Business Musings: Writers, Scam Artists, Agents, And More (Sigh)

Just when I thought it was safe to get back into the water… I’m editing a lot these days. I only edit short fiction projects. Anthologies, anthology series (Fiction River), the occasional nonfiction book, and some magazines. I’m also consulting with the fine folks at WMG Publishing, because they’ll be handling the contracts for the revival of Pulphouse next year. Dean’s vision for Pulphouse includes […]

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Business Musings: Found It!

I’ve been poking, poking, poking trying to find the new topic that will send newer writers, particularly indie writers, into high dudgeon. Topics like that expose the current myths and traps that writers can find themselves in. I was beginning to think we had hit that point in the indie cycle where the writers had spread out and didn’t have the same assumptions or were […]

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Business Musings: Bestseller Lists and Other Dreams

In March, Marie Force announced she would no longer chase the bestseller lists when she released her latest book title. She wrote a great, honest, and direct blog about her thinking, and I urge you to read it all. In the blog, she describes a trajectory of obsession and disillusionment that is very familiar to me. I’ve gone through that range of emotions several times […]

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Business Musings: Writing with Chronic Health Problems

Because dozens of you have asked me, both privately and in comments, how I write with a chronic health condition.

There really is a trick to the writing while chronically ill. But the trick is personal, and it’s tailored to each individual person.

So, more personal stories—and then tips.

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Business Musings: Writer Finances Versus The Paycheck World

If the indie writers who made a lot of money in 2012-2014 had followed this advice, they’d still be writing and publishing. Sure, their incomes would still be down, along with their sales, but their careers would continue.

What happened to these writers?

Well, they will say that their sales went down to unsustainable levels. Those writers will say there’s no point in continuing now that they can’t make the same kind of money they made in 2013. Those writers will say that writing, as a profession, is impossible.

And it is, if you don’t understand money management.

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Writing, Mysteries, Bundles, and the Contracts Book!

I have lots of fun stuff to share. I hope you saw that the latest Diving novel is out (and the Recommended Reading List has returned). I also have a story in The Best American Mystery Stories 2016, edited by Elizabeth George. I love her work, so I’m particularly flattered that she chose a story of mine. If you haven’t read “Christmas Eve at the […]

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Business Musings: An Important Notice on The Non-Compete Clause (Contracts/Dealbreakers)

Writer Teri Kanefield emailed me after reading the non-compete blog and mentioned that non-compete clauses are mostly illegal under California law, with rare exceptions. She also suspected that they were illegal and thus unenforceable under New York law.

She had reasons for that. I asked her to send me a few citations, so that I could essentially try to recreate her argument, although I admit, as a non-lawyer, I felt uncomfortable doing that. Then she suggested doing a guest blog for me on this topic, and I jumped on it. She’s written it in the form of a letter. It’s fantastic.

I want all of you—indie, hybrid, traditional, with non-competes and without— to read this letter, which follows. I will give you each some non-legal advice on what to do after you’ve read her letter at the end of this blog post.

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Business Musings: The Grant of Rights Clause (Contracts/Dealbreakers)

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.

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Business Musings: Long-Term Thinking: The Option Clause (Contracts/Dealbreakers)

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…

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Business Musings: Know Your Rights (Contracts/Dealbreakers)

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 […]

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