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ShannonC_77
06-26-2008, 10:45 AM
I'm just wondering what's normal or standard on this - if there is a general rule.

Someone contacted me who has read my work online to write a chapter for a non-fiction book they are writing. He didn't mention anything about being paid but did say I could include any sites/pictures, etc to help promote myself.

Is this something that someone typically does get paid for? I'm thinking about doing it just because promotion and actually being in print right now would be great, but just curious if I should try and push to get paid something too (trying to make writing as much of a full-time job as I can...need all the help I can get. :) )

aka eraser
06-26-2008, 08:56 PM
If it's a self-pubbing situation I think you'll probably have to content yourself with the byline and bio. If the writer is going with a commercial house it wouldn't be out of line to expect a few bucks. The fact he hasn't mentioned money makes me lean towards the first scenario.

June Casagrande
06-26-2008, 08:58 PM
I don't really know, Shannon. But since no one else has chimed in yet, I'll share my impressions.

I haven't really heard of guest authoring chapters, except for in the "Chicken Soup for the ..." series books. I know that they pay a couple hundred bucks (maybe $500?) for contributors' stories.

Normally, yes: Anytime someone contacts you to do something for them, it seems you should get paid. But if you consider the exposure/experience to be compensation, then, by all means take advantage of it.

ALSO, since this is a stranger contacting you out of the blue, be suspicious if they ask you to sign anything. This is someone who read your work on line. If they ask you to sign something giving them rights, you want to make good and sure what rights you're giving them.

Like I said, just my impressions ....

ShannonC_77
06-26-2008, 10:58 PM
Thanks for the replies on this. He did tell me that he has a literary agent who will be shopping around for a publisher and he's looking to have 10 authors write chapters to include in the book (guess authors).

I'm thinking it's unpaid but he said I'd get a full author bio at the end, so I think I'm going to take it. Publicity for me right now is really good and twenty pages isn't really all that much work.

Thanks again for the replies!

PatrickMoran2008
06-27-2008, 12:50 AM
Good topic. I was wondering about this myself.

veinglory
06-27-2008, 01:02 AM
If he is expecting to sell this book for a profit, you should expect to share in that profit. I would ask the editor to be specific on this matter.

escritora
06-27-2008, 01:16 AM
Shannon,

The norm is that writers do receive payment if they contribute a chapter.

KCH
06-27-2008, 04:57 AM
Shannon,

I know you're excited about the credit and promotional potential, but don't sell yourself short. Evidently you have a significant degree of expertise on the subject he asked you to write on or he wouldn't have sought you out in the first place.

If you're uncomfortable asking about money, don't be. You will appear more professional if you do. Simply ask him what the financial terms are and which rights he's seeking.
You can still agree to do the work for nothing if you feel it's a legitimate tradeoff, but you really should know the terms up front and make it a part of your decision. A well-known publisher vs. an e-only will return vastly different levels of promotion for you. Evidently, this guy is already published. (I say that because it's doubtful he'd have a literary agent if he's unpublished but has no product in hand. ) Run his previous books through google and see what kind of money you could/should be talking.

Good luck!

Dantes
06-27-2008, 05:07 AM
Just a thought, but you might not want to write for free "on spec." Just b/c this guy has an agent doesn't mean the book will sell. You might end up spending X amount of time writing something that won't see the light of day. Ask for his credentials and publishing credits, etc.? And, if the book did sell, you should expect at least a cut of the advance.

A dozen years ago "Chicken Soup for ..." was paying writers/reporters $400 for chapters that were very brief, e.g. 800-1000 words. That was considered by many involved to be a rip-off. Don't give your stuff away. If it's good enough to be included in a book then it's deserving of payment. Just my opinion. ... Good luck with it.

escritora
06-27-2008, 05:09 AM
I say that because it's doubtful he'd have a literary agent if he's unpublished but has no product in hand.

It looks like the book is nonfiction. The guy could have sold the idea to an agent/publisher on proposal. That's how many nonfiction books are sold.

veinglory
06-27-2008, 05:14 AM
Before you agree to anything you should know all of this for sure.

ShannonC_77
06-27-2008, 10:59 AM
Thanks again for all the responses.

I did somewhat accept today (before I read this); although I'm still in the phase of asking him exactly what he wants, so I suppose I could try and request payment still.

