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Intellectual Property

I Took the Hits, So You Don’t Have To

In March 2008, I gave up law practice for the final time. My final legal job was in-house corporate counsel negotiating intellectual property contracts. Despite that pedigree, I wasn’t savvy when I negotiated my first agent contract, or my first publishing contracts.

ebookThe excitement of having that agent (and let me tell you, she’s still that agent), or that publisher made me set my good sense aside. I did not make the best deals that I could.

Then when I had publisher problems, it took a lot to break out of that nice girl mode and advocate for myself.

I’ve finally figured out how to be a much stronger advocate and negotiator—for myself. Doing it for clients was never a problem. I slouched on the job when it came to myself, my books, my deals, and my rights, though.

I have the bruises, scars, and career setbacks, so you don’t have to. You should leave the California Dreamin’ conference being the best advocate that you can for your publishing career.

I’m on two panels this March with Maggie Marr and Maria Powers. They are The Writer’s Team, and Literary Trusts, LLCs and You. What these have in common, other than the presenters, is that they focus on the writer holding the reins of their career and their intellectual property.

There are thousands of options and hundreds of decisions, and dozens of back alleys. Don’t go in blind.

Not every choice works for every author. I’ve seen three book NY print deals (the holy grail) go well and go south. I’ve seen small publishers make New York Times bestsellers and others go belly up. Some of it’s timing. Some of it’s luck. Some of it’s skill. And those are the factors that you can manipulate, but not control.

But the one thing successful long term authors have in common is command of their career, and peace with their decisions.

I want you to leave the California Dreamin’ conference with those tools to make the right decisions for you and the peace of mind that you did the best that you could with the knowledge that you had.

Come to the panels. Get the knowledge. Your future self will thank you.


Sylvie-white-backgroundSylvie Fox is the author of Qualified Immunity and The Good Enough Husband. She’s also the author of Unlikely and Impasse, the first two books in the sexy, contemporary L.A. Nights series. 

Don’t Judge Me, the first book in the Judgment series, released this September. When she’s not battling traffic on the freeways of Los Angeles, she’s eating her way through Budapest.

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