So, there seem to be some sites that offer “advice” to new authors about what to ask for of potential publishers, things like the inclusion of non-existent insurance policies and phrases to put in the contracts that, if the authors bothered paying attention rather than blindly following their directions, they would see make them look terriblly suspicious. Instead of looking like responsible authors, they end up with red flags sprouting up all over.
These sites appear to be offering legal advice, a convenient alternative to stopping by an actual lawyer’s office to have them look over your contract, usually for a reasonable price or no charge at all. Why bother talking to a legitimate professional when you could put your future career in the hands of whomever created one of these websites? Even if they claim to be real lawyers and their credentials can be researched, why are they bothering with a site instead of helping people in their office? There is usually something fishy going on, and with these sites, it’s generally one big promotional site to push their book sales, which don’t really help anyone at all.
I’ll offer up a quick example. It shows the nonexistent insurance thing I mentioned in the second paragraph of this “answer”: CLICK HERE
Do “media perils” insurance companies really exist? Sure. Do you know what happens when you, or even groups of authors try to bring a plagiarist down, even with tons of evidence? Nothing. Look into all the trouble that went into going after David Boyer as an example. The system doesn’t care enough. There is a reason you only hear of a rare few cases on this matter in the news. These companies are there to take your money and give you peace of mind, sort of like those people selling dreamcatchers and good luck charms at the fair. But the actual “insurance” is hogwash.
These “lawyers” on the sites (I suspect a strong connection between them and these “insurance” companies) are trying to make money off of you, though, so they’re going to try to make it sound important. They’ll keep saying most publishers have the insurance. They don’t.
Want another example? Why not?
In the last paragraph of the above “answer,” it recommends asking the publisher to include in the warranty clause “best of your knowledge” to protect against “inadvertant errors and omissions.” This is the clause that states you, the author, have submitted original work and it’s completely legal for you to contract it with the publisher.
Do you really think if an author says, “Yeah, put ‘to the best of my knowledge’ in there, mkay?” that the publisher won’t immediately suspect you’re contracting unoriginal or illegal work with them? You’d might as well say, “I might be a plagiarist but I don’t remember.”
Hello! See how quickly you’re dropped.
And those are only two examples. They have an entire site, they sell the predictable books, push the smelly insurance, and there are other sites like it. And people obey these complete strangers who couldn’t give two shits about their manuscript but…
I have a better idea. Use common sense, instead. If a publisher is holding up a contract, talk to them. These strangers do give a shit about you and your manuscript or they wouldn’t have offered anything in the first place. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to them, you don’t need to do business with them and you’re wasting their time.