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Thread: Angel City Press

  1. #1
    Ruled by Dachshunds smallthunder's Avatar
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    Angel City Press

    Does anybody know anything -- good or bad -- about Angel City Press?

    http://www.angelcitypress.com

    It says: "ACP pays author royalties of 10% of net revenues from book sales, with payment timing based on receipt of funds."

    I know that gross is better than net, for sure -- isn't 10 percent on the low side, too?
    "'Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with,' the Mock Turtle replied; 'and then the different branches of arithmetic -- Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.'

  2. #2
    Feel the power! J.S Greer's Avatar
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    I think its low, but im not an expert on that subject.

    I know that the net is profit minus printing costs and the usually 40-55% discount offered to distributors. I think.

    Someone please answer this better than I just did
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  3. #3
    Ruled by Dachshunds smallthunder's Avatar
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    Isn't "net" usually whatever the contract says -- i.e. can include any & everything, including the publisher's weekly carwash, if you're not careful?

    I'm also wondering about their submission guideline that states: "ACP authors agree to provide all photographs/illustrations and full right to their use."

    I thought that a writer, unless blessed with artistic ability, shouldn't be in charge of providing illustrations. But the way that line is phrased ...?
    "'Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with,' the Mock Turtle replied; 'and then the different branches of arithmetic -- Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.'

  4. #4
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    This appears to be a very specialized niche non-fiction publisher. They are heavily photo-dependant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smallthunder
    I'm also wondering about their submission guideline that states: "ACP authors agree to provide all photographs/illustrations and full right to their use."

    I thought that a writer, unless blessed with artistic ability, shouldn't be in charge of providing illustrations. But the way that line is phrased ...?
    They probably aren't expecting the author to draw pictures unless that is the author's area of expertise. In many cases where a (usually non-fiction) book requires photos or other material, the responsibility for acquiring repro rights lands in the author's lap. Who pays, and what the cap is, is a topic of negotiation.

    Same with rights to quote lyrics from songs. Many fiction imprints expect authors to fork over the cost of quoting song lyrics out of their own pocket. (You'd be amazed how many quoted lyrics drop out of novels after authors realize they have $2500 of lyrics embedded in their stories.)

    Doing things on "net" in Hollywood is dangerous, and may include car washing and diaper service, but isn't usually such a problem in publishing. Looking closely at the contract is always a good idea, but 'net' in publishing in not necessarily a red flag. (In Hollywood, 'net' is just another way of saying 'zero'.)

    Publishers who calculate on a net basis are usually trying to factor in the discounts to stores, which, now that CostCo et al are in the business, can be quite steep. Different publishers use different rules of thumb, but most of the calculations I've seen when people are trying to cost out a book assume that discounts will average 40-50% (deeper than they used to be), meaning that net is 50-60% of the cover price. (At one time, 70% would have been closer.)

    (Of course, a small publisher may not be getting sales in CostCo and WalMart, so the average discount may not be as deep.)

    Nowadays, a lot of people doing back-of-the-envelope work assume a 50% average discount, so that 10% net = 5% gross (cover price), so, in general, I would say that 10% net is a little on the stingy side.

    But, if you look at the fine print in some of the contracts based on cover price, you will find that there are special clauses relating to deep discounts and book club sales, so that someone who signs a contract based on 10% of cover price sometimes ends up collecting more like 7-8% of cover price instead.

    In other words, it's messy. But I think I can say, without fear of contradiction, that 10% net isn't overgenerous; as a conservative figure, you are probably being offered 5% of the cover price on sales, which is on the low side of the spectrum (most trade paperback deals these days seem to run 6-8% of cover price)--especially when there is no advance paid.
    Last edited by UrsusMinor; 12-08-2006 at 04:48 AM.

  6. #6
    Procrastination is its own reward K1P1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smallthunder
    It says: "ACP pays author royalties of 10% of net revenues from book sales, with payment timing based on receipt of funds."
    Just a quick note that "net revenues" is not the same as "net profits."

    Net profits would indeed include all sorts of expenses of doing business.

    Net revenues could be calculated in a variety of ways, so it would be best to insist that they specify how it is calculated in the contract. It may just be the total amount received in payment for books shipped less the amount refunded for returned copies. In addition, if returns are allowed, you can expect them to withhold a percentage of royalties for future returns. You'd receive this money later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by K1P1
    Just a quick note that "net revenues" is not the same as "net profits."
    Very true. "Profits" are almost impossible to calculate with any precision, and are thus the domain of shenanigans.

    You have to look at the contract terms to see how things are calculated. But you have to look at the contract terms when you are talking about royalties on cover prices, too, since this is often not as simple as it sounds in the one-sentence version!

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