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It certainly provided context that gave me greater appreciation for the offer I had received!If my book doesn’t sell, he’ll end up doing better than I, but if my book can sell more than about 500 copies, I’ll do better.
Last, I heard from the third author, who will be publishing with Harvard University Press (American Sutraby Duncan Ryūken Williams, for which I provided some editing and the index), and who suggested that I ask for a higher rate on the hardback after reaching a certain number of sales.
My paperback royalty clause already had such a limit: X% for the first 2,000 copies, and X 2% for all additional copies.
This author had submitted his book proposal at the same time as I had submitted mine, and he was offered a contract about one week before I was.
His response to my query stunned me: he had been offered a flat fee for his book, no royalty percentages at all!
One of the first things I’ll mention is the variety of different royalty clauses.
To start, there were the basic book formats: hardback, paperback, and e-book.(I haven’t explicitly asked my editor how many sales Routledge would consider a success, but one indication of Routledge’s expectations might be found in my contract’s paperback clause, which offered one rate for the first 2,000 copies and a higher rate for copies after that.If they’re willing to offer more after selling 2k copies, that’s a sign of their relative satisfaction with its performance.) After exchanging e-mails with me, this author queried his editor/publisher, and he was told that his book would not be published individually, but rather would be published only as part of a larger electronic portfolio that his publisher sold as a package and that for this reason, they did not offer individual royalties.Like me, this author has little prestige or leverage.He has the advantage of a university teaching position, and the disadvantage of writing a scholarly book with a very specific audience that would likely sell fewer copies than my more general textbook even if it did well for a book in its class.Because of that suggestion, I asked my editor about the e-book rates, and she responded that what I had was the standard Routledge contract, and they wouldn’t change that clause.Next I heard back from the author of a scholarly book whom I had helped with his book proposal.Do you need help preparing your manuscript for submission to a journal?Taylor & Francis offers a full range of pre-submission manuscript preparation services to help you maximize the impact of your research and improve the quality of your manuscript.Following these were another dozen or so clauses, split into “rights and royalties” and “subsidiary rights and royalties,” which included things like international rights, audio and video rights, book club uses, use of excerpts and more.The list of different clauses was so long that I felt overwhelmed and did not research industry standards compared to the rates they were offering for the rest of these (perhaps a naive move—it was definitely not doing due diligence).