Read the Brutal Contract from James Frey’s Fiction Factory

Photo: Photo-illustration by Gluekit

New York's Suzanne Mozes was in negotiations to work with Full Fathom Five, the publishing company created by the controversial author James Frey. (You can read the full story here.) The company ended up rescinding its offer, but not before sending one of its unusually restrictive contracts, which offers authors a mere $250 up front. Veteran publishing attorney Conrad Rippy said he had never seen anything like it:


It’s an agreement that says, “You’re going to write for me. I’m going to own it. I may or may not give you credit. If there is more than one book in the series, you are on the hook to write those too, for the exact same terms, but I don’t have to use you. In exchange for this, I’m going to pay you 40 percent of some amount you can’t verify — there’s no audit provision — and after the deduction of a whole bunch of expenses.”

Here is the contract in full, with Mozes's and Full Fathom Five's contact details redacted: