Ask The Experts – Finance

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Topics Discussed Below Include:

Small Publisher Advances and Royalties with Authors
Override Payment for Contract Renewal
Adding Canadian Price to a Book/Re-printing Copyright Page Numbers
Distribution of Winnings for Book Contests/Competitions
Small Publisher Help for Bookkeeping/Accounting/Financial Reporting
Author Royalty Payment for Small/Mid-Size Publishers
Definition of Co-Op Policies
Industry Standard Pricing Discounts
How to do Breakeven Analysis on Titles
Kindle SRP and Author Royalties
Discounts to Offer Small Local Vendors
Financial Advice for Partners Doing Book Sales and Educational Seminars


I am a small publisher of roughly six titles with four more in the hopper. My question is when I send a contract out it states: “The publisher will pay the author a Royalty after profits are realized (upon recoupment of all reasonable and customary expenses) in the amount of xxxx based on the publishers net sales of the first xxx copies of the work; xxx percent on the next xxxx and xxxx percent on any copies of the work sold after xxxx copies.”

My concern is that we pay a royalty after a work (book) hits profit. I have had a potential author more or less demand that he be paid a royalty on any book sold. I also give an advance of $300 to $1500 depending on the Work and prior Works. I understand that large publishing houses will most likely pay a royalty as soon as a copy is sold, but what about the smaller publishers? I also arrange all my authors’ book signings and advertise in newspapers as well as social media and send out comps to all potential bookstores, etc, all the things a publisher I feel should do for his authors.

Answer (10/2013):

If the publisher has paid an advance, as this one has, there is no further royalty paid to the author until such time as the earned royalty per each book sold equals the amount of the advance. The advance is just that: an advance against earned royalty. After the advance is earned back by the publisher, the publisher would then pay future earned royalties in most cases twice per year. Note that the author is earning royalty from the first book sold and on every copy thereafter, as the large publishers do. It’s just not paid to the author immediately because the publisher has pre-paid (so to speak) the royalty in the form of the advance.

In regard to the profits, we recommend that the title not be tied to the book profitability because it causes confusion (witness the publisher’s question….) However, if it is tied to profits, then the methodology for determining the profit amount must be made clear in the contract. What are considered expenses must be completely spelled out.

In regard to the marketing costs, these are, for legitimate publishers, considered costs of publishing and are borne by the publisher. If the publisher wants his authors to pay for marketing, then it again needs to be spelled out in the contract. It’s not totally unusual for authors to pay some of the marketing costs or even to hire their own publicist, but again, it just needs to be agreed to in writing in the original contract.

I would also caution the publisher about his contract. Most base royalty on a percentage of the net dollars received through the sale of XXX copies, whether with escalators or not.

Tom Woll is President of Cross River Publishing Consultants, Katonah, NY Woll has over 35 years of senior-level publishing management experience including: VP & General Manager, John Wiley & Sons; VP & Publisher, Rodale Press. Woll is an Adjunct Professor of Publishing in the Master of Publishing Program at Simon Fraser University. He is the author of Publishing for Profit: Successful Bottom Line Management for Book Publishers (Chicago Review Press, 4rd edition 2010).


Our editorial director, who handles all of our editorial processes, is an independent contractor. We are in the process of renewing her contract and she has suggested including an “override” payment on the books she signs and publishes. Is this a common practice, particularly for professional books? Is there a range these payments generally fall in?

Answer (07/2013):

Having an independent consulting editor find books is pretty common among many publishers, small and big. If you think about it, literary agents may not work for a publisher, however they do work on the basis of finding the right house for a book project and then get paid a percentage of the advances and future royalties so what their independent contractor is asking for is not so different.

Now the question is, does the independent contractor get paid when he finds a project they sign up or does he get paid an on-going stipend for his or her services? Normally for such services my consulting editors get anywhere from a 2% to 3% override based on the net selling price of the book. That is equal to about a 20% to 30% share of what the author makes–which has nothing to do with the author’s share of royalty. I pay that out when I pay out our normal royalty. If the consultant wants some money up front, I treat that in the same way I treat an advance.

I measure both advances and override percentages on the basis of how important the project is. Over the years I’ve gotten some wonderful projects steered in my direction, which turned out to be good for us, the author, and my consulting editors. It’s just a matter of being fair and reasonable.

