Bookshelves of Doom shares that a publisher is attempting to include a morality clause in its contracts with children's authors.
From the Guardian Book Blog: "a well-established, enormous publishing house has decided to insert the following clause into its standard contract for children's books: "If you act or behave in a way which damages your reputation as a person suitable to work with or be associated with children, and consequently the market for or value of the work is seriously diminished, and we may (at our option) take any of the following actions: Delay publication / Renegotiate advance / Terminate the agreement."" Click thru to find out the name of the publisher; it's one you'll recognize.
Any American authors care to comment as to if they've seen this in recent contracts on this side of the Atlantic?
Now, the rant.
What annoys me about morality clauses such as this is that the people who want them hardly live up to them. Will all people in the publishing industry have to live up to this? And, more importantly, what about the parents? If the parents get to judge every aspect of an author's life, why not turn the tables and judge every. little. thing about the parents?
But what really pisses me off about the whole thing?
It's a big old fake. Seriously. Who gives a damn about anything besides the book? What does it matter what the author does or does not do, or think, or say outside the book? How often does a kid even know about it?
Why is it a fake? Because it is not about the book. It is not about the author.
It is about control. It's about a certain kind of person who isn't satisfied with living their life a certain way; they want to dictate how others live and think. And if the author isn't the "right" sort of person and doesn't do and say the "right" thing ... then the book being made of awesome doesn't matter. You won't get your money. Your book won't get published.