Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Three Ways to give yourself a headache

Waiting, waiting, waiting.

Waiting to hear what the Big Publisher thought of the stuff I sent. Waiting to hear if the UP1 publisher is actually going to get around to paying. Waiting for a call from the manager. Waiting to find out what the hell’s going on with That Publisher.

Writing, writing, writing.

Treatment for the screenplay’s almost finished--I’ll be heading back into the script to make the changes agreed upon tomorrow. Or Friday. Probably Friday, actually. THE HOLIDAY MEN #1 is slowly being torn out of my brain and slapped on the screen. Brainbusting some new ideas, just to make sure I’m still capable of coming up with new ideas (I worry.)

Reading, reading, reading.

Steven Grant’s Permanent Damage column at is always worth reading, but a couple of passages really jumped out at me today.

“Publishers need frameworks and guidelines whereby editors can unilaterally take on at least a few projects without going through extended permissions chains. Which means - and this may be the biggest stumbling block - everyone in the process needs to learn to trust each other more, and to not betray trust placed in them.”

This is so astonishingly true I almost fell out of my chair when I read it. While the context applies to editors dealing with the higher-ups, it could just as easily be applied to editors trusting creators to do the job they’ve been hired to do.

Another thing Grant wrote that caught my eye:

“In this business, if you don't want to share the pie that's called "work-for-hire" and there are rules governing it. The biggest of those rules is: money. The only way around it is to either hire artists willing to work just for the exposure - which usually indicates they're not ready for prime time and the resulting book won't look all that good - or to luck out and latch onto some artistic genius five minutes before they're discovered by the rest of the world…
But be prepared to pay for it. If you're asking other people to help make your dream come true, it's only fair.”

I wrote a lengthy rant inspired by that which I’m pretty sure I’m legally unable to post.

The short version is: What Grant’s saying is right. It is only fair. And it’s so increasingly rare that those in the industry give what’s fair even a first thought, much less a second, that thinking about it has given me a headache. The original rant cited a number of examples of the wrongs committed against creators I know. In light of the pounding in my skull, I just can’t be bothered to rewrite those examples in such a way as to ensure that someone, somewhere, can’t be sued.

Maybe tomorrow. But probably not.


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