Saturday, December 18, 2004
I thought I should liberate these comments from a post on the Beat.
Tokyopop's unethical way of handling new creators will be big news in 2005 too if they don't change their policies. They force noobs to sign a schedule before they sign a contract, then try to stick them with a contract with a $50,000 payment cap if their story ever becomes a movie. The contract gives them no say in development deals. Tokyopop pays the lowest advance ($15,000) with an unachievable $2,000 incentive to finish faster than humanly possible (typically 4 months for a 176 page book). That advance is per book, not per creator. Your contract typically states that you will be making a "150 page book plus extras" and those extras that you make for free are usually the rest of the entire 176 page book. The royalty is 10 to 15 % net with ambiguous wording over whether or not advertising cost will count against the royalty, and they divide up the payment of the advance over $1,000 mile-stones that each take over a month to get paid on. There's your news story. Tokyopop is just mining cheap labor for made-for-TV movies and cheap cartoons. And that's the creator-owned stuff. Their work-for-hire contracts make political prisoners giggle.Then Manga Widow:
Insert applause. :)I've been glad to see Tokyopop giving opportunities to upcoming creators, but if they're using their position to take advantage, that curbs my enthusiasm quite a bit. Anyone else have any experiences they might want to share, additional comments, or any other discussions that might be going on in other locations online?
Only thing I'd add is that they actually try to wrestle that "generous" advance as low as $10,000, and/or try to set royalty percentages sometimes even lower than that 10-15% you mentioned. :/
Not to mention that those paychecks, delayed by a month, are not paid monthly...in some cases the pay period itself is significantly longer than a month.