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Q&A: Textbook succession planning–What is a reasonable royalty rate for the original author?

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Q: "What is a reasonable royalty rate for an author whose name will remain on a (successful) textbook, but who wants to stop doing the revisions? What sort of language in the revisions clause can protect your heirs?" A: Zick Rubin, Attorney, Archstone Law Group P. C.: "This is a very important item. Here is a formula that is sometimes proposed by authors and that is sometimes acceptable to publishers for a successful textbook: 75 percent of the royalties (i.e., the contractual rate) in the first edition in which the author does not take part, 50 percent of the royalties for the second such edition, and 25 percent of the royalties for the third and subsequent such editions.

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