Business Musings: How To Hire A Lawyer (Contracts/Dealbreakers)

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.

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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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Business Musings: Introductory Remarks (Dealbreakers/Contracts)

I have come to the point where I can’t ignore the contractual changes in the industry any longer. The topic has become so large that I will probably end up with two books out of it: The revised Dealbreakers, and a book on contracts. When I start discussing contracts, most indie writers tune out. But they shouldn’t. Indie writers sign contracts all the time. Some are for foreign editions. Some are for short fiction. Some are with their cover designer. Some disguise themselves as terms of service.

Not everything I write here will apply to the indie writer, but much of it will.

Remember: the more you understand about this business, the better off you will be. And the harder it will be to take you off-guard….

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Business Musings: Authors Guild 2016 Letter

I want to support what the Authors Guild is doing here. I really do. I believe this “conversation” needs to commence. Writers—particularly writers of the Take Care of Me school—need to understand that their publishers and their agents are not their friends. Those two entities are in business for themselves and will devise contract terms to benefit them. But…

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The Business Rusch: A Paradigm Shift (Discoverability Kinda)

As many of you already know, I write out of order. It is, perhaps, the most irritating part of my own writing process—at least to me. Fortunately, this new world of publishing really works for someone like me. Everything I write is not set in stone. I can move the pieces around when I’m done. Why am I starting like this? The clue is in […]

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The Business Rusch: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

I have been down the rabbit hole, and it is labeled “Philip K. Dick.” I had a simple question: Who benefits directly from the Philip K. Dick estate? I found websites, wikipages, arguments, lawsuits over movies, and all kinds of other things, none of which directly answered my question. Until I located an interview conducted by the Library of America with Jonathan Lethem and Laura […]

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The Business Rusch: Fearless Inventories

First, an anecdote: It comes from the November issue of Vanity Fair. The magazine published an excerpt—if that’s the right word—from Truman Capote’s legendary unfinished novel, Answered Prayers. In an accompanying article, Sam Kashner describes the history of the novel, why it remained unfinished from the 1960s to Capote’s death in 1984, and how it became one of those legendary unfinished works, more imagined than […]

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The Business Rusch: Want To Be Read 100 Years From Now? Here’s How.

So, you want to be an artist. You want to be one of those writers everyone has read, even though you’re long dead. You want your work in libraries, on bookstore shelves, and in digital format. You want professors to assign your work, or kids to sneak that “crap” that everyone decries but everyone loves. There are two very simple ways to do this: 1. […]

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The Business Rusch: A Tale of Two Royalty Statements

Today I had hoped to write a blog about something other than traditional publishing contracts, but events have conspired against me.  Cory Doctorow published a column on Publishers Weekly’s website about a new contract demand that might be coming from Hachette. Apparently, Hachette has decided to ensure that all of its e-books have some sort of DRM. That’s an acronym for Digital Rights Management which is just […]

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The Business Rusch: The Future And Balance (Deal Breakers 2012)

I started this small series on deal breakers two weeks ago, in response to Novelists, Inc’s request for an update of an article that I gave them last August. I thought such an update would be easy until I read the article itself. Then I realized just how much had changed in the last year. Because of some of the responses I’ve gotten privately, and […]

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