Those of you who are writing, or ever dreamed of writing, go read my wife’s blog today about one of the very, very nasty problems of contracts these days. Even if you have no intention of every going with a traditional publisher, you might get a movie deal or an audio deal or a deal for translation rights with an overseas publisher. You need to know this stuff and the anti-competition clauses in contracts is not something you ever want to have your head in the sand on.
My suggestion for writers is simple (and honestly just silly). When a publisher wants to control your future books with an anti-compete clause, then tell them you’ll be glad to sign that if they don’t publish another book that will compete with yours in the same time period. So if they buy your sf book and they don’t want you to publish another sf book or story for two years, then tell them they can’t publish another sf book for two years either. (grin)
They won’t go for it, of course, since they are constantly going to publish books that compete with yours right alongside your book. But you will make a point about how stupid this clause is. And how fantastically dangerous. If they still insist on limiting your rights to publish what you want, WALK AWAY!
Go read Kris’s new post. Maybe read it twice. It’s that important.