What would you change in this industry?


#41

can i ask about what kind of stuff you normally get from publishers about licensing, for example, a translation, comic/graphic novel, tv show…ect

do you just get a licensing fee (One shot payment) or do you get like a split of profits and sales as well?

i am sure that contracts about profits and licensing will vary but what is the standard deal like/what will most people get?


#42

Separate checks are pretty common these days. I know of know publisher who will bat an eye on adding that to the contract. As to how you know they only took 15% – well you get the royalty statement so you know how much the check was for.


#43

Yes exactly. And some publishers pay royalties in April/October while others pay in January/July. And don’t even get me started with the foreign sales…which can be very late in paying. I have a very large and very complicated spreadsheet to TRY to estimate when I should expect various checks but it’s not easy.


#44

Not all agents are in the AAR. But, yes, if an author reported a AAR agent for not paying, they would investigate and kick them from the society but for the most part no one would know that happened…as I said there are many agents who aren’t in the AAR.


#45

You are correct - the AAR is a voluntary organization, and many agents aren’t in the AAR.

The deal with non AAR members all the time. As for someone who was expelled. I doubt they would even know.


#46

Well, first off, you should try to limit the number of rights you give to your main print/ebook/audio publisher. There are several reasons for this (1) you have to split some of the money (2) someone other than you makes the decision on what"offers to take and which to pass up and (3) they won’t be aggressive as you (or your agent) in pursuing opportunities.

Now with that said…

  • a translation - can be 50/50 but I’ve also seen 60/40 and 75/25
  • comic/graphic novel - 50/50
  • television/movie - 90/10

It all depends on what deal they broker. Some deals will have a one-time payment and some will have an advance and then additional payment based on sales or milestones.


#47

thank you.

i also would like to take the chance to ask you a few more questions,

since you have been both traditionally published and also self published, personally would you suggest to someone like me, who has only started writing to self publish/put an ebook out on amazon and use audible to get an audiobook out on my own or still hold out and try to get traditionally published, even if it is extremely hard to get traditionally published.

i am almost done with volume 1 of my book so i am unsure of what to do right now. (besides editing and getting a manuscript out)

also since i am not in the US/UK, there are some local publishers here but they don’t seem to do much, should i still try with them?

also, my book is xianxia, which is a sub genre of wuxia. it is already very difficult to get publishers to pick a wuxia book and it seems very slim that my book will be picked, should i still hold out for a publishing deal?

honestly i have very little hopes of being published considering the genre of my novel but reading the posts of everyone makes makes me a little hopeful…

finally, i saw in another post where you wrote that publishers will not pick a book up if the audio rights has been taken/an audiobook has been done, would publishing an ebook on amazon matter? would it be possible for me to publish an ebook on amazon first so that i can maybe, get some money to buy myself a nice dinner while sending my work to publishers/agents?

thank you for taking the time out to answer our questions!


#48

Just to clarify in case I misunderstand. When you say separate checks are you referring to an agent getting their payment via the publisher and not a commission from the author’s profits?

This would be the dream.


#49

Sadly, very, very, very, very few books are picked up for traditional publishing after being self published. If you want to trad publish, then hold off on any kind of self publishing (of that book), and focus on the trad deal. If you’ve already self pubbed, then focus on getting a trad deal with the next book.


#50

Heh. It would. But no. Split checks means taking the WRITER’s share, and dividing it 15/85, then paying the agent.


#51

Oh yeah i know that one i was hoping it was another context lol. And there it went. My excitement.


#52

mmm i heard opposite things about self publishing and then sending for traditional publishing

the people i asked said that sales of self publishing could be used to help show that your book can be a good book to pick up


#53

It’s very, very rare. There are a few famous examples (Wool, The Martian, Blood Song), but usually even if your book is a success and they want to work with you they will approach you asking about your NEXT book.


#54

what if it is a series?

will they rule out the entire series?


#55

Well, they’re not going to traditionally publish your second book and not your first.

Long story short, if you want to be traditionally published you have to query agents. Self publishing in the hopes of having your book picked up is not a realistic avenue.


#56

It is… if you sell 10,000 copies or more. Otherwise you’ve shown them it isn’t going to sell, so they believe they’ve dodged a bullet.


