PDA

View Full Version : Published Pros front and center!



Star
07-09-2007, 06:22 PM
Greetings fellow scribes,

If all goes well today, I will speak to an assistant editor who is "considering" my work. The Senior Editor already passed on it, but the assistant sees promise and rescued my ms. from the trash can.

Has anyone here ever had "The Talk" with an editor regarding possible revisions etc.? I'm not the smoothest talker, so I'd like some tips on how to remain sane. Thanks in advance...ahhh, advance, that magical word. :)

aka eraser
07-09-2007, 06:43 PM
Sure, we've all had, or will have, those "talks." Keep a notebook handy. Avoid being defensive. If you're not comfortable committing to certain suggestions from the get-go, then tell him/her you'd like a day or two to mull it over. Be courteous and professional. It's not a whole lot different from a job interview or a 1-1 with a teacher. (In fact, it can be a whole lot more comfortable than that, depending on the personalities involved and how enthusiastic s/he is about your work.)

I'll admit to being somewhat puzzled that an assistant editor seems to be doing an end-around one of the bosses. Usually it's the reverse, if it's gonna happen at all.

Good luck and let us know how it went.

Star
07-09-2007, 06:51 PM
Thanks aka!

The Senior Editor loves the voice of my novel but feels the plot needs too much work. But the assistant saw the potential and says she's willing to do the "leg work" provided that we're on the same page. Nothing definite here. When we have our conversation, I guess I'll know more. Wish me luck! :)

oops, you already wished me luck!

Birol
07-09-2007, 07:35 PM
Good luck, Star. Remember to breathe. It's very important.

Richard White
07-09-2007, 07:40 PM
One thing, when you're talking to the editor - if you dont' understand something, be sure you get clarification. Don't guess at what they wanted because you were embarrassed to get further instructions. If you sorta, kinda, not really know what they want and then deliver something other than what they thought they told you to do, this can lead to awkward discussions later. Most editors understand and appreciate the fact you're being attentive by asking good questions. Better to go over it a few times on the phone than have to do another major rewrite later.

Usually (read: most of the time but not always), they have something they're picturing in their head. Ask follow-up questions and don't be afraid to say, "Well, I was thinking about going this direction . . . ". If they like that direction, they'll tell you. If not, then listen to what they're envisioning when they read your work. Sometimes you'll be surprised how different people see things you think are so clear.

Otherwise Eraser's advice was spot on. Take copious notes - do not rely on your memory. And remember, it's only words on paper. The free world will not fall if you change a POV in a certain section, so don't get defensive or let your feelings get hurt. Be the professional author, not the prima donna.

Sounds like a great opportunity. Make the most of it and break a leg!

Star
07-09-2007, 08:12 PM
Thanks Richard!

Still waiting to hear back from agent.
Remembering to breathe.

Pamster
07-09-2007, 10:07 PM
Good luck Star! :D

ChunkyC
07-09-2007, 10:26 PM
Good advice from all, so I'll just add my "Good Luck!"

Star
07-09-2007, 10:30 PM
You guys are SO great. It makes me sniffle.
Anybody got some tissue? :)

Toothpaste
07-10-2007, 12:25 AM
Serious good luck! And I want the third that whole defensive thing, bite the insides of your cheeks if you have to! (from someone who can sound defensive REALLY easily!)

Ol' Fashioned Girl
07-10-2007, 12:32 AM
::waiting for results of meeting::

Waiting's the hardest part... hope it went well! :)

Star
07-11-2007, 06:07 PM
Let the countdown begin. Our meeting got pushed to today. Phone convo at 11:00. I'll be gushing details by 12:00. :)

Birol
07-11-2007, 07:22 PM
What time zone are you in?

Star
07-11-2007, 07:45 PM
EST!

Okay guys, here goes:

The editor was VERY gracious. She explained that she did see a market for my work and believed in me. She suggested that I need a bigger climax (YA writers take note) and something to WOW The reader at the end. She gave point by point suggestions (which I agreed with) and said she'd be calling my agent today.

Now for the embarrassing part: I gushed my thanks and said I owed her dinner. Is that completely utterly stupid and ugh? Why do I do these things?

Star
07-11-2007, 07:54 PM
Hi Guys!

Here's the offer: An advance. World Rights. Trade paperback. What say you?

Star
07-11-2007, 08:44 PM
Where'd everybody go?
*yanking neck to the left and right*

Will Lavender
07-11-2007, 08:46 PM
Hi Guys!

Here's the offer: An advance. World Rights. Trade paperback. What say you?

This is something I would discuss with my agent.

Congrats!

Birol
07-11-2007, 08:47 PM
We can't say or do anything else other than congratulate you, Star. The rest... the decision... the work... what to do with the rewrites... how to handle the suggestions and the offer... that's all for you to decide.

:Hug2:

:snoopy:

Toothpaste
07-11-2007, 08:48 PM
Sounds quite nice, but I'm with will, talk with your agent.

World rights can sound good, but my agent turned them down so that they could sell them independently. She also pointed out that if some publisher on the other side of the world HAS to publish my book but doesn't WANT to, they may put little to any publicity into it, just simply get it out there.

Not that world rights can't also be awesome, it's just I was quite surprised that it wasn't automatically an awesome thing!

(oh and uber congrats!!!)

