Author Steve Hamilton, who drew headlines earlier this week for ditching his publisher over frustrations with its lackluster plans to promote his forthcoming novel, has a new book deal. Hamilton, as we reported on Wednesday, essentially fired St. Martin's Press, claiming the house was not planning to do enough to market his new novel, The Second Life of Nick Mason.
The AP has reported that the public dispute between publisher and author has ended well for Hamilton. He has signed a new four-book deal with Penguin imprint G.P. Putnam's Sons, and the outlet said the new contract is worth more than the "near-seven figure" sum Hamilton was getting from St. Martin's. (The AP also noted that Hamilton's agent, Shane Salerno, paid $250,000 to release his author from the St. Martin's contract.)
The Second Life of Nick Mason, which St. Martin's was set to release on September 29, is the first book in a planned new series by the Edgar-winning Hamilton. Given the book's strong-of-word-of-mouth, which included a starred review from Publishers Weekly (that was pulled when the book was canceled), Hamilton's decision to abruptly leave St. Martin's sent shock waves through the publishing industry.
While it's not unusual for authors to be unhappy with lackluster marketing plans from their publishers, it's very unusual for an author to cancel his book--and buy back his rights, repaying his advance--so close to publication. As we wrote earlier this week, Hamilton's decision touched a nerve because it highlights a complaint felt, though not often aired, by many authors--that publishers do not do enough to market many of the books they acquire.
Throughout the feud, St. Martin's has remained quiet. After releasing a short statement about the situation, saying there was a "parting of ways" between author and publisher, the house has not commented further. Hamilton, for his part, claimed he went public with the situation to clarify a perception that St. Martin's was pushing, namely that the publisher canceled the book, and not the author. As he told PW: "This was my decision and mine alone. And any suggestion otherwise is ridiculous."
According to the AP, over 10 publishers bid on Hamilton's new book before Putnam won it.
This article has been corrected. A previous version of this article misidentified Hamilton's agent as Sean Salerno. It is Shane Salerno.