Business Musings: Rethinking The Writing Business (Part One)

Business Musings: Rethinking The Writing Business (Part One)

When the disruption hit the publishing industry ten years ago, I watched with a wary eye. After I finished The Freelancer’s Survival Guide in the summer of 2010, I repurposed this weekly blog to help me understand the changes the publishing industry was undergoing. It seemed, in those heady days, that everything changed daily. And there was a large contingent of brand-new writers who knew so much better than the rest of us how revolutionary this indie publishing thing would be.

Most of those writers—the hoards that used to come screaming (literally) to this site every Saturday to denounce me and tell me what an idiot I am and how wrong I was—are gone now. They quit the business not because they weren’t earning money—most of them earned a boatload—but because they couldn’t handle what they had set up.

Many of them published rapidly and followed an insane publishing schedule that couldn’t be maintained in the face of real life. Some based everything they had and everything they knew on Amazon algorithms, only to be shocked when Amazon persisted in changing up those algorithms.

Others couldn’t handle the financial ups and downs of freelancing and some, frankly, didn’t give themselves a chance to succeed. They saw others making thousands every month while they were making coffee money, and decided that they’d never succeed and quit without ever completely learning their craft or building up an audience.

Sometimes I miss the screamers. They always pointed me in the direction of what was new, hot, and trendy, and even though new, hot, and trendy isn’t always what a business needs, it’s good to keep track of those things.

Now I have to discover new, hot, and trendy on my own—or I did, as I was trying to figure out what’s going on. New, hot, and trendy has a shorter shelf life these days than it did, and I wasn’t sure why. There’s a lot about this new world of publishing, as I called it, that I couldn’t figure out.

I knew I was missing something—something major, in fact—but I couldn’t seem to find it. And neither could all the other writers I talked to. Nor could the big publishers, either.

I’m an intuitive learner and thinker, not a fact-based follow-the-laid-out-path-before-branching-out learner and thinker. I see glimmers on the side of the road and immediate head out across country.

Only I didn’t do that this time. I wasn’t sure which glimmerings to follow. I just had a hunch that the glimmerings weren’t in the publishing industry itself. I was looking to the music industry, but that didn’t have all the answers I wanted.

The problem was that I didn’t really know what question I was asking. How can you find an answer to a question you can’t quite articulate? You can’t, really.

Then last year, I went to the Licensing Expo here in Las Vegas. That Expo was in May, and I had only been here two months. Dean was still up north digging us out, and I was just getting healthy. (Pictures from that Expo with my friend show me with skin a little less gray than it had been in February.)

I knew that our business had to go to the Expo in 2019. I knew we had to prepare for it. I also thought all three of us—Dean, Allyson, and I—needed to be there together. Only Allyson couldn’t due to family issues (then she got ill), so Dean and I faced it alone.

I was doing a lot of prep, but nothing prepared me for the realization that hit me after the first day of the Expo.

We’ve been doing this wrong.

By this, I mean the writing business post-Kindle. We’re all approaching our business like we’re still in the publishing business. But we’re not. We’re part of the entertainment industry, and that entails a lot more than we think it does.

Let me see if I can retrace some of this thinking, so that I don’t just spring my ideas on you and have you balk at them.

I signed up for the Licensing University classes connected to the Expo. I saw those last year, and felt that I would miss a huge opportunity if I failed to attend.

This year, I looked at the roster of classes, and promised myself I could leave any class that was too basic for me. The “Is Your Brand Ready For Licensing” was a case in point (although I didn’t realize it until later). That was a copyright/trademark basics course that falls into the well-duh category for me, but is probably necessary for most first-time attendees at the Expo (and for most writers as well).

But the Basics of Licensing class? Holy Crap-Poodles. I figured I’d sit there for ten minutes before going out to the floor to look around. Instead, I took 30 pages of notes. (In future posts, I will deal with much of what I learned on a detail level.)

That class laid out the basics of a licensing deal, while acknowledging that each deal is different.

Let’s back up. We writers are creators of intellectual property. We have the property to license. We are the licensors. We’re looking for licensees. Okay? Got that?

The terms of a basic licensing deal includes these elements:

  • A Royalty
  • An Advance Payment Against That Royalty
  • Net Sales Definition
  • Some Kind of Reporting Process
  • Termination
  • Insurance/Warrantees/Indemnification
  • Jurisdiction

A basic licensing deal includes a lot more than that, things like minimum royalty guarantees, an audit schedule, minimum performance threshold, quality and approvals, advertising and marketing requirements, and so on.

