Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Licence to Publish

The Conversation Continues ~ More on Publishing . . .

We’ve been talking about publishing quite a bit recently—here, here, and, most recently, with, The Conversation Continues ~ the Issues with Traditional Publishing . . .Traditional publishers

If you took those links, you might have noticed they’re all on Mondays or Wednesdays…

For now, those are the days devoted to Conversations; but, in 13 weeks (when I’ve finished all 95 Tales of my Story Bazaar), the Conversations will also be on Fridays…

So, back to the Conversation about publishing…

The last post did explore a number of issues with Traditional Publishing and future posts may come back to discussing Self-Publishing…

However, the last reader comment in our Conversation (from a traditionally published author) was:

“‘Life of Copyright’ is an iniquitous contract term that, I believe, seeks to disadvantage the writer completely and gives the Traditional Publisher an unpaid advantage they should not have for the next generation or so. Some writers I know in Australia have taken a stand against this and refused to offer the publisher more than a ‘Licence to Publish’ for a fixed period of time, after which the book’s rights revert to them. This makes more sense to me. At the bottom of all this is FEAR. Many writers who are not wealthy or famous are just frightened that if they push back they will be dropped by the publisher. If EVERY writer in the world refused to sign contracts that were unfair they would have more power than the publishers. So PUSH back.”

There are many places in that comment that inspire me to begin my own comments; but, I’ll start with, “Many writers who are not wealthy or famous are just frightened that if they push back they will be dropped by the publisher.”

What first comes to my mind is, if a writer is afraid of what a traditional publisher can do, they might consider Self-Publishing; unless, they can afford a lawyer to fight the Trad. publisher into a rational submission…

However, the way most of the Big Trad. publishers operate, a writer could spend lots of money on a lawyer and have the result be a nonchalant door-slam from the publisher…

Another part of that author’s comment that draws me toward a comment of my own is, “If EVERY writer in the world refused to sign contracts that were unfair they would have more power than the publishers.”

This is something that may well materialize, though my best guess is that it could well take many decades…


The economic bubble for Trad. publishers bursts and all their corporate might is broken down into many independent, smaller publishing houses—all of them more than willing to deal with writers as equals…

Although, there are a swiftly growing number of Self-publishing writers; and, if that trend continues, it might be what pops the Trad. publishers economic bubble…

If you need to refresh your knowledge of economic bubbles, try this NY Times article—Bernanke, Blower of Bubbles?

Here’s a definitional excerpt:

“What is a bubble, anyway? Surprisingly, there’s no standard definition. But I’d define it as a situation in which asset prices appear to be based on implausible or inconsistent views about the future.”

I’ll leave it to you to decide whether “asset” in that excerpt means “book”; and, whether “implausible or inconsistent views about the future” can mean Trad. publishers’ lousy methods of deciding what readers really want to read…

Plus, from an article on Investopedia, which definitely indicates that economic bubbles can occur in various interesting places, here are five of the largest bubbles in history:

The Dutch Tulip Bubble in the 1600s

The South Sea Bubble in the 1700s

Japan’s Real Estate and Stock Market Bubble in the late 1900s and early 2000s

The Dot-Com Bubble in the late 1900s and early 2000s

The US Housing Bubble in the early 2000s

So, whether it’s a bubble-pop from shortsighted investment evaluations of unwanted books; or, the massive growth of profitable self-publishing; ( or, both ); it seems Traditional publishing might be a dinosaur that doesn’t know it’s going extinct…


Anything in today’s post that moves you to a response?

If not, are there topics you’d rather see discussed here?

I think I just gave you two reasons to leave a comment :-)
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