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Want to sell an ebook? How about 2 million ebooks?

Like all media-based industries, publishing has seen its share of digital disruption. Unlike, the music and film biz, however, the seismic shifts caused by Kindles, iPads and their lot, have had direct benefit for the creative people behind the work.

Writers, who often have stopped just short of human sacrifice to score a traditional publishing deal that would net a mere 7 percent royalty off the cover price, are now able to go it alone with little to no overhead and a worldwide market at their fingertips.

Among the thousands of authors successfully charting their own path is Sonoma-based writer Bella Andre, who recently inked a seven-figure deal with romance imprint Harlequin MIRA for her popular series, “The Sullivans.” How can Andre have her indie publishing cred and a major contract too?

Andre is a “hybrid-author,” the term publishing professionals use to describe writers whose careers straddle both the worlds of traditional and self-publishing. More to the point, as a hybrid, her deal represents only the print rights in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. The ebook, audiobook, film, TV and foreign language rights remain resolutely hers. This is significant because most houses try to sew up these often lucrative rights, frequently leveraging the author’s ignorance of their worth in the process.

“I wouldn’t have done the deal otherwise,” says Andre, speaking by phone from a 100-year-old log cabin in the Adirondacks where her family spends their summers.


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