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Posts Tagged ‘john scalzi’

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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