16.5: Pros and Contracts

Your Hosts: Dan, Mary Robinette, Brandon, and Erin

Here’s our deep dive into the subject of contracts in the publishing business. We can only go so deep during a fifteen-minute episode, so we ran about twice as long as usual. We discuss some of the things you should look for, things you should watch out for, and resources that can help you out.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, and mastered by Alex Jackson


Homework! Check out the SFWA Model Contracts at the SFWA site. You might also have a look at Mary Robinette’s Patreon because she got permission to step all the way through one of her contracts with her patrons.

Middle Game, by Seanan McGuire

3 thoughts on “16.5: Pros and Contracts”

  1. The party of the four parts, Dan, Mary Robinette, Brandon, and Erin, tried to uncover what you should be looking for or avoiding in contracts. From the length of time covered by the contract (life of copyright? First printing?), through reversion clauses and thresholds of sales, ancillary rights such as translations, audio rights, film rights, and stage rights, and into right of first refusal clauses and noncompete clauses, there’s a lot of good advice you can read in the transcript available now in the archives.

  2. Question:
    Could you break down all the aspects of a writing career into a 40 hour work week? For a traditionally published author versus independently published author? Example: 24 hrs writing, 8hrs email + media, 3hrs on publishing, one hour cursing IT, etc.

    You have mentioned many different things which all take up time. Running a website and social media, planning for conferences, planning for publishing, writing, editing, travel, interacting with the publishing house, finding a cover illustrator, and on and on. For those of us who identify with working 40 hours a week, how much time is NOT writing?

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