Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Take Back The Night, Yo

In case you manage to get a new agent, this dude nicely posted a sample literary agreement you can use as a kind of contract.  Is it any good?  I don't know fershizzle, but have a looksee for yourself.  Writes blogger Dean Wesley Smith in defense of the idea: "...many writers are choosing to hire an Intellectual Properties attorney to do contracts. So this checklist is only for those thinking of hiring an agent. I want to be clear on the fact that I agree that an agent is not required. But if you do decide to try an agent to help negotiate a contract, at least hire the agent under your terms."


Anonymous said...

Eh. I never signed anything, and it works out fine. Bringing your own contract to an agent would be 1)insulting, 2)amateurish, 3)paranoid. It would come off like putting a huge COPYRIGHT 2010 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED on your cover sheet.

Also, hiring an Intellectual Property lawyer is a monumental waste of money. Publishers have contract templates; you don't need to reinvent the wheel every time you sell a book.

I do recommend joining the Author's Guild to stay abreast of stuff like electronic rights and whatever.

mystie said...

An IP attorney might cut it for an established author who has a direct line to publishers and editors. but will an IP attorney take NY editors out to lunch and try to sell the work of an unknown?

These "many writers [who choose] to hire an Intellectual Properties attorney to do contracts" that Dean Wesley Smith knows must either be (a)too famous to need an agent, or (b) getting published with teeny tiny small presses who can deal with authors directly.

Novice writers should take his advice with a cup of salt.

(note, I just checked his blog so I'll add (c) paperback writers.)