Hello all you braZen sexy beasts!
It is Tuesday and once again I come bearing a cloud of doom. I am not purposely trying to be dark or morbid but if I can help new authors from falling into the holes that I have fallen into then I should, right? I take great pleasure in helping other authors, especially the new ones because if I didn't have help I wouldn't be here right now. It's a kind of pay it forward kind of dealie.
This blog entry is not to bring you down or get you to stop writing or be depressed. This blog post is to get you to just spend a little more time picking and choosing where you send your work and who you let handle your art. Now with that said, please read on.
Getting published is earth-shartteringly (I know that’s not a word but work with me here), amazi-rific! I mean come on, someone else aside from your mom and dad, big sister, and boyfriend think you have some talent—and not only that, they think you’re so wonderful they decide to publishing your work. That is bloody brilliant.
But be careful.
Before it even gets to an acceptance letter there are things to watch out for. Do not let the excitement cause you to fall for rip offs or publishers who are just so downright horrid, everyone is leaving in droves and every website you’ve ever seen them mention on has nothing but horrid things to say about it.
Why am I writing this blog? Well I am going through it at the moment. One publisher, which shall remain nameless for now, is purposefully holding my books hostage after I have given the required notice in the form my contract stated. Now they are officially in breach of my contract but that’s a whole other story.
So here are some tips.
Research your publisher – you know the one that looks all fancy and shiz? Yeah, especially those ones. Google them. I mean not everyone is going to have a glowing review for every publisher but if you see that more than five sites have something bad to say about the publisher—steer clear. They are not just writing that crap because they feel malicious. Read all these sites and blogs and posts carefully. If in doubt, email a bunch of the authors from the house you’re thinking subbing to. If they seem overtly stand-offish, there has to be a reason. If you get a bad feeling about a publisher, trust your instincts because chances are you’re right.
READ YOUR CONTRACT! I read all my contracts. Know most of them inside and out. I print extra copies and mark them up—highlighting dates and clauses. Make sure you do that if that’s what you have to do to learn them. These contracts are legally binding so make sure you know what you’re signing.
We are writes. We spend months sometimes years researching a book and then another year to finish writing said book or however long it took you to finish your masterpiece. You craft each character, each scene, each everything with pain-staking care and deliberation. Ensure you use the same care and determination to find your work a suitable home. Don’t just submit it and contract it with just about anyone who offers. BE CAREFUL. Do not get stuck in the same hole most of us have in recent years.