The best-selling author Stephen King and Simon & Schuster struck a tentative deal yesterday to publish his novel “Bag of Bones” in an unconventional arrangement that will give the horror writer a share of nearly 50 percent of the profits.
The negotiations came after Mr. King’s highly unusual public search for a new company to replace Viking, his longtime publisher. His original $17 million asking price prompted much complaining in the publishing industry that such a conventional deal was a money-losing proposition.
But yesterday, Simon & Schuster, a unit of Viacom Inc., announced a three-book “co-publishing venture” with Mr. King that will give him a share of the profits and of the risks and responsibilities for pricing, marketing and packaging his books.
Mr. King, who was traveling to New York for a meeting with Simon & Schuster on the agreement, could not be reached for comment.
According to a person close to the negotiations, Mr. King will share in almost 50 percent of the profits and will receive an advance that is small by his standards -- almost $2 million a book. He will not receive bonuses or royalties.
The three books are “Bag of Bones,” a collection of short stories and a work on the craft of writing.