What Writers Need to Know About Contracts

It’s easy to imagine shaking a publisher’s hand and heading off to write our next book, with no further thought given to this book beyond when the checks will arrive. Many of us don’t realize we should be negotiating as one professional to another, with competing goals and – if we’re doing it well – several days’ research already under our belt as we attempt to build a lasting business relationship from the ground up, with a good contract at its foundation.

Attorney Kelley Way took us down this path and showed us the important clauses of a publishing contract, what each was likely to contain and what key elements we were likely to miss, to our detriment. As an expert guide, she even pointed out that we should go in with a healthy attitude and gave us some idea of the do’s and don’ts, such as not knowing when to walk away, or not ensuring a promise is included in the contract.

It was a well-crafted introduction into a largely unknown area that many of her fellow writing group members will likely benefit from in the future.

We were also able to introduce the new types of content chapter members can contribute to the website, which is being revamped, and took a group picture, after which we headed off for a delicious lunch at the Country Gourmet to talk more about writing.

Our next meeting will be on November 18, 2017, at 10:00 at Mary Avenue 442, Sunnyvale. Since it’s the last of the year, please bring cash to renew your local membership.

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