Simple economics says we can’t pay you

Wed 31 Mar 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | 1 Comment | Posted by: Gavin

No, really. Here at Small Beer Press every time one of us editors pitches a book (or announces a new issue of LCRW) to the publisher we get a standard response: a $50,000 check. After ten years or so, it’s pretty routine by now. So why doesn’t this 2-Prius’s+a bag of chips payment filter down to the writers? I mean, sure, we give advances and royalties to our authors and LCRW contributors get a tiny payment as befits a tiny habit (we can give it up anytime, honest) but what about the rest of those 50 big ones?

Well, it’s a long story and exceedingly complicated….

But, luckily for us we don’t have to do the drudgery of explaining it all as editor Mark Reiter did all the work for us while trying to get Steve Almond to contribute a freebie to a book Mark and his co-editor received that paltry $50,000 for:

Yes, Richard Sandomir and I are sharing an advance of $50,000. That’s $25,000 each. Take away the 15% agency commission, it’s down to $21,250 each. I’m paying my assistant Emily Sklar an extra $5000 out of my pocket to handle the logistics (tracking down folks like you, for example). We’re delivering to Bloomsbury 100 brackets. We can’t pay some people and not others, but if we did offer payment-less than $500 would be pointless-to everyone, the math says we’d be in the red.

So just like Nick I looked at Bookscan:

Enlightened Bracketologist (2007)
lifetime sales 8,346
this week   0

and being nosy I look and see what else Mark has published—a book with Twyla Tharp and something about success (we know how to achieve that—don’t pass on the advance!) as well as maybe the (retitled) paperback edition:

The Final Four of Everything by Mark Reiter and Richard Sandomir (2009)
lifetime sales 4,570
this week  13

It’s a pretty great model and we will be utilizing it in our upcoming Unicats! and the People Who Love Them. For which we’d be more than happy to read your submission, and, wait for it:

Now, the good news. Assuming that you don’t do anything with your contribution too far before our . . .  pub date, you have all the rights to the material.

(via Kelly, via Nick)

Comments

One Response to “Simple economics says we can’t pay you”

  1. SF Signal on April 1st, 2010 12:33 am

    SF Tidbits for 4/1/10…

    Interviews/ProfilesAlltern8 interviews Michael Stackpole.Carrie Harris interviews Kiki Hamilton.Suvudu interviews Daryl Gregory.Innsmouth Press interviews Seanan McGuire.Black Static interviews Alexandra Sokoloff.NewsThe 2010 Rhysling Anthology and Awa…

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