publisher's net receipts, and the discount to the retailer is a typical 50% off list price, thenthe author receives 15% of $12.50, or $1.88 per book.So we're not quite sure where this is coming from, but we note that Wiley doesn't say thatit will be paying higher royalty
, nor does it say that it will pay higher royaltyamounts per book sold. It may be assuming that its marketing will be better thanBloomberg's was, so sales will be higher, and the author will benefit, even with reducedroyalties per book. That could be, but increased sales are no reason to reduce thecontractually agreed royalty rate.Or, it could be that most Bloomberg authors were already paid on the basis of netreceipts, so the effects of the Wiley amendments might be minor. Perhaps there are manysuch contracts, and perhaps the effects would then be minor. Beats us: we haven't seen anexample of a net receipts Bloomberg contract yet.
4. Wiley says that "the limited number of contract amendments the AG apparently choseto select are not therefore representative; nor are their 'calculations' accurate."
While it's true we didn't discuss all of the amendments, things don't look much better if we expand our review. For example, here's one of the amendments we didn't discuss:"For any sales made at a discount of fifty six percent or more, your royalties will becalculated at 7.5% of net receipts and there will be no deductions for manufacturingcosts." But the Bloomberg Press contracts we've seen pay authors
than 7.5% of netreceipts for those deeply discounted sales. Again, an author who doesn't happen to be a publishing lawyer might not get that. That there will be no deductions for manufacturingcosts sounds like a good thing, but the Bloomberg contracts we've seen only deductedthose costs for what are essentially remainder sales, books sold at discounts of 75% or more. Royalties on remainders have always been trivial.We stand by our calculations, which were done using real sales figures by an independentroyalty auditor. Wiley can't possibly know if our calculations are inaccurate, since theydon't know which books were in our sample.
5. Wiley says we issued our alert "without speaking with Wiley concerning its specificassertions."
Actually, we raised these specific concerns with Wiley in an e-mail on Friday, May 7th:"[T]hese letters strike us as a deceptive way to make substantial, material changes to a book contract. We think any signed letters you received in response should be ripped upand this whole thing redone. When it is redone, we don't think there's any good reason tochange the royalty structure or the termination rights of the Bloomberg authors." We thenspoke to Wiley. Wiley told us that the net effect of the changes was complicated and thatauthors would do better overall. We weren't persuaded, but we hired a royalty auditor to be doubly sure that we were reading the changes correctly.