Posts Tagged ‘john scalzi’

John Scalzi has a nice piece up today with encouraging words about persistence in writing… I particularly like this bit:

Who knows what will happen tomorrow.

Will you, as a writer, become like George RR Martin? Probably not. But you might find your own measure of success, so long as you keep showing up.


This last weekend I had an enjoyable time at the Confusion convention, which is no surprise, as I usually do — it’s one of the reasons I’ve gone back to it now for nine years running. I mostly hung out in the bar and talked to writers, doing the usual combination of business talk and complete idiocy, as writers generally do at conventions when they chat with each other.

One evening I talked to a couple of different authors about writing careers and the ups and downs careers have, and how from time to time we’re all filled with frustration with them, especially during a downturn. We all want to be on award lists; we all want to have bestsellers. If those things don’t happen we can wonder if what we’re doing matters much at all. As we were talking about it I came up with a metaphor which I…

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Terrific, this award is very well deserved:)


The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America has named Samuel R. Delany its newest Grand Master. All the details are here.

I’m still doing my “no comments on SFWA for a year” thing, so I won’t discuss this substantively at the moment. I will say this: This is an award both well chosen and well deserved.

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This is still in progress but John Scalzi reports new updates have been made to the previously mentioned contracts through Random House’s Hydra and Alibi imprints:

Random House Makes Changes to Hydra/Alibi Contracts

… and Scalzi’s immediate followup:

Immediate Thoughts on the Random House eBook Imprint Contract Changes.

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John Scalzi’s righteous assault on bad deals for authors continues, with a look at a contract from Alibi, a sibling imprint of the previously discussed Hydra. The downsides look very similar and the upsides are few and very far between:

A Contract From Alibi

So, don’t ask me how, but I have in my hands (from what I consider a reputable source) a contract from Alibi, which is the sibling imprint of Hydra, the Random House imprint that I thumped on roundly in the previous entry.

And if you need more evidence that signing over all rights for the term of the copyright is a terrible idea, check out this DBW piece on Wool author Hugh Howey’s latest contract. He cut a deal with Simon & Schuster for print rights only to the tune of a seven-figure advance. Yes, apparently Howey’s self-published e-books were bringing in $150k a month already, but no matter who you are, why sign your work over to anyone else for nothing? Heck, you’d be better off printing your book out and using it for party invitations. Or tinder. Or any other use you can think of that is controlled by you and not someone else.

Just saying.

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A great discussion is going on right now over on Whatever, John Scalzi’s site, around publishing contracts. Specifically, Random House’s new science fiction imprint Hydra is (so far as has been determined) acting as a vanity press. No advance, signing over copyright forever, and the author pays for expenses. In sum, Hydra somehow manage to make the music industry’s often exploitative contract terms look more reasonable in comparison.

Read John’s excellent salvo here:

Note to SF/F Writers: Random House’s Hydra Imprint Has Appallingly Bad Contract Terms

Random House recently started Hydra, an electronic-only imprint for science fiction stories and short novels. But, as noted by Writer Beware here, the terms in a Hydra deal sheet shown to them are pretty damn awful…

I’d say this is a must-read for all new or un-agented (i.e. unprotected by someone with industry experience or a lick of financial sense) writers. John’s right, there’s no justification for terms as bad as these.

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