1. SapereAude

    SapereAude Senior Member

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    Royalty rates

    Discussion in 'Traditional Publishing' started by SapereAude, Oct 9, 2021.

    I have been approached (indirectly) about writing a book -- on a subject that I know fairly well, so I think I could do the job. I have never written a book for a traditional publisher -- I have had articles printed in some periodicals, for which I received one-time payment, and my books to date have been self-published.

    The inquiry says the publisher offers a "generous" royalty rate of 8 percent.

    Is that a generous royalty rate? I have no idea. The subject will be historical, non-fiction, and writing the book will involve a fairly considerable amount of research.

    Thanks
     
  2. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Senior Member

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    Is there an advance?
     
  3. SapereAude

    SapereAude Senior Member

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    There was no mention of one but, as I intimated, I haven't been contacted directly by the publisher. The information I have is from a friend/colleague, who was approached and who is not interested in trying to be a writer. He passed my contact information along to the publisher. I have not heard from them directly, but it's a weekend so that's probably not a surprise. At this point, I am trying to decide whether or not the prospect looks to be of sufficient interest for me to formulate some questions for the publisher, should they follow up and contact me.
     
  4. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    8-10% is fairly standard for print , ebook should be in the region of 25-40%.... if theres an advance i'd expect it to be fairly small, especially if this is non fiction
     
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  5. SapereAude

    SapereAude Senior Member

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    The plot thickens:

    My friend forwarded my contact info to the publisher (who is in the U.K.) last week. When I hadn't heard anything by the end of the day on Monday, I reached out to the publisher by e-mail Monday evening (U.S. time) with a proposed outline (which is a relic from when I had begun work on a book covering this topic more than a decade ago) and asking some specific questions regarding format, anticipated word count, anticipated number, type, and format of illustrations, and (since he had specifically mentioned hard cover) ownership of rights for paperback and digital editions.

    In reply I received what I consider to be a rather nebulous response, with their standard inquiry form which he asked me to fill out. Essentially, having approached my friend about writing a book on a specific topic, he has now thrown the onus on me to establish the concept and parameters of the book and "pitch" it to him. Perhaps my inner curmudgeon is showing through, but I find that to be more than a little off-putting. To be honest, my immediate inclination is to tell him to sod off. He initiated the contact (to my friend). I've sent him an outline that's ready to go (which, of course, can be modified to suit their notion of what they want the book to cover) and, instead of responding to that, he has essentially thrown the whole thing back in my court.

    For those in the U.K., have you even heard of Fonthill Media? Are they legitimate, or should I run like hell?
     
  6. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    It could also be that they wanted to deal with your friend, but don't know you from adam and don't therefore particularly want to deal with you... and are thus treating you like a cold caller

    I don't know them but google suggests they are a legit but niche publisher speciallising in military history
     
  7. SapereAude

    SapereAude Senior Member

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    Quite possible. But they don't know him, either. When the representative contacted my friend, he had no idea who they were.
     
  8. SapereAude

    SapereAude Senior Member

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    Well, that was quick.

    The person (clearly not an editor, probably not even an editorial assistant) sent me their standard contract. They want to take ownership of the copyright, plus they want to own the rights to publish hard cover, paperback, AND digital editions -- all at a royalty rate of 7.5%.

    Not ... gonna ... happen. I would do better to finish the book and self-publish it through Amazon and Barnes & Noble Press. (Which I might do.)
     
  9. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Senior Member

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    Would it be worth countering with something like 7.5%, 7.5%, 40% with a small advance or would that be unprofessional?
     
  10. SapereAude

    SapereAude Senior Member

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    I don't think it would be unprofessional, but I do think that I'm dealing with (or was dealing with) an acquisitions drone, not an editor or editorial assistant, so I doubt such a counter offer would have gone anywhere. To be honest, I found his whole approach to be (IMHO) unprofessional, and I have better things to do with my time than play games with idiots.
     
  11. montecarlo

    montecarlo Member Supporter

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    It feels to me you have nothing to lose by putting out a reasonable counter. Worst thing is they ghost you.
     

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