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Old 04-29-2013, 04:04 PM   #1
OCeeBee
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Default Common for a manager to ask for signing and 10% agreement in writing?

Hi all,

Is it common for a literary manager to ask for some kind of written agreement stating the signing, and a 10% rate? I was thinking about signing with someone, but the "in writing" part was a bit of a curveball. I thought handshakes are enough?

Thanks,
Owen
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:36 PM   #2
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Default Re: Common for a manager to ask for signing and 10% agreement in writing?

10% is standard.

A lot of managers/companies just go on a handshake or verbal commitment. I've heard of a few contracts signed. Some haven't ended well. And some writers have requested because they feel the need to be covered. Just be careful either way, depending on who you're signing with.

Personally I believe if you are signing with that person for the right reasons, being they believe in your work and you believe they do and it's someone you can build a professional relationship with, then no paper is needed.
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:36 PM   #3
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Default Re: Common for a manager to ask for signing and 10% agreement in writing?

Some managers like to formalize their client relationships with an actual written contract. It's not always done, but it's not exactly rare either. As long as you're 100% clear on what the contract says and are mutually agreed on how the relationship works, there's no cause for alarm.
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Old 04-29-2013, 05:18 PM   #4
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Default Re: Common for a manager to ask for signing and 10% agreement in writing?

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Originally Posted by OCeeBee View Post
Hi all,

Is it common for a literary manager to ask for some kind of written agreement stating the signing, and a 10% rate? I was thinking about signing with someone, but the "in writing" part was a bit of a curveball. I thought handshakes are enough?

Thanks,
Owen
It's not necessarily unusual. We just do a three sentence email that lays out the terms, i.e., 10% and states that we are in business until either party decides to terminate the relationship.
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Old 04-29-2013, 05:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: Common for a manager to ask for signing and 10% agreement in writing?

Thanks, all!
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Old 04-29-2013, 07:53 PM   #6
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Default Re: Common for a manager to ask for signing and 10% agreement in writing?

I signed agreements for my agent, manager, and lawyer.

I wouldn't be worried by this at all. Some prefer legal contracts, some prefer handshakes.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: Common for a manager to ask for signing and 10% agreement in writing?

My first manager was a "let's do it by phone." My second managers I met with but I had met with a lot of managers so I didn't make a decision there. I emailed them later that day when I was sure they were the ones and I basically said "if you still want me, I want to sign with you." My agent was also a "let's do this thing" by phone since I wasn't in LA at the time.

The big picture really is if they're the right rep for you, do what you gotta do.
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Old 04-30-2013, 12:29 PM   #8
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Default Re: Common for a manager to ask for signing and 10% agreement in writing?

Thanks again. I was hoping to actually hear that it was a shady practice, as I wanted that to be the dealbreaker between a 1st tier manager who wants to hip-pocket me, and a 2nd tier manager who wants to work really hard for me but asked for the email agreement. I wish I had written something better so as to make my choices easier...
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Old 04-30-2013, 12:46 PM   #9
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Default Re: Common for a manager to ask for signing and 10% agreement in writing?

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Originally Posted by OCeeBee View Post
Thanks again. I was hoping to actually hear that it was a shady practice, as I wanted that to be the dealbreaker between a 1st tier manager who wants to hip-pocket me, and a 2nd tier manager who wants to work really hard for me but asked for the email agreement. I wish I had written something better so as to make my choices easier...
FWIW, if you were hoping we were going to tell you lower-profile manager was shady for proposing a written agreement... it sounds like you've already made up your mind about which one you really want to go with. Maybe it's just me, but anytime I go into a situation thinking, "I really hope that something happens to convince me not to pick Option B," I usually take that in itself as a sign that I probably shouldn't go with that option.
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Old 04-30-2013, 12:57 PM   #10
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Default Re: Common for a manager to ask for signing and 10% agreement in writing?

I hear ya. But I think most writers are hopeful people, and we have an especially tough time early on weighing hope against pragmatism.

The hopeful side of me would prefer any manager who works really hard to bring my underdog indy script to market and attach some actors, as opposed to telling me that I wrote something great but not really marketable, and to go spit out a 95 page actioner for the next 6 months.

The realist side of me is pretty sure the hard-working manager won't have enough leverage to make anything stick, and that if I capitulate to said 95 page action hip-pocket, I could probably sell it a year down the road.

In between lies a confused dude growing older by the script, though.
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