Where Personal and Professional Life Collide...

My life in 8 words: Organized chaos, by preference. Exhausting, but never boring

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Industry Talk: some words on contracts
my job
Today I got, and read over, the contracts from Pocket for the VINEART WAR books. No matter how good your agent, and how much you trust him/her you always read through your contract. Yes, every line. It's your name that gets signed, not your agent's. Make sure you agree with it all.

The contract, for those who've never seen such a beast, covers every damn thing you could imagine and a few things you might not. The rights being transferred, natch, and the compensation thereof (advance [sums and payout details], royalties, subsidiary rights percentages, etc), but also option clause (what the publisher gets right-of-first-refusal on, and how long they are allowed to take before it's open season), what happens if author and publisher can't agree on the manuscript's "satisfactory form," who gets how much time to do what during production, legal decision-making (what state all trials would be in -- by default it's almost always NYS because most major US publishers are based there, therefore it is assumed that the courts have a better understanding of the industry standards), and a dozen other details

The only thing I found to change was where they had two "book 2" instead of a "book 3." (Oops). I also got to go over a few clauses that were new to me, some because New Publisher has different boilerplate, and some because there were issues of "Suri haz Two Publishers" to deal with. Is it terrible to admit that those clauses were both thrilling, and terrifying? Because they were.

So now I sign all the copies and send them back to the agency, where they will be passed on to the publisher for countersigning, and then -- and only then -- is this officially a Done Deal.

Needless to say, you don't wait for that to start writing. First book's due in January!

Amusement: For those who read kradical's journal, you will have seen the "conversations we really have" post. Here's a second edition; same location, yesterday afternoon:

"I need a name."
"For what?"
"A hospital."
"Our Lady of Significant Mercy?"
*a Look*
"Our Lady of Insignificant Mercy?"
*a better Look*
"Our Lady of Moderate Mercy?"
*a snort*

(he went with "Significant Mercy," I believe. I'm keeping "Moderate Mercy" for my own future use. If you want to use it, send me a quarter.)

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*makes noises* how's this? I run into two authors I absolutely adore not very far from each other at all in the space of a month or so. Just, gack.

Wanted to say. I read your Retrievers series. Well, I've only read the first two so far, because I live in Australia and getting books that I want to read here is like pulling teeth from an elephant.

Just wanted to say your books make me happy, 'sall.

welcome! And never fear -- the Retrievers series is (finally) being published in Australia, so you should be able to get them at local prices, not import!

Where are you, down there?

Perth, actually. Most remote city anywhere. I'm pretty much used to ordering books in, and I found a couple of yours down here. I'm rather excited to hear that they're being published down here now, though! It seems a lot of the writers I really like don't publish here. And funnily enough, ordering books in is cheaper, in the long run, if you do it from certain stores. \o/

Perth is [at least, was] a beautiful city. I spent about 2 weeks there in January of 1988. Wheeee! That was 20 years ago. Yikes!

It's not that bad a place. I'm going to be moving to Sydney next year, but Perth is still a pretty cool place to live. It doesn't move as fast.

I got to spend a few evenings out in Esk--which is about 1:45 minutes from Brisbane...if you're looking for slow movin' that's the place to be.

I miss the southern hemisphere.

I used to live in the sunshine coast. XD It's freaking wonderful, being somewhere where it's not too fast. I don't move that fast. >>

I went through esk, once or twice. It seemed like a nice place.

I've just come back from a business trip to Perth, during which I came to the conclusion that Australian readers have an even rougher deal than UK ones.
Typical mass-market paperback in USA - $6.99 (OK, plus sales tax).
Same book in the UK - £6.99 = US$13.60
Same book in Australia - A$19.99 = US$18.68

Given my book-buying habit, I don't think I could afford to live in Australia...

Not to mention the fact that a reasonable bottle of Australian wine is probably the same, or lower, cost in a supermarket in the UK compared to a wine shop in Hay St.

akjfhAUUGH. I hate that the books cost so much. But sometimes, ordering them in costs even more. I was pretty lucky that the last couple were american pricing plus postage, which worked out to the price of a regular book here.


Moderate Mercy, origins obscure, but historical record indicates it was founded by a 14th Century friar called Humbert the Gullible.

Not to be confused with Ethelred the Unready ...

"Ethel? Dat you?"
"Never call me that..."

/medievalist humor (attributed)

Or Walter the Moneyless...

This was awhile ago, and you don't know me. My name is Emily and I'm a contracts assistant at S&S/Pocket. (I'm loading your contract into our royalty system as I type. Yay being able to get paid?) Can I ask what two clauses scared you? Like you, I'm not familiar with other house's contracts and I'm curious.

ETA: Oops I wasn't signed in.

Welcome, Emily!

And it wasn't being scared of the clauses themselves as hat they were tlelling me -- that I was now in the position of having to worry about juggling publication dates and specific types of option materials in addition to everything else. I've always been a one-publisher girl until now, even with two series going. Having three series and two publishers makes fthe need for organization and planning even more essential, so my brain doesn't implode...

Ack. Planning. That is scary.

*chortle* It's actually what I'm very good at. It's just work.

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