HarperCollins Unit to Pay Little or No Author Advances - WSJ.com: "In a radical departure from traditional book-publishing practices, News Corp.'s HarperCollins Publishers is launching a new business that won't accept returns from retailers. In addition, the new entity intends to pay little or nothing in the way of advances to its authors.
Instead, the unit, which hasn't yet been named, will share its profits with writers and focus much of its sales efforts on the Internet. In recent years, Amazon.com Inc., the nation's largest online book retailer by sales, has gained market share from bricks-and-mortar stores. News Corp. owns Dow Jones & Co., which publishes The Wall Street Journal.
The move by HarperCollins comes at a time when the book publishing and book retailing industries are battling to generate new sales and attract more readers."