Royalties in lieu of fees

Subject: Royalties in lieu of fees
From: geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA
Date: Mon, 26 May 1997 13:24:55 -0500

Jim Chevalier posted <<I'm being asked to revise a handbook
on a royalty-only basis, am not sure what to watch
for in the contract.>>

One obvious ploy would be to insist on getting the same
advance on royalties that the author is getting (or if
_you_ are the author of the revision, whatever the standard
rate is for that publisher... check the Writer's Guide or
Literary Market Place etc.). A publisher that expects the
book to make some money probably won't hesitate to give you
an advance; one that is simply trying to get you to work
for nothing will drag their feet or refuse. (Caveat:
Publishers vary, but this is pretty much the standard
industry practice.) Remember, most books never get
published, and of those that do, most never make any money.
If you're accepting royalties in lieu of a fee, you'd
better be confident that the book is (a) going to be
published and (b) going to make some money. Otherwise,
you're likely working just for the experience.

If you have any doubts or questions, consider contacting a
good literary agent for advice. Even though I work with
confusing, ambiguously worded sentences every day, I'd
never consider signing a publishing contract without legal
advice... I'm no good with the pidgin English dialect known
as legalese.

--Geoff Hart @8^{)} geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
Disclaimer: Speaking for myself, not FERIC.

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