STATUS: I was a working machine today. I got a lot accomplished. Makes me wonder why I haven’t even made a dent in my To Do list for tomorrow.
What’s playing on the iPod right now? WHY CAN’T I BE YOU? By The Cure
Three days into the new year and it’s already clear that I’ll be negotiating some deals in the very near future. Now remember I did that whole Agenting 101 series starting back in late June 2006. So search the archives if you want to see the whole run-down on how to negotiate a deal.
Today I thought it might be fun to share my Deal Points check list. It’s my quick and dirty reminder of all the points that need to be discussed in the initial negotiation. All agents have one. It helps to keep an electronic paper record of all the points—especially if there is a lot of back and forth during the negotiation with points changing.
Once the deal concludes, I email the editor a copy of my deal points memo for written confirmation that our negotiations match.
I tell you. It’s saved me once or twice when an editor has left a house after contracting for a book but the contracts hadn’t been generated yet or were generated but something’s missing. In general, I just like being anal and detailed-oriented.
Ask what editorial changes will be needed.
Ask for potential pub date.
1. Rights Granted (If World involved, ask for confirm of splits, reversion in 18-24 months. If audio is involved, ask for a reversion in one year if publisher hasn’t sold it)
4. Royalty structure
5. Bonus clauses (I have a whole separate notes section for kinds of bonuses I want to ask for etc.)
6. option clause (Limit option clause to one name/pseudonym/next in series/or type of work)
7. No US-only Spanish language (however, if must give, ask for 1 year reversion clause, same royalty percentage, and for it to be excluded from the option)
9. Publication time frame (as in 12 months, 18, or 24)
10. No Joint Accounting if multi-book deal
11. Discuss non-compete clause/second option for smaller work (see publication house specific notes below) –These I’m not sharing because it would take too long to include.
12. Add reserved rights clause: “All rights not specifically granted hereunder are reserved by the Author, including, but not limited to US-Only Spanish Language, translation, motion picture, television, radio, calendar, commercial merchandising, audio, video, electronic, multimedia and/or interactive electronic rights.” (This sentence changes depending on rights granted.)