When rights go wrong: A #FutureChat recap

Post-Chatterie Following our #FutureChat on Is ‘out of print’ running out of time?, a couple of additional communications arrived, each worth note. From an author, an interesting point in a private communication about a possible role — and possible mishandling of it — for agents in the question of reversions of rights and contract reform in publishing. This author writes… Read More

Is 'out of print' running out of time?

Never being ‘out of print’ is not good news You can’t self-publish. Because you can’t get your rights back. And your book is nowhere to be seen. Kill the entire outmoded concept of “out of print.” Instead, the contract should define when book rights are being “inadequately exploited” and therefore available for reversion to the… Read More

Publishing’s Bad Infinity: Authors Guild Calls For Time-Limited Contracts

‘To Keep Pace With The Times’ We believe three basic changes are urgently needed: Time-limited contracts, A clause that provides for reversion of unexploited rights, and A specific new unchallengeable definition to replace historic “out of print” clauses that are not remotely relevant in the electronic age. As you’ll know if you’ve been following along… Read More

Reaching for accord: Authors' Contracts and Controversies

Authors approaching accord  Two venerable author advocate groups,  the UK’s Society of Authors and the Authors Guild in the USA, have recently stepped into the limelight to announce that they are fighting for fairer contracts between publishers and authors. The impetus for these actions seems to come from reports that authors’ median incomes have dropped precipitously since 2009, while publishers have fared… Read More

Will author contract reform succeed this time?

‘Can you hear me now?’  A not-so-funny television commercial a while back gave us that line with maddening repetition as we watched a hapless mobile phone customer wander through his world in search of a decent connection. The line might work today for authors, agents, and others who are becoming increasingly frustrated by the “silence of… Read More

A Digital Picket Line: The Authors Guild Would Like Your Attention

‘Authors Are More Vulnerable To Exploitation Than Ever’  London-based publisher Michael Bhaskar has called digitally empowered readers “the power brokers who matter most” in publishing today. While that kind of commentary refers to the industry’s efforts to strike a more direct-to-consumer stance with a curatorial audience, there are other ways in which readers soon may begin… Read More

Writers And Their Business: Don’t Assume It’s All For One

‘Authors Earn Their Living As Freelancers’ There’s a sense these days that the centricity of the author is becoming more convincing in publishing. Or maybe to put it more accurately, it’s becoming harder to think that the centricity of the author won’t be the contextual understanding in publishing some day. Nevertheless, it’s also possible to discern a striking division… Read More

‘The Overselling Of Self-Publishing': New Perspective

‘A Serious Epidemic Of Impatience’  Here in New York City where BookExpo America (BEA) is holding the focus of many in the traditional publishing establishment, a friend and I were finishing lunch at Café Luxembourg when the waiter approached. “I overheard you guys talking about publishing,” he said. “I wondered if you could give me any advice about… Read More

Authors making $8,000 per year? Why write free? A #FutureChat recap

‘Question is, are you making money for someone else?’ That’s the  historical fiction author Jane Steen, English, based in Chicago, during our live Twitter conversation at the end of last week. But not for nothing do independent writers like to “celebrate their diversity,” as they tend to put it on a good day. Views of… Read More

Should Authors Write Without Pay?

From anyone else, the advice might sound like right-headed rationality, itself. But as the author Roxana Robinson (pictured) can tell you, when you’re the president of the Authors Guild, nothing you say seems to fall on unbiased ears. This time, Robinson is talking about what authors may be doing to inadvertently diminish their own perceived… Read More