Fighting for Good Contracts

God it feels good to no longer have a vested interest in a market that’s been treating me badly for a month and a half.

This is my fourth original sale (out of 172) to fall through; the other three were due to markets themselves going under.

So, that score’s not bad.

This is my third fight over a contract. (It doesn’t count as a fight if I ask nicely for a sunset clause, and they give me one.)

The first fight resulted in the market improving their contract for everyone. The second fight involved the entire anthology line shutting down.

It’s hard to fight for your rights as a writer. We crave sales so badly; when we get one… it feels dangerous to even ask to be treated fairly. But good markets will treat you fairly. Good markets will negotiate if their contract has flaws.

Be polite. Stand up for yourself.

And if you lose a sale? You’re not alone. I just lost one.

It may feel bad, but it’s better than signing a contract that opens you up to unfair liabilities, such as being held responsible for the market not paying their printer or allowing your story to fall into perma-limbo.

Edit: And hey, I know I said earlier in this thread that it feels good to be done. And yes, it’s a huge relief to know that whatever this market does next, I did the best I could to persuade them to improve their contract, and now I’m done.

But it hurts too. And it’s okay to cry.

‪Also, damn, what a way to make a long, hard month longer and harder.‬

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