PDA

View Full Version : Could use some quick publishing advice from those with experience...



Silvan
April 6th, 2005, 11:52 AM
I have an unusual situation. I'm not writing about Pagan topics, but I'm a Pagan author.

I've written a small, computer-related book that has not been published on standard book media in English, and has, so far, earned me nothing. A German publisher has approached me with the idea of publishing in German translation, as part of a series of related books (Linux books, FWIW) sold in Germany.

So far, so good, but here's the sticking point. The cover price will be about $15, and standard royalty should be about $1.50, yes? They want to pay the translator $1.00 to my $0.50 per copy sold.

I'm reluctant to agree to these terms, and so am seeking advice from those who have published before. A 66/33 split in favor of the translator seems preposterous to me, I who have spent perhaps 2,000 hours writing this thing, but OTOH it's an offer of actual money to be had. I've written millions of words for free over the years, and I would love to break into publishing, even if I have to do it in German translation.

Can anyone offer any advice? The clock is ticking, so to speak. I can't afford to dally too long before I respond to the offer in some fashion.

So far, the concensus of opinion among those I've asked (none of whom have ever published) is that I should demand nothing less than 50/50, and walk away if they refuse. Do those of you who have published agree? If not, what do you suggest?

Thanks in advance.

DebLipp
April 6th, 2005, 11:56 AM
I'm sorry, I've never worked with a translator. If possible, you can hire your own translator and negotiate the money between yourselves, and deliver the book in German.

I have a friend who is a novelist who has been pubilshed in Germany. I'll ask her.

Yasmine Galenorn
April 6th, 2005, 12:18 PM
My strongest suggestion is that you hire a literary lawyer. A literary lawyer can explain a contract to you, can advise you on the pitfalls and pros of it, etc. I've had my work licensed to other publishers to print in large print, but haven't dealt with foreign rights yet, and my agent would handle all that. Graybill & English is a good firm to check into for the above, but their services do not come cheap. However, if you are looking at actually making money on this book, it's well worth it rather than be sorry later. http://www.graybillandenglish.com/

Also, if you go to the library, look in the creative writing section, and start reading books...there are some that deal with what to do AFTER you have an offer--not as many as how-to's, but some.

Yasmine :colorful: (and good luck!)

Silvan
April 6th, 2005, 02:29 PM
My strongest suggestion is that you hire a literary lawyer. ... but their services do not come cheap.
Yeah, that's the trick isn't it? Not cheap, and they doubtless want to get paid up front too. Without having any solid numbers on either side of the equation, I can only speculate, but instinct says that would be a dangerous gamble on my part. I'm not exactly swimming in cash at the moment, an don't really expect this book to make an appreciable dent in my debt load under the best of circumstances. (Although I'm perfectly willing to be wrong on this score! :D)

I definitely agree with the spirit of the advice though. This situation in particular is really screaming for an attorney who knows the territory. If only I could find one who wanted to work pro bono. :D


Also, if you go to the library, look in the creative writing section, and start reading books...there are some that deal with what to do AFTER you have an offer--not as many as how-to's, but some.

That's an excellent suggestion. Thanks.

LadyTrinity
April 6th, 2005, 02:38 PM
I haven't had my book published yet.. but in my opinion.. I think they are asking too big of a cut... I would find a translator that would offer you a better deal.. or do what you said.. make it in german your self :hugz:

DebLipp
April 6th, 2005, 02:40 PM
My friend's response:

Yipes! Something's fishy in Denmark -- er, Germany! All 22 of my novels have been translated into German and not one of them involves sharing royalties with the translator! In fact, my books have been translated into over 30 languages and not a single foreign translator receives royalties! This is unheard of. The publisher pays the translator a straight fee. Period. This deal is very suspicious.

Silvan
April 6th, 2005, 07:19 PM
The publisher pays the translator a straight fee. Period. This deal is very suspicious.

Thanks for the confirmation.

dragoncrone
June 24th, 2005, 10:18 AM
...would be to get in touch with a university relatively near to you which offers courses in German, and work with one of the graduate students. This IMO would be relatively economical (cheaper than a 'translator' for hire) which is good for you, and they would be able to add it to their resume, which is good for them.
I noticed the date on your post, perhaps you've already made a decision - I just saw this today. And yes, knowing some legal aspects of the literary biz is always a good idea.

You're welcome to drop me a line on my thread-
Candy Taylor Tutt
:reading: