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the fifty-fifty split didn't seem right. They had always
claimed the same thing about book club rights, too, but I
don't think that they have a leg to stand on there. There
we are holding the line. I think that there a fifty-fifty
split is justified.
I also think that the publisher should have some share
in motion picture rights. To me it's always been disgraceful
that a publisher will take a book and work like the devil on
it and help edit it and even retitle it in some cases and
make a big hit of it--only to see, when the movies buy it
for a big sum, that the agent, who has often spent a single
day on the deal, walks off with a full ten per cent while the
publisher, who has slaved over the book, doesn't get a nickel.
I think that we ought to get a small share--not much, but
something. If the agent deserves ten per cent, the publisher
at least deserves five per cent, no matter how big the author
is. Maybe the agent ought to give up a little of his ten
per cent. Maybe he should split fifty-fifty with the publisher.
That's a point. I think that a lot of people would agree
with you, too.
Also, I think that the agent has no right to get ten
per cent above a certain price. When he gets more, he's being
overpaid. I'm trying to give you the rights and the wrongs.
When agents come to me, telling me that a publisher has been
unfair on this fifty-fifty thing, I turn the tables and say,
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