I thought I'd take some time over the next few weeks and share some parts of my agent contract. When I received the 3 page wonder in the mail, some parts were expected, but other parts were new to me. In this blog series, I will discuss commission, rights, issues regarding disagreements, what happens if the author (aka, me) screws up, dissolution terms, etc.
disclaimer: The total number of actual agent contracts I have held in my hot little hands is one. One. So, these posts will be based on that limited experience.
If you have an agent and your experience is different..please weigh in!
If you are an agent trolling this blog...please weigh in!
The intent of these posts is to get a discussion going and educate each other so we know what to expect when that wonderful, blessed piece of paper hits our desk.
Commissions: Standard commission is 15% domestic 20% international/movie rights.
Here was a clause that I think is fair, but had never considered and found interesting:
"Agent shall be entitled to retain full commissions received if client is required to repay advances or other considerations to any third party as a result of Client's breach of contract (for example, failure to deliver literary material in accordance with an agreement with said third party)."
interpretation: if you flake and don't turn in your pages on time and cost the publisher money, or worse, if you don't turn them in at all, then you owe the full advance back to the publisher including the agent's commission.
Good to know. Don't spend it all 'till it's a done deal, just in case.
Questions: were you aware of the standard commission rates? what do you think of the repayment clause?
What if an editor wants to take the book in a different direction and you have a hard time writing it? What if you don't want it to go in that direction? Are you aware of any cases like this? Let's talk about it...