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 Has this ever happened to any of you?

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PostSubject: Has this ever happened to any of you?   Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:23 pm

Hi folks, I've been contacted by an editor who loves the Abi stories and thinks she could be written as stand alone fiction and published. Has this ever happened to any of you and what do you think? My first question (cynical me) was how much money does she expect me to pay. She doesn't want anything and has offered to help prepare two stories for either submission to a publisher or to publish as ebooks free of charge.

What do you think?
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PostSubject: Re: Has this ever happened to any of you?   Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:48 pm

Silverkelpie, on the face, this is pretty cool! At the very least, someone likes your stories. Not a bad thing.

Cynicism would also be my first impression, as in, what's in it for her? I've not been published formally, so cannot give an informed opinion on that process, and friends who have been had a treatment or better (full or partial manuscript) worked up beforehand while shopping a publisher on their own. After being published, one or two of them might have been sought out by a literary agent as a client. In that vein, perhaps the person who contacted you might be an editor/agent just starting out, trying to establish a client base. One would hope she has contacts within the publishing world, or else she might fare no better than what you could do yourself, if you chose that route. In any case, it probably couldn't hurt to talk to her. Of course, if you had to pay anything up front, I'd run the other way -- fast! I'd think a contingency agreement, where if you signed on with the understanding she got a percentage of any deal she was able to secure for you would be okay, but the contract language would have to be clear on that point.

On the other hand, perhaps she owns/is starting up an e-book site and needs material. I've heard a lot about that lately. Her time invested in product now produces an income stream later, if the piece sells. Again, language in anything you sign is all important, but you already know that. :)

Good luck however you proceed!

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Ghislaine Emrys
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PostSubject: Re: Has this ever happened to any of you?   Sun Sep 02, 2012 6:59 pm

That's pretty cool, Silverkelpie!

I've published numerous articles in education journals and books but have never been paid for my work--I just get free copies of the journal or book my stuff is in as compensation. So I can't comment about what you might expect to get in return.

However, I don't see how your Abi stories could be officially/professionally published unless this person owns the rights to the characters of Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry. I'm sure you've seen the disclaimers fanfic writers are supposed to append to their stories, stating that Universal owns the rights to the characters and that no money is being made by publishing the fanfiction. I'd talk to an entertainment lawyer about this, if I were you.

Or--is she talking about original stories featuring Abi but without Heyes or Curry in them? Like how Fifty Shades of Grey started out? If you have ideas for such stories, then I'd still suggest talking to a lawyer or at a minimum surfing the Web to get an idea of the types of contracts available. Actually, before talking to a lawyer, you should find out this person's qualifications and track record: Who exactly is she? I'm sure you've googled her--what did you find out? I would want to see her resume and know which professional organizations she belongs to, and also what she's published previously. Does she have her own imprint or work for an established company? I'd ask her what benefits would there be for you to work with her as opposed to doing something on your own. You might also want to see if the Writer's Guild (that's in the US; I don't know the comparable organization in Britain) has any guidelines for aspiring writers. My sister is a writer and I can tell you that it's extremely difficult to get fiction published nowadays.

All that being said, good luck!

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PostSubject: Re: Has this ever happened to any of you?   Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:11 am

I seethe with envy Silver!!

Cool.

Obviously all sensible stuff from Ghis...

I wouldn't worry too much about the rights to the boys though - you'd just take them out/ anonomyse them, wouldn't you??
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PostSubject: Re: Has this ever happened to any of you?   Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:36 am

I recalled that The New York Times recently had an article about self-publishing. You might find it illuminating, Silverkelpie (and everyone, in fact). Here's the link:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/16/technology/personaltech/ins-and-outs-of-publishing-your-book-via-the-web.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

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PostSubject: Re: Has this ever happened to any of you?   Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:54 am

Hi Silverkelpie:

I just wanted to encourage you to pursue this. Remuda and Ghislaine are completely correct about moving forward carefully and the article Ghis just posted the link to is very informative about self-publishing and its challenges.

However, I may be stating the obvious here, but what have you got to lose by pursuing this as long as you are careful? Whether she approached you or you approached her you would still need to be cautious about contract details, etc. If documents are produced, don't sign anything without having a lawyer review it. But I think you will find that once you've negotiated the details you will know whether or not this deal is for you.

Good luck to you!




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PostSubject: Re: Has this ever happened to any of you?   Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:33 am

How wonderful for you! I echo the sentiments of all the others. Just be careful and try not to take it too fast ;) Good luck!

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PostSubject: Re: Has this ever happened to any of you?   Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:04 am

Calico wrote:
I seethe with envy Silver!!

Cool.

Obviously all sensible stuff from Ghis...

I wouldn't worry too much about the rights to the boys though - you'd just take them out/ anonomyse them, wouldn't you??

But what could I call them? Smith and Jones are already taken????

Thanks for all your good wishes, advice and support. The woman in question doesn't want to sign me up to anything, nor does she want money. She says she's a non-fiction editor who frequents writing forums and assists people in getting published if she likes their stuff. I'm checking her out (you'll be amazed what you can find out from your sofa if you know where to look) but I'm being very cautious, and considering this deeply as this certainly wasn't what I had planned. Abi wasn't even meant to be a such a long series.

I'd already started writing my new project too. That damned Abi woman - you couldn't beat her to death with a stick!

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PostSubject: Re: Has this ever happened to any of you?   Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:48 pm

Silverkelpie wrote:
But what could I call them? Smith and Jones are already taken????

I'd already started writing my new project too. That damned Abi woman - you couldn't beat her to death with a stick!

Smythe and Johnston?

In all seriousness, you might not have meant Abi to be around so long, but you obviously wrote a great character. We readers know something good when we see it. Go for it, SK! We know you'll proceed cautiously. I hope it all works out for the best. sm
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