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Worst literary contract ever?


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James Frey is according to

http://www.metafilter.com/97555/James-Freys-Fiction-Factory

gathering together a legion of authors to work for him under his name. It's not that rare. James Patterson does it and I'd be willing to believe a lot of other big name authors do it.

The difference is in the contract.

Summary from metafilter

“You’re going to write for me. I’m going to own it. I may or may not give you credit. If there is more than one book in the series, you are on the hook to write those too, for the exact same terms, but I don’t have to use you. In exchange for this, I’m going to pay you 40 percent of some amount you can’t verify — there’s no audit provision — and after the deduction of a whole bunch of expenses.”

Ouch. And you thought record companies were 'competitive'

And the money? According to http://nymag.com/print/?/arts/books/features/69474/ it's a massive $250.

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It used to be more than just food money. The reason Ian Watson wrote stuff for Games Workshop was the guaranteed 10k in royalties, with that sort of money you could make an decent living as long as you could bash out the books at a decent rate. Don't know what they pay now though.

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