Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Before You Receive a Book Contract

Post by Linda Osmundson
My last post titled “Get Organized” talked about record keeping. In the next few weeks, I will offer ideas of records or writing to have ready once you receive a book contract. If anyone forewarned me of the many forms and information I must provide the publisher upon receiving a contract, I failed to heed their advice. It took a month to gather all the requested information. Take heed and start now collecting what a publisher requires.
            Although publishers, both large and small, retain publicists, the people work with many authors at once. The bigger the house, the more clients publicists maintain. My publisher is small, Pelican Publishing. Their limited staff spreads themselves through all publishing facets, including publicist. Therefore, Pelican’s contract requested I provide contacts and information, starting with media.
            Google newspapers, magazines, TV and radio. Compose a list of local media contacts and try to keep it current. List any articles written about you or any TV/radio recordings. I requested a friend tape my Colorado & Company appearance. Except authors, guests pay to be on that program so Channel 9 provided no recorded copy for me at any cost.
            Most publishers require some sort of autobiography. Look up your favorite authors and read their bios, oftentimes found in their media/press information. Most authors include a short bio (about 50 words), a medium sized and a longer version. Once you receive an acceptance of book or article, a 50 word bio is a must. Revise it frequently. 
            Keep a record of writing clips and the rights sold as well as hard copies. Again, revise the list often.
            Get started now and save time once you receive a contract.



Patricia Stoltey said...

Excellent advice, Linda. For some publishers, there are requirements for signed permission to use names, photos, etc. That can also be a time-consuming process best done while the book is being written. said...

I'll cover some of the other requirements in other posts. Thanks, Pat.

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