Thursday, September 20, 2012
Paying to Be On An Agency Web Site
A friend asked:
Is it industry standard now for an agent to charge a yearly web fee for having your profile up on their site?
No, is the short answer.
In some states such a thing is technically legal, but I am not sure why an actor would work with an agent that tries to make money off of actors instead of with actors. I suppose there may be cases where such a thing might make sense for an actor. It is far from standard operating procedure. I have a solution.
If a rep suggests you pay to be placed or featured on their site, you can pitch to them that they get the fee they are asking for in addition to the 10% standard commission when you book your first job each year. If they balk at that suggestion, it seems that they do not truly believe the web site profile will lead to work.
Remember that setting up a profile on a site like ActorsAccess (breakdown service's site for actors) is currently free, though they change for additional pictures and for video, and also for submissions. I am not sure why an actor would want to work with an agent that doesn't use sites that are more standard, like ActorsAccess, instead of their own possibly-never-actually-has-lead-to-bookings site.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Samuel French Dabbles with Online Sales
Founded in 1830, Samuel French represents over 8,000 plays and musicals for amateur and professional performances. In addition to their website, the company also operates two art bookstores in Los Angeles and London, which carry a broad range of scripts and technical books.
This exciting new venture with Scene Partner is the next step in our growing ePlay initiative which includes almost 1,000 Samuel French titles now available in Apple’s iBookstore and soon on Amazon's Kindle, Nook, and multiple eReader platforms,said Kenneth Dingledine, director of operations for Samuel French, in a statement.
The first round of Samuel French titles will be tentatively released by the end of 2012. Prices for e-Scripts will range from $10.99 to $11.99, and can be purchased through Scene Partner's online store
(from Backstage). Only a few years ago Samuel French sold plays they publish though multiple bookstores of their own as well as many other stores. Now with only 2 stores of their own, and planning to sell only 1/8 of their titles online through not 1 but 2 "middlemen" (Amazon/Apple/B&N and Scene Partner) forcing the prices almost higher than the paper versions is surprising, and slow.
Very 1830s style, and in 2012 is an almost concerning trend for play publishing in the English speaking world. Or lack of a trend. The
Association of American Publishers reported that in the first quarter of 2012, adult eBook sales were up to $282.3 million while adult hardcover sales came to only $229.6 million (from ZDNet). $52.7 million dollars is more than a supplemental difference to most publishers.
As I mentioned in November, their large competition is not announcing any digital publication plans beyond a minor presence on Google's e-bookstore. There is an opening in the world marketplace for e-book versions of plays and so far no company seems committed in any timely way to filling it.
Saturday, September 08, 2012
When you put your ideas in the world, then, and only then, do you know if they're real. - Seth Godin
An actor's work is largely ideas.