1. yagr
    Offline

    yagr Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
    Messages:
    320
    Likes Received:
    166
    Location:
    West Coast

    Sample contract

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by yagr, Jun 2, 2014.

    Good day all. I certainly wasn't a prolific poster here and so I'll wager that no one realized that I was gone - but I was. I've lost the internet for months now and actually am using a public computer for this post. I mention this because if someone responds and asks me a question to which I fail to respond in a timely manner - it is not out of rudeness, but simply a lack of access to the internet. I have no internet, no car and just been diagnosed with MS and so - can't log in from home, can't drive to a public access spot and can't walk.

    On the plus side, my first novel (YA) just got picked up. What I was hoping was that someone could offer a sample contract so I can pick out points of potential negotiation. I've written one book prior but it was non-fiction and had a cover price of $24.95. Unfortunately, that contract came via an old e-mail account that I can't access any longer and the computer I saved it to also bit the dust. Specifically, I'm wondering if the authors percentage of a $24.95 non-fiction book compares to the (approximately) $6.99 cover price of a YA novel.
     
  2. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,892
    Location:
    Boston
    Welcome back, yagr, and congrats on your novel being picked up!

    From what I know, the standard rate is 10-15% for both fiction and nonfiction. But this applies to net receipts, so royalties aren't based off the cover price. Net receipts refer to any profits minus taxes and extra costs. So you'll end up making maybe 5-7% of the cover price.

    Do you have a literary agent to represent you? An agent will know more about this than we do.
     
    yagr likes this.
  3. yagr
    Offline

    yagr Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
    Messages:
    320
    Likes Received:
    166
    Location:
    West Coast
    Thank you!

    *nods* Right. Yeah I got 10% for the first run of my first book and the contract I received (the last time) offered 12% for the second run and 15% for the third. I negotiated for 15% for the second printing onward, getting me a little more money on the second printing. Since booksellers picked it up for half price ($12.50 for the $24.95 cover price), I made $1.25 per copy on the first printing or 5% of the cover price and 7.5% for subsequent printings. Anywho, just pointing out that your numbers were spot on.

    No. I was fortunate to get it on his desk and read without one but unfortunate in the fact that I am flying, if not quite blind, certainly without corrective lenses. :)
     
  4. TWErvin2
    Offline

    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,529
    Likes Received:
    561
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    Yagr,
    I think we've crossed paths in the past. I am sorry to learn of your struggles, but glad to know you have a contract for your novel to consider.

    First, although dated, SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association has some sample contracts to review and a few articles. Here is the link: http://www.sfwa.org/category/sample-contracts/

    Royalties depend largely on the format and vary greatly from publisher to publisher and even what can be negotiated.

    mass market paperbacks often get between 6-8%
    trade paperbacks often get between 8-12%
    hardcover often get between 10-15%
    ebook often gets between 25-50%
    I am unsure of a range for audiobooks, but I earn 40% of net, so figure some where above and below would be the range.

    And that is based on the retail cover price.

    Net receipts gets much trickier, as what defines 'net' but generally the author gets between 15 to 50% of the net receipts. Net profits is something which is uncommon and not desirable from an author's perspective.

    However, the rate of pay is just one aspect of a contract. There are issues with returns against receipts and how that's calculated, when something is out of print and how that is defined, rights of first refusal for other novels and all that can be entailed with that and so much more. Either prepare to do a ton of reading and studying or hire someone to negotiate or at least review the contract before you sign.

    You seem to have the gist from previous experience in that the boilerplate offered is a starting place for negotiations.

    Good luck as you move forward.
     
    AJC and yagr like this.
  5. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,892
    Location:
    Boston
    Wow, 25-50% seems really high. But I guess it makes sense since ebooks are easier for a publisher to deal with than having to print and bind books.
     
  6. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    congratulations!

    aside from all the contractual issues, did you carefully vet this publisher to make sure they're legit and respectable?... did you google for any negative feedback?

    as both a 'mom' and a lifelong skeptic, i just can't help worrying about such stuff... hope all's well and your book is in safe hands...

    love and hugs, maia
     
  7. yagr
    Offline

    yagr Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
    Messages:
    320
    Likes Received:
    166
    Location:
    West Coast
    Hi maia! Yes, I did, but an excellent point. Very good to see you again.
     
  8. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    i'm glad to see you back... keep us posted on how it goes with the publisher...

    hugs, m
     

Share This Page