Are your eyes glossing over your first book contract?
This week, I present my podcast interview by book coach, developmental editor, and ghostwriter Dan Janal, author of Write Your Book in a Flash! Dan’s podcast, “Write Your Book in a Flash with Dan Janal,” was named one of the top fifty podcasts for thought leaders by Thinkers360.com.
He interviewed me on the topic “How Can Authors Negotiate Contracts?”—a title Dan fashioned from my suggested “You’re Screwed No Matter What You Do—but It Could Be Worse: Understanding and Negotiating Book Contracts.”
Book Contract Cynicism
Okay, I’m more cynical than Dan about book contracts with traditional academic book publishers but I’ve reviewed them for over thirty years as a contract adviser with the National Writers Union—and I’ve never found one book contract that was inherently author-friendly and only a painful few that respected authors as partners rather than competitors.
Foolish. Shame on the industry. Call it a pet peeve.
What astonishes me:
- How bad contracts are for authors, at least in the academic press division
- How little authors know about how badly they’re getting ripped off
Book Contract Potential
- Why you have more power than you think to ask for changes.
- What changes you can expect to win in your contract.
- How to safeguard your copyright.
- How to develop a winning negotiating mindset.
- A bulletproof way to raise funds to promote your book while gaining a tax break for your friends.
- And much more!
We had a lot more topics to discuss but time ran out. If you belong to a group whose members write books and need to understand book contracts and how to negotiate them, I would be happy to speak with them. Contact me at [email protected].
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Ken Wachsberger is a book coach, editor, and the author of You’ve Got the Time: How to Write and Publish That Book in You. Ken’s other books may be found here and here. For book coaching and editing help, or to invite Ken to speak at your meeting, email Ken at [email protected].