In November, 2007, the members of the Writers Guild of America (East & West) walked off the job as part of a contract negotiation with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. (AMPTP) That strike was consequential for a variety of reasons. But what caught me at the time, and catches me now, was how prescient that strike was. The writers walked off because, […]
The universe keeps giving me excellent examples of things I try to teach on this blog. When I wrote a recent post titled “Knowing What You Want,” that example was one of the first positive examples I had found on how to negotiate. Today’s post does not contain a positive example, I’m afraid. It’s an example of something I stress over and over again, but […]
I just had the most illuminating conversation. I had been consulting with someone about one of the TV deals I’m currently negotiating. I had run into a situation I had never encountered before, and I needed help evaluating it. No one I knew personally could help me. Either my good friends had not done a TV deal in years or they had let their agent […]
I was trained in traditional publishing, where writers go begging for opportunity. Writers are taught to beg, from professors (let me into your class!) to critique groups (is my writing good enough?) to agents (will you take me on?) to publishers (will you buy my book?).
We’re not trained to value what we’ve built.
I have lots of fun stuff to share. I hope you saw that the latest Diving novel is out (and the Recommended Reading List has returned). I also have a story in The Best American Mystery Stories 2016, edited by Elizabeth George. I love her work, so I’m particularly flattered that she chose a story of mine. If you haven’t read “Christmas Eve at the […]
In 2013, I published a book called Dealbreakers. It is now woefully out of date, so I started a new series which I have since compiled into another book. That book will appear in November of 2016. As I always do, I wrote the book out of order and in public. I’m leaving the blog posts up, in the order in which I wrote them […]
For the past several months, I’ve focused on contracts, contract negotiations, rights, and dealbreakers. I know I lost some of my indie (self-published) readers, who are waiting until I finish this series before they return to reading my blog. Those readers believe they will never sign the kind of contract I’m dealing with. They also believe that they’re protected because they’re in business for themselves. […]
Grand Central’s parent company Hachette is suing Grahame-Smith for $500,000, the advance on that second book of this contract.
Figure this: The publisher believes it’s better to sue the author than it is to leave that $500,000 outstanding. There are several reasons that Hachette could have made the decision to file suit.
Expect more of these kinds of suits in the future. If the writers who got huge advances do not meet their obligations with the publishers, the publishers will cut their losses and run as fast as they possibly can.
But what does this suit have to do with the contracts/dealbreakers series?
For the first time, I can share with you a complete publishing contract.
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.
We’re almost to the end of the contracts/dealbreakers series. I can’t tell you how pleased I am about this, because I feel dirty just looking at some of these contracts and agreements.
Most of you indie writers tuned this series out long ago, because you believed it didn’t apply to you. And yet, I read all the time about indie writers who sign with an agent to sell the print versions of an ebook and to sell foreign rights and auxiliary rights.
Bad move. Really, really, really bad move.