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The Grim Reality

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Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

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Thrillride

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Okay, so I get this call yesterday from a pub house and it turns out they have a book concept and they've actually sold the book - but have no writer. they asked if I'd be interested.

Me:
"Umm...let me think....write a book..uhhh.
Yeah."

Anyway, no formal offer yet, but they're calling back next week to have a little pow wow. Cool - I think.

I emailed an author friend of mine whose written (when I say written, I mean sold to pub houses & is in Borders, not under her bed) maybe 40 books. She told me that a small pub house may offer a first-time author anywhere from $1000 - $5000 and a larger one may offer $5,000-$10,000 to write the book.

Oh, God. I'm making some nice money writing for online sites...I mean, I guess I never even thought they could offer $1000 for that kind of work. I know people who are making the lower end of that equation online.

Of course, there are the royalties, which is where my author friend say it get nice (and obviously, any upfront fees are just part of the royalties - but STILL) Plus, you have your first book under your belt, so if you do more, the monies go up from there.

But, I'm sitting here kinda facing a grim reality. I can't believe that I may actually end up turning this thing down if it's offered - I just don't know. But this book would have a lot of research in it beyond my area of expertise.

I need a doughnut.
 
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happywritermom

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I would do it only if you find you have a passion, at least a little bit of passion, for the topic.

Congrats regardless of your decision!
It definitely shows that they think highly of you.
 

Thrillride

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I would do it only if you find you have a passion, at least a little bit of passion, for the topic.

Congrats regardless of your decision!
It definitely shows that they think highly of you.

Oh, thank you!! I have to say, that was a good moment, right?

Yes, it's a passion of mine for sure, but there's just some added research that I'm not as familiar with going on there, too.

It would be a fun project and of course, I'll just have to get out there and SELL, LOL (royalties, you know). I don't think I could actually turn it down...I was just shocked when i was clued into the reality there.

Anyway, I'll see if it's even a go. They're having some meetings this week and are suppose to get back to me early next week.

Did I mention they'd want it written in 4 months?? *grin*

*fingers crossed*
 
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K1P1

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My first book was the result of an editor with an idea for a book asking if I'd like to write it. I had already been copy/technical editing their books in that category, so had a working relationship with the editor. It worked out very well, but it was in a field where I already was working and am knowledgeable. I'm now working on my third book for the same publisher.

I'm a little confused, though. When you say "they have a book concept and they've actually sold the book," what do you mean? If it's a publishing house, then why would they sell it to someone else?
 

Thrillride

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My first book was the result of an editor with an idea for a book asking if I'd like to write it. I had already been copy/technical editing their books in that category, so had a working relationship with the editor. It worked out very well, but it was in a field where I already was working and am knowledgeable. I'm now working on my third book for the same publisher.

I'm a little confused, though. When you say "they have a book concept and they've actually sold the book," what do you mean? If it's a publishing house, then why would they sell it to someone else?

I'm sorry - I stated that incorrectly. I mean they have a contract with a HUGE store. She put it to me as "we already have it sold to..." but meant that it's got a definite place already. I knew what she meant, but I should have phrased that better here.
 

K1P1

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I'm sorry - I stated that incorrectly. I mean they have a contract with a HUGE store. She put it to me as "we already have it sold to..." but meant that it's got a definite place already. I knew what she meant, but I should have phrased that better here.

Makes sense - if their sales people have already sold it to a major retailer, that's pretty amazing. No wonder they want to know how fast you can write it. When I worked in computer software, we used to call this "vaporware"--the sales department was always promising things that didn't exist, but said that we developers would have it ready in no time. :p
 

dot-dot-dash

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I don't have a degree in computer science. That used to be a hindrance. Through sheer luck I was approached by a publisher to fill a gap they had. Which lead to a second book. The lack of formal qualifications is much less of an issue now. Hard work, but strategically speaking, it was the right decision to do it. Even enjoyed it at times.
 
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Elizabeth George's book Write Away