I've negotiated quite a few book deals in my time, but I wouldn't dream of trying to buy or sell anything for the U.S. Navy.I don't disagree with anything you said here and I am the first to admit that I do not have specialized expertise in every area you called out. However, I do have years of experience working as a negotiator for the U.S. Navy and have worked many extraordinarily complex and difficult deals with totals that have exceeded well over a billion dollars. Does this mean I am an expert at negotiating movie rights, of course not, but a lot of the basic skills apply to any type of negotiation.
Your experience in the Navy is great if you're making deals for the Navy. But it won't help you in working out what's an appropriate advance and royalties combination for a book you're licensing to a publisher in China. It won't help you know whether the contract you're offered by a Dutch publisher are favourable or not. It won't help you know when to refuse an offer for the audio rights to a book.
If you're not confident working with your own agency contract, and haven't spotted the problems with it, then you're very unlikely to be able to negotiate the contracts required for these deals.
It was sincerely given. I've seen so many publishers come here fighting: it's really refreshing to meet someone who is clearly keen to improve and do better.Thank you very much. I appreciate the compliment.
I'm not quite sure what you mean.What would be your take on maintaining rights for things that are being worked on, but may not be in place yet?
If you mean you're working on producing an audio book version of your authors' books (for example) but at the moment you're still finding out about putting audio books into production, and once you've got proper costings and have a business plan in place you'll be going ahead, then I can see the point in retaining those rights.
If you mean you might eventually publish audio books but you're not doing it right now and you don't know when you'll take those first steps, then nope. That's not acceptable, in my view. Only take the rights you're already able to exploit. Leave the rest with the author.