Sunday, January 31, 2016

Contract Review Assistance

It's been pretty busy around the Sullivan household.

  • I finished edits on book #2 and #3 of The Legends of the First Empire.
  • Robin and I reviewed the copy edits for Book #1 of Legends of the First Empire
  • I'm trying to get edits on book #4 & #5 of Legends of the first empire done by April or May
  • Robin is almost done shipping a ton of books for the Kickstarter - and I mean that literally I think she is up to 2,300 pounds of books shipped to date.
  • We went to New York to oversee the recording of The Death of Dulgath
  • We released The Death of Dulgath
  • A few other things are going on that we can't talk about yet.
Anyway, that preamble is a way of saying, I've been to busy to do my weekend "Helping Author's" posts. But a few things have happened that have made me take a break to pen this quick message.

First, The Author's Guild is finally turning their attention to something they should have been doing all along...fighting against some really terrible contract terms that authors have been subjected to for years.  I hope they are able to move the needle.  I'll write more about this later, but for now...go read the letter put out by The Author's Guild and if you agree with what they are trying to do, sign this petition.

Second, Kameron Hurley has written a fabulous post on non-compete clauses and rights grabs that is a must read for everyone, authors especially but readers as well.  You can find it here.

Third, point number two has sparked  a discussion on reddit, which you can find here.  In that conversation it was mentioned that (a) many authors don't read their contracts and (b) authors can't always trust their agent when it comes to contract clauses and (c) many authors could use an IP attorney but can't afford one.  So now we come to the point of this article.

It is not widely known, but my wife reviews contracts all the time - not just mine but plenty of other ones as well. No she's not a lawyer, and isn't even one on television, but she has an eye for things that can be disastrous to an author's career and has helped many from making huge mistakes. So, just like I do the "First Five Pages" thing, Robin will do the "Review a Contract" thing.  Yes, it's free, and no, it shouldn't be considered "legal advice" but she'll point out areas that you should address with a professional.  

So, if you have a contract and want her to look at it, send a copy to my email (michael.sullivan.dc@gmail.com) make the subject ROBIN'S CONTRACT REVIEW as the subject to make sure it stands out and she'll take a look.

Okay, that's it for now - a kinda "Sullivans helping Authors" post.  I hope some of you take advantage of it.  

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