Gloria and Emilio Estefan have an estimated net worth of 700 million dollars. Jimmy Buffett has an estimated net worth of 550 million dollars. What do those artists have in common? They kept control of the copyrights to their songs. They maintained control of those copyrights starting in the 1970s, when other musicians signed away those rights because they were told that to keep those […]
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 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….
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…
Here’s what I wish: I wish that writers had business sense. I wish that they would then use their collective multimillion dollar clout to fight the real war, the one that the music industry is slowly turning its attention to.
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. […]
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 […]
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: Writers: Will Work For Cheap Kristine Kathryn Rusch Here’s something that has nagged at me since the start of the indie publishing revolution: writers—published writers—dismissing money as a factor in publishing their work. The argument goes like this: Traditionally Published Writer A says she’ll never self-publish. When told that her $5000 advance is the only money she’ll make on that book, she […]
The Business Rusch: How To Make Traditional Publishing Writer-Friendly Kristine Kathryn Rusch A few weeks ago, Sebastian Marshall raised eyebrows throughout the writing community by writing an open letter to Carolyn Reidy, CEO of Simon & Schuster. Marshall identifies himself on his blog as a former entrepreneur who wants to become “the most skilled strategist of our era.” He freelances, and sold S&S his first […]