Cough, Hack, Wheez…

We’re having one of those weeks. Max has been very ill. Frank has started coughing again (he’s been sick for a couple of weeks now), and I’m coming down with my third bug since Christmas. This morning it was 9 below zero, his morning it was 9 below zero. Frank missed the bus, Percy (the dog) threw up on the carpet, and then van wouldn’t start…

Letters for January 28th

~Frozen Nose Hairs~
For many years, “nose-hair-sticking-together-cold” has been a term I use for the kind of weather you are describing. You step outside the house, encased in your state-of-the-art thermal protection, take a breath and ZINGO…
~Oh My!~~
I hope I don’t offend you by saying this, but . . . oh my Gosh! Last week’s article looks like it was written by me

Editorial Service Kickbacks? Reading Fees? Protect Yourself! By Diane Craver

All kinds of scams are committed everyday. We read in the newspaper and see on television about people of all ages being taken advantage of by dishonest persons. But I never thought I’d be a victim of a well-known New York agent. I hope you haven’t experienced what I did several years ago. I still get a sick feeling whenever I read about the people I put my trust in.

One Things Leads to Another! By Shirley Bahlmann

Even though I lived there, I’m embarrassed to admit that I failed to see the obvious. It was only after a friend asked me when I was going to write about the tornado that the light bulb nearly blinded me. I got busy, conducted over 70 interviews, tracked down photographs, and ultimately self-published a 130-page book titled Manti Tornado Stories. Copies sold right out of my hands!

Frozen Nose Hairs

Well, during basketball practice last week, Ali somehow managed to dislocate her basketball coach’s finger. However, he was much kinder than my old gymnastics coach, and even “set” his finger behind his back so as not to further upset Ali. Apparently it’s something that happens to him a lot, but Ali was still quite distraught.

Welcoming the Good Clients While Shunning the Bad By One Wiser Businesswoman

Welcoming the Good Clients While Shunning the Bad By One Wiser Businesswoman

The time-period spanning December 2003 and January 2004 was
terrible for my Writing Services business. It would take me a year
to write an accurate account about what happened to hurt my
business during that time.
Every snafu was a problem caused by some jerk of a client. I
immediately realized two things about that week: 1) The need
to disengage from Immoral Scofflaws, and 2) The need to
rethink how I do business as a writer…

Four Years to Publish a Book?!

I signed a book contract in November of 2001. My book is still not out. Supposedly it’s in cover design and I haven’t seen it or seen blue lines. So I know we still have quite a ways to go. Also, and more concerning, is now that I understand publishing contracts more, I see there is no publication date listed on the contract. There is no clause that says when it will be published or how long before I can pull out because she does not publish it. It only indicates what will occur if it NEVER gets published. But there is alot of time between November 2001 and NEVER.
Another writer with them says she’s on four years. Customary and reasonable amounts of time listed in the Writers Digest says one to two years. What in the world can I do?
SL Brown, MA

One year is average; two years is pushing it. Three to four years? Holy cow!
I’d be furious!
Authors should always add a “publication date no later than xx, or rights revert back to author…” clause to their contracts. Otherwise, they may wait forever.
You can try threatening the publisher with exposure about their horrible contract and slow operations if they don’t return your rights. If other authors and agents knew it takes that long to publish with that firm, nobody would submit to them and the quality of their inventory would suffer greatly. They may even go out of business. Unfortunately, with no dates promised in the contract, you will probably need to hire an attorney to try to get out of the deal.
Or, the publisher may be in financial trouble and may welcome an offer to terminate that contract. It can’t hurt to ask.
I’d really like to know the name of that publisher. We may already have complaints about them on file.

Who Knows Where $50 May Lead? By Jodi Helmer

When the editor of a small community newspaper called to ask if I would be interested in writing several freelance articles for the paper, I hesitated. He was only offering $50 per story and I was concerned that the articles would require much more time and effort than the pay warranted. But, with the holidays around the corner and few deadlines during November and December, I agreed to take on the assignments.

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