Re: Royalties, how much?

Subject: Re: Royalties, how much?
From: jhedtke -at- OZ -dot- NET
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 1995 22:50:23 PDT

In article <TECHWR-L%95010413443842 -at- VM1 -dot- UCC -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU>,
> > "T. Kelley Boylan" <kelleyb -at- TEZCAT -dot- COM> wrote:
> >
> > I've been writing for the last seven or eight years, mostly for Motorola,
> > IBM, etcetera, but I've recently switched over to consumer-level material.
> > (The PowerPC PowerOpen ABI was one darned fascinating document, let me tell
> > you. ;-) Que Publishing's asked me to write a book and has sent a 10-page
> > contract. Most of it's no problem -- I've negotiated contracts before --
> > but I'm out of my depth with the royalty percentages. Prior to this I've
> > been a co-author for a number of other books, but it was a straight-fee
> > arrangement among many authors.
> >
> > I'd appreciate words of wisdom from those who've signed contracts for
> > technical books. What percentages did you ask for; what was the pay rate
> > during the contract (before royalties); and how much did you estimate for
> > purposes of Uncle Sam?

I suggest you get $5000 or better royalty advance, and between 12-15% of
publishers, with no cutoffs on the royalty for higher discounts and delete the
"or any other" clause in the accounting section. If you're interested in a
good overview of this subject, I recommend Richard Curtis's "How to Be Your Own

Literary Agent." Although that book is aimed mostly at fiction contracts, most

of the rest of it is strongly applicable. The "or any other" trick is one I
learned from the book, and one that's saved me thousands of dollars.

"What was the pay rate during the contract?" I'm not sure if you mean the
advance or what you might expect in the way of payment and how often. If it's
the latter, let me make an observation: you have to be *very* careful about
*some* publishers.

Yours Truly,

John Hedtke


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