Monday, August 13, 2007

Anatomy Of An Agency Agreement—Part Five

STATUS: Hello from the land of Kiwi. Late this morning, my husband and I took the hike up the Rocky Bay trail on the island of Waiheke (which is just a 20 minute ferry ride from Auckland). It’s about a 2 hour hike (and a bit muddy) but we were excited to reach the top just in time for lunch and a bit of wine tasting at the Te Whau Winery. Guess what? It’s closed on Tuesdays (and yes it is Tuesday already here in NZ). Still, it was a gorgeous hike and a gorgeous day.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? Not listening at the moment but I do have my shuffle with me.

Once we have death figured out, then we have to address taxes. Just kidding. The next clause in the agency agreement deals with expenses and what my agency is entitled to receive as reimbursement from the author.

About two years ago, I actually stopped charging back most expenses to my clients. Why? Because the world of publishing had changed rapidly. These days I email my submissions (with the rare hard copy being sent out by snail mail).The biggest costs were photocopy and delivery. With that pretty much a non-issue, it didn’t seem worth the time to muddle with the accounting by tracking the only expense we end up really having which is FedEx and postage.

Now we do charge back for expenses related to selling subrights. Often we have to buy extra copies of client books in order to send on to foreign publishers and Hollywood co-agents. This can be expensive (and hence the one main charge-back to the clients). Now we try and wrestle as many free copies out of the publishers as we can get but it never seems to be quite enough since we pursue foreign and film subrights aggressively.

Here’s the clause if you want to see how it reads:

NLA will be entitled to receive reimbursement from the Author for the following expenses relative to the representation of a project: special delivery/payment expenses, International/foreign shipping if applicable, costs associated with the selling of all secondary rights, including costs such as purchasing extra books and/or galleys used to sell those secondary rights.

Reproduction costs, postage & delivery, as well as all other normal costs associated to running a business such as office supplies, rent, or utilities are not an author billable expense. Please note that applicable charges are accrued to an author account and reimbursed from the author's income from publisher payments. Reimbursed deductions will be itemized and supported by receipts.