Thursday, August 6, 2009

Were-Tigers Have Eaten My Head

My question is, When should a writer approach licensing agents?
Last month I got a small deal from a big house for a fantasy novel about were-tigers. I think that trying to push this as a line of plush toys and baseball caps isn't a terrible idea. At least will cost nothing (to make the approach) and might spark some cross-promotional possibilities. What do I do?
1. When the writer has a fan base for his were-tigers. Until then, licensing agents are laughing up their sleeves at you. So is everyone else.

2. When the writer has sole merchandising rights, as iterated in his contract. Don't try to sell rights that belong to your publisher.


PurpleClover said...

Wow. I'm thinking a complete run down of a publishing contract might be beneficial for newbies. I had no idea the publishers obtained the rights to merchandising. Huh. You learn something new everyday.

jeanne said...

Every time I tell my husband about a new idea for a PB, he jokingly (or maybe only half-jokingly) mentions the possibility of action figures.

Anonymous said...

Many thanks for the response! I was hoping there was some way of encouraging this:

But sounds like I'm basically asking if there's some way to ensure that the lottery ticket I buy has the winning number, before I actually make the purchase. Maybe I'll just keep my promotional ideas to myself.

And I'm used to people laughing at me. I'm a -writer-.

Thanks again,

Michael Reynolds said...

Publishers only get merch rights if you have a lousy agent.

Movies/games/merch tend to travel together. I control mine. Then again, I don't use an agent for 15%, I use a pub lawyer for 10%.

On a very lucrative deal in my early day I used an agent who got me, you guessed it, no control of movies/games/merch. And she took 15%.

Anonymous said...


But did you see the new cover for LIAR??

There's a black teen on the cover now. Yay!

Rhiannon said...

I would buy a were-tiger soft toy but I may be in a substantial minority there...