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#559054 - 10/15/09 03:35 AM Re: Bluewater Contracts [Re: IvanJim]
Monsterverse1 Offline
Junior member

Registered: 10/14/09
Posts: 15
Hey, thanks for the helpful discussion about freelance contracts, guys. This has been great. See you around.
_________________________
Kerry Gammill
www.monsterverse.com

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#559056 - 10/15/09 04:47 AM Re: Bluewater Contracts [Re: Monsterverse1]
Joe Lee Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/01
Posts: 12277
Originally Posted By: Monsterverse1
Hey, thanks for the helpful discussion about freelance contracts, guys. This has been great. See you around.


This board is like many things in life, you get out of it what you put into it.

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#559058 - 10/15/09 05:40 AM Re: Bluewater Contracts [Re: Monsterverse1]
Bring Back Zot Offline
Member

Registered: 06/05/05
Posts: 2438
Originally Posted By: Monsterverse1
But what I'm asking is this: What specifically would you do differently if the details of the contract were up to you? I'm not trying to either defend or criticize Bluewater's contracts. I'm looking for input on what an ideal small press contract should contain that would cover the contributions and risks of both the publisher and the talent in a situation where making a profit from the comic itself is unlikely. Any ideas? Thanks.

Kerry Gammill
www.monsterverse.com



First, welcome, and I hope you haven't left before reading this.

I'm not sure what's fair. I'm a reader, not a creator. As a creator, you probably have a better sense of what's fair than I do. Here are my thoughts however,

Given that you don't have a ton of money to offer someone up front as "work for hire", and that you probably want to hold on to the characters created as your company's intellectual property, I would suggest giving the creator a low page rate, but a good royalty rate on the revenues from the initial press run and subsequent reprints. That way, after you clear your costs for putting out the book, if the book becomes a "hit", both you and the artist do well.

I think that for a small company to succeed in the long run, it needs to retain ownership of its characters and use them for franchising. If you spend all of your money promoting a another person's creator-owned title, then that creator/creation may bolt for another bigger company down the road. As long as you are clear up front about the contract, and provide reasonable royalties, you and the writer/artist might do well over time.

Another question is "how can you sell and market your book"? IF you only sell 2,000 copies of your book, it will be hard to make a profit and leave anything for the artist. Unfortunately, many comics, even by well established companies don't do much better than this.





Edited by Bring Back Zot (10/15/09 09:40 AM)

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#559059 - 10/15/09 07:21 AM Re: Bluewater Contracts [Re: Bring Back Zot]
techmann Offline
Member

Registered: 12/13/07
Posts: 243
Hello everyone, and let me take a moment to say hi to Kerry. It’s been a long time since we last spoke Kerry, how the hell have you been since Texas? It’s been a struggle for me since I moved back to Florida, but these last 10 years has been a struggle for us all. You’ve poised a good question here and there’s no clear-cut answer, but I’ll give you my opinion if you’re interested. My deal with Bluewater is a good one, if my books sell low I make a little profit, if they sell well I make the same percentage and make more. It all starts at issue one. And I get paid for every time its collected and sold in any format perpetually into the future for the rest of my life. And for those interested I DID GET PAID FOR VINCENT PRICE. It wasn’t a lot but I didn’t expect a lot. But I’ll be paid again, and again, as stated in my contract.
The problems in this market are many folds and the first is distribution. The powers which control the distribution still has a strangle hold on it and those powers are not Diamond alone. The limited number of outlets means that the distributor has a huge influence over what they sell and the companies that distribute through Diamond, not Diamond itself, control that interest. There is one way around this, which is to bypass them all together and go directly to trade size and distribute through the bookstores, Internet, and directly from a location of your own choosing. The second is to keep your cost low, this can be achieved by offering a black and white product only. The cost of color is still just too high and makes the breakeven a huge burden. I’ve priced printing my self and the best deal is still overseas in Asia even with the trans Pacific shipping involved. If its black and white you could turn a decent profit. Remember Warren publishing did just that and did very well for a long time. Also format matters. If it’s a magazine it can be picked up by distributors other than Diamond and be distributed through bookstores, grocery chains, and transportation hubs. Get established there first and Diamond will be contacting you to distribute your product and offer a great deal if you go exclusively with them. But don’t go for it because then they’ll be in a position of controlling the future of your company through their distribution. Remember they’re always in the big two’s pocket and will do whatever they direct them to do about their independent clients as they’ve consistently done in the past.
I don’t recommend publishing through the Internet as a medium for these reasons. Its profitable only through the advertising revenue the site generates. It offers the product for free which is a BAD thing. And until that changes it will continue to destroy whole industries.
Stay in touch Kerry, maybe there’s something we can do together in your future
Pat Broderick

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#559064 - 10/15/09 11:09 AM Re: Bluewater Contracts [Re: techmann]
Bring Back Zot Offline
Member

Registered: 06/05/05
Posts: 2438
A great "work for hire" story, told to me by a musician friend.

