Most writers check their traditional book contracts for the advance, the payout, and the due dates. They don’t look at anything else. Writer after writer, and editor after editor, have told me this.
I always look toward the editing clauses first. Because if they’re ugly, the rest of the contract usually is as well.
This applies to all kinds of writing for traditional markets, especially for nonfiction and short fiction. I’ve seen terrible editing clauses in those contracts, and what’s ironic is that those clauses often seem to be the most innocuous.
What you want is complete control of the content of your work.
Recently, I got e-mail from another career writer, talking about a rights grab from a traditional publisher. I saw the document in question; it’s egregious. I do not have permission to talk about this particular document nor would I, since it’s proprietary, but it’s the kind of document I’ve seen at least six times in the last two years. These documents are addendums to publishing […]
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: Advocates, Addendums, and Sneaks, oh my! Kristine Kathryn Rusch Sometimes I’m really slow on the uptake. I mean face-palm, well-duh slow. Sometimes it takes a knock to the head to make me put all the pieces together into one big gigantic lump. The knock on the head came earlier in the week, as I read various documents sent to me for my […]
< The Business Rusch: Understanding Publishing (Changing Times Continued) Kristine Kathryn Rusch As I mentioned last week, I’m going to finally examine the elephant in the room—the changes in my industry, publishing. I realize that many of you reading this blog aren’t in publishing, but you do run businesses. I hope that the blogs I write in the next few weeks will remain relevant to […]