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obvious noob questions from a writer
Hi there - Welcome to OASmile

Please see my responses to your specific questions below...

(11-11-2013, 01:11 AM)TheodoreBonn Wrote: Stumbled across Orion's Arm a couple days ago and I'm blown away. The depth of this Universe...the quality of the ideas that are Just wow.

I'd love to play. But I'm not sure I can.

First, thank you for the compliment - it's always nice to be appreciatedBig Grin

And we always like to have new friends to play with - as such we're generally pretty motivated to try and find ways to let people play in our sandbox. Please see below...

(11-11-2013, 01:11 AM)TheodoreBonn Wrote: I went through the OA submissions agreement and I'm a little hazy on the following:

Contributing writers apparently own the copyright to any work they submit within the OA universe...but anything you submit, OA can modify or reprint, or even assign to another writer. How does this work? Also...if I adapt these novels to OA, and they sell, how is the payment divided? Because these books were a labor of love and all...but love also don't pay the rent, if you get my meaning, and considering I've poured a significant fraction of my adult life into writing them I'm more than slightly leery of third-party ownership getting involved.

Any clarification would be greatly appreciated.

Ok - to me it looks like there are two questions here - so will answer as such.

a) The submissions agreement - Basically the submissions agreement is primarily intended to deal with content contributed for the purpose of expanding/adding to the OA setting itself - the Encyclopedia Galactica primarily. Because the project is ever evolving and based on real-world physics, we have found it necessary from time to time to update or even remove EG entries because the group's conception of OA has changed or real world developments have made an entry dated or even flat out wrong/obsolete. When this sort of thing happens our preferred approach is to have the original author update the content - however, they aren't always around anymore or there may be other issues. So the OAUP reserves the right to update/remove content as we see fit within the setting.

Whenever possible we try to make such updates either minimal (changing a term) or additive (adding additional content to what was first written) and to continue to credit the original author while also adding the names of the authors who contributed the additional or updated ideas. You may see articles in the EG that credit an author and then say something like 'with updates by author(s) X, Y, and Z. We also have a fair bit of multi-author content that starts out that way.

Regarding works of fiction - while we do technically reserve the same rights re making updates to keep a story current, we are generally loath to do that. If we must do it, it would be in a situation where a concept that is in a story has been removed from the setting (ex - we used to have something called femtotech) and we cannot reach the author to do an update. In such a case we would aim to make the change as minimal as possible (changing femtotech to godtech say) and the author would continue to be credited as the sole author.

Truthfully, when the submission agreement was first put together, I think we were mainly thinking about EGs and not stories. We may want to go back and re-examine it to see if we want to modify it to better handle (or at least more clearly address) fiction and the concerns that you raise - our goal is to encourage people to write stories set in OA, not discourage them (jots mental note to discuss with the Board).

Note that all of the above applies to stories published on the website and/or in our ezine. We currently have one hardcopy story compilation out there and are working on another. In the case of these works, any edits along the lines of those mentioned above for stories would take place before publication (and preferably would have been worked out with the authors from the get go) and once the book is published, it's published. We've yet to have a need to do a reprint or updated edition, nor do we have plans to do so at this time. So it probably won't be an issue in the foreseeable future.

For stories published independently, we ask that you include an attribution to the Orion's Arm project. We would need to discuss the details of the wording but it would be pretty minimal - something to go in the front or back of the book or the like - essentially saying something like 'this story is set in the Orion's Arm universe (our URL).' If you were doing a non-OA story but wanted to use a bunch of our ideas/content we would ask for a differently worded attribution, basically saying that the story included concepts from the OA universe (our URL) and that they are used with permission. Either way, exact wording is something we could discuss and a contract laying out exactly what we are all agreeing too would be produced and signed by you and an OA representative.

Beyond that, the book/story is yours and any changes that may come to the setting after it is published are something we all just live with until/unless you want to do a reprint and would like to update the story to match the 'current version' of the setting.

b) How payment works - Basically, if you publish a work independently and provide proper attribution, it's your work and you get all the proceeds from sales. All OA gets out if it is the attribution, which we see as free advertising for the project. We'd also appreciate it if you would say nice things about us while promoting the work, but that's totally your choice. In at least one case I was able to throw together a fly design for an author who was doing a book show for our current published work. She paid for printing out of her pocket - it was sort of an ad hoc request.

If you publish a work with OA - on our website/in our ezine/whatever and we then do something (such as including it in a compilation of OA stories or working to publish on your behalf) that gets it out in the world and has it making money, the pay breakdown currently works as follows:

OA gets 50% of all revenues made after expenses.

Author(s) get the remaining 50%

If you are the only author you get half the money made after expenses. If you are one of multiple authors, the 50% author portion would be divided up evenly among all the authors.

Note that I said that this is the current set up - If you were wanting to publish a work with a somewhat different pay breakdown, we're quite willing to listen to your proposal.

Note that OA is a non-profit corporation that is basically 'staffed' by volunteers. We have no paid staff and nobody gets a paycheck (in fact our managing board/senior members (including myself) pay an annual fee to help support the project). The money that OA gets goes to pay expenses (server fees, domain names, etc.) and for prizes for contests and such for the members (we haven't done a lot of those yet and are kind of feeling our way, but hope to do more over time.)

Ok, I think that about covers it. If I've missed something or you have further questions, please don't hesitate to ask for clarification or additional info here.



Messages In This Thread
RE: obvious noob questions from a writer - by Drashner1 - 11-11-2013, 02:13 AM

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