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 […]

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 […]

June 10th, 2016

Publishing Deals: A Warning About Nondisclosure Clauses

by Susan Spann

A “nondisclosure” agreement (or “NDA”) is a contract or contract clause in which one or both of the parties promise not to discuss certain subjects, facts, or contract terms.

In business, NDAs are common, but they generally only apply to legally protectable “confidential information” belonging to the parties who sign the contract. […]

February 12th, 2016

What Rights Does a Publisher Really Need? (Part 1)

Susan Spann

Susan Spann

Whether you publish traditionally or opt for a self-publishing path, it’s important to understand the terms of the contract under which your books are published (or distributed, in the case of author-publishers). In the months to come, my guest posts here at Writers in the Storm will take a look at some critical […]

October 9th, 2015

Grants of Rights in Anthology Contracts

Susan Spann The Legal Side of Writing for Anthologies (Part 2)

Last month, my #PubLaw guest post here at Writers in the Storm examined some important legal issues authors face when writing for anthologies. Today, we’re taking a closer look at appropriate—and not so appropriate–grants of rights in anthology contracts, which differ from the standard […]