The Death of Traditional Publishers? Final Post: Entrepreneur Jimmy Thomas

Last week I posted about the new entrepreneurs that will rise as traditional publishing descends. One of those entrepreneurs is cover model, Jimmy Thomas of Romance Cover Novels. He is a very, very busy man, but I finally pinned him down for an interview about his unique and brilliant business:

How long have you been creating and selling your own cover photos?

Almost a year. On the 1-year anniversary date of the launch of my site, I will be having a 50% off ALL my images for the entire day! That date won’t be revealed until a few days before, as I don’t want to lose sales until then. (Hint: it’s next month!)

What made you decide to do so in the first place?

I’ve always shot ‘couples’ images, from fitness, lifestyle, editorial and stock, to romantic, sensual and erotica for the past 12 years. I wanted to be on more romance novel covers since I’ve always had the knack to pull off that style.  So between that, and getting involved in the romance novel industry back in 2002, I figured why not make it happen, instead of waiting for it to happen.

Are you able to track who buys them? If so – have you seen any market shifts? Like paper to e-pubs to individuals? Or surges in purchases?

Yes, I know who buys my images and I keep very good track of everything. I’m a perfectionist so to keep sane, and for business sense, I make sure I know my biggest buyers, which publishers I have more covers with, authors, cover artists, etc.  As for e-publishers vs. print publishers, it’s about equal. (All the print publishers now put their print books out in e-format anyway; either at the same time if a well-known author, or they wait until the e-formats sell enough to take it to print.)  As for surges in purchases, no, it stays pretty steady.

Do you know of any other models doing the same thing?

Nope, none. It’s not something that just anybody can do. And again, I have 12 years experience in creating all ranges of very marketable ‘couples’ images. I have many participating photographers who have signed my contract and over 175 female models wanting to shoot. I’m a web designer so I have control of my site and editing the images, plus I have a knack for directing, producing, wardrobe, what looks good, what makes something look better, etc.  I just don’t see others coming around having all of the same abilities.  Plus, I already have the head start if someone does!

Have you considered creating your own “stable” of models and photos – expanding your services by taking on others on a percentage basis?

I will be, once I’m on more covers than John DeSalvo (1,600 will clear the air, but I’m targeting 2,000 by next Romantic Times Booklovers Convention – April 2011).  Then yes, I will allow any photographer or model, who has rights to sell and publish their images, to submit them to me. If I find them suitable for novel covers, I’ll post them for sale..  RomanceNovelCovers will be then be THE only site everyone will go to for those types of images.

Do you realize how “cutting edge” you are?

While trying to stay humble… yes, I do. *wink* But I don’t mean me personally as a model or my look, but because of my combination of abilities that allow me to create and run RNC! 😉

The beta version of Goodnight Publishing’s website is up: http://www.GoodnightPublishing.com Would you like me to list you as a resource?

Yes, I’d love to have you list me as a resource for their cover images!

THANKS, Jimmy!

Thank YOU Kris!

~~~~~

And now we have – July.

I will be taking a much-needed break for a few weeks. Who knows what the publishing world will stir up in the meantime? Please subscribe so you don’t miss whatever comes next; and thank you for your support and comments thus far. I appreciate every one of you! Kris 🙂

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6 Responses to “The Death of Traditional Publishers? Final Post: Entrepreneur Jimmy Thomas”


  1. 1 Amber Scott Project 06/28/2010 at 9:50 AM

    I am so thrilled for what this means for authors and what it means for models and photographers. I hope business will boom for you. Blaze that trail!

  2. 3 Paisley Kirkpatrick 06/28/2010 at 10:16 AM

    Thank you, Kris. This has been a mind-boggling series of blogs. So much to absorb. Appreciate all your effort.

  3. 4 kristualla 06/28/2010 at 1:23 PM

    Thanks, Paisley! 🙂

  4. 5 americaneditor 06/29/2010 at 5:12 AM

    No doubt he’s a great model and probably sells a lot of books and sets a lot of hearts awhirl, but golly-gee — seems to me that short, bald, slightly paunched, elderly males like me should get equal cover billing. After all, when it comes to romantic times, we’ve got the experience if not the abs. 🙂 Can you point me to the complaint department?


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