Buy books by AWers

 

Welcome to the AbsoluteWrite Water Cooler! Please read The Newbie Guide To Absolute Write

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 60

Thread: Wizards of the Coast / Mirrorstone / Discoveries

  1. #1
    SRHowen
    Guest

    This might interest you--

    Open call--Wizards of the Coast

    Check it out--

    Shawn

  2. #2
    NicoleJLeBoeuf
    Guest

    Wizards of the Coast / Mirrorstone / Discoveries

    Hi all,

    {obligatory First Post greeting}

    I'm been having a wonderful and educational time lurking around these boards! (Ordered a copy of Jenna's book, too, and I'm really excited about it - it looks likely to help me fulfill one of my new year's resolutions, which is to actually start supplementing the household income with my pen before my book finally sells...) So - thanks for all the posty goodness!

    {END obligatory First Post greeting}

    My question has to do with Wizards Of The Coast's fiction submission legal agreement.

    I'm brand new to the world of marketing book-length manuscripts. I've done-and-won NaNoWriMo three times, and am finally taking one of those manuscripts and attempting to edit it into publishable shape. Yay me! Well, a fellow writer in my area alerted me to WOTC's current Open Call for Novel Submissions.

    I thought, Cool! How often do WOTC have a truly Open Call, where you can submit unsolicited manuscripts that have nothing to do with their gaming systems? So I took a look.

    My first bad impression came when I saw that they buy "all book rights" which sounds a little greedy. But on the other hand, they're going to be doing a LOT of publicity for this bad boy, and this is only my first novel so it won't be my best, so... OK. And for all I know "all book rights" is normal - this is where you guys come in and tell me whether it is or isn't. I know "all rights" isn't much fun in the world of short fiction and articles, where an author will want to resell and anthologize, but maybe in novels it's different?

    But the main reason I'm posting is their legal agreement. The excerpts that I'm concerned about are

    (c) SUBMITTEE acknowledges that the Idea may be identical with, similar to the theme, plot, idea, format, or other element of the material that Wizards has independently developed or that has or may come to Wizards from other sources and SUBMITTEE shall not be entitled to any compensation by reason of the use by Wizards of such similar or identical material.
    and

    2. Waiver

    Submittee completely releases and forever discharges Wizards, its parent, affiliates, and their respective past, present and future successors, officers, directors, agents, and employees, from all claims, damages (including but not limited to general, special, punitive, liquidated and compensatory damages) and causes of action of every kind, nature and character, known or unknown, in law or equity, fixed or contingent, which Submittee may now have, or Submittee ever had arising from or in any way connected with the submission of the Idea.
    Taken together, these really worry me. I mean, I know that it's amaturish to worry overmuch about your unsolicited submission getting stolen by the editor to whom you're submitting it. But when the contract first says, "You acknowledge that we might publish something similar to your stuff and accept it's just a coincidence," and then, "You promise never to sue us ever no matter what," well, it sounds like they're writing themselves permission to steal submissions.

    My experience with novel submissions really is nil. I know to avoid scammers who break the golden rule of "money flows toward the author," sure, but other than that I'm a little clueless. I'd really appreciate the advice you folks could offer.

    So, thanks in advance! All the best and happy new year,
    --
    Niki
    Last edited by James D. Macdonald; 07-13-2005 at 09:31 PM. Reason: Changed title

  3. #3
    Roger J Carlson
    Guest

    Re: WOTC Novel Submissions - Is this Legal Agreement legit?

    Here's a website that might help: www.ivanhoffman.com/helpful.html

    Don't bother to write him to ask a question unless you're willing to pay $1000 retainer. Still, he's giving away a lot of good (if general) information.

    --Roger Carlson
    www.rogerjcarlson.com

  4. #4
    vstrauss
    Guest

    Re: WOTC Novel Submissions - Is this Legal Agreement legit?

    I'm not a lawyer. But the clauses you've quoted from the Submission Agreement (and the Agreement as a whole) are a lot like the standard waiver most film production companies and screenplay agents require writers to sign on submission. It's not meant to make it easier for the company to steal your ideas, but to protect the company from frivolous lawsuits.

    I know that some writers cross out various parts of these waivers when submitting--there's been some discussion of that here, but I'm afraid I don't remember the details.

    "All book rights" isn't unusual--publishers want as much as they can get. Usually there's a negotiation process by which you bargain to keep some of your rights, but I wonder how flexible WOTC will be.

    The submission guidelines page is titled "Fiction Novel Proposal Guidelines." Sigh.

    - Victoria

  5. #5
    James D Macdonald
    Guest

    Re: WOTC Novel Submissions - Is this Legal Agreement legit?

    What do you expect? They're a friggin' game company.

    I've written for other game companies (not WOTC), and the experience has varied from Lots of Fun to Horrible.

    They aren't out to rip you off in unusual ways, if that's what your question is, and they do sell a ton of books.

