Millions of Dollars of Sub-Rights Money Now Available

June 1996
by Judith Appelbaum
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A new BISAC form with the potential to help publishers collect millions of dollars in “mystery money” (i.e., payments from buyers of subsidiary rights that come with inadequate documentation) is about to go out to the leading large publishers and thousands of smaller houses.

Developed by the Book Industry Systems Advisory Committee (BISAC), the Subsidiary Rights Payment Advice Form has won praise from industry leaders.

Warner CEO Laurence Kirshbaum, for example, is “wholeheartedly behind” it.”The success rate in finding the source of this mystery money is very high” with some of these procedures in place, he reports.

And Penguin CEO Peter Mayer “heartily endorses” the form. “Efforts are already under way here to amend our foreign rights agreements,” Mayer notes.

Reports from industry groups led BISAC’s Royalty Statement Subcommittee to prepare the payment advice form and an accompanying checklist as a solution to the problem of “mystery money” that comes to publishers or agents from subsidiary rights buyers (foreign, reprint, book club, multimedia, etc.) who do not provide adequate documentation.

Because documentation is missing and/or confusing, the people who receive these payments have no clear indication of what each payment is for and therefore can’t determine either whether they are getting the money that is due or how to credit appropriate amounts to authors’ royalty accounts.

The subcommittee, which includes representatives from large houses, a major book…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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