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You should always give a contract a solid look over or, better yet, hire a lawyer so you know what you are getting into. According to Kristine Kathryn Rusch, publishing contracts are getting even more – shall I say politely – complicated for authors. She has some great tips for you guys, so go check it out. Don’t be in a rush to sign away your rights, or do something you will regret later in the excitement of the moment.
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Business Musings: The Grant of Rights Clause (Contracts/Dealbreakers)
by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
I’m sure some of you have noticed that the art for this blog isn’t my usually snarky commentary on whatever topic I’ve chosen. I decided to use the photo header for this blog to promote the Storybundle that I’m in. Why? (Aside from shameless self-promotion?)
Because the Storybundle includes a book of mine that you might need to do half the stuff I mention in the contracts and dealbreakers posts. I’ve recommended How To Negotiate Anything before. It’s my biggest seller in nonfiction. (You can also find it in audio and free on this site in an earlier draft.)
However, if you get the book in the bundle, you also get nine other stellar writing and business books, plus you can donate to The Pearl Foundation, a charity that helps support adult education.
There. Ad over.
Now onto today’s topic.
I am revising the Dealbreakers 2013 book. I had hoped to revise it every year, but I get so discouraged looking at the contracts as they exist now. I actually started to revise in the hopes of having the new book in this Storybundle, and then discovered I had so much new material that I didn’t have time to finish the book by mid-May.
Why is there new material? Because traditional publishing contracts have gotten ugly (or should I say uglier?). And they’re not alone. Contracts for movie deals, gaming rights, comic books, and now works in translation are also getting more and more draconian.
Corporate entities have finally gotten a clue about the value of copyright and trademark. Now, those entities which own many of the companies you’ll deal with—even as an indie writer—want to own each piece of the copyright to any property they put their grubby little fingers on.
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