Power of the indie: Macmillan strikes partnerships with e-publisher Entangled

In the latest example of a big-six publisher tapping the power of indies, Macmillan announced two new partnerships with Entangled, the independent romance publisher behind bestsellers like Jennifer Probst’s The Marriage Bargain. Macmillan will distribute English-language Entangled titles globally and across platforms. Separately, Macmillan imprint St. Martin’s Press is launching a “joint venture imprint” called St. Martin’s/Entangled that will publish some Entangled ebooks in print.
Entangled is one of a growing number of “boutique” publishers that seek to strike a balance between the freedom of self-publishing and the structure of working with a traditional publisher. “We believe authors who write great books should receive a majority of the profits,” the company writes in its mission statement. “We also believe authors interested in the lucrative indie publishing model shouldn’t have to sacrifice quality editing, commercial covers, or the power of a New York-style marketing machine.” Entangled doesn’t offer advances and pays authors royalties higher than what they’d receive from a traditional publisher but lower than they’d get if they self-published. In return, it provides them “strong editorial support, a publicist, a personalized marketing plan, and world-class distribution for all of their titles.”
Until now, that distribution has been primarily digital, though Entangled was working with Publishers Group West to distribute a few of its titles. With the Macmillan partnership, though, “Macmillan will distribute English language e-books of Entangled’s new publications in all domestic and international markets and for all platforms where Macmillan currently does business.” That’s beneficial for Entangled because it ensures a much broader reach than it could manage itself. And it’s good for Macmillan because it gives the publisher an entrance to the hot indie market without having to seek those titles out itself. Simon & Schuster ended up buying The Marriage Bargain in a seven-figure deal last year, but this deal should give Macmillan first dibs.
“We are hugely impressed with [Entangled CEO] Liz Pelletier’s vision and what she has accomplished in such a short time,” Macmillan CEO John Sargent said in a statement (found via Dear Author). “We found her out-of-the-box approach to publishing incredibly exciting and saw potential to work together with her on several levels. We think Liz and Entangled have found a new way forward and we think we can help build on that remarkable success.”