In a shocking move already being termed “The April Revolution,” a coalition including all major US publishers announced today their decision to publish only low-concept literary novels by debut authors in 2012.
“We feel it’s time these hard-working authors got a share of the market,” said Penny Inkfinger, spokesperson for Megamonstro Press. “So we decided to band together and make it happen.”
The cooperation between publishers was essential, Inkfinger pointed out, because if only one press made the move, its offerings would disappear into the infamous Brain Drain and never be seen on the shelves of prestigious bookstores like Costco and Wal-Mart.
“We’re going for the mass audience here. If the only new books coming out all year are quiet, beautifully written dramas of everyday life, then that’s what people will read. Who knows, they might even develop a taste for it. You know how after you’ve eaten Godiva dark chocolate it’s hard to go back to Hershey’s? That’s what we’re hoping for here. We’re calling it The Year of Reading Dangerously.”
Another innovation for the coming year is the royalty structure. The coalition agreed to suspend all expensive competitive marketing and publicity for their 2012 lists. Instead they will pool their resources to create a low-budget, massive viral marketing campaign for all titles at once. The money saved will go directly to benefit authors.
“Instead of the usual highly unequal distribution of advances, with some titles getting seven figures and some just a handshake and a promise, we’re skipping the advance and paying royalties of 50% of net across the board,” Inkfinger explained. “After all, it isn’t fair that everyone in publishing gets to make a living except the author. Without authors, we’d all be out of a job!”