When You Split with Your Publisher: Book Covers

newspaper-502778_960_720 smMany of us, in our writing odysseys, have had intervals working with traditional publishers, some more reputable than others, and many of us have seen those arrangements come to an end for one reason or another. Our IU mailbag often includes letters from writers who have been taken in by predatory publishers and who want to cut their ties, but also from writers published by small presses that have come on hard times and shuttered their doors. While the larger issue of what to do to get out of a bad contract or when your publisher goes belly-up would take more time to detail, let’s concentrate on one part of that equation: the book cover design.

If this issue resonates for you, the first thing we would suggest Continue reading “When You Split with Your Publisher: Book Covers”

Terms You Need to Know Before Signing a Publishing Contract

read the fine print publishing contract-587249_960_720Here at Indies Unlimited we work hard to help you make good publishing decisions without getting scammed.  We talk about scammy publishers, scammy services, and scammy agents. Some of us learned through the school of hard knocks, while others were cautious from the very beginning.

Still, not a month goes by that I don’t see someone make a decision that has me shaking my head. Quite often, that decision has to do with contracts.

Several years ago I wrote a book, now out of print, warning of some red flags when it comes to signing with a publisher. One of those red flags had to do with contracts. I said: Continue reading “Terms You Need to Know Before Signing a Publishing Contract”

Collaborative Contracts for Authors

collaboration contract for authorsIn this age of cooperation among writers (much better than competition!), it seems like we see a lot more collaborative efforts. From multiple writers on a single book to multiple writers banding together to create boxed sets, more and more authors are finding supportive boosts from working together: the antithesis of the lonely writer squirreled away at a corner desk, writing in dim isolation. The only drawback (if that’s what you want to call it) is the added consideration of how rights are assigned and profits are distributed.

My brother and I have found that we feed off each other’s creativity. We’re both writers, but we differ in that he’s got the knack for writing screenplays, a fairly bare-bones way of setting down a story, while I write novels where I can expand and expound. Either of us, I think, would be hard-pressed to write in the other’s style. So we’ve worked out a way to combine our efforts so all the bases are covered. Continue reading “Collaborative Contracts for Authors”

Let’s Make A Deal

Imagine for a moment that a Big 6 publisher like Random Penguin, Simon, Garfunkel & Schuster, or Harley-Quinn comes knocking at your door. They want to add you to their select stable of published authors. You—yes, you—will now be among the anointed. All you have to do is take the deal. Just sign on the dotted line.

Don’t worry your pretty little head about the fine print. All that stuff about rights and royalties is for the lawyers to worry about. You do have an attorney versed in the specialized field of international copyright and intellectual property law don’t you? Well, never mind then. I’m sure the very reputable publishing firm had their top people go over the contract.

Let’s pull back the curtain and tell them what they’ve won, Johnny. Continue reading “Let’s Make A Deal”