Bryant Street Publishing, a division of Scribd, sent me an email.
“[We’re] reaching out because we’re looking to sign new writers for Bryant Street Shorts, our short-ish romance imprint, and [we] thought it would be great to have you on board.
These stories are essentially written on commission — using popular tropes and subgenres as a jumping-off point, authors submit pitches for their stories, then have 4 weeks to turn in a draft when the pitch is approved. Manuscripts run around 35,000 words. Additionally, you would be the owner of the work you write for us. Titles are exclusive to Scribd for one year, and then you’re free to exploit the ebook for sale; print rights can be exercised immediately.”
In the usual course of a writer’s life, rare is the time when a publisher reaches out to you and offers you the opportunity to pay you after submission and give you the print rights from the get-go. There had to be catch, right?
No. The contract is straight forward and tells you everything you need to know. They keep all other rights, which for other publishers bringing on new writers, is the usual course of events. But when they exercise those rights, you get a percentage of the money they earn, which I thought was outstanding.
It is a rare when something is too good to be true is, but this turned out to be one of those times. Scribd offers a new supportive style of hybrid publishing with the benefits of working with a publisher, and the opportunity of building your print backlist. It is win/win for both sides.
Scribd, Bryant Street Publishing’s parent company, is a subscription based e and audio book platform. Originally, in 2007 it started as a service for people to upload their written works, and you can still do that. But in October 2013, Scribd launched its unlimited subscription service for e-books. This gave users unlimited access to Scribd’s library of digital books for a flat monthly fee. The company also announced a partnership with HarperCollins, which made the entire backlist of HarperCollins’ catalog available on the subscription service. From there, Scribd added titles from Simon & Schuster into its roster and In April 2015, the company expanded its audiobook catalog in a deal with Penguin Random House. This added 9,000 audiobooks to its platform including titles from authors like Lena Dunham, John Grisham, Gillian Flynn, and George R.R. Martin.
My first Bryant Street short is due for release January 23, 2022, and I’ll write more on that soon. My second is in the production cycle, just having completed its second round of edits. I feel incredibly lucky to have joined the Bryant Street Publishing roster of writers.
Until then, happy writing and reading!