Pub Rants

Money For Something!

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STATUS: Speaking of foreign rights, Frankfurt Book Fair is almost upon us.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? MONEY FOR NOTHING by Dire Straits
(of course)

It’s days like this where I just love being an agent. Imagine getting a check for let’s say (and I’m making this number up) 25k out of the blue.

One of my clients got a five figure check that she wasn’t expecting—all because of foreign translation sales after earn-out for her titles.

Happy Holidays indeed! Or course being the pragmatic agent that I am, the first thing out of my mouth was pay your estimated taxes on that. Now. Don’t wait.

I know; I should have let the client celebrate a little.

Can’t think of a better reason for selling the heck out of the foreign translation market for any title.

Money for nothing and your chicks for free!

(our catch phrase here at the agency when we get what we call “gravy” money.)

14 Responses

  1. Being Beth said:

    I would be doing a double happy dance if I got one of those gravy checks AND had an agent that reminded me to pay my taxes right away — a double bonus. Hooray for both of you!!!

  2. Stephen Duncan said:

    Weird. I was just talking about this song last night at a Colin Hay concert. (Amazing, BTW). The lyric, “I want my MTV,” is voiced by none other than…Sting! Did you know that? How’s that for useless knowledge?

  3. Anonymous said:

    Speak to me of estimated taxes. So far my attempt to live on my writing has kept me comfortably in the ranks of people who don’t have to pay at all –under $6k/yr– but if things look up: what’s this paying of estimated taxes and how do I do it?

  4. Jen P said:

    I would be very interested what you think of the comparable treatment of foreign rights – scenario: a book in English has international appeal – and could begin life pitched in either the UK OR the US – where would an author be better off starting out so that any potential foreign earnings would be maximised – or is it pretty much even?

    PS:@Elise – I assume the taxes mentioned here refer to regular US tax, which you’re required to pay if your earnings (no matter where your money comes from, writer or not) are over a basic annual minimum. Varies per state and country. You can pay it in advance rather than risking that you spend the money and then need to pay a big lump some at the end of the tax year.