The agony of writing.

Thursday, December 11, 2008
For those of you that don't know the story, I was offered a publishing contract by a small house. I struggled over whether to "settle," because I felt like my work might never see book form if I didn't. I had conceded that I had to start somewhere, and was in the process of renegotiating the contract when I hit a brick wall. I did a lot of research into publishing contracts, and their's was AWFUL. Basically, I was giving them the copyright for the term of the copyright (some 150 years). Plus they'd wormed in some wording that assured I didn't get paid much of anything (we're talking 5% of the sale price).

Still, I would have signed the thing, had an agent not offered to represent me. I did as much research as I could--checked him out on Agent Verification, Predators and Editors, Writer's Beware, etc. He checked out as legit in every case.

So I signed.

And I waited. And waited. He sent it out in Sept., and I'm wondering how long it takes for publishers to get with it. I don't want to be that "pushy author." So I've tried to let it lie, but oh it's so hard! Especially when I'm such a worrier by nature.

I should have been a stripper. Much more straightforward.

8 comments:

  1. Cheer up, Amber. I think you like the writing, it's the publishing that sucks.

  1. I love the writing! You're right. It's dealing with the publishing industry that sucks.
    And I am cheerful. I love Christmas!

  1. jchart said...:

    Hang in there! Hopefully everything turns out okay, at least you are still smiling and there is Christmas to look forward to :-)

  1. Yes. And my brand new leather office chair with lumbar support. How much happier could one girl get!

  1. Steve said...:

    Amber,

    I saw your post on Michelle Argyle's Innocent Flower blog. I'm her father-in-law. I remember my grandfather speaking of an Uncle Alma. As nearly as I have been able to determine, everyone in the world with our surname is descended from a single family who appeared in the midlands of England in the late 17th/early 18th century. Family tradition holds that we descended from a "Scot who ran afoul of the law and came south."
    I would like to get better acquainted with you and your family.

    Best regards,

    Steven Argyle

  1. Steve:
    Sounds great. I'm not much of a geneologist, but I'd love to get in touch.
    Feel free to email me.
    ;)

  1. Hmmm.

    "Sent it out"? Like sent the MS to mainstream publishers for you?

    Ask for an update. Your agent should be keeping you updated on the situation with the submissions at least a couple times a month. He should have a pretty good idea whose desk it's on at any particular time.

    Of course, the industry is kind of in a rout at the moment, and shut down for Christmas, so nothing will be happening for two weeks. But that makes it a great time to ask for an update, because the agent doesn't have an excuse (too busy) not to answer, and his answer would not be expected to change in the next 10 days.

    Keep it light, but specific.

    EXAMPLE:

    Just checking up. Like to know who has the manuscript at the moment, which companies and which persons, and what feedback you've received so far.

    Thanks, me.


    You also need to figure out what to do with your next book if this one doesn't sell. With regard to keeping your relationship with this agent, I'd suggest that decision be based on whether he's sold any other YA in the meantime, not just whether he's sold yours.

  1. Not only is stripping more straight foward, but strippers get more respect.

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