Thanks, and a Few Thoughts

A few words of thanks to my supportive peeps

Thanks to everyone for coming by to offer encouragement on the SSRLP and to say nice things about it.

While it’s not the sort of writing I want to do all the time, it was a refreshing insight into publishing on the non-fiction side and how things work. More of that insight will come, I’m sure, and hopefully further benefits as I learn the ropes to working with a publisher to produce a quality product.

Things learned along the way

So far, this hasn’t done anything to enhance my resume. I don’t know how, or when, to add it to my CV for one thing. For another, I don’t know the exact title of the book or the release date, so I can’t even put anticipated publication date mm/yyyy or anything. So for now I’m still just an out of work bum, but this should help with the “What have you been doing for the last 15 months?” question I get oh-so-often when people (infrequently) sniff around about jobs.

I still haven’t heard anything on revisions and rewrites, which makes me a little nervous. I also haven’t seen a whiff of the money, which makes me pissed. I knew they didn’t rush money out to authors, but c’mon – enough’s enough. It’s been more than three months since they picked me to do the writing and more than six weeks since they got their contract. The excuse I get is “Well, it’s a behemoth company, so things move slowly.” I wonder how the publisher would have handled my slowness on delivering their product? Hm.

And that, dear friend or two which I still have following my blog, is one thing I have learned early and often in this journey, which I can now share with you. When you’re the author and working with a publisher (this is after the agent’s part of connecting you with the publisher is over and you’re working away on the product, now), the publisher holds all the cards. You, as the writer, don’t have much recourse about anything.

They sent me a contract, which was fine. I read it through as best I could. I”m not a lawyer, don’t know any lawyers, and can’t afford a lawyer, so I read it through myself. The wording wasn’t difficult or tangled, not really. I got through it. But the thing is, I had no recourse to renegotiate the contract. The agent made it clear he wasn’t really interested in anything like that; he’s worked with this publisher before (a lot, I gathered), and they’re good for the money. If there was anything I didn’t like in the contract, I’d have needed a lawyer to negotiate the changes. And the publisher would have simply passed on me as an author and gotten someone else to write the book.

You want to be the author? Play by our rules and sign the contract. That’s lesson one.

Lesson two is, their part of the contractual “obligations” do not apply. Yours do. They sent me the contract and I had to sign it if I wanted the job. They would then receive it from me and counter-sign, which enacts the contract. I’m now in a bind. If I say they’ve violated their side of the agreement by not paying when they said they would (half on contract execution), they can say they just haven’t signed it yet. I can’t prove one way or the other, so I’m stuck. If I don’t live up to their expectations and requirements, though, you can bet I’d hear back from them about how I’m in breach of contract and they ain’t gonna pay me.

Either way, I lose, and that’s one of the things I’ve learned in this process.

Anyway, thanks for all your support and I’ll talk atcha when I can.



All original content copyright 2010 DarcKnyt


12 thoughts on “Thanks, and a Few Thoughts

  1. Damn, publishers can be vicious. I had no idea.

    Neither did I. But it’s just the nature of the business; the publisher IS going to pay me, it’s just they’re going to do so when THEY get around to doing it.

  2. I’m wondering if you can get your agent to nudge the publisher. I’m assuming the publisher will pay him, and he’ll then pass along your cut. Since he won’t see any of the money till they send it to him, maybe he would be willing to do that. Also, have you considered that the agent is the one dragging his feet, that he might already have the money and hasn’t passed it along yet? Definitely keep in touch with him.

    I did nudge the agent, who in turn sent an email to someone in the company who then sent an email to someone in the publisher who got back to them and they informed me it will be 30-45 days before the publisher pays. From when is what no one can answer, and whenever they do is irrespective of what the contract says it is.

    Glad you’ve learned some things. I don’t know what a CV is, but I bet this will be a good thing to be able to tell interviewers. You don’t have to know the final name of the book, just say you were contracted to write a book and it’s in pre-publication. Writing a technical book will be impressive, and they might also appreciate your moxy. It certainly won’t be a detriment.

    See Marta’s answer about CVs. Adding it isn’t as quick and easy as it seems. I’ll get it on there, but when is the question. Always the when.

    I miss being able to chat with you about writing. 😦

    It’s okay sweetie, I don’t chat about writing anymore. I’m pretty well done with it. 😦

    • Hm. Just for now, I hope. I’d hate to see you give up fiction altogether, but then again, if you feel it’s the right thing to do I can understand needing to put it aside. Love you guys.

