Monday, June 20, 2011

About Contracts

I know a lot of you are curious about the publishing process, so today I’m going to talk about contracts. One thing that I didn’t know is that you don’t actually sign your contract until a couple of months after you’ve agreed on a deal. I know, this seems weird, but once you have a verbal agreement with a publisher you have a book deal. You may even start editing for them before the contract is signed. This is pretty common.

What takes so long is the fine print negotiating that your agent will do. You’ll never agree to the first draft of a contract. This is where your agent really earns their 15%. They haggle over royalty percentage and how many advance copies you’ll get. They try to work in bonuses for you, as well as guarantees on how long your book will be in print. All this takes time, especially since everything has go through your publisher’s legal department and be approved by a gazillion people.

This is a good thing, and hopefully the time spent negotiating will work out in your favor. One bad part, you won’t see any money until the contract is signed by all parties. I’ll talk more about that next time, how an advance works and when to expect the promised bucks.

I know I wasn’t very specific, but every contract is different. Any questions?

Also, blogger still isn't letting me comment on a lot of people's blogs. Sort of frustrating, but what can you do? Is anyone else having this problem?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Covers I Really Like

…and hope my cover looks like.

Here are the examples I gave to my publisher:

I think each is beautifully creepy. I like how each girl’s face is covered, intimating a secret. I know that my cover will be dark and ominous… let’s hope it’s half as awesome as these are!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Cover Control

Harper Collins is starting work on my cover, so this week I’ll be talking about...covers (what else!) A lot of you may be curious to know just how much say an author gets over her/his own  cover and about the cover creation process. We’ve just started, but here’s what I know so far. J

Yes, you have some say over your cover. Your editor will discuss this with you, about what you envision and if you have any strong feelings about a central image or theme. They want to hear what you have to say, then take that to their design team.

No, you do not have final say. Most contracts will mention that you will “consult” on the cover, but really, it’s the publishers who make the final decision. They want to make you happy, but they also want to sell your book, and people do actually judge a book by its cover. They have professionals who do this for a living, so I’m confident they can come up with something way better than what I could think of.

You’ll also provide examples of covers that you like and a paragraph about the physical characteristics of each of the main characters. This is sort of a blueprint for the design team, though again, they may go a completely different way.

Back Wednesday with the sample covers I gave to my editor.

Friday, June 3, 2011

I’m Done!

...Well, sort of.

I sent off my first set of revisions to Karen at Harper Collins, and I must say that I now possess an incredible sense of accomplishment. J I know I still have a couple rounds of edits left, but it’s all starting to seem real. We even discussed cover concepts. I can’t wait until I have a cover and share it with you all.

Next week I’m going to share a couple of covers (from already published books) that I really like…and sort of hope my book looks like. See you next week!