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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Everyone,

I published my first YA paranormal romance on Amazon a couple of months ago (Eternal Eden) and it's been doing pretty well so far. I was recently contacted by an international publisher expressing interest in acquiring the foreign rights to it. I've researched the company and they're legit; they've published huge titles such as the Twilight series, The Mortal Instruments series, etc, so I'm not concerned about this being a scam. I don't have an agent, but have been researching the pros and cons of negotiating this deal on my own versus negotiating through an agent. Still not quite decided on how best to go about it . . .

If anyone has suggestions, or has been through a similar experience and can shed some light on this for me, I'd sure appreciate it.

So glad I found this forum . . . never has there been a better time to be an indie author, but the journey can be a lonely one at times!

Thanks in advance for any feedback!
Nicole
 

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nawilliams said:
Hey Everyone,

I published my first YA paranormal romance on Amazon a couple of months ago (Eternal Eden) and it's been doing pretty well so far. I was recently contacted by an international publisher expressing interest in acquiring the foreign rights to it. I've researched the company and they're legit; they've published huge titles such as the Twilight series, The Mortal Instruments series, etc, so I'm not concerned about this being a scam. I don't have an agent, but have been researching the pros and cons of negotiating this deal on my own versus negotiating through an agent. Still not quite decided on how best to go about it . . .

If anyone has suggestions, or has been through a similar experience and can shed some light on this for me, I'd sure appreciate it.

So glad I found this forum . . . never has there been a better time to be an indie author, but the journey can be a lonely one at times!

Thanks in advance for any feedback!
Nicole
I've heard that it's a good idea to use an IP lawyer for such a contract.
 

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This advise comes from a bestselling author, Kevin Hogan...

There are two clauses that you must put in your contract with publishers to
insure you maximize your pay:

When you see your book on Amazon in top 100 and you get request
from foreign buyers you want to make sure you get at least 60% of
your money from those international sales. Any more than that, and
your publisher loses incentive to market your book.

Publishers generally get 45% of the book and you get 10% of that,
or you can change that and ask for 10% off retail, or you can ask for
when the book is sold in bulk you ask to have the clause that states
you can't make 10% when selling in bulk you have it removed.

Do these two things and you will increase your payday by 6 - 8 times
 

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Dean Wesley Smith had some good advice about that.  He recommended a lawyer (not an agent) and added that such contracts, by law, have to be in the language of the author, and therefore tend to be quite simple.

If it's for a print version of your story, he also recommended going for a flat fee per print run, rather than a royalty.  That is, they pay you X amount for the right to a print run of, say, 10,000 copies.  Mo muss, no fuss.  When they run out of that print run, they come back to you and pay for more copies.  This is a really great way to keep things simple, and I understand many overseas publishers prefer it that way.

Camille
 

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nawilliams said:
Hey Everyone,

I published my first YA paranormal romance on Amazon a couple of months ago (Eternal Eden) and it's been doing pretty well so far. I was recently contacted by an international publisher expressing interest in acquiring the foreign rights to it. I've researched the company and they're legit; they've published huge titles such as the Twilight series, The Mortal Instruments series, etc, so I'm not concerned about this being a scam. I don't have an agent, but have been researching the pros and cons of negotiating this deal on my own versus negotiating through an agent. Still not quite decided on how best to go about it . . .

If anyone has suggestions, or has been through a similar experience and can shed some light on this for me, I'd sure appreciate it.

So glad I found this forum . . . never has there been a better time to be an indie author, but the journey can be a lonely one at times!

Thanks in advance for any feedback!
Nicole
Congratulations! Contacting an agent with this would probably be the way to go, so that they get you the best deal.
 

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Hi, I just hired Elaine English to look over my agent representation contract.  (elaineenglish.com) I believe she also negotiates deals for a flat fee.  She's a lawyer and literary agent.  But if you hire her on a flat fee basis, you won't be paying the 15% just her fee.  (just to clarify.)  She came highly recommended from other writer friends and quoted me a price of $200 an hour (billed in 6 minute increments so you're mostly paying for how much time she actually spends.)  I'm sure there are other folks out there like her. Congrats and good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
This is some great information everyone. Thanks so much. It seems I've got a couple other options to consider as well!
 
