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'A traditional publishing contract'

10 October 2011

'Here's the flat truth of it, my friends: If you are a midlist writer and you sign a traditional publishing contract with most modern terms, and you do so with an agent...and not an IP attorney...negotiating for you, you will not make any more than your advance on that book. And the advance is not enough to live on. You will not be able to reserve e-book rights to you. Those rights will be a percentage of net, which in most contracts is undefined. And you will have to sell world rights so that the publishing industry can adequately exercise those e-book rights, making any money you would receive on foreign rights vanish.

If you have what I'm now beginning to believe is the standard agency rider in your contract, you will also lose a percentage of any auxiliary rights sale to that agent even if you fired that agentin the meantime and someone else negotiated the deal. Plus that agent will be entitled to a percentage of any work you write using that series, those characters, that world, or anything resembling that.'

Kristine Kathryn Rusch, author of many novels,