Because I had a wonderful and long conversation today with a friend who has been a major business lawyer for forty years in the real world, I decided to do this post. The conversation with someone who understands real business was refreshing after spending most of my time around writers who actively ignore sane business practices.
So in no particular order, here are ten of the really head-shaking business practices writers do that would be laughed at in any real-world business setting.
1… Give 15% of a piece of property for the life of the property to a person who does a few chores. (I call it giving the gardner 15% of your house for mowing the lawn a few times.)
2… Let a non-licensed English-major negotiate a complex legal document with multi-national corporations.
3… Refusing to do a basic background check on a stranger you want handling your money, and then give them all the money and all the paperwork to go along with the money.
4… Think that selling your goods in only one store is a smart, long-term business practice.
5… Try something for a month and then claim for years it didn’t work. Or have something work and close your mind to all other ways of doing something.
6… Think that corporations in publishing have advantages that you do not have and then whine about it all the time even though all evidence shows we all play on the same level playing field. (Of course, that playing field requires knowledge and business sense to see, so this one is understandable for most writers who have neither publishing knowledge or business sense.)
7… Sell property for the life of the property for a few thousand dollars and then whine a few years later that the evil bad people won’t give you (for free) your property back even though you signed the contract selling that property and took their money.
8… Refuse to learn how to negotiate on anything. Or stand ground in a negotiation.
9… Refuse to learn what is really being created and what is really being licensed in contracts.
10… Refuse to learn just basic business and instead follow the “standard” publishing business practices you heard somewhere even though the “standard” publishing practices are forty years old and worthless in this modern world.
Wow, there are a bunch more. But for now, this is enough.