Yes, he has been published before (hopefully this is okay... http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw/102-8308339-4610559?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Carlito+Vicencio are his books) and I'm not sure an agreement is in place specifically for publishing it as he said his agent will 'shop around' for publishers, so I'd assume they are still looking.

Some type of profit would definitely be nice. I mean, the exposure is good, but depending on how well it sold, really, it may be that big of a deal. Another thing I just thought about, let's say I wrote his chapter (without pay), I wonder if I could self-publish this online on a personal website. Is that typically allowed or would I need to be contacting his publisher on that?

It is kind of odd though, he's getting 10 contributors, at 20 pages each....I wonder if he's doing any writing?...or maybe just profiting....

veinglory
06-27-2008, 05:14 PM
To be honest of you have agreed by email without even knowing where this book is going to be published and under what terms, I wouldn't feel to bound by it. I have backed out of a similar deal in the past when they chose to go with a disreputable publisher. There was no contract and I felt my reputation might suffer by association. You might also want to find out who he has lined up for the other chapters to ensure you don't share covers with any idiots or scammers.

ShannonC_77
06-27-2008, 11:04 PM
To be honest of you have agree by email without even knowing where this book is going to be published and under what term, I wouldn't feel to bound by it. I have backed out of a similar deal in the past when they choose to go with a disreputable publisher. There was no contract and I felt my reputation might suffer by association. You might also want to find out who he has lined up for the other chapters to ensure you don't share covers with any idiots or scammers.

Thanks for this advice. Yah, everything has been very informal so far. He did say two other authors he has planned, both of which are fairly respectable so that is a good thing.

One thing I was thinking about more yesterday, if I was to write the chapter, would this potentially help me when I was then trying to publish my own book? (Just the fact that I already had something in print)? I'm hoping to try writing my own non-fiction book sometime in the coming months and as of yet don't really have anything published apart from online writing.

veinglory
06-27-2008, 11:09 PM
if he sells it to Ten Speed Press it would, it he 'sells' it to Publish America, not so much (and varying degrees in between).

scope
06-28-2008, 03:38 AM
Sounds strange to me. Seems as if the only thing he wants to do is take advantage of the work of 10 writers and put the compilation of some sort under his name.

I know how anxious you are for exposure, but this just doesn't seem right to me. You probably won't be able to reprint your article anywhere since I imagine he plans on holding copyright on all 10 articles.

I think you should contact him and be very up front. Ask exactly what his plan is. How he intends to use your work, and try to sell it. If he sells the work, what, if any responsibilities will you have? What about editorial changes to your work (assuming he sells it) -- do you have any say in the matter? What guarantee do you have that your name will get a byline (and what type) in the book? More, but that's enough to get started.

I would absolutely, but gently, raise the issue of getting paid. You deserve to get paid, although I can understand that you would take very little, leaning toward nothing.

I think you should ask the names of the 9 other authors, and start by googling them. Try to get contact info for the 9 and discuss this whole matter with them. Don't be negative with them, only "curious" because this is so new to you.

ShannonC_77
06-28-2008, 10:56 AM
Sounds strange to me. Seems as if the only thing he wants to do is take advantage of the work of 10 writers and put the compilation of some sort under his name.

I know how anxious you are for exposure, but this just doesn't seem right to me. You probably won't be able to reprint your article anywhere since I imagine he plans on holding copyright on all 10 articles.

I think you should contact him and be very up front. Ask exactly what his plan is. How he intends to use your work, and try to sell it. If he sells the work, what, if any responsibilities will you have? What about editorial changes to your work (assuming he sells it) -- do you have any say in the matter? What guarantee do you have that your name will get a byline (and what type) in the book? More, but that's enough to get started.

I would absolutely, but gently, raise the issue of getting paid. You deserve to get paid, although I can understand that you would take very little, leaning toward nothing.

I think you should ask the names of the 9 other authors, and start by googling them. Try to get contact info for the 9 and discuss this whole matter with them. Don't be negative with them, only "curious" because this is so new to you.

Thanks for these thoughts. Those are some good points and ideas; I think I need to think this through a bit. I've got my own projects that I really want to get working on and while 20 pages isn't a terrible amount, it's 20 pages that could have gone towards my own book.

It's good to know about the publisher issue too, obviously he doesn't know right now who the publisher is, so I suppose that would just be a ball game I'd have to play.

Thanks again for all the help with this.