Mandatory Marketing Contracts – Vanity by a Different Name

Recently, I’ve seen an increase in publishing contracts which look like “traditional deals” at first glance, but contain a decidedly non-traditional element: a mandatory marketing contract. Under this sort of deal, the publisher offers a royalty-based publishing contract, usually with no advance, but requires the author to sign a marketing contract also. The mandatory marketing contract requires the author to pay for expensive marketing services at the time of signing. Sometimes, the marketing contract is with the publisher itself (or its marketing arm) – and sometimes it’s with an affiliated company. Either one is sketchy. In some cases, these “mandatory marketing agreements”

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