Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Importance Of Tracking World Rights

Status: Ah, worked on royalty statements some today. Hence, this entry!

What’s Playing on the XM or iPod right now? SUNSHINE ON MY SHOULDERS by John Denver

Even though as an agent I rarely grant World rights in a deal, I occasionally do if the monies are right. If the agency sells UK and translation rights, it’s easy to track the deals/monies as all info will be moving through the agency.

However, if a Publisher holds World, then all the info and monies move through the Publishing House’s subrights department. Sometimes editors are good at staying on top of the info and sometimes they aren’t. That’s why when I do grant World rights, I make it a point to contact the subrights person in charge of selling the rights for my author’s title.

It’s absolutely essential to know what foreign rights have sold and the terms of the deal. Why? If the royalty statement comes in and the subrights sales aren’t on it, then it’s clear something is amiss with the statement.

Case in point for a royalty statement I was reviewing today. We had on-file the deal memos and dates of all foreign deals done so far. Now foreign monies can often take 6 to 12 months to show on a statement so we don’t expect them to show immediately. However, if more than 12 months have elapsed since the close of the deal, it’s time to start asking questions.

In our case, the subrights monies were there but tied to a dummy ISBN that was created when the books first sold and not to the actual ISBN. This glitch kept them from showing on the statement.

Easy as pie as one phone call fixed the problem, but the issue can only be fixed if an agent or author knows to ask the question—which is why one should always track World right sales when the publisher holds those rights.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Advertising That Works?

Status: It’s the final sprint into the holidays. Goal? To finish everything. All client reads. All incoming submissions. All Royalty Statements. All end of year deals. And yes, we’ve got a lot going on in that realm.

What’s Playing on the XM or iPod right now? ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU by Mariah Carey

Over a year ago, a friend of mine introduced me to Groupon for Denver, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

I mean, how can you beat deals like a 90-minute massage for $29.00? That’s a steal no matter how you cut it. So I’ve been aware of this company for a while and have happily Grouponed many a great deal. Tonight, I was reading a Newsweek article on how this mode of advertising is really working. After all, it introduces subscribers to local companies that they might not have discovered otherwise and more importantly, if a subscriber buys the deal for the day, that person is committed to visiting that company or using that service in the very near future.


But why do I bring this up in relation to publishing? Well, I was down in Santa Fe for the holidays and what pops up on my iPhone? The daily Groupon deal. This time, much to my surprise, it was a deal from Simon & Schuster. $40.00 worth of books for $20.00 from the S&S website.

Game on!

I would love to know how this Groupon worked for them. I’m also assuming that this Groupon hit several major cities—not just Denver. Someone is paying attention over there at S&S. Nicely done (although I imagine some independent booksellers might not be as enthusiastic to hear this).

My response? You can Groupon too! For Tattered Cover, that’s a groupon I would buy in a heartbeat and then send the link to all my Denver friends.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Funnies

STATUS: Lots of editors are taking Monday and Tuesday off so I expect that it will be a little quiet in the office.

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? THE OPENING OF DOORS by Will Ackerman

This story may be the best one yet.

From the police blotter of Hudson Hub Times, Man reports delivery of suspicious package!

Click on link. You won’t be disappointed!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

When Errors Are Found In Royalty Statements

STATUS: Not really liking how dark it gets so early.

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? LIGHT MY CANDLE from the Soundtrack RENT

Yesterday I highlighted the top 3 culprits regarding errors in royalty statements. So what happens if errors are found?

It’s pretty simple. We call our main contact in the royalties department. Since rarely an accounting period passes without some error being found on any one of the hundred + statements we receive, we talk to the royalty managers pretty often. First name basis actually.

We usually call first to discuss the errors and then follow up with an email so there is a paper trail. In all our instances, the royalties contact has corrected the errors promptly and regenerated the statements so we have correct ones for our files.

We make notes in the client's royalties file so we can track past issues and be on the look-out for future issues (as sometimes it's the same error that keeps reoccurring). Do I think the errors deliberate? For the big publishers, no. For some of the indie smaller publishers, it depends on the company.

Now there are definitely other things Publishers have done that haven’t been above board (as there have been lawsuits etc) that could impact royalty statements but they weren’t issues on the royalty statements themselves per se.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Top 3 Culprits

STATUS: It can’t be 2:30 in the afternoon already.

