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keeping up with the magazine procession; and where they had
been an enormously successful firm for years, they began to
slip. That's when they sold their part of Bantam to Grosset.
But, I had started on these unfair royalty deals.
It was the agents and the Authors League who finally put an
end to this procedure, aided, and abetted by me because I
considered a four per cent royalty an absolute disgrace.
Finally, grudgingly and reluctantly, the paperback tycoons
began to up their royalty rate. Now it's caught up with
them and they've gotten paid back in full. Now some paperback
contracts are negotiated at royalty rates that the
paperbacks really can't afford. When the competition for a
big title comes along and smart agents get into the picture,
the deals are sometimes staggering. Instead of four and
six per cent, there have been a couple of deals made calling
for as much as a twenty-five per cent royalty! The standard
thing is ten or fifteen. I'm just as much opposed to
twenty-five as I was to four and six because the paperback
people simply can't afford it. They certainly can afford
ten per cent instead of four and six, and in some cases
they can damn well afford more. Of course when they get a
super-best seller, the profits are enormous. The paperback
publisher is never taking the chances that an original
publisher is. He's bargaining for the finished and proven
product. Often the original publisher has to try to find
the author after he's given him a whopping advance!
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