Business Musings: Money (Hollywood Part 4)

About the time I started planning this series, I got an email from a writer friend. The writer friend is one of those people who think they know business, but have never really bothered to learn much about it. Or maybe they’re the kind of person who reads the how-to, remembers the details, but misses the overall point. The result is the same—complete cluelessness. I […]

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Business Musings: A Cautionary Tale (Hollywood Part 1)

I’m starting a tiny new series because of everything that’s been in the news of late. But first, let me give you a caveat. For decades, Dean and I have said “Hollywood” when we really mean the film and/or TV industry. That word wasn’t accurate 30 years ago; it’s less accurate now. The industry has mushroomed. It’s not even one industry anymore. You can do […]

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Business Musings: Power (Contracts/Negotiation)

Much of Apple TV’s high profile The Morning Show focuses on contract negotiation. The show, based on Brian Stelter’s book Top of The Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV, focuses on a network morning “news” program on the day its popular male anchor gets fired for sexual misconduct. No! Apple insists, this is not about Matt Lauer, and that’s mostly true, although Matt […]

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Business Musings: Money 3 Deal Memos (Contract/Negotiation…and…Rethinking The Writing Business Part 12)

Yes, licensing can bite you. And it can bite you when you only look at the money, and not at the rest of the deal.

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Business Musings: More Negotiation Advice From The Hardass

One of the major reasons I write a lot about contracts and negotiation is because in the entertainment field, which is where we writers work, contracts are a nightmare. They’re often written by people who are not lawyers (agent contracts with writers) or negotiated by people who are not lawyers (publishing contracts negotiated by an agent for a writer) or are based on “accepted practices” […]

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Business Musings: An Example of Writerly Cluelessness (Negotiation/Contracts)

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 […]

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Business Musings: Own It

It took me a long time to learn that negotiation is all about strength. If you say, My agent or my lawyer too many times in the middle of a negotiation, the person on the other side of that negotiation won’t want to talk to you. You’re not the one with power.

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Business Musings: I Spent Decades Developing My IP (Contracts/Dealbreakers)

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.

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Business Musings: My Day in Negotiation

In dealing with movie and TV producers, and foreign rights publishers, and pretty much anyone who wants subsidiary rights to my book, I hold all of the power in the negotiation.

I know, I know. A bunch of you just did double-takes. How can I have more power than a Hollywood studio?

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Business Musings: A Small Post on Negotiation

Yeah, yeah, we’re in the middle of a series on branding. But I just sat down at my computer for the first time today, at the time I usually quit writing. It’s the only day this week when I can write my blog, and while I have two in the can (and you can get them if you support me on Patreon), I don’t want […]

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