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Joanne Harris
I'm not sure whether I can make this into ten, but it's important, so let's do it. Follow to collect them all!
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Joanne Harris Jul 30
Replying to @Joannechocolat
1. As a writer, published or unpublished, you own all your rights - be they publishing rights, or media rights, or film rights, unless you sell them, or otherwise sign them away.
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Joanne Harris Jul 30
Replying to @Joannechocolat
2. That means that no-one can publish, or otherwise use or monetize your work without your permission.
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Joanne Harris Jul 30
Replying to @Joannechocolat
3. Publishers - that's book publishers, or magazine publishers, or online publishers - need permission to publish your work. Usually they pay you for this (and if they don't, you might need to think hard about what's in it for you.)
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Joanne Harris Jul 30
Replying to @Joannechocolat
4. How much they pay you depends on just what they're publishing, and also how well-known or successful you are, and how much the publishers think they're likely to make from publication.
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Joanne Harris Jul 30
Replying to @Joannechocolat
5. Some book publishers only buy publication rights in their own country, but most of them usually try to get universal rights - that is, book rights, film rights, media rights, and other publication rights in all other countries around the world.
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Joanne Harris Jul 30
Replying to @Joannechocolat
6. Some authors prefer to let their publishers handle these rights, rather than retain them for their agent to negotiate separately. Both ways are fine, as long as the advance paid by the publisher reflects how much control over your work they've bought.
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Joanne Harris Jul 30
Replying to @Soc_of_Authors
7. This is one of the reasons you probably need an agent - or to ask the advice of the - to check you're not signing away potentially lucrative rights to your publisher, to be sold on somewhere down the line with no financial benefit to you.
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BigFatLion Jul 30
WW writers have had no word from The Society of Authors despite numerous emails asking for progress reports.
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Joanne Harris Jul 30
Replying to @Joannechocolat
8. For instance, twenty years ago, lots of authors allowed their publishers to take e-book rights for free, or for peanuts, at a time when e-books weren't a thing. They are now, though. Those authors get nothing from e-book sales.
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Joanne Harris Jul 30
Let me check what's going on. I know they're looking into it.
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Joanne Harris Jul 30
Replying to @Joannechocolat
9. Same goes for film, audio, game development and other rights. If you give away or sell your rights, you don't own them any more, and unless there's a clause in the contract that says you get paid something afterwards, you don't..
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Joanne Harris Jul 30
Replying to @Joannechocolat
10. Also, some publishers are good at negotiating foreign rights, whereas some will acquire the rights, then just sit on them. This is a bit of a waste of your rights, which could be exploited to your benefit. A good agent will know how to do this.
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BigFatLion Jul 30
They're not telling us anything so we don't know what to do next.
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Joanne Harris Jul 30
Replying to @Joannechocolat
To finish, a little horror story, told me some years ago by a sci-fi author who will remain nameless. This young man had sold the rights to his first novel for £30,000 to a publisher without going through an agent, or getting contract advice.
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Joanne Harris Jul 30
I'd refuse to sign.
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Joanne Harris Jul 30
Replying to @Joannechocolat
It sounded like a very good deal, especially for a first-timer. He was very pleased with himself. But looking at the small print, it wasn't really such a good deal.
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Joanne Harris Jul 30
Replying to @Joannechocolat
For a start, he'd signed away universal rights to his book - that's everything; film, e-books, radio, stage, audio, game development, foreign rights, everything - in perpetuity. That meant his publisher owned those rights forever.
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Joanne Harris Jul 30
Replying to @Joannechocolat
The next thing he heard was that his game development rights had been sold off for a large sum by his publisher to a big Japanese company. Of course, he didn't get any money for this.
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Joanne Harris Jul 30
Replying to @Joannechocolat
And it gets worse. The game company blocked publication of the author's book, because they intended to have their game novelized by one of their own people, and they claimed his book would infringe their copyright.
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