jeudi 14 décembre 2006


haggle over their first contract? Will
it seem ungrateful or egotistical if you ask for
better terms? Will it put the publisher off
The answers to these questions all depend on
how desperately the publisher wants your book.
If they are in any way indifferent to whether they
get you signed up or not then your negotiating
powers will be nil. The deal will be take it or leave
it. If they think your book concept is gold dust
then they’ll play along with your requests for
better terms.
The problem is that you have no way of
knowing how much they really care about your
book. You don’t know if they see it as central to
their growth for the next financial year and are
planning for it to be a lead title, or whether it’s
just one extra book to add to the list that may or
may not sell and they’re wondering if they’ve
already signed up too many books for their staff
to cope with anyway.
The only way to test the waters in these
instances is to read the contract and suggest a
slightly higher royalty rate, a slightly lower sales
quantity threshold at which the royalty rate
increases, a slightly higher advance, slightly better
percentages for rights sales and a few extra free
copies. If they want you badly they’ll agree to
everything. Chances are they’ll agree to some,
but not all, of your requests. They might meet
you halfway on some items. Just ask nicely and
you might be lucky.
Publishers often begin by negotiating the basic
terms of a contract before the author actually gets
to read the contract itself. These terms are
outlined in the following chapters. If you receive
a full contract make sure you take the time to
read it carefully and ask questions about any
sections you don’t understand.

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