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Random House Hydra, Alibi, Flirt, Loveswept Contracts Improved Following Writer Pressure

03/12/2013 05:01 pm ET

Following pressure from the writing community, Random House has changed its controversial contract terms for digital-only imprints Hydra, Alibi, Loveswept and Flirt.

"In response to recent constructive discussions with authors, agents and writers’ groups, including the Horror Writers Association, we are making adjustments to our proposed terms... Prospective authors will have a choice of two models under which to publish: a profit share or an advance plus royalty."

Victoria Strauss from the Writer Beware website described the change as "a significant improvement."

Among the changes are a clear definition of one meaning of the term "out of print" in a digital age, defined here as "if sales fall below 300 copies over the 12 months preceding the demand," at which point the author can demand that the rights return to them.

Bestselling author John Scalzi, one of the more outspoken critics of the original terms, said that the changes were the result of

a community effort and the community includes the organization the complaints were directed toward.

“We” didn’t win; Random House didn’t lose — or vice versa. What happened was a conversation on where writers and publishers are at this moment in history, in public and in real time. Random House listened and made adjustments based on the feedback it got. This is a praiseworthy event; I am glad they did it, and they deserve credit and thanks for doing so.

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