While I was digging deep into the ugliness that traditional publishing contracts have devolved into, the indie publishing world has grown and changed and become even more positive. More than a light at the end of the tunnel, the indie world has become a haven to those of us willing to work hard and to understand that real achievement takes time. It amazes me how […]
I’m great with schedules. I have a dozen calendars, all with great purpose. I have a computer calendar that notifies me of deadlines and future projects.
It all works—when I have writing deadlines. I set it up for traditional publishing writing deadlines. I have never put promotion on my calendar. Ever. Because I do the minimal amount.
But this fall, failing to put even the most minimal promotion on my calendar has led to a series of problems.
For the past several months, I’ve focused on contracts, contract negotiations, rights, and dealbreakers. I know I lost some of my indie (self-published) readers, who are waiting until I finish this series before they return to reading my blog. Those readers believe they will never sign the kind of contract I’m dealing with. They also believe that they’re protected because they’re in business for themselves. […]
Grand Central’s parent company Hachette is suing Grahame-Smith for $500,000, the advance on that second book of this contract.
Figure this: The publisher believes it’s better to sue the author than it is to leave that $500,000 outstanding. There are several reasons that Hachette could have made the decision to file suit.
Expect more of these kinds of suits in the future. If the writers who got huge advances do not meet their obligations with the publishers, the publishers will cut their losses and run as fast as they possibly can.
But what does this suit have to do with the contracts/dealbreakers series?
For the first time, I can share with you a complete publishing contract.
Four years ago, we started Fiction River, our award-nominated anthology series, through Kickstarter. Two years ago, we held a successful subscription drive through Kickstarter. This year, we hope to do the same. The rewards are more than just subscriptions. Those of you who are interested in writing will find some writing books scattered among the rewards, as well as discounted writing workshops. Those of you […]
I have to berate writers to get an attorney. Writers are terrified of attorneys. Writers think attorneys are expensive and impossible to work with. Writers think hiring an attorney will harm them.
Writers are wrong.
We’re almost to the end of the contracts/dealbreakers series. I can’t tell you how pleased I am about this, because I feel dirty just looking at some of these contracts and agreements.
Most of you indie writers tuned this series out long ago, because you believed it didn’t apply to you. And yet, I read all the time about indie writers who sign with an agent to sell the print versions of an ebook and to sell foreign rights and auxiliary rights.
Bad move. Really, really, really bad move.
This week, let’s deal with the clause that agents insert into your book contract with your publisher. (This is the book contract that your agent negotiated for you. Yes, I’m telling you the agent inserted something into that contract that benefits the agent, but doesn’t benefit you.) Agents have been abusing this clause for years now. Agents, not publishers, even though this clause is in a publishing contract between the writer and her publisher.
Imagine this scenario: You’re a divorce attorney with more that thirty years experience. You charge hundreds of dollars per hour for your expertise. You have what seems to be a relatively easy divorce on your hands. After all, the client has told you that he and his soon-to-be ex-wife agree on the terms. They simply need you and her attorney to hammer out the details. […]
Most writers check their traditional book contracts for the advance, the payout, and the due dates. They don’t look at anything else. Writer after writer, and editor after editor, have told me this.
I always look toward the editing clauses first. Because if they’re ugly, the rest of the contract usually is as well.
This applies to all kinds of writing for traditional markets, especially for nonfiction and short fiction. I’ve seen terrible editing clauses in those contracts, and what’s ironic is that those clauses often seem to be the most innocuous.
What you want is complete control of the content of your work.