Quick Links: The Legal Side of Writing for Anthologies

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I have posted before about my love for anthologies, as a great way to find new authors. It is a great way to get your work in front of more people, and for the reader you get a bunch of great stories, usually at a bargain price. Susan Span from Writer’s Unboxed discusses the legal side of anthologies, and what you need to watch out for.

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The Legal Side of Writing for Anthologies

Be careful, cause friends don't let friends sign shitty contracts.
Be careful, cause friends don’t let friends sign shitty contracts.

June 20, 2016

By Susan Spann

Anthologies offer writers an excellent platform for shorter works and create opportunities for reader cross-pollination. When managed and published properly, anthologies have many benefits and relatively few drawbacks for authors. However, authors do need to ensure–before submitting or signing a contract–that the anthology publisher is offering industry-standard contract terms and proper legal protection for the contributing authors and their works.

Today, we’ll review a few of the legal traps and pitfalls authors should beware (and avoid) when contributing work to an anthology:

1.   Contracts Are Not Optional.

Every anthology should use a professional, written publishing contract (or release) containing industry-standard terms for anthology publication. If the publisher is taking only non-exclusive rights, and not limiting the author’s right to reprint and re-use the work in any way, a simple release will often suffice, but even this should be in writing. (Note: The author should always retain the copyright and subsidiary rights to the work, as well as the right to re-publish in other contexts. Also, the author should never have to pay the publisher any money or be required to purchase copies of the finished anthology.)

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