Publishing contracts – Editing clauses

I hope you all had a great time with your loved ones, and that you found the time to recharge your batteries. Hopefully, 2017 will bring you more finished manuscripts, more published material, perhaps an agent (if you’re after getting published traditionally), and even more readers.

Speaking of getting published, I think it’s time to end this somewhat long-ish string of reblogged posts I started, that dealt with the process of getting published, the different paths one can take to see his/her work in readers’ hands, and of course a tiny portion regarding legal aspects. I may get back to some of these at a later time, but for the time being I think that’s it.

Today’s post deals with what to look out for when dealing with clauses in a publishing contract that deal with how a publisher edits your manuscript. On her blog, Victoria Strauss, writer and co-founder of Writer Beware, lists a few clauses she has encountered in real contracts, that should alert every writer that something’s not right. You can also find the same article on Writer Beware‘s blog.

Please keep in mind, that publishers are not trying to set a trap for the writer. They are not malevolent beings, lurking in the shadows, cackling and rubbing their hands every time they receive a manuscript. That’s not why I think such articles are necessary. The reason I’m posting this is because once we choose to publish our work, we put our artistic and creative hats away, and put our business hats on. It’s always safe, for both sides, to have a contract upon which they’ll build a healthy business relationship. Just as the publisher doesn’t know you or how determined you are to see this business partnership flourish and wants to be safe, you don’t know the publisher and, as a result, should be safe. Good contracts mean good business deals.

Hope this helps.

Publishing contracts – Tips regarding the Grant of Rights clause, by Sidebar Saturdays

So you’ve chosen which publishing path is the right one for you, you’ve weighed the pros and cons of each, and are now faced with the legal technicalities. If you can afford a lawyer who specialises on publishing contracts, or if you have an agent to back you up, kudos! Agents are there to support writers and deal, among others, with the legal stuff. The rest of us, who struggle for traditional publishing, envy you, turn makeshift dummies of you into pincushions cackling in the gloom, and covet what you have.

But what about those who opted for traditional publishing without an agent or a lawyer to back them up? How many of you can honestly say they have a solid understanding of legal terms? Specifically, publishing legal terms? Chances are not many of you. It’s okay. In all my academic years, I only had to attend one legal class and I still don’t know how I passed that class.

I recently stumbled upon a website that covers many aspects of publishing law. Sidebar Saturdays is a blog where the practice of law meets the profession of writing, posted weekly by writers who are attorneys, and it’s designed to provide fellow writers with a general understanding of publishing law and help make their fictional legal scenarios realistic. One article in particular drew my attention, which had to do with the Grant of Rights clause. The writers of the article provide ten basic tips that should help those of you who are, or thinking of being, traditionally published without an agent or legal assistance, and want to have a better understanding of what happens when you grant certain rights to the publisher.

I hope you find it as helpful as I have 🙂