The licensor is a participant in all of that. An active participant, who can terminate if, for example, the quality of the product (based on the sample) doesn’t come up to snuff after several tries.

I remember thinking in the middle of that class that the publishing agreements that I signed back in the 1990s had a lot more in common with a standard licensing agreement than standard publishing contracts do now. In fact, there was a lot in the old publishing contracts that were just like a licensing agreement. In fact, the old publishing contracts were licensing agreements with the pro-licensor stuff (the stuff that benefits the licensor/writer/creator) taken out.

Hmmm.

Fast-forward through the afternoon to the class on How To Negotiate A Licensing Deal, which was listed as a negotiation class, without the “licensing deal” part added in. I wrote a book on negotiation, for godssake. I’m damn good at negotiating. I figured I’d be leaving this one early as well.

Nope. Another 30+ pages of notes. With two surprises added in.

First, from a passing comment on royalty rates.

In licensing, the royalty rates can vary from 2% to 20% of the net sales price (usually wholesale, but that’s changing depending on distribution). One of the instructors (an agent) mentioned that really big brands with a lot of clout like Disney can get the 20% royalty without a lot of pushback because their brand is so valuable.

Yeah. Well duh.

Except.

Once upon a time, I was a work-for-hire writer, and one of the properties I wrote work-for-hire was Star Wars. I got a 2% royalty on the books published (see above).

In most work-for-hire publishing projects, the royalty rate gets split between the licensor who created the intellectual property and the writer who does the actual work on writing the novel. I do not know what Bantam paid LucasFilm for those early books. It might have been 10%, it might have been 15%. I do know it was less than 20%. At the time, you see, Star Wars was considered moribund. The books, Tim Zahn’s first trilogy in particular, led the entertainment industry to realize that there was a hungry audience for more Star Wars. The revival of the brand dates from that very first publication.

So I know that, in those days, LucasFilm didn’t have the Disney-level clout that it would later achieve. Which had an impact. Because, when it came time to renegotiate the license with Bantam, LucasFilm asked for a 20% royalty.

Bantam balked. They claimed they couldn’t make a profit. They claimed they couldn’t pay their writers. They claimed they wouldn’t get writers.

So, LucasFilm threatened to pull out, and the dance began. LucasFilm came down to 19% which still didn’t give Bantam enough room to pay the writers from the royalty rate (the standard way that writers did/do business in traditional publishing).

Bantam came with a compromise. Rather than a 2% royalty, they’d pay the authors $60-90,000 for the book, which was what those books earned out at in those days. Those payments would be guaranteed, but they’d be a flat fee. So if the books sold better than that, the writers would get no more money. If the books sold less, the writers would get more than they usually would.

Business-minded writers realized this: that if they took their upfront payment (which Bantam was offering in four payments) and banked it, they’d make more than they would off the 2% royalty rate. (Money in hand is worth more than money promised. Money in hand allows things like paying down credit cards rather than charging them, and having an emergency fund, rather than borrowing, and so on.)

A bunch of us agreed, our contracts were in the works, and then the idiots at the Science Fiction Writers of America got their undies in a bundle and denounced the entire deal and faxed a protest letter to LucasFilm, naming every single Star Wars writer as agreeing, even those who didn’t agree (and had threatened them if they used our name, like me) and even those who weren’t members (like me). That piece of idiocy cost me at least $90,000 if not more, because I was slated to write a bunch of books, and LucasFilm canceled all communication with me and cut me out of everything, just like they did with all the other authors named.

The books went on without us. And I just thought it a weird deal—that LucasFilm wanted 20%–believing what Bantam put out there (that LucasFilm was greedy) and what SFWA put out there (that LucasFilm was greedy) rather than understanding that LucasFilm was treating the books as a standard licensed product.

My brain was spinning as the negotiation class went on, because I finally understood the other side—the other side not being Bantam Books, but LucasFilm. I was just a sorry little contractor caught in the middle of a negotiation for a licensing deal, with a stupid idiotic third-party organization sticking its ignorant foot into the mess.

Fast forward to a class on the last day called “What You Need To Know About Royalty Rates,” which was fascinating and I’ll deal with some of that later in this blog series as well.

Royalty rates vary from industry to industry, license to license, clout of the licensor, and several other things—such as where the product is going to be distributed. Everyone, over the previous two days, stressed that as a licensor you need to understand the industry you’re licensing your IP to. If you licensing to a toy company, know what the industry standards are for such deals, for sales of that type of toy, the difference between the retailers and so on.

