NYT Bestselling Author Jumps Ship

No, he isn’t self-publishing all of his previous novels like others have done before him. But he has done something some might call crazy. First off, I’m talking about author Steve Hamilton. He’s got a couple bestsellers and Edgar Awards to his name. Is he selling the same number of books as James Patterson or Michael Connelly? No. Is he someone who makes his publishers money? Yes.

Recently Hamilton decided that enough was enough. He left his longtime publisher (St. Martin’s Press) because he felt they weren’t doing enough to support his work. There was no real marketing plan in place to support his newest books, which will be the start of a new series. And after years of bearing nearly all of the responsibility to promote his books, he left the publisher. But the story gets tricky.

His newest book was set to be the first of a multi-book deal worth nearly seven figures, and Hamilton couldn’t afford to buy out the contract himself. So what do you think happened? No, he didn’t launch a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money. And no, he didn’t breach his contract and sign another book deal. His agent bought out the contract for $250,000.

You can say whatever you want, but tell me his agent isn’t the real deal. I don’t care how much money he has. There is no doubt in my mind that he supports Steve Hamilton and his work. No doubt at all. Just days after making the announcement that he was leaving St Martin’s, Hamilton found himself signed to a new publisher (Putnam) eager to take him on and support him to their maximum extent. He signed a new four-book deal worth substantially more than his previous deal. It’ll be two Alex McKnight books and two books from his new series.

His new book will be released next year.

Which all leads me to one question: Are major publishers doing enough to support their established authors? I don’t have an answer to this, but this current situation does make me scratch my head.

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