In late 2010, Liz Pelletier watched as fewer and fewer authors were offered contracts by publishers, reaching what she says was a "near standstill." Said Pelletier: "I started to think, what's the point in helping authors write better books if none of those will ever see the light of day? And then of course the big self-publishing boom burst through this imposed barrier, and I watched as author after author started using what little time they weren't writing and promoting now focused on editing, formatting, and promoting even more."
In 2010, Pelletier noticed the trend as the co-founder of Savvy Authors, a “writers helping writers” community that provides tools, classes, and networking opportunities. By March of 2011, Pelletier had a new venture cooking, Entangled Publishing, designed to let authors do what they do best: write books.
Since launching, Entangled has signed 150 titles. Pelletier highlighted two books, Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout and Touch by Jus Accardo, that have been doing very well for the publisher recently; Obsidian averaged about 120 e-books sold per day in December and Touch averaged about 95. So far, Entangled has been seeing slightly higher e-book sales over print, but Pelletier said she expects that ratio to change in light of the distribution deal they’ve just signed with Publishers Group West which also included an agreement with Perseus' Constellation to distribute their titles in e-book formats. The deal allows Entangled to switch from a POD model to mass market and trade paperback print run model. “We're still being very conservative with our print run sizes based upon our initial pre-sale numbers, but this move will enable us to more adequately reach our goals of volume sales per title,” said Pelletier.
The structure of Entangled, where “no one makes money unless the author makes money,” is possible because of their reduced break-even point, which allows them pursue a wider variety of titles as well as offer authors higher royalties (40% on cover price on digital titles and 9% on print). Entangled’s plans going forward revolve around their new imprints and the distribution deal. The latter allows Entangled to launch their new “Select” imprints from the three main senior editors, Stacy Cantor Abrams, Heather Howland, and Pelletier. “All books are acquired by one of these senior editors and will be marketed to book buyers and resellers as part of a collection by one of these editors,” said Pelletier. Category imprints are also growing in 2012: Lori Wilde’s Indulgence imprint (which targets readers of Harlequin’s Silhouette Desire line) has already been launched, with another Wilde imprint, Cherish, launching soon. Rounding out the new category imprints is new editorial director Nina Bruhn’s romantic suspense line, which will launch on March 13. All category imprint titles are digital only, with cover prices between $2.99 and $3.75.
In addition to the broadening e-book outlook, look for an increased presence from Entangled in bookstores in 2012 thanks to their recent deals. Both Obsidian and Touch will be re-released for mass print distribution, with the sequels coming in May.