The royalty rates class looked at all kinds of things that can have an impact on royalty rates, including net sales.

In that discussion, one of the agents on the panel clicked the next slide in the deck, which showed Publishing. She made a face, and said, with great disbelief, In publishing, the product is 100% returnable, so you have to figure out how to cap the losses.

She went on to talk about how difficult traditional publishing was to work with because of all the quirks in its contracts.

But I sat there and found my brain spinning again. When I was a baby writer, my book agents could get a minor cap on returns, limiting them to only two or three years. After that, the publisher had to eat the returns.

A standard licensing deal has a three-year term, which meant that publishers were already set up to cap returns earlier than that.

The licensing agent also went on to talk about how she had to explain basic licensing to her publishing partners, and how she had to hold them to the fire to get them to agree to a full royalty for all the participants (meaning that if the brand was say, a star quarterback for the NFL, the NFL would get its share of the royalty and the star quarterback would get his—so maybe a 50-50 split of a 20% royalty—meaning the author would write for a flat fee).

I immediately got retroactive anger.

Licensors from outside the publishing industry—that is, nonwriters. Celebrities. Grumpy Cat—got not just an advance against a substantial royalty, but a term-limited contract, and minimum royalty payment guarantees, and guaranteed marketing/advertising budgets, and the ability to easily and routinely audit the publisher, and, and, and…

Breathe. Breathe.

In other words…

The licensing professionals who worked for a nonwriter licensor, like LucasFilm, got a licensing deal that would make writers and their book agents fall over in stunned surprise. Simply by using industry standard.

Okay, got all of that?

In the past, writers have gone begging to book agents, to publishers, to comic companies, to gaming companies, hoping to get someone to “take a chance” on their writing.

Writers weren’t acting as brand owners, licensors, people in control of their IP, asking for a standard licensing arrangement. Writers were beggars, which put them in a terrible long-standing position with the publishers.

That’s the past. That’s what happened. At some point, I’ll figure out exactly how it happened. But not right now.

What I came out of all of that with was this:

The book, the published book, is not the holy grail.

The story, the thing that the writer has created, is the holy grail. Before publication of any kind.

Because publication is a license. Whether you do it yourself and upload to Amazon (Direct to Retail, is what that’s called) or whether you go through a traditional publisher (Business to Business, is what that’s called {and notice that the businesses are on equal footing in that definition}),  you are licensing a tiny portion of your copyright to make distribution of some product (in this case a book) possible.

We’ve been teaching for years that publication is a license. Not a “sale” because you don’t lose the copyright. You license it.

But Dean and I and damn near every other writer out there (with only a handful of exceptions throughout the last 100 years) have not gone any farther than that. We haven’t thought about the published book as being a single licensed product.

We’ve been conditioned by our upbringing in the business culture of the previous century to think of the published book as the be-all-and-end-all of everything we did.

Which is why it made my brain hurt, back in the 1990s, when writers would sell their manuscript to the movies first. What was the point of that? I wondered. (Besides money.) Because I always saw it through the narrow prism of a published book. What if the movie didn’t get made? That would hurt the published book (and often did).

Because we—none of us—had the right attitude about what we did.

We are not in the publishing industry. We are in the entertainment industry.

We have IP—stories and characters—that we can license throughout that industry, not just to games and movies and book publishers, but to toy companies and app developers and experience developers as well.

I knew the whole world would open up, and sure enough, it has.

The focus for a writer isn’t recreating a traditional publishing company or a 21st century equivalent of a small publishing company; the focus should be treating each story/character as a licensable product along many lines.

Like LucasFilm did with Star Wars. Or rather, like George Lucas did with his silly little science fiction film that no one believed in.

I have tiptoed around this for years, and finally landed squarely on it.

And I know: you’re like…so what? Well, next few blogs. I’ll tell you so what. In great and insufferable detail.

****

 

If you want a deep dive into all of this licensing, take the Learn Along that Dean set up so that he would remember what he learned at the Licensing Expo. He’s got fifty videos, plus you get a free classic workshop called The Magic Bakery which teaches you some of the ins and outs of copyright. (Sounds dull, right? It’s not. It’s about making lots and lots and lots of money.) I don’t know how long Dean will keep the Learn Along up. He says he will stop accepting sign-ups at some point. It’s only $200, and the classic workshop is worth $150. You’re going to get a lot more than that in value.

