I just had an offer from a Korean publisher through a Korean Literary Agency to extend the Agreement for another year on a 5-year Agreement for my book How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free that just expired.
I rejected the Agreement, however.
Some people will think that I have to be an idiot to reject any book deal.
In fact, I rejected an offer from Random House to take over publication of three of my books, including How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free, when it purchased Ten Speed Press, which was distributing those books at the time. I am glad that I rejected the offer because I will make a lot more money in the future. But this is another story that I will blog about soon.
Here are my reasons for my rejection of the extension to the Korean book deal as indicated in my e-mail to the Korean Literary Agent handling the book deal:
- Hi Florian:
My apologies for my mistake about how much of an advance was effectively paid for How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free. I take full responsibility.
Even so, I will not extend the Agreement.
The main reason is that there is always a chance that another Korean publisher may approach me through another Korean literary agent and offer to publish How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free in Korean again with a better advance than was paid initially.
Perhaps you may think that this is not possible, but it is.
I had two cases in both Japan and China where one of my books was published by a publisher in the respective country, and after the rights expired, another publisher in the respective country offered to publish the book with a substantial advance.
Even more important, I can give you three cases where this has happened in South Korea with my books.
1. My international bestseller The Joy of Not Working: A Book for the Retired, Unemployed, and Overworded was first published in Korean around 1995 by Joo-Ang Daily News for which I received a $3,000 advance through the Inter-ko Literary Agency. Then in 2001, after the rights had run out with Joo-Ang Daily News, another Korean publisher, Mulpure Publishing, paid an advance of $3,000 through the Bestun Korea Agency to publish this book in Korean again.
2. My book called Don't Hurry, Be Happy was published in Korean by Mulpure (for which an advance of $3,000 was paid) way back in 2000. The Agreement expired in 2005. Yumi Chun of the Bestun Korea Agency notified me in October 2007 that another Korean publisher (Jubyuninuigil & Saeronbooks) would like to publish this book about happiness in Korean again. An Agreement was signed with Jubyuninuigil and the advance of $2500 was paid in January 2008.
3. Another one of my books called 101 Really Important Things You Already Know, But Keep Forgetting was published in Korean by Mulpure (for which an initial advance of $3,000 was paid) in 2001. The Agreement expired in 2006 and Christine Yi of the Yu Ri Jang Literary Agency notified me in October 2009 that another Korean publisher (My Library Publishing Co. an imprint of Chung A Publishing CO) would like to publish 101 Really Important Things You Already, Know But Keep Forgetting in Korean again. An Agreement was signed and another advance of $2,500 was paid in November 2009.
The above book deals are recorded on my webpage where I list most of my foreign rights sales: .
Also, for the record, just one month ago Korean publisher Jademoon Publishing through the Inter-Ko Literary Agency in Seoul agreed to pay an advance of $2,500 for Korean rights to Career Success Without a Real Job.
Regarding renewal of Agreements, CITIC Publishing, a publisher in mainland China recently approached me about renewing the Agreements for 4 titles, including How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free. CITIC agreed to pay advances of $1,800 for renewals of the Agreements for each of the 4 titles for a total of $7,200. (For the original Agreements, CITIC paid advances ranging from $1,800 to $2,000) CITIC also agreed to send me 12 complimentary copies of each of the titles as part of the renewal Agreements.
What's more, Dar El Farasha Publishers in Lebanon just approached me to renew the Agreement for the Arab rights to The Lazy Person's Guide to Success. This publisher has offered to pay an advance of $1,000 for the renewal rights even though they only paid $750 for the initial Agreement.
I just wanted to point these facts out to show the number of publishers that are truly interested in my books and which are willing to pay appropriately for them.
So, to extend the Agreement without any compensation is not something I want to consider.
Many thanks and so long for now,
Author, Innovator, and Unconventional Career Expert
Author of the Bestseller How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
(Over 110,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages)
and the International Bestseller The Joy of Not Working
(Over 225,000 copies sold and published in 17 languages)
VIP BOOKS, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6H 2B1
Home of The Joy of Being Retired
NOTE: My willingness to reject book deals has been one of the keys to my success. For the record, I have over 101 book deals in 28 different countries. My books have been published in 21 languages and have sold over 640,000 copies worldwide.
SECOND NOTE: The Korean literary agency subsequently responded by saying that the Korean publishers was willing to pay an advance of $500 to renew the Agreement. I have replied by asking for $750.