Digital Book World Panel Explores No- and Low-Advance Author Contracts
Vanguard was founded as a no-advance model that pays “high, very high royalties,” he said. The company also guarantees a “substantial marketing budget for each book,” he noted.
The company operates with only three in-house staff, and hires an outside “team” for each title, including an editor, PR staff, etc.
Because authors and agents are foregoing an advance, the company pays royalties out monthly vs. the industry standard of 90 days or longer.
Both Vanguard and HarperStudio currently publish about two titles per month.
Literary agent Ira Silverberg explained that his company was formed when he and several of his industry peers left their roles as editors at publishing houses because they “wanted to work for the author, not for the man,” he said.
New types of publishing models like HarperStudio and Vanguard are a welcome shift in this direction, he suggested.
Agent Mary Ann Naples commented, “I didn't think in the past that I could have opened a conversation about profit share and had it met with any [reciprocity], but here we are having a conversation about it.”
A member of the audience commented, “This is the most hopeful thing I've heard in the last few years.”