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DesignGuy



Number of posts : 5
Registration date : 2010-12-20

Contract Advice Empty
PostSubject: Contract Advice   Contract Advice EmptyFri Feb 11, 2011 1:16 pm

I posted a few months ago on this forum regarding a potential coloring book contract with a large US publisher. I finally got the details of the contract and was wondering if anyone with experience in this area could comment on the situation. Being new to this all, I do not want to be taken advantage of, but I also know I need a foot in the door and this could be it.

The contract is for a children's coloring book of about 30 pages. They are offering a one-time flat fee of $3000. They will retain the coloring book printing rights indefinitely and will only return them to me when the book stops selling. I am however retaining the rights to the characters that will be used in the books so the publicity of the book could help me sell other items (of which I dont have anything yet, except a website with some cheap downloads).

I'm not in much of a bargaining situation, but if anyone could shed some light on this, it might help me sleep better at night (or worse!).

I appreciate you taking the time to respond.
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dkchristi
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dkchristi

Number of posts : 8594
Registration date : 2008-12-29
Location : Florida

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PostSubject: Re: Contract Advice   Contract Advice EmptyFri Feb 11, 2011 1:38 pm

Once again, a literary lawyer is your best bet for contract info. If it was me, I'd take the $3000 flat fee and run with my characters to write another book for another $3000 flat fee, etc. etc. That all depends on your creative ability to turn out new books that bring in that fee. Royalties seem to run $1 a book on the average for print fiction books (that's on the low, conservative side). So, you'd need to sell 3000 books to earn that figure, and it wouldn't be in your hands. Money in hand has value.

On the other hand, if you are the next J. K. Rowling, the potential of selling millions of books and earning millions of dollars on that first one is lost to you for the flat fee of $3000. I'd get a lawyer for advice.
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http://www.dkchristi.webs.com
Shelagh
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Shelagh

Number of posts : 12618
Registration date : 2008-01-11
Location : UK

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PostSubject: Re: Contract Advice   Contract Advice EmptyFri Feb 11, 2011 1:42 pm

The print run for the first in the Harry Potter series was less than 500 copies and most of those went into school libraries.

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Amazon Author Central: Shelagh Watkins
I shall never be old. It doesn't suit me -- [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]Shelagh Watkins
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http://shelaghwatkins.co.uk
LC
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LC

Number of posts : 5044
Registration date : 2009-03-28

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PostSubject: Re: Contract Advice   Contract Advice EmptyFri Feb 11, 2011 2:21 pm

How many coloring books are expected to sell? Worthwhile advice can't be given until that is known. One of my books is a trade nonfic. I get a $3,000 advance on each edition (it's in its 6th edition now) and it sells plenty above that. If you don't think your coloring books will sell more than a royalty would give you, then take it! If you do, then don't! I know, big help. Smile

Of course, assign value to that "foot in door" factor. My trade nonfic, which is with a small house, helped me land contracts with big houses for textbooks. New writers can't afford to be too picky, imo.
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Al Stevens
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Al Stevens

Number of posts : 1727
Registration date : 2010-05-11
Location : Florida

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PostSubject: Re: Contract Advice   Contract Advice EmptyFri Feb 11, 2011 5:56 pm

The terms, how much you are paid, what rights you give up, are up to you. We cannot advise you on that. Any advice could be dead right or dead wrong. So, you decide, and take your chances.

The things to look for in the contract are usually found in the first thing a publisher sends you. They expect experienced authors to change them, and they do not mind.

In royalty agreements, I always insisted that royalties for each of my books be accounted for independently of others.

I never allowed them to bind me to them for future works. I did agree not to write a competing book for another publisher, but I retained the right to use different publishers for other kinds of work.

I don't care how much things have changed. Those two conditions will always be deal breakers for me.

And my final piece of advice is this: Don't come to an author's forum for legal advice. You might as well ask us whether you ought to have that appendectomy you've been promising yourself. I know, some of us have had publishing contracts. Some of us have had appendectomies, too.
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http://alstevens.blogspot.com
dkchristi
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dkchristi

Number of posts : 8594
Registration date : 2008-12-29
Location : Florida

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PostSubject: Re: Contract Advice   Contract Advice EmptyFri Feb 11, 2011 6:36 pm

"Once again, a literary lawyer is your best bet for contract info. ...
I'd get a lawyer for advice." quoted from previous post
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http://www.dkchristi.webs.com
DesignGuy



Number of posts : 5
Registration date : 2010-12-20

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PostSubject: Re: Contract Advice   Contract Advice EmptySat Feb 12, 2011 4:00 am

Thanks for all the advice. They wouldn't answer how many they expected to sell so I just hav to use my best judgement, in which I am obviously bias. I have a lawyer who will help me look over the contract, so I'm not too concerned about getting secretly taken advantage of, I was just curious to see what other establish authors thought. I don't have a ton of options so I think my bed course of action (mentioned above as well) is to make sure I'm only giving up the rights to this specific book indefinitely (they said they will not put a time limit on the terms) and then trust that I have the creativity to continue pushing out creative concepts.

Thanks again everyone.
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