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Thread: [Contracts] Contracts and Terminology

  1. #1
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    [Contracts] Contracts and Terminology

    Rather than copy her carefully researched collection of links, I'm going to link to Victoria Strauss's blog post regarding Publishing Industry Terms and Contracts: Some Resources, and Some Advice.

    Her caveat is worth repeating:

    Quote Originally Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware
    Like many other things to do with publishing, there's no one definitive source for this kind of information--you have to pull it together from multiple locations. Below are some resources that I've picked up in my travels around the Internet.

    (Always, always vet the source for information like this. Make sure that the individual or group compiling it is qualified to do so. One of the things that's never in short supply on the Internet is bad or outdated or incomplete information put together by people who know even less than you do.)
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  2. #2
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    On Editing Clauses in Publishing Contracts by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware
    Editing clauses are one of those contract areas where there needs to be a balance between the publisher's interests and the writer's. A publisher needs a certain amount of latitude to edit a manuscript to prepare it for publication (assuming it's professional enough to do editing at all--you might be surprised how many small press contracts I see that don't include editing clauses). It also needs to have the right to final approval--it doesn't want to be forced to publish a manuscript that the author can't or won't revise to the publisher's satisfaction.

    A writer, on the other hand, needs assurance that they will be a partner in the editing process, and that their work won't be changed in major ways without their permission.
    You can read the entire post here. See also the comment from Teresa Nielsen Hayden.
    Last edited by AW Admin; 03-03-2015 at 10:44 PM.
    Please take a look at The Newbie Guide to Absolute Write.

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    This is Medievalist in an Official Capacity. She is not Herself.

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  3. #3
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    On Contract Red Flag: Net Profit Royalty Clauses from Writer Beware.

    Note:
    Quote Originally Posted by Writer Beware
    The ideal royalty is paid on list or cover price--the actual retail price of the book. So if your list price is $20, and your royalty is 10%, you'll get $2 for every book sold. For big trade publishers, including larger independents, royalties paid on list price is standard for domestic sales.
    But also:
    Quote Originally Posted by Writer Beware
    Royalties paid on net income aren't as desirable as royalties paid on list price--obviously--but they are common in the small press world, and don't necessarily ring warning bells. However, you do need to carefully parse the contract language, and understand what you're signing.
    Read the whole post.
    Please take a look at The Newbie Guide to Absolute Write.

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  4. #4
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    9/2015 SFWA (Science Fiction Writers of America) on Indemnity clauses and a model magazine contract with explanations you can download and use for comparison.

    Quote Originally Posted by SFWA
    There is a recent tendency of some publishers to change their contracts in manners that are decidedly unfavorable to authors. We have had and are having particular issues with indemnity clauses.
    See: Contract Safeguards Under Seige
    Please take a look at The Newbie Guide to Absolute Write.

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  5. #5
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    Termination clauses are contract sections that stipulate under what conditions and when the contract between an author and a publisher may be terminated, or ended.

    There's usually a time period, the term, stipulated in contracts not only for severing the relationship (a contract with a publisher should not be for life).

    Some contracts attempt to charge a fee to allow an author to end the term "early," before the contractually specified date.

    This is a red flag: see Victoria Strauss of SFWA's Writer Beware on Termination Fees in Publishing Contracts: Why They're Not Just Bad For Authors.
    Please take a look at The Newbie Guide to Absolute Write.

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    This is Medievalist in an Official Capacity. She is not Herself.

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