Rudy Shur began his publishing career working for Charles E. Merrill Publishing Company and later William C. Brown Publishing Company. In 1976, he cofounded Avery Publishing Group, where he was responsible for the acquisition of over 1,000 nonfiction titles, many of which became bestsellers. By 1999, the company had grown into one of the largest alternative health publishers in the US. In that year, Avery was purchased by Penguin Putnam. The following year, Mr. Shur founded Square One Publishers in Garden City Park, New York, where he currently heads the editorial program. For the last four years, Square One has been selected by Publishers Weekly as one of the fastest growing independent publishing houses in the US.


I would like to add a Canadian price to my book. How do you decide what that price should be? If my book is $9.99, would $10.99 Canadian be the amount to go with?

Also, if my book is going to its third printing, how do I format the reprint numbers for the copyright page? And what should those numbers be – how would they appear on the page?

Answer (03/13):

The books I publish under Bright Ring Publishing, and books that I have written for Gryphon House, all that sell in Canada, are priced by the Canadian distributor we use, Monarch Books of Canada. I do not print the Canadian price on my books. They sticker the books with the price they choose. Fitzhenry Whiteside is another Canadian distributor of US books. I suggest you call each of them and ask for their opinion. Your contact at Monarch will be Ron Gurfinkle. <> I’m not sure at FW, but you can find this on the Internet.

Books I have written that sell in the USA (print books) at $18.95 sell through Monarch in Canada for $24.95.

Most publishers list from something like “100 backwards to 1” (or from “25 back to 1”, or from “1 to 50” frontwards — many versions of this are used by different publishers) on the copyright page. Each time a new printing takes place, the publisher has the last number removed to show the current number. For example, in your case, because it is the third printing, it might look like one of the following (or some other version of this approach):

25 24 23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 09 08 07 06 05 04 03 (see how the 1 and 2 are removed)

3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 (again, see how the 1 and 2 are removed)

This is done many versions so choose something that makes you comfortable.

Another approach is that because PDFs are so easy to update now, you can just write Third Printing where it used to say Second Printing or First Printing. I think this is the easiest with today’s technology. The printing house you use can do this for you sometimes for no cost, but not more than $30 for a page change. Page changes are very common.

In my case, I have stopped writing what number printing my book is because some of my printings are very short, like 300-500 books, so I have begun leaving the info from the first printing for some time. First Printing in March 2013 in the United States of America, or whatever country it was printed in.

~ MaryAnn Faubion Kohl, a current IBPA Board member, launched Bright Ring Publishing, Inc. in 1985 with her first book, Scribble Cookies (Scribble Art) based on her years as an elementary educator and college level instructor. Bright Ring has published eight books focused on art for children, parents, teachers, and care providers, as well as 12 titles authored for Gryphon House, Inc./Kaplan Early Learning (international rights in over ten languages). (


The question I have is related to book/cover contest and competitions. If the author or I enters a book into a contest/competition that offers a cash reward, and wins, what is industry accepted practice for distribution of those winnings? Should this be something that is included in the publishing agreement?

Answer (01/2013):

I would not see the contest as needing to be something in the author-publisher contract.

The publisher designs and produces a book. And….it would be the publisher submitting the book into the contest. So, if the book wins…the publisher wins and receives the prize/money…if there is a cash award.

It’s a feather in the author’s cap…but the finished book is the work of the publisher.

On the other hand, if a contest accepts books from authors (who have been published by a publisher)…then I would see the author being the winner.

But in either case, I wouldn’t see this issue as being something included in a publisher-author contract. I guess it could be…but I’ve not heard of this.

~ Rod Colvin is the founder and publisher of Addicus Books, an independent press that has published consumer-oriented books on health, self-help, how-to, and business since 1994, based in Omaha, Nebraska.


We are a very small but growing publisher and have made do with Quicken software and the occasional Excel spreadsheet to help us monitor and report our finances and royalties.

We expect enough growth in the near future that we are moving to automate more of our accounting and financial reporting.

We are looking at using the free version of PubAssist.

We are wondering if there are any articles (which we couldn’t find) that have been written in recent years about the most efficient set-up for a small publisher for bookkeeping/accounting/financial reporting – what categories are best used for both tax and management use for income and expense reporting, for example.

Any thoughts?

Answer (10/2012):

Comparisons of the various business software packages are difficult, because every publisher is in a different situation. However, for a small publishing business, the options are somewhat limited, because most of the programs cost between $20,000 and $500,000, with yearly costs in the range of tens of thousands of dollars.

