: views from the Hill

Monday, January 23, 2006

[WRITING] Should Authors Audit Their Royalty Accounts? Interview with Gail R. Gross

The Writing Show had an interview with Gail R. Gross, Chief Operating Officer of R & M Royalty Review, LLC, of New York City last September covering the subject Should Authors Audit Their Royalty Accounts?

Not surprisingly, Gross says, "Yes!" and she gives the reasons why, with stories to back them up.

R & M Royalty Review, LLC, handles royalty reviews on a contingency basis. You don't pay unless they find that the publisher owes you money, at which point you pay a percentage of the moneys they find for you.

Sound like a deal? More than you know. Gross says that most NY publishing contracts with audit clauses (allowing the author or the author's agents to audit the publishing companies royalty statements and payments) have audit windows covering six years. Anything you find going six years back is up for payment.

Gross tells the story of the royalty account audit that paid off big time: over $900,000 over the six year period. Big bux, eh? Unfortunately, the problem (a contract clause that hadn't been tracked by the royalty system) had gone on for far longer than six years. The losses were far more than $900,000, but those losses that were over six years old couldn't be recovered.

Do you need your royalty accounts reviewed? How often? If R & M Royalty Review, LLC, works on a contingency basis, and you wouldn't find the errors on your own, how could it hurt you to have them check things over every few years?

[via a Google hunt triggered by Miss Snark and a post on royalty reviews and the companies that do them]

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