Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Japanese Gripe

In keeping with the Japanese theme (see my blog), I am going to gripe here about the way my royalties arrive from Kodansha/Random House, Japan. As far as I can tell, the statements and royalty monies are sent in order of importance of my agent or publisher, i.e. first I get my statement from HarperCollins, Canada (it arrived yesterday), then I have a lonnnnnnnnnng wait - sometimes even to the end of the year! - to get my other statements via my (small) Irish publisher and my (smallish) ex-Canadian agent. It must be pointed out that the statements are actually due in March. This would seem to reflect how Japanese bureaucracies function, i.e. they are hierarchical and elitist to the extreme. The big publisher gets the statements right away while the small publisher and smallish agent get them at the end of the year! What really annoys me is the bizarre truth revealed by a lawyer. Apparently failure to send statements and pay royalties on time is considered a "minor breach" of contract and therefore the contract still holds. Pardon my French, but how the hell can "failure to pay" be a "minor" breach?!

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