  6. #6
    NicoleJLeBoeuf
    Guest

    Re: WOTC Novel Submissions - Is this Legal Agreement legit?

    Thank you all! I really appreciate the input. It sounds like my paranoia is not well-founded after all and can be put to bed, leaving me with the question, "Now do I really want to submit my first novel to a gaming company?"

    It would potentially give my husband and I something to brag about on D&D night, anyway! ;-)

  7. #7
    FM St George
    Guest

    Re: WOTC Novel Submissions - Is this Legal Agreement legit?

    been there with ya - I submitted for last year's Open Call for the Maiden of Pain book and have one sitting with them for the Eberron book right now.



    just keep in mind that it's got to be expandable into a gaming format - I have a good paranormal that I'm schlepping around to agents and the like, but it's not a gaming-type that can be expanded into a D20.

    *notices odd looks*

    it's a whole different world, really...


  8. #8
    NicoleJLeBoeuf
    Guest

    Re: WOTC Novel Submissions - Is this Legal Agreement legit?

    just keep in mind that it's got to be expandable into a gaming format
    See, that's the weird thing - this particular call for submissions seems to be an exception. The page says something like, "If it would belong on the fantasy/sci-fi/horror shelves, we want it." That makes it sound like they don't particularly expect any obvious gaming potential this time around.

    Not that I don't expect them to be looking for gaming potential in submissions, but the guidelines do make it sound like a secondary concern only.

    Good to hear from someone who's submitted to WOTC before!

  9. #9
    SRHowen
    Guest

    Re: WOTC Novel Submissions - Is this Legal Agreement legit?

    This one is for a new line of books they are launching, I take it as a more traditional line of books.

    Shawn

  10. #10
    reph
    Guest

    Re: WOTC Novel Submissions - Is this Legal Agreement legit?

    And for all I know "all book rights" is normal...

    I hesitate to speak up, given that some experts ahead of me in line have said "all book rights" is OK, but to me it sounds like too many rights.

    Does the contract have another "hold harmless" clause saying that the author is also responsible for every legal cost that might ever come from anywhere?

  11. #11
    NicoleJLeBoeuf
    Guest

    Re: rights

    I didn't see one, reph. Then again, this legal agreement (which authors are expected to sign unaltered) is only upon submission, not acceptance.

    In your experience, how much in the way of rights does a publisher normally expect as part of the deal?

  12. #12
    HapiSofi
    Guest

    Re: rights

    Unaltered? Signed on submission? What are they doing that's that hot?

    WOTC is a company that for a while was making so much money that they could thrive in spite of not knowing much about what they were doing. I remember a friend coming back from talking to them about a business deal. He was shaking his head over things like their apparent lack of acquaintance with shipping arrangements other than consumer-retail-level UPS, FedEx, and USPO. He was also puzzled by their ToC, which he described to me in some detail. I listened to his description, then said, "Oh! I know what that is. They've got it set up like a concom [a science fiction convention volunteer committee]."

    They've gotten better since then, but they're still prone to be wonky. Withal, they're not an especially malign company. That doesn't mean they can't write a contract that'll screw you over, but there'll be less intention in the screwing, and you might be able to talk them out of it.

  13. #13
    reph
    Guest

    Re: rights

    In your experience, how much in the way of rights does a publisher normally expect as part of the deal?

    I'm not experienced as a book author, but the section called Business of Writing at this site says much about contracts:

    www.burryman.com

  14. #14
    NicoleJLeBoeuf
    Guest

    Re: rights

    Thanks! I shall check it out.

  15. #15
    pencilone
    Guest

    Wizards' Open Call

    What do you guys think about Wizards of the Coast (and implicitly about their new Open Call : www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=books/main/opencall2004.
    I'm very enthusiastic about it as I'd like to submit, but it just occurred to me to make a search about them here and I could not find anything.

    It might be obvious to everybody that they are OK, but I had a look on Preditors and Editors for Wizards of the Coast and I could not find them there.

    Thanks,

    Pencilone

  16. #16
    AnneMarble
    Guest

    Re: Wizards' Open Call

    There is a related discussion on this board at p197.ezboard.com/fabsolutewritefrm11.showMessage?topicID=656.topic.

    Not sure if those posts actually answer your question, but maybe they'll help.

  17. #17
    pencilone
    Guest

    Re: Wizards' Open Call

    Anne,

    Thanks for your post, I don't know how I did not find that thread before.:b

    Wizards of the Coast have loads of books ( amongsts their authors I've noticed R. A. Salvatore), and I wonder why they are not more popular on the renowned sites that list recommended publishers.

    Anyone else thinking of submitting? I for one think it's a very encouraging call for first time novelists.

    Thanks,

    Pencilone

  18. #18
    DaveKuzminski
    Guest

    Re: Wizards' Open Call

    That's because P&E has them listed as a game publisher which is their main product, I believe.

