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. […]
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?
Over the last couple of years, a number of writers have written to me to ask how to get the rights to their traditionally published novels reverted back to them. These requests increased while I wrote the most recent short series, “Why Writers Disappear,” and finally, one of the readers mentioned via e-mail that I should do a blog post on getting rights reverted. It’s […]
After last week’s blog post, I became scared to open my e-mail. Not because I got hate mail—far from it. I got a lot of positive mail. But I also got a lot of sad stories about the scams out there, mostly from people who watched friends succumb. There have always been scams that suck in wannabe writers. Terrible contracts for professional writers have existed […]
Dean Wesley Smith and I have spent a good part of this summer teaching, as well as talking to other professional writers. One thing we discuss is the history of the business because it helps us understand how we got to where we are. In the beginning, publishing was a handshake operation. Writers and publishers were often friends who lived and worked in the same […]
The Business Rusch: Time and the Writer Kristine Kathryn Rusch Recently, I got an e-mail from a writer whose name you would recognize. She has written dozens of novels, maybe a hundred or more. Her career stretches back more than thirty years. She has jumped into indie publishing whole-heartedly and cannot imagine going back to traditional publishing, unless she gets a good contract, which she […]
The Business Rusch: Competition Kristine Kathryn Rusch Just a few years ago, traditional publishers had a monopoly. They controlled the distribution of books. This meant that the publishers dictated terms to booksellers and they dictated terms to writers. What resulted was what happens whenever anyone controls a marketplace: lots of nasty business practices, lots of unfairness, and lots of take-it-or-leave-it ultimatums. Those of us […]
The Business Rusch: How Traditional Publishers Are Making Money Kristine Kathryn Rusch Of course, this past week has been just as busy in publishing as the last several weeks. The changes are amazing, especially considering how stable the industry used to be. Third quarter earnings have come in, and the publicly traded publishing companies must report them. (Or, at least, their parent companies must.) For […]
The Business Rusch: Deal Breakers Kristine Kathryn Rusch For the bulk of my thirty-year career in publishing, the industry has remained the same. In fact, the industry hadn’t changed much since the end of the Second World War. Oh, there were changes—the rise of mass market paperbacks, the decline of the slick magazines, the introduction of computerized ordering—but those things happened slowly and usually one […]
The Business Rusch: Publishers (Surviving The Transition Part Two) Kristine Kathryn Rusch For the past two weeks, I’ve geared this blog toward established writers, writers who have been in the business for ten or twenty years or more, and have made a living from their writing during this time. My first post in this mini-series, “Writing Like It’s 1999,” got a lot of attention, with […]