Okay, I’m not completely a slacker. But I’ve been slow in updating you on all that’s been going on. That’s partly because I’ve been writing a Diving Universe novel that kicked my butt all winter. I finished draft one yesterday. Yes, I said Diving Universe. I started out writing a novella to explain something to myself, and ended up with at least 100,000 words. (That’s […]
As I’m revising the old Dealbreakers book, I am finding a lot of material that no longer applies. 2011-2013 was a transitional period in the ebook revolution. Traditional publishers didn’t know anything about ebooks, and writers had a lot more leeway in what they could do.
Now, things are so different that some of the contracts I’m touching feel toxic to me. I want to wash my hands after holding them.
As many of you know, I’m revising the book Dealbreakers, which I published in 2013. This piece is the second revision of this topic that I’ve done. Please remember as you read this that I am not an attorney, and nothing in this post should be considered legal advice. I probably should have called this post Short- and Long-term Thinking, or maybe just Thinking. Because […]
For all the dreams of having work last forever, writers are their own worst enemies in making those dreams come true. And the mistakes happen in the little decisions.
Let’s take the option clause…
Last week, I posted a blog on Prince’s lack of a will, and talked a little about estates. Of course, some people (who apparently never read my blog) asked me if agents should handle a writer’s estate. No, agents should not. Before I even get to the issues below, let me tell you this: Many literary agencies are small businesses, just like your writing business […]
Last week, the death of Prince hit me hard. I was in the middle of teaching the Romance Workshop, here on the Oregon Coast, and working my tail off. A satellite radio station that I always listen to had breaking news—something they never do (which is why I listen to them)—that I could barely hear. I heard “prince” and “died” and “young” so I’m wondering […]
I recently got an email that sent a chill through me. It was a newsletter from a traditional publishing organization. This organization is geared toward publishers and editors, not toward writers. The newsletter was essentially an ad for an upcoming seminar that will teach publishers to understand intellectual property and expand their rights business. Why did this send a chill through me? Because the one […]
Control. It is at the heart of any negotiation. All business owners want to control as much about their businesses as possible. We all know that you can’t control everything in life. That rule also applies to contracts….
Over the years, I have become fascinated with writers’ attitudes towards contracts. Writers are so very cavalier about them. Most writers pay no attention to their publishing contracts at all until some term bites them in the ass. Then the writer tries to figure out how to get out of it, not realizing that they got themselves into it by signing the contract without examining it. Indie writers have a different problem with contracts. Indie writers believe they don’t need any…
I have come to the point where I can’t ignore the contractual changes in the industry any longer. The topic has become so large that I will probably end up with two books out of it: The revised Dealbreakers, and a book on contracts. When I start discussing contracts, most indie writers tune out. But they shouldn’t. Indie writers sign contracts all the time. Some are for foreign editions. Some are for short fiction. Some are with their cover designer. Some disguise themselves as terms of service.
Not everything I write here will apply to the indie writer, but much of it will.
Remember: the more you understand about this business, the better off you will be. And the harder it will be to take you off-guard….