Last week I was negotiating a contract with an editor over there at the Random House group.
Color me pink when she mentioned that RH was adding a new clause to the contract that was going to be standard from here on out. RH would now like U.S.-only Spanish Language rights to go with those yummy North American only or World English or World rights.
Glad she mentioned it upfront. What a nasty surprise to have when the contract arrived and as an agent, I don’t like nasty contract surprises. It gets my contracts manager all in a tizzy about why I didn’t clarify this when doing the deal points.
Immediately I started emailing around, seeing if my agent friends had seen this new development. Lucky me, I was the first to experience it—at least from my posse.
What does it mean? Not much really. Just that RH would like one more subsidiary right that they potentially don’t want to pay extra for.
Most agents will probably now discuss it upfront in the deal points—another avenue to get more money out of the publisher in advance or to say “nope, we reserve” when no more money is forthcoming.
It does have some interesting implications for foreign rights though. A quick chat with my very lovely foreign rights manager indicated that it might be something she’ll now have to discuss upfront with the Spanish publishers because when they buy Spanish rights, the house usually wants World (and that would mean a Spanish version in the U.S. as well).
Right now I have her looking into whether it would impact the selling of said Spanish foreign language rights. I’m sure those houses will be thrilled to hear that U.S. Publishers are now actively pursuing our rather substantial Spanish-speaking population.
Times are a-changing.
And I just found out that one of my posse members is actively blogging. Looks like Jennifer has been doing it for a while and I’m just the slowpoke in discovering it. Sheesh. One slap with a wet noodle.
She’s talking more about publicity and has some good points to make. I agree with her whole-heartedly on the importance of a professional website. Go visit her.