I am biased in favor of Publishers’ Assistant, because my small company developed it back in 1989 and has been involved in its upgrades ever since. Our book business was growing, and at that time we couldn’t afford the only “small-press” program available back then, which started at about $9,000. There are other options now that fall within a reasonable price range for a small business, and I would encourage you to explore them. However, PubAssist is the only one I know of that you can use for free.

My book publishing business has used Publishers’ Assistant every day since its release in 1989, and I honestly don’t think we could have survived without it. It makes simple work of all aspects of order fulfillment and receipts–all the computer work to fill an order takes a couple of minutes at most. And with each order, all the work is done for tracking of royalties, accounts receivable, sales taxes, commissions, consignments of other publishers’ books we carry, business analysis, etc.

And with the complementary low-cost program, Couplet, I gain sophisticated contact management and, more importantly, title management data. The data in my invoicing program also provides the book information on my Web site, promotional literature, the ONIX feeds I send to wholesalers and other trading partners, customer mailings, and many other functions.

There are many other benefits to an industry-specific program such as PA. For example, the invoices and billing statements come out in formats that are preferred by trading partners such as Ingram and Baker & Taylor, so it is easier keep those accounts up to date and to collect any overdue payments. If you would like to set up to handle your own EDI capability for wholesale orders, you can do so with PubAssist, although unless you are a bit of a technical geek, you may have to pay for some technical help from our programmer to do that.

I now work with an exclusive trade distributor for most of my trade sales. Many publishers have a terrible time allocating the payments from distributors to determine exactly how much of each monthly check goes for sales or each book, for royalty purposes. Also, how many of the distributor’s charges are, essentially, payments in kind for each title. I need this information to pay accurate royalties to my authors–and PA is the only software program I know of that makes this an easy job. (Like many other small publishers, I compute royalties from net receipts, and consider books “sold” when they are paid for–a system that is logical, but which, without PA, would be hard to implement with accurate an transparent royalty reports.)

Some publishers have simpler business models than mine. A self publisher, for example, may not need to compute royalties. Some publishers sell mainly direct from their own Web sites or through, simplifying their tracking and billing needs. If you are already using QuickBooks for other things, it might be easiest to just use it for your publishing business.

But if you expect to grow and diversify, it makes sense to use a software program that will grow with you. Changing from one system to another is a pain in the butt. Every program uses a different data structure. If you have to change, you can probably transfer your basic contact and title information but not you sales and billing history, for example. If you start out with PubAssist, it will grow with your company–using your built-up data for features that may become very valuable to you in the future.

What are your other affordable choices? I like the folks at iPro Business Systems, who seem very good at what they do, so I’d suggest that you check out their iPub software. I know a number of publishers with relatively simple setups who like Jaya123. I am told that AnyBook, which had once been discontinued, is being revived with a new owner, though I don’t know the details. If you’ve grown to the point where you can think about a system in the $20,000 range, you’re a good candidate for Acumen from CyberWolf, or for the historic leader in that price category, Cat’s Pajamas. For anything else, well, you’re probably big enough to have a full room full of IT people to research the possibilities.

Because a majority of Publishers’ Assistant users have the free version, I have no incentive at all to try to convince you to use it unless you find it to be the best program for your needs. Our partner company does the programming and provides services that complement PA–though we still use it, test it, and provide some supplemental support. I’m up front about what some may consider disadvantages. The main complaints we receive are as follows:

–It was originally written in FoxPro, which is owned by Microsoft but does not follow all of the typical MS conventions. Therefore the interfaces are different from what you might expect with some of the other programs you use. The program is actually simple to use, but many people are confused the first time they look at it because things aren’t always where they are expected to be, and because it has more features than they expect to use. That said, if you go through the learning curve of putting in a few invoices and receipts, and running off a few reports, it becomes easy, because the logic is consistent throughout.

–I will not run on a Mac, unless you install Windows or compatibility software. Many publishers, of course, prefer Macs for graphics, book layout, etc., but there are good reasons why very little business software, and almost no software produced by small companies such as ours, can be opened by Macs in their native mode. Many publishers have bought a used PC for $50 or so just to run PubAssist, and perhaps other business programs.

–It is not a cloud program, at least at this point. I regard this as an advantage–I personally would not want all of my proprietary information on a remote database managed by somebody else. This includes my contractual relationships with authors, sales and billing information, all my mailing lists, and personal information–including credit-card information–about all of my customers. This is stuff I keep under lock and key, and on a computer with encryption and specially designed firewalls. But others are more trusting of the cloud and like its convenience, so that can be an issue.

