstore chain, W.H. Smith.

One Step Too Far follows a lawyer named Emily Coleman who inexplicably abandons her life. Despite what appears to be an idyllic existence—a beautiful two-year-old son, a lovely home, an adoring husband—Emily wakes up one summer morning, grabs her passport, and hops on a train bound from London to Manchester. Determined to leave her old life behind, Emily meets a croupier named Angel who becomes her only new friend, and who also leads her into a dangerous new existence.

Brehl told PW that Seskis likes to refer to the book as a “whydunit,” because it leaves a host of questions about its heroine’s actions unanswered. The novel, which works up to a final secret-reveal, was something Brehl said she picked up one night and “didn’t put down until I finished it the next morning.”

John Elek, with the British firm United Agents, represents Seskis.

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