off topic, but writing related

When I saw this in Publishers Lunch, I just had to post it. I know a lot of people who don’t get either versions of Lunch, and yet as authors, this is something we need to be aware of. It certainly has the capacity to seriously impact overseas incomes–especially if it spreads futher:

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Translator Compensation Cases Could Rock Market for German Licenses

Agents, authors and publishers should brace themselves for complex legal developments in the world’s largest market for books translated from English that could both reduce proceeds and restrict demand in the future. Three court cases now on appeal in Germany regarding the compensation of translators are expected to reach final resolution shortly, and already some German publishers are telling agents to prepare for different terms of business as a result. As one prominent German agent puts it, “It’s highly explosive and will probably change the entire translation landscape in Germany. The question will now be, ‘Do we really need that book?'”

In a number of recent cases, German courts have ruled that translators are entitled to share in some measure in all royalties earned by books they work on–a demand for as much as a 3 percent royalty on both hardcovers and paperbacks in one case–and in the cases currently on appeal, the courts also ruled that translators should receive of 25 percent of all gross subsidiary rights income, including paperback licenses. If prior rulings, which apparently derive from a copyright law passed by the German Parliament three years ago, are upheld, publishers would be considered liable for back payments on previous works, which reportedly could amount to hundreds of thousands or even millions of euros for the translators of the most successful authors. Additional complexities remained unresolved, including how the 25 percent share would apply to paperbacks issued within the same group as part of hard/soft rights purchases.

A group of trade publishers is scheduled to discuss the issue as part of a larger meeting in Munich today, though our correspondent reports that “they have explicitly excluded agents because they want to discuss it among themselves but they have invited the press.” For the moment, in a situation that remains unresolved until the appeals are adjudicated, some publishers are formulating new positions. Head of Hanser Verlag Michael Kruger told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that under the proposed new rates, approximately 85 percent of their titles would not be publishable. Agent Sebastian Ritscher at Mohrbooks echoes this sentiment, observing that “This is going to have a tremendous impact, especially on publishers who depend on income from paperpack licences (like Hanser or Antje Kunstmann). What translators are asking for would reduce the publisher’s share to 15 percent and make a lot of translated books impossible to calculate.”

Ritscher notes “the outcome is as yet uncertain,” but confirms that “most publishers assume that one way or another translators will be getting a higher share in royalties and, possibly, a share in subrights income.” His particular concern is that “We have to protect the authors who in some cases (especially mass-market genre paperback fiction) already get less out of their German editions than the translators.”

Last month another publisher, Luebbe Verlag, sent a letter reportedly announcing a reduction in standard royalties and a different split in other income in advance of any final court decision. As one agent explained, “It created a lot of unrest as it seemed to indicate that the publishers are ready to cave in.” The recent FAZ article indicates that publishers are also exploring outsourcing translation work to Austria and Switzerland as one possible solution.

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Personal opinion? This stinks. How can translators justify getting more than the authors? (in some cases). They didn’t create the book, they’re just translating the words. Without the damn author, they wouldn’t have words to translate in the first place, and then where would they be? Look, I’m all for people demanding and getting a decent living wage, but surely somewhere along the line, common sense has to come into it. Translators should not be getting more than the authors, plain and simple!

one scene down, three to go

Well, the nasty scene is finally written. I’m not sure I’m entirely happy with how it’s written, but for now, I’m just happy I have words down on page and I can now move on to the sacrifice scene. This is the scene where Riley gets to kick some bad guy butt. Me and the muse like writing those :) I did fall down slightly on meeting my target yesterday–I did 8 pages instead 10–but I’m still very happy with that result. Especially seeing I was out most of the afternoon doing some shopping (got myself a very nice handbag) and visiting the lovely Robyn. Who promptly stole my audio book so she could listen to it before the crit meeting. Ms. Robyn, I expect a full review :)

