I'm working on a short collection of interviews that is going to be published as an e-book for my company. I've done all the work, from finding the interviews, to collecting them, to formatting and eventually publishing the book. I get paid hourly, so I've been paid for the work as I've done it, but originally it was just going to be placed on our blog for free, only later did we decide to sell it as an e-book for $1.00.
We're a small start-up so pretty much anything we do is up for negotiation, and we're all just learning as we go along. I'm curious if I should ask for a percentage of the proceeds from the book, and if so how much? I also had a sketch artist do some work for the book, but again they were paid a flat fee per-post. I realize this question is a bit out of the usual for you blog, especially because it's not fiction, but I've struggled to find the answer I'm looking for anywhere else. Thanks for your help!
What you'll ask for is a royalty rate.
If the book sells as an ebook, you ask for a percentage of the money received.
Generally when I negotiate this, I ask for half of net proceeds.
That means if the retail price is $1.00, your company will receive some amount that is
$1.00 less $X.
X is the amount the places like Amazon or BN.com charge you for selling and delivering the book.
You ask for 50% of [$1.00 - $X]
[Remember when you were sure you didn't need math after high school?
Welcome to the 21st century.]
Start by asking for 50%, but you'll probably have to settle for somewhere closer to 30%.
One thing you did NOT mention in your question is who is registering the copyright, and in whose name the copyright will be filed. You'll want to get that taken care of pretty quickly.