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? NEVER, NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP by Barry White

One of the issues of writing a blog for so long (since 2006 for me) is that I often forget what topics I’ve covered and what I haven’t. And sure, I could scroll through some of my tags but I’m too lazy. *grin*

April/October is our biggest royalty period. It’s when we receive the most statements. So right now I have quite a pile on my desk so it’s first and foremost in my mind. And for one major publisher, their October statements always come the first week in November.

So after reviewing the umpteenth one today, whether I’ve already discussed this or not, I wanted to highlight the top 3 culprits regarding errors in royalty statements that I’m seeing:

1. Returns at a price point that didn’t exist with the original published edition.
If a book was published for let’s say $13.99, then returns have to be at $13.99. Any other number is a clear error.

2. The wrong percentage recorded for electronic books
This can happen in a variety of ways. Perhaps the royalty is supposed to be on retail price and it’s showing on net or it’s just the wrong percentage altogether.

3. A royalty escalator has kicked in but the statements don’t reflect it.
In deals, there are often royalty escalators at certain break points. For example, for an adult hardcover, a standard is 10% to 5000, 12.5% to 10,000 and 15% thereafter. The royalty statement might have an error putting all copies at 10% but let’s say 6000 copies have sold so 1000 of those copies should be at the 12.5% level.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Usual Suspects

STATUS: I’m having weather shock. It snowed lightly this morning in Denver. Such fond memories of the beach…

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? LEAVING LAS VEGAS by Sheryl Crow

On Friday, I was reading through the daily emails from Deal Lunch to see what sold this past week. And sure enough, I saw the deal for a YA project that I just loved, offered rep, but the author went with another agent. Project went at auction too! I could have called that. *grin*

Obviously with the posting of the deal, I got to find out who the author had chosen. And drat if it wasn’t a usual suspect. There are certain names that just keep reoccurring if the author doesn’t choose me. If I love a project and offer rep, I can almost always name the other 6 possible YA agents I’m probably up against. We just have the same tastes. And they are all great agents so talk about stiff competition. But since they are all so terrific, I don’t lose sleep over it. If you are going to lose out, lose out to the best. At least I saw the project.

I bet this happens to editors too. They don’t win an auction and they find out who else participated and I bet they run into the same reoccurring names all the time as well.

But darn those usual suspects…

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Funnies

STATUS: Sun popped out. Yay. I was worried it was going to rain.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? QUANDO, QUANDO, QUANDO by Michael Buble

This article totally cracked me up. Stop the New York Times Presses. Huge news flash.

New York City agent moves from Manhattan to….


And can still do his job as a literary agent!

I’m still chortling.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

All In The Name of Research!

STATUS: Only 2 more days of beach time left…

What’s playing on the iPod right now? KOKOMO by Beach Boys

Cross my heart, IRS Agent! It was all very necessary research.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Where Not In The World Is Kristin?

STATUS: I know this is petty but this week I’m on the beach and it snowed in Denver. Yes!

What’s playing on the iPod right now? WALKING ON SUNSHINE by Katrina And The Waves

There is something fundamentally wrong with a science fiction author who lives in Florida but has never been the Kennedy Space Center. It’s also a crying shame if her agent, who reps SF and has also never been to the Kennedy Space Center, doesn’t drag her there.

Consider the issue rectified!

In Orbit! Kristin, My Mom Sue, and Linnea Sinclair:

The world is in trouble now...

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Get Out And Vote!

STATUS: I feel like there is a change in the weather. Suddenly both Sara and I have a lot of deals unfolding.

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? ELECTION DAY by Arcadia (you knew that was coming!)

It's Tuesday, Nov. 2. Vote! Don’t let it go to the dogs!

And as my father used to say, "voting gives you the right to complain."

More Arcadia music on iLike

Monday, November 01, 2010

One City One Book—Broomfield Colorado

STATUS: Going on vaca for about 10 days. Blogging could be a little sporadic.

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? PRAIRIE RAIN by Michael Stribling

Just a note to let any Colorado folks know that Jamie is going to be in town next Saturday. HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET is a One Book pick for the city of Broomfield.

He will be at the Broomfield Auditorium on November 6, 2010. The event starts at 7 p.m.

Jamie is also hosting a writer’s workshop earlier that day. I’m not sure if that seminar is already full but you can call 720.887.2350 to find out or email library@broomfield.org.

There is also a corresponding Bitter and Sweet Art Exhibition.

How cool is that? CU even did a Jazz evening featuring the music of Oscar Holden (who plays such a key role in the novel)

I cannot thank Mayor Pat Quinn enough for this terrific opportunity. If you live in town, we’d love to see you there!