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> I Got Offered A Book Deal! :), For My Guardians Story!
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WizardofOwls 
  Posted: 25-Dec-2005, 11:07 AM
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I AM SO EXCITED! Somebody pinch me, I must be dreaming!

I got an e-mail this morning offering me a deal for my Guardians story! Are there any legal-minded people out there who could tell me what they think of the deal? Here is the letter I got:

Allen,

Hello! I am terribly sorry I didn't get back to you about the story before today! Life is hectic for me this holiday season, and has not allowed me the opportunity to read your story as soon as I had hoped!

Allen, as I believe I had mentioned before, I am currently in the process of starting up my own publishing company, Golden Apple Press, and it is my sincerest pleasure to offer you the first publishing deal with the company! Your story is excellent: the characters are extremely well developed, you've clearly built a very well thought out plotline, and I found myself, most importantly, dying of curiosity as to what lay in store for both of your protagonists. Not to mention, you create two very diverse worlds- both that of Erinís Celtic heritage, and that of Jonathanís Native American tribe- and bring them together in ways that truly leave the reader wanting to know more about how these two worlds will come together- which is something you donít see regularly, as most fantasy novels seem to concentrate on only one culture or another. Iíd truly love to work with you to make the full potential of your novel realised, and make your voice known to the literary public, and hope that we can join together to make this a reality.

Unfortunately, as a new publishing company only just starting out in the industry, I could not offer you the large royalties, and many of the other benefits, that come from working with one of the many larger publishing companies out there. What I can promise you, however, is the dedication of an individual truly passionate about these literary forms who would work hard with you on a very personal level to both make sure that your piece truly reaches itís fullest potential, and make sure, through her rather well established connections in the science-fiction and fantasy communities both here and in the United States- that your work would receive the fullest visibility possible. Iím also currently in the process of enquiring about getting listed with the online bookstores for Borderís, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon, and hope to have established the ability to sell the Pressís works through them in the near future. Thus, you would get many of the benefits that would indeed still come with working with a larger publishing company, coupled with the dedication and close attention to your work that can be provided by a smaller publishing company such as Golden Apple Press.

In terms of any profits received for your works, as well, I would be more than happy to offer you the first $1,000 in profits received from your work, and then split whatever money is made in profit afterwards in a way that is to both of our likings at that point in time. However, while this is my initial offer for you, money truly is not my primary means of focus. My aim is purely to work as hard as I am able to get talent like yours into print and made known to the public, and I truly cannot stress this more. Therefore, were there to be a deal, financially that you would feel more comfortable with other than this one, please feel free to bring it forward, and as long as it seems fair, I will be more than glad to agree to it.

I do hope you'll consider the offer- your work is incredible, and you do seem like the sort that has a voice really worth being made known to the public. I would truly love the thought of working with you to make that voice heard, and to have the honour of having you on board as the first author with Golden Apple Press. I do hope that this letter finds you well this Christmas Day! Take care, and all of the brightest blessings to you this beautiful Christmas Season!

Sincerely,
XXXXX


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Slŗn agus beannachd,
Allen R. Alderman

'S i Alba tžr mo chridhe. 'S i Gŗidhlig cŗnan m' anama.
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TheCarolinaScotsman 
Posted: 25-Dec-2005, 04:24 PM
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Congratulations Allen! This sounds very promisng. Since this is a new publishing venture, I would make sure that the offer was backed by sound financial arrangements. Also, make sure they don't "buy" your book, but are purchasing "first publication rights". You should retain the ablilty to negotiate further rights. Also, the copyright should be in your name, not the publishing company's. Have a lawyer look at any written contract they offer you.

You will of course be obligated to make changes as the editor sees fit. This is normal. Usually only well known authors get to publish their works "as is". If she is a good editor, this should make your book stronger. Ask what some of the other books she has edited are, then read them to see if she is "right" for you. The creative relationship is just as important as the financial one.

Good luck and keep us updated.


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celticfire 
Posted: 25-Dec-2005, 06:01 PM
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Congragulations! What a great holiday present. That sounds both promising and exciting--as well as inspiring to the rest of us! thumbs_up.gif


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Rindy 
Posted: 25-Dec-2005, 08:33 PM
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Wizard,
This is very good news.. I think I would do a backgrounds check on this person and also what TheCarolina Scotsman said.. I think a lawyer wouldn't be out of the question and may save you money and headaches...

