I got a Publisher's Weekly alert about Bob Miller, longtime president of Hyperion, leaving for a new post at HarperCollins. Made me wonder if HC is still doing the rights grab thing about hanging onto rights they initiated some time back. Then as I perused the article I ran into THIS little tidbit:
The studio will also look to move away from traditional advance/royalty deals with authors in favor of profit sharing agreements.
Apparently now book publishers are dying of envy of Hollywood never actually having to pay on the profits that somehow magically disappear in the accounting office. *rolls eyes*
Suuure. Sounds like a good deal for authors, right?
As icky as it sounds I feel like that's where we're headed. I've read on several published authors' sites that they're being told more and more to do their own marketing and so forth. From a publisher's pov, profit-sharing is a great way to ensure the authors participation, and, of course, hand off the marketing. Posts: 2185 | Registered: Aug 2007
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Yeah, I don't know. Profit sharing is pretty sketchy. I'm not saying I agree with it, I'm just saying I expect more people to do it in the future.
Posts: 2185 | Registered: Aug 2007
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Possible instance of Hollywood profit-sharing (don't know this for sure, but I'm pretty confident it's true): JK Rowling Yes, the films are made in England but it's Warner Bros. in Hollywood that owns them. And JKR seems to make quite a nice profit from the films, the product licensing, all that.
[This message has been edited by Lynda (edited April 04, 2008).]
I have often wondered when this would show up in writing. I'm wondering whether it could be re-structured to be "revenue sharing" rather "profit sharing." In my opinion, I'd be happy for a sliding scale revenue sharing, something like 15% for anything less than $3,000,000, and 8% on anything above that.
Because revenue is revenue, but profit is net. And I agree with JeanneT that, it isn't hard for Harper Collins to "net" zero on a book that made $15,000,000 in revenues.
She didn't get money from profit sharing. The very canny Ms. Rowling got her money UP FRONT. That is the trick in making money on movie deals from books--make them pay you up front. NEVER think that they will pay you on profits because they are experts at seeing that profits don't show on the books. Every movie in history has ended up Net Zero.
And among others, the Tolkien estate is indeed suing because the studios claim that LOTR lost money. *snorts*
Getting money from the sale itself and from product licensing is quite different from profit sharing at the back end.
[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited April 04, 2008).]
And don't make the mistake of thinking agents aren't paying attention to what I suspect may be in part an attempt to cut them out of the loop--since you want to tell me where this would leave agents? And where would it leave authors with no one to be (even for pay) on our side?
Posts: 1588 | Registered: Jul 2007
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Agents make out fine in Hollywood, so I suspect they'll make out fine if this comes out in straightforward publishing.
Besides, agents, literary and the other kind, have evolved from getting ten percent to twenty percent to...what's the standard now? I don't know...anyway, I suspect agents will get theirs the old fashioned way---they'll get the check from the publisher, and take theirs off the top.