Traditional publishing contracts typically contain a paragraph called “Acceptance” (or sometimes, “Delivery and Acceptance”) which details the timing and conditions that govern the publisher’s acceptance (or rejection) of a manuscript after delivery. Many authors are surprised to learn that contracts contain an “out” for the publisher after delivery–but it makes sense in the context of the publishing deal as a whole. Today, we’ll take a look at how to negotiate and understand that “acceptance” paragraph in the context of a publishing deal. We’ll also look at some ways to help ensure your manuscript doesn’t run afoul of the publisher’s acceptance provisions. Publishers generallyRead more
Month: November 2014
Gone to (Murder at) the Beach….
This week, I’m attending Bouchercon 45: a massive, annual mystery convention. This year, the convention is taking place in Long Beach, California. I’ll have posts on the convention next week, but in the meantime, here’s a photograph of the view from the hotel room: (As always, big thanks to my husband for staying home and tending my reef in my absence!)Read more
Why Does Veterans’ Day Fall on November 11?
In the United States, November 11 is Veterans’ Day, a day on which we remember and appreciate the men and women who serve and have served in our armed forces. The holiday (or “observance,” if you prefer) originated in November 1919, when President Wilson issued a proclamation recognizing November 11 as “Armistice Day,” in honor of the November 11, 1918 armistice that marked the initial end to hostilities during World War I. Although the war itself did not end for another seven months (the official end to World War I occurred at the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in June 1919), Armistice DayRead more
An Interview With R. Franklin James
Please welcome my friend and fellow mystery author R. Franklin James, who writes The Hollis Morgan Mysteries (Camel Press) – a friend and fellow author who will be joining me — and many other authors — at this weekend’s Bouchercon Mystery Convention in Long Beach, California. What is your favorite aspect of writing mystery novels? Writing a scene nonstop because the words are pouring out and it’s real good writing. How do you inspire yourself to get past difficult moments in writing and editing? I give myself a goal of time in chair, or word count and no matter if it’sRead more
Are Recipes Copyrightable?
Today’s publishing legal question is particularly relevant with the holidays approaching: “Are recipes subject to copyright?” The short answer is: no … and a little bit yes. Copyright exists to protect creative expression, and does not offer protection for “functional items.” To the extent a recipe consists of a list of ingredients required to create a type of food, it’s functional–and not copyrightable. The functional elements of recipes, like ingredient lists and basic instructions, can’t be copyrighted. For our purposes, a “functional item” is any part of the recipe that’s mandatory to create the food itself. For example, yeast in a risen bread. CourtsRead more
Enhanced Ebooks…Wave of the Future or Wave Goodbye?
Enhanced ebooks are a new variation on the ebook technology. Essentially, an “enhanced ebook” is an electronic or digital version of a book with additional content not found in printed versions. Enhanced “additional content” may include audio and video clips, web links, and pop-up and other interactive materials. Although many publishers produce standard ebooks in-house, few currently produce enhanced ebooks as well. The primary producers of enhanced ebooks tend to be independent houses which focus on this new technology. Most books are not currently made into enhanced ebooks, but publishers have started including these rights in contracts. Given the tech-intensive nature of enhanced ebooks, most publishersRead more