Monday, May 21, 2007

Goodbye Miss Snark! I’ll Miss You

STATUS: A little sad. See below. Just a heads up to let you know that Chutney is doing well. Her stomach is giving her occasional problems but you don’t really need details about that.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? SAVE A PRAYER by Duran Duran

I heard the very sad news this morning when a friend emailed me the link. Yes, it’s true. Miss Snark is retiring.

Why am I sad? Because she would often say (and rather bluntly) what I could not as a non-anonymous, very nice literary agent.

She could be our mouthpiece for the truth that needed to be said without any sugar-coating. And I know I’m not the only agent who felt that way.

But don’t worry, I don’t have any plans to end my blogging but I can sometimes sympathize with Miss Snark and Jennifer Jackson. Some days it’s a real stretch to come up with a topic worth blogging about. As long as you don’t mind a few blog lights here and there, we’ll probably be fine.

Now on to the topic that still has me steamed. I’m particularly enjoying the S&S’s most recent press release where they manage to dance around everything but the real issue—that without sales thresholds for POD copies, there’s no way for rights to revert (which is not in an author’s favor) despite all those good proclamations about how this is really a benefit to authors. Read the press release for yourself right here.

Snort.

Oops. Did I just do that aloud?

So some key phrases: “we are willing to have an open and forthright dialogue on this or any other topic.

I guess I’ll soon find out.

Another key phrase: “to keep the author’s book available for sale over the term of the license.”

Well two things here folks:

1. We have OOP clauses so we don’t have to specify an exact term of the license in the publishing contract because once it’s out of print, rights revert (when sales thresholds are included that is).

2. As discussed with my contracts manager, we would be open to specifying an exact term for the license but at the moment, we didn’t have to because we had very specific Out of Print clauses that made the term of the license clear. And the vote is not in yet on whether S&S will be “open and forthright” about a dialogue concerning license term limits specified when negotiating the initial Grant of Rights.

I guess I’ll soon find out about that as well.