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Authors Equity: A New Profit-Sharing Publishing Model

Authors Guild logo in white on a teal background

A new publishing company, launched by industry veterans, seeks to reshape the publishing model and put authors at the center. Authors Equity will be led by Madeline Mcintosh, former CEO and publisher of Penguin Random House; Don Weisberg, former CEO of Macmillan; and Nina von Moltke, a Center for Fiction board member.

The stated promise of the new venture is to give authors more control and participation in the production of books, and create a collaborative model for publishing books that is currently lacking in the industry. According to the core principles shared on the company’s website, Authors Equity’s focus is on prioritizing authors’ interests through higher royalty rates, creative control, and ownership of rights.  

Authors Equity distinguishes itself from other companies with its profit-share model and a wide network of creative talent—from within and outside publishing—that will work with projects based on an author’s unique goals, needs, and ambitions. This unprecedented model allows for more risk-taking, flexibility, and experimentation. The company has already entered into several publishing agreements for a range of fiction and nonfiction books, and its inaugural titles will be announced in the coming months. 

This new model may not work for authors who rely on advances to support themselves while writing, including midlist trade nonfiction and literary fiction authors whose books may take years to write and who provide a great contribution to the accumulated canon of knowledge and literature. Yet innovative new models that recognize that authors deserve the greater part of earnings from their books are to be applauded and will pave the way for other new models. For authors able to self-finance their book projects or those with an established audience willing to help fund their books, Authors Equity provides an enticing alternative path to mainstream publication and distribution. 

You can read more about Authors Equity here.