Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Closet and Publishing - How Are They Alike? By Morgan Mandel

I came back from Wisconsin on Sunday, but gave myself an extra day on Monday for transitioning from vacation to real life. I did some of the wash, but only two loads. I watched some TV, went for a walk with the husband and Rascal, did some blogging and Facebook.

Not only that, I hung up the clothes I'd bought and/or brought with on vacation. While doing so, I noticed lots of summer outfits still hanging in the closet. This week is exceptionally warm, but that won't be true long. So, I decided to keep a few Fall-like summer outfits hanging, those with brown, orange, or beige hues. I hauled the other warm/hot weather clothes upstairs to a handy spot I can grab from if needed. My closet now contains seasonal clothes, which is more practical at this time.

A similar transition is going on with publishing. Authors and publishers are deciding what works best in this in-between phase, when e-books are gaining prominence, yet print is also popular. Some who have contracts with traditional publishers can hardly wait for their contracts to expire, so they can get a bigger piece of the royalty pie by going it alone. Others are sending queries to publishers and agents hoping to get a contract with a large or small publishing house.

Still other authors like me, are straddling the fence, holding onto present publishing contracts and also publishing in Kindle or print on their own.

I've kept my contracts with Mundania Press for Two Wrongs and Girl of My Dreams, but I also self-published Killer Career in print, Kindle and other e-book formats.

I've used my closet as an example, and you can do the same. Decide what you can use right now, but don't make it impossible to get back what you're not using. 

If you're offered a publishing contract, make sure you examine its terms. Keep as many options available for yourself, should you choose to use them. Look for an escape clause where you can cancel the contract within a certain time, without strings attached. Make sure the royalty terms for print and e-book are in keeping with the present market.

Or, if you're very confident, take the plunge and change your whole publishing closet to self-publishing.

Morgan Mandel


Unknown said...

Publishing is being pulled by the tech-train now. I think you're right about not eliminating doors you might want to open someday.

Am wondering: Is there a clearing house where you can get contracts checked for unforeseen consequences?

Toyin O. said...

Great advice.

Keena Kincaid said...

Interesting analogy, Morgan, but I like it--and really hope the current state of my closet doesn't reflect my career. Moving is such a hassle.

Deb Larson said...

When my closet is a mess, usually my office is too, my kitchen, my back porch ... I call it running amuck! It's clear I'm trying to do too much at the same time. It's usually my closet that suffers the most. That's when I purge and it feels wonderful when things are back where they belong.
DL Larson

Romance Readers Digest said...

Writers today have so many options it's sometimes scary. But options are good, even though sometimes it feels like we need a degree in business to make sense of it all. LOL!