Your Career Goals Should Affect Your Decisions
It's not a bad contract, but it has a couple sticking points that she's not sure she's willing to negotiate. When discussing it further amongst writing friends, one said, "So, your goal is not just to be published by a publisher?"
"Exactly," the writing friend said, and so once again I was led to think about writing and career goals.
If her goal was to have a traditional publisher, then she would sign the contract, after trying to negotiate a few points. (Remember, all contracts are negotiable!) But because she has other goals for her career and her work, she might choose a different path that feels better for her--she knows what she wants out of her writing life.
Isn't this important? YES!
Before I signed the contract for my first book in 2007, Finding My Place: One Girl's Strength at Vicksburg (ages 9 to 12, White Mane Kids), I knew my goal was to get a book published because I wanted to do writing workshops and school visits. You really need a book for these types of jobs--at least to get paid--and so I signed this publishing contract. There were not as many options back then to get a book out into the world as there are now. But I still think I would have signed the contract, knowing what I know now about the children's writing genre, libraries, schools, and conferences.
My writing friend has different goals than me, writes in a different genre, and is planning a trilogy. So she has to figure out what fits her career and go from there.
What about you? Would you sign the first contract offered you? Is your genre right for self-publishing? Have you created a career plan and goals?
photo by Celestine Chua http://www.flickr.com