  19. #19
    detante
    Guest

    Re: Wizards' Open Call

    That's because P&E has them listed as a game publisher which is their main product, I believe.
    Correct. They are a subsidiary of Hasbro. Among other things, they publish the trading card games Duel Monsters, Magic the Gathering, Neopets, and Star Wars.

  20. #20
    SRHowen
    Guest

    Re: Wizards' Open Call

    Just to give a little more info--from the WoTC site on the open call. It seems that this is going to be a new imprint for them.

    Wizards of the Coast is seeking proposals for its brand-new line of fiction! Our exciting new imprint will publish science fiction, fantasy, horror, alternate history, magic realism, or anything in-between. If it can be shelved in the Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror section of your local bookstore, we want it! We're interested both in the first book in a trilogy or longer series as well as stand-alone stories.

    We are looking for the best, most original idea as well as compelling writing. We'll consider any style and subject matter. Please be aware, though, that what will count most for us is your ability to tell an exciting, original story in prose that makes us want to keep turning the pages.

    To launch this book and the new imprint under which it will be published, we are planning a substantial marketing campaign. This book will be one of the most important that we publish in 2006.

    Your submission may be sent through an agent or you may submit without an agent.
    Shawn

  21. #21
    NicoleJLeBoeuf
    Guest

    When Publishers ask for ''all rights''

    Hi all,

    Several publishers out there have submission guidelines that specify purchase of "all rights." For example, the WOTC Open Call we recently discussed here, or children's magazines like Cricket and Highlights.

    What exactly does that mean, legally?

    Does it mean that the publisher is buying the very copyright, making your submission for all purposes a work for hire if accepted?

    Is exclusivity implied, such that after selling a story to Cricket you cannot reprint elsewhere? (Of course, I have seen stand-alone picture book publications of stories I remember reading in Cricket, but I don't know which publication came first or whether guidelines changed or how much negotiationss went into process.)

    I'm considering entering WOTC's contest, but aside from that I haven't submitted to these kinds of markets because I have assumed that the answer to both of the above questions would be "yes". How accurate are my assumptions? Is my avoidance of these markets a healthy thing or a career-stunting paranoia?

    Thanks again!

  22. #22
    aka eraser
    Guest

    Re: When Publishers ask for ''all rights''

    I'd call it "healthy." Unless, like Readers Digest or a handful of other pubs, the pay is 4-figures-plus, I'd never sell all rights to a piece.

    Sometimes you can negotiate rights though. If you think a piece is perfect for a rights-grabbing mag, you can indicate in your query or submission that you're interested in selling first North American serial (for instance) with 60, or 90, or 120 day exclusivity. The worst they can say is "no."

  23. #23
    James D Macdonald
    Guest

    Re: When Publishers ask for ''all rights''

    When they ask for "all rights" that means all rights. That includes reprint rights ... so yeah, you won't be able to resell your story.

    If someone wanted to buy "all rights" for eternity, well ... they'd have to pay a lot.

    Ask yourself, what rights do they actually use? Do they need the dramatic performance rights? 'Cause if you sell them "all rights" they get that one too.

    You'll keep the copyright. Check on the reversion clause. Under what circumstances do the rights revert to you? Negotiate.

    Ask your agent about specific terms in the contract.

  24. #24
    pencilone
    Guest

    Re: When Publishers ask for ''all rights''

    Hi Nicole,

    I understand you completely as I'm also very confused about submitting or not to Wizards Open Call.

    I'd appreciate if someone could give a clear advice of what it is best: to submit to their Open Call or not. This will be my first submission and while I would not like to cut all my rights from the start, at the same time I would not like to miss on an unique opportunity for new writers ...

    So what is best: to submit or not? (we even have to sign a legat doc on the initial idea submission too). Does submitting to them means aiming too low and we should think about Tor or Baen instead?

    Thanks,

    Pencilone

  25. #25
    James D Macdonald
    Guest

    Re: When Publishers ask for ''all rights''

    What WOTC is looking for is all book rights and an option on gaming rights. That doesn't sound too bad. Their rather bizarre agreement redefines "Submission" as "Idea," but they don't actually seem to be attempting to lay a claim to your idea (ideas can't be copyrighted in any case).

    Their description of what to put in a submission package is a pretty good one for any submission to any publisher (follow that publisher's guidelines, though -- if a publisher's guidelines differ from general advice, follow their instructions, not mine).

    If you should happen to be accepted by the WOTC open call, that would be a great time to look for an agent to actually negotiate the contract.

    <HR>

    As far as Cricket and Highlights -- their contracts are a scandal. I personally wouldn't submit to them. If you're content to have the first check you get be the only check you ever get for that story (no matter how many times it's reprinted), that's a decision only you can make. On the other hand, it's a professional sale.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Custom Search