Stew21
07-11-2007, 08:48 PM
Are only the "published pros" allowed to come in and congratulate you or can the rest of us join in with a CONGRATS and a WOOHOO too?

:)

Star
07-11-2007, 08:57 PM
Everybody is welcome Stew! My original post was more about coaching me on what to say to the editor - that's why I asked for the pros.

The offer is not final. There are other editors who have the 'script. Now the question becomes: Do they want to compete for it?

I'll keep you guys posted.

p.s. I don't know what world rights mean, and why trade paperback as opposed to hardcover?

Will Lavender
07-11-2007, 08:58 PM
World rights can sound good, but my agent turned them down so that they could sell them independently. She also pointed out that if some publisher on the other side of the world HAS to publish my book but doesn't WANT to, they may put little to any publicity into it, just simply get it out there.

I'm really not sure what "world rights" means in Star's case. Does that mean that the author gets 80% of foreign sales that the publisher makes?

I know that my publisher wanted to control foreign rights, but my agent negotiated it so that the agency got to control them. Now I get 80% of all foreign sales, and that wouldn't have been the case had my agent allowed the publisher to sale the book overseas.

Star
07-11-2007, 09:03 PM
Does World Rights make a difference if the publisher is fairly large?

Will Lavender
07-11-2007, 09:05 PM
p.s. I don't know what world rights mean, and why trade paperback as opposed to hardcover?

I'm surprised that your agent isn't right there with you in this, Star.

When I talked with editors on the phone, it was a conference call with my agent involved. Obviously, you need to get on the telephone as soon as possible and hash these things out. These are extremely important questions, obviously.

Star
07-11-2007, 09:07 PM
But won't a discussion be premature since other editors still have the 'script and things are written in stone? I'm wary because my novel has been passed on by at least 13 publishers, and given a second chance with a few others, so I'm afraid we may have to "take what we can get" - I'm using you guys as my sounding/info board so that I'll know what to ask my agent. Thanks

Will Lavender
07-11-2007, 09:14 PM
But won't a discussion be premature since other editors still have the 'script and things are written in stone?

Yes, but I would still want answers to those questions. If nothing else, it eases the mind a little. My agent explained everything to me -- how foreign rights would work, how advances worked, how royalties worked -- before the book got an offer.

I think I'm just curious as to how an offer could be made without an agent present. It was my understanding that money couldn't even be discussed without an agent's presence in the conversation.

Star
07-11-2007, 10:24 PM
Nope will. Editor and I had a discussion first to see if we were on the same page. Then the editor called my agent to make an offer. My agent is busy with meetings till after 2. Maybe I'll hit him up later.

aka eraser
07-11-2007, 10:31 PM
Congrats Star and most definitely hash this out with your agent when s/he's available.

Star
07-11-2007, 10:36 PM
Thanks aka! :-)

Star
07-11-2007, 10:59 PM
Oops, forgot to ask - maybe b/c it's minor - but when is the time to ask about complimentary copies of my novel? Now? Much later?

Richard White
07-11-2007, 11:10 PM
Star,

Copies of the book are usually pretty boilerplate in the contract. The number varies depending on the publisher (although they're usually pretty flexible about it - it's really a minor expense for them all things considered).

In fact, most publishers I've dealt with have gotten me extra copies if I needed them, (one, even two years after the fact).

Star
07-11-2007, 11:31 PM
That's good news. Thanks. :)

Ol' Fashioned Girl
07-11-2007, 11:59 PM
Woohoo!!!! Congrats!

Star
07-12-2007, 12:12 AM
Thank you Ol Fashioned Girl!

It's been a looonnnggg journey. I can't wait to tell my story, but I'd rather wait until the ink is dry on my contract. Once the offer is official, please join me for a glass of cyber-champagne in the "Accomplishment" room. :welcome:

Will Lavender
07-12-2007, 12:18 AM
Oops, forgot to ask - maybe b/c it's minor - but when is the time to ask about complimentary copies of my novel? Now? Much later?

This is another thing that the agent will negotiate for you. Tell your agent how many you would like and see if s/he can make it happen.

Star
07-12-2007, 12:31 AM
Done! Thanks Will.
I'm waiting on response. Wish me luck.
p.s how many copies did you ask for?

Will Lavender
07-12-2007, 12:35 AM
Done! Thanks Will. I'm waiting on response. Wish me luck.
p.s how many did you ask for?

I thought 15 sounded good. My agent somehow got it up to 35.

Star
07-12-2007, 12:55 AM
Ok, thanks. Have a great day. :)

Bufty
07-12-2007, 01:43 AM
Congratulations, Star. Fingers crossed for you.

popmuze
07-12-2007, 02:45 AM
You don't want to have too many of those author copies around. Then you'll be tempted to give them to all your friends and family. And those are the people you need to buy the book.

Star
07-12-2007, 05:36 PM
Thanks for the congrats Bufty!

About author copies - nope - won't be giving to family and friends...okay, Mom and that's it...giggle...but seriously, the copies will go to a group of very special people I cyber-met on myspace.

I was just about to throw the towel in and self-publish, then got the idea to post a chapter of my novel on myspace. I then solicited readers and asked them to make a comment about the work. They LOVED my chapter and gave me the courage to keep pushing and find an agent. Found a wonderful agent and the rest is about to be history! So with that said, they get the copies. Don't think there'd be a book without 'em. :hooray: