Pub Rants

When Contracts Directors Have A Sense Of Humor

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STATUS: Off to a terrific start today.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? STAY UP LATE by Talking Heads

From a lot of my posts lately, I imagine that you think all my recent conversations with contract directors at the big houses have been contentious.

In reality, that hasn’t been so. I have to say, that I personally like all the contracts directors at the major houses. They are under the gun and yet they’ve handled differences of opinions with good temper, grace, and with reason—even if I don’t agree with their stance.

In fact, one of the contract directors from a big six house even made me spit coffee and sputter with laughter in our last conversation.

When I mentioned that I didn’t agree with the 25% of net publishers were currently sticking with and that I was not inclined to accept the same percentage if we were to negotiate an expanded or enhanced electronic book, the director, totally deadpanned, quipped in return that I must obviously share his opinion that the split percentage to the author should be lower for an enhanced ebook as they are more expensive to produce.

I was so surprised that I just burst out laughing as did my contracts manager. You gotta respect a contracts director with a sense of humor. Grin.

7 Responses

  1. JEM said:

    That’s hilarious. I also love that as an adult I find the nerdiest stuff funny. I made a joke about encryption to a computer programmer the other day. And then I shook my head.

  2. D.M.Cunningham said:

    You really do need a sense of humor to make it through the day. There are too many crinkly eyebrows in every day dealings. Hooray for a good sense of humor. I love hearing that. There’s hope.

  3. Madara said:

    I guess someone has to type all of those 1’s and 0’s. I’m afraid you may get more of the same from other publishers. Just try not to spit coffee on them. 😉

  4. Dave H said:

    But pound for pound, an ebook is more expensive to produce! Let’s assume a $30 hardback that weighs half a pound costs $5 to produce. That makes it $10/lb. Now let’s be generous and say a $15 ebook that weighs nothing (because bits are weightless) costs a penny to produce. (And don’t your publishers wish they could pull that off?) That still makes it infinite dollars per pound.

    Sure, I’ll sign on for 25% of infinity.

  5. Kristi Helvig said:

    Love it! This also highlights the importance of having an agent who has such positive working relationships with others in the business – even when they disagree.