Authors, Books, Writing

Getting Published: The Contract

In this post, I’m going to talk about my experience with receiving and signing a contract for a book deal. Again, this is my personal experience with the process, it’s not the definitive example of a contract and the process, just something to file away for when you need it.

I wasn’t expecting a contract when it showed up in an attachment to an email informing me I hadn’t won the competition I had submitted to. But they liked the story enough to want to publish it. A lot ran through my mind. Things like: This is exciting, do I need to have a lawyer, what’s this going to cost me out-of-pocket, and did I mention this is exciting.

Once I looked over the contract, I decided I really didn’t need anyone else to go over it. I’m sure this wouldn’t be the case for every contract, but in this case, everything seemed on the up and up.

Here’s a few of the more useful things I learned about book contracts.

They read like legislation, which is to say, heavy on the lawyer speak. Go read some proposed bills or current law if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

Get a notebook and pen. Read the contract line by line jotting down what’s required of you and what the publisher is offering. This helped me tremendously.

Make sure you know what rights you retain and what rights the publisher gets. There’s potential for legal troubles if you don’t abide by the terms of the contract.

If in doubt, ask. If you’re aligned with a reputable publisher, they’re going to help you.

Take your time to decide if the contract is a good fit for you and your goals.

Again, this is just one experience with a book contract and my publisher made the process a breeze. Just be wary and when in doubt, get someone else to look it over.

Stay Focused and Write On!

Authors, Books, Writing

Getting Published #1

Over the course of the next few weeks, I’m going to try to go through the steps of what happens on the way to publication. At least in my case. I’m not an expert by any means. This is my first book after all. And this is only one route, of many, to get published.

The Submission:

I know, sounds daunting and perilous. Like you’re releasing a child into the world to be mocked and ridiculed. But it’s really not that bad. Just go for it. The worst that can happen is you get rejected. Then you just submit elsewhere. It’s not a reflection of you personally.

In my case, I was working on a short story about a not so typical genie, when I saw a competition for a publishing deal for a picture book. I tweaked the story a little to fit the criteria and finished it up, reviewed, edited a couple times, and polished it up. And submitted. Make sure what you submit fits the criteria for the competition or you’re just wasting yours and everyone else’s time.

Keep in mind that some competitions are free and others cost money. Usually 10 to 20 dollars. This one had a fee, so I weighed the pros and cons. I decided it was worth it and submitted. I usually do a few fee based and several free competitions throughout the year. You could quickly go broke doing all the fee based ones out there. Set a monthly or yearly budget for these and stick with it.

Then comes the waiting and the questioning voice in your head. Will I win? Will they even like it? Should I have submitted? This goes on until you hear back. I like to submit closer to the deadline to reduce the amount of time for that little voice to pester me.

Then the email finally arrives. What’s it going to say? A moment of hesitation and click. “We’re sorry to inform you…”. Those dreaded words. The demise of many a writer. But make sure you read the entire response. There may be feedback or other important info. In my case, I didn’t win, but was offered a contract because they liked the story so much.

This brings us to the contract stage, which I’ll talk about in my next post.

Books, Writing

Long Time No Post

It’s been quite some time since I last posted. Life, work, and just focusing more on writing, but it seems to have paid off. I got my 1st book published about a month ago. Exiting to say the least. I’m planning on doing a series of posts about the publishing process. At least my path through the process. Maybe it will give you some insight into what happens after you send out that finished story or novel. Until then, swing by Amazon and pick up a copy of my picture book, Just One Wish, from PenItPublications and Illustrated by Savannah Horton. Write on!

Books, Creative Writing, Novels, Writing, Writing Excercises

NaNoWriMo 2015

It’s November, a.k.a., National Novel Writing Month.  I’m going to be busy with doing my own version of this. I’m not writing a novel. I’m clearing out all the little short story ideas that I haven’t worked out.  Hopefully it gets me close to the 50,000 word target.  This will probably be my longest blog for the month, but I’ll try to post some quick ones throughout the process. For anyone else trying this, here’s a few tips.  Stay Focused and Write On!