The Writer's Legal Companion

The Writer's Legal Companion

The Writer's Legal Companion

The Writer's Legal Companion

Synopsis

For most writers, negotiating the legal maze of publishing is as challenging as getting their words in print. This comprehensive guide offers writers solid advice on all aspects of publishing law. Candid and readable, it cover everything from copyrights and taxes to libel laws, subsidiary rights, and the obscure clauses in publisher's contracts. As important resource for editors, agents, or anyone in print or electronic publishing, this updated third edition of The Writer's Legal Companion features essential, irreplacable information on: publishing contracts, good and bad clauses libel, slander, and invasion of privacy issues electronic rights conditions the business of publishing, including marketing and selling books magazine publishing collaboration and agents' agreements federal income tax considerations for freelance writers copyright legalities Whether you write an occasional magazine article or publish a new book every year, The Writers Legal Companion will save you time, and reduce you anxiety over the business of publishing.

Excerpt

This chapter is a guide to effective negotiating for the author who has something to sell--the right to publish his or her work--to a publisher who wants to buy it. The chapter is about power and money. The author has the power to sell or not to sell. The publisher has money to pay for the author's exercise of that power. The publishing contract is the legal means by which power and money change hands.

Most authors, even those with a great deal of publishing experience, doubt their power. They often feel compelled to sign any agreement the publisher submits, without negotiating, afraid that the publisher will back out of the deal at the first sign of ingratitude. This is simply not true. It evidences the author as the victim of his or her own imagination, of self-intimidation. Virtually without exception, publishers willingly change contracts at the author's request, whether the author speaks directly or through an agent or attorney. A new author may lack the bargaining strength of an established money-maker, but publishers take reasonable requests seriously even when a rank beginner makes them, because even the novice has power.

The time to use that power is before you sign away your rights in the publishing contract, while you still have something your publisher-to- be wants.

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