If you are interested in Publishers’ Assistant, there are many articles, tutorials, etc. at <> . You can download the demo version there for free, and we’ll follow-up by giving you the codes to open up your personal copy for unlimited use–also for free. At the very least, that means you can learn about the program and try it out with no out-of-pocket cost. And you can continue to use it forever for free, unless you decide you would like some of the extra services (such as a support conference for telephone help and upgrades, or a new Web site using PubAssist as the database) offered by our partner company.

Steve Carlson is co-founder and publisher of Upper Access, a small conventional (royalty-paying) book publishing company in operation since 1986. He also publishes business software for fellow book publishers. He has served on the board of IBPA and is currently active with its New England affiliate, IPNE.


I’d like some perspective as to what small to mid-size publishers are paying authors in the way of royalty advances these days. I’ve read where the big six are paying less then they used to, which makes sense due to the changing (and challenging) marketplace we are now trying to sell into that result in fewer book sales.

We’re contemplating reducing our typical royalty advance to compensate for the fewer sales. Have other publishers already done so? If so, by what percent?

Answer (08/2012):

Many small publishers don’t pay a royalty advance at all and some pay authors a token amount of $500 – $1,000. I think that rather than determine your royalty based on what others are doing, it makes more sense to do what works best for you. If you believe you will have fewer sales, then reducing your royalty advance based on lower expectations would be a sound decision. However, don’t forget to take into account sales of ebooks.

Your initial expense for ebooks will be substantially less than for printed books, and sales could start to approach the numbers of printed titles. Definitely take that into consideration when you are determining advances as well as author royalties overall (frequently higher than for printed titles).

~ Julie Murkette has been a publishing professional for more than 20 years with extensive experience in the entire book publishing process including acquisitions, editing, design, printing, marketing and distribution. Consultant to self-publishing authors and independent publishers since 1994. Founder/Publisher Womanchild Press (1976-1981); Publisher, Satya House Publications (2007 – present).


I was asked today by Costco about my co-op policies. What does that mean?

Answer (04/2012):

Co-op comes from the term “cooperative advertising,” as far as I know.

Basically, co-op is money the publisher offers to the retailer to promote a book. Sometimes it is percent of purchases, other times a flat fee.

Originally this meant cooperating, say, on a print ad, such as a newspaper ad that promoted the fact that the store was carrying a particular title. The retailer would pay for part of the ad and so would the publisher.

Today the term extends to “paid placement” and other things. Paid placement is paying to have your merchandise out in front of the store’s traffic, like those tables just as you walk into a Barnes & Noble. For instance Quill Driver Books paid B & N to put a title on their Career Success shelf. We did that for 10 months once.

Costco does do some advertising mailers and they have a magazine they send out. End displays (on the end of the book tables) at Costco are also available, I believe.

She might respond that her policy is to credit a retailer for 3% of net purchases. So if Costco placed an order for $1,000 worth of books at their cost, she would credit them with $30. They would end up paying her $970.

Or she might say her policy is $0.80 per book. If Costco bought 1,000 books, she would credit them with $800. If the books cost Costco $10 each they would end up paying her $9,200. She needs to do the math to make sure the profit left after the co-op is sufficient for her.

If she is talking to a buyer at Costco, she might ask what would work for them.
She also should take into consideration the fact that there will be returns from Costco. She could talk to my Costco expert, Josh, if she wants more info. He’s in contact with Costco at least a couple of times a day and would be a good resource for her. He’s at 559-876-2170 or

Stephen Blake Mettee, is the founder of Quill Driver Books ( and The Write Thought ( <>). He serves on the board of IBPA and regularly teaches writing and publishing. During his time at the helm of QDB, Mettee shepherded two titles into Book-of-the-Month Club selections and one onto the New York Times bestseller list.


I’m a new self-publisher, preparing for my 1st Book Expo America show this June. One area where I need guidance is industry standard pricing discounts off my suggested retail price to Retailers, Dealers, Distributors & Libraries. Are you able to address this? If so it would be a very big help for me. Thanks.

