Pub Rants

Boilerplate Item Du Jour

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STATUS: Every day it’s another piece of good news for Ally Carter and her Gallagher Girl series. Today, it’s the news that she just debuted on the Publishers Weekly Top 15 children’s bestseller list (Jan. 14th issue) and if that weren’t enough, I’D TELL YOU I LOVE YOU has just landed on the USA Today Top 150 bestselling books (granted at #148) but that’s still big news because this list encompasses children’s and adult fiction titles. So quite the coup.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? HOME by Michael Bublé

Sometimes I just want to shake my head. About a year ago, Random House did a big push to say that US-only Spanish language rights would now be a “boilerplate” item on all their contracts. Do you remember this? Maybe some enterprising reader can look up that entry or series of entries and provide the link.

Agents pushed back and said, no, it’s not a boilerplate item; it’s a granted right—just like UK, translation, audio etc. It’s not automatically granted to the publisher. It must be specifically requested and included when discussing the event.

So the new boilerplate item du jour is graphic novel rights. A year ago, never saw this. It was never even mentioned or brought up in the deal points negotiation. Now, I’m starting to hear publishers say that this is a “boilerplate” item and corporate policy.

Here we go again.

11 Responses

  1. Susan Helene Gottfried said:

    So the word that graphic novels are hot has finally reached legal, huh?

    It’s an odd inclusion; not all books would make successful graphic novels.

    Keep on fighting the good fight. It reminds the nay-sayers of the intrinsic value of agents.

  2. Anchored Away said:

    Agent Kristin –

    I know publishers have different boilerplates for agented writers than for non-agented. For those writers who are for whatever reason unagented at the time of a contract offering, is it safe to assume all these rights (graphic novel, translation, etc.) are going to be “boilerplate” for them? Is this yet another reason to have an agent?

    Love your blog! Thanks for putting yourself out here every day.

  3. Allison Brennan said:

    Good luck. I remember the RH boilerplate change. I’m an RH author and believe that I was “lucky” enough to be the first contract for my agency with the new boilerplate. And as you know, every agency has a different boilerplate with the houses. It’s enough to make my head spin, which makes me doubly grateful that there are agents who have to worry about this and I can focus on writing.

  4. Anonymous said:

    Hey there, I could really use some advice.

    It’s about switching agencies. After reading KN’s helpful posts about etiquette when dealing w/ an ex-agent, and the entire Lost That Loving Feeling series, I still have a question.

    It’s about when an agent grossly misrepresents an author. A friend of mine was devastated recently because her agent sent her book to a publishing house/imprint geared toward Latinos – because the protagonist is Latina. The editor was interested, and asked the agent what the author’s ethnicity was. Based on my friend’s last name and skintone, the agent (incorrectly) assumed that she wasn’t Latina. The agent responded to the editor with this misinformation, and the editor completely dropped interest as a result. The imprint only works w/ Latino authors. Problem is: The agent didn’t bother to ask my friend what her heritage was till it was too late.

    I imagine this especially happens quite a bit with Latina/o-geared imprints, because people have such a narrow definition of what it means to be Latina.

    My point is: Is this grounds to find a new agent? And in the letter looking for a new agent, should she mention what happened?

    Two agents had originally offered her representation. Any tips for when an author “comes crawling back” to an agent they (kindly) turned down in favor of an agent who eventually made a huge snafu?

    Sorry this isn’t on topic…

  5. Music Critic said:

    I think I’m getting this iPod review in just under the wire. Which is okay, because I’m not a big fan of Michael Buble. He comes in at our 3rd #7 in a row.

    However, I think the post is a great one. I knew Graphic novels were getting more popular (and as a comic geek, I’m happy for that), but I didn’t know they were becoming that hot.

  6. booklady said:

    Graphic novel rights. That’s fascinating. Of course, now that you mention it I could name a number of graphic novels based on popular books, and it seems to be happening ever more frequently.