I had a call from a publisher's publicist this morning to talk about review copies of my new book. Its made me feel a little light headed. This has not happened to me before. Please be aware folks that not all publishers operate in the same way. They are idiosyncratic, and as individual as the people who run them. They have different styles, agendas and structures in place and you can go for years never discovering this if you stay with one publisher. This is yet another reason why it is useful to meet other writers and illustrators and hang out with them chewing the fat about the industry. It is not necessarily bad that they are different but depending on what you are expecting and hoping for it pays to know as much as possible about who you are teaming up with to realise your dreams. Your responsibilities are different with different publishers too.
Several people recently linked to this article on facebook. I confess that I don't expect to make a significant living from writing books. Few writers do. I am realistic about things when I look at a contract. I know what I am likely to be able to change (not much usually). I am still learning what clauses I care most about and what I should ask for to protect myself and my career but it has taken me nearly ten years to know what I know now. But I am disturbed by the new trends in contracts and worried for debut authors signing up now. How do we know what we don't know? How do we ask the right questions? How do we know how far to push for change? How do we plan for future changes in the industry? What will happen when we push? And consider folks that your behaviour may influence contracts of the future. If everyone accepts the new status quo it will become the rule. Don't be afraid to talk to other writers and illustrators about it. Don't be afraid to ask questions. And just remember - lets be careful out there...
Educational Resource: A Winter's Day in 1939
- Educational Resource: The Were-Nana
- Educational Resource: The Half Life of Ryan Davis
- Educational Resource: Made With Love
- Educational Resource: The House That Went to Sea
- Educational Resource: A Winter's Day in 1939
- Educational Resource: While You Are Sleeping
- Educational Resource: The Song of Kauri
- Educational Resource: Fuzzy Doodle
- Book List - Complete List of my Publications