Anyway, I’ll be exploring a lot of this on my blog in the coming months. Many of the posts will debut on my Patreon page first. There’s already some exclusive content on that site as well about licensing and thought and changes.

If you feel like supporting the blog on an on-going basis, then please head to my Patreon page.

If you liked this post, and want to show your one-time appreciation, the place to do that is PayPal. If you go that route, please include your email address in the notes section, so I can say thank you.

Which I am going to say right now. Thank you!

Click paypal.me/kristinekathrynrusch to go to PayPal.

“Business Musings: Rethinking The Writing Business (Part One),” copyright © 2019 by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Image at the top of the blog copyright © 2019 by  Dean Wesley Smith.

 

 

30 responses to “Business Musings: Rethinking The Writing Business (Part One)”

  1. Bob Mayer says:

    I start every business workshop by telling writers we are in the entertainment business.
    Then I tell them we are the oldest profession: story-tellers. Not authors or screenwriters, but story-tellers. The book or audiobook or film or music is only a medium to get the story to the consumer.
    I remember the Star Wars flap years ago and it was one of the reason I said goodbye to SFWA; I noticed that the people NOT complaining about the flat fee payment were the ones who were going to get it.
    Yes, many of the people who were talking loud some years ago have disappeared. But the same is true of pretty much every traditional author except a handful who I started out with when my first book came out in 1991. This is not a business that makes much sense when you examine it– entertainment is emotion and business is numbers. The two often don’t jive. So to succeed one must have what a famous Monty Python alum, Terry Gilliam, calls: mule-like stupidity.

  2. Danielle says:

    I signed up for Licensing Expo’s mailing list last year after you wrote about it. That, along with your (and Dean’s) posts got me looking out for and noticing properties around me that are successfully licensed, and pondering just how long they’ve been around.
    My husband recently signed us up for the “Boomerang” channel on Amazon Prime’s streaming services. Watching five jillion variations of SCOOBY DOO (I would not call myself a fan of the original ones) got me realizing that hey–these characters have been around 50 years and show no signs of stopping…they keep getting reinterpreted for the times, kept alive with merch and quality movies (live-action and animated)…and I’m sure licensing has a huge part to play in that. Same with a Japanese series, LUPIN THE THIRD, also around since the late 60’s. They’ve got a team of characters that (again) keep having new adventures, getting reinterpreted through the decades. Their creator (an artist nicknamed Monkey Punch) just died but I don’t think that’s going to slow that franchise down at all; a new series is just now being released into US broadcasting.
    Then your post came up, saying, “STORY is what we license, not BOOKS” just before I watched SPIDER MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE. Again, we have one character (with a roster of baddies), one origin story, and yet the story’s able to be remixed over and over (Peter Parker, Miles Morales, etc.) and then filtered through different media (animation, live-action, comics, merch)…I feel like things are beginning to click for me…Books are just the start, aren’t they?

  3. Alex Cruz says:

    Hey Kris!

    Great article. I’ve been a silent reader/fan for a while now. Anyway, I’m a publisher in the Philippines and here’s my take on this. Our company is a sister-brand of the biggest TV-Film Network so, from inception, we’ve always had this mindset that we are in the entertainment industry. I think the rise of brands like Netflix only reinforced that idea. Stories are more important for writers. We’ve always told our writers that you won’t earn a lot from having your book published BUT always think of your book as Step 1 of 10. There should always be a big play in mind.

    Keep up the great work!

  4. Holy God. Talk about a light bulb moment. Thank you very much for all of this.

  5. emmiD says:

    This link is to a c/net article about indie musicians now being able to support themselves because their music is added to the streaming services and they share incrementally in the profits.

    Music looks to be doing what the Zon KU program does—without the scammers ripping off the system.

    https://news.google.com/articles/CAIiEKJDaSuI8eGrVIUoBYwULv4qEwgEKgwIACoFCAow4GowoAgwkRo?hl=en-US&gl=US&ceid=US%3Aen

  6. J.R. Handley says:

    Another winner, thank you for these posts Kris!

  7. Jim M says:

    I write this from bed as I finish my 2nd cuppa before starting another beautiful day.

    In the evening I will sit by my firepit with my wife and dream up lies with her. We’ve got our two newest releases deep in the can (one MS done, other MS just about editor ready) and while we’re not zillionaires, ya know what? $60-80K/year for a pair of 60 year olds who used to drive a cab and be a secretary is just fine.

