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Thomas J. Stanley, who became famous writing about the frugal, commonsense habits of the wealthy, claims that his Atlanta publisher hasn’t paid him royalties for tens of thousands of copies of “The Millionaire Next Door.” Stanley has filed suit against Longstreet Press, which published the book in 1996. “The Millionaire Next Door” has sold more than 2.5 million copies, according to the complaint, and spawned several off-shoots including “The Millionaire Mind” and the forthcoming “Millionaire Women Next Door: The Many Journeys of Successful American Businesswomen.” Speaking through his lawyer, Stanley declined to comment for this story. Longstreet has not published any other books by Stanley, according to the author’s attorney, Alan E. Lubel of Troutman Sanders. Lubel is working on the Longstreet case with John G. Rigney, also of Troutman. Stanley v. Longstreet Press, No. 2004CV85091. “Dr. Stanley has been very patient with Longstreet,” Lubel said. “We took this step only as a last resort after exhausting all other efforts to get Longstreet to honor its obligations.” An executive at Longstreet, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the company is attempting to recover after several years of financial problems. The number of employees dropped from 28 to two in wake of the economic crisis caused by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, he said. After publishing only two books in the last two years, Longstreet managed to put out six titles in the last six weeks, he said. “We’re digging out of a tremendous hole,” he said. The company, which had been a subsidiary of Cox Newspapers at the time Stanley’s book was published, is now owned by M. Scott Bard, a long-time employee and former sales and marketing director. Bard did not respond to a request for comment on Stanley’s suit. Lubel said the exact amount owed to Stanley has yet to be determined because Longstreet has not provided a full accounting of the book’s sales. According to the complaint, Stanley thinks the book sold 70,000 copies from September 2002 through September 2003. Beginning in January 2003, Longstreet allegedly stopped “satisfying its payment obligations” as outlined in the publication agreement signed with Stanley on Dec. 11, 1995. “Despite assurances by defendant that it would pay Dr. Stanley the amounts owed to him under the agreement, it has failed to do so,” the Troutman lawyers wrote in the complaint. “In fact, defendant failed to pay Dr. Stanley and kept these monies for its own use with the intention of depriving Dr. Stanley of this money.” ROYALTY AGREEMENT According to the 1995 agreement, Stanley and his co-author, William D. Danko, were to receive a $50,000 royalty advance upon submission of the manuscript. If the book made the New York Times best-seller list (which it eventually did), Longstreet would advance an additional $10,000 in royalties. For each four weeks the book spent on the list, Longstreet would advance an additional $10,000 in royalties. Longstreet also agreed to pay the authors 10 percent of the book’s invoice price on the first 7,500 copies sold, 12.5 percent of the invoice price on the next 7,500 copies sold and 15 percent on copies sold in excess of the first 15,000. For all paperbound editions published by Longstreet, Stanley and Danko would receive 8 percent of the first 10,000 copies sold and 9 percent of copies sold thereafter. There were additional payments due for licensing fees. Stanley and Danko were to receive 60 percent of those funds. All royalties, including advances, were to be split between the authors with Stanley receiving 65 percent and Danko receiving 35 percent. Also under the terms of the contract, Longstreet was obligated to provide Stanley with accounting statements every six months detailing the book’s sales figures and money received from licensing rights. Stanley said he last received an accounting statement in June 2003. According to a default letter included in the complaint, this is not the first time Stanley has had trouble with receiving payments from Longstreet. The letter, which was written by Troutman partner William B. Marianes (Stanley’s business attorney) and addressed to Bard, publisher and president of Longstreet, discusses other default notices sent in October 2000, April 2002 and April 2003. As for Danko, Lubel did not know if Stanley’s co-author had any financial problems with Longstreet. Danko did not return a phone call seeking comment.

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