I am happy for you!! I love reading your stories... What a Christmas gift..do let us know what happens..

Good luck

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DesertRose 
Posted: 25-Dec-2005, 11:42 PM
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Oh my goodness, Allen! What wonderful news! My SIL is a published author. I will run this by her and see what she suggests. I wish you the very best. Keep us posted in the meantime. I am SO excited for you!



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WizardofOwls 
Posted: 26-Dec-2005, 12:57 AM
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I sent the lady a pm and told her that I wanted to take my time, that this was the first offer of this nature that I had ever recieved and I didn't want to jump into anything too hastily. This was her response:

Allen,

I completely understand your needing to take your time and consider it carefully, as it is a rather big decision to make. We don't know each other that well, and do feel that that's an important aspect of really getting to work well together in this sort of atmosphere, should we decide to do so. I'm xxxxx on yahoo chat and xxxxx on MS Messenger, should you like to chat on there instead. Alternatively, please feel free to email me at the above yahoo address at any time. Hopefully, we can get to know each other better in this way, as it would be great to get to know you better as well. Having a strong rapport with one another is an important aspect of a partnership like the one that exists between an editor and writer, and, even if you decide not to take me up on my offer, we have at least established what I hope can be a strong friendship online!

As for deadlines, I know how pressuring they can be, and, especially since this would be the company's first publication, I'd really want to make sure that they were as unpressured for you as possible! After years spent in school having to work under far too many of them, and my entire goal would be to make this piece as great as I know it can possibly be...and deadlines are one thing I know can kill that if they're pressured! The entire purpose of the company is to work with only a small number of authors at a time anyway- no more than 3 at a time at present- for the sake of producing works of quality, and thus free from many of the high pressured deadlines you'd typically find with many other companies that have to get out as many works as possible, as quickly as possible. These are a few details I thought may help you consider things a bit more carefully.

Either way, please take all the time you need to think over my offer, and if you'd care to chat with me online just for the sake of getting to know me a bit better, I'd love to do so! You were the first one who made a point of saying hello to me on here, and we seem to have afew things in common, with our love for the British Isles, so it'd be wonderful to get to know you regardless of what you decide in terms of my offer! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and are looking forward to the upcomming year!

Warmest wishes
xxxxx
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WizardofOwls 
Posted: 26-Dec-2005, 01:01 AM
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A friend on a message board for amateur writers had this to say:

Since I know nothing of Golden Apple Press, I can only base my response on the letter you included:

Allen, as I believe I had mentioned before, I am currently in the process of starting up my own publishing company, Golden Apple Press, and it is my sincerest pleasure to offer you the first publishing deal with the company!
Red Flag.

and hope to
Red Flag.

money truly is not my primary means of focus.
Red Flag.

is the dedication of an individual truly passionate about these literary forms who would work hard with you on a very personal level to both make sure that your piece truly reaches it's fullest potential, and make sure, through her rather well established connections in the science-fiction and fantasy communities both here and in the United States- that your work would receive the fullest visibility possible.
Red Flag.

Not to burst your balloon, but "you're accepted" and "you're the first one I accepted" sort of dilute each other, yes?

In a nutshell, she seems like a nice lady. She's starting a publishing company. She needs you slightly more than you need her at this point in the game. That's an unusual position for a writer who is not established to be in.

Meaning, you're not yet published, you're "no one." You need a publisher. She's trying to be a publisher, she can't say she's a publisher unless the actually has someone to publish...

In that position, how picky would you be about who you published? (no offense intended).

So, take this offer with a grain of salt.

Let me ask you this, based on your posts, and your writing:

Is your writing some sort of Christian-oriented writing? And is her company some sort of Christian-oriented publishing company? If so, then I'd say go for it.

Ask yourself what makes a good publisher? The answer is pretty simple: Someone who promotes, prints and gets you out there, and stuffs a bunch of money in your pocket in the process.

So, a statement like:

money truly is not my primary means of focus.
sort of goes against that directive, yes?

Honestly though, if you're looking for legal advice on publishing and contracts, you can find some good stuff on the net. If you want to be extra safe and spend some $$$, then seek out a copyright/intellectual property attorney. Get an honest-to-goodness contract. Read it, show it to the attorney. Have him/her approve it.

In the case of this publisher, you cannot examine the track record, because she has none.

In the case of this publisher, you cannot decide if she publishes the kind of authors you want to be associated with, because you are the first.