    I’m not exaggerating when I say we’re grateful every day. We stand on a tripod of giants: Konrath said it was possible, KKR/Smith (I’m unable to separate you two in my mind) told us the broad strokes, and Dawson showed us the nuts and bolts.

    So much for introduction. We’ve only done this over 7 years. The first 5 were grueling b/c although we each put in 50-60 hrs a week learning how to write, the last 2+ have been a lot easier.

    We’ve ALWAYS considered us entertainers. We’re as disposable to a reader as yesterday’s newspaper. We’re also as treasured by readers, tho’ small in number, as any performer. Our job is to transport them w/ a story. Period.

    Someone much, much more experienced than I told me something years ago in her blog that became the main building block of time management as we built our writing biz:
    WIBBOW?

    Would I Be Better Off Writing? That question you proposed years ago saved us so much headaches and aggravation on Social Media.

    I feel soooo growed up right now. You see, I’ve always viewed this biz as entertainment.

    B/c of this blog we weren’t afriad to NEGOTIATE our first contract. We have 3 titles w/ Tantor now for audio releases. And b/c we did some digging, and some discussion back and forth, not only are we happy w/ the deal, we’re over the moon w/ what they invested in it. Some $$ changed hands, contracts were signed, and if they do good, we’ll make $ w/o any further effort.

    Because we licensed our titles.

    I wouldn’t have been able to write this joyful song w/o you. I’m deeply grateful for all you’ve done.

  8. Kate Pavelle says:

    So update, since you want to know what’s hot – I started a profile for an as-of-yet unpublished character on FB and IG, where I spend my SM time. She’s a humanoid with some water-based “powers,” based on a Central European legend of veelas and watermans. I hope she finds an audience of environmentalists and fiction fans as she reports on the state of local rivers and their tributaries. THEN comes the mugs, the stickers… and the book. We’re starting with branding and logo design, because this story’s been in my head for years.
    ALSO: my author friends started making PayHip stores in droves. I don’t know whether it originated with the info I brought from the WMG business workshop or whether it’s an organic development, but so many of us release to our newsletter first, offering an advantageous PayHip price (along with ARC releases,) and only then releasing the book on other platforms. It’s audience reward, and it’s also teaching that audience that good things will come on a regular basis.

  9. “We’re part of the entertainment industry,”

    That is something I’ve been thinking for so many years as I’ve toiled away at figuring out just how to be a writer in this day and age. You articulated that much better than I could have ever done. Thanks for the post! I learn more than I could ever hope to from your writing.

  10. D J Mills says:

    Yes! Exactly! We are licensors.
    I love your logical thoughts on licensing story. We have seen many wonderful examples of the system working, such as all the add-ons for the movies Star Wars and Toy Story.
    I also understood mugs, t-shirts, calendars, etc because of my past illustration work, but didn’t connect it with books or stories. Rather I thought about bookmarks and posters of characters. 🙂
    But I always thought it was only after the book (print or ebook) took off with lots of sales that the movie or game industry got in touch. I never realised as licensor I could approach them. Wow!
    I need to think a lot bigger. 🙂

  11. Jason M says:

    I worked in Hollywood feature film screenplay development for about three years, and this fact described above was drilled into my head over and over and over again during that time.
    The printed novel is not sacrosanct. The ebook is not sacrosanct. The screenplay is not sacrosanct. The audiobook is not sacrosanct.
    Each is a vehicle for delivering a story.
    And there are many, many vehicles available for rent.
    Hell, with websites like Zazzle, the indie author can even create artifacts to memorialize his/her own IP — mugs, keychains, t-shirts, etc. Merch!

  12. “Writers were beggars…”

    I know how it happened. And it’s happening again with Amazon.

    The reason it happened–is because there is/was only one way.

    There is only one way to get published–a traditional publisher.

    There is only one way to get published–get an agent.

    There is only one plaform to make money as an indie–Amazon.

    That belief, that there is only one way, coupled with intense competition and the desire to achieve a dream leads to a weakened position. The person least interested in the relationship has the most power.

    People don’t respect beggars. If you constantly tell someone they’re better than you–they start to believe you.

    Then they start to a use you. If you’re still there they realize their power.

    Bad contract–you sign it.

    Didn’t negotiate the boilerplate deal–my agent is so great!

