First Book Contract: Part Four (a)

{Read parts one and two and three from last week.}
To recap briefly (and also correct some of my math from Monday’s post), all totalled I submitted stories from Flashes of War 61 times to various literary magazines, my agent and I queried 44 presses, and I queried 23 NYC agents. The end result almost two years later is 11 stories from the collection published and a book contract from a university press that took 15 months to send a sample contract.

Enter part four–contract negotiations. Since John and I are still working on this with the press, I can’t name any names just yet. But suffice it to say that the contract was 8 pages single-spaced and my list of concerns after reading it numbered to 16. We might be talking university press here, folks, but we’re still talking fairly small–no advance, no big conglomerate publishing house, and very limited marketing on the part of the press. If it takes 8 single-spaced pages for that kind of production, I can only imagine what those authors I know getting five and six figure advances are dealing with…
Alas, 8 pages seemed enough for me to deal with anyway! Thankfully, John was able to appease many of my concerns by simply explaining what some terminology in the contract meant. In the next post, I’ll detail some of the things I learned. For tonight, consider this a place-holder post in this series, as today was a big day here for the Airstream: it was towed into place and put up on blocks. We still need to level it, so tonight I’ll be sleeping with my feet where my head usually go, and as the rain pours down I’ll also be listening to the sound of bowls catching two leaks. It’s one step at a time, right? Right. For now, this here writer is too exhausted to give the contract negotiations blog post the detailed attention it needs, so please stay tuned for Part Four (b).
  • Lynn Lovegreen

    Contracts are the major reason I think I need an agent.

    Enjoy the Airstream! 🙂

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