Over at Making Light, Jim Macdonald lays out the basics of Yog’s Law in clear, simple prose, so even dummies like me can understand.
Yog’s Law is very simple: Money flows toward the author.
The corollary is: The only place a writer signs a check is on the back.
For commercial publishing, this is absolutely true, and, I hope, intuitively obvious. Once you’ve moved away from it, you’re out of the realm of commercial publishing.
It seems like such a simple, obvious thing but sometimes those simple, obvious things need to be stated clearly, loudly and often, just so they sink in.
As an experiment, I self published a book, doing all the work myself. It shows, mostly in the typos. But I learned Yog’s law in a very real sense by doing this experiment. But I’m hard headed and learn by doing, so now Yog’s law is a visceral part of my writing toolbox.
That’s why I’ll be shopping the next book around to publishers.