Italian E-books: Agent Roberto Santachiara Deems 25% Royalty Too Low

In Global Trade Talk by Emily Williams

By Emily Williams

Andrew Wylie isn’t the only agent rebelling on the e-book front. La Repubblica has an interview with big Italian agent Roberto Santachiara (who represents Italian bestsellers Roberto Saviano and Carlo Lucarelli and acts as the Italian co-agent for such English-language heavyweights as Stephen King, Thomas Pynchon, James Ellroy, and Ian McEwan) in which he explains why he has advised his authors to wait to sell e-rights to Italian publishers.

Santachiara does not endorse Wylie’s decision to act as an e-publisher for the authors he represents, and says he would prefer to keep e-book rights with the publishers who invested in developing an author’s career and audience in print, but he considers the 25% of net royalty offered as a standard rate by Italian publishers far too low. Breaking down the proceeds of a €10 e-book download in Italy, Santachiara points out that the author’s share would amount to just €1.40, less than the 20% VAT. Santachiara argues instead for dividing net 50/50 between the author and the publisher, “otherwise, on the cover they should put the name of the main beneficiary of the sale, and write that the novel in question is signed by Carlo Lucarelli and the Tax Office.”

About the Author

Emily Williams

Emily Williams as Manager of International Digital Content at Barnes & Noble.com. Before that, she worked as digital content producer for Publishers Marketplace, contributor to Digital Book World and Publishing Perspectives, and also held a senior scout position with Maria B. Campbell & Associates.