A couple months ago I got that magical email that said “we’d like to publish your story.” And before you get too excited, that’s where the magic ended.
I received a contract via email and I began the painful process of looking up how to negotiate a book contract solo. Folks this is why agents are KEY. They know this stuff. They do it all the time. Get an agent first if you can.
I googled, “Publishing contract scams” like any good millennial would. I found writer’s digest had a great mini post on Publishing Contracts 101, sounds about right. Of the few things that the article covered, the contract I was reading on my screen failed on most of it. I felt defeated.
Am I saying this publisher is a scam, NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT. I simply do not know.
What I do know is that contracts are supposed to be negotiated. So I replied with a few changes I wanted to make. I was still getting a not so great deal but hey it’s a gamble I’d decided I was willing to take.
I’d play the game if I could hold my story in my hands with no out of pocket cost.
Don’t do this to yourself. It’s not worth it. Your time, work, and story deserve respect from you and anyone else working with it. I had hit a moment of weakness.
The thing that saved me turns out was the publisher itself. They sent my request to the “legal department” for review and I haven’t heard from them since. If you’re in this spot right now reach out to agents who’ve liked your story. Some agents will review contracts for a minor fee, it could save you thousands of dollars down the road.
Don’t decide getting ripped off is worth holding your book. Be patient. Your story deserves it.