STATUS: Finished up a contract today. Oh man, that always feels so good to get the final draft out to the author to sign. Contracts are by far the most time-consuming part of an agent’s job.
What’s playing on the iPod right now? PROUD MARY by Tina Turner
As agents, we are constantly learning. Even old veterans had to learn the ins and outs of eBook royalties over the last decade.
And even still they are tricky. Every publisher has their own structure (which is a bit annoying) but there you have it. Also, there are two basic ways to pay e-royalties.
Some publishers do a straight percentage of retail price of the work (standard is 15%). But some publishers do the royalty based on net amount received. Not quite the same thing. Standard for net amount is 25%.
So you have to check the language. You might look at a contract and see 15% and think it’s all groovy. But 15% of net amount received is not the industry standard.
See what I mean?
Then there are some publishers who refuse to do “standard.” You have to know who they are and take it into consideration before granting a book. Sure, the percentage of
e-royalties is miniscule compared to overall sales of a book in print formats but who knows what the future might bring so you have to at least think about it.
Some publishers allow language that if the industry e-royalty rates go up in the coming years, you can go back and re-negotiate it in the contract. I’m all about that and get it in my contracts whenever I can.
Right now, after looking at my incoming royalty statements, it’s very clear to me that the best sales for eBooks are still in SF&F. No surprise there as SF&F readers tend to be tech savvy and early adapters.
It will be very interesting to see how this sales percentage grows over the next decade when tech savvy young’uns start becoming book buyers (or so we hope they do!).