Thursday, May 24

Auxiliary Rights: To Keep or Not To Keep?


In her Thursday blog post Kris Rusch talks about when to be DIY and when not to be. If I've retained the audio writes to my book, I could record an audio version of it myself or I could hire someone to do it for me, perhaps through a place like audible.com (I would either pay the voice artist a flat fee or a percentage of whatever royalties I make on the audiobook).

Here is the checklist Kris Rusch uses to decide whether to seek help with an auxiliary rights project or whether to go it alone:
A. What are the contract terms?

B. When does the license expire?

C. When will I realistically get to this project?

D. Can this company do things that I cannot do?

E. Is this company asking too much in rights, limitations of my ability to write, or in lost revenue to negate the benefits of doing business with this company?

F. Is there a way out of the deal if the company does not keep up its side of the bargain? (So many publishing contracts are one-sided and only favor the publisher.)

G. Will I regret this decision in the morning? (In other words, don’t get pressured into accepting; any time anyone pressures you, you should walk away.)

H. Who does this deal benefit the most? Me? My agent? The publisher? If the answer is the agent or the publisher, then run. If the answer is two-fold—it benefits me and the publisher equally—then the deal is fine. (Not three-fold; remember, agents work for you, and should get paid from your end of the deal. They should never make more money on a deal than you do—although that often happens in both foreign rights deals and in Hollywood deals.)

If you like the offer and it benefits you for where you are right now, then take the deal. If you feel any qualms, do not, and wait for the time when you can do whatever it is yourself—or wait until you get a better offer.
The Business Rusch: Time and the Writer
Making an audio book is something I've been interested in for a while; it would be great to attend Kris and Dean's Audio Workshop in November. Kris used to train radio announcers how to read and speak and they'll also cover the technical aspects of recording. For more information, click here: Kris Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith, Workshops. You'll have to scroll down the page a bit.

Related Reading:
- Milton Bagby talks about recording an audiobook

Photo credit: AVS Audio Editor

"Auxiliary Rights: To Keep or Not To Keep?" copyright© 2012 by Karen Woodward.

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