#57

It’s impossible to say. It really depends on too many factors. What are your goals? What is your genre? How much do you know about publishing? Do you have the project management skills to hire cover artists and editors? Do you need extensive developmental editing? The answers will be different for various authors and based on them they will lean to one or another of the paths. But here’s the bottom line. If you are capable of putting out a book that is every bit as good as those being traditionally published (with the help of others, of course, that you need to hire and pay), then self-publishing is an option. If you can’t do that, then you might as well go traditional as they already have a team in place to handle everything. But the quality of the product produced will be professional and that is bar that the book has to clear no matter which way you go.

Is this your first book? If so, chances are it won’t be good enough to be published in either path. It takes time and practice to learn how to write. For me it took nearly 20 years and 13 novels that weren’t ready for primetime (but I’m a slow learner and I worked in isolation). But Stephen King says you should treat your first 1,000,000 words as practice and Malcolm Gladwell says it takes 10,000 hours of work on something to become proficient. So if you’ve not “logged” those kinds of hours yet, what you need to do is put your first book aside, and write another one, and work on finding your voice and improving your writing skills.

It’s alway best to work with agents/publishers in the US or UK markets as that’s where the money is. It’s not uncommon for someone to live in one country but have their primary publisher in either (or both) of those markets.

I have no idea what that genre (or sub genre) is, but I’m assuming it’s pretty “niche”? Sometimes niche works lend themselves toward self-publishing. But if it has a bit market, then there will be publishers who have titles in it.

Best thing to do is enjoy the ride, and if the destination turns out to be a good one, then even better. In other words, write because it brings you joy. Don’t get wrapped up in money or readers, just have fun. If it one day also brings fame and fortune then it’s the cherry on the cake, but the cake by itself is also very tasty.

finally, i saw in another post where you wrote that publishers will not pick a book up if the audio rights has been taken/an audiobook has been done, would publishing an ebook on amazon matter? would it be possible for me to publish an ebook on amazon first so that i can maybe, get some money to buy myself a nice dinner while sending my work to publishers/agents?

thank you for taking the time out to answer our questions!
[/quote]

[quote=“iHateMilks, post:47, topic:32259, full:true”]
thank you.

i also would like to take the chance to ask you a few more questions,

since you have been both traditionally published and also self published, personally would you suggest to someone like me, who has only started writing to self publish/put an ebook out on amazon and use audible to get an audiobook out on my own or still hold out and try to get traditionally published, even if it is extremely hard to get traditionally published.

i am almost done with volume 1 of my book so i am unsure of what to do right now. (besides editing and getting a manuscript out)

also since i am not in the US/UK, there are some local publishers here but they don’t seem to do much, should i still try with them?

also, my book is xianxia, which is a sub genre of wuxia. it is already very difficult to get publishers to pick a wuxia book and it seems very slim that my book will be picked, should i still hold out for a publishing deal?

honestly i have very little hopes of being published considering the genre of my novel but reading the posts of everyone makes makes me a little hopeful…

For the big-five, this is true. But many smaller presses can be talked out of the audio rights. Again, I’m not familiar with your genre, but it may be small presses are the only thing open to you so it shouldn’t be such a big deal if you wanted to keep those right.

Generally no. Publishers want the “first publication rights” and if you have exploited them on your own, they are usually dead. Now, even after saying that. I should note it’s exactly what I did. I self-published 5 of 6 of my Riyria Revelations books and then I “shopped” the series before releasing the last book of the series. Because it had a following it made it more attractive to publishers and I had several editors interested in picking it up. So, bottom line if you sold very well, then they MAY be interested, but even then they are going to be looking at a future work of yours rather than something that’s already been “out there.”

You are welcome. It’s what I’m here for.


#58

Nope. The “amount earned” is the “author’s cut” and the publisher just pays 85% of that to the author and 15% to the agent.


#59

Exactly.


#60

Yes, my series was picked up by the big-five BECAUSE of my self-publishing success, not IN SPITE OF. And, yes, I can run you a list of names of authors like me who leveraged self-publishing into traditional deals. But we are at the very tip-top of the pyramid. Getting picked up this way is MUCH harder than starting off going through the standard practice of query and shopping projects with agents.