Tuesday, May 21, 2013

From Idea to Print: One Series' Tale, Part Two (It's a long story)

Part Two of a Three-Part Series (I will post the last "episode" tomorrow):

My initial contact with Mark, the editor, was through snail mail. We both had email addresses so we corresponded mostly by email after the initial contact was made. Through a series of back-and-forth missives, the book proposal was sent to the publisher's editorial department for approval. In September 1998, five months after the first letter from Mark, I got an email saying my series concept had been approved by the editorial department. He said the next step was for him to submit a formal budget proposal and wait for its authorization before he could officially offer me a contract. The approval was given October 30, 1998, and I was offered a contract!!!

I received the actual contract a few days later, but some changes needed to be made to it before it was ready for both parties (myself and the publisher) to sign. This is not usual. Just a note: A writer should ALWAYS read the contact, ANY contract, carefully before signing. Often, things are entered incorrectly, or not entered at all. And, some things in a publishing contract are negotiable.

I didn’t have much experience in this area, so I asked a couple of my friends, who were seasoned, published writers, to review it. They pointed out a couple of things that needed to be changed. Through a series of emails, the changes were proposed, approved and then implemented into the contract.

When the contract was finally signed, I had work to do. I had four books to write. Each one was to have 10-12 craft ideas. I was entitled to a royalty of $1000 per book. The first $300, for each book, was paid to me when the contract was signed and returned. The next $300, for each book, was to be paid to me when the rough draft of each book was finished. And the final $400, for each book, was to be paid to me when the final copy of each book's manuscript was approved.

The publisher assigned me an editor to work with, Wendy Mead. I submitted my ideas and written instructions to her. If she didn't approve them, she would send them back to me for more editing and revisions. If I was stuck on a particular craft project, she would help me come up with ideas for it. She was very helpful. Together, we worked through the first four books in the series.

 to be continued...

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