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How I Sold the Foreign Rights to a Book of Quotes Within 4 Hours of Accidentally Sending It to the Wrong Literary Agency

Foreign Rights to 777 Best Things Ever Said about Money

One of the great ways to make money from writing and self-publishing is to sell foreign right to your books. I have now negotiated over 105 book deals with publishers in 28 different countries for my various creative works.

Below are some of the e-mails that resulted in my selling foreign rights to my book The 777 Best Things Ever Said about Money to a Japanese publisher for $8,000 within 4 hours of my accidentally sending to the wrong literary agent. 

----- Original Message -----
From: Ernie Zelinski
To: Miko Y
Sent: Friday, August 12, 2005
Subject: The 777 Best Things Ever Said about Money
Hello Miko: 
 
First, in regards to The 777 Best Things Ever Said about Money. I sent this to Manami at the Tuttle-Mori Agency about a week ago, but she is on holidays. I would like her to see it. 
 
In the mean time it is okay for you to show the one publisher The 777 Best Things Ever Said about Money. But just this one publisher for now. I would like Manami to see it since I promised her and I have already sent it to her but received an out-of-office e-mail that she is on vacation. 
 
You may also want to show the publisher visiting you the attached PDF file for Life's Secret Handbook for Having Great Friends. The Japanese rights for this book are definitely available. This one you can show to other publishers as well. It can be modified by Japanese publishers to suit the Japanese market. Rights to this book have already been sold to Spanish and French publishers. 
 
Best regards, 
 
Ernie Zelinski 
 
----- Original Message -----
From: Miko Y
To: Ernie Zelinski
Sent: Friday, August 12, 2005
Subject: Re: The 777 Best Things Ever Said about Money
Dear Ernie, 
 
I have just had the meeting with the editor, showed your materials, and guess what, secured the pre-emptive offer. Only, they do not want their offer to be used by another agency and would like to conclude the deal today before they go into Summer vacation the next week. Could you please tell Manami that discard the books as the deal was quickly done this time? Please let me know. 
 
Thanks and best wishes, 
 
Miko 
 
 
----- Original Message -----
From: Ernie Zelinski
To: Miko Y
Sent: Friday, August 12, 2005
Miko: 
 
I would like to know what the offer is and who the publisher is. 
 
I could consider the offer if it was a good offer. The only reason I can consider it is because I did not really promise the book to Manami. (If I had promised it to her, I would definitely not consider it because I like to keep my word and maintain my integrity.) 
 
In fact, I just e-mailed the PDF to Manami on August 7th asking her whether Japanese publishers issue quote books and I got the automatic out-of-office e-mail response from her that she would be back on August 15th. I could always offer her the other book. 
 
So, if the publisher is willing to let me know what the offer is and you can let me know the name of the publisher with a bit of history about it, I can consider it. However, it has to be a relatively good offer for me to accept immediately. 
 
Thanks. 
 
Ernie Z. 
 
 
----- Original Message -----
From: Miko Y
To: Ernie Zelinski
Sent: Friday, August 12, 2005 
Dear Ernie, 
 
Thank you for your email and I am glad that you did not promise to Manami and you have other projects for her. Being agent, we too are accustomed with these quick deals which happen. I am sure she would understand without problem. 
 
The offer is from TRANSWORLD JAPAN and their terms are as follows: 
Format: Hardcover 
Terms:
An advance of US$8,000.oo against royalties of
6% up to 10,000 copies sold
7% up to 20,000 copies sold
8% thereafter
 
* Terms would be subject to 20% withholding tax (reducible to 0% upon
submission of a signed power of attorney form for tax reduction and Form
6166) and 10% agency commission.
 
Please know that the book of quotes are difficult to sell in Japan, and if any, the average offer is between $4,000-$6,000. Please know the only book which sold well in this genre in Japan is THE FAMOUS LAST WORDS and the advance for the book was $8,000, the same as the above offer. 
 
TW Japan is one of the most active publishing houses here. Their president used to work at big advertisement agency so knows how to approach broad audience with sophisticated look. They have been licensing from HarperCollins, WW Norton and Free Press among big houses in the US. Believe me, this is going to be the start of good business relationship with you and TW Japan. 
 
This is their last day before the holiday. I look very much forward to having your decision. 
 
Thank you and best wishes, 
 
Miko 
 
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