Friday, August 20, 2010

Goods on The Contract

I waited on this until today, because I wasn't clear on a couple things. The BIGGIE is language that says I can't use my pseudonym in any OTHER promotional advertising, etc. which sent me into a panicked spiral as to whether I could use it for website, blog, etc. (as those--one in existence, the other only conceptual as of yet--are INTENDED to work for ALL my work).  I worried briefly that I'd have to take the pen name off my blog, facebook, etc. But I contacted Ellen (my agent) with my questions, and my primary concern—HELLO... all this promotional effort as HART—won't that help with book sales for ALYSE? (see how clever I was?  Always disguise your own self interest as the questionee's self interest... it is part of my Naked World Domination plans.)  So now I can get naked... and wet...

I officially have permission from Berkeley to include Alyse on my HART blog and HART website (did you see my wipe my brow there?  I was seriously worried... it happens when you get naked before you know if nudists are allowed). I just can't use it to push other works (except in communication with agents/publishers to prove my track record).

So THERE! Now I can talk about it.

First, A Confession

My only college 'C' was business law. Yes... to some of you this makes me a hopeless geek and to some of you, you are BAFFLED that I didn't get straight As, but there you have it... I was an A/B student with an aversion for law.

I suppose that's not so surprising, given who I am, and how averse I am to rules in all OTHER forms. Why should I keep stuff in my head I never intend to honor?  And what the heck does that mean to me where a contract is concerned, besides the fact I will have a heck of a time understanding it because I DON'T LIKE RULES!

Contrarian Me

But when it comes to something I SIGN... see, now THAT is different. If I give my WORD then I am going to honor it, even if that is a form of rule-following. Signing, even if I am signing onto RULES makes it personal and I am obligated.

Which of course means I HAVE to understand the darned thing.

That is why with this contract I wanted to really understand what I was signing on for before signing my name... and ONE of those details was whether Alyse had to go underground or not. Fortunately, she doesn't.  You know what THAT means?  I get to SHARE with you!!!!

Some Stats


Books: 3 for now... if any more, ALL to be renegociated.
Words per book: 75K
Dates: Dec 31, 2010, Sept 30, 2011, June 30, 2012

Rates: So this is secret so it's in secret code—you remember how this works, right? If you want to break the rules and look at the dollars, HIGHLIGHT.

Advance: $5,000 per book, split over CONTRACT, Book to Publisher, and Book Published.
Royalty rates (based on cover price):

Hard Copy: 10% for 1st 5,000; 12.5% next 5K; 15% thereafter. (10% exports)
Mass Market: 8% first 150K, 10% after (5% export)
Hard Copy Book Club (sold at 60% or more discount from cover): 5% received by publisher

NOTE: I am never buying at Sam's Club or Target... man, I had no CLUE how much less the author got. Repeat after me: discount at bookstore, fine. Non-bookstore BAD. Just say NO to Wallmart!

Back to the rates:
Trade Paperback (what most of these will be, by the way): 7.5% (unless at 52% discount, then 5%)
Publisher e-Books: 25%
E-books sold to others 30% (but 30% of what publisher gets which is less)
Movie rights-depends how much is 'book specific' versus broad concept.

So there.

That is the goods on a contract of the variety where the idea originated with the publisher, but the writing is done by the writer.


Ted Cross said...

I am thrilled for you, Hart...I mean Alyse, uh, Tart?! Now you better get writing!

Hart Johnson said...

REwriting, you mean! I've written the first draft, but from the 50%-75% mark is PANTS, so there is definitely some rewriting needed... puttering away at it...

TreeX said...

75K PAGES?! EACH?! What the bloody hell are you writing? History of the world in fine detail?

Old Kitty said...

I haven' a clue about percentages and numbers and whatnot!! So the finer points of your fab contract stays in the shadows for me!!

BUT BUT BUT!!!! Naked!!! LOL!!! WELL DONE YOU!! CONGRATULATIONS!!! I am doing a little jig and a dance in your honour!!

Yay!!! Three gorgeous books! Lovely!

Take care

Powdered Toast Man said...

so many percentages, I don't know what's going on. I need someone to explain it to me.

Unknown said...

great work chick. Hey, after Sept. 10 I'll be published and would so love to corrupt your blog with my wenchiness. . . .

Hart Johnson said...

Joris- ACK! That would be words! Uff!

Jenny--teehee... nothing better than naked!

PTM-erm... okay, hows this... they gimme a little money for each book they sell... but not a lot.

ET--You're in! I have an email from somebody mid-September, but the other spot is YOURS! I'll send you details.

lisahgolden said...

I am so excited for you! This was such good information for someone like me who is so new to this game.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Always know what you are signing - and I have no doubt you are on top of that, Hart.

CA Heaven said...

Guess I would qualify as geek too. And since I don't like rules, and (possibly) have a touch of Tourette, I should probably support your NWD plans ... nice pic, btw >:)

Cold As Heaven

Hart Johnson said...

