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Author Topic: Offer of Contract for Publication  (Read 1654 times)
SarahRWriter27
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« on: March 06, 2017, 03:27:01 PM »

I am embarrassingly uneducated in the land of straightup publication. I've been querying for about 8 months now and I had an invitation to query a local independent publishing house. They requested the full a week ago and just sent me this email:

"Congratulations! We have read and reviewed your manuscript and after careful consideration, we would love to offer you a contract for publication with [    ], our Middle Grade and Young Adult imprint.  If you are interested in signing a contract with us for publication of your book, please let us know when you will be available to speak with one of us over the phone.  We’d like to discuss your manuscript and the next steps in our publication process.
We loved your book and we’re excited about the opportunity to work with you."

I think this is probably great news, but....I've got 5 different agents reading my manuscript right now, one of which is my dream agent who's offered me an R&R. I've always wanted to go the traditional route -- get an agent and basically have them guide me. But this is different than having an agent represent me, right? This isn't technically an offer of rep, right?

I need guidance! Please help if you can. Thanks so much!
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Falthor
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« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2017, 03:39:02 PM »

this is a sale.

they want to publish your book, and this is traditional as well.

I would, personally, let them know if you are interested (which I assume you are seeing that you submitted to them) and tell them you want to give the other publishers/agents that you have queries out to, time to respond, one to two weeks.  Then send a message to everyone that hasn't replied yet that you have an offer of publication, and would liek to hear back if there is any other interest and give them the deadline.

A Agent can do a lot of things for you, but realistically this is leap frogging the agent and getting right to the point where they make your book and it hits the shelves.   Assuming an agent picks you up you still have to go on sub, there will be a lot ofrevisions involved, etc.  Equally an agent will nogotiate better on your behalf (normally) and get things like foreign rights etc that the publishing house you applied to might not consider.

You really need to take a big step back and look at allthe options, including what the publisher is offering you (nice that you don't have to give an agent a cut of it too) and then see which way feels better.


Congrats on the offer.
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Sarah Ahiers (Falen)
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« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2017, 03:57:17 PM »

Everything Falthor said.

If you do decide to go with this house, make sure you hire a literary attorney to look over and negotiate the contract for you.
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Speckle
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« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2017, 01:16:37 AM »

Congratulations on the offer!! This is fantastic news, I am so very happy for you  clap clap clap clap clap

Personally, I would certainly let them know you're very, very interested. I have also read stories of folk securing agent representation this way: that having a deal can interest an already interested agent. If it does, make sure the agent is not just signing you for the deal - you really want an agent you can have a long-term relationship with, one who gets your work and where you want to go with your career. The benefit, as Falthor said, of having an agent is that they'd be able to get the foreign rights - and negotiate the best contract. So, I would first talk to the publishing house - see what they're offering. If it's good and you're happy, then tell them a few agents and publishers are reading, you'd like to give them time to read. If you don't get an agent but you still want the contract, then Sarah's point is excellent, get a literary attorney to help.

The other side of having an agent and not a deal is here:
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?306747-The-Next-Circle-of-Hell-Vol-2/page173

All these agented folk who are on sub to editors and biting their nails in The Next Circle of Hell hoping they'll get a deal! It's a tough selling market out there...

Well done! Keep us posted on what happens!
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Speckle
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« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2017, 01:53:00 AM »

Just one last thing...!

I have seen quite a bit on independent publishers on different forums on the net. It's also worth making sure that their work is very professionally done. The main problems seem to be lack of editorial input, and ebooks full of typos - or needing a serious edit - way too indulgently long. I recently read one of these (full of typos and too loooooooonng in the middle) and it has put me off reading anything from that imprint again: in short, the work feels sloppy and rushed. Sausage factory stuff.

It's worth doing your research before you say yes. Of course, the querying agents might ask which press, and if they do give you advice or words of warning, heed it.
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SarahRWriter27
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« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2017, 07:40:17 AM »

You are all so helpful. Thank you so much for your advice and suggestions!!
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hesterL
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« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2017, 09:39:28 AM »

Hi SarahR!  First off, congratulations!!!

Out of curiosity, would you feel comfortable sharing the name of the publisher here?  The only reason I'm asking is that some pubs (by no means all!) have "red flag" issues that might not be easy to spot at first glance.  You can also check on Absolute Write to see if there's a thread on the particular publisher--

Also agree with Sarah re: getting a literary attorney to look over the contract if you decide to go with them.

Congrats again!!!
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