June 9th, 2017

The Legal Side of Writing for Anthologies

Susan Spann

Anthologies are a popular way for authors to gain publishing credits, build an audience, and cross-pollinate readership with other writers in a genre. Anthologies may be traditionally-published, author-published (i.e., self-published, either by the entire group or by the author who edits the larger work), or organized by a charity or writers’ group (like […]

May 12th, 2017

Knowing When to Walk Away from a Publishing Deal

Susan Spann

In the immortal words of Don Schlitz (made famous by Kenny Rogers): “You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away … know when to run.”

Smart words for any gambler, but equally valid for authors. Unfortunately, too many authors don’t have the […]

April 14th, 2017

How to Request A Reversion of Publishing Rights

Susan Spann

As a publishing lawyer, I often hear from authors hoping to terminate old (or unfortunate) publishing contracts and obtain a reversion of rights to their works.

Rights reversion is tricky, especially when the contract doesn’t give the author the right to terminate without the publisher’s agreement or approval. However, it’s important for authors […]

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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