Back to books

Tomorrow is my first day off since… well, I can’t remember. I’d have to look back in the calendar. I am definitely in line for some payback for all this extra work and I plan to concentrate on the anthology for a while.

I find it easiest to print the stories and edit them on paper rather than on screen. I say ‘edit’ but most need very little real editing. A typo here, a missed quotation mark there…

Mostly I am splitting long paragraphs into smaller ones. In print it doesn’t matter so much as long as the paragraph isn’t pages long. It’s more for the eBook version. People read eBooks on their phones now – I don’t know how they can stand to do it but they do – and a long paragraph equates to screen after screen of solid text. That gets really tiring to read.

Don’t tell Boss but I’ve been doing some of this at work. I was on 10-2 shift the last two weeks and 10-4 shift for Monday and Tuesday this week. I completed all the important jobs by 10:30 and was left with several hours of bugger all to do.

Oh I found a few things. Normally I would (and am supposed to) refuse to clean a fridge outside the fridge rota but today I was so desperate for something to do by 3 that I did one. I also dismantled the floor cleaning machine, cleaned up the bits and put it back together. It still works, okay it cleans ceilings now but it works.

I had printed out some of the stories so it would look as if I was doing paperwork when I edited them. Nobody questioned why a lowly janitor suddenly had so much paperwork to do. I looked as if I was doing something. Good enough.

The sudden onslaught of non-book work means I have to abandon plans for a Halloween collection. There won’t be time now. The Christmas one will go ahead and I’ll start looking for submissions around mid-September. That will have to close to submissions early/mid November because I have to have it on sale by early December. It’ll be tight but there won’t be summer holidays in the way. I’m not Tesco, so I won’t have the Christmas stuff out before December 1st, and certainly not before Halloween šŸ˜‰

I’ll print every story for editing. It’s so much easier and I can’t be distracted by the internet. Then I’ll incorporate the edits and send each author their section as it will appear in the finished book. As long as the author is happy, contracts and money change hands at that point. Yes, finally you get paid.

There is also a novel on the Underdog Books editing list but I have a young lady intern looking after that one. We haven’t agreed payment terms because I haven’t actually made any money from this yet but I think maybe a cut of sales would work. In the future I’d rather pay an editor a one-off payment but can’t do that yet. The ‘cut of sales’ would be permanent so let’s hope that one takes off big time.

Novels are different from short stories. With short stories I pay for one use of the story in one anthology. You can do whatever you like with it afterwards, sell it again, add it to your own collection, anything. I don’t own the story, you do. I just rented it for one book. I’d hope you’d refer to the book it was in before but seriously, I don’t have time or resources to chase you around the net. It’s ‘ask’ not ‘tell’ because you know I won’t do anything about it.

With novels, I’ll take the standard small press approach. The contract will give me exclusive publishing rights in print and eBook formats for a period of five years. If at the end of that period you want to go it alone or get involved with people who know what they’re doing, like Random House or Penguin, we don’t renew the contract and I can’t sell your book any more. Basically, it belongs to you throughout but I have a five year lease.

Film rights, TV rights, serial rights, spinoff toys and Easter eggs and pencil cases with demons on them… not interested. If anyone contacts me about any of those things I pass the message to the author and you talk directly to the interested party. I can’t mediate those things, I don’t know how and I’d end up in some kind of legal mess. So if someone wants to make a film of your story, I’m not involved at all and take no cut. It’s all yours.

Cover art – if you have something you want, tell me. Not for anthologies, those are left to my fevered imaginings. A single author book, whether story collection or novel, means the author gets to say what they want on the cover. If you have your own cover, brilliant. If not, I’ll make one or get one made.

If I provide a cover and you don’t renew a contract after the five years are up, you can’t use that cover any more. The words in the book are yours but the cover is still mine – or belongs to whoever made it. We can negotiate sale of the artwork or you can get a new cover, that’s up to you.

If it was your own cover then it’s still yours. All that will change is that it won’t say ‘Underdog Books’ any more and it’ll have a different ISBN number. Most likely, nobody in the world will notice either of those things.

Right, the madness of work has ended for now and the book stuff is back on line. Here we go.


9 thoughts on “Back to books

  1. I’ve started on another shorts and I’m aiming to do a longer shorts after that. I’ve got the first book pretty much completed. The second book will be finished mid Sept I think. Good to have you back as it were.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “There is also a novel on the Underdog Books editing list but I have a young lady intern looking after that one.”

    That would make an impressive qualification to add to a cv! šŸ˜Š

    Liked by 1 person

    • Leggy, how long is this novel? #words. I’m asking because I have a number of short stories which share some characters and themes. Stupid I know, but I only realised afterwards that they’re more like chapters in a single book than individual pieces.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Have you read Ray Bradbury’s ‘The Martian Chronicles’? It’s a series of short stories that tell an overall story, but each short story is complete in itself.

        As to length, for ebooks it doesn’t matter. Paper books need to be at least 100 pages (roughly 25000 words) or they cost too much for their size and nobody would buy them.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I am on your mailing list (for quite some time now).

    Maybe you would be interested in my novel.

    To which email address can I send my novel, its cover and the synopsis?


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