Monday, September 5, 2011

You Don't Have To Say Yes - A Thought On Contracts

So, you have been working your butt off finding an editor or an agent. You found someone that really does work for you and isn't someone just out to take your story and your money. In other words, you found someone reputable. After a bit of talking, you are offered a contract. Now what?

Of course we always talk about contract negotiations. Find what works best for both you and the editor/agent and work out the details. But this is not always going to work out for everyone. Sometimes, even if the deal looks good and you have worked everything out to the best of your abilities, something might not feel right. The question is, do you sign.

One of the things about the publishing business is that a lot has to do with gut instincts. Although I am not someone into all that New Age stuff, I do believe that many times, if we trust our feelings about something, we should follow that tought. The same goes for contracts.

If things just don't feel right, there is nothing wrong with simply saying "no." In a professional and polite way, you can explain to the editor or agent why you think you will pass on the project. In all likelihood, the contract might be heading you in a direction different than what you want to do with your career.

The thing about this is that you may have closed off a door later on if something does fit with that editor or agent. Now they will see your name and be reminded that the last time, you changed your mind at the last minute. The question they will ask is if you plan on doing that to them one more time around. Do they want to devote all that time and effort into reading your project, discussing things with them and then writing up the contract just to say no again? Probably not.

But, this does not mean you take it. This all goes back to do your homework before you start anything. Make sure you know as much as you can before you start. Still, remember that you have the power to say yes or no. It is 100% your decision.


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