The New Writer’s Ruse: The Bemused Will Not Work for Hire

The bane of any hopeful professional author — one who writes for money to feed a family and a future fortunate — is the old “Work for Hire” kludge-as-cudgel and it is wielded against unwitting amateur authors, and even published, working, authors, by publishing houses as a “proper payment system” that is both fair to each side and an early warning windfall for the writer.  Unfortunately, none of that is true.

Publishers love to force writers into Work for Hire contracts because the benefit is all on their side of the dyad, and while initial risks are shared, the goal of good fortune tomorrow is not.

I warned of this impending trend way back on September 7, 2007 in my article: “Work For Hire is a Bad Idea” —

If you get royalties you are in partnership with your publisher.  If you are “Work For Hire” you’re used up when you’re done writing.

Publishers live to exploit that hungry author desire for fast money now — and in the process of the “Work For Hire” hiring — the author not only loses a potential profit bonanza, but also sells out their self-respect, self-worth, and fellow authors.

Continue reading → The New Writer’s Ruse: The Bemused Will Not Work for Hire

Why I Love James Franco

The first exposure that I had to James Franco came in the Spiderman movie series. He went from serious to romantic, humorous to evil in the course of a few hours — back and forth, embodying the different moods of a person from one movie to another. I was quite impressed with him then and I was happy to see him in other movies.

Continue reading → Why I Love James Franco

The One Book Bookstore

For many years, bookstores have gone through different phases of figuring out how to get the people who came into their stores to buy the books on their shelves. Should books be faced out, lined up with the spines out, or a combination of the two — and which books got the face out treatment? Successful strategies were copied — you don’t see too many bookstores that are missing a “staff picks” section for a reason — it moves books. It really caught my eye when I saw the strategy of one Brooklyn native, Andrew Kessler — make an entire bookstore dedicated to his book.

Continue reading → The One Book Bookstore

Chasing Down Time: Ten Sentence Story #115

Thomas had a colossal problem, which was that he had no idea why he was always running out of time to do all of the important things that he wanted to do in life.

Continue reading → Chasing Down Time: Ten Sentence Story #115

Michael Crichton Cheated Us Out of Goodbye

SuperGenius author and entertainer Michael Crichton died this week. He was 66. Cancer killed him.  Unfortunately
— Michael kept his illness a secret from the public — and we take
issue with that selfish hiding as we argued earlier this week on RelationShaping:

Continue reading → Michael Crichton Cheated Us Out of Goodbye

To Publish and then Perish

My friend, Gordon Davidescu, sent me this interesting link from O’Reilly publishing where you buy a book that is bound in a school-like binder and then you can either download updated chapters and cut them up and place them in the binder or you can order pre-cut pages from the publisher to add to your book binder.

Continue reading → To Publish and then Perish

The Role of the Writer in Society

The role of the writer in society is one of a questioning dissent.

It is not enough for the writer to merely go along with the status quo or to live in the mainstream meme.

Continue reading → The Role of the Writer in Society