By now, some of you may have heard aboutHydra. That’s a good name for Random House’s new electronic science fiction imprint. Like the legenday beast, Hydra is a many headed monster that poses a danger to new and inexperienced authors. The contract terms being offered are incredibly bad. There is no advance. The author is charged for services you would expect the publisher to pay such as editing, marketing, and artwork. Finally, the contact asks for primary and subsidiary rights for the term of copyright. For full details, check out the following posts:
- Random House’s Hydra Imprint Has Appallingly Bad Contract Terms
- Second Class Contracts? Deal Terms at Random House’s Hydra Imprint
- SFWA Slaps Random House’s Digital SF Imprint
What is mind boggling about this is Random House’s Response to the SFWA. Maybe things will change in the future? For the time being, I would avoid Hydra.