Got My Baby Back

That’s right. Finally, the Encyclopedia Cthulhiana rights have reverted to me from Chaosium – or, I told them I wanted them back, and they didn’t bother to respond. This is bad news for those of you who want to buy it, because it means the publisher search has to start all over again (and with everything else going on, that’s not a huge priority right now). Still, it’s a start.

In the past, I’ve said some negative things about Chaosium. No such language will be used here on Papers! This blog is dedicated to moral edification and uplifting thoughts, not crass negativity!

I did happen to find the following piece lying around here, though, which I will post, even though it has no connection with any of the above:

Dan’s Advice to Young Publishers

  • Pay your authors.
  • “Paying” your authors also includes that line in the contract about royalties.
  • If you are unable to pay your authors, contact them as soon as possible. Plus – this is the important part – understand that the author is doing you a favor by not immediately demanding that you pay them, and treat them accordingly.
  • Even authors who aren’t being paid will want to know how their books are doing. Send them this information at the regular time for royalties – usually twice a year – if royalties themselves are not forthcoming.
  • If authors have inquiries, answer them. Don’t say, “Oh, it’s X asking about payment again,” and then close the email. (Doing this in front of someone to whom you owe money will not reassure them.)
  • If nothing else, send out more than an impersonal update once a year to explain to the authors what’s going on and when you feel you’ll be able to pay them.
  • If an author says, “I could use some payment right now, as I’m in a bad patch,” it is poor manners to tell them you’ll look into it and then never get back to them.
  • When adding something to a book – such as, say, the pronunciation guide to ultraterrestrial beings – notify the author beforehand, or at least before he opens the latest printing in a bookstore.
  • If someone allows you to pay part of your debt in product, please remember to actually send that product.
  • Authors like being translated. If you manage to land a translation deal, let the author know. Even better, pay them their share of what it’s worth as per the contract. You know, the piece of paper above that mentions “royalties.”
  • Authors might also want a copy of their translation.  If they ask, try to get one, especially if you’re asked repeatedly and told it’s part of their job evaluation.
  • If you acknowledge that you have mistreated an author, take the next step and actually treat them better in the future.
  • If the author calls your accounting tally into question, respond to them promptly and address their concern. Do not ignore their email and hope it goes away.
  • That “contract” describes certain obligations between you and the author. The assumption is that these obligations will be performed at the specified times without the author having to hover over you like a babysitter to make sure you comply. If you are unable to perform such obligations, it is best to discharge them honorably and move on.

More on Gates tomorrow. Good night!

Published in: on November 6, 2006 at 10:36 pm  Comments (6)  

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Congradulations Dan, looking forward to the new edition. I would suggest Elder Signs Press as one publisher who might be interested in it. Are you planning to expand it? A lot has been contributed to the Mythos since the last edition?

    Best regards
    David Conyers

  2. Encyclopedia Cthulhiana is an awesome book. I’m also looking forward to a new edition. Congrats Dan and good luck finding a publisher!

  3. That’s why I suddenly can’t find a copy of Encyclopedia Cthulhiana anywhere except for a first edition copy on eBay. While I’ll eagerly await a new edition, I’d really like to get a copy of the 2nd edition as a stop-gap. Any ideas where I could get a copy? Thanks and good luck!1

  4. Matt,

    That’s a tough one. I’d keep an eye on abebooks.com, nobleknight.com (this has what is purportedly a “first edition” but the cover shown is the second – maybe a query is in order?), and the Boo-Boo Books section of chaosium.com. Given the tendency of many gaming stores to keep old product on the shelves forever, you might also call around to some retailers and see what develops.

    Dan

  5. […] I will charitably assume that this person is Chaosium’s accountant, because I’m not sure how he’d know this as a certainty otherwise.   He could have gained it by talking with Chaosium, but they might not be the most reliable sources.  For example, I sent a friend to  their booth at a recent con to ask when the Encyclopedia would be reprinted.   The rep said they didn’t know, but they hoped it would be soon.  Both are technically true, but neither recognizes that Chaosium doesn’t have the rights. […]

  6. […] Games) I don’t say much about Chaosium on this blog, for reasons that long-time readers will remember. Nonetheless, Robert M. Price, former editor of the Chaosium fiction line, had the following to say […]


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