Monday, September 20, 2010

Comment worth repeating from M Pax

At 20 September, 2010 , Blogger M Pax said...
Thanks for bringing up the intricacies of sales / contracts. I once did contracts for writes for a network [television]. Contracts are negotiable. I would make sure there is a time limit on use and exclusivity reverts back to me at a certain date. If not, I guess I would refuse the deal for a short story.

I think they count on us being desperate. Seems the key is to always respect ourselves and our work.


At 20 September, 2010 , Blogger Welwyn-on-books said...

Thanks, Make Peace (who knows, it might be what you meant by your name? ) for your valuable advice. A professional's words of wisdom in the contract area are very useful. I'm really happy that MPax told us what she used to do, and then gave her advice.

When MPax says contracts are negotiable she means you can cross things out if you don't like them. You have good instincts, writers. If you didn't, you wouldn't be writers. So if something strikes you as unfair or not quite right, cross it out, initial the cross-out and see whether they were just trying for all they can get and will take your story anyway. If they accept it, you've lost nothing and gained a whole lot.

Kudos to MPax also for reminding us that it's normal to have time limits on the use of your work. I never did for my novels, and was amazed to discover that she put time limits on the foreign rights sales of my novels. In other words, she got my books until hell froze over, but the *publishers* she sold my books to in Germany, Belgium, all of Scandinavia, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Japanese, Bulgarian and who can remember them all, *they* all only got rights to translate and sell my books in their home area for at most six years (renewable).

I told you I made mistakes. We all do, until we get burned. The contract is the most important document you will never read in your whole life.


See you soon,


At 21 September, 2010 , Blogger M Pax said...

I don't know why I type homonyms when I'm in a hurry. That should say 'rights'. Yes, they are negotiable. If not, walk.

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