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.

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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 […]

December 9th, 2016

How to Find Your Agent Match

Susan Spann

While authors often obsess about getting any agent to represent them, in reality, writers should be concerned about finding the right agent—the one whose personality, business habits, and expectations are a match to the author’s own.

The author-agent relationship is a partnership. Like any business relationship, its success is heavily dependent […]

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 […]