Friday, July 14, 2017

Don't Fear The Adaptation!

The description for this week's On The Books says it all: Author Brian Niemeier and Geek Gab Prime host Daddy Warpig chat with Mike Lermon and Richard Rosenthal, the producers of John Ringo's Black Tide Rising TV project.

Anyone going "OH, JOHN RINGO, NO!" can go fuck themselves. This is an awesome development, and I am thrilled that Ringo gets to have any of his books adapted into another medium. In this case, it's a television serial aimed at streaming services like Netflix or Amazon Prime, but I wouldn't care if it was by Animal Planet as a docu-drama starring lemurs. The very fact that someone cut a check for the rights to do it means that Ringo did his job well enough to merit a second payday, and "Writer Gets Paid" is the fundamental measure of acumen for a professional writer.

This is why, as best you can, you need to retain rights to your work because your ability to negotiate the license of those rights to other parties is a vital secondary source of income for your work- and you need not write another word to make it happen. You'll likely need to turn around some of that income to a lawyer to help you navigate the contract and ensure compliance, but it's worth it.

The stories you create are valuable property in and of themselves, able to generate wealth well after you die in a passive manner, so don't fear the adaptation. Even if it's a dumpster fire, they still had to cut you a respectable check to make that happen, and you get to learn from your mistake without too much pain. Know your rights and guard then well; they can make the effort to write that book pay off for decades to come.

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