Being an author is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum.

- Graycie Harmon

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What is more important, Rights or Royalties?

This is a little extra on eliminating potential publishers.

The question I posed in the title is really the focus of this new elimination. Which is more important, royalties or rights?

I ask this because while researching potential publishers, I came across two that paid very high royalties. One paid between 15% - 40% royalties. The other paid 40% - 50% royalties. This might seem high, and it is. The problem is that they would make an outright purchase of the material. That is to say, I would have no rights to the work and any subsidiary rights like, say, movie rights, would go to the publisher.

Not to say that I expect my series to be turned into a film (or series thereof), if published. Hypothetically speaking however, should I be published and should the work garner the interest of the movie-making community, I'd have no control over what they did with the work, nor would I receive anything from the production. I'm not such a fan of that idea.

There might be a little bit of a control-freak in me, but I get really anxious when I am asked to relinquish any rights to my work at all. It's my work and I would like to keep it that way.

For that reason and no other, two more potential publishing houses have been struck from my list.

Some people probably wouldn't have an issue with this, particularly if the purchase prince and royalties were high enough. For me, however, I'd much rather lower royalties as long as I get to keep my work mine.

That's just me though.


Kendra said...

You know, that makes sense. Not that I've been in any similar situation to compare with, but it makes sense that something you put your time and energy into, you would want to maintain ownership of. I wouldn't consider that being a control-freak, I think that would be being true to yourself and your reasons for writing and publishing.

S. M. Carrière said...

Thanks Kendra. I thought so too.