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 […]

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 […]

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 12th, 2016

Life After NaNoWriMo—What’s Next?

Piper Bayard

It’s December—the month after National Novel Writing Month. We blink our eyes and search around like the lights just came up in the bar. Or maybe our expressions are more like that look a cat gets when a kid puts a paper bag over it for a few minutes and then […]