In January, while I was preparing to teach a craft workshop here in Las Vegas, I was happily reading a lovely essay on the comma in the Oregon Quarterly. The essay, titled “For Love of the Comma,” written by Kate Dyer-Seeley, is beautifully done, and as I read, I was thinking of recommending the piece on my monthly recommended reading list—until I hit this: …I […]
Just when I thought it was safe to get back into the water… I’m editing a lot these days. I only edit short fiction projects. Anthologies, anthology series (Fiction River), the occasional nonfiction book, and some magazines. I’m also consulting with the fine folks at WMG Publishing, because they’ll be handling the contracts for the revival of Pulphouse next year. Dean’s vision for Pulphouse includes […]
The letter from the indie writer encapsulated a lot of things that are happening in the field right now, and I thought I’d analyze those. I also figured it was timely, considering this indie writer wasn’t the only writer in the past month who had sent me email about recommendations on their prose from other “more successful” writers.
I don’t know what it is about the beginning of the year that brings out these insecurities. Maybe it’s the fact that many of us use the end of the year for reflection and then try to plan the upcoming year.
What struck me about this indie writer, and the reason I’m using her as an example, is that this incident is ramped up from the usual incidents.
Most writers check their traditional book contracts for the advance, the payout, and the due dates. They don’t look at anything else. Writer after writer, and editor after editor, have told me this.
I always look toward the editing clauses first. Because if they’re ugly, the rest of the contract usually is as well.
This applies to all kinds of writing for traditional markets, especially for nonfiction and short fiction. I’ve seen terrible editing clauses in those contracts, and what’s ironic is that those clauses often seem to be the most innocuous.
What you want is complete control of the content of your work.
Writers miss opportunities all the damn time, because writers are hard to reach. I don’t know why they think they need to be hard to reach, but they are.
Because of this blog, I get a lot of e-mails from writers at various stages of their careers. I also receive a lot of links to other blogs, written by publishing industry people here and out of the United States. I have noticed, over time, several patterns in the way that people respond to the New World of Publishing. If e-books or e-readers are just […]
Recently, the Passive Voice blog pointed out a post on editing by Lynn Price of Behler Publications. Behler Publications is an independent traditional publisher which buys manuscripts and turns them into finished books, distributing them to various book outlets and sending authors royalty statements. Behler has a contractual relationship with its authors. I state all of that because some of the comments in the PV […]
For the fourth year in a row, I have posted a blog on Thanksgiving. But this year is the first time I’ve decided to write a post about the holiday itself. Many of you who read this are not from the United States, which is why I have ignored the holiday (and most others like it) in the past. But the holiday is an unusual […]