STATUS: Ready to call it a day.
What’s playing on the iPod right now? 1812 OVERTURE by Tchaikovsky [Chicago Symphony Orchestra]
I’d say, on average, our agency does at least one foreign rights deal a week. Hey, we only have about 30 authors total so that’s pretty darn good.
And selling foreign translation rights is just fun. I mean, let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to see their work published in Slovene? (Exactly, I figured it was in the general area of former Yugoslavian Republic but I did have to look it up). Or in Indonesia (which has an interesting alphabet and great covers). Oops, was thinking Thai! Thanks for the catch in the comments section.
But as good and fun as the foreign deals are the one drawback is the rather untimely payments. I think the word I’m looking for here is glacial—as in the pace of the payments.
If I close a foreign deal today, I can expect signed contracts and on signing payment to come at least 6 months from now. Eight is not unusual. Twelve is ridiculous.
And that’s what I’m currently facing. Sure enough, I have a foreign publisher who has not paid up and the contracts were signed in March 2008. This is too much. Time to get tough.
I’m interviewing big burly guys with Slavic accents and unpronounceable names. Must be fluent in Russian…