I’m back with more on the journey. If you’ve missed any installment of my story, please click here for the link to the other five parts.
I left off with the contract. You know the part where the $$$ comes into this scenario. Depending on your attitude and goals this is can be the good part or the part of publishing that sucks. I have a good attitude, nothing sucks about attaining a lifelong goal.
My contract was delayed, but I finally got it. I’m a pretty thorough reader, so I sat down and read it, made notes about questions and set a telephone meeting with my agent. She explained all the confusing stuff. What’s the confusing stuff you ask? For me it was book club royalties payments (to clubs like Black Expressions or Crossings), direct sales details(I’m still foggy on that), reserves (that’s where the publisher holds back royalty payments because of anticipated returns from the distributor) and the option clause. The option clause can vary, but it’s basically language around whether or not the publishing house has a legal right to see your next work of fiction before anyone else can. It gives them the right to buy it and in some cases can have you stuck with them. Most publishers require an option, it protects their investment, but the author does have some rights to refuse, all be them limited. So once I understood the contact, I signed, put it in the mail and about a month later the advance check came.
Advances come in all shapes and sizes. Let me say for a new author with a small press the size of my advance was not sizable, but it was nice to pull it out of the ole mailbox and take it to the bank. I had my son take pics of me smiling as I held it, and I took great delight in going to the bank to open a new account for my writing business. So exciting. Someone had paid me to write. Let me say here that no matter what the advance, be it $1000 or $5 million dollars, you don’t get it all at once. Most contracts split the payment and it’s done in various ways. I have a two book contract, so I got 1/4 of the total contract value at contract. I’ll receive another 1/4 thirty days after Secrets and Lies is released, another 1/4 when the final edits are completed for my 2nd novel and the final 1/4 when the second novel is released. I know you’re thinking, wow, talk about splitting it up. Yep, that’s what they do, but that’s actually a good split. I talked to an author the other day whose publisher split her advance into eight payments. Can you imagine the manpower it takes to manage that stuff at the publishing house? I mean I’m sure it’s all automated and such, but still, the oversight and postage. Give me a break.
So I gots the big bucks now and I’m wondering is it time to quit my job? Hee, hee, hee…I am so kidding. What it was really time for was to sit in front of the computer and start book two.
To be continued…
Thanks for reading, and please feel free to ask me questions.