Those of you interested in the book biz may have read about a new venture that aims to rejigger how authors are paid, creating a system that may ultimately benefit both authors and publishers.
Authors typically get advances, or money up front from the publisher. Often times, that's all the money an author sees from a book. That's because a book has to "earn out" the advance before an author can start sharing in the royalties. So if a writer gets, say, a $60,000 advance and the sale of each book counts toward, oh, $3 of that $60,000, the book has to sell 20,000 copies before the publisher recoups the advance and starts paying out royalties. Sadly, a lot of good books don't ever hit that mark.
What's this have to do with food? Well, Michael Ruhlman connects some dots on his blog, citing a similar approach that Chicago restaurateur Nick Kokonas is taking. Kokonas, along with chef Grant Achatz, created famed restaurant Alinea, and they're crafting a book along these lines. As Ruhlman says: "The new model created by Kokonas and perhaps soon a similar one by HarperCollins is exciting because it stands to enable chefs who can finance their own projects to do exactly the kind of books they want to do—which means we’re likely to see more risk taking and more innovative books."
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