During the early days—correction, decade—of my writing career, before I had either an agent or a publishing deal, I often felt a kind of desperation. When would it finally be my turn? When would I see my work in print?
Would my day ever come?
I wrote, I researched agents and publishers, I pitched and queried, and—like everyone—I received rejections. Rejections upon rejections, until I almost dreaded opening my email for fear of finding another missive that began, “Although I enjoyed your work, I’m afraid I just didn’t love it quite enough to take a chance in this difficult market . . .”
At times I felt tempted to stop researching “fits” and simply adopt a shotgun approach in the hopes of finding any agent or publisher willing to take a chance on my stories.
Fortunately, twenty years of experience as a publishing lawyer stayed my hand. Because, despite the temptation, I knew that having no agent and no publishing deal is better than having a deal I would later regret.
The same is true for you.
Before signing a contract with an agent or publishing house, you must take off the emotional artist hat and evaluate the offer with a non-emotional, business manager’s eye. Consider every aspect of the deal. Does it make business sense? Does it fit your plans and desires for your overall career? For where you are now, and where you hope to go?
Beyond that, take the time to consider these important factors: [Read more…]