PubCrawl Podcast: Publishing 201 Subrights

This week JJ and Kelly talk subrights, or the pocket change of the publishing world! Also, our call for query submissions to be critiqued on our future query critique podcast is still open, so please send them in! Plus, more horror podcast recommendations.

Subscribe to us on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud, or use this feed to subscribe through your podcast service of choice! If you like us, please, please, please leave a rating or review, as it helps other listeners find the podcast. We cherish each and every one of you who have taken the time to leave us feedback; you’re the stars in our sky!
IF THE PODCAST IS NOT UPDATING FOR YOU ON ITUNES: Unsubscribe from us and then delete the show from your podcast app. Then search for “Pub(lishing) Crawl” in the Podcast store. Download the most recent episode, and then re-subscribe. This should refresh the feed, and you should be getting episodes as they update going forward!

Show Notes

  • A subsidiary right is the right to produce or publish a product in different formats based on the original material.
  • Primary subrights include:
    • First and second serial
    • Translation
    • Audio
    • Film/TV
    • Dramatic
    • Merchandising/Commercial
    • Graphic Novels
  • Secondary subrights include:
    • Library binding
    • Large print
    • Book club
    • Anthologies
  • Reach for the sky rights!
    • Theme park
    • Video games
  • Granting vs. retaining subrights
    • Retaining subrights:
      • If you retain a subright, you (or your agent) are responsible for the sale/licensing (“exploiting”) of the subright
      • The advantage is that you would receive money from the sale/licensing directly (minus your agent and co-agent’s commission).
    • Granting subrights:
      • If you grant a subright to the publisher, the publisher is responsible for exploiting those rights.
      • You and the publisher will split the proceeds from the sale/licensing (generally 50/50, but these splits can be negotiated)
      • The advantage of granting subrights is that money from the sale/licensing go against your advance, so you would earn out your advance faster and receive royalties on your book sooner

Real Life Example of Retaining Subrights

  • During the process of negotiation, your agent sells North American rights only for an advance of $10,000.
  • You make a foreign sale to a German publisher for $10,000.
  • The foreign co-agent takes 10%, your agent takes 10%, leaving you with $8000 to paid to you directly.

Advantage: You get $18,000 in hand.

Real Life Example of Granting Subrights

  • Let’s say during the process of negotiation, you granted more subrights to the publisher for more advance money, so you sold World rights for an advance of $15,000.
  • The publisher makes a foreign sale to a German publisher for $10,000.
  • Because the split is 50/50, your publisher makes $5000, and you make $5000. The publisher applies this money against your advance, so now you need to sell $10,000 worth of royalties in order to start seeing royalty checks.

Advantage: You get $15,000 in hand, but will earn out faster.

  • PRO TIP: If you do grant subrights to the publisher, make sure there is language in your contract to ensure that these rights would revert back to you within a certain timeframe, should they go unexploited.
  • PRO TIP: Make sure you also have language that only grants explicitly listed rights to the publisher, e.g. “Any right not explicitly granted herein is retained by the author.” Also, make sure you excise “whether now known or hereafter devised”.

What We’re Reading/Books Discussed

What We’re Working On

  • Kelly is still working on her YA, and is also co-writing a MG with her friend.
  • JJ has seen cover concepts for Wintersong and is excited to share them with you in the future! She is still working on mental health, and is working on her Beauty and the Beast retelling VERY SLOWLY. She is also trying to write short fiction, to put more writing tools in her arsenal.

Off Menu Recommendations

We’re still accepting queries for our query critique podcast! Please email us at publishingcrawl@gmail.com, with the subject line PUBCRAWL PODCAST QUERY CRITIQUE, and we might pick your query to give feedback on in our episode! The Anatomy of a Query Letter episode can be listened to here.

That’s all for this week! Next week we’ll be starting a WRITING MECHANICS series, where we troubleshoot how to write a novel. First up: STRUCTURE.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.