January 30, 2019 at 10:42 am #4093
Those of you who were on the Word Cloud before it evaporated may remember I had a bit of trouble with one of my novels and was taking legal action to recover the rights. I wrote a blog on it when I was still deep in the midst of the process, and now it is all mercifully resolved, I thought it was time to update. This turned into a mammoth essay involving as many lessons and as much advice as possible, and pointing out the avoidable mistakes I made. It got so long, I have split it into three parts, and part 1 has just gone up on my blog. Even this is a fairly hefty read.
I apologise for the length, but I really want new authors to avoid the problems I had. The whole experience became stressful in the extreme, costly, and left me with a feeling of intense disappointment about my first fiction publishing, which no aspiring author should experience.January 30, 2019 at 2:02 pm #4096
I have just been over to refresh my memory. A really useful warning – thank you. Looking forward to the next instalment.January 30, 2019 at 2:21 pm #4097SquidgeParticipant
Read and shared over on facebook. xJanuary 30, 2019 at 2:49 pm #4100
Thanks both. I think I probably did just about everything wrong that I could have done, but that doesn’t excuse the behaviour, or the performance, of the publisher. Caveat Scriptor…January 30, 2019 at 4:54 pm #4103RichardBParticipant
I think you’ve put me off trying to get published for life…January 30, 2019 at 6:07 pm #4104
I’d hate to think that, @richardb – the truth is that it’s not that hard to avoid what happened to me. If you pursue the agent route, most of it is irrelevant anyway, although you obviously have to do your research into any agents who offer to represent you. In 99% of cases, just being aware of the possible problems means you can avoid them.
Another conversation I had with someone today pointed out the differences between fiction and non-fiction, and how for the most part (in our experiences), nonfic is a lot less arbitrary in its reward of effort and ability, and a lot less likely to try to screw you over. Perhaps if you considered a book about the development of railway safety through the prism of historical accidents…?January 30, 2019 at 10:34 pm #4110RichardBParticipant
Well, to be honest I was already pretty leery of small indies after various horror stories I’ve heard. Also the amount of work involved puts me off. If I’m going to try at all it’ll be by the agent route.
Nonfic could work for me, as I am coming to the sad conclusion that I am better at telling an existing story than at making one up. As for your specific suggestion, although I flatter myself I know my subject and would love to do it, that’s been done before, more than once. I’d say the market is saturated, so if I’m going to write about railway accidents at all I’d have to think up another approach.January 31, 2019 at 12:03 am #4115Tony LyttleParticipant
Very interesting to read this, Daed. I’m looking forward to the next parts. Congrats on your honesty and willingness to share. It should be very helpful for all of us.January 31, 2019 at 8:13 pm #4151Philippa EastParticipant
Wow, thanks for sharing, @daedalus. I’m pleased it’s resolved now, but after reading part one, I’ve a feeling things are going to get pretty sticky before we get to that point.February 5, 2019 at 3:45 pm #4258
I’ve just published Part 2February 8, 2019 at 2:45 pm #4292Philippa EastParticipant
Oh goodness, @daedalus. How awful. Please put Part 3 up soon! I can’t bear seeing you in this awful pickle!!
Thanks again for sharing. I really hope your own experience will serve successfully to protect other authors who may otherwise have gone down the same line.February 8, 2019 at 4:17 pm #4293
Thanks @philippaeast – you’re most welcome. I feel very silly having made all these avoidable errors, but I wouldn’t want anyone else to fall into the same trap. Mostly I don’t want people to get stuck with publishers who act in bad faith.
Would you mind retweeting the link the next time you’re on Twitter? Just to get the highest circulation possible. It’s my pinned tweet at the moment. ThanksFebruary 8, 2019 at 4:43 pm #4294
I don’t think you should feel silly at all. It’s very easy to fall into such traps, especially when we’ve been trying for EVER to get published. Someone I know fell hook line and sinker into the claws of a fake/vanity agent and there was no telling her, though I and several others tried.February 8, 2019 at 7:36 pm #4301
That’s definitely one of the problems Bella – people, self included, really want these things to go well and can easily blind themselves to the problems. There’s that siren voice of ‘yes, but you’ll be published…’ – as if that means anything by itselfMarch 7, 2019 at 7:10 pm #4567
So here it is – Part 3, the conclusion of the story of my publishing nightmare, and how I finally recovered the rights to my novel from an intransigent and uncaring publisher. It was financially costly – but not nearly as costly as it might have been, and taught me a great deal about what not to do next time. Final blogpost, with as much in the way of advice and suggestions that I can think of.
Feel free to ask me about it, if you’re in a position of signing a contract soon or hope to be in the future. If I can help, I willMarch 7, 2019 at 11:13 pm #4574Alan RainParticipant
@Daedalus Many thanks for these posts. It really is a serious warning, and an antidote to starry eyes.March 8, 2019 at 11:39 am #4585March 8, 2019 at 4:00 pm #4596
Thank you. This has been an interesting, if worrying and depressing, read. Caveat author.
Good for you for being so persistent in the face of such recalcitrance.
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