This will be a short post, so I apologize ahead of time. Or for all I know, maybe you’re relieved to hear that! lol
I’m trying to finish a project and have another 8k words to get down before Saturday afternoon, so I can spend the evening double checking things. Broken down to my writing methods it’s not unachievable. I generally write two chapters a day, at 2,500 words average per chapter. If I push things I can do four chapters without falling into too black an emotional hole. I might incur ‘screen blindness’ or suffer temporary loss of my legs due to numbness from lack of circulation from sitting too long, but with a couple chilled cucumber slices and a good session on the treadmill I’m sure to recover.
But I have a question for those who have been offered contracts, particularly e-book contracts. There was a clause I’ve never encountered before in the latest contract I was offered, and I wondered who else had run across it. I’m even wondering if it’s something relatively new due to the jump in e-book popularity, or something standard I just missed seeing. If you have run across it and don’t mind naming which publishers do, or do not, include it, it would help authors decide who to submit their work to.
I had to sign off on a statement saying my story had never appeared on my website, my blog or any other blog, or in a public contest. If it had, I could no longer sell first rights to the material because it’s already been “published” as soon as it’s posted. The clause went a step further, saying the publisher reserved the right to recover any and all costs incurred on their part if that declaration was discovered to be false.
They were careful to explain posting of excerpts was considered an exception, acceptable because excerpts are commonly used as marketing tools. But it made me wonder how far a publisher could push the parameters of excerpts. Should an author ask them what their interpretation of an excerpt is? A paragraph? A scene? A first chapter? Should the author clear the excerpt they intend to use with the publisher prior to using it? How much of this is common sense, and how much is legal technicality?
If you have any experience with this clause, or can offer some advice on how to stay within the lines of publishing propriety, you have a lot of writers interested in your answer. So help us out, please. I’m curious to see what answers we may get!
Make free with your comments. Information and knowledge make us better business people. And when we’re comfortable with the business end of publishing, lack of worry makes us better writers.
And by the way, Happy Friday the 13th! Steer clear of black cats and no ducking under ladders! Til next week,
Visit Runere at www.RunereMcLain.com or follow her on Twitter @RunereMcLain