By Natalie Bright
One of my 2015 writing goals was to find a home for a self-published eBook about grief based on our experience of dealing with the loss our first born son. A small press expressed interest. While I waited for the contract, I schooled myself on understanding the rights that I’d be willing to relinquish for a traditional publishing deal.
What are You Willing to SIGN AWAY?
Publishing companies have to make money. I totally understand how this big business works. They are able to make money via manuscripts produced by writers. It’s a fascinating and frustrating industry, mixing the creations of our hearts with hard, cold finance, but that’s the reality.
Consider the prestige of having a publisher choose YOU. It is very exciting and does wonders for your ego, and then consider what you might be giving away. In my research, I learned that some publishers take rights that they never exploit, and perhaps never intend to. For example, a small, local press may not have the resources to sell your book in multiple languages so why would you grant, transfer and assign all of your foreign rights?
Here’s a sample list of possible rights already owned by you as creator and that are associated with your work:
First world English rights
British, European, or Australian rights
Translation rights, or language rights
Exclusive use rights
Publication or sale by book clubs
Publication in digests
Publication in condensations
Publication in anthologies
Publication in compilations
Dramatic, multimedia, television, and motion picture rights
Internet distribution rights
eBooks, Kindle, Nook, and other electronic distribution rights
Audio, mechanical, and visual reproduction
Permission rights for quotations, excerpts, illustrations
Any media hereinafter created
For more information, there’s a great article at writing-world.com by Marg Gilks, “Rights: What They Mean and Why They’re Important.”
Check out thecreativepenn.com for several excellent podcasts with Joanna Penn on this topic and loads of other topics relating to Indie Publishing. Her FREE Author 2.0 Blueprint is full of helpful information.