Pub Rants

Anatomy Of An Agency Agreement—Part Five

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STATUS: Hello from the land of Kiwi. Late this morning, my husband and I took the hike up the Rocky Bay trail on the island of Waiheke (which is just a 20 minute ferry ride from Auckland). It’s about a 2 hour hike (and a bit muddy) but we were excited to reach the top just in time for lunch and a bit of wine tasting at the Te Whau Winery. Guess what? It’s closed on Tuesdays (and yes it is Tuesday already here in NZ). Still, it was a gorgeous hike and a gorgeous day.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? Not listening at the moment but I do have my shuffle with me.

Once we have death figured out, then we have to address taxes. Just kidding. The next clause in the agency agreement deals with expenses and what my agency is entitled to receive as reimbursement from the author.

About two years ago, I actually stopped charging back most expenses to my clients. Why? Because the world of publishing had changed rapidly. These days I email my submissions (with the rare hard copy being sent out by snail mail).The biggest costs were photocopy and delivery. With that pretty much a non-issue, it didn’t seem worth the time to muddle with the accounting by tracking the only expense we end up really having which is FedEx and postage.

Now we do charge back for expenses related to selling subrights. Often we have to buy extra copies of client books in order to send on to foreign publishers and Hollywood co-agents. This can be expensive (and hence the one main charge-back to the clients). Now we try and wrestle as many free copies out of the publishers as we can get but it never seems to be quite enough since we pursue foreign and film subrights aggressively.

Here’s the clause if you want to see how it reads:

NLA will be entitled to receive reimbursement from the Author for the following expenses relative to the representation of a project: special delivery/payment expenses, International/foreign shipping if applicable, costs associated with the selling of all secondary rights, including costs such as purchasing extra books and/or galleys used to sell those secondary rights.

Reproduction costs, postage & delivery, as well as all other normal costs associated to running a business such as office supplies, rent, or utilities are not an author billable expense. Please note that applicable charges are accrued to an author account and reimbursed from the author’s income from publisher payments. Reimbursed deductions will be itemized and supported by receipts.

18 Responses

  1. Dave said:

    I can only think of one thing more stultifying and mind-numbing than a contract:


    Now BEHAVE!

    Sales and Marketing, Sales and Marketing

  2. Janet said:

    Talk about going above and beyond the call of duty.

    This is your vacation, Kristin. Forget contracts for a week or two. We will survive without our fix, promise.

  3. bran fan said:

    Great hat, Kristin! Sun protection is sooooo important, and if you can do it with style, all the better.

    These posts are very interesting and I’m learning a lot, but I have to agree with Janet–take a vacation! We faithful readers do not want you to burn out like Miss Snark did.

  4. Vicki said:

    Love the pic, Kristin. Sounds like your enjoying yourself.

    Really, it’s your vacation. I love the information you pass on to us, but you should go find wine now and enjoy. 🙂

  5. Steve Malley said:

    HI Kristin,

    Welcome to the Land of the Long White Cloud. If I see you two enjoying a lovely gondola ride along the Avon in Christchurch, well, I’ll leave you the heck alone. 🙂

    But if you’re just browsing in Scorpio Books or something like that, I may say howdy and thank you for the advice that got me my own agent.

    And tell Kimber An that Hobbiton indeed remains open, down here on the South Island…

    Enjoy your holiday. You may want to move here. I did!

  6. Alice Audrey said:

    Hi Kristin,

    When you get back from your vacation come tell me if the deduction of expenses for secondary rights comes from secondary sales, or is applied to royalties from the original sale. Please. 😉

  7. HH said:

    Welcome to Aotearoa! I hope you enjoy your holiday here. And thanks — your blog is a superb resource.

  8. Sherryl said:

    Enjoy New Zealand (land of my birth). It’s a wonderful place to rest and relax – and drink lots of great wine when you find a place that’s open!

  9. Dave Kuzminski said:

    Of course, at this point in representation, it’s entirely reasonable since the manuscript has been sold and different circumstances are involved. Of course, the important thing to note is it’s also being tracked and accounted for so there’s no misuse of funds.

  10. phoenix said:

    OK, I thought it was winter in NZ. And I thought winters there were cold. What are you two doing in short sleeves? I may just have to revise my plans of never moving there because of the climate!

    Stay away from blogdom for awhile!

  11. Rylie :0) said:

    enjoy the vaca, Kristin… i have a 9 month wait for mine to the UK… maybe i’ll write a book about taking weird vacations in the meantime

  12. Jan Whitaker said:

    Hey, Kristin, you’re closer to me than you normally are (I’m in Melbourne, just a couple hours away — are you coming here? Email me and I’ll give you my phone number: jwhit at Enjoy your holiday. And for everyone in the northern hemisphere who are wondering about the weather, unless you’re on the South Island, we keep the mild winters everywhere secret, or else you would *all* be heading our way!

    Jan, who is in the middle of winter and saw a lovely day in the 50s. [Really, it’s like an Arizona winter]

  13. John said:

    Subrights, foreign, hmm.
    Not being an agent but a small indie I wonder if you would care to comment, Kristin, do you think indie publishers should try selling foreign rights or are we likely to look like incompetent buffoons?