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Undercover
02-20-2012, 08:07 AM
Since I told my agent I've been working on yet another novel (besides the two she is representing) she has mentioned this to the foreign rights Turkish agent and now that agent has expressed an interest (after seeing the first two) she wants to see all the planned works too. So she wants a synopsis for it. Man, and it isn't even done yet...so I am freaking out here. I still have a few chapters left to write on it. And that's not including doing revisions.

Has anyone worked with a foreign rights agent before? Is it better to have a package then just one novel? I mean, they haven't even sold the other two yet and they already want to see the novel I am working on now? Does that sound right? Also, can you still get advances from foreign rights as you can from regular ones?

Old Hack
02-20-2012, 11:39 PM
Has anyone worked with a foreign rights agent before? Is it better to have a package then just one novel?

Foreign rights agents are just agents who work in a different country to your "home" agent. The agency where your home agent works might employ other agents to deal with foreign rights; or they might have agreements with agencies in other countries (often reciprocal) to take care of it. It doesn't matter how many or how few books you have for them to sell, so long as they're good.


I mean, they haven't even sold the other two yet and they already want to see the novel I am working on now? Does that sound right? Also, can you still get advances from foreign rights as you can from regular ones?

It means they like your work, and are keen to see more of it. This is good!

Yes, you get advances and royalties for foreign rights sales, just as you'll get them for any other sales your agent makes for you. The only difference is you'll usually pay a slightly higher percentage commission for them (20% is common) because both your home agent and the foreign rights agent needs to earn a living.

I have a friend whose agent sold her debut novel into three foreign territories before a UK deal was signed. This happens. It's not the norm, but it's not unusual either.

Jamesaritchie
02-21-2012, 01:42 AM
Yes, I've had foreign rights agents, though I'm not sure I've "worked" with them. They sell my novel to publishers, just as any other agent does.

I have no clue why an agent gets an extra five percent because she's in another country, but she does, even when my at home agent is the foreign rights agent, and even when no one on earth does any actual work, other than checking the same kind of contract that any agent checks.

I doubly have no idea why there's a five percent surcharge even when the foreign publisher comes to my home publisher, asks who my agent is, calls said agent, offers a deal, the agent calls me, I say yes, and that's all the agent does.

Anyway, and agent is pretty much an agent, wherever they are. Check each one out carefully before agreeing to anything.

kaitie
02-21-2012, 01:45 AM
For some reason I thought the 20% covered costs for both agents--yours and the foreign rights agent-- at a 10/10 split. I could very well be wrong about the way this works, though.

Giant Baby
02-21-2012, 02:03 AM
For some reason I thought the 20% covered costs for both agents--yours and the foreign rights agent-- at a 10/10 split. I could very well be wrong about the way this works, though.

This is correct.

Undercover
02-21-2012, 02:49 AM
Yep, it is. I just talked with my agent and she said the 20% is a split between her and the co-agent.

Thank you everyone for answering my questions, much appreciate it.

Old Hack
02-21-2012, 11:23 AM
The amount of work that goes into a foreign sale is far more than James has outlined in his post. As has already been said, the 20% is split between the foreign and the home agent. And as both work hard to make the deal, it's reasonable that they should both be paid.

James, if you don't understand this point, why haven't you asked your agent to explain?

If your publisher buys all rights and then sells various foreign editions you'll get between 20% and 50% of the cut, which is far less interesting.

Chekurtab
02-21-2012, 07:41 PM
The amount of work that goes into a foreign sale is far more than James has outlined in his post. As has already been said, the 20% is split between the foreign and the home agent. And as both work hard to make the deal, it's reasonable that they should both be paid.

James, if you don't understand this point, why haven't you asked your agent to explain?

If your publisher buys all rights and then sells various foreign editions you'll get between 20% and 50% of the cut, which is far less interesting.

So if the publisher gets world rights, you don't get the same cut from domestic vs. foreign publication?

Old Hack
02-21-2012, 11:14 PM
So if the publisher gets world rights, you don't get the same cut from domestic vs. foreign publication?

Generally the publisher will keep a significant share of any advance it negotiates on a foreign sale of your book, but your royalties will remain roughly the same. But it all depends on what your contract says; and if your publisher licenses rights to your book to different publishers rather than to its own overseas branches.

This doesn't mean that you should never let a publisher acquire full world rights to your book: if they're in a position to sell those rights elsewhere and you're not, then it's generally a good thing. If, however, you have an agent with a good record of selling foreign rights you'd probably be better off letting your agent sell your foreign rights for you. Unless the publisher's offer is just too good to refuse.

Chekurtab
02-23-2012, 04:20 AM
Generally the publisher will keep a significant share of any advance it negotiates on a foreign sale of your book, but your royalties will remain roughly the same. But it all depends on what your contract says; and if your publisher licenses rights to your book to different publishers rather than to its own overseas branches.

This doesn't mean that you should never let a publisher acquire full world rights to your book: if they're in a position to sell those rights elsewhere and you're not, then it's generally a good thing. If, however, you have an agent with a good record of selling foreign rights you'd probably be better off letting your agent sell your foreign rights for you. Unless the publisher's offer is just too good to refuse.

Thanks for the info.