Andrew AlbaneseAuthors discontented with their publishing deals are nothing new. Mark Twain enjoyed jabbing at publishers like a kid tossing stones. He said once that robbery of a publisher wasn’t a crime and was even rewarded in heaven with two halos. This week, a particularly discontented author just didn’t like the way the game was being played, so he picked up his manuscript and went home.

The story unfolded in two stages: At first, St. Martin’s imprint Minotaur Books announced it had cancelled Edgar Award-winning author Steve Hamilton‘s October-slated novel, The Second Life of Nick Mason, which was already greeted with enthusiastic early reviews. Later, Hamilton and his agent, Shane Salerno, declared that they had moved to end the deal with St. Martin’s Press, apparently over dissatisfaction with marketing efforts planned for the book.

“It’s no secret that authors and publishers frequently clash over marketing plans. But rarely do they end in this fashion, only weeks before the book was set to go,” reports Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly senior writer. “Hamilton struck a deal to pay back his advances, along with delivery and acceptance fees on the first book, and now he and his agent are now fielding offers on print rights as well as film rights.”

Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.

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