Evanovich shifts to Random House's Ballantine
line after failing to
come to terms with St. Martin's. Even though nobody's saying as much,
it seems reasonable to think that Random House agreed to Evanovich's
reported demand for $50 million for her next four books.
How big a gamble is this?
— One, the deal is for two Stephanie Plum books (a series many Evanovich
fans think is on the wane) and two for a series that hasn't even
— Two, how much marketing money and promotional muscle will this deal
steal away from other Ballantine authors? (James Patterson's Little,
Brown deal has been shown to do this to other authors in the same fold,
according to a Sunday NYT piece on him earlier this year.)
— Three, Evanovich is 67 years old, and according to her Wikipedia page,
is known for her 50-writing-hours-a-week work ethic. No ageism here,
really, but can she keep up the pace?
— Four, with her money and family-corporate-machine muscle, Evanovich
could have easily self-published her works (and there was some dubiously
sourced speculation that she was looking into it). Would the perceived
loss in NY prestige have been balanced out by the additional money she
could have made by cutting out all the middlemen?
— At what point do superstar-hungry publishers have to say no to their
superstar authors? What determines the tipping point?