Oh, and Gabrielle tagged me yesterday (the link to her blogsite is on the right). Sorry G, but I’m not doing it. :( Mainly because I can’t think of five answers for most of the categories, but also because I’m trying to keep this blog mostly about the writing :)

day two, smart puppies, and audio books

Day two of my late New Years resolution, and the writing again went rather well. The muse still didn’t concentrate for more than two hours at a time, but I ended up writing 12 pages, so the muse can fart around all she wants if that’s the sort of output we end up with. Right now, I’m in the middle of the ‘nasty’ scene, and just about to put Riley in the stocks (literally) and torture her some. It’ll be interesting to see how this whole scene reads once I actually finish it. Then, of course, I have the scene I’ve been building up to for the past three books–the fight between Gautier and Riley. This one does scare me–because of said build up–and I just hope I can do justice to it. I’m currently sitting on 370 pages done, and hoping to be on 380 this time tomorrow (if the needle in the shoulder doesn’t hurt my arm too much this afternoon. Yeah, yeah, I’m a wuss :) )

In other book news, Random House sent me a couple of copies of the audio book of Full Moon Rising. They look absolutely smashing, and been I’ve proudly showing them off to anyone and everyone who will give me the chance (even some who didn’t want to give me the chance :D ) The actress they got to read is Tamara Lovatt-Smith (who, eerily, rather looks like the image I had of Riley), and she does a brill job. I’ve only had the time to listen to some of the first disk, and I have to say, it’s rather odd at first to hear someone reading your own words. But it’s also such a buzz!

In puppy news, the shitting machine known as Finn is proving to be a very smart little man indeed. He’s already worked out how to use the dog door, though the heavy plastic dog door flap probably weighs a whole lot more than he does. He doesn’t use it to go outside to do his business, of course. He just goes out to wreck the garden some more. And he’s already walking on a lead–as long as the leaping lab is being walked with him. Put him on a lead any other time and you have a fight on your hands. Still, it’s a start, and considering he’s not quite ten weeks old, he’s doing rather well.

a late new years resolution

I decided on the weekend that enough was enough–that I was being totally lazy, and allowing my muse to get away with blue murder. Well, doing nothing, at any rate. So I’ve decided that until I finish the fourth of the Riley books, I need to write ten pages a day, five days a week. No more, no less. This is my job now, and it’s about time I started treating it that way.

Yesterday was my first day on the ‘job’ and I pleased to report it was successful. I at least did my alotted ten pages, even if it took forever (I finished writing at ten at night. Of course, 20-20 cricket was on, the Aussies against South Africa, and the Aussies were at their smashing best. SO, I will admit to a fair bit of time being lost there. ;) Of course, TV watching aside, the fact that it did take forever to write ten pages wasn’t helped by the fact the muse couldn’t seem to concentrate for more than two hours, and had to ‘refresh’ itself by playing computer games, cruising the net or watching the above mentioned cricket on TV. Still, I don’t particularily care how the ten pages are done or how long they damn well take, just as long as they’re done. So, I’m currently sitting on 358 pages completed, which means that by the end of this week, I should be sitting close to 400 pages. And that, in turn, means this books should technically be finished some time next week. Of course, I still have a couple of nasty scenes to write, but my new motto is (as the Nike blurb says), just do it.

Of course, I also have to have another jab in my shoulder tomorrow, in an attempt the fix the bursitis and muscle tear there, and I’m told the second jab can be the worst (of course, the person who told me this could also be a wuss :D ) So, hopefully, that won’t stop things in their tracks.

happy birthday, Pete!

It’s Pete’s birthday today, and he’s officially two years old than me for the next two months. So, of course, I have to make the most of it and call him old man at every opportunity :)

In other news, I’ve spent the last day and a half revamping my website, because I was totally unhappy with the table set-up of the previous one. This one is much neater–plus, I’ve combined some of the pages, so there’s not quite as many click-throughs. Easier for everyone, that way.

In writing news, Full Moon Rising got four starts from Romantic Times. The reviews says, in part;

This novel is fast-paced and briskly written…the sex scenes crackle with tension, and Riley’s relationship with the enigmatic and charming vampire Quinn is a highlight.

woohoo!