A few months ago, one of my favorite people and one of my favorite editors, Denise Little, contacted me to let me know she’s editing a brand new romance magazine. She wondered if I, or more specifically, Kristine Grayson, could contribute a story. Now, sadly, Grayson’s stories require me to be in a goofy mood, and last fall I was anything but goofy. (I’m […]
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.
Writer Teri Kanefield emailed me after reading the non-compete blog and mentioned that non-compete clauses are mostly illegal under California law, with rare exceptions. She also suspected that they were illegal and thus unenforceable under New York law.
She had reasons for that. I asked her to send me a few citations, so that I could essentially try to recreate her argument, although I admit, as a non-lawyer, I felt uncomfortable doing that. Then she suggested doing a guest blog for me on this topic, and I jumped on it. She’s written it in the form of a letter. It’s fantastic.
I want all of you—indie, hybrid, traditional, with non-competes and without— to read this letter, which follows. I will give you each some non-legal advice on what to do after you’ve read her letter at the end of this blog post.
I was going to write a blog on why you never hire people for a percentage of your sales for the life of the project. I was going to look at some of the contract terms that writers should be wary of, from companies like Booktrope, companies that still exist.
And then I choked on a big gigantic paragraph in the Booktrope sample author agreement. This big gigantic paragraph is the one thing that allowed Booktrope to raise millions of dollars. Had Booktrope succeeded, that success would have come at the expense of its authors.
The scary thing is that other companies are behaving the exact same way.
I’ve written five openings to this blog today. I want to write a completely different blog—and I will. In fact, I’ll write five completely different blogs, but I can’t publish them for several months. If I publish them now, then the people I’m referring to will know I’m referring to them, and that would be bad. Several months from now, I will have accumulated even […]
Those of us who blog regularly about the changes in the publishing industry do not do so from the place of disinterested observers. Even though a few of us are former journalists, we’re not writing like the journalists we once were. Yes, we’re imparting information, but we’re imparting information with a bias. For those of us who were formerly in the midlist, our bias is […]
Fiction River #2 will be coming out in about a month. I can share both the final cover for the trade paper and the list of names in the volume. John Helfers did a fantastic job editing this issue. It’s got some edgy stories, and powerful stories (which are, sometimes, one and the same). I’m really pleased with our second issue. So subscribe now in order […]
I have a sticky note on my computer marked “Deal Breakers—by July 30.” It’s a reminder to revise the deal breakers article I wrote last year for the binder that Novelists Inc. give out at their conference every year. I was scheduled to speak last year, but had to cancel because of problems with the estate we dealt with all fall. As a result, my […]
The Business Rusch: Odds, Ends, and More Slush Pile Truths Kristine Kathryn Rusch It’s amazing how much can change in a week. Since I wrote “Common Sense & The Writer” in an Idaho hotel room last Monday, this (and more!) has happened in the field: Indie e-book bestseller John Locke made a “distribution” deal with Simon & Schuster for the paper rights to his books; […]
The Business Rusch: Deal Breakers Continued Kristine Kathryn Rusch Before we get too deep into this week’s blog post, let me point you to a few things that came up in the last few days. Last week, I recommended that all writers, even those with an agent, hire an intellectual properties attorney to vet new contracts. Most agents do not have a law degree, […]