One of my traditional publishers paid me in September. I was surprised. Not because I didn’t know about the money. I did. It was an advance for rights in translation for an entire series of books. I was surprised because the contract called for payment to arrive within 60 days of the contract’s final date…and lo and behold, the payment arrived just like it was […]
My cat died in June. He wasn’t just any cat. He was what Dean and I call “a heart cat.” We have cats whom we love and cherish, and then we have special cats—the ones who simply take over our hearts and hold them hostage. Galahad was the best of the best, and we had him for fifteen years.
I’m telling you this not to get sympathy, but because Gally’s death factored into my process this summer. I knew he was going to go at some point, but he went fast. Fine one week, gone the next. Not as fast as our Ella, who literally died in an instant (vet thinks heart attack or stroke) in February, but still, faster than expected.
That, on top of the deaths of several friends since the first of the year, some close and some not as close as they once were, left me reeling. I hadn’t realized how down I was until I figured out that my writing had nearly ground to a halt.
In fact, the one thing that kept me going was the schedule I had drawn up earlier in the year…
I’ve been talking to myself lately. Actually, I’ve been talking back to podcasts, vlogs, and emails. Ever since I said I would be doing a series on branding, I’ve gotten links to great branding tips. (Please, keep them coming.) Every single link I received that dealt with branding from a writer’s perspective talked about cover branding. Lots of great information in each and every one […]
I’m not here to discuss the merits or lack thereof of Booktrope or ARe. I did that in other posts. What I need to discuss here is the future.
You see, these closures were right on time. And several other closures will follow in the next few years.
Some of the upcoming closures will be predictable. And others will catch us all by surprise.
Why am I saying this?
To do modeling for the next year of your business, you need to be as clear-eyed as possible. You should research trends for your business for similar economic times, if you can.
Then you figure out as best you can what your future will be.
Here’s how you do it.
No longer can any writer say that she is “just” a writer. Now, if we want our books to be read by someone other than our families, we need to publish those books one way or another, and then market those books.
There is no more “just” any more.
I think it becomes imperative for all of us to figure out exactly what we do.
Writerly weirdness causes conflict with our careers and our businesses, in part because we are (as a group) imaginative, rule-bound, pessimistic, ethical, and the center of our own small universes.
We bring all of those things into the realm of contracts.
Be honest with yourself: What do you imagine will happen to you if you don’t follow your book contract to the letter?
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.
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….