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Imogen Rose said:
Congratulations! Contacting an agent with this would probably be the way to go, so that they get you the best deal.
According to Dean Wesley Smith, going with an agent at this point would be a very bad idea. He did a post in his "Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing" blog series specifically on selling foreign rights, and has since switched to the view that an IP lawyer is much more effective (and in the long run, cheaper) than an agent: http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/?p=934

Personally, I'd probably go with the IP lawyer. Oh, and congratulations btw! :)
 

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YA paranormal romance is a hot genre so not surprising they're interested. This being the case, as there are potentially big sales and earnings involved, I'd call a few agents. If the publisher is making you an offer you should have no trouble getting a good agent and the 15% or so they'll charge will be worth it. You really need someone who knows what they're doing with things like foreign/translation rights and a good agency should be able to do this.
 

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Lisa Scott said:
Hi, I just hired Elaine English to look over my agent representation contract. (elaineenglish.com) I believe she also negotiates deals for a flat fee. She's a lawyer and literary agent. But if you hire her on a flat fee basis, you won't be paying the 15% just her fee. (just to clarify.) She came highly recommended from other writer friends and quoted me a price of $200 an hour (billed in 6 minute increments so you're mostly paying for how much time she actually spends.) I'm sure there are other folks out there like her. Congrats and good luck!
I totally agree with Lisa about Elaine English. Elaine handled several situations for me when I was between agents. She's ethical, professional and a great person.

Lynda
 

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I'll toss a wrench in the works here and say that you don't need an agent to negotiate foreign rights, most of the contracts are boilerplate (standard) and there isn't much to negotiate.  Most offer a flat fee to buy the rights to a book (usually $1000.00) then have a standard rate for royalties that start after 2500 - 5000 sales (which rarely happens).  You don't mention who the publisher is, which would help in giving advice, since I've dealt directly with a few of them.  In my 30 yrs experience in print, you don't earn much more than the advance they offer so it really isn't worth paying a large chunk out to an agent or (go ahead, shoot me) a lawyer.  As I said, the contracts are pretty much standard and there are plenty of fish in the sea who are happy to sign and take the thousand bucks, so if you think you can squeeze more money out of them, they'll just drop you and move on to the next fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Wow, again, thank you all so much for the info. That was a solid article by Dean Wesley Smith, and thanks for suggesting Elaine as someone who could assist with this. Sounds like I've got a lot of options . . . now I've got to decide what to do (yikes!).
 

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I recently signed a contract with Könyvmolyképző Kiadó for a Hungarian edition of Remix, hardback, paperback and ebook. They approached me. I didn't use an agent, just read the contract carefully and got advice from a couple of writer friends. The contract is simple and seems both standard and fair, and I don't think an agent could have negotiated a better deal that would have covered her cut.

I'm looking forward to seeing the cover. It'll be out in 2012.

Lexi
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you so much, Lexi! This is the same publisher that approached me, so I feel a bit more confident about handling this on my own. Glad to know the contract seemed fairly straight-forward.

That's so awesome your novel's being published in a foreign market. Congratulations and I'm eager to read Remix. I've been hearing good things about it out there.
 

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Thanks!

Another writing friend, when asked for advice, said, "Well, anything you make will be an improvement on what you're making in the Hungarian market right now..."

I think Könyvmolyképző Kiadó know their market, and are enterprising in a way that puts UK publishers to shame. They approached Amanda Hocking when she'd sold just 10,000 copies - clever of them.

Lexi
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Excellent point your friend made there, Lexi!

Thanks again for everyone's input and advice. Gained more valuable feedback here than hacking it through the internet on my own the past couple of days!
 

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Most offer a flat fee to buy the rights to a book (usually $1000.00) then have a standard rate for royalties that start after 2500 - 5000 sales (which rarely happens).
This has not been my experience at all. I've had several of my books acquired by multiple foreign publishers. All paid an advance, not a flat fee. All of them licensed the rights and did not buy them outright. They all paid a royalty that started with the very first book and was applied against the advance, after which I could collect semi-annual royalty checks. All have sold enough to garner royalties post advance as well, some of which are continuing six years after the original acquisition.

If I can answer any questions, Nicole, feel free to email.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks Jnassise, I really appreciate hearing how your experience in the foreign markets has gone. Sounds like you've done very well for yourself!
 
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