    Didn’t count some of your royalties (book 2 didn’t sell–but books 1 and 3 did) and only got paid after you noticed the mistake. But still make excuses for the ‘Zon because they made self publishing work.

    It’s the only way–leads to no coice and no power.

  13. allynh says:

    Your point about SFWA putting the turd in the punch bowl is dead on, and still a major problem, along with the Authors Guild.

    How do we protect ourselves from idiot third parties who think that they represent us.

    BTW, I didn’t get much sleep last night, so I’m a little fuzzy. Delete this if you cover it in later posts. HA!

  14. Kate Pavelle says:

    That’s all good stuff, Kris, thank you! I figure I’ll be coming to the expo next year.

  15. James Palmer says:

    Great article series. This couldn’t have come at a better time for me, as I and my co-creator are about to license our giant monster anthology series to a card game developer. I can’t wait to read the rest in this series. You are right. We are in the entertainment business, and that covers a lot of ground: movies, toys, comics, clothing, theme parks, the works!

  16. Bonnie says:

    Oh wow. Oh wow. I have understood what you were saying about leasing pieces of copyright since I started reading about them, mostly because you and Dean are such good teachers, but somehow the idea of “story” not “book” gives this a whole new depth. It’s like I was only looking at part of the puzzle before and now there’s a whole lot more of it (I know I still don’t have the full picture but still–).

  17. Dayle says:

    I read this, and then read an article about a Twitter choose-your-own-adventure about how long you can survive being Beyonce’s assistant (https://twitter.com/CORNYASSBITCH/status/1142591156884127744).

    My first thought was, Kris & Dean should do one on being a succesful indie writer! (Do you get an agent? Click yes or no. [Clicks yes] FAIL! ;-D

  18. Chris says:

    Hi Kris

    Truly insightful, but equal parts daunting and exciting. Thanks for your post.

    If I’ve understood this right, then it’s exactly what the more switched-on traditional publishers are doing (as you have previously mentioned in IP purchases), i.e. not buying a book, but buying a character(s), storyline, plot device, what have you. I wonder then if some genres and series are more suitable to licensing than others. I’m thinking of t-shirts, lunch boxes, etc. not just possible literary “spin-offs” and TV series.

    So, my question is, am I right in thinking that a good fantasy story or a good scifi story, with all the worlds, characters, clothing and culture… big etc. here, might be a potential goldmine for licensing (think Game of Thrones), whereas a contemporary crime series set in London is more limited. At least in some ways.

    Or perhaps, it is only the imagination and competence of the licensor that is limited. 🙂

    Joanne Penn recently talked about there needing to be something more than crazy output and massive marketing budgets for indies today. In my mind, this is it.

    Thanks for a great post. Looking forward to more.

    Chris

    • “Or perhaps, it is only the imagination and competence of the licensor that is limited.” Yep. Mystery readers love add-ons too. Think Sherlock Holmes stuff…

      • Heck, I sell weird add-on stuff for nonfiction technology books. If your work has voice, and that voice finds its audience, that audience will buy anything that evokes the voice.

        My fiction doesn’t have that audience yet, but I have plans for when it does.

        Cozy mystery writers sell recipe books and cat toys.

        Medical thriller writers could sell… I don’t know… bodybag-themed trash bags or something?

        There is ALWAYS something. Let your brain run wild…

  19. Topaz says:

    Hi Kris,

    thank you for this post. I’m already looking forward to read your “great and insufferable detail[s]” in the next posts.

    Best regards,
    Topaz

  20. Emilia says:

    I’m so happy I found your and Dean’s blogs years ago. I get to learn a lot of important things about publishing and it removes a lot of fear and anxiety.I still remember reading horror stories about writing losing the ability to write in their worlds or with their characters because of bad contracts and I thought “I’ll keep writing and practising. When things better I’ll think about publishing those stories and I’ll have developed my writing skills.” Things got better quicker than I thought with self publishing.

  21. Teri Babcock says:

    “That piece of idiocy cost me at least $90,000 if not more, because I was slated to write a bunch of books, and LucasFilm canceled all communication with me and cut me out of everything, just like they did with all the other authors named.”

    Sounds like a great recipe for a class-action suit.

  22. Widdershins says:

    I’ve always considered myself a part of the entertainment industry, by dint of what I wasn’t, (I wasn’t a plumber, for instance) but up until you started this series, I never, really, got what that meant. Now my brain is spinning. 😀

  23. Mark Schultz says:

    I am loving this information! I am sharing it widely.

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