Writer, Editor, Reader, Fan Girl

Posts tagged contracts

Business Musings: Other Evil Clauses (Contracts/Dealbreakers)

Writers tend to go through their business life like Pokémon Go players, looking for something that isn’t there, hoping to score a magic number of points, and not seeing what is there.

It’s impossible to show you all the bad contract terms. I’ve delineated several that you need to watch out for. I’m going to go through some important ones quickly in this blog post…

READ MORE

Business Musings: Discount Abuse (Contracts/Dealbreakers)

Indie writers: Read this post now in case you decide to get a traditional publisher to publish your paper copies. Especially if you had (or will have) an agent negotiate the deal. Because much of what I’m going to discuss here applies to paper books, not ebooks. This is one of those areas where you, the indie who has gone hybrid, is most likely to get screwed.

In fact, this area is where writers have been getting screwed since some publisher thought to change their contracts in the last 1990s—and then all the other publishers followed suit. (How is this not collusion? Oh…Department of Justice…)

Discount clauses always send a ting of discomfort through me, and not just because the things are damaging to writers’ careers and writers’ incomes. But because they are one of those let’s-screw-the-writer clauses that got added into contracts in the past twenty years or so.

READ MORE

Business Musings: Long-Term Thinking: Rights Reversions (Contracts/Dealbreakers)

Slowly, traditional publishers have realized that backlist titles are worth a lot of money. As I wrote recently, traditional publishers are slowly figuring out that they are no longer in the manufacturing business, they’re in the rights business.

So they’re buying—and holding—rights. Years ago, when I got angry at a publisher for their misbehavior, I offered to buy back the rights to one of my books. It caught that publisher flat-footed. No writer had ever done that, and the publisher had no idea how to estimate the books’ value to the company.

Now, I’m hearing from more and more writers that their publishers insist on the writers paying to get rights reverted.

READ MORE

Business Musings: Long-term Thinking: The Contract Termination Clause (Contracts/Dealbreakers)

It feels odd to talk about how a contract ends when you’re entering a brand new relationship with a publisher. Both of you feel like this is a Great Thing, and it’s all shiny and celebratory and marvelous. And maybe your relationship will be that way.

But the law is all about planning for the worst-case scenario, not the best case. It’s all about protecting someone, so that someone, in my opinion, should be the writer, not the publisher.

Since 2009 or so, publishers have gotten quite nasty about contracts. In short, they’re refusing to let any contract terminate.

This is causing all kinds of problems for writers.

READ MORE

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.

READ MORE

Business Musings: Sneaky Money Grabs (Contracts/Dealbreakers)

I was going to write a blog on why you never hire people for a percentage of your sales for the life of the project. I was going to look at some of the contract terms that writers should be wary of, from companies like Booktrope, companies that still exist.

And then I choked on a big gigantic paragraph in the Booktrope sample author agreement. This big gigantic paragraph is the one thing that allowed Booktrope to raise millions of dollars. Had Booktrope succeeded, that success would have come at the expense of its authors.

The scary thing is that other companies are behaving the exact same way.

READ MORE

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.

READ MORE

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

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 […]

READ MORE

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…

READ MORE

Business Musings: Prince, Estates, and The Future (Contracts/Dealbreakers/Estates)

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. […]

READ MORE

A New Story! (With Goo)

9781476781587_p0_v1_s192x300

My idea of a science fiction sports story involves a library. Of course. Order "Petra and The Blue Goo," by clicking this sentence.

 

The Unexpected!

FRP The Unexpected ebook cover web

Includes my story "Earth Day" as well as some of my favorites from Fiction River. Click on this sentence to order.

 

A New Science Fiction Story!

ASF_APRILMAY2016_400x580

Asimov's has just published my first sentient ship story, "Matilda."

Read an excerpt here.

A New Urban Fantasy Story!

Primitive Area UA cover web

I love taking part in the Uncollected Anthology of Urban Fantasy. Every quarter, we put out individual stories on the same theme (hence "anthology" and "uncollected"). This time, Dayle Dermatis, Leah Cutter, Ron Collins, Leslie Claire Walker, Rebecca Senese, and Annie Reed, have joined me in the Out of the Woods "anthology."

Find out how to order all of these stories by clicking on this sentence.

A New Fantasy Story!

FR Sparks ebook cover webThe latest Fiction River is out. Edited by Rebecca Moesta, the volume includes a fantasy story from me called "Salem Week."

Buy or Subscribe Here

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Subscribe with RSS

Categories

Get Monthly Updates on New Releases & Special Offers

Occasional Updates on Kris Nelscott’s Works

Be The First To Learn About Kristine Grayson’s New Releases