The jazz saxophonist Phil Woods got offered a studio gig to do a sax solo for a song by a pop singer. He got offered either a choice of either "work for hire" fee (which at the time was a few hundred dollars), or the option of getting a percentage of the song's profits. Being a studio musician, he decided to take the sure thing and pocketed the money.

The song was "Just the Way You Are" by Billy Joel, and both the single and the album went to sell millions of copies. Woods' solo is now one of the best known pop-jazz sax solos ever. Kind of like Siegel and Shuster signing away Superman.



Edited by Bring Back Zot (10/15/09 11:50 AM)

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#559065 - 10/15/09 11:15 AM Re: Bluewater Contracts [Re: Bring Back Zot]
Lawson Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Ouch!

Well, I'm sure he appreciated that $250 check.

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#559066 - 10/15/09 11:30 AM Re: Bluewater Contracts [Re: Monsterverse1]
IvanJim Offline
Member

Registered: 06/16/01
Posts: 2865
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: Monsterverse1
Hey, thanks for the helpful discussion about freelance contracts, guys. This has been great. See you around.


Well that doesn't sound terribly conducive to actually having an actual discussion. It's almost as though you want to ask a question and get a specific answer as opposed to getting other people's impressions and opinions, and that your attitude inhibits you accepting answers that don't fall into the exact parameters you've envisioned.

Is it possible (if you're still here) that you aren't really interested in any opinion other than your own or one that agrees with yours?

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#559070 - 10/15/09 11:46 AM Re: Bluewater Contracts [Re: Bring Back Zot]
IvanJim Offline
Member

Registered: 06/16/01
Posts: 2865
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: Bring Back Zot
A great "work for hire" story, told to me by a musician friend.

The jazz saxophonist Phil Woods got offered a studio gig to do a sax solo for a song by a not so well known pop singer. He got offered either a choice of either "work for hire" fee (which at the time was a few hundred dollars), or the option of getting a percentage of the song's profits. Being a studio musician, he decided to take the sure thing and pocketed the money.

The song was "Just the Way You Are" by Billy Joel, and both the single and the album went to sell millions of copies. Woods' solo is now one of the best known pop-jazz sax solos ever. Kind of like Siegel and Shuster signing away Superman.



I like this story. It's fun and it's cautionary.

The only problem with it is that "Just the Way You Are is from Billy Joel's 5th album, and 3 of the previous 4 albums had gone gold on the way to platinum at the point "The Stranger" was recorded. The story may well be accurate but if so it shows a marked lack of research on the part of either Woods or his manager.

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#559073 - 10/15/09 11:55 AM Re: Bluewater Contracts [Re: IvanJim]
Bring Back Zot Offline
Member

Registered: 06/05/05
Posts: 2438
Billy Joel himself on "The Stranger", from Jazzwax.com


This is from a CNN article posted on the web in July 2008 about Joel and The Stranger:

"[Billy Joel] acknowledges that The Stranger could have been his last stand: 'I didn't know this at the time, but had it not been a successful album, the label [Columbia] probably would have dropped me. 'Cause you have to remember, this was my fifth album without having had a major hit,' Joel says."



Edited by Bring Back Zot (10/15/09 12:13 PM)

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#559074 - 10/15/09 12:14 PM Re: Bluewater Contracts [Re: Bring Back Zot]
techmann Offline
Member

Registered: 12/13/07
Posts: 243
Well here’s the problem guys, sometimes trying to get an informed answer here is tantamount to trying to push through a mosh pit to get a better view. Anyone who has not been here before is very likely to avoid coming back because of the bruises they might receive. I like Allen and everyone else here. But some of you guys always do this. Come off hostile in your replies. And when confronted over it, and your past postings, always state "Fuck You" and that “well ..it’s The comicon message board”. well...until that’s addressed we’ll take these unwarranted bruises. I just hope that Kerry checks back.
Pat Broderick

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