Answer (03/2012):

If you are selling directly to retailers, you could set your discounts based on the quantity of books they are purchasing, and whether or not they are returnable. A short discount is usually 20% off retail price, but if they are going to buy 10 or more copies, a standard discount of 40% would apply. Wholesalers and distributors generally get a minimum of 40% and as high as 60%, again depending on volume and terms. Each one is different and requires some negotiation. If libraries are buying directly from you, your discount could be anywhere from 5-20%. Again, a negotiation might be in order. However, for a larger reach to libraries, look into establishing an account with Baker & Taylor and/or Quality Books, both of which can be found online.

~ Julie Murkette has been a publishing professional for more than 20 years with extensive experience in the entire book publishing process including acquisitions, editing, design, printing, marketing and distribution. Consultant to self-publishing authors and independent publishers since 1994. Founder/Publisher Womanchild Press (1976-1981); Publisher, Satya House Publications (2007 – present).


I would appreciate an explanation of how to do a breakeven analysis on a title (or titles). I’ve read about a couple of different methods, and some include different costs than others to determine the breakeven point. Is there a generally accepted method in the industry?

Answer (01/2012):

The common industry term for this is a “Title P&L” (Profit and Loss). It’s similar to, but not the same as, an accountant’s P&L statement for a business. It’s a budgeting tool, so the more you know about potential revenues and costs, the more accurate it can be. The result of an analysis of this sort is a Gross Profit, not a Net. Overhead expenses, which are rarely measured in this kind of analysis, still bear on the company’s overall profitability (and in the case of a start-up, viability).

Solving solely for the break-even point can be a dangerous practice. First, test your initial, realistic assumptions for price, costs, and units sold. If that attempt doesn’t return a profit, then start working with the variables (price, printing costs, units sold, etc.). You’ll find break-even points along the way, but there are almost always factors you haven’t accounted for, so aim higher than break-even. You can create a spreadsheet that automatically solves for break-even or a particular percentage of gross profit, on a variety of scenarios, but how to do that is a lesson in Microsoft Excel, not publishing.

A Title P&L is too blunt a tool to measure a group of books, whether a series or an annual publishing program. Treat each title separately, so you can see the role it plays in the larger picture.

I could give you a dandy Excel spreadsheet that fits my needs, and other publishing pros will give you spreadsheets that look completely different. It can’t be helped. However, they all boil down to: Revenues – Expenses = Profit/Loss

Here’s an example, based on classic trade sales of print books:

Net Sales Revenue – The (budget for) money you’ll have after booksellers, wholesalers, and distributors/commissioned sales reps get their cut.

  • Start with Suggested Retail Price
  • Multiply by Copies Printed
  • Subtract from that a percentage representing Returned and Unsold Books
  • Subtract from that the percentage Trade/Wholesale Discount (or commission, in some cases) given to wholesalers and booksellers.
  • Subtract from that any Commission/Distribution Fees from trade distributors and/or commissioned sales reps.

What’s left is Net Sales Revenue.

Cost of Goods Sold – The (budget for) direct costs attributable to the book:

  • Manufacturing Costs (aka PPB – paper, printing & binding) – printing, and shipping from printer to warehouse.
  • Production Costs – costs that can be directly attributed to the project – author royalties and advances, editorial, design, licenses, and other expenditures directly related to the project.
  • Marketing/Promotion Costs – title/series-specific advertising and promotional efforts.

Subtract Cost of Goods Sold from Net Sales Revenue, and you have your Gross Profit (or Loss).

Optionally, from the Gross Profit you could deduct Allocated Overhead, the book’s share of the company’s overhead expenses – office and administrative salaries, rent, etc. to arrive at an estimated Net Profit. If this is a start-up venture, or the project would trigger a permanent business expansion, this can’t be ignored (temporary business expansions belong in Cost of Goods Sold).

Do the above analysis separately for each core source of revenue, and each alternate binding style/format (separate columns on the spreadsheet would work), so you can see how each contributes to the project. Structure the spreadsheet so you can easily change every variable without editing the cell formulas.

~ Dave Marx, is the Publisher at PassPorter Travel Press, and co-author of several of the company’s guidebooks. PassPorter guidebooks have received over a dozen awards, including IBPA’s Bill Fisher Award. He’s spent 35 years in the media—print, broadcast, music, and online. Dave also recently served on the IBPA Board of Directors.


I come to you for two quick questions regarding Kindle because I have been unable to find the answers in the web site’s resources section, although I have found the same questions.

1) Our physical books’ SRP is $24.95. Amazon sells them for ±$17. In order to get Amazon to sell the Kindle versions for around $14, what should be our SRP?

