Tag Archives: contracts

Intellectual Property – an Indie minefield

I am in no danger of having my intellectual property [IP] diddled away by some corporation waving a contract, but Kristine Kathryn Rusch* is, and her latest post was scary to say the least. Here’s a short quote:

‘Those companies can all acquire IP from stupid writers for less than $10,000 per property forever. Just say the word “movie” or “TV” and most stupid writers give away their IP for free, in the hopes of having a movie or TV show made from their property. The property they no longer own, by the way.’

But the most terrifying part was this:

It doesn’t matter if your copyright is registered, the expert said. They’ll register anyway, even before they’ve started production on anything. The strategy is to create confusion over who owns the copyright, and it’ll take litigation to straighten that confusion out.

The bold emphasis is mine but the meaning is clear – one small Indie hasn’t a hope of fighting a company with millions of dollars in its war chest. Can you afford to take a production company to court to get your intellectual property back?

“Oh but if I’m being paid for it then it doesn’t matter.”

Yeah, that’s the big ‘if’, but sadly those contracts make sure you get little if anything in return.

I really, truly, strongly suggest you read the Rusch article, just in case….


I’ll confess, part of my outrage stems from the fact that I have day dreams too. I would love to see the Innerscape story turned into a movie or a big, beautiful game. I understand the desperation to have that kind of validation, because I share it. If someone came knocking, waving a contract in my face, I know I’d have stars in my eyes and the k-ching of cash registers in my ears too. But after this warning, I hope I remember that the one thing worse than never finding fame and fortune is being cheated out of it…by a corporate with lots of money and no scruples.

Seriously, if you’re an Indie author, please read the Rusch article.


*Kristine Kathryn Rusch is a Hugo award winning writer with her own wiki page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kristine_Kathryn_Rusch

Yet another reason to be an Indie

Another one of my articles is live on Indies Unlimited :

‘Do you secretly dream of being traditionally published?

When someone you know is offered a contract, do you experience a moment of intense envy? Do you smile, and say ‘congratulations’ while silently screaming ‘why not me’?

Don’t worry, your dirty little secret is safe because….yes, hand-on-heart, I too share your shame. Despite everything I have learned about the traditional publishing world in the last two years, I still haven’t completely quashed the romantic notions I used to hold about the Big Six. I guess it’s like the dream of finding Mr Right and living happily ever after, it never completely dies.

But to quote the Bard, “All that glitters is not gold…”’

To read the full article, and hopefully comment, follow this link to Indies Unlimited :




Re-Blogged from SFWA.org – Writers Beware

This post is an update to the one I wrote earlier about the new Random House imprints Hydra and Alibi. My thanks to Ch’kara Silverwolf for alerting me to this development. SFWA stands for Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, so it’s quite a big deal.

“The following is a response by SFWA to a letter submitted by Ms. Dobson of Hydra, an imprint of Random House. For background please see this post by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware.

Dear Ms. Dobson:

Thank you for your letter regarding Random House and Hydra, and your interest in speaking with us.

Unfortunately, there is very little to discuss. SFWA has determined to its own satisfaction that Hydra does not meet our minimum standards for a qualifying market, as its contract does not offer an advance. Additionally, your attempt to shift to the author costs customarily borne by the publisher is, simply, outrageous and egregious. The first of these things alone would disqualify Hydra as a qualifying market. It is the second of these things, however, that causes us to believe that Hydra intends to act in a predatory manner towards authors, and in particular toward newer authors who may not have the experience to recognize the extent to which your contract is beyond the pale of standard publishing practices.”

To read the full response from SFWA, please follow the link below. And as always, please spread this information as far as you can so we can warn as many authors as possible.

Re-Blogged from SFWA.org – Writers Beware.

John Scalzi sounds the alarm about Alibi

John Scalzi is a popular and successful author. He also happens to be the President of SFWA [Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America]. In the post below he slams the contract offered by Alibi, [a Random House imprint] to desperate authors.

The post is too in-depth to paraphrase so I’ll just quote this from John Scalzi :


After reading the whole article I can say the Alibi contract gives authors just one thing – the ego-stroking of being able to say they were published by a Big 5 traditional publisher. Even that is not quite the truth as these imprints are basically just for e-books. Anyone who signs such a contract is signing their life and future away with very little in return.

I believe this contract, and others like it [e.g. Random House Hydra imprint] are aimed at Indie authors desperate for validation. If you are an indie author, or know someone who is, please follow the link below and check out the article for yourself. And then warn every Indie you know!


Thank you to Yvonne Hertzberger for posting about the John Scalzi article. Indies helping Indies is the only safety net any of us have.



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