Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Contracts

Most writers are obsessed with contracts. When am I getting my contract? Have you sent my contract yet? What they don't realize is most contracts are not worth the paper they are written on. Case in point: book consignments. Since it's hard for small publishers to get independent bookstores to carry their products, I've consigned books with various bookstores. In theory, the store benefits because they don't have any money tied up in inventory. Boy do they benefit. Not one bookstore has ever paid me a penny for the books I've consigned. They just keep everything. And there is nothing I can do about it. Because the truth is, it costs more to pursue the matter than I'm ever going to collect.

It's not just stores. There's a crooked publisher in Denver that's published a number of books over the past seven or eight years or so. No one ever gets paid. The publisher refuses to issue royalty reports.  And nothing happens. He knows no one will do anything about it and he goes merrily on his way. 

The publisher of my first novel refused to pay me a penny and I never saw an earnings report. And so on. I cannot believe the blatant rip offs I've endured. And it continues. So, having a signed contract in hand isn't as wonderful as one might think. In my opinion, there are more crooks than honest people in the publishing business and I am seriously considering ceasing my efforts as a writer.

So, just because someone sent you a contract, don't be so sure this a good thing. 

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