2) What kind of royalties are the majority of publishers paying to authors. I’m thinking 25 to 30%, but I thought you may have compiled statistics to help in our decision.

Answer (11/2011):

1) Do you have an Agency Model or Non-Agency agreement? If you have an “Agency Model” agreement in place (where the publisher sets the price) you can lower your SRP to whatever you’d like and Amazon has to sell it for that price. If you have a “Non-Agency Model“ agreement, then Amazon is allowed to sell the books for whatever price they’d like.

2) Bowker does not collect royalty information—However, in my experience as a former Publisher, I’ve learned that royalties vary widely based on the author’s previous experience. For example; if the author is publishing his book for the first time it’d be anywhere between 12-15% for an “A list Publisher“- 25-30%. Small press agencies generally pay 12-15%, as far as I’m aware of.

Kelly Gallagher serves as VP of Publishing Services at RR Bowker. In this role he manages the implementation of a host of Bowker business intelligence services, including the PubTrack consumer research panel reaching over 40,000 ‘e’ and ‘p’ book consumers. For the past year, he has been leading a team of researchers on a three-year initiative for the Book Industry Study Group to study consumer attitudes toward e-devices and digital content.


I need advice on what discount I should offer to buyers of my book.

I know that the big distributors charge 50 to 55%, and I already have distribution with Quality Books for the library trade.

However, I’m unclear when I approach small independent bookstores and pet stores (my book is about pet photography), what sort of terms I should offer them. Obviously I don’t want to offer more than I have to and I don’t want to ask them what their discount is because I want to make it seem as if I “know the drill,” re: the appropriate amount of a discount for small local vendors.

Answer (11/2011):

The publisher should establish a standard retail discount schedule including both returnable and non-returnable terms.

Most traditional publishers now have a flat trade returnable discount, e.g., 5 copies at 45%, or 10 copies at 46%. Not both, one or the other.

The pet shop probably buys its books on a non-returnable basis, and if it does, then it probably expects a 50% discount for any quantity. However, if the pet shop wants to buy the books on a returnable basis, then the publisher has to offer the same discount to the pet shop that it offers to the bookstore. Same terms to the same class of customer (Robinson Patman).

Standard payment terms are 90 days. Or the publisher could offer a cash discount of 1% off the invoice for payment in 30 days.

~ Marcella Smith is an industry professional with over four decades of experience in publishing and bookselling. Currently, she provides services to authors as a literary agent, and works with publishers facing distribution challenges. Before starting her own firm, she was the Director Small Press/ Vendor Relations at Barnes & Noble, Inc.


A friend/colleague has offered to represent my book at educational seminars. We both are teachers and feel that the book will appeal to educators. I have trademarked a part of the title and hold all rights. We both agree that seminars would be a good way to gain sales and recognition.

We are unsure how to proceed with the finance end. He was thinking that after all his expenses were paid that he would give me 10% of the speakers commission and that I would give him 10% profit from books sold after expenses. He has spent a great deal of time perfecting his powerpoint and presentation. Besides both of us thinking this could be a win/win situation, I have little knowledge about the financial end (and so does he).

I am sure ventures like this takes place all the time, but before I proceed I need more information on the financial aspects. Does anyone know of any organizations or resource books on this topic that I could check out?

Answer (09/2011):

I don’t know that any standard formula for this type of arrangement exists—I’m pretty sure it doesn’t. I’m not sure if the publisher is saying that her colleague gets 10% profit from all books sold, or only the ones sold at the seminars he attends.

Either way, I’d do a spreadsheet using a couple of scenarios: He books X dollars in speaking commissions and she sells X dollars of books. He books 2X dollars in speaking commissions and she sells X dollars of books. Etc. And see how things look. If both agree the possible numbers look fair, then it seems like a win-win.

What I would be cautious about is if he is to get a percent of the profit from every book sold, that they have a minimum number of seminars he is to do to get his percent. Otherwise she may be thinking he’ll do 20 this year and he’s thinking he’ll do only 2.

Communication of expectations should exist. On the face of it, it looks good.

~ Stephen Blake Mettee, is the founder of Quill Driver Books and The Write Thought. He serves on the board of IBPA and regularly teaches writing and publishing. During his time at the helm of QDB, Mettee shepherded two titles into Book-of-the-Month Club selections and one onto the New York Times bestseller list.

We hope you will find this program useful, but as with any advice, we recommend that you make sure it fits your specific business needs. IBPA does not specifically endorse or support any particular group or service.

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