When you think you got a bad deal [Filipino/English]

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Ito ang pinakamalungkot na experience ko dito sa pag-post ng advice. Yung masabihan ng ganito ng published author: "Alam kong hindi masyadong OK yung contract ko pero gusto ko lang talaga ma-publish at take it or leave it yung kontrata eh. Wala akong choice."

Actually if you've signed a contract na, I can't really do anything. If you're happy, then you're happy, congratulations. You don't need to read this further or defend your contract. Alam naman nating lahat kung bakit mo ito tinanggap.

Kung naman ay pumirma ka, o pipirma ka na, pero hindi ka masaya, may lawyer friend akong sinulat ito para sa iyo. :)

Summary: Kung pipirma, tignan yung part ng kontrata na ine-explain ito:

Kailan mage-expire ang kontrata? (Para pag may terms na hindi maganda, at least alam mo kung kailan matatapos.)

Ano ang mga commitment ng publisher sa iyo, at ano ang mangyayari pag di nila ito nagawa?

Kapag may additional na tanong, sa kanya ko na lang ipapasa. :)

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A bad deal isn't one where you don't get what you want, it's when you give up something you already have and enjoy in exchange for nothing, or for something that you don't want. Some people take the deal and experience buyer's remorse; some people walk away from the deal and experience another kind of regret. However, there are a few things you can do to manage the deal and make a bad deal tolerable for a bit.

1. Define an ending. Make sure your contract has a termination clause, which states when the agreement will end. There are many ways to terminate an agreement, but the most common are when parties agree that the contract will only last for a certain period of time (e.g. 5 years) or after the fulfillment of a condition (e.g. after a print run of 5,000 copies, or upon receipt of payment of a sum of money). 

2. Define fails. By including in the contract clauses that will govern when things go boom, it will help you manage the outcome when things go wrong. Things that can go wrong include misrepresentation (false promises), breach of warranty, failure to deliver on promises, failure to satisfy a condition, force majeure, business dispute, or occurrence of or non-occurrence of a specified event. You can't anticipate everything that will go wrong, and sometimes, the worst that happens is something that you did not expect at all, but at least you can prepare for some of them.

3. Define remedies. Once you've defined the fails, consider what you want to happen to address these fails. Do you want for the situation to be corrected, the promise to be kept, or the condition to be fulfilled? Do you want additional compensation because of the fail? Or do you think this fail is grave enough that the agreement should be terminated? Is termination the best solution, or can the situation still be salvaged?

4. Define how to settle disputes. What happens if parties can't agree? You can also write into the contract how parties will solve the problem. Do they have an amicable discussion? Do they ask an independent disinterested person to mediate or arbitrate? Or do you go to court?

Remember that circumstances change. Sometimes, what seemed to be a bad deal turns out to be something you can accept after all. Sometimes a deal that was perfectly acceptable a few years ago may no longer be the best fit after some time. Hence the importance of an expiration clause to your contract. Sometimes, people promise things, but then they don't deliver on their promises, and what you used to think was a good deal is no longer quite as good. Hence the importance of defining the consequences if this happens.

Moral Lesson: don't burn bridges. Later, you might end up forced friends!

Publishing and Self-publishing: Advice for WritersTahanan ng mga kuwento. Tumuklas ngayon