March 10th, 2017

10 Questions to Ask Before You Accept a Traditional Publishing Deal

Susan Spann

The explosion of independent publishing houses in the U.S. and abroad makes it vital for authors to investigate publishers carefully before signing a contract. While even diligent research can’t ensure you’ll avoid every possible problem, here are some questions to ask before you accept a traditional publishing deal:

Does the Contract Require You […]

February 10th, 2017

Pirates Beware: How to Prepare and Use a DMCA Takedown Notice

Susan Spann

 Admit it…you’d like this sign at your desk.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) is a U.S. law that contains a number of protections for content creators, Internet Service Providers, and the public, generally designed to “maintain a balance between the rights of authors and the larger public interest” including access to information.

[…]

January 13th, 2017

Negotiating Options in Publishing Deals

Susan Spann

“Option clauses” or “options,” are a provision in a publishing deal that gives the publishing house a “right of first refusal” on the author’s next work. While this initially sounds like a great idea – most authors want to continue being published – traditional option clauses often contain some traps that authors should […]

October 14th, 2016

Understanding “Advances” in Publishing Deals

Susan Spann

“Advances” – technically, advances against royalties, are lump-sum payments some publishers pay to authors “in advance” of publishing the author’s work.

More simply, an “advance” is the money an author receives up front on a publishing deal.

Not all authors receive advances, and not all publishers offer them. Small and micro-publishers often pay […]

August 12th, 2016

Understanding Ebook Rights

Susan Spann

Whether you publish traditionally or as an author-publisher, it’s critical to understand the rights you own—and the ones you give away (even temporarily) by contract. Otherwise, it’s impossible to tell if you’re getting an excellent deal, an industry-standard arrangement, or an offer you should walk (or run) away from.

Today, let’s look at […]