I'm sure I have confused things even further.

Merry Christmas.
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DesertRose 
Posted: 26-Dec-2005, 01:10 AM
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Oh my, Allen. That is a lot of food for thought. Have you considered getting an agent who could advise and caution you in your endeavors to help make the right decisions? My SIL has an agent. I will still try to contact her for you and see what she has to say. I wish you the best.
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Shadows 
Posted: 26-Dec-2005, 07:19 AM
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Just remember if something is to good to sound true it normaly needs very close scuteny... get a lawyer to look over this offer please!

Congratulations if it is real!


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Kiltedbiker 
Posted: 26-Dec-2005, 11:43 AM
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Here is my view of it. Mind you I am not published, nor have I tried to be, so take it for what it's worth.

Every publisher started somewhere. This seems to be what you have stumbled upon. You may gain their acceptance where a larger publisher wouldn't touch it, through no fault of yours!. There are a lot of factors in choosing an author. It's a leg up in the world of being an author. They may be a hobbyist trying to go pro. For the price of a State license and a bond, you too can be a publisher!

They DO NOT have the reach and resources of a larger publisher, so all that they can promise you is their dedication. You have no guarantee of their competency, so leave yourself a door open in the contract. Contacts is what its all about in publishing. Do they have the resources to promote you book to profitability? Since you may have to fund the first run of the book, it is important.

Not trying to be a wet blanket, just calling it like I see it.

Congratulations and Best Wishes,
Mike
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emerald-eyedwanderer 
  Posted: 26-Dec-2005, 12:52 PM
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Congrats Allen!!!!!!! clap.gif

That's so awesome! I'm so happy for you biggrin.gif Everyone has great advice, and there's not much to add to it, especially from someone not familiar with the process. All I know is everyone has to start somewhere. She sounds sincere and very optimistic, which is great! Oh, I really really hope it works out for you, Allen. It couldn't have happened to a more deserving person.

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Aaediwen 
Posted: 26-Dec-2005, 06:55 PM
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Heyas Wiz, it's great you've recieved the offer. A big red flag though is that here's a beginning publisher asking a beginning author (who as far as I know wasn't looking to get published). They're probably trying to start small, as you would want to as well. Do your homework. Find out everything you can about them. Google is your friend for one.

I'd say keep an eye out. This could be legit, but could also be too easilly a scam as well. As has been stated, get a lawyer on your side to check everything out. If it's legit, then kudos! Let the fun begin (and be prepared to work). You will end up talking to an editor, and if the editor does their job right your manuscript will look like it's been through a meat grinder when you get it back.

Keep your copyrights! Don't let them buy it outright. just the rights they need (check with your lawyer)

Kudos if it works out. be prepared though, you have a long row to hoe. SHould be a fun adventure though smile.gif


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John Clements 
Posted: 27-Dec-2005, 10:48 AM
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Hi Allen, I think itís wonderful that someone likes your work enough to try and start a publishing company with it. That alone is saying something, but I would be leery of pie in the sky, and ask all the tough questions. You might even start by asking for their resume, their references, samples of their work, and even how much money they have, because in my experience good intention is usually not enough. Although in the end, it all comes down to chemistry, and so the sooner you can look into this persons eyes, the soon you will be able to decide. That being said let me just say, NO HAND SHAKE DEALS!

Slŗinte,
John Clements


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ArizonaAmy9 
Posted: 27-Dec-2005, 11:46 AM
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Hey Wiz!! This is wonderful and exciting news for you!! There are SO many things to be looked into before agreeing to something like this. My sister had her first novel published a few years ago and it was quite an experience for our whole family. She had actually won a writing contest and that is how her novel ended in the hands of the publishing company. So hers was quite a different story. BUT I would think, as in any case, you need it in writing, read all the fine print, refer to other sources such as your writing buddies, even find an agent and just ask your questions. IF they are of good reput, they should answer them for you. The ball is in your court, they want you not the other way around. SO...take care but enjoy it as this is brilliant news - Congrats!!! clap.gif clap.gif clap.gif


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haynes9 
Posted: 28-Dec-2005, 12:42 AM
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Praying for you, Allen (aka Wiz tongue.gif ) Lots of big decisions to make. Even if this does not work out, I hope you will continue to pursue this. I hope to do some writing someday myself. I know I will call upon you for wisdom since you are walking a path I have not yet ventured onto.

Take care and Lord bless, my friend!


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