(d) The one-act musical comedy is usually bought outright—after the act “gets over.” While many a “book” is contracted for in advance at a small figure, to be doubled or trebled on success, it is also true that royalties are paid. In this case, the custom is to divide the royalty equally between the writer of the book and lyrics, and the composer of the music. When a third person writes the verses of the songs and ensemble numbers, the royalty is usually split three ways. It would be misleading to quote any figures on the musical comedy, for the reason that circumstances vary so greatly with each that there are no standards.
(e) The burlesque tab pays about the same rates as the one-act musical comedy, its kindred form.
(f) The popular song, unlike the other material treated in this volume, has a well established royalty price: one cent a copy is the standard. Of this, half a cent goes to the writer of the lyric, and half a cent to the composer of the music.
As a popular song, to be considered successful, must sell anywhere from half a million to a million copies, it is easy to estimate the song-writer’s return. If the same man writes both the words and the music he will receive from five to ten thousand dollars—or twenty-five hundred to five thousand dollars if he divides with another—for being able to make the nation whistle. Of course, many song-writers have two successful songs selling in a year— therefore you may double the figures above to estimate some successful song-writers’ incomes. But it may safely be said that the song-writer who has an income of twelve thousand dollars a year is doing very well indeed! There are many more professional song-writers who work year after year for the salary of the average business man in every other line of endeavor. Don’t count your royalty-chickens too soon.
6. Important Lists of Addresses
AMERICAN PLAY COMPANY, 33 W. 42d St., New York
MARY ASQUITH, 145 W. 45th St, New York
ALICE KAUSER, 1402 Broadway, New York
DARCY AND WOLFORD, 114 W. 39th St., New York
KIRKPATRICK, LTD., 101 Park Ave., New York
MODERN PLAY CO., Columbus Circle, New York
LAURA D. WILK, 1476 Broadway, New York
GEORGE W. WINNIETT, 1402 Broadway, New York
PAUL SCOTT, 1402 Broadway, New York
SANGER AND JORDAN, 1430 Broadway, New York
MRS. M. A. LEMBECK, 220 W. 42nd St., New York
The producers given here offer a market which varies so widely in each instance that no attempt has been made to list their needs. Some are interested in other lines of the amusement business as well; and their activities elsewhere must be taken into consideration as determining factors in their special market needs. No division of these producers into big-time and small-time producers is made, because such a distinction would be likely to be misleading rather than helpful.