Monthly Archives: July 2011


So….this week I thought I would address all of you out there who are very close to finishing your outline/sample chapter to submit, whether to me, another agent, a publisher, whomever, really.

You have labored for months. You are just about ready.

And one day when you are thinking about something else… occurs to you: “Hey, my uncle knows Steven Spielberg! I wonder if that would help.”

Answer: it might.

An editor at Doubleday once told me blurbs were like icing: nice, but not essential.I would agree with that statement….but I would add this: if you are an unknown author building a career, blurbs can help you skip over piles.

That is, if the top of your submission has this:

“I could not put this down!” Steven Spielberg, Hollywood, CA

you stand a MUCH better chance of being looked at, esp. if you do not have an agent.

My point? Go ahead & line up blurbs BEFORE you submit. Make sure they are visible–believe me, it can’t hurt.
p.s. the same goes for intros/forewords.  Say you are writing a book on the history of the Canadiens; it will not hurt your chances if the intro is by Jean Beliveau.


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Net vs Retail

Last week I explained (or tried to) how advances work.

This week I will try to explain the two kinds of royalties.

In general, with a very few exceptions, they boil down to this:

1) NET (sometimes called ‘publisher’s receipts’)

This means your share is a % of the amount AFTER everyone else has taken their cut. And by everyone I mean retailer/wholesaler, shipper/dist. In other words, the retail price minus about 45%. (Retailers typically get a 40% discount, or higher, when they buy books from publishers.)

2) Retail (sometimes called ‘list’)

This means your share is x % of the retail price. Say your book comes out next fall & the price is exactly $30.00. Let’s say (to keep the math simple) your royalty rate is 10%. In this example your share would be $3.00 per copy.

Does that make sense? If it does not, two examples below. In both cases, the retail price is exactly $30.00

AUTHOR A has a deal where he gets 17.5% of the net. So for each sale, his share is 2.89 (30-45%x.175)

AUTHOR B has a deal where she gets 10% of the retail. So for each sale, her share is 3.00. (30.00 x.1)

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