It feels odd to talk about how a contract ends when you’re entering a brand new relationship with a publisher. Both of you feel like this is a Great Thing, and it’s all shiny and celebratory and marvelous. And maybe your relationship will be that way.
But the law is all about planning for the worst-case scenario, not the best case. It’s all about protecting someone, so that someone, in my opinion, should be the writer, not the publisher.
Since 2009 or so, publishers have gotten quite nasty about contracts. In short, they’re refusing to let any contract terminate.
This is causing all kinds of problems for writers.
Hmmm. That sounds like a great story title. I must consider it. But right now, it’s a title for this blog post. Because at the moment, you can find my work in three different bundles. First, for those of you who love short stories, have I got a bundle for you. Jamie Ferguson put together […]
Fluffy leads the perfect life. Her cat bed, her kibble, a human to wait on her. Until they come. And they will change everything—unless she finds a way to stop them. “What Fluffy Knew,” one of Hugo Award-winning author Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s most popular stories, is free on this website for one week only.
She’s her mother’s daughter, flirtatious and bright. She’s her father’s daughter, ruthless and cold. Which part of her will win?
Before her twenty-fifth year, she bore the titles of princess and prisoner, royal daughter and daughter of a traitor. Now, Elizabeth Tudor rules England as its queen and, in her private moments, cannot quite believe she survived.
To figure out how to rule, she first needs to reclaim her past, and to do that, she must find the last thing her mother ever gave her—a ruby ring in the shape of a falcon.
“Bring Me the Head of Anne Boleyn” by New York Times bestselling author Kristine Kathryn Rusch is free on this website for one week only.
Writerly weirdness causes conflict with our careers and our businesses, in part because we are (as a group) imaginative, rule-bound, pessimistic, ethical, and the center of our own small universes.
We bring all of those things into the realm of contracts.
Be honest with yourself: What do you imagine will happen to you if you don’t follow your book contract to the letter?
Harvey DeLeo spent most of his long career working on one thing: a time machine. Now, he fears he might run out of time to use it. And if that happens, all of his work, all of the time spent will prove meaningless. Because his whole life comes down to one moment—and he might only get one second chance.
“The First Step” by New York Times bestselling author Kristine Kathryn Rusch was a finalist for the Asimov’s Readers Choice Award and is free on this website for one week only.
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.
Lt. Kenyon serves his country and the war effort by censoring the crew’s letters home, even if his shipmates hate him for it. But when the crew begin writing about a ghostly vision—a vision impossible to believe but inadvisable to ignore—he must address the danger facing the ship. And he must make a difficult choice that will affect every last man on board.
“Tribute” by World Fantasy Award-winning author Kristine Kathryn Rusch is free on this website for one week only.
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.