      We love you too sweetie. It’s not a matter of being “right” for me or anything like that, it’s just that I’ve not done anything in so long continuing to call myself a “writer” is a lie, so why bother. Not to mention having zero motivation. Like all the agents say, if you CAN give it up, DO SO. So I am. That’s all there is to it.

  3. Sherri, a CV is a Curriculum Vitae, which is a fancier resume.

    Darc, when you know more, you have to put it on there. I’ve heard that publishers take forever to pay and some don’t pay until the book is actually published–after edits and all that. A friend of mine who has a 2 book contract (fiction), her first book took a year and half to hit shelves from when the publisher (Random House Canada) bought the book.

    I understand with fiction that’s the general rule — two years from editor to shelves, and that’s fine. This book will NOT take that long because the product will be released WAY before that, so that’s not the concern. I can’t put anything on my resume until I have a date, though. Or at least an ANTICIPATED date. Doing so before that might backfire if for some reason they DON’T publish the book.

    That said, a reasonable, polite inquiry into payment is hardly out of line.

    Been there, done that. Nothing helpful forthcoming from it.

    Good luck with everything!


  4. I would add it to the CV with a tentative release date. Keep your chin up Darc, that is the part you get to decide.

    No can do, Jaymie. Don’t have one, like I said in the post. Until I do, nothing can be said about it.

  5. Wow, that’s really something. I just caught up with yesterday’s post. Congratulations on the project! Wouldn’t it be nice if they would give a little advance so that you could afford a decent celebration? *pout* Oh well. I guess this is a “patience is a virtue” situation.

    Well, the contract says there’s an advance due, but they don’t have to pay it until they want to. That’s part of the problem. But hey, at least it’s finished. And I don’t think I posted anything yesterday, did I? Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  6. Holy crap, what a nightmare… And I thought I had some tech-writing horror stories!

    Thanks, John. If I haven’t said “You da man” for this lately, YOU ARE. I appreciate it, more than I can say. And honestly, it’s just slow, but not so painful, in the scheme o’ things.

    Hope this gets sorted out real soon, friend.

    Me too, and thanks for being in my corner. 🙂

  7. That’s sort of how it works when you sub-contract anything. The contractor pays you when they feel like it and sometimes you have to take them to court for it. I want my money NOW.

    Oh, well, like I said in the post, I’ve been contracting for a LOOOOONG G-ddamn time. I know all about how the CLIENT holds the power, not the contractor, and I know AAAAAAALL about how they HATE to pay. So this isn’t a surprise, even for the crappy little bit of money they owe me.

    I know it sucks, especially when you need the money. If you didn’t need the money, you wouldn’t have taken the project. They should be a little more considerate of that even if they are a big company.

    I agree. I hope I remember this when or if I ever have to hire contractors.

  8. Well, it’s good to be writing anything. Who knows, maybe someday you’ll catch the fiction bug again.

    It’s not that I lost the bug, I don’t think. I love writing fiction, but I haven’t been doing it or able to do it, so … I guess I’ve given it up and lately, I’ve seen a lot of advice from agents saying if you can give it up, do so, because you’re not a writer. I think I fit that category. As for this being “good” — well, I’ll think it’s good when I get my doggone money and not before.

    So true, that the publisher holds all the cards, like when Justine Larbalestier’s book , Liar, came out with a white girl cover though her protag is black. They did fix it after an outcry, but that’s just sad. Writer’s have little control after the dotted line is signed. And signing over movie rights is another thing. A studio can basically take your concepts and do as they want. Early Dean Koontz movies are nothing like his books.

    One of my writer friends is going through the movie process now with her novel. She just met her screenwriter. She’s having a five book series, so I imagine they’ll stick close to her stories, since they’ve expressed an interest in running the whole lot.

    Yeah, wish I could relate to this, but not so much. I don’t think I’ll ever have to worry about movie deals.

    Good luck in the job hunt.

    Thanks. 🙂

  9. I just know that I am going to walk into Barnes and Noble in the near future and BAM your book is going to be staring me down..and YES I will buy it and I will hold up the line until EVERYONE has a copy. Your perseverance in the face of adversity is admirable and something that others aspire to be..Keep On Keepin On…I know great things are in your future….Zman sends

    Thanks, Steve. Much appreciated.

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