Lisa-Thank you! It is info I had no CLUE about, though have had a helpful friend share some of it, but there sure were a lot more tiers than I ever knew.

Thanks, Alex! Never hurts to be on top! *cough*

CaH-Excellent! Welcome to the Naked World Domination movement! First step... get naked!

LTM said...

you are amazing! I'm so proud... sniff!

Personally, I can't believe you even TOOK Business Law to start with! Me: "Is it fun? I'll take it!" Explains my straight As... ;p

And thanks for the info on the whole numbers secret. I had no idea about the non-bookstore thing either... wow. How does that apply to Amazon purchases? I know they're the devil and all, but I was just wondering. (That's where I get a lot of my books.)

As always, you're the nekkid superstar! :o)

RosieC said...

Congrats! And I agree with Lisa. It's nice to see something like this in not-so-printy print. Thanks for sharing.

Whoot! *throws confetti*

Good luck with your editing!

Hart Johnson said...

Leigh-Amazon, I'm sure pays the whole thing. They ARE a book store, virtually. I took business law as, with my two majors, I only needed 5 extra classes to have a business minor and it seemed it might help me get jobs--not sure that panned out, but it was my thinking.

Rosie *snicker* I like that... not-so-printy print... Thank you!

M.J. Nicholls said...

I once signed a book contract! The publisher went bankrupt! I was gutted! See, these exclamations make everything sound upbeat! Even though I am dying inside! Your contract will be fine, Tarty! You will triumph! This is exciting!!!

Deb and Barbara said...

Awesome sneakiness there! And wonderful accomplishment! PS this looks awfully close to the ABNA contract if I'm not mistaken. You made it, baby!

Cheeseboy said...

A 'little money' for each book they sell? Whatever it is, you deserve more.

Hart Johnson said...

Mark, it almost looks cheery when you put it that way!

Barbara--the difference is ABNA gets that amount for ONE book and this is for THREE and being the ABNA winner is built in publicity, but yes, I think the percentages are similar.

Cheeseboy, THANK YOU! I think writers deserve better pay generally, but pretty much it is like winning the lottery. A few get rich and the rest of us lose a little (mostly in the form of time)

Unknown said...

Naked Tart Hart - Yay!!! You still get to be you!!! Hee Hee. Anyway, you're so sneaky. *wink* Thanks for the code and really that's pretty kick ass(ests) in the cha-ching department. By 4 it'll be a whole lot more. You must be totally stoked. I am FOR you. So awesome!!!!

Helen Ginger said...

Congratulations. Sooooo excited for you! And thanks for posting the stats. Seriously. This is exciting.

Hart Johnson said...

*naked dances*

RaShelle-It's a darned good thing I get to be me. I'm not good at that fakery stuff! And I HOPE that between this contract and the next with Berkeley that I sell one of MINE for much more generous terms... then I'll be golden.. or at least aluminum..

Helen-thank you! I guess I figure this group is definitely interested in the real deal.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I never considered that kind of complication with a pseudonym, but it's good to know. Just in case...


Lola Sharp said...

WOOHOO!!!! CONGRATS!!! *tosses confetti and glitter* *blows horn*
*pours champagne* *cheers* *clink*

Love your stealthy, super-secret invisible ink. ;)

I hope you take some time to celebrate this weekend.

Love and celebratory hugs,

Talli Roland said...

Contracts make my head spin - argh! I even bought a book - from book deal to contract by Mark Levine (not quite sure about the title; something like that!) I think after reading it my head spun even more! Thanks goodness you have an agent. Now where can I get one of those? :)

T. Powell Coltrin said...

We must be related or kindred spirits or something because I hate rules and buck them when I can. But laws I obey--so that is different. HOnoring a contract is different.

Thanks for sharing your contract details. For now I will live through you for now, but someday maybe I'll.....

So happy for you and can't wait to buy your book at the "real" bookstore and not discount (or so I say ;) Yay for you!!!

Sugar said...

congrats doll!! I'm so happy for you :)

Hart Johnson said...

Pat-I don't think the pseudonym is ALWAYS so complicated... just when the work is one generated from the publishing house.

Lola- thank you! All these excuses to celebrate! The verbal agreement, the written one, the book done, the book in the book published... I could be celebrating all the time!

Talli--I'm darned sure I never could have learned this stuff from a book. Legal stuff is something I really only grasp when I HAVE TO.

JW-nice to find kindred spirits! You'll get there!

Sugar-thank you, hon!

Katy Foster-Dugan said...

I going to but people your book as part of their Christmas/Birthday present. I will be sure not to buy them at a bookstore so you get all the money you can.

Congratulations, I'm so happy that you are getting published. Any word on what the title of the book will be I don't remember you mentioning it yet.

Hart Johnson said...

Katy--untitled as of yet. And book stores are the GOOD ones. It is the discount stores that authors get crap for.

I appreciate so much that you want to buy them for presents! (I just did that with books from a couple of my friends actually)