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Davilance
05-03-2007, 05:10 PM
When a company like Lucasfilms licenses a book series to a publishing house and a writer like Barbara Hambly writes the books using the story bible provided by Lucas, does anyone know how they divide the royalties ?? Does Lucas get paid for intellectual property rights on the Star Wars brand/title and Hambly get book royalties, or do they split royalties -- or what ??

dclary
05-03-2007, 05:58 PM
It depends a LOT on which property you're talking about. I would imagine the "standard" (if there is one) is that the author's publisher either fronts a large chunk to the licensing body (why you never see *new* authors doing licensed works) or the licensing body accepts a royalty on the gross sales.

whistlelock
05-03-2007, 06:54 PM
I believe the writer gets a flat fee rather than a piece of the pie later on.


But I'm probably wrong about that since I'm working from a dim memory on that.

ChaosTitan
05-03-2007, 07:10 PM
Actually, whistlelock, I believe you are correct. Tie-in authors usually accept a flat fee for writing the book, and nothing else. It's work for hire.

Medievalist
05-03-2007, 07:14 PM
When a company like Lucasfilms licenses a book series to a publishing house and a writer like Barbara Hambly writes the books using the story bible provided by Lucas, does anyone know how they divide the royalties ?? Does Lucas get paid for intellectual property rights on the Star Wars brand/title and Hambly get book royalties, or do they split royalties -- or what ??

Flat fee/advance, no royalties, and no rights.

maestrowork
05-03-2007, 07:29 PM
Yup, usually they work for pay with no royalties or rights.

Claudia Gray
05-03-2007, 07:51 PM
According to the Association of Media Tie-In Writers, some work (maybe most? I don't know) is flat-fee. Other media tie-in writers may get royalties, but it tends to be very small -- 2% as opposed to the more usual 6-8%. I suppose a very well-known tie-in writer (such as Ms. Hambly) might be more highly compensated than most, but I would expect that to be reflected in the upfront fee rather than a larger slice of the royalties.

I would suggest visiting the association's Web site for more info: http://www.iamtw.org/index.html

The Grift
05-03-2007, 09:43 PM
It might be a flat fee, but think about how much it boosts your royalty checks from your other books. How many more copies of his old fantasy novels do you suppose Michael Stackpole sold because of the success of his Star Wars novels?

dclary
05-03-2007, 09:50 PM
It might be a flat fee, but think about how much it boosts your royalty checks from your other books. How many more copies of his old fantasy novels do you suppose Michael Stackpole sold because of the success of his Star Wars novels?

And his brilliant Battletech series?

Christine N.
05-04-2007, 08:57 PM
Alan, I had a feeling you'd be asking over here. I was pretty sure the author got a flat fee from a book packager or Media Tie-In company.

However, remember that your case is a little different, in that while one party holds rights to the series concept, the actual characters, locations and storylines are owned by the authors individually as is outlined by their original contracts.

It's also a different because what you have is not really Media Tie-in (yet, remember I said yet!), but an entity unto itself - orginal fiction written by several different authors using one set of guidelines. They're not using characters and settings created by you; only guidelines/mythos and the series title were created by the parent company. Everything else is owned by them.

I would still ask a lawyer. There should be some percentage that's agreeable to everyone. I would guess somewhere in the range of 10%-15%. This is seperate from your own contributions as an author to the series.