September 11, 2001 was a Tuesday. Here on the Oregon Coast, as in New York City, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C., it was a beautiful fall day. Sun out, clear blue sky. And horrors, everywhere. I was in the middle—quite literally—of writing one of my Smokey Dalton novels. Set in another terrible time in American history, […]Read More
Posts tagged writing
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.Read More
Four years ago, we started Fiction River, our award-nominated anthology series, through Kickstarter. Two years ago, we held a successful subscription drive through Kickstarter. This year, we hope to do the same. The rewards are more than just subscriptions. Those of you who are interested in writing will find some writing books scattered among the […]Read More
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.Read More
This week, let’s deal with the clause that agents insert into your book contract with your publisher. (This is the book contract that your agent negotiated for you. Yes, I’m telling you the agent inserted something into that contract that benefits the agent, but doesn’t benefit you.) Agents have been abusing this clause for years now. Agents, not publishers, even though this clause is in a publishing contract between the writer and her publisher.Read More
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 […]Read More
Most writers check their traditional book contracts for the advance, the payout, and the due dates. They don’t look at anything else. Writer after writer, and editor after editor, have told me this.
I always look toward the editing clauses first. Because if they’re ugly, the rest of the contract usually is as well.
This applies to all kinds of writing for traditional markets, especially for nonfiction and short fiction. I’ve seen terrible editing clauses in those contracts, and what’s ironic is that those clauses often seem to be the most innocuous.
What you want is complete control of the content of your work.Read More
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
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