Predatory contracts

Here’s a sad anecdote about a woman who got taken in by a scam vanity press that’s worse than most: the contract requires her to buy a certain number of her own books every month. I’ve never previously heard of that.

But this reminded me of the worst contract I’ve ever heard of, which in fact was just this morning.

I saw a reference on Quora and looked it up, and here’s the Writer Beware post on this particular predatory … that isn’t a strong enough term … this vicious contract from an outfit called GoodNovel:

– The rights grab extends not just to related works, but, potentially, to all future work.

Taken literally, which contracts generally are, this requires the writer to submit anything they ever write to GoodNovel, forever.

And … I don’t even know what to say about this.

Except: if you’re thinking of signing a contract, read it first.

Real takeaway from this contract: Wow, I can’t believe contracts can even be this terrible. I wonder if a lawyer could break a person out of it and how much that would cost. Honestly, this kind of contract should just be illegal in the first place.

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2 thoughts on “Predatory contracts”

  1. I was flabbergasted.

    Not sure I’ve ever used the word “flabbergasted” before in my life, but it sure fits.

    The moment that post hit Writer Beware, Mercedes Lackey went down the list of Quora questions about “Is GoodNovel a legitimate platform” and said, on each question, NO, and linked the post. If she hadn’t, I would have. One of the terrible details is that there are answers on those questions saying Sure, absolutely, it’s great! I assume those are posted by GoodNovel staff, and how they can look at themselves in the mirror I have no idea; or by REALLY clueless writers.

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