Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Term of the Week - Industry Standard

"Industry standard" is a term that most often comes up in the negotiation of your contract. Basically, it means that your request should be acceptable because it is the standard practice in the publishing industry.

Knowing what is standard practice is essential before negotiating any contract, which is why I advise either securing an agent or an attorney for these negotiations. While some industry standards are well known, such as paperback royalties of 7.5% of the list price, some are less so (a reservation of rights clause).


Maya Reynolds said...

Jonathan: Is there a corresponding industry standard for hardback books?

Jonathan Lyons said...

Well, I guess I should have provided the caveat that this is industry standard for major commercial publishers, and for general adult fiction and nonfiction. A few publishers don't adhere to this, and this royalty is certainly not suited for every type of book (for instance, highly illustrated books, romance, children's, and many original trade paperbacks).

With the same caveat, industry standard hardcover royalties are: 10% for the first 5,000 copies sold, 12.5% for 5,001 to 10,000 copies sold, and 15% on all copies sold thereafter. Again, this is based on the list price.

Maya Reynolds said...

Jonathan: Thanks, as always, for your good information.