Self-Publishing? Think Self-Protection

Most of us, I hope, wouldn’t think of signing a contract with Random House or St. Martin’s Press without having the contract reviewed by either an NWU contract advisor or a lawyer. Yet authors who sign up for self-publishing often don’t even get a hard copy of their contracts. First, as we’ve discussed before, many […]

Beware of Lone Wolves

When members come to us with grievances for nonpayment against reputable publishers or corporate clients, we can usually help them get their money. Yet more and more of our grievances are against lone wolves: scam artists who hide, change identities, or just plain ignore writers’ claims. A lot of them run blogs, which they start […]

EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT THE GCD

The Grievance and Contract Division’s semi-annual report for the second half of 2015 has just been posted here. We hope you’ll take the time to peruse it. The GCD is made up of about twenty volunteers at any given time. A lot of people think that all we do is collect money for writers who […]

SOME THEFT IS LEGAL

Members have told us that they’ve pitched an idea for an article, and a similar article turned up under someone else’s name. They say they wrote books about teenage vampires or nerdy supervillains, and then watched other people make millions from their plot lines. They think that copyright law should protect them. In most cases, […]

Evolution Magazine (January 4, 2016) A National Writers Union member has filed a grievance against Evolution magazine and its publisher, Darnell Davis. The NWU member is owed $300 for a cover story that appeared in the November 2014 edition. While Evolution’s publisher has made several commitments to pay the writer, more than a year after the article was published, […]

https://nwu.org/3040/

Are Websites Stealing Your Work?

We keep hearing from people who see their articles or book chapters reprinted in blogs, or offered for sale on various websites, without their knowledge or consent. One member recently demanded payment from such a blog, and got it. But if that fails, you can have the work removed by invoking the Digital Millennium Copyright Act […]

A PENNY A BOOK?

Imagine our surprise when an NWU member reported that he had received a royalty statement from CreateSpace —Amazon’s self-publishing arm—which indicated that he was being paid a penny per book. A representative sent him a detailed explanation concluding, “Rest assured, you’ve received the royalties correctly and there is no discrepancy. . . I hope this […]

Problems with your book contract? You have options.

Many people have contacted us in the last few years about getting out of book contracts. Maybe they want to self-publish an e-book. Maybe the publisher isn’t promoting their book properly. Maybe their editor left and they’re unhappy with the new cast of characters. If you want out, the first step is to ask. If […]

Work-for-Hire: A Great Market

Copyrights are important to a writer’s success, but so is money. Sometimes work for hire (WFH) is a great way to earn money. Freelancers can make good incomes writing promotional materials, product manuals, grants, or books in series (think Dummies). Without owning the copyrights they can’t sell the movie or smartphone app rights, but how […]

The Many Faces of Self-Publishing

Traditional publishing has become so restrictive that many authors say, “Forget 7 percent royalties and giving up rights to media that haven’t been invented yet! I’ll self-publish.” That can be a great alternative. More accurately, it can be a lot of alternatives, including much higher royalties. But do your homework first, so you’ll know what […]