October 16, 2014 by Laird
This goes for all writers, but especially for those of you without agents–pay attention to your contract language. Some small presses will attempt to take a cut of film/television proceeds, or attach them outright. My answer is No. Without exception or remorse.
Newer, unestablished authors are particularly vulnerable to this ploy. They fear rocking the boat, or they tell themselves, “what’s the harm, it’s not like my stuff will sell to Hollywood.”
Do what you must, of course. Saying no to a rights grab may well result in a lost deal. My opinion is that no small press offers enough money or exposure to an author to justify going after film/television rights. Not even close.
Weigh the costs and what you’re willing to surrender to make the sale. Whatever you do, keep in mind this isn’t, at the moment, standard behavior. Don’t sell yourself short.