January 31, 2014

Flash! Friday: Prompt #2-8

They aren't making it easy on us over at Flash! Friday: this week's judge's bidding is to include a phone call in our stories (150 words +/- 10) based on the photo below.

Are you up for the challenge? Remember, entries are welcome until midnight Eastern time!

January 27, 2014

Contract Basics: Publication

Part of publication, as we all know, is editing. There's the revising we all do long before anyone is interested in reading, much less publishing, our work—and then there are the many rounds of editing & revising done after you've signed your shiny new publishing deal. Even if your book is "perfect," it will, at the very least, be seen by a proofreader, and probably by copy and line editors.
  • A dirty little secret of the querying process is that, even if your book isn't ready for publication, publishers could acquire it and then employ a developmental editor to transform your book from "having potential" to "ready to publish."

All of that is fairly standard, and after each editor sees your manuscript, you will go over it to incorporate their notes. In your contract, you should watch out for any language limiting the time you have to do your part of the editing. The end of this fairly lengthy process is something that's called "Delivery & Acceptance." Basically, you deliver the finished manuscript to the publisher, and the publisher decides whether it is in fact ready to be published. 

January 20, 2014

Contract Basics: Subsidiary Rights

As I mentioned in my previous Publishing Contracts post, this time we’re focusing on subsidiary rights and what those mean for your contract.

Subsidiary rights can include translated editions, reprints (2nd editions, for instance), and audio rights; re-workings such as TV/film, live stage, webisodes, and video games; and “derivative products” such as clothes, notebooks, candy, etc.—basically anything that could potentially make money when related to your book.  A publisher may ask for every subsidiary right imaginable, or only for a few—or they may ask for some major ones at the deal points stage and assume you would also agree to a bunch of others they consider less important, which they will then include in the contract, so read carefully!

January 17, 2014

Flash! Friday: Prompt #2-6

This week's Flash! Friday prompt (pictured below) requires a 150-word story (+/-10) with the added instruction of including a tiger or a turtle. Ready? Here goes:

Friends for Life

“We could do it, you know.”

“Do what?” Sarah didn’t take her eyes off the grass between her fingers.

“Rig it. Show Davey what it’s like to fly.”

They turned to watch the security crew, striding over the steel skeleton.

“He wouldn’t go without Tim,” Sarah said eventually.

January 13, 2014

Contract Basics: Grant of Rights

Welcome to my first post discussing Publishing Contracts! To start us off, some background:

When you receive an offer (Exciting thought, I know! When you’re done imagining all the squealing and jumping up and down, take a deep breath and keep reading.), it can come as either deal points or a full-fledged contract. Deal points are essentially an outline of the most important pieces of the offer, and all of them will be in the contract, but they are the version without the legalese. If you want to negotiate deal points, this would be done before a contract is drawn up.

January 10, 2014

Flash! Friday: Prompt #2-5

Welcome to my first Flash! Friday story of 2014! Hopefully, going forward, I can reestablish my weekly entries for this contest.

This week's prompt is right on the money for the beginning of the year, with the required element of time travel in a 150-word (+/- 10) story based on this photo: 

This honestly isn't my favorite of my stories, but here goes:

January 6, 2014

Publishing Contract Basics

I'm the type of person who likes to do my research.  So, long before I even started querying, I began looking into tips for un-agented authors (when I was deciding whether or not I wanted to pursue agency representation).  These mostly centered on the biggest piece of any deal: the publishing contract. 

My favorite to date is probably still Kristen Nelson's Agenting 101 sequence, which starts here.  As Ms. Nelson points out in that very first post, sometimes authors without experience and/or an agent make really silly mistakes when it comes to their contracts. I've read many different sources and even spoken with some lawyers – all of whom caution against diving into an un-negotiated contract because of the many pitfalls hidden from inexperienced eyes, some of which could easily destroy a budding author's career. So, I've decided to do a sequence of posts on the different pieces of publishing contracts. 
Disclaimer: I am NOT (did you see how emphasized that word is?!) a lawyer, and I encourage anyone without a trusted agent to consult one before signing anything.  These posts will focus on my own opinions, synthesized information that I've learned from my research, and some common sense, all to help aspiring authors understand what they're getting into.  My informative posts should not replace professional advice!
For a good start before diving in, you may want to check out some sample publishing contracts posted here and here.
Do you have questions about publishing contracts? Ask them in